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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

119 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 119
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.18%
Wants: 10
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.26% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 01-26-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GreatPondBrewer:
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber picked up at Brooklyn Beer and Soda.

Poured very lightly with minimal head. Plenty of bubbles floating up to the surface to create an soda like effect. The body was a deep but completely clear copper color.

The nose was light on the olfactory. The flavors were well rounded and melded into eachother rather than jumping out at you. There were some candy, caramel slight apple, hints of alcohol in every other whiff or so or with a healthy twist of the wrist. Slightly medicinal end with a smidge of piney hops.

The taste was very forgiving for the enormous alcohol content and the aging. Plenty of robust alcohol melting into waves of pine hops, vanilla and perhaps a hint of bourbon in the finish. Aftertaste was a combination of raw hops that did a number on the back of my tongue and a healthy warming alcohol that went to my nose and stoked the embers in my throat.

Mouthfeel was pretty typical for a barley-wine. Slightly raw and battering with not too much carbonation but a little roughness around the edges.

Very good beer and one to sip on a chill evening such as this. Cheers!

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The liquid is a translucent brownish-orange in color and almost seems to glow in the dark. The head was negligible, which is typical of the style.

Smell – The malts and sugars here are huge, as is the alcohol. The hops are a little more subdued than in previous years, although I can pick up some traditional citrus.

Taste – The piney hops come out much bigger in the taste, although this one is all about the malts and booze. The sugars are very strong as well. They are like refined sugar that you pour on your Cheerios in the morning. There are also some nice fruity flavors like watermelon and pears.

Mouthfeel – This is full-bodied with a sharp alcohol sting and a serious dry finish.

Drinkability – This is more like Barleybooze than Barleywine. It is large and in charge but begs to be kept from the cellar, unlike previous years.

Update – I cellared a case of this and popped one at year two (2007). The alcohol sting has sunk into the background making this one of the most pleasurable ABWs on the planet.

Photo of Dmann
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another excelent brew in their Old Guardian line. The beer looked great with a amber color that was simmilar to their Pale Ale. A nice white head puffed up as well and was quite sticky. The smell was very friuty with pinapple notes and lots of sweetness. As soon as this beer hit my mouth the flavor exploded. First with a kick of hop bitterness and then with a wonderfull syrupy sweetness that was smoothe and not cloying at all. The finnish was sweet and slightly dry. I thought the 11.26% abv was blended quite nicely and did not stand out too much like some other reviews have stated. Then again, maybe I'm just getting too used to these high abv beers! Either way, this one is worth trying for sure, and get a couple more to age as well.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper amber hue with a small eggshell head as well. Plenty of active carbonation. Looks quite nice in the glass..very tempting. Aromas of rich deep caramel and fruity tones of cherry and vanilla. Piney, herbal hops are in full effect as well. Very nice nose.

First sip brings a big sweet caramel maltiness along with deep cherry fruit tones. Notes of molasses and vanilla weave in and out of each sip. There's a nice piney hop bitterness on the way down that works nicely alongside the sweet maltiness of the brew. Just a really tasty barleywine..nothing less than what I've come to expect from Stone. The alcohol is so well hidden in the flavor that I didn't even notice it at all.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy and really quite lovely. Goes down smooth with mellow carbonation. A nice sipper brew that was fun to share with my dad on Thanksgiving. A barleywine I look forward to every year. I'm glad I have a few more bottles lurking in the cellar!

Photo of Todd
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. Poured into its own glass, a bright amber brew with rich copper hues, some haze. Fluffy, tight, and foamy laced head with plenty of stick.

The spicy alcohol nose, suggestions of pineapple, prickly herbal notes, and raw hops hints to the ass-whoopin' that's about to occur.

Smooth, full-bodied palate. Rich, viscous, and quite chewy. Massive juiciness and near-syrupy sweetness and stick. Complex ripe fruits, followed by a serious blast of citric and rind bitterness, with salty edges and a raw, leafy, herbal-y mint, and pine character. Hop oils coat to the palate. The boozy, powerful, and aggressive alcohol lends much spice and a distinct prickly feel on the palate, with a near vodka-like burn. Carbonation lifts all of this to create a complex creaminess, to help quell the chaos, for a moment. Big bready malts, with smoothed in caramel and toffee flavors become more and more pronounced towards the finish and as the beer warms. Nutty tannins. Doughy.

At the time of this review, this heady offering is Stone's biggest beer ever brewed. It's killer. An aggressive, yet, oddly, very drinkable beer. Complex, balanced, and totally off its rocker. I recommend buying the most stank-ass blue cheese available to you, find a nice glass, allow the bottle to rest to near room temperature, and enjoy the ride.

