It’s pouring rain here and I’m just waiting for the power to go out. Every time there is a thunder storm here, the power cuts out because we have above ground lines here. Since it’s Spring, I’m going to crack open this barleywine before the weather gets too warm. What I probably should have done with this brew was buy two and age one…
Style: American Barleywine
Trivia: According to the Stone blog, “But we’ve been making Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine since 1998 and Stone Imperial Russian Stout since 2000, and if you subtract those numbers from 2010, you arrive at a long time to be making the same beers. So being the dynamic young go-getters that we are, we felt like mixing things up a bit. Starting in 2011, we’re kicking-off a program we’ve dubbed ‘Odd Beers for Odd Years.’ Translation: in odd numbered years (2011, 2013, 2015, etc…) we’ll be releasing new variations on Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine and Stone Imperial Russian Stout in place of the classic version. A radical redirection for two reliably wonderful beers, we know, but we think you’ll be pleased with the results. Hell, we are. The first Odd Beer for Odd Years release will be rocking your collective world in the form of Stone Old Guardian Belgo Barley Wine, which hits shelves in February.”
Random: Funny enough, after Stone released this, people threw a fit and now Stone is still going to release the Belgos in odd years, but also release the classic versions every year like they usually do.
The brew poured a reddish brown color that was pretty cloudy. I could see some carbonation making an appearance at the top of the glass. The head was pretty small on this one, only about a half a finger of pure white graced the glass. The Belgian yeast dominates the nose with clove taking a backseat. I also got a bit of fruit and caramel malt. On the first sip, I’m surprised that the booze doesn’t take over the taste. The Belgian yeast and spice is really apparent on the taste as well and some dark fruits and caramel malts really come through. I really was surprised as how smooth this was for a barleywine, although the brew definitely got hot at the end from all the booze. The fingers lingers with a bit of hops and the heat from the booze. I’ve never had the regular version of this beer, but I’d love to do a comparison.