We have been cellaring these three bad boys for a while now and finally decided to pop them open! Check out what we thought below!
This 4 year old beauty pours a pretty copper with a very slight haze and minimal head. Aromas are prevalent in sweet malt, toffee, raisin, and dark fruit. Flavor is big and boozy with a noticeable alcohol presence even after 4 years. There are notes of sweet malt and caramel along with prunes and dates and a piney, resiny hop bitterness.
We decided to jump to the ’12 next considering our version of the ’13 is “Oak Smoked” and we didn’t want to wreck our pallet any more than this 11% ABV hoppy booze bomb was going to do! It pours a nice copper color as did the ’14, except this one is a little clearer. Aromas of alcohol booze, honey, and biscuit are accompanied by flavors of noticeable alcohol booziness, mouth coating caramel sweetness, and a pleasant, yet assertive/astringent bitterness at the end.
Last up for this three year vertical barleywine sampling we had the 2013 “Oak Smoked” Old Guardian. This version of Old Guardian is brewed with oak-smoked wheat, which makes it taste like a big boozy campfire… if drinking a campfire was a thing. It pours like the 2012- clear and beautiful copper color with thin head that falls quickly, leaving sticky cobweb lacing and wonderful aromas of caramel, toffee, dried fruit, and smoked meats. Flavors are about the same, too. Heavy sweet malt, caramel and toffee along with a booze, dark fruits and a faint acrid smoke character towards the ending.
We were anxious about popping these warlocks, considering we have been holding on to them for 4–6 years, but after trying them we are glad we busted them out!