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a silk screened label, vintage date of “Winter 2005” on the label. The text on the back I will one day get to … I think I need at least two bottles to even start with the babble.

Appearance: Bright reddish copper, good clarity. Tiny bubbled lace with a powdery head retention.

Smell: Malty sweet with caramel and ripe fruit in the back, touch of herbal citric oily hop as well.

Taste & Mouth Feel: So creamy … so smooth. Big malty palate, then there comes a light solvent alcohol bite. Bitterness is hard with an aim to balance. Lots of oily flavor middle to end with a hastened warmth with each sip. Suggestions of mint and pine with a shortbread cookie and caramel. Finishes relatively sweet with a long lingering finish of alcohol and hops … some toasted grain husk too boot.

Drinkability & Notes: The alcohol does not deceive, the balance is superb … with some age this will hopefully mature. Some thin wedges of sharp Parmesan and ranch crackers went very well.

Photo of merlin48
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A huge thank you to my fellow BA, kmpitz2, for this bomber of 05 Old Guardian. Served at 55 degress into an imperial pint glass, this one pours a clear copper amber body with an almond hued head that appears tightknit and creamy, standing at about one inch in height. Very good retention, and lots of patchy lace down the glass.
Aroma is not the typical Stone "hop monster" I was expecting, but is quite well balanced. Caramelized malt, fresh pressed apple cider, sliced oranges, pink grapefruit, and a note of spruce pine. Very nice bouquet.
Mouthfeel is medium full bodied, a bit oily, and much smoother than expected. Spritzy carbonation allows the palate to appreciate the immense hop and malt profiles that wander all through the mouth.
Taste is smooth and well balanced for a barleywine. The hop profile is certainly assertive, with orange and pink grapefruit notes, but the malt profile is up to the task. Lots of caramel and sweet honey drenched biscuit provide a very tasty balance to the everpresent hops bitterness. I prefer my barleywines at room temperature, and this one really shines as it reaches optimum warmth. The hop bitterness is here in spades, but is never overly aggressive as in many Stone brews. Incredible balance all the way from start to finish. The end is sweet malty caramel with balancing spruce pine bitterness.
Exceptional balance and smooth taste for a barleywine. I'm glad to have the opportunity to savor this one in its youth. Definitely, the most drinkable barleywine I have encountered.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap on this fine Presidents Day at Redbones in Davis Square, MA.
Pours an incredible ruby color w/ a full finger of tan, creamy head, which lasts longer than I was expecting.
I have only two words to describe the aroma....cotton candy.
Taste is to die for....delightfully sweet, but not overbearing. Hints of cherries and sweet malts dance w/ my tastebuds, drawing me back again and again. The alcohol is so well hidden in this puppy, it is blowing me away....not even aged and so mellow.
The perfect amount of carbonation makes this brew very drinkable for the ABV%. I am now on a mission to hunt this down at the local stores...a must try in my opinion.

Photo of ADR
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap, Anam Cara, Brookine, MA...

Nice aroma, caramel, a touch of acoholic fire, and bleeding into honey. Peachy color with a small head and lots of squiggly laces on the glass. Mouthfeel approaches full and the carbonation settles in at medium, well-done but a little higher than expected. The flavor has a ton to say, starts out like peach preserves but quickly slides past overt malty sweetness towards the fruity pectin of schnapps and into bourbon notes -- more alcoholic in impression than even its numbers suggest. Very full at the close. Hot with alcohol, not so much with apparent hops, which I looked for to assert more than they did. I like a malty Barleywine, but I kind of expected more impressive bittering here.

Photo of OStrungT
3.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a deep golden brown, with a white head. The head fades quickly, leaving a good amount of laces. This beer has a strong malty sweet aroma. I can definately detect an alcohol aroma. It has a very caramel like aroma also. It has a very subtle fruit aroma also. I can not detect much hop aroma at all. This beer has a big malty sweet flavor. It has a good caramel like taste. The alcohol content is very present in the flavor. It warms as it goes down. As with the aroma, there in not much hop flavor, although I do taste a slight piney flavor. This beer is full bodied. It leaves an alcohol, sweet malt aftertaste. This beer is not a good session beer at all. The flavor is verry aggressive, and the alcohol content is high. I think it is a very god beer, but just not one that I want to have all the time.

Photo of asabreed
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy and very hazy. Lighter from the bottom to the darker top. Darker brown top and a lighter copper orange at the bottom. Pretty color overall, but little lacing and only a few thick drops cling to the bulb part of the glass. The color and depth save this one on the eyes.

