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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

104 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 104
Hads: 122
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 8.94%
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 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.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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

Very, very smooth, especially for a brew that's so young and begs for aging.
Somewhere between a sipper and a guzzler.
The sweetness here flirts with being too much but holds on to being tasty.
A luxurious experience all around; I intend to cellar some, assuming I can resist the urge to open the bottles.
The alcohol is well used.
Not as hoppy as the 2004 Old Guardian... maltier in flavor profile.
Impressive all around.
Classier than it is badass.
Still pretty badass.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a hazy, dark orange/brown color, huge cream colored head that lasts throughout the drink. Great lacing left behind. Caramel malts, hops, hint of alcohol spice in the nose. The taste is dominated by think malts, and finished with a smack of bitter hops. The alcohol warms the belly. The mouth is thick and syrupy. Outstanding.

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Photo of cbl2
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
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!


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.


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


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.

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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.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.69/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured in my snifter slightly hazy ruby brown with a tan head.
the smell consists of brown sugar, molasses, dark ripe fruits some, pears, strawberry, apple blossom, with some caramel behind it all.
the taste is hugely complex with a nutty caramel molasses flavor, with light ripe pear, apple and berries. has a little bit of a baked apple pie effect. herbal hop bitterness shows ups strong with some lighter citrus hops. a little later on i find a soft tea flavor coming out along with a good dose of bitter baking chocolate. the bitterness at the back of the palate is just right lending a lot to this beer.
very full bodied with light carbonation. very, very nice. good drinkability, but more than one bottle could definitely be a bit much for the palate.

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Photo of klewis
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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

The Guardian is perhaps one of my favorite in the Stone line-up. I look forward every year for thisone and the 05 was & is a real treat.
It poured really sharp as I used just one of my Stone pint glasses. Its clean, clear, bright reddish/copper color shined through as a nice two finger, creamy off-white head formed. The head maintained well and the lace was sticky, almost ring like. The aroma was sweet, dark fruits with malts & alcohol. The taste was sharp, crisp and sweet, but in a pleasing manner. Dark fruits, malts that are caramelized with hints of toffee are balanced well with hops that are still on the grean side backed by a wooded or pine favor.
This beer is aggressive yes, with all that flavor an overhanging alcohol spices things up while the mouthfeel remains mild and the drinkability, very very smooth.
A great "05" for now { I think its ready } or later.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

Ripe pears, watermellon and other fruits, pine and hops, sweet caramel thick feeling malts and dominate alcohol aromas predict similar tastes. Balanced. A mighty11.26 abv that will lay you out for the remains of the day.
Respect it or expect to pay the price of its big number.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
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).

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Photo of crwills
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of tjd25
3.33/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A soft mattress of foam stands on a very pure mahogany color body. Quiet and silent. The smell I found a little less powerful than expected. The initial sweetness got more nutty and woody as the brew warmed. The taste was way more bitter than expected; martini was the closest thing to this brew. The finish was more like sucking on a tree, with light hints of liquorice. I also got a round malty feeling at this point, making circles in my mouth.
The mouthfeel, although extremely smooth, was a bit weak in my opinion, lacking some more robustness and consistency. Drinkability is kind of low. I'm not entirely convinced by this Stone interpretation of the style. Maybe it needs to age a little bit. Will put one in the cellar for in a few years.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of arguemaniac
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Probably one of the most drinkable barley wines I’ve ever had, but than again it might have mellowed out a bit having aged in my cellar for 11+ months. Heavy fruit aroma with a strong hint of alcohol. Fruit (mainly sweet raisin), caramel, a distinct alcohol bite, and a very crisp citrus hop bitterness. A somewhat syrupy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Excellent, man I wish I bought a few more of these. I’ve had quite a few barely wines this season but this one the best. When the hell is the 2006 coming out?! Highly Recommended.

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Photo of dgallina
3.63/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Winter 2005 edition. Sampled very young in April 2005.

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

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

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Photo of scooter231
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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Photo of IceAce
3.66/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

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Photo of xgrigorix
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown 22 ounce bottle.

Bronze hued elixer. Glowing chestnut, topped by a thin but sturdy off white head.

Wow! Intense bouquet of fruit aromas. Apples, strawberries, & melons. Slight whiffs of alcohol.

Sweet caramel laden malt. Somewhat fruity with an off dry finish, that is full of citrusy hop flavours. Distinct notes of plum open up as it warms. Full bodied, easy carbonation. Looking forward to cellaring some more of this tasty treat.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
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!

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

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

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