Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beereview: Stone Old Guardian

It's Beereview time. Today I've poured myself a glass of the Stone, Limited Early 2010 release, Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale. I picked this one up fully realizing I've never had a barleywine before. And I know it's supposed to be intense. But as I sit down with the bottle... 11.1% ABV? I may not know what I'm getting into. The long, long, (I'm talking long like Lawrence of Arabia long. Not only long, but not very exciting, which makes it even longer) eyestraining (think of the text on the back of a can of WD40, now just think smaller) story on the back of the bottle doesn't really give you any idea what you're getting into. After the story the bottle reads "Ingredients: Tons and tons of Barley, Bountiful Hops, Water & Yeast." Yeah. No s__t.

The beer poured nice and smooth, with not a significant amount of head occuring, but what does occur is stable, and tinted yellow, a hint of just how much grain you're about to encounter. The smell however is misleading. The malt aroma is present, but not heavy, the hop aroma is nowhere to be found.

Now bear with me when I remind you this is my first barleywine, and I realize it's supposed to be strong. But wow. That first sip hits you like the 5 o'clock express in New York City. The mouthfeel is crazy smooth, and you can taste the malty-ness (not a word, I know). But upon swallowing the hops and alcohol come out of nowhere like ninjas and samurai, kick you in the teeth and steal your lollipop (Ninjas love lollipops). There's a significant difference here though. While I would never want to get kicked in the teeth a second time (or even a first time), I find myself wanting another sip from my pint. The following sips aren't as strong as the very first. But wow. I might not be able to get up after finishing this bottle.

6 comments:

  1. I've had that before, and I agree with most of what you said. I find the high ABV beers a little too sweet (since they mask the alcohol with sugar), but overall they aren't bad. As I remember, this one wasn't anything special though; more of a winter beer.

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  2. Congrats on Blog of Note! GREAT SITE!

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  3. Congrats on getting Blog of Note! :D Love the blog.

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  4. congrats on the blog on note..cant wait to try this beer and see the damage that one bottle or many can do.

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  5. Sounds interesting - I'll have to check with my local 'good' beer stores and see if I can pick up a bottle to try.

    Congrats on becoming a BONer! (Blog Of Note-er)

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