Monday, May 23, 2011

Stone Old Guardian Belgo

Not surprisingly I enjoy Stone's some times over the top beers. They push the limits of being off balance, but occasionally I want that explosion of hops, or booze. One of my favorite beers that they make is their barleywine Old Guardian. Very boozy when young, it ages incredibly well. Starting this year, Stone is doing something a little different. Along with their Russian Imperial Stout they will be releasing version brewed with Belgian yeasts, a little twist on an old standby, that I was excited to see at my local Spec's. Its all the same ingredients before with the exception of the yeast used, which as we've seen with Saint Arnold's moveable yeast series can change a beer significantly.
The beer: This one weighs in at a very robust 12% and pours an orangish amber with a thick off white head. The nose is full of fruity esters, white grapes, peaches, a bit of boozy notes. A full mouthfeel, fruit yeasty notes up front, followed by some malty, caramel, toffee notes, some alcohol burn on the back of the throat, then ending and lingering with resinous citrus-y hops. As expected, this one needs some time. Its boozy. Big flavors which is what I expect from Stone: yeasty fruity esters, booze, hops. A bit on the sweet side, but as it lingers and warms, notes of white pepper show up lending some spiceyness to the beer. Its a sipper to be sure, and I can't wait to see how this one changes over time. A good beer and one recommended to pick up if you enjoy big beers.


SirRon said...

This was one of the few big beers that I preferred a little cooler (somewhere between room and cellar temp). When it warmed to room temp (where Belgians usually get even better), it was disappointing.

Great beer though.

Anonymous said...

Tonight was my second encounter with this fantastic beer. The first time we had our tryst it was a threesome with my buddy and I sharing this generous lover.

Something about this beer kept lingering on my mind. I've been thinking about it and wanting to share her with all my friends. Well tonight it was just the two of us and it was fantastic. Just as good as our first meeting, but this time we were Mano a Mano. My opinion is even more solidified. This is a great beer...not a session beer, because it will put you on you ass early, but the experience this offers is border.ine sublime.

The nose is inviting, strong, yet smooth.
Fruity, with oakiness, but the booziness which I find complimentary is upfront and not making excuses. You will not be disappointed with a bottle, but will be wanting for more.