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 SteveO1231
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Popped a bottle of the "05" after being cellared about a year.

Pours a hazy dark copper, a little off-white head that disappears as soon as you pour. Minimal lacing.

Complex aroma, a fruitiness of citrus fruit and cherries and currants mixed with a big caramel and herbal smell.

Light taste at first with a thick syrupy texture, strong metallic caramel flavor moves in and finishes with a pine tar, grassy bitter hoppiness. This beer's full flavor really comes out almost bourbon-like as it warms, the malty sweetness really comes out. The ABV warms me up.

Good beer, very strong, a sipper.

Cheers! (613 characters)

Photo of palliko
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't want to get personal, so I won't mention any names - but to the beeradvocate.com member who rated this beer badly because someone said it "tasted like cough syrup" - I just have a question - "What brand? I will switch immediately to that brand of cough syrup!" I WISH cough syrup tasted like Old Guardian! This is great beer. I reviewed it last year, and my opinion is even higher this year. To my friend Marty Saylor at Stone - you guys rock!
Everyone else has described the beer beautifully - color, taste, etc. So let me just add - decide for yourself - if you like Arrogant Bastard, you are worthy to taste Old Guardian and you will like it. Period. (663 characters)

Photo of rkhaze
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My goodness. I've had their Barleywine for the last few years and have no posted reviews or notes! What was I, drunk?...or Stoned?
Sorry about the pun.
Here we go. Found at Bevmo in Walnut Creek on 1/24. 7 days before the official release date?
Pours a nice copper color with a small, large bubbled head. You can tell this is a thick mutha by the way the few carbonation bubbles slowly struggle to the top.
Mouth watering smells. Big sweet malt, caramel, orange citrus fruits. On the hop side, its fresh, clean and resinous.The alcohol is certainly present but works well in the whole. Almost a brandy presence to it.
Taste is big and rich. Tangy, citrusy and bittersweet flavors. The malt seems a little sweeter and it picks up a toffee flavor with a hint of nut, vanilla and a wisp of smoke. Had some nuances like it could have been aged in bourbon barrels including that rare coconut like taste. The hops charge in to balance this bad boy and do an exceptional job. Citrusy and resinous. Great melding of huge flavors and alcohol. This is certainly drinkable now but I think would improve with a year of aging to mellow the alcohol a bit more.
Rich, yet surprisingly light bodied all things considered. Full, viscous and slightly oily mouthfeel.
Outstanding drinkability for such a huge beer. Another top notch beer from Stone! Get some, drink some, age some. (1,369 characters)

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap @ O'Brien's. 2005 vintage. Consumed summer 2006. The aroma was very light. The flavors are similar to the '04 but a bit brighter. There was malt, molasses, a hint of toffee and a full dark fruitiness flavor. Wow, good stuff. I love when beer bars hold back or can get vintage kegs. YES. (293 characters)

Photo of Sephiroth
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I thought one bottle was all I would ever find. When I found two more tonight, I decided to celebrate by drinking the first one. This beer looks kind of like that tree sap that they found those mosquitos in during that movie Jurassic Park. That is it pours a lovely, deep amber color. It has a small beige head that maintains itself at a slight level. The nose is of juicy grapefruits, piney hops, and alcohol.

The taste is quite unlike what I had expected. It is hoppy in a juicy sweet IIPA way, not in a crushingly bitter way. This is great for being so young. The malt is already well developed, but the hops are what standout. Dark fruits are followed by grapefruit hops. The mouthfeel is thick and coating. I hope I still taste this next week. Drinkability is good, but one bomber is enough for tonight. I hope the other two age well. (843 characters)

Photo of quasimoto
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pouerd nice copper color with a little tan head. It didnt stick around long, and didn't lace. The aromas are of a bananaish caramel. Also it reminds me if General mills made a peanut butter version of it's grape nuts cereal. It also has hops of a sort of citusly nature. They are not strong at all, they are hidden by thre malt mask.
The taste starts off with The hops that are apparant right up front and quickly surround the caramel malts with a high bitterness. There is a background of smoke and some paper in there.
The mouthfeel is kinda sharp and bitey due to the hops. It might also be because this is cold. There is a follow up of high alcohol. It leaves the mouth dry, but after a second it gets real gummy.
Overall Drinkability of this barley wine is middle of the road. It just doesn't seem balanced to me. Then again I havent drank a lot of barleywines. (876 characters)

