Review Of Stone Old Guardian Limited Early Release 2009

11 Sep
For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Stone Old Guardian Limited Early Release 2009 Barleywine.  This brew was produced by the Stone Brewing Company located in Escondido, California.

Remember, I do love Barleywines!!!

Now the description from the website,

Allow us to present you with the Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine, in all its unadulterated glory.  Known colloquially as “OG”, this is the OG OG.  The uber malty, super hoppy mega beer that you know and love (an apparently depend on for your sanity and continued well-being) is here.  We’re glad to tell you without the slightest modicum of modesty:  it’s delicious.  And if you’re of the type that’s patient enough to squirrel bottles away, know that this behemoth is poised to continue evolving with age

I can’t wait any longer.  Let’s get it poured.

This beer comes in a 22 oz. bomber and has an ABV of 11.3%.

The brew poured a very nice light brown to mostly deep orange color.  It presented an off white colored head that was of tremendous size, had great retention and some very nice lacing.  I was totally surprised by that considering the high ABV.  A new ring was formed after each sip, all while retaining a film on top of the drink for the entire experience.

The nose on this beer was outstanding.  Tons of malt and tons of caramel sweetness.  It’s robust, rich and pungent.  Hints of tropical fruit combined with some pine and “earthy” hops.  Significant hints of wheat bread with noticeable undertones of booze.  Very well balanced and harmonious.  For a beer that’s nearly 3 years old, the hops remained very sturdy in the aroma.  Very, very well rounded and even bouquet.

The taste had a very wonderful hoppy punch and bite.  Again, the hops are still going strong even with a few years of age.  Hints of grapefruit, peach and maybe even some dark fruit of figs.  I’m not sure that I’ve had a Barleywine to date that had this much citrus.  Either way, I liked it.  It also had a very strong malty characteristic along with quite a bit of sweetness from the caramel.  It had a sturdy alcohol and a “woody” tone, but they remained cohesive and fit in perfectly with the taste profile.  As this beer warmed it became way more bready and smooth.  The hops were still noticed, however they started to take a back seat and let the malt do its thing.     

The mouthfeel was medium to full.  Chewy, very smooth and very dry.  A tremendous amount of flavor was left on the palate.  It completely covered every corner of the mouth.  A slight burn was noticed on the initial swallow, but it smoothed out ever so nicely to a welcome warmth on the finish.

This is, without a doubt, a super beer that we have here.  First, it had all the proper characteristics that one would expect from a Barleywine.  Tons of malt and sweetness, but it also had that typical American twist with the added hops.  Second, I couldn’t believe how easy this thing was to drink.  It did not drink like an 11.3% beer.  I found myself taking big gulps at times, which could have been very dangerous!!!  Haha.  I was fortunate to be able to obtain a couple more bottles of this, so I’m going cellar one for a little while longer if I can keep myself from drinking it.  If you happen to see one of these on the shelf somewhere, please don’t hesitate… pick it up.  I don’t think that you will be disappointed. 

Thanks guys and I hope everyone is drinking a great craft beer this evening.


Score:  4.6 out of 5
Grade:  A+

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Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Country: USA, Stone


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