Stone’s 2012 Old Guardian Barley Wine was released today! Tasting notes from this years batch via their website:
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine 2012
Deep amber with a creamy tan head. Beer has a slight haze.
A blend of bready yeast esters, toffee malt flavors and citrusy hops. Allowing the beer to warm to ~50°-55°F really allows the malt and hop character to come through.
Flavor is rich and malty, with a pronounced yeasty ester profile and tropical fruit hop flavors.
Rich and smooth up front, at mid-palate the beer transitions to a pleasant dryness and lingering hop bitterness on the finish.
We make small adjustments to the recipe every year, just a little bit…as it provides an opportunity to try some different hops or malts. For the 2012 release, we made a deliberate effort to move away from the English hop influence of the past few years, taking out the East Kent Golding hops and using a blend of American Chinook, Calypso and Cascade. Yes, that’s right, Cascade. Yes, that’s right, Cascade. This is the first use of Cascade in one of our beers, and we really enjoyed the hints of grapefruit and pine it contributed to the aroma and flavor. We also bumped up the Maris Otter crystal malt by a mere 0.5%, and it’s amazing how much of a difference it made in the color and the upfront body. All in all, it’s resulted in a well-rounded beer that is ready to drink now, or can be aged at cellar temperatures for many years. (If you can wait that long.)