Stone Barleywine

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durk

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I do not think Im ready for barleywine. lol. I picked up a bottle of Stone Old Gaurdian a few weeks ago. I have never had one before and after reading about them on the forums i wanted to try one. Is Old Gaurdian a pretty good representation of most barleywines? I can not see myself purchasing another anytime soon. I felt like it should be in a rocks glass like i was sippin scotch or something. lol.
 

Kokopuff829

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Don't worry. I can't handle hop bombs yet. Stone Ruination was to much for me.
 
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durk

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Id much rather drink ruination. I dont think it was a hop issue. I dont know...
 

PurpleJeepXJ

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It is bitter but is also very malty. They are more of a session beer where you only have one over an hour or so. Barleywine takes getting used to.
 

lou2row

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I think Stone was the barleywine I tried as well. Yeah, a little over the top. I agree with your comment of drank on the rocks, it may be mellowed some that way. I will try a few again, but making five gallons to drink may not happen for a while.
 
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durk

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Isnt it the extreme opposite of a "session" beer? I had never really used that term till i started reading this site. It was my understanding it meant a low ABV beer you could drink a bunch of. Like if you were having a long drinking session at a pig roast or some other all day event.
 

danorocks17

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Isnt it the extreme opposite of a "session" beer? I had never really used that term till i started reading this site. It was my understanding it meant a low ABV beer you could drink a bunch of. Like if you were having a long drinking session at a pig roast or some other all day event.
you are correct, a session beer is one of lower ABV
 

jonmohno

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Start drinking imperials or doubles or strong ales.I havnt tried stones but bigfoot is pretty good. Lagunitas a liitle somethin wild is like 9.4% and its like a belgian spicy good.Oh and the mother of mothers is an Avery Maharaja which is my latest infatuation.Not a barleywine. I think.Just a beer to enjoy slowly so you dont melt too fast.10.46% and i shure as hell didnt come close to comparing with that with my strong ale, I didnt try either i guess. Who knows you may have not refined your palet or just dont like em but i know i wasnt really even trying them up until a few months ago for the most part.
 

JSullivan

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If you don't like it, that's fine. Drink what you like, not what others say you should like.
 
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durk

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The Old Gaurdian i had was marked 12%. It is definitely a strong one. I have had a few imperials that i have liked. I guess personally i would rather have 2 or 3 good IPA's instead of drinking all that alcohol in one beer. Kinda defeats the purpose of beer in my mind. Should just drink liquor if its just about the alcohol. Like i said... guess im not ready... lol.
 
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durk

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If you don't like it, that's fine. Drink what you like, not what others say you should like.
I do. I was just curios if the old gaurdian was similar to most since it was my first barleywine.
 

jonmohno

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If you don't like it, that's fine. Drink what you like, not what others say you should like.
He asked for suggestions,nobodys telling him what he should like if thats what you are interpreting.
When somebody asks for opionions or suggestions its going to be given, nobody should like anything but you may find over a course of time you start tasting things differently.
 

danorocks17

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The Old Gaurdian i had was marked 12%. It is definitely a strong one. I have had a few imperials that i have liked. I guess personally i would rather have 2 or 3 good IPA's instead of drinking all that alcohol in one beer. Kinda defeats the purpose of beer in my mind. Should just drink liquor if its just about the alcohol. Like i said... guess im not ready... lol.
I personally don't know a lot of people that like barleywine, but i love the ****. I made a 5 gal batch this summer for my pending graduation from grad school next may. I'm going to have a lot of BW for a while hahah:mug:
 

rycov

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its not just about the alcohol (with barley wine or good liquor). that also doesn't make you unrefined, or not ready. if you aren't into it right now then you just aren't, maybe you will be eventually, maybe not.

my suggestion for a barley wine would be avery Hog Heaven. its not to harsh IMO, easy to drink for a barley wine.
 

29thfloor

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From the ones I've tried I prefer Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot over the Old Guardian. It's got a lot less hop flavor up front and more banana/raisin/caramel. Still pretty strong at 11.1% but it's definitely a different take on a barleywine.
 

alexdagrate

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I'm not one for subtlety. I can appreciate it, I admire people that can make subtle beers.

But I love nothing more than a 22 of year-old barleywine to myself while watching Sons of Anarchy.
 

HopsJunkie

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I love barleywine. It's big and beautiful. I also agree that I prefer blithering idiot more than others. It's not for everyone, just like Utopias isn't for everyone. And yes, I have had Utopias, last Friday, in fact. I can still taste it. :ban:
 

JSullivan

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He asked for suggestions,nobodys telling him what he should like if thats what you are interpreting.
When somebody asks for opionions or suggestions its going to be given, nobody should like anything but you may find over a course of time you start tasting things differently.
True, but he said he doesn't think he's ready for barleywines, and tried one after reading about them on the forum. He may just not like them, that's my point.
 

mlg5039

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English barleywines like blithering idiot (which I LOVE), are more malt forward and less about the bitterness and the hops. Maybe you, the OP, should try more of that style.
 

JasonToews

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I can awenestly say that barleywine is the worst representation of barleywine I have ever had. I even aged a bottle a year and still, one of the worst. IMO. Phillips Brewery from Victoria BC, now thats a barleywine I can drink!
 

