Feb 29, 2016

Stone Old Guardian Dry-hopped with Pekko Hops

Stone Brewing’s Old Guardian barleywine ale isn’t a beer that I typically drink fresh. It’s a brew that I find needs a bit of time in the cellar to fully come together and mature. That said, I felt compelled to crack open this variant bottle of the big beer as it’s been dry-hopped with Pekko hops. In fact, I enjoyed this 11% ABV brew just 13 days after its bottling date.

The Pekko hop variety is a relatively new product that imparts a fairly assertive tropical fruit character in this iteration of Old Guardian — a blend of Nugget, Cascade, Chinook and Delta varieties are also used during the brewing process. While this beer has always had a strong hop profile, it’s also got a good amount of malt backbone to be able to support the pine, fruit and bitterness with ease.

Old Guardian Dry-hopped with Pekko Hops is not a version of this annual beer that I would cellar. I think the brew has plenty of alcohol heft and malt to be just fine, but setting this one down for aging would do its fruity hop profile a disservice. It’s definitely best enjoyed as fresh as possible.

This is a review of a promotional sample.