I'm a big huge gigantic fan of Stone, is that enough superlatives for you. From their ubiquitous Arrogant Bastard that one can find in almost any grocery store these day's to their Double Bastard, they make some amazing hoppy fun beers. Over the last 6 months or so we in Texas have been treated to an ever expanding line up of offerings. Before we only got Arrogant Bastard, their pale ale and IPA and that was about it. However now we get the smoked porter, Ruination, oaked Arrogant, and once in a while Double Bastard on tap. So imagine my glee when I walked into my local Spec's and saw Old Guardian, Stone's barleywine. One of my favorite styles. I quickly picked a couple of bottles up (gotta see how it ages) and brought it home to see how it was.
The Beer: This one weighs in at 11.3% and pours an orangish color with a quarter inch dense head of off white colored foam. The nose is grapefruit, citrus, caramel malts, and toffee. The mouthfeel is creamy, hoppy, Bitter with a capital B. Drinking it is like chewing on some grapefruit peel. Then notes of caramel, toffee show up and create a sense of a rich luxurious beer. Yes its really hoppy, and it sits in the mouth coating the tongue and sides. But then there is this malty sherry like taste that really brings a nice complexity to the beer. A great example of an American Barleywine, this one gets an A- from me. Here's what the folks at BA had to say.