Whippy

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It takes me until about 1/3 into a bottle until I really start to appreciate a barleywine...then by half a bottle it becomes my favorite beer style EVER. I feel the way to drink a Barleywine is to sip, sip, sip until your mouth gets used to the experience, and then start taking larger swallows. You cannot really drink one down like you would a Brown Ale or something.

There is an Old Guardian Belgo that I did not enjoy. It seemed to have no character at all to me...just a big alcoholic mess IMO. I do very much like the regular Old Guardian, though; there is a definite difference between these two beers.

I also enjoy Avery Hog Heaven. That was the first barleywine I tried and I fell in love with it lol
 

mdgagne

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I've only tried a couple barleywines. I'm from the northeast, so naturally I've tried a Pugsley's signature Series Barleywine which I'm not a huge fan of. I've also had RedHook's Barleywine called Treble Hook that I really enjoyed.

I don't have an ambition to brew a barleywine myself, a huge time investment for a beer that I could ultimately live without.
 

ayoungrad

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I have tried many. I like them. They are pretty variable with the common link of high alcohol and a very malty backbone. The maltiness is what separates it from an IIPA. My favorite is Rock Art Vermonster. It's a little more hop forward than other barleywines.
 

arg

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It can be hit or miss. I think the Old Guardian needs aging. I really enjoyed the 2009 I drank earlier this year. I tried one of the 2011 releases and agree, it was a bit much. The others will be in the cellar for a year or two before I try them again.

I concur with the recommendation of the Big Foot barley wine, (Sierra Nevada) the first time I tried it was the 2011 this year and it was fantastic. I've got 2 in the cellar for kicks but they're ready now IMO.

Hog Heaven (Avery) is really great too...Though with a caveat. I drank one watching the world cup last year. It must have been fresh, it was like chewing on hop cones. The intensity took me off guard. It took me the entire football match to finish and by that time I was in love! I tried another one a year later and it was a completely different beer. The malt character was through the roof, that abrasive hoppiness was mostly gone and just lent a supporting hand.

flying dog has a barley wine that I tried at a tasting. Not one person in the room (10+ people) drank their sample. It was disgusting.

Sure, they're not for everyone, but nothing is. I say to keep trying them when you feel a bit of curiosity. They certainly are NOT all the same, there's a huge amount of diversity in interpretations of the style.

Me, I love barley wine!
 

andrew300

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Try cellaring one for a year or two. They really mellow out and get some interesting flavors.
 

MolesonParade

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Alaskan Brewing Company has been making a really good barlywine for years now. I try to age a few each year, but usually end up drinking them.
 

pm5k00

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I was planning on making an Imperial IPA when i first started brewing and ended up making a BarleyWine instead, lol. I used too dark of a crystal and not enough bittering hops. Took me about 4 pints (not all at once) before I developed a taste for it, and by the end of the keg i was in love, best mistake ever. My brother in law was over for a bbq and drank 3 24s of bud then started downing pints of the BW, and at almost 10% youd think it would be drank slow but he didn't even notice the ABV, never seen him that drunk before.
 
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durk

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Thanks for the suggestions guys. Maybe i wont give up on them yet. The old gaurdian i had was a 2011 so maybe it does just need some age to come together. I will try to find some of the suggestions and give it another try.

edit: I assumed that stone aged the barleywine before they released it. When I have read about people brewing them on here It seems like its a long time to age before bottling. Why would they distribute it before its ready?
 

jonmohno

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Thanks for the suggestions guys. Maybe i wont give up on them yet. The old gaurdian i had was a 2011 so maybe it does just need some age to come together. I will try to find some of the suggestions and give it another try.

edit: I assumed that stone aged the barleywine before they released it. When I have read about people brewing them on here It seems like its a long time to age before bottling. Why would they distribute it before its ready?
Well, thats a good question but they probably limit how long its aged.Its usually recommended to buy another one then age it for a year or two or whatever, I bought 2 life and limbs and Liked the one i drank but knew it needed aging so i plan on ageing it.
I have a liquor store that has a ok amount of craft beer,but they have alot of stuff thats been on the shelf a long time, i happen to notice the age on some of the barleywines so i think im gonna go back and snatch those before nobody else does,ha.Ive bought stuff that hasnt aged well either like smutyynose, their ipa smelled like diapers. Keeping ipa's on the room temp shelf,doesnt seem to work.
Im guessing the coolers in stores are going to start growing bigger within the next few years.It seems they are running out of room.They have stuff sitting on shelves that are better off in coolers.
 

ChillWill

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Brooklyn monster isn't too bad for a starter.

I absolutely love imperial IPA's and big RIS, even a good single malt islay scotch. However.. I find barley wine often far too sweet for me to enjoy. It's one of very few styles of beer I'm not overly keen on (as well as Belgian wit... yuck!)
 

Zamial

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hmmmm

The term "barley wine" was used before the term "imperial" was used. It implied a stronger, higher gravity ale. As with most higher gravity ales age is good. Read up on SN-Big foot. You will find folks that buy a sixer (or more) and do a "vertical" taste test. meaning year 1 they drink one, next year they buy another sixer and try 1 from that year and 1 from the past year, rinse and repeat until you get to try all 6 years in 1 sitting (you may want a buddy to help...)

Also most barley wines are a "one of" type of drink like you mention. I love them this time of year after a good day hunting or around a campfire in the fall/on a cold winter nights.
 

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