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.