Smell: Orange peel soaked in honey and drizzled caramel. There's also some leafy citrus hop presence, orange marmalade, and a lot of raisins. In addition, there's a nice peppery and spicy presence from the hops.

Taste: Chocolate nibs soaked in orange marmalade and drizzled with honey. Can't believe it's held up this well, especially considering the spicy and pungent hop presence. Fruit esters are mostly citrus, and there's some raisins and possibly figs in the mix. As it warms, the hop presence is still, seemingly miraculously, extremely strong and lingering, especially for this being five years old.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly rich and creamy, with good full and prickly carbonation, which was completely unexpected. Doesn't remain cloying at all, which is also surprising.

Drinkability: I wonder how long this could hold up. I'd say for at least a few more years, and that's what bumps this up from my originally planned half-lower rating. A pretty awesome brew overall, and I hope to try more vintages in the future. I'm sure they all bring some great characteristics to the table.

Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper, full mouthfeel, significantly hoppy. Salty and complex flavour, woody, hop leaf and pine, sweet malt. Easy drink, would go nice with a juicy steak. Boozy warming aftertaste. Good carbonation on tap at Eulogy.

Had by bottle, so aged 20 months. Great tasting and scent barleywine, Boozy at end. Rating the same.

Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"limited winter 2005 release"

appearance: served in my great lakes chalice, bright clear amber-orange body, cream white head with light retention

smell: pine sap, thick caramel malts, honey, dark fruits, orange peel

taste; for being almost 6 years old, this beer still has a tight flavor profile. the citrus hops are gone but sticky pine remains, along with lots of honey, bitter orange peel, caramel, booze. I was worried this may have passed its prime, but it's still on point

mouthfeel: rich, creamy medium body, moderate bitterness in the finish

drinkability: good

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great beer, but considering this is a Stone brew, I was hoping for a little more. For starters, this is a golden barleywine, peach colored with a slight red tinge. No head unfortunately, but that happens with this much alcohol. The aroma of of sweet, syrupy pineapple and peach juice, like from the canned fruit with grass and fresh ground black pepper. The flavor matches much of the aroma but with more spicy citrus rind and doughy malt for balance. The aftertaste focuses on the spicy hops and reminds me of Italian cooking spices for their earthy taste. The body and weight are reasonably heavy for this type of beer. Finishing a bomber is no trouble, as long as you're sharing. Good beer.

Photo of bovinecrusader
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

[On tap @ Naja's Vertical Barleywines. Cheers to you, Martin)

Pours a gilded, brassy note..almost TOO shiny, as one feels inexorably compelled to drink it. Sand-colored head immediately dissipates with a soft off-white sheen.

Mouthfeel? Uber-creaminess front-to-mid palate, but finishes with just enough lifting Fruitcake spice to warn you of its underlying indulgence.

Huge: brandy soaked apricots, undercooked/overspiced ginger bread, and spruce-tip-infused hops bitterness.

Drinkability? Its like liquid peer pressure emanating from a glass. Truly a testament to aging, and its benefits upon Beerdom.

Photo of dgallina
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Winter 2005 edition. Sampled very young in April 2005.

Pours from the bottle a translucent reddish-copper. Minimal head and lacing, as expected for this style. Smells sweet and sherry-like with an undercurrent of bitter hops. Very sweet, almost cloying, in flavor initially. Develops a tree-bark like leafy hop bitterness in the middle before returning with lots of sugary alcohol warming. Finishes astringently dry with assertive piney hops. Sticky and syrupy in body with light carbonation.

An nice barley wine, if a bit over the top in piney hops and alcohol strength. Worth trying again after it's mellowed for a year or so. I generally prefer the Stone Double-Bastard.

Photo of UncleFlip
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Honey-orange, hazy- wht a one-finger off white head, combination of loose and tight bubbles. Head disapates at medium pace, eventually disapppearing altogether.

On the nose, we have storng malt with tones of fresh orange and banana, with a bit of spice, and a permeating licorice-like alcohol.

The flavour has a strong spice right up front, followed by a very woody maltiness, which is punched out by a quick hit of black licorice right at the end. There's nothing inhere that screams hop, but that's OK... This one's very nice..

There's a tight carbonation throughout, over a medium liquid. Very pleasant.

I don't find most high gravity beers this drinkable. The alcohol is not so noticeable that it drives you away. It senaks up on you the next morning after you've crawled to Cleveland. I could down this oen all night, and get into a LOT of trouble.

