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

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

118 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 118
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.18%


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: 118 | Reviews: 103 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Guardian served in an Old Guardian glass, this beer does not really improve with age but it also doesn't get much worse.

Beer is ruby and clear with a thin lazy off white / tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation. Looks good.

Stone biting house yeast with nice MO grain / malt aroma, strong throughout.

Beer is medium in body with a mild bitter and hoppiness on the back end, it is a fine beer with a nice finish but there is this underlying faded, musky hoppiness there. I don't like it as much as the newer ones.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 18:30:55 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of drabmuh at last weekend's Stone tasting. Served in a Stone goblet.

Pours a semi-hazy golden-caramel color with a bit of an orange hue. Short head without much in the way of retention or lacing.

The nose brings some caramel and brown sugar, as well as some older hops. Faint fruits in the background. The flavor has a good deal of sweetness and still just a touch of lingering bitterness. Medium body with low carbonation and a mixture of sugar and alcohol.

This was okay, but it's not something I'd really plan to age all that much of in the future.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 11:26:19 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer is copper orange hued with a small head that leaves sparse lacing on the glass. The aroma offers caramels, malt, light oxidation, even some old basement. The flavor is decent, but I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as the 2004 version. I was quite surprised by how different they were from one another. Pretty simple and straightforward, with a slightly sweet malt bill leading the way. Hop character is nonexistent at this point. A pretty decent brew and fun to try.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 17:39:28 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Wadsey
Wadsey

Indiana

3.03/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Stone Old Guardian, Winter 2005

Served in DFH signature glass. 

A: Pours clear amber with the faintest skim of a head. A light but steady stream of bubble course through beer, which is unexpected. 

S: Caramel and golden raisin notes dominate, indicating a hefty bill of crystal malts. Additional aromas include cherries, alcohol, light oxidation, and honey. Smell is more subdued than I'm describing. 

T: Taste does not follow particularly well. Malty sweetness, alcohol and medium bitterness comprise lion's share of taste. The alcohol and bitterness have undoubtedly diminished over years, but the other flavors have worn away more rapidly; therefore, alcohol and bitterness have no opposition. The alcohol has a solvent-like edge. However, caramel presence increases a notch when beer hits room temperature. 

M: Medium-heavy body an light carbonation. Warming and a little numbing. 

O: This bottle of Old Guardian was cellared properly and would certainly be "drinkable" for many years to come. It has not, however, improved and seems to be well past its peak. Too bad. 

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 12:11:41 | More by Wadsey
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

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

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 21:32:22 | More by dirtylou
Photo of DeanMoriarty
DeanMoriarty

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 04:00:14 | More by DeanMoriarty
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

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

2005 bottle courtesy of crosling poured into a snifter.

Pours a light, crystal clear amber with a small creamy beige head that recedes to a small collar and leaves some legs after each sip.

The aroma is wonderfully sweet. It's got caramelized dark fruits, toffee, brown sugar. There's not much left of the hops, maybe some orange peel and musty grasses, but the aroma has taken on a brandy-like aroma that's extremely appetizing.

The taste is just as sweet. It's got tons of caramelized sugar, oranges, and toffee. There is a much more prevalent spiciness in the taste, maybe from the remaining hops.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and sticky sweet with a low, tight carbonation that keeps things from getting too cloying.

This one has held up exceptionally well and I think I may prefer this to the fresher bottles I've had. It's really mellowed and turned into a sugary sweet after-dinner sipper. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2010 02:16:55 | More by gford217
Photo of asabreed
asabreed

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 22:15:06 | More by asabreed
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review 1600, time for one from the cellar.

Oh man oh man, what a classic brew - pure amber pour, even after the years the ivory head still materializes in the Corsendonk tulip.

Perfect barleywine aroma of orange liquor, sweet malt and caramel. I can tell this is gonna be good. And yes it is, sweet lip smacking bubble gum of thick orange booze, but no alcohol bite to be found. This is like drinking an orange cognac that's been aged for 10 years.

A very good brew, now gone forever. Bummer there.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 21:40:32 | More by Vancer
Photo of LordAdmNelson
LordAdmNelson

Ohio

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

This one has aged so well! Aroma puts together the normal English Barleywine flavors--figs, raisons, syrup, sweet malt. Flavor is about the same--big sweet syrup, some light malt, some citrus hops, big fig and raison flavor... some spiciness as well. Good stuff here, '05 is drinking well, Oh god this is good... some creaminess, little or no head, some carbonation has been retained, I'd make a good session out of this.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 04:27:30 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a lightly cloudy orangish color with a small white head. Nose is nice and malty, chewy caramel, with some of the floral and ctirus notes still hanging in there. Taste is caramel, deep and malty, mellow and damn tasty with pine/floral notes and it was not near as hot as a nw release OG. Still had good carbonation and this barleywine was down right excellent! OG is one of the best aging bwines I have found to date.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 20:19:39 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2008 02:10:05 | More by tempest
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Perhaps I should've waited another couple months for it to be 3 years old!

