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Dec 14, 201211:05 AMThe Telegraph

The Premier Blog of the West

Tasting Panel: Stone 2010 Old Guardian Barley Wine Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Dec 14, 2012 - 11:05 AM
Tasting Panel: Stone 2010 Old Guardian Barley Wine Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Courtesy of Stone Brewing Company

We’ve already established that Stone Brewing Company is amazing. And it continues to be so with this week’s panel review of the two-year-old barrel-aged barleywine in the storied brewery’s Quingenti Millilitre series and one of three styles produced in the line that year (the others were 2010 Old Guardian BELGO Barley Wine Aged in Bourbon Barrels and 2010 Old Guardian BELGO Barley Wine Aged in Wine Barrels).

As it warmed (to use wine parlance, breathed), the Old Guardian burst to life, allowing notes of caramel to mesh with a jammy mouth feel, and, finally, a booziness indicative of time spent in a barrel (and the alcohol by volume percentage of 10.7) to come to the forefront. The expected sweetness of a barleywine was also present.

While it wasn’t the favorite barleywine of the C&I editorial staff, it did offer tasters another sample of possibilities in one style, after Real Ale Sisyphus, Ranger Creek Small Batch No. 3, and Grand Teton Coming Home 2012 Holiday Ale.  

So, what did they really think?

Steven Phelps (website content manager): It’s got good barrel char, but it has a bit of a sugary medicinal flavor.

Kathy Wise (executive editor):  The beer smells really good. It has a grassy, herbaceous aroma, you could say.

Hunter Hauk (website editor): This is a bitter-beer face barleywine.

Lauren Crispin (art director): It’s a really dark beer that starts off nice then becomes astringent.

José R. Ralat (associate editor): It is a complex barleywine with vegetal notes that transforms over time that I didn’t think I’d like. The 2010 Old Guardian Barely Wine Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels is a pleasant surprise, and another notch in my win column for Stone.

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