Stone Old Guardian Extra Hoppy – Tasting Notes
From Stone Brewing Co. – Barley wines are traditionally hefty brews, but ours is downright excessive. The huge maltiness of this beer is only tamed by an equally prodigious addition of hops, creating a rich, slightly sweet, caramel-hued ale infused with assertive bitterness and bright hop notes, all culminating in a pleasing dryness. While it will evolve into an even more glorious brew with age, this beer’s delicious onslaught of flavors will seriously challenge your ability to wait any longer to drink it.
Stone Brewing Co. – Stone Old Guardian Extra Hoppy – 22 oz. bottle poured into specialty glassware. 11% abv.
Appearance: Pours a dark clear amber with a dense creamy tan head.
Aroma: Fruit cocktail, fresh Simcoe like hops, ocean breeze, rock sugar.
Taste: Salted caramel, hop candy (is that a thing?)pine and concentrated citrus/orange reduction finish.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied almost syrupy modest carbonation.
Overall: This is that part of the review where I share expectations going into the brew and what I came away with. Old Guardian, when fresh, has always been a hop bomb of a barleywine. When reading about this odd variant being dubbed Extra Hoppy, the first thing that came to my mind was bitterness will be magnified. My next thought was that this variation would windup being like RuinTen IPA. I was pleasantly surprised that neither were the case. After the first few sips, I wasn’t convinced there was much difference between this and regular Old Guardian, but as I became more familiar, I found it to be highly fruity, a bit more rounded and pleasant. I wouldn’t compare this to a triple IPA or even a double IPA, but on it’s own, this is a very special, strong beer.