Stone Brewing Co. Releases Two Styles of Barley Wine

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Today, Stone Brewing Co. released two versions of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine. As 2013 is an odd-numbered year, Stone is revisiting the “Odd Beers for Odd Years” program which began in 2011.

The program introduces new or “odd” versions of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine and, later this spring, Stone Imperial Russian Stout, in tandem with classic versions of each beer.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine is a strong ale that highlights the attributes of a classic American barley wine – rich malt backbone with an assertive hop profile. The beer pours a burnt amber color with aromas of pine and apricot. Its flavor is rich and malty with a velvety mouthfeel, providing sweetness up front and strong citrus notes in the finish.

The odd year Stone Old Guardian OAK-SMOKED Barley Wine is the Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine recipe tweaked to include oak-smoked wheat malt. The beer pours a deep amber, darker than the original version, and exhibits a faint smokiness in the nose. As with the original, the flavor is rich and malty, but laced with subtle smokiness due to the addition of the oak-smoked wheat malt, which accounts for 20 percent of the grain bill. The flavors blend well together, and the smoky tones complement the beer’s larger-than-life character.

Both beers are ready to enjoy now or may be cellared for several months or years. Over time, the hoppiness of the beer will subside and the beer’s initial sweetness will mellow, transforming the beer into a much different, even richer and more refined brew.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine (Classic Release)

Stats: 11.6% ABV, 80 IBUs
Availability: Limited 22-ounce bottles and draft, beginning February 25
Hops bill: Chinook, Cascade, and Delta
Distribution: 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 and light haze.
Aroma: A blend of bready yeast esters, toffee malt flavors and citrus hops. Allowing the beer to warm to ~50°-55°F really allows the malt and hop character to come through.
Taste: Flavor is rich and malty, with a pronounced yeasty ester profile. It finishes with strong citrus and tropical fruit hop flavors.
Palate: Rich and smooth up front. At mid-palate the beer transitions to a pleasant dryness and lingering hop bitterness with a slight alcohol heat on the finish.

Overall: We make small adjustments to the recipe every year, just a little bit, as it provides an opportunity to try some different hops or malts. This year, the changes were minor since we also brewed the “Odd Year” version, which is a more intense departure from the classic recipe. We kept the Maris Otter crystal malt in the recipe, and whirlpool-hopped with Chinook, Cascade and, for the first time, Delta hops (replacing the Calypso we used in the 2012 version).  It’s a well-rounded, complex beer that is ready to drink now, or can be aged at cellar temperature for many years.

Suggested food pairings, provided by “Dr.” Bill Sysak
Appetizers: Foie gras, lamb lollipops, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese
Entrees: Cassoulet, duck confit, venison, boar
Cheeses: Stilton, Gorgonzola, Maytag Blue, Montgomery Cheddar
Desserts: Salted caramel apple pie, caramel pecan crunch, sticky toffee pudding, plum-almond tart, Fig Newtons
Cigars: Dunhill Signed Range Toro, Don Pepin Garcia Lancero, Illusione 888 Churchill

Stone Old Guardian OAK-SMOKED Barley Wine (“Odd Year” Release)

Stats: 11.4% ABV, 70 IBUs
Availability: Limited 22-ounce bottles and draft, beginning February 25
Hops bill: Warrior
Distribution: 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 for this beer. The result is a very nice blend of the classic Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine flavors with an additional smoky component that is well-blended and complements 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 them. 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 pairings, provided by “Dr.” Bill Sysak
Appetizers: Quail knots, Merguez sausage, wild boar ribs or any pork ribs, tomato and 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

About Stone Brewing Co.

Twice named “All-Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine, Stone Brewing Co. was founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner and is the 11th largest craft brewer in the U.S. Headquartered in Escondido, CA, Stone owns and operates the farm-to-table restaurant Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido, as well as Stone Catering, Stone Distributing, and Stone Farms. Other lofty ventures include construction of Stone Packaging Hall and a second restaurant with an on-site brewhouse, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, both with an estimated completion of first quarter 2013, and Stone Hotel & Headquarters with an estimated completion end of 2014.

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co Website: http://www.stonebrewing.com
Address: 1999 Citracado Pkwy
Escondido, CA 92029
United States