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

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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:
Photo of crookedhalo
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear copper color with a very thin beige colored head. Aromas of caramelly and toffeeish malts with a strong hop prenence. More subtle notes of chocolate, berry/black currant and leafy hops. Very sticky and sweet with a decent bittering from the hops in the finish. I don't like this year's version as much as previous versions. Too sweet cloyingly alcoholic. I'll give it another whirl at a later date.

Photo of BrewMaster
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a large crystal sniffer. The beer is a clear and bright red with a fluffy tan head.

Smell: Caramel, brown sugar, bready. There is a fruit aroma that I spent a while trying to discern. I settled on calling it an apple cider-like aroma. I don't really like that descriptor, but it's the best I could come up with. Nonetheless, there is a subtle and nice fruit aroma in the beer.

Taste: Big alcohol flavor seems to be the base flavor that carries all others. It is bready with some caramel, raisins, and a sweet and dry ending. Along with the alcohol the sweetness seems to follow the entire flavor. This beer tastes a bit too young. It has a light hop bitterness in the middle of the flavor but it is quite different from OG of the past, particularly 2002 (my favorite year).

Mouthfeel: This beer is soft but still pungent and forceful on the palate. It's a bit punchy since the flavors have yet to mellow out.

Drinkability: I think this beer is too young. I will probably buy another bottle and lay it down for 8 months or so to see how it improves. This definately ain't no wussy beer, but it's not great...yet.

Photo of IceAce
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chestnut brown with just a wisp of foam around the circumference of my English Style pint glass. Very little nose to be found, with traces of oak and malt just peeking through.

Entry provides a tingle of carbonation around the base of the tongue and an instantaneous high-profile warming of alcohol to the throat. Taste is as complex as it is unique, with multi-faceted malt variations providing layers of licorice, candy sugar, and the dominating presence of oak fading with a brandy-like finish.

The '05 edition is still a wee bit green, but should age well as long as the malts are not overtaken by the woody oak.

Photo of Floydster
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Few ounces tasted at Stone Winter Storm for two dollars, tasted alongside some other vintages of OG

A-Color was a copper brown, more on the red side, 1/2 inch light tan head, not much retention, minimal lacing

S-Bubblegum, big toffee notes, some caramel, various types of sweet malt, some herbs, pine hops, and some candy-like fruit scents

T-Big malty taste from the beginning with caramel and other kinds of sweetness, some resin-like hops with a tad of grapefruit, also toffee, vanilla, and raisins, nicely balanced overall

M-Medium body, smooth, creamy, taste lasted a long time, good level of carbonation, hoppy mouthfeel at times

D-Strong barleywine over eleven percent alcohol, alcohol is not hidden very well, heavy on stomach, definitely a sipper

One of the best vintages of Old Guardian I have tasted, recommended to anybody that can get a hold of it, seems like it will only get better with age

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 axisjones
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip at Toronado in San Francisco.

Deep amber with a clean head that stuck around the entire time. A nice thin collar of lace followed my progress.

The smell is almost a warning. Spicy alcohol with a citrusy hop nose. There is no holding back here, the aroma is just a teaser for the brutality ahead.

6 words- Put your teeth on the curb. This beer is brutal. This beer is intense. This is seriously one of the most outright flavorful beers ever brewed. Let me put it this way- the alcohol is out of control, but is dwarfed by the sheer hop bitterness, which is put firmly in check by the massive malt profile. What we have here is a caramelized hop bomb with enough spice to keep you sipping.

The mouthfeel is oily and slick and slick and oily.

This beer is so massive that it takes a severe hit in the drinkability. This is the definition of a sipper. A twelve ounce glass took me a while and there is no way I could ever conceive of finishing a bomber by myself. It is just so damn big and strong and punishing on your palette that it is not super drinkable at all, even for the style.

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper color with light amber hues and a tiny lingering offwhite head that looks inviting. Aromas are fruity and very hoppy giving off a big forest of pine trees and saplings. THe final aromas are dominant of fusel alcohol. Initial flavors comprise of a smooth hop bite that is resinous and piney. There is a solid amount of caramels and a slight toffee tone mixed with hints of vanilla that really go along nicely. Following there is a stiff dosage of carmelized sugars and yet more sticky hops. The finish is super strong with a big ass warming alcohol tone along with a nice hop bite that brings about hints of citrus but more pine than anything else. The mouthfeel to this brew is full and smooth which is a really nice characteristic to this brew. Overall this is a great barleywine but I think it's just way to young at this point and really needs to sit in the cellar for at least a year or two to mellow out that warming alcohol

Photo of mattcrill
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Limited winter 2005 release marked on the front of the bottle. Also, an insanely long and somewhat irrelevant story about the brewer's trip to Turkey in October of 2004. Usually, I get a kick out of reading Stone's bottles but this one was lost on me. On to the important stuff...

