Barrel-Aged Stock Ale
Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House

Barrel-Aged Stock AleBarrel-Aged Stock Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
English Old Ale
Ranked #45
Ranked #10,045
4.06 | pDev: 7.88%
Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House
Maryland, United States
Very Good
Barrel-Aged Stock AleBarrel-Aged Stock Ale
Notes: This stock ale is a blend of an imperial stout and a barleywine ale both aged in Bulleit bourbon barrels. Roasty and chocolatey with notes of sweet dark fruit.
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 39 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of puck1225
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had it from draft poured into a tall Guinness snifter.

Very dark brown color with a nice head and excellent lacing. Somewhat subdued boozy smell and taste. Bitter chocolate flavors, licorice, dark molasses, roasted malt, and a hint of prunes. Nice cool weather beer!

 268 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a fine, half finger dark khaki head with great retention and nice lacing; reminiscent of a good cask Guinness stout pour. Aroma of dry caramel and dark toasted malt, bourbon, dates, light plums and cocoa. Flavor is dry caramel and dark toasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, coffee, oaky vanilla. Medium bodied with a silky, medium creaminess. Tastes pretty much like its label description: a bourbon barreled blend of (English) barleywine and Irish stout. The stout component is somewhat more robust than the Guinness we get here, but the barleywine is typical of the drier, maltier style. The body is quite fine and a bit of a surprise, hinting at a nitro pour. The flavor drops off slightly in the finish, but this is probably the nicest and most satisfying ale I've had from Guinness. They seem to often pull their punches towards a more mellow product, but this appears to be a full effort. I like the blend of barleywine and stout here and the bourbon and oaky barrel notes are very nice. Exceeded my expectations. Glad I picked this up.

 1,154 characters

Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark brown with a tan head, decent retention and fair lacing. Aroma is dark roasted malt, bourbon and dark fruit. Flavor follows the nose, some sweet caramel and vanilla join. Feel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. Overall a nice beer.

 255 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.2 ounce bottle, no dating that I could find on it. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with not quite an inch tan head. Head retention is OK, and there's a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit, roasted malt and dark chocolate. Taste is similar to the aroma, with bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit, coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and oaky flavors. Good amount of barrel character noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's coating and a bit creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Did seem a bit thin at times, but it didn't hurt the beer. I thought this was a good overall brew, I liked drinking it. $19.99 a 4-pack.

 705 characters

Photo of Tucquan
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this on 2029-11-28 near Pittsburgh, PA

Quite mild aroma. Roasted bitterness and caramel sweetness. Light-medium body. Light carbonation. Some bourbon.

 156 characters

Photo of Allegedly
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I like this beer, ale, stout, whatever. It's got a smooth, silky mouthfeel, warm, cozy, with hints of chocolate and barleywine. Can't tell that it's 10% ABV but it fits smell like it! Definitely has that classic Guinness taste though, but it's not so thick you feel like you need to scrape your tongue off afterwards. I can definitely smell some of the bourbon barrel that they talk about as well. This is a fine brew that I would love to drink regularly, but I believe it's a limited release, and $20/4 pack is just a wee high. To me it's a special occasion brew.

 564 characters

Photo of Lucular
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

5 oz pour on tap. Not as "big" of a beer as I expected, either in the flavor or mouthfeel. Even though it looks like a stout (though not super dark) it comes across as more of a barleywine with vanilla and oak being the predominant flavors along with a little whiskey, but not as much as I'd expected. Mouthfeel is fairly thin, same as regular Guinness lol. Over it's fairly tasty but ultimately not memorable.

 410 characters

Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, 10% ABV. Dark mahogany colored ale with visible carbonation leading to a persistent foamy tan head. I can smell bourbon at the crack of the cap; closer inspection after pour reveals woody oak, vanilla, toffee, grain, chocolate, and dark fruit but the boozy bourbon stands out most in the nose. Definitely a boozy sipper: oaky Bulleit bourbon is showcased along with vanilla, toasted grain, caramel, toffee, modest roasted barley, prune, and earthy hops. Full body, very boozy, moderate carbonation, finish is slightly harsh bourbon, but I like it. This was good and better than expected!

 602 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: 11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with a grey pull-tab crown cap and an appealing classic label. Brewed & bottled by Guinness Baltimore, MD. $5.99 USD per single at a beer store in New Orleans, LA.

