(Escondido, CA) – Because it is 2013, Stone Brewing Co. is re-visiting the “Odd Beers in Odd Years” program that it began in 2011. The company will release Old Guardian Barley Wine and Imperial Russian Stout this year, both in their original form along with separate versions containing a twist. In 2011, Stone released a Belgo version of Old Guardian.
22oz bottles and draft
11.4% ABV, 70 IBUs
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, and WA
Tasting Notes, provided by Brewmaster Mitch Steele
Appearance: Deep amber with a creamy tan head. The beer has a light haze with a more intense reddish hue than the classic version of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine.
Aroma: Light smokiness combined with fruity yeast esters and malt flavors. The smoke character is very pleasant and blends well with the other beer aromas, but doesn’t dominate.
Taste: Flavor is rich and malty. The smokiness is second to the malty sweetness and lingers pleasantly through the finish.
Palate: Rich and smooth at first, the finish is bitter with a slight alcohol heat and bitterness.
Overall: We used Oak-Smoked Wheat Malt from Germany at 20 percent of the grain bill to provide the smoke aroma and flavor to this beer. The result is a very nice blend of the classic Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine flavors with an additional smoke component that is well-blended and compliments the overall character of the beer.
The best way to experience both versions is to taste them side by side, tasting the classic version first, then the Oak-Smoked version. Going back and forth between the two beers dramatically highlights the differences between the two. The hop character of the classic version becomes more prominent, and the smoked character of the odd version really makes it quite unique. Both beers taste great now, when fresh, and will age beautifully for many years.
Suggested food parings, provided by “Dr.” Bill Sysak
Appetizers: Quail knots, Merguez sausage, wild boar ribs or any pork ribs, tomato & bacon jam, bacon-wrapped jalapeño shrimp
Soups: Beef stew, French onion soup, chili con carne
Entrees: Spanish ham, smoked pork butt, beef teriyaki, grilled portabella stuffed with Point Reyes blue cheese, lamb shoulder
Cheeses: Beemster X-O- aged Gouda, Berkshire Blue Cheese, Oregonzola, Bayley Hazen Blue
Desserts: Double chocolate brownies with caramel frosting, pecan pie, oatmeal raisin cookies, coconut macaroons, bacon toffee ice cream
Cigars: Padrón Family Reserve 85 Years, Oliva Serie V Belicoso, Tatuaje Havana Cazadores