Sunday, October 16, 2011
Day 81 (10/13/2011): Old Guardian Belgo Barleywine by Stone Brewing Co.
I figured this one wasn't going to be very good judging by the reviews, but I always like to give Stone beers a chance. Unfortunately the reviews were spot on.
The nose on this isn't terrible. You get a slight whiff of the Belgian yeast employed, with dark fruit, some caramel, a good amount of hops, and (unfortunately) some hot-smelling booze. The taste is just not very good. Like the smell, you get some good flavors like the esters from the Belgian yeast, dark fruit, and caramel/toffee, but they are all overwhelmed by the combination of a very strong alcohol and hop flavor. This beer was just way out of control: way too much alcohol and way too much hop flavor. It's been a long, long time since I tasted a beer this hot. The body is maybe a tad light and the carbonation a tad high, but these flaws pale in comparison the the booziness.
This year's version of Belgo Old Guardian could stand to sit for a few years to let the hops and booze calm down a bit. It was not easy to finish this whole bottle, but it wasn't so bad that I drainpoured it. It could be good one day; just not today. I give Old Guardian Belgo Barleywine by Stone Brewing Co. a C+.
Style: American barley wine
Beer Advocate: B/C+