A: Amber-copper, light tan hfead, some retention, nice leg/lacing. Exceptional for its strength & age.

S: Bold, bitter hop aroma is resiny & slightly herbal. Sherry-like alcohol, toffee, cotton-candy fruity esters,

T: With almost 3 years in the cellar, it's still very hop-forward with an assertive bitterness. The piney, resiny hops meld with the fruity ale esters and the toffee, nutty, biscuity malt flavours. Slight vanilla and sherry. The alcohol is very warming, but not at all harsh.

M: Moderate body is smooth & creamy, with a definite hop acidity. Modest carbonation. Very well-attenuated considering it's strength, but it's not too dry.

D: Big & bold.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 01:11:13 | More by Derek
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

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

Warm copper with a brilliant crimson cast and thin head of wheat-hued froth that has moderate retention and very light lace.

Aroma is deeply caramelized malt and rich toffee, it's almost creamy like creme brule'. There are layers of warm fruit cobbler and honeyed peaches offset by rustic hop notes of pine and earthy dried greens.

Flavor starts with chewy caramel and scorched toffee, vanilla, and golden raisins. It's hoppier than I anticipated, pine and cedar flooowed by grassy hay and light candied citrus. Balanced and complex, alcohol kick is warming, but not tasted.

Body is just below big, mildly carbonated and has a very creamy, soft texture. A classic and sophisticated example of the style, I really can't wait to try my 04 next!

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2007 00:02:48 | More by AlexJ
Photo of Phatz
Phatz

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2005. Consumed April 2007. DIVINE!!!!

Appearance: Exudes from the bottle majestic and emanating with class sophistication and beauty right from the start. A brown laced with shimmers of gold and orange, magnificent clarity and big fluffy head that has good retention.

Smell: Boozy sticky malt, and sweet juicy ripe fruit with a resinous hop oil undertone, grace the nasal cavity and induce salivating.

Taste: Sweet as a bottle of schnapps and warm as brandy, very soft pineapple, caramel, and hop resin that sneaks up from underneath the sweetness and gently coats the cheeks so after the swallow you remember it was there. Magnificent! Nicely aged.

Mouthfeel: Soft but full body with mild hop bitterness and slight alcohol sting.

Drinkability: This is a sipping beer. It will take several hours of pure bliss to get through, but loving every moment.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2007 05:40:40 | More by Phatz
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2007 05:11:32 | More by Zorro
Photo of BlindPig
BlindPig

Pennsylvania

4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- 1/4" light tan/off white head on a really clear deep orange amber body. Decent collar (compared to other years). Sticks to side of glass a bit and have a thin lacing covering about half top.
S- Alcohol and malts come through big. Some citrus hops and yeast smell. Bit bready. Some grapefruit and other fruits.
T- Nice big bitterness with big toffee malts. Grapefruit and a bit of orange. Alcohol comes through big also. All flavors very big and standing alone but still manage to blend just enough. Bits of bread come through also. The caramel malts also in there with the toffee. Very sweet.
M-Medium body with medium carbonation
D- It is a excellent beer and still young. Can't wait to try this about 5 years later (if I would have one).

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2006 05:10:40 | More by BlindPig
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Grub for this one!
January 2005 Bomber sampled September 2006. The good year and half under its belt certainly didn't hurt it!
A beautiful (I use that word appropriately) appearence. Head at a decent level but would diminish slowly through the course. Clearly enough to cross out any doubts of oxidization. It glowed a hazed ruby colour. Hoppy West Coast (typical Stone) aroma. So ever satisfying, no one does hops quite like Stone. Heavy mouthfeel, the hops add density. Warming boozy notes on the middle and finish. Really, an ultimate barleywine. Enough malt to keep things grounded, something alot of these hop monsters overlook. Largely filling. Booze, hops and excellent compliment of malt. Pushes to the back of the mouth and warms the throat. Alcohol, otherwise well contained. Increasingly coudy (and tasty) as sediment was poured in from the bottom of the bottle. Such crisp, floral hops. Just incredible. Stone is a brewery that lives up to its reputation. I would love to have a bomber (or 2) and put myself to sleep.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2006 18:23:26 | More by biegaman
Photo of crwills
crwills

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample glass from tasting with northyorksammy, grub, and biegaman. Thanks to grub for bringing this fantastic beer along.