"Stock ale aged in Bulleit bourbon barrels." "Blend of an imperial stout and a barleywine ale both aged in Bulleit bourbon barrels." No mention is made of how long they spend in barrels or what the ratio of imperial stout to barleywine is in the blend. 10% ABV.

Served cold into a nonic pint glass.

HEAD: ~5cm in height. Khaki colour. Robust. Not as creamy or frothy as Guinness' stouts, but it holds up rather well against its 10% ABV, lasting easily 8 minutes before receding, leaving sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.

BODY: Dark cola black with red hues. Opaque. No yeast/lees are visible within. I'd guess it's filtered looking at it, but it'd be tough to tell if it wasn't given its opacity.

It's a decent looking strong ale...neither top tier for an imperial stout nor for a barleywine, but generally appealing with no obvious faults.

AROMA: Silky leather. Barrel-derived vanillin. Dark fruit. Molasses. Faint barrel sugar sweetness. Dark malts. The bourbon barrel imbues this with surprisingly strong vanillin aromatics...I didn't know Bulleit was that vanillin-emphatic (it approaches almost a rum-soaked fruit vanilla aroma).

Not as roasty as I'd hope for in a Guinness beer (even if only part of the blend is an imperial stout). It seems they eschewed their signature roasted barley character, and it doesn't seem better for it.

Seems malty and sweet with a bourbon barrel character that isn't just a marketing gimmick (and with New Belgium and AB-Inbev shitting out marketing tie-ins with Jim Beam and Knob Creek, that itself is a plus). More barleywine than imperial stout judging by the aroma, which isn't what I expected from Guinness.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Sweet and malty, dripping with raisin, prune, molassses, and dark fruit with vanillin and barrel sugars lurking in the background. I wouldn't say it's bourbon-emphatic to the extent that great bourbon barrel aged beers from the likes of Founders and Goose Island are, but the bourbon is noticeable. I don't get rich white oak flavours or toasted coconut like one would find in a top tier bourbon barrel ale, but the vanillin that does emerge is decent.

Doesn't offer much imperial stout charred sugars, burnt malts, roasted barley, or even really much chocolate malt. For a beer bearing the Guinness brand, its stout characteristics are pretty disappointing.

Sweeter than it should be with a mouthfeel that borders on sludgy. A heavy filling beer but also a somewhat thin one. Alcohol warmth isn't noticeable, surprisingly.

I find it really needs roasted barley, hops, or some other bittering agent (e.g. coffee, charred sugars, smoke) to bring it into more drinkable approachable territory. Not the chore to drink many barleywines and imperial stouts can be, but it'll take me some time to work through.

OVERALL: I expected more given Guinness was behind this, and the aroma's suggestions of bourbon barrel character had me thinking it was actually going to deliver. I'm no discerning bourbon drinker, but this doesn't seem to showcase the best Bulleit/Four Roses has to offer and I don't find any finer bourbon flavours like coconut, chewy barrel char, rich white oak, or whiskey spice. It doesn't seem to exceed the sum of its parts as a blend, and I imagine if I drank the imperial stout component alone I'd be even more let down given the lack of Guinness' usual signature roasted barley.

It's a better effort than New Belgium's Oakspire and AB-Inbev's Jim Beam abominations (aBeaminations?), but I can't say I'd recommend it to others at its current price and it doesn't compare favorably to Guinness Ireland's finer efforts. I'd sooner pick up North Coast's Old Stock Ale, Bell's Third Coast, Great Divide's Ruffian, or Hair of the Dog's Doggie Claws.


 3,993 characters

Photo of Wolvmar
3.26/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

11.2oz bottle. Didn’t see a date; bought Nov 21 2019; first time available around here. Poured into pint chalice.

Pour: dark brown/black. One finger head that quickly dissipated. Medium ring, a few clouds and some lacing. Looks nice.

Nose: barleywine dark fruits dominate.

Taste: bourbon upfront, dark fruit, bitter hops, oak. Sweet bit in a somewhat annoying way. And I usually like sweet.

Mouthfeel: medium high carbonation, fairly viscous but not cloying.

Overall: worth a try but won’t buy again. Bourbon overwhelms everything else. Not bad but clubs you and the club isn’t really that tasty.

 611 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from Bert's
Crystal clear deep brown with faint garnet at the edges and a small off white head that dissipates quickly. Vanilla and brown sugar with a hint of chocolate and roast. Light bourbon and spicy wood. A little sweet and sticky but that's a pretty nice beer.

