Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev +1.9%
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.
03-19-2010 02:16:55 | More by gford217
4.5/5 rDev +5.9%
Yee-haw, the new version of a favorite on tap at the Stone 6.6.6 event at Anam Cara this past Friday. Dark glowing orange copper with a nice head of off-white foam. Good sheets of lace from this one as well. Aromas are all booze, alcoholic malts, lovely sticky citric, and floral hops in a great unison. Taste is awesome. Super hoppy, hoppier than any other vintage in fact. So smooth and ready to drink right now. Mouthfeel is creamy and so warming. Thick, syrupy, and enveloping. Drinkability is damn good as well. 11.2%!? Crazy talk! This stuff is nuts.
01-31-2005 14:35:36 | More by francisweizen
3.95/5 rDev -7.1%
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 its 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 doesnt 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 its 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, Ill return to the rest of my stash in another 6 months time.
04-18-2005 07:57:06 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.3/5 rDev +1.2%
I had another bottle of this last night (26JUL06), to see how it has stood the test of time.... Nothing different in appearance... still a beautifully rich chestnut hue...nice head and lacing... Aroma on the mild side, exhibiting mostly malty notes... toffee... Found the mouthfeel to have improved. Was a medium-plus, and velvety smooth on the tongue. Hell yeah! Flavor? Wow... lots and lots of malt... the hops have mellowed big time! Caramel and toffee sweetness abounds... great malt... Some heat becomes evident... Very late in the game it gets real piney and resiny, and this flavor lingers long in the after-taste... Malt really takes over after a year+, though... Quite nice!
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5
I found a couple of bottles of the latest edition this morn (26FEB05) at my local, and I just HAD to score them. Front has "Limited Winter 2005 Release!!" painted on, with an interesting Turkish diatribe from Greg gracing the back.
Poured a gorgeous, deep chestnut color into the goblet, with crystal clarity and a small amount of bubbles slowly rising within. Head was initially 1/4", but faded rapidly to a fine, thin layer of beige bubbles, most of which congregated at the perimeter. Smell had a toasty malt aspect, along with a "hot" alcohol kick, and some sharp citrussy hops. Body bordered on medium, and it passed fairly smoothly across the tongue, interrupted only by a bit of bubbly carbonation. Taste has a crisp, caramel maltiness along with a noticeable alcohol warmth. Hops are fruity, with a sort of pineapple lean to them, and linger well on the palate and in the mouth. They also possess a super piney, resiny quality. Hell yeah! A real nice bier, though it doesn't seem as complex as past years. Perhaps a bit of aging my help, and I can revisit this review later.
In general, though, I enjoy the Smuttynose Barleywine more at this point. Throw in the fact that Smutty is $2.49 per bomber as opposed to $7.95, well...there you go... (4.5/3.5/4.5/4.0/4.5 = 4.25)
02-26-2005 18:25:03 | More by Bierman9
3.95/5 rDev -7.1%
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.
03-29-2005 05:17:32 | More by UncleJimbo
4.6/5 rDev +8.2%
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.
03-25-2005 11:01:25 | More by merlin48
4.47/5 rDev +5.2%
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.
12-20-2009 21:40:32 | More by Vancer
4.25/5 rDev 0%
Stone popped this bad boy today.
A - Pours a beautiful deep amber, almost clear, large creamy head that is slow to leave and lots of lace.
S - Heavy malt, booze, some medicinal quality.
T - Sweet heavy malt, caramel, boozy, hard hops hitting it back.
M - Med to heavy body, from very sweet to very harsh. Hard to reign in those huge flavors. Done pretty well, though.
D - I bought the 2 litre growler of this sucker, and I had better find some friends to share, cuz this is not a session beer!
09-20-2010 01:15:58 | More by srandycarter
3.78/5 rDev -11.1%
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
01-30-2008 04:56:04 | More by Floydster
4.08/5 rDev -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.
04-01-2005 03:10:44 | More by kmpitz2
4.38/5 rDev +3.1%
Pours a copperish amber. About a half an inch of white head. Delicious sweet smell.
It could be the age, or this may be a sweeter beer to begin with. Loads of sweet malt, lighter citrus, and tropical notes. The hop content is very muted, with some grapefruit juice mingled with the thick, syrupy mouthfeel.
Very uncharacteristic of stone. I like! Dangerously drinkable. Doubt this will cross my path again, though.
05-05-2008 23:36:07 | More by Overlord
4.88/5 rDev +14.8%
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.
09-12-2006 15:12:31 | More by grub
4.45/5 rDev +4.7%
I bought this beer a while ago and am sampling at room temp in a snifter/tulip glass.
The beer pours a clear chestnut color with some ruby tints as well. A fluffy tightly packed off white head of 1 cm, floats easily on the surface.
Aroma is appealing, with caramel and toffee, some citrusy hops, a bit of raisin and some dark fruit (plums) as well. A bit of alcohol says hello too.
First sip reveals a very smooth textured and even beer. Very fine gentle rolling carbonation.
Liter body than I expected as well.
Flavor is malty sweet with caramel and toffee mixing and some baker's chocolate in the middle of my tongue. I think some red grape are in there towards the end as well.
I get just a hint of piney hops and then onto my belly. Definitely some warming going on there. The alcohol is not harsh but actually increases the pleasure of drinking this beer. I cant believe how easy each sip goes down at 11.2% this is dangerously smooth.
This beer is very nice and I wish I had another bottle to cellar.
06-17-2005 03:00:52 | More by sulldaddy
4.15/5 rDev -2.4%
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.
02-01-2005 13:57:39 | More by ADR
4.38/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
03-01-2005 06:54:09 | More by Todd
4.28/5 rDev +0.7%
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!
03-05-2006 00:38:12 | More by arizcards
4.28/5 rDev +0.7%
Poured into the new Old Guardian glass from Stone. Looks beautiful in the glass. Pours an orange/copper color with a tall head that has great retention and leaves lots of lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of malts and quite a bit of alcohol, but there is also a nice hop presence there as well. The flavor is much like the aroma. Lots of alcohol and lots of malts as well as a little fruit. Strong hop flavor as well - pine hops, mostly. Thick mouthfeel, big body. Drinkability suffers a little from the high alcohol, but it's still extra tasty.
02-18-2005 16:43:15 | More by clvand0
4.05/5 rDev -4.7%
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.
03-16-2005 04:14:47 | More by Bierguy5
4.33/5 rDev +1.9%
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!
11-25-2005 03:47:04 | More by orbitalr0x
4.63/5 rDev +8.9%
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.
04-04-2007 05:40:40 | More by Phatz
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.