2005 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine (11.26%)

F514678C-1BC7-427D-AC1E-5D36DE5759B9.jpeg 04772927-9122-4489-865E-0A94289FF26C.jpeg Served in a 10oz snifter at Stone Escondido, February 2018, during the same session as Ruination 2.0. This was one of the surviving beers from Stone’s recent Dark Beer Festival and a rare opportunity to taste an aged beer from 2005.

Starting off, Old Guardian gave a rich nose of dark fruits and figs. Smooth silky flavours of malt, sweet figs, candied fruits, caramel, dates and dark cherries made up the core flavour profile, while notes of prunes, brown sugar and raisins took over in an almost sweet whisky-like finish. Really, a Christmas pudding in a glass.

A little on the sweet side for my tastes, but always good to try an aged-classic from Stone and this really was a classy, complex Barley Wine. I have bottles of Old Guardian from 2004, 2007 and 2008, so we’ll see how these shape up when I finally get around to opening them.
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Next time we come back to the U.K., I’ll bring a couple over for you. We always visit the Liverpool area (a Beatles thing) and you live near there, right?

I was at a beer festival last weekend and luckily squeezed myself into a Sierra Nevada Big Foot vertical tasting from 2017, 2015, 2011, 2007, 1997 and 1987. I’ll stick a report up on this site over the weekend.
Wow, what can I say? That's very kind of you Ian! ? Yes, I live not far away...That tasting sounds impressive. As I've said before, the 2008 (being the anniversary bottling) must have had a much wider distribution, as Oddbins were selling it for (I think) £1.99. Anyway, thanks again! I presume Liverpool has changed quite a bit since your last visit...