Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

104 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 104
Hads: 122
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 11
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:
Beer added by: Todd on 01-26-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 Alström Bros
Reviews: 104 | Hads: 122
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (326 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (2,361 characters)

Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (656 characters)

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (1,003 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (1,543 characters)

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
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! (1,115 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (1,022 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (706 characters)

Photo of HogHill
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (608 characters)

Photo of John1985
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (288 characters)

Photo of klewis
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (538 characters)

Photo of grapemaster
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (784 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (983 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (573 characters)

Photo of Wonka
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Limited Winter 2005 Release
11.26% Alc. Vol.

Appearance – straight amber; a thumb-thick, cream-colored head at pour that wastes away rather quickly; lace is weak

Smell – malts and hops are about even; the dark fruits are beginning to emerge

Taste – back and forth between caramel and hops, a bit rowdy alcohol; faint dark fruit and nut; hops win to close but some caramel tone remains

Mouthfeel – silky and full initially then roughens up late; with age I could see this smoothening across the profile; this was barely reaching a 4.5 when considering where it stands and how well it may do down the road, but it was the best portion of the package

Drinkability – lush carbonation is a bonus but the alcohol and hop strength pull it down a bit

Drink one or two within the first few months and come back in a year for more mellow and smoother incarnations. I'm looking forward to its growth. (913 characters)

Photo of santoslhalper
4.15/5  rDev -1%
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. (813 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly different look to the bottle this year. There appears to be almost a complete novel etched in the back of the bottle. Good reading while you are sipping this down though. Appears a crystal clear black cherry juice color with a light tan head. The head disappears rapidly leaving streaks of lace around the glass. Huge aroma. Tons of malt, big fruit notes and a large amount of alcohol as well. Very strong cherry scent is what really stood out even over the big boozy notes. Taste starts of with strong cherry flavors and a smack of alcohol. Sweet caramel malts meld with fruits and molasses to try and tame the alcohol. The alcohol stands out in a big way all throughout this but for some reason it works quite well. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Ridiculous drinkability, I would only call this a sipper because of the strength. This was surprisingly easy to get through even with the alcohol. Tasty and powerful treat that I would definitely have again. I would love to see what a year or so does to this one. (1,021 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my second year of trying the locally unavailable Stone barleywine, and having gotten through several more beers of this style over the past year, I feel much more qualified this year.

The 22 oz. brown bomber looks identical to the 2004 version, except it has Winter 2005 release in the painted on artwork, and the musings on the back seem even longer. The beer pored out deep reddish amber and clear, with a cascade of bubbles making up a half inch thick foamy head which does not last long. The aroma seems muted at first with a hint of citric hops, but a deep inhalation reveals more of a malty sweet aroma and some pine resin.

The taste is sweet and malty up front, with a prickly, peppery hop presence that becomes more prominent towards the end of the swallow. The beer is syrupy thick on the tongue, but carbonation lightens that effect somewhat. The beer feels somewhat abrasive as a solitary sipper, but accompanied by Vermont extra sharp while cheddar cheese, the harshness disappears.

I still think it feels young in the year of its release. My 2004 bottle in the cellar should be probably at a mellow prime next year. (1,145 characters)

Photo of ADR
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (730 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (693 characters)

Photo of Troyone
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (390 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle I have held on too for a long time.

This is now a thick copper colored ale with no head formation

The smell is sweet and fruity and still quite strongly hoppy to the nose. Aromas of alcohol and black pepper, fig, cherry, chocolate and rum.

The taste begins sweet and bitter with a nice toffee after taste. This is still quite a strongly flavored beer mostly fruit, wood and hop bitterness. The main flavor defect here is that the hop bitterness is still strong enough to cover up the more subtle flavors. This can still age some more before hitting its peak flavor.

The mouthfeel is thick.

Drinkability is good but not great. This is a beer that still needs some aging to hit its peak of flavor. At present the hop bitterness is covering up flavors, my guess is in two more years this will be at its peak of flavor. (839 characters)

Photo of gimmehead
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Orange amber with a thin, taupe colored head. Lots of caramel sweet aroma mixed with grapefruity citric hops and a prominent alcohol profile. The nose is actually surprisingly sweet, especially as the warming progresses and the malt takes over. Tastes of citric hops initially, blending with bready malts and some sweet, raisiny notes similar to an old ale. As with the nose, there is no shortage of alcohol in the finish. Very thick and smooth on the palate. Nice balance between malt and hops makes it very drinkable. A very nice beer. (537 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear and bright orange/red, medium but thick white head forms, some very pretty lacing. Smell is nice and malty, carmael, grass, citrus/floral hops, alcohol, vanilla oak, and spice. Taste is caramel, pine/floral hops, vanilla, little bit of alcohol, and a clean rich, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium to high bodied, with low carbonation. This bastard has been aging for almost a year, very smooth and controlled, excellent barleywine. Thanks DrJay! (460 characters)

Photo of Hibernator
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine
Winter 2005 Release
22 oz brown bomber
Snifter serving glass. I let the Old Guardian sit for about 10 minutes before tasting

This beer pours a beautiful amber copper color with a thin, oily top lacing. A fluffy head can easily be developed with a nice pour, but it settles quickly. Spotted sticky lacings cling all over the glass.

Aroma of black pepper spice, prunes and hop snappage.

Very syrupy sweetness attacks the palate with a super citrus hop bite on the finish. Caramel sweetness, rubbing alcohol warmth and floral hops blend at the perfect levels to create one nasty ass Barley Wine. At 11.26% ABV, you better appreciate this beer for all its worth.

Enjoy.

The perfect nightcap to an absolutely incredible weeked with a great friend. (793 characters)

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.