Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stone Brewing Company Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight’s featured beer is Stone Brewing Company Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale. 

From the Stone Brewing Company website: “Allow us to present you with the Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine, in all its unadulterated glory. We make small adjustments to the recipe every year, just a little it provides an opportunity to try some different hops or malts. For the 2012 release, we made a deliberate effort to move away from the English hop influence of the past few years, taking out the East Kent Golding hops, subbing in a blend of American Chinook, Calypso and Cascade. Yes, that's right, Cascade. This is the first use of Cascade in one of our beers, and we really enjoyed the hints of grapefruit and pine it contributed to the aroma and flavor. We also bumped up the Maris Otter crystal malt by a mere 0.5%, and it's amazing how much of a difference it made in the color and the upfront body. All in all, it's resulted in a well-rounded beer that is ready to drink now, or can be aged at cellar temperatures for many years. (If you can wait that long.)”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours dark red with a thick off-white head and chunky lacing.
Aroma: Malt overload, bready, sweet, toffee and caramel, dark fruits and balanced wonderfully with citrus and pine hops.
Taste: Sweet and roasted malts followed by darker roasted malts, dark fruits and brown sugar. Alcohol and bitter hops follow.  This is one of the best of this style I’ve tried hands down.
Overall: Stone Brewing Company’s Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale is truly an epic drinking experience.  Old Guardian didn’t drink like an 11% ABV beer, but after finishing the bomber it felt like it. This is a big beer for those who enjoy ‘em.  I certainly do!


Mark Harvey

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