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
94
outstanding

119 Ratings
THE BROS
94
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
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Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlexJ
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Warm copper with a brilliant crimson cast and thin head of wheat-hued froth that has moderate retention and very light lace.

Aroma is deeply caramelized malt and rich toffee, it's almost creamy like creme brule'. There are layers of warm fruit cobbler and honeyed peaches offset by rustic hop notes of pine and earthy dried greens.

Flavor starts with chewy caramel and scorched toffee, vanilla, and golden raisins. It's hoppier than I anticipated, pine and cedar flooowed by grassy hay and light candied citrus. Balanced and complex, alcohol kick is warming, but not tasted.

Body is just below big, mildly carbonated and has a very creamy, soft texture. A classic and sophisticated example of the style, I really can't wait to try my 04 next!

Photo of mmmbeer
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I found this on the release date but waited until now to consume. 22 oz. served slightly chilled. Pours a reddish amber with a light tan, 1 finger head that leaves slight lacing and reduces to nothing by the end of the bomber (granted it did take almost 3 hours to finish). There is a slight cloudiness in the second pour. Smell is of malts - sweetness, bubblegum, diacetyl, with a bit of piney/perfumy hops and alcohol. Ridiculous amounts of malts on the palate, contributing notes of dark fruits, caramel, diacetyl, chocolate, and molasses. Hops (piney/perfumy/some citric) keep trying to overtake the malts but fail. However, the bitterness of the hops is substantial and lingers forever, reminding you of the "tons of hops" they used to balance the "whole buncha barley" the label touts. Mouthfeel is perfect. The beer is so chewy I feel like I'm not taking sips, but bites from the glass. The alcohol content is bittersweet - one bomber gets you nice and buzzed but because of this the drinkability is reduced. I need to age a bottle or two to see what happens.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"limited winter 2005 release"

appearance: served in my great lakes chalice, bright clear amber-orange body, cream white head with light retention

smell: pine sap, thick caramel malts, honey, dark fruits, orange peel

taste; for being almost 6 years old, this beer still has a tight flavor profile. the citrus hops are gone but sticky pine remains, along with lots of honey, bitter orange peel, caramel, booze. I was worried this may have passed its prime, but it's still on point

mouthfeel: rich, creamy medium body, moderate bitterness in the finish

drinkability: good

Photo of arguemaniac
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of Wildman
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally received this year's version of Guardian. It poured a clear dark amber color and formed a nice light tan bubbly head that left circular lace as it subsided. An aroma of heavy on the malt, hops, caramel and citrus. The flavor was of malt, caramel and some pine. The finish was a touch astrigent. Usually Stone's barley wines taste a bit raw and need some aging to mellow them out. While this is true of this year's as well, it seems more drinkable young than previous years.

Photo of gford217
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Bierman9
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!
Prosit!!

overall: 4.3
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)

Prosit!!

795

Photo of clvand0
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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.

Photo of arizcards
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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!

Photo of Sephiroth
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of Derek
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Perhaps I should've waited another couple months for it to be 3 years old!

A: Amber-copper, light tan hfead, some retention, nice leg/lacing. Exceptional for its strength & age.

S: Bold, bitter hop aroma is resiny & slightly herbal. Sherry-like alcohol, toffee, cotton-candy fruity esters,

T: With almost 3 years in the cellar, it's still very hop-forward with an assertive bitterness. The piney, resiny hops meld with the fruity ale esters and the toffee, nutty, biscuity malt flavours. Slight vanilla and sherry. The alcohol is very warming, but not at all harsh.

M: Moderate body is smooth & creamy, with a definite hop acidity. Modest carbonation. Very well-attenuated considering it's strength, but it's not too dry.

D: Big & bold.

Photo of srandycarter
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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!

Photo of beerpadawan
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev 0%

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.

Photo of crwills
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of DrJay
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this one up last winter in San Diego, so I managed to hold on to it for almost 10 months. Bright coppery orange colour with a fine tan head that reduced to a thin layer of bubbles. Plenty of lacing, and this lastest throughout. Fairly mild aroma with lots of malt, caramel, graham crackers and a bit of fruit. The flavour was well balanced between malt and hop bitterness, with a definite caramel character and a hint of pine. Alcohol comes forward at the end, along with a bit of warmth. Carbonation was on the low side of average, the body was on the full side of medium, and there was just a hint of stickiness. I found this to be a well-balanced brew, mellowed somewhat with the alcohol nicely integrated into the character. I'm looking forward to 2006.

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!

Photo of bruachan
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bought 'er at arrowine in arlington, but for some reason never tasted of the fruit

at first i thought the head was going to be a total dud but a little aggression in the pour and we've got a nice bone-colored fluff up there. underneath, however, is the gods' work. the beer is a brilliant deep ruby with an ever-so-slight amber tint. the head dimishes but never leaves the room

i think if i were to choose a color to fit the aroma it would be the one that sits in my glass. rich malt aromas: butterscotch, caramel, sweet bread

and then the can of kickass opens. it's huge! peach (peach!?), butterscotch. i would have expected hops to have more of a role—the bitterness is nothing to scoff at, but at the same time it's not all that intense—but malt is mos def the focus here. fruity, caramelly, cranberry (without the natural tartness)

it's complex, yet so simple

Photo of cbl2
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

Appearance:

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.

Aroma:

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

Taste/Mouthfeel:

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.

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.

Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear and bright orange/red, medium but thick white head forms, some very pretty lacing. Smell is nice and malty, carmael, grass, citrus/floral hops, alcohol, vanilla oak, and spice. Taste is caramel, pine/floral hops, vanilla, little bit of alcohol, and a clean rich, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium to high bodied, with low carbonation. This bastard has been aging for almost a year, very smooth and controlled, excellent barleywine. Thanks DrJay!

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.