Appearance: Pours syrupy like and deep red-orange in color. Clear in the glass with a white head that quickly dissappears and rings the outside of the glass.

Smell: Some alcohol and sweet dark fruit scents are quickly noted. Definitely picking up some raisin and plum notes with an alcohol backbone noted.

Taste: Sweetness that gets noted first and foremost! I'm picking up things like pears, some raisins, and plums. That's followed up by a soft but firm alcohol punch. Finishes dry and the alcohol coats the palate and warms the throat on the way down.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full and slightly slick. The alcohol definitely coats and warms everything in it's path.

Drinkability: Wew! I can't imagine having more than one of these.

Notes: I really enjoyed this one but it's almost too much for one sitting. Another fantastic beer by Stone but take your time savoring this one.

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 TheLongBeachBum
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22 ounce screen printed bottle that retains the overall Stone Old Guardian screen printed design, yet those Stone fans with a keen eye will notice that the “Limited Winter 2005 Release!!” has some minor changes, the Gargoyle has been placed in a circle, are they clipping his wings?? And the word Stone is set inside a red box, rather than the words Old Guardian on the past designs. I also note that unlike any other Stone Bottles that I have had, this one seems to have the following words ‘Old Guardian Barleywine Style Ale 2005 Edition Bottle-Conditioned’ etched into bulge on the neck of the bottle. Oh yeah, and this years offerings is 11.26%, crazy shit.

Appearance: Lovely looking dark orange amber burnished copper color, perfectly clear with a large fizzing tan head at first, but that soon settles to reveal a broken covering that retains a halo ring and some smattered single layer bubbles in a broken scum like covering. Low carbonation.

Nose: Lots of malts as expected. Strong alcoholic Barleywine feel throughout. Oily pine needles and some sharp caramel. Lighter than previous years I think.

Taste: Malts and lots of alcohol. The sappy bitterness is oily and pine like and it’s all in the beginning. Huge malt bill swims in an Ethanol filled Olympic sized swimming pool. Big sweetish finish that combines all these traits but the malts get it. Warm finish rapidly rises to a hot swallow. Terminates with a dry feel and lots of Aniseed lingers on the tongue long after the heat dies out.

Mouthfeel: Oh its huge, the alcohol is not well hidden, it doesn’t need to be. Powerful licks and strong back kicks add to the devastating warmth in the back end. Massively Full-Bodied.

Drinkability: Took a while to sink this one, even late at night it’s a monster to sink. The heat in the swallow and the kick-ass alcohol makes this one a sipper for sure. Drinkability would improve with some nice aged Cheddar and snacks I feel.

Overall: Had this for a few months before tackling it, seems rather high octane and seriously “big”. I think that this does need some time to develop a little, but the hardcore Stone fans will disagree and I have heard it said that this is good to go right now. I fall somewhere in between, I think a little aging may help, I’ll return to the rest of my stash in another 6 months time.

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap at Redbones.

This barley wine poured a hazy, deep amber color with white foam that settled but which clung to the glass in spots. The smell was malty and hoppy with a touch of dried fruit and a hint of a papery aroma. The taste was malty and hoppy, and was very well balanced. The alcohol was noticeable, though not overly so. There was a light touch of sweetness overall, and the hop bitterness came out in the finish. The mouthfeel was very smooth and airy on the tongue. The body was medium-full with low carbonation feel. The aftertaste was light malt with tangy hops. This was a nice barley wine for a nightcap.

Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear opaque, reddish hue with tiny white tan head that died quickly.

Nose was a mix of rich malt, all malt, a little more malt, with a very mild, almost German bock smelling hop touch.

Taste was big and very thick. Barley, barley, barley and some alcohol make up the taste of this baby. A surprisingly subdued hop taste. There is however a decent sized hop bitterness that balances well against the big malt taste. More of an English style barley wine, with just faint hints of a spicy/pine hop flavor.

Not your normal Stone Hop attack of a beer, just a classic style barley wine. Went well with some stilton and sharp cheddar.

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage Old Guardian

Had this out of a snifter at Holiday Wine Cellar's special event for San Diego Beer Week 2010: "Stone Vintage Archives & Decadent Chocolate Pairings" hosted by Dr. Bill Sysack of Stone Brewing. Paired with North Park's Eclipse Chocolat - Pumpkin Muscavado Truffle.