Photo of Shiredave
3.12/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

It's rare that I write a review of a beer I didnt enjoy, and even rarer I dislike a beer from Stone, but this years Old Guardian resulted in both. On tap at Mahars in Albany, I tried OG after an Old Engine Oil and before a Bigfoot 2005, which I enjoyed far more.

The color was a deep, murky amber with a thin whisp of tawny head. Carbonation, if any, was not visable thru the protien haze.

Aroma was Hot with higher alcohols and a snootfull of gooey, malty stewed fruit. Spicey hop notes are in the mix but overshadowed by the massive caramel malt blast. The intense nose made me dive in, fully expecting the same intensity in flavor.

Flavor is certainly intense, but WAY over the top. If there is balance here, it was lost on me due to the huge alcohol presence from first sip to the long slow burn after swallowing. Very tasty, thick, fruity malt flavors coat the mouth as super strong boil hops just pummel the palate with bitterness that was too strong to be pleasent for me- and I Love hoppy beers- and west coast Barley wines in particular. I havent tried a bottle yet, and maybe they are a bit mellower, but the keg beer was too "over done" for my liking. Why do these brewers release these beers before they are ready? This, to me, is just way too raw and green.

Mouth feel was slick and heavy, full bodied and rockingly alcoholic. I am more impressed with strong beers that manage to hide the alcohol till the finish. Alcohol is most certainly there at the finish in this one and loong aftewards.
This is a good ( bad?) example of US brewers pushing the envelope too far. Its relatively easy to keep throwing stuff in the brew kettle and comming up with a massive beer. Its not so easy to make a fine, warming, balanced BW that doesnt wreck both palate and brain cells. I hope my OG 2005 bottle ages into something better. I may have to save it for 5+ years tho. (1,885 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 UncleFlip
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Honey-orange, hazy- wht a one-finger off white head, combination of loose and tight bubbles. Head disapates at medium pace, eventually disapppearing altogether.

On the nose, we have storng malt with tones of fresh orange and banana, with a bit of spice, and a permeating licorice-like alcohol.

The flavour has a strong spice right up front, followed by a very woody maltiness, which is punched out by a quick hit of black licorice right at the end. There's nothing inhere that screams hop, but that's OK... This one's very nice..

There's a tight carbonation throughout, over a medium liquid. Very pleasant.

I don't find most high gravity beers this drinkable. The alcohol is not so noticeable that it drives you away. It senaks up on you the next morning after you've crawled to Cleveland. I could down this oen all night, and get into a LOT of trouble.

Be well
-UF (881 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 pjwilson
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

appearance: beatiful copper color...head vanishes within seconds
smell: maltly with some alcohol ...not much hops
taste: much blander than i thought it would be....it's Stone so i expected alot of hops but are very little in the taste....the aftertaste is bitter though...Tastes like a very smooth burbon almost....(sips). yeah it certainly does....

drinkablitly is very low... about the same as scotch...it took me a good 3 hours to finish a 22 when i was in a chill out mood...
a decent tasting beer but i've had many better barley wines...least best offering i've had from stone (588 characters)

Photo of gbontrag
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Orange-ruby glass. I didn't expect such a gentle nose, not that it's weak; I get blossoms of fruit and geraniums, fruit concentrates, fruit liquer. Mouthfeel strikes first - like drinking fresh strawberry kefir; it's bubbly, fermented milk.
This is what high alcohol beer is supposed to taste like. The alcohol is part of the palate. It boosts the sharpness of the refined hop character which smoothly rides the creamy grain moguls like Jeremy Bloom winning 6 straight world cup events. (487 characters)

Photo of coasterfreak75
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The pour was a dark copper bordering on red with a two finger head that dissapated and left a thin white lace on top of the beer.

