Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 - Stone Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.88/5 rDev -8.7%
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.
05-20-2005 07:52:30 | More by axisjones
3.88/5 rDev -8.7%
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
02-20-2005 04:56:15 | More by bigbeerdrinka
3.88/5 rDev -8.7%
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.
02-13-2005 19:25:56 | More by mattcrill
3.83/5 rDev -9.9%
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.
11-29-2005 00:37:52 | More by OStrungT
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
3.7/5 rDev -12.9%
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.
02-24-2005 07:06:39 | More by crookedhalo
3.7/5 rDev -12.9%
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.
03-12-2005 22:03:59 | More by BrewMaster
3.7/5 rDev -12.9%
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.
02-09-2005 17:05:49 | More by IceAce
3.65/5 rDev -14.1%
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.
05-01-2005 06:10:51 | More by dgallina
3.58/5 rDev -15.8%
09/18/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA
Presentation- 22oz bomber with no freshness dates. Limited winter 2005 release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.
Appearance- Amber-gold, almost brandy-esque coloring. 1/2 inch super creamy white head. Limited lacing.
Smell- Super sweet caramel scent. Cherries aged in oak as well.
Taste- Has this been aged in oak? Very hoppy background as assumed with all Stone brews. Not really any cherry flavors detected. If any, maybe it's cherry soaked in alcohol and then covered in dark chocolate. Huge, and I mean huge caramel taste. Doesn't have the sweetness as expected though considering.
Mouthfeel- Medium to lower carbonation. Super bitter on the pallete.
Drinkability- Hopefully the '04 will impress me a bit more. Not bad, but it may need a bit more aging. A bit more sweetness would have made it more drinkable.
***Aged bottle consumed February '08.
Has become very very caramely. Flavors of vanilla and cream. Almost english barleywine flavored. Extrememly drinkable. This beer was a "5" on taste...almost 5's across the board to be honest.
09-18-2005 16:36:37 | More by GClarkage
3.55/5 rDev -16.5%
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
02-19-2005 04:40:24 | More by pjwilson
3.53/5 rDev -16.9%
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.
04-06-2012 18:30:55 | More by drabmuh
District of Columbia
3.53/5 rDev -16.9%
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.
03-31-2012 17:39:28 | More by Huhzubendah
3.48/5 rDev -18.1%
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.
09-09-2005 01:13:06 | More by quasimoto
3.33/5 rDev -21.6%
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.
02-19-2005 21:36:51 | More by tjd25
3.08/5 rDev -27.5%
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.
05-13-2005 17:01:19 | More by Shiredave
3.03/5 rDev -28.7%
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.
04-03-2012 11:26:19 | More by Thorpe429
3.03/5 rDev -28.7%
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.
09-06-2011 12:11:41 | More by Wadsey
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.