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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

119 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 119
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.18%
Wants: 10
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 01-26-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | 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
Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Sammy, May 14, 2005
Photo of Shiredave
3.08/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

Shiredave, May 13, 2005
Photo of Gusler
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Every year I wait for one of my favorite Stone beers to hit the shelf, of course this one hit while I was under the weather, so it got pushed back in a corner of the DBF. The beer as it emerges from the 22 ounce brown bottle a tralucent deep copper color, the head is mastodonic in size and spumescent in texture, after it slowly fades to nothingness, the lace forms a tight girdle to surround the glass. The aroma of sweet malt, over ripe fruit, hops, cotton candy all occupy the nose, what a treat, start is sweet with a thick grain profile and the top middling to full in its feel to the palate. Finish is delectably acidic and the hop potent in their spiciness, and the 11. 26 percent ABV makes itself know in the tummy warming and the alcohol bitterness in the very dry aftertaste, Another splendid vintage that will age nicely.

"bonum beer laetificat cor hominis"

Gusler, May 12, 2005
Photo of Troyone
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Troyone, May 07, 2005
Photo of dgallina
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

dgallina, May 01, 2005
Photo of Wonka
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Wonka, Apr 19, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

TheLongBeachBum, Apr 18, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Hibernator, Apr 18, 2005
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.

meathookjones, Apr 15, 2005
Photo of WesWes
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

WesWes, Apr 14, 2005
Photo of nvsblman
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

nvsblman, Apr 08, 2005
Photo of HogHill
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

HogHill, Apr 02, 2005
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.

chilidog, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of oxmasterscream
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

oxmasterscream, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
4.08/5  rDev -4%
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.

kmpitz2, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of UncleJimbo
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

UncleJimbo, Mar 29, 2005
Photo of merlin48
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

merlin48, Mar 25, 2005
Photo of Bierguy5
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Bierguy5, Mar 16, 2005
Photo of BrewMaster
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

BrewMaster, Mar 12, 2005
Photo of palliko
4.25/5  rDev 0%
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.

palliko, Mar 09, 2005
Photo of xgrigorix
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

xgrigorix, Mar 09, 2005
Photo of gbontrag
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

gbontrag, Mar 05, 2005
Photo of John1985
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

John1985, Mar 03, 2005
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.

karst, Mar 01, 2005
Photo of Todd
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Todd, Mar 01, 2005
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.