A: Pours a reddish/copper hue with a decent head and tons of thick lace from start to finish.

S: Earthy fruit, sweet and malty, finishing a bit boozy.

T: Booze up front that is balanced quickly by sweet malt, the hop that was missing in the nose comes through in the flavor nicely with the booziness mellowing as it warmed up a bit.

M: Medium to full-bodied, sticky but not syrupy at all with mellow carbonation giving it an overall smooth mouthfeel.

D: Wow - enjoyed this one a lot, but man it's only tolerable in small amounts. Heavy duty sh*t here! My wife had a sip of hers and passed it my way, which I appreciated, but I was good after her and my tastings...granted this is not my preferred style.

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!

Photo of tavernjef
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very attractive dark orange tinted bronze with a semi-dull clarity. The cap is ivory colored, small, compact, and loosely set, doesn't keep for too long, but leaves a ton of thin glazing sheets of lace.

Aroma is of caramel covered pears and melons soaked in rum. Understated hops to this one with just a hinting of floral resin hop oilyness intwined in an alcoholic heat.

Taste is quite mild. Medium malts with a full fronting caramel and fruityness favoring a bit of tropical flavors. Pineapple, pear, melon, dates, and a mish-mash of rummy/whiskey malt-like malting and warmth. Actually, this is quite a warm belly full. Slight pine and hop heat with a tiny floral edge add some depth to its finish. Warm and long standing finish of heat easing off with touches of the caramel laced with the floral hop tend to keep a solid position on the palate, in the throat, and down into the belly.

Feel is about medium and less substantial then most other Stone brews I've encountered. Not quite as beefy or big. A little more loose and free in this one. Still has that inevitable creamy smoothness and low carbonation that can be found in most other Old Gaurdians'. The somewhat lack of body is more then made up for in its beautifully enhanced warmth. Its very soothing and warm. A definate worthy sipper in that regards. The bigger ABV is evident enough in its warming character but still yields that quick and slick drinkability, even when sipped, the palate still yearns for more, making this another dangerously fine drinker from Stone.

Photo of HogHill
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this beauty into its official glass.
Appearance: Copper with ruby red highlights, excellent clarity. Head is a thin white which laces delicately around the sides of the glass.
Aroma: Smells very sweet, fruits and some caramel from all of the malt. The nose recognizes a potential for a high ABV.
Taste: very rich a sweet, feels chewy. Definitely a cousin to bourbon. Hops and the alcohol produce a bitter, warm finish.
Drinkability: I'd like to try this one again in a year, will have to pick another one up to see how it ages.

Notes: Paired with 4 year old Grafton cheddar and Itallian bread.

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 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 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 kmpitz2
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this off tap a few weeks back and really enjoyed it, so lets see what the bottle does for me. Served at cellar temperature into a snifter. The beer pours a brilliant copper color with a 2 finger head that sticks around very well. The nose is deep sweet caramel, slightly fruity malts with a few wisps of alcohol and a nice sweet and slightly floral hop, but more in the background. The flavor is very much what the nose tells me it should be. The first blast is big sweet malts wtih a distant dark fruit, followed by a healthy alcohol spiceyness, moving towards a mellow spicey hop bite on the finish. The beer is rather warming in my stomach. With the light dinner I had, this will definatly do well for me without any reinforcements. The feel is big and syrupy. Very coating. Drinkability is good for a beer of this magnitude. I'm not having any trouble with the bomber. I remember the first time I had this a few years back. 22 oz were hard to take. How things have changed.

Photo of John1985
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The ale poured a brown amber color with a small white head. Complex malt aroma, taste was delicious sweet malt with minimal hops to balance. Very warming and a great sipping barley wine. A little too sweet for my taste. The price was a bit much ($6.95/bomber) but heck it was my birthday.

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

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm and malty scent that is slightly hoppy, but nothing too strong. The taste is great. It has a very smooth, malty flavor that goes down easy for an abv. of 11.26%. It has a bitter hoppy finish; very well balanced. It has a warming effect on the way down. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good barley wine. It is so smooth for a "big beer." It has excellent hop flavor; an awesome drinker.

Photo of klewis
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark orange hue, almost no head, moderate lacing, carbonation briefly collected on the glass and disappeared shortly after I began to drink.

Smell: Dark fruits, mostly raisins, and traces of alcohol

Taste: Very strong cherry flavor, slightly sweet, that is balanced very nicely on the finish with prominent alcohol flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied, just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: I'm not sure if I would drink a lot of this in one sitting, but I would definitely purchase this again.

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