Stone Brewing Company Old Guardian Dry-Hopped with Pekko Hops (2016) – American Barleywine at 11% ABV | 75 IBU

Stone Brewing Company Old Guardian Dry-Hopped with Pekko Hops (2016) American Barleywine at 11% ABV | 75 IBU (C$6.47 at Crowfoot Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, packaged on 4-Feb-2016, acquired 23-Feb-2017, reviewed 17-Oct-2017)

Appearance: hazy deep amber with one finger of fluffy ivory head, moderate retention and patchy lacing. (3/5) Aroma: toffee, orange peel, mint, dried fruits, nuts, wood. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slick body, moderate-soft carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter warming spicy finish. (4/5)

Believe it or not, at 11% ABV, this is on the lighter end of the spectrum for its variants – I’ve got a couple others cellaring that are 11.2% and 11.6%, making this the poor relative by comparison. I must confess, however, to being a bit puzzled by this one: I last tried it six or seven months ago, at which time I was fairly certain the hop profile was pretty much done, but right now I’m detecting a fairly sprightly herbal/minty Pekko hop character going on. So… the hops faded… and then came back? That’s new… For whatever reason, I think I like this a touch more than the first time I tried it. And now I’m sad I don’t have another one cellaring for future exploration. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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