Yesterday, Stone Brewing Co. announced the annual release of Old Guardian Barley Wine. In general, high ABV beers like Barleywines and Imperial Stouts are ideal candidates for extended cellaring. Over time, the hop character subsides and the alcohol bite mellows. This bottle of 2014 Old Guardian is going straight into my cellar (well, it's a crawlspace, really). I have a bottle of 2011 Old Guardian down there somewhere. I think it might finally be time to crack that one open...
Bottles should start appearing now in better beer stores and should last for at least a few weeks.
If you're a homebrewer, and want a DIY project, here's Stone's official homebrew recipe for Old Guardian. If you attempt this, make sure you have a big mash tun...
MAKING ITS YEARLY DEBUT:
2014 STONE OLD GUARDIAN BARLEY WINE RELEASED TODAY
ESCONDIDO, CA (Feb. 24, 2014) – Stone Brewing Co. is celebrating the release of its big, malty, fiercely hopped strong ale: 2014 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine. Beginning today, eager consumers and collectors may pick up a bottle of this annual release at retailers in select markets across the country.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine is a brawny beer with a rich malt backbone and assertive New World hop profile. The beer pours a burnt amber color with strong citrus and tropical fruit aromas. Its flavor is rich and malty, displaying hints of molasses and brown sugar up front, with apricot and pine notes in the finish.
“Each year, the beer’s recipe is slightly adjusted to allow us to play with different malt and hop varieties,” explains Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele. “All in all, I aim for the same end result: a well-rounded, complex beer that’s ready to drink now or age at cellar temperatures for many years.”
Fans may enjoy 2014 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine now, or properly store it to enjoy in the future. Over time, the hoppiness of the beer will fade and its initial sweetness will smooth out, transforming the beer into a much different, even richer and more refined brew.
2014 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Quick Facts
Name: 2014 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine
Stats: 11.6% ABV, 80 IBUs
Availability: Limited 22-ounce bottles and draft, beginning February 24
Hops Bill: Nugget, Cascade, Delta, Chinook
Distribution: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, and WA