Be well
-UF

Photo of Troyone
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a root beer color with a copper hue. No head and the carbonation is mild.

Has a roasted caramel malt aroma with a herbal, resin, and orange hops smell.

Moderately sweet and a heavy bitter flavor also the taste resembles the smell.

Medium to full body, almost oily and syrupy texture, flat carbonation, with a light metallic finish.

The drinkability is good for this style.

Photo of grapemaster
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I spent some time cleaning my apartment (fist time in a while) and rewarded all of my hard work with an Old Guardian. I had been anticipating this bad boy for some time. It poured out a nice copper color, quite decieving for a beer of this potency. I sniffed and sipped, and then I sipped some more. It was slightly hoppy with some sweet tones in between. For a second I could almost taste the wine, but then the alcohol struck at the end and reminded me that I was instead immersed in a beer. It tasted good and went down smooth, but after only a short time of drinking this 11.2%, 20 oz. bottle, I decided that this is for sure a drink that would best be suited for sitting back, and enjoying any one of your favorite activities. I myself ate a delciious meal, try one for yourself.

Photo of oxmasterscream
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, irredescent orange. Unbelievable color. Just a small film of head.
Smell is super fruity with a touch of spice. Smells like it's all malt. Some sweet butter, maple syrup and carmelized sugar in there.
Taste is much the same. The sweet and spicy thing is in full-effect but it's combatted by a solid bittering at the finish. Other flavors: cherries, vanillia, and waffles smothered in maple syrup.
Mouth is luscious and full with minimal carbonation; a bit syrupy. Really nice on the tongue.
Drinkability – Damn, why'd I only buy one?! Stuff is really enjoyable.

Photo of Bierguy5
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The 2005 edition. 22 oz. bomber releases a pretty clear reddish/copper color liquid with a nice creamy off-white head. Fair head retention. Caramel notes, grassy, herbal and spicy hop aroma. Alcohol as well in the nose. At the first sip, you are hit hard with intense grassy hop flavor. Strong bitterness, and alcohol presence. Good amount of malt present, sweet caramel like and robust. Full body, low carbonation. What a beer this is. Yes, the hop flavor seems a bit green, but you should try this fresh before putting it away. Strong alcohol presence, a sipping beer indeed. Pretty drinkable for a beer of this size, just make sure you are ready for it to hit you. The 2005 is certainly a great edition.

Photo of scooter231
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very pretty beer- a deep, rich amber color with a large frothy white head and delicate lacing around the glass. Drink me, it cries. Smells very rich- chocolatey, some coffee, some sweetness, dark fruits, malty, with a lightly roasted tinge at the end.

Tastes delicious- sweet. Red wine flavors going on, along with more coffee, followed by some pine, bitterness, and big bready maltyness. Delicious, I say. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, and super smooth and creamy with just the right amount of bubbles.

Dangerously drinkable, very sneaky 11%- another lovely job well done by Stone.

Photo of santoslhalper
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence: Pours a perfectly clear copper with a thin, creamy white head.

Smell: The smell is quite enjoyable. The malts are huge, and so is the alcohol, but a suprising amount of hop presence shines through, and balance the smell perfectly.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Instantly, wood flavors burst forth with massive amounts of malt sweetness. It finishes rather dry, with the hops playing a key role. This is possibly the most balanced Barleywine that has ever touched my lips, but not the best tasting, and it reminds of alot of a Double Bastard. The mouthfeel is chewy.

Drinkability and Overall: All the quality you'd expect from Stone and more. A crisp, clean, sippable Barleywine. It's not as good as the Double Bastard, but still worth trying. I put a few back to age, and I bet they'll do wonderfully.

Photo of Gusler
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Every year I wait for one of my favorite Stone beers to hit the shelf, of course this one hit while I was under the weather, so it got pushed back in a corner of the DBF. The beer as it emerges from the 22 ounce brown bottle a tralucent deep copper color, the head is mastodonic in size and spumescent in texture, after it slowly fades to nothingness, the lace forms a tight girdle to surround the glass. The aroma of sweet malt, over ripe fruit, hops, cotton candy all occupy the nose, what a treat, start is sweet with a thick grain profile and the top middling to full in its feel to the palate. Finish is delectably acidic and the hop potent in their spiciness, and the 11. 26 percent ABV makes itself know in the tummy warming and the alcohol bitterness in the very dry aftertaste, Another splendid vintage that will age nicely.

"bonum beer laetificat cor hominis"

Photo of JohneHoodlum
5/5  rDev +17.6%

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.