Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine 2012
Stone Old Guardian is an American style Barleywine. This review is for the 2012 vintage, aged for one and two years. The appearance and aroma of both tastings was pretty much spot on for the style. A rich caramel color with an off white head. Rich toffee and caramel on the nose with a dose of pungent and spicy hops as well.
Aged 1 year: Very nice! Sweet caramel, toffee and some tropical fruit flavors. There are a good bit of spicy hops for a year old Barleywine, in fact a good bit of bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. Then again we are talking about Stone, so the hops are not a surprise. Anyway this is really good, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this develops in another year.
Aged 2 years: Without a year old bottle to do a side by side with, I’d say the taste is pretty much the same. It hasn’t gotten worse or anything, still a great beer, but I’m just not getting a whole lot of return on the two years of aging here. This might be incredible after 5 years or so, but unless you have unlimited space and funds I’d say open this somewhere between fresh and a year.