Friday, 13 April 2012

Stone Brewing Co's Old Guardian

11% Abv

Despite the swagger, bravado and cockiness on their bottle’s blurb which annoy me slightly from others, I like the Stone Brewing Company's bottles. Probably because it is true they are blooming brilliant brewers and I have never had a bad or indifferent beer from them whether on tap or bottle.

I consider myself lucky to have got this bottle, hidden behind other bottles on a shelf. Admittedly hidden behind Arrogant Bastard which is a rather nice beer too but still I’m lucky. The assistant behind the counter admitted he was going to buy that bottle at the end of the day, so raspberries to him and a beer for me.

The beer itself pours syrupy from the bottle, nice carbonation with leaving a thick fluffy lacing on the glass which lasts to the end. It is an amber coloured beer with a slightly cloudiness to it with a white head so it is a very attractive glass of beer. The smell is gorgeous, sweet alcohol, barley and a dry maltyness to it.

Taste is where the ball is knocked for 6 and out of the grounds!

Yes, a cricket analogy… Too much time spent with the hubby I think.

Big sweet barleywine flavours, the malt and barley flavours balanced beautifully with a sweet boozy kick, this is a sipper. Every mouthful is a joy, big mouth feel and the aftertaste lingers for ages with toffeeque tang. I’m looking forward to getting a couple more of these.

This is what we are missing from the british Barleywines at the moment if you actually see them, currently it seems a rare style for this side of the waters.

American versions are far more robust and more true to the style even if like this one they have swopped out english Goldings for a combination of american hops. Youngs's Old Nick was a great british version of this beer but has now been assigned to the history books. Come on brewers, bring back the barleywines!

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