Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: Stone Old Guardian Oak Smoked Barleywine

Stone Old Guardian Oak Smoked Barleywine (2013)
11.4% ABV
The Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, San Diego County, CA
22 oz btl
Served in Burley Oak tulip glass
Bottled on 2/7/13
Reviewed on 6/28/13

Appearance: Pours a solid amber color with a nice frothy ivory-colored head that has good retention.  Good lacing.

Smell: Malt, dark fruit, hops, sugar, alcohol, oak, mild citrus, slight bourbon.

Taste: Dry, smoky maltiness, alcohol, mild dark fruit, burnt sugar, some hops, touch of bourbon, pepperiness. 

Mouthfeel: Quite dry and somewhat harsh on the palate.  Slight bitterness.  Somewhat difficult to take big sips.

Overall: Nice looking, interestingly harsh barleywine that demands sipping.  Dryness and smokiness really come through on the palate, almost aggressively so at the forefront.  The smell and appearance are really nice, as it has a traditional barleywine type aroma and looks quite rich in the glass.  The taste gets good points for being distinctive, but it's fairly harsh in that regard.

My score: 88

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