Aroma is predominantly spicy hops, with some caramel or toffee and bready notes. Powerful alcohol presence in both the aroma and taste, but it's handled very well by the complexity of this beer. Reminds me a lot of a good whiskey, with roasted and toffee flavours dominating. Ear warming. Sweet, sherry-like aftertaste makes this a fantastic sipping beer.

I really want to try this one again in greater quantity and re-review, but definitely one of the highlights of the tasting.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2006 23:08:36 | More by crwills
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

tasting party sept 11/06 with northyorksammy, crwills, biegaman and me (grub). everyone threw in a few bottles and we had an interesting mix of beer and mead. this one was contributed by me. jan 2005 old guardian, purchased in dec 2005 and in my cellar since then.

pours a nice deep golden colour with ruby highlights. big off white head.

aroma is excellent. rich caramel and malt with a little lingering sweetness. alcohol starts to show itself a little

taste is great. caramel and toffee. nice level of bitterness. alcohol comes through a bit in the end, but is very well balanced by the maltyness and bitterness. definitely doesn't tastes like it's 11.26% ABV.

mouthfeel is great. moderate carbonation and great body.

drinkability is also excellent. the balance between the malt/hops/alcohol is right on. this one has mellowed and meshed together really well. glad i held onto this bottle for a while. you could easily polish this off on your own because it's so damn good.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2006 15:12:31 | More by grub
Photo of cbl2
cbl2

New York

4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

7/25/2005 $4.99 22 oz. 11.26% No best by date, and none required!

Appearance:

Beautiful is not a nice enough word to describe this. Glowing a vibrant orange from beneath, this mostly still ale is an amber brown towards the top, with a viscous appearance.

Aroma:

Caramel, figs, smooth malt characteristics, a hint of alcohol coupled with tropical fruit aroma. Reminds me of a carnival, and beckons to be tasted.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Smooth and viscous with a huge alcohol presence coupled with a tantalizing dark fruit presence. Caramel sweet as it warms in the mouth with some subtle hop hints.

Purchased at Whole Foods 28th & 7th Ave, NYC for $5!!! This is nice and bready. Very drinkable even with the high ABV, which makes this one dangerous, but worth getting your hands on.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 14:54:46 | More by cbl2
Photo of bruachan
bruachan

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bought 'er at arrowine in arlington, but for some reason never tasted of the fruit

at first i thought the head was going to be a total dud but a little aggression in the pour and we've got a nice bone-colored fluff up there. underneath, however, is the gods' work. the beer is a brilliant deep ruby with an ever-so-slight amber tint. the head dimishes but never leaves the room

i think if i were to choose a color to fit the aroma it would be the one that sits in my glass. rich malt aromas: butterscotch, caramel, sweet bread

and then the can of kickass opens. it's huge! peach (peach!?), butterscotch. i would have expected hops to have more of a role—the bitterness is nothing to scoff at, but at the same time it's not all that intense—but malt is mos def the focus here. fruity, caramelly, cranberry (without the natural tartness)

it's complex, yet so simple

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2006 06:09:07 | More by bruachan
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a year ago and aged since. This beer rocks.

Poured a vibrant orange-tarnish in color. Kind of like an old piece of rock candy you find under the bed after it has aged. Slight scuzzy head that dissolved into a almost invisible film. Nose is maple sugar candies, hops and apricots. Very sweet.

Chewy and hoppy. All sots of sweetness up front, in the middle and up from behind. And on top if it all were such chewy, juicy hops. This beer has not faded at all in a year and has improved in my opinion. Candd sugar, sugared raisins and dried apricots. Quite a bit of heat from the alcohol and it even burned a bit on top of the bitterness. Kind of a smack. Full body and expressive flavors. Thick and just almost syrupy. Such a nice slow-sipping, enjoyable beer. Wish I had another bottler downstairs.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2006 02:16:31 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Received a bottle as a gift last spring.

Poured a deep cloudy copper with a nice tan head that is sustaining fairly well. Nose is a complex medley of sweet spicy malts and dark fruits. Taste is malty and sweet, bready, and finishes with a nice compliment of bittering hops. The alcohol is very warming. Interestingly enough, the taste changes with each sip. Mouthfeel is nice and full, creamy and smooth. Drinkability is pretty good as the high abv is masked fairly well for awhile but eventually rears it's warming head. This is a very interesting beer, very complex and well put together. One must try it!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2006 00:38:12 | More by arizcards
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
GreatPondBrewer

California

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!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2006 04:25:14 | More by GreatPondBrewer
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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.