 274 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice creamy and light brown head that dissipates at a moderate pace. The beer itself is a dark black color that looks nice.

The smell is decent. The vanilla and buffalo trace notes come right upfront at the beginning and are immediately followed a nice caramel and dark fruit malt note. The malt note is mostly that of a date. The chocolate note is fairly light when it comes in towards the end.

The taste is good. It has a decent bourbon note upfront followed a hint of wood and finishes with a decent caramel note to it and a slight roasted chocolate note in the finish.

The feel is good. It has a heavy body but is a little thin for the style. It has very light carbonation to it though.
Overall, it's a pretty decent beer and one worth trying as long as your expectations are measured.

 809 characters

Photo of drunkenmess
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Some might say it's too thin, especially at 10%. But it holds its own. Crisp, refreshing body. With a distinguished flavor profile. Not too heavy, yet not too bland.

 165 characters

Photo of CaptainHate
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Saw this at the grocery store, thought "whoa", picked up a single and here we are. The guy I talk to at the grocery store said he tried it and didn't like it so much because he doesn't like barleywines. I like barleywines so I'm thinking no problem.

Poured into a DFH tulip it has a dark brown body with a nice but quickly disappearing head. Smell is deep sweet dark fruit, bourbon and barrel. Smell opens up with vanilla notes as it warms. Taste started out overly bitter but corrected that as it warmed up. But the taste is oddly uncomplex despite all the dueling tastes. Everything just kind of sits there instead of interacting if that makes sense. Mouthfeel is ok but a bit thinner than expected.

I probably had unrealistically high hopes for this, for whatever reason, because this isn't bad per se but just doesn't measure up to expectations. I'm glad I just got a single because, even though I'd gladly accept this if someone offered, I've got plenty in my cellar fridge that I'd rather have. Maybe I'm spoiled.

 1,031 characters

Photo of mynie
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

BCBS prices, but for a *locally made* barrel-aged stout that's produced by an incredibly evil multinational company? Well, duh, of course the entire mid-Atlantic area is going nuts about how this is BMORE BABY YO.

So, uhh, jesus I'm conflicted about this. Diageo was incredibly, incredibly shitty when they came here. They tried strong-arming through some laws that would have harmed all the actual craft brewers. And now... fuck, and now they come out with their own version of Bourbon County. And, fuck, fuck fuck the same as Bourbon County it's actually good because making this kind of beer requires the kind of resources that actual craft breweries cannot muster. Fuck.

Pours much more lively than BCBS (and, yes, there's only one comparison for this beer, regardless of the bullshit "barleywine mixed with stout" dumbass shit they're peddling). It settles down into a not quite stouty but nonetheless very thick haze.

Okay, fine, it does smell more like an old ale than a large stout. But the aroma is still a huge burst of whiskey barrel against vanilla. As a consumer product, this is still one evil multi-national's response to another evil multi-national's attempt at usurping what was once a genuinely artisanal market. It... it's good. Fuck me. It's good.

Tastes the same. Heavy vanilla up front. Stouty barley gives way quickly to a pleasantly vinous and raisiny middle with a finish that's an excellently composed blend of the front and middle.

Fuck. Fuck Fuck fuck.

There must've been a time when there was like a craft industry of brands who made good, interesting iterations of sandwich cookies: some were softer, some used real dairy creme, some were crackly, etc. Everyone loved their favorite. But then Hydrox came along and began to dominate the market. Then a decade later there came Oreo, and it was suddenly a battle between two brand that eshewed all but the most ersatz of charm and did things, flavor-wise, that couldn't happen without it being financed by some of the most evil people in the world. Congrats, everyone. That's where beer is at, now.

 2,084 characters

Photo of darktronica
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Saw this on an endcap display at my local grocery store and decided to give it a go. I'm a big fan of stout-barleywine blends, so I was very curious what a large brewer would produce using that concept.

It's about what I would have expected. Pretty thin compared to other blends like this I've had, and lighter in color, with very little fizzing on the pour. Doesn't betray the 10% ABV except for a slight twinge of bourbon heat on occasion. Nice roasted malt, raisin and caramel notes, pretty modest oak, dry finish. Tasty, very glad I tried it, but I won't be hunting for another 4-pack or anything once this one is gone.

 624 characters

Barrel-Aged Stock Ale from Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 39 ratings