The smell was heavy with alchohol tones but also hidden in the rear of the nose was malt and a complex fruit smell. Almost an apricot/date mix.

The drink started with a slight alchohol warming quickly followed by a rush of malt and fruit flavors. The finish was another hit of alchohol heat followed by an unexpected kick of lingering hops.

One of if not the best example of barley wine I've ever tried. Still not a beer for beginners but well worth a try. (595 characters)

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
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 (949 characters)

Photo of BeerFink
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decanting this potent brew reveals a hazy reddish color with an off-white head that likes to stick around. Citrous hops sporting a little spiciness attempt to break up the sticky malty aroma, but have a harder time at it as the beer warms. Some sweet caramel and slight alcohol lend their weight to the divine aroma. Hot damn, is this drinkable for a barleywine. Huge malt bill enhanced by strong caramel goes down creamy and smooth. Hops are present in their spiciness, also presenting a bit of citrous and pine. Finish is very warm with alcohol, mixed with a heavenly blend of sweet caramel and piney citrous hops. Good lord, is this drinkable for 11.26% abv. I would enjoy cellaring a few of these bad boys, but drinking them now is not a chore, either. (756 characters)

Photo of Wadsey
3.1/5  rDev -26%
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.  (1,085 characters)

Photo of nvsblman
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich amber colored with a light head. Smells of sweet malt, citrusy hops, toffee, brown sugar. A little lighter aroma than I remembered with the '04 version. The taste is full of biscuity malt, oak, caramel, citrus. Also noticing some raisins. Strong alcohol flavor that I know will die down with age. Very creamy and full mouthfeel. Surprisingly smooth for the alcohol content. Looking forward to trying this again with some age on it! (436 characters)

Photo of JackStraw22
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark orange, almost red body. Head was so-so, but a good amount of bubbles feeding the top. Huge sweetness in the nose, a bit of a bublegum aroma. Hops are there, same as Double Bastard? A small bit of alcohol can be sniffed. Great taste! Very balanced for a barleywine, quite smooth across the pallate. Hops are evenly distributed in both aroma/flavor and bitterness. Very Nice, have a bottle to cellar for a while too, looking forward to it. (443 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 oxmasterscream
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, irredescent orange. Unbelievable color. Just a small film of head.
Smell is super fruity with a touch of spice. Smells like it's all malt. Some sweet butter, maple syrup and carmelized sugar in there.
Taste is much the same. The sweet and spicy thing is in full-effect but it's combatted by a solid bittering at the finish. Other flavors: cherries, vanillia, and waffles smothered in maple syrup.
Mouth is luscious and full with minimal carbonation; a bit syrupy. Really nice on the tongue.
Drinkability – Damn, why'd I only buy one?! Stuff is really enjoyable. (573 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 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 vladtheimpaler
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a perfect brilliant clear orange into my Duvel glass with a nice light tan head. You can smell sticky malt in the aroma, with a hint of hops, alcohol, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Big malty flavor, with a good American hop bite. The alcohol comes through the nostrels. The hops linger. This is fantastic. A cross between an Amercan barley wine and an English barley wine. And this is a big beer that belongs in a big glass. (430 characters)

Photo of axisjones
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (1,119 characters)

Photo of imblane
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow! This beer is massive as is to be expected from Stone. Lots of sweet malt backbone, with the hoppiness coming through in the end, but this beer is young! It has unlimited potential, but will be much more drinkable in 6 months or so. I love the appearance and aroma as it is right now. The 11.26% is well hidden, unlike the Old
Crustacean from Rogue, in which the abv% is readily apparent. Good as it sits right now, but should be a top notch BW in 6-12 months!!

2/25/06
I thought this would be better after a year, but I think it was best about 6 mos ago. Still, smoooth as can be but I am a hophead and the first thing to go in the aging process is the sharp hop bite. Overall though, this is starting to mellow nicely and has not got malty just yet. I think it will take on that character in a few more months. Nice... (830 characters)

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