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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
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
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 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

dirtylou, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage Old Guardian

Had this out of a snifter at Holiday Wine Cellar's special event for San Diego Beer Week 2010: "Stone Vintage Archives & Decadent Chocolate Pairings" hosted by Dr. Bill Sysack of Stone Brewing. Paired with North Park's Eclipse Chocolat - Pumpkin Muscavado Truffle.

A: Pours a reddish/copper hue with a decent head and tons of thick lace from start to finish.

S: Earthy fruit, sweet and malty, finishing a bit boozy.

T: Booze up front that is balanced quickly by sweet malt, the hop that was missing in the nose comes through in the flavor nicely with the booziness mellowing as it warmed up a bit.

M: Medium to full-bodied, sticky but not syrupy at all with mellow carbonation giving it an overall smooth mouthfeel.

D: Wow - enjoyed this one a lot, but man it's only tolerable in small amounts. Heavy duty sh*t here! My wife had a sip of hers and passed it my way, which I appreciated, but I was good after her and my tastings...granted this is not my preferred style.

DeanMoriarty, Nov 27, 2010
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!

srandycarter, Sep 20, 2010
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.

gford217, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of asabreed
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy and very hazy. Lighter from the bottom to the darker top. Darker brown top and a lighter copper orange at the bottom. Pretty color overall, but little lacing and only a few thick drops cling to the bulb part of the glass. The color and depth save this one on the eyes.

Smell: Orange peel soaked in honey and drizzled caramel. There's also some leafy citrus hop presence, orange marmalade, and a lot of raisins. In addition, there's a nice peppery and spicy presence from the hops.

Taste: Chocolate nibs soaked in orange marmalade and drizzled with honey. Can't believe it's held up this well, especially considering the spicy and pungent hop presence. Fruit esters are mostly citrus, and there's some raisins and possibly figs in the mix. As it warms, the hop presence is still, seemingly miraculously, extremely strong and lingering, especially for this being five years old.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly rich and creamy, with good full and prickly carbonation, which was completely unexpected. Doesn't remain cloying at all, which is also surprising.

Drinkability: I wonder how long this could hold up. I'd say for at least a few more years, and that's what bumps this up from my originally planned half-lower rating. A pretty awesome brew overall, and I hope to try more vintages in the future. I'm sure they all bring some great characteristics to the table.

asabreed, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of Vancer
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review 1600, time for one from the cellar.

Oh man oh man, what a classic brew - pure amber pour, even after the years the ivory head still materializes in the Corsendonk tulip.

Perfect barleywine aroma of orange liquor, sweet malt and caramel. I can tell this is gonna be good. And yes it is, sweet lip smacking bubble gum of thick orange booze, but no alcohol bite to be found. This is like drinking an orange cognac that's been aged for 10 years.

A very good brew, now gone forever. Bummer there.

Vancer, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

LordAdmNelson, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a lightly cloudy orangish color with a small white head. Nose is nice and malty, chewy caramel, with some of the floral and ctirus notes still hanging in there. Taste is caramel, deep and malty, mellow and damn tasty with pine/floral notes and it was not near as hot as a nw release OG. Still had good carbonation and this barleywine was down right excellent! OG is one of the best aging bwines I have found to date.

barleywinefiend, May 03, 2009
Photo of bovinecrusader
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

[On tap @ Naja's Vertical Barleywines. Cheers to you, Martin)

Pours a gilded, brassy note..almost TOO shiny, as one feels inexorably compelled to drink it. Sand-colored head immediately dissipates with a soft off-white sheen.

Mouthfeel? Uber-creaminess front-to-mid palate, but finishes with just enough lifting Fruitcake spice to warn you of its underlying indulgence.

Huge: brandy soaked apricots, undercooked/overspiced ginger bread, and spruce-tip-infused hops bitterness.

Drinkability? Its like liquid peer pressure emanating from a glass. Truly a testament to aging, and its benefits upon Beerdom.

bovinecrusader, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

BigMcLargeHuge, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great beer, but considering this is a Stone brew, I was hoping for a little more. For starters, this is a golden barleywine, peach colored with a slight red tinge. No head unfortunately, but that happens with this much alcohol. The aroma of of sweet, syrupy pineapple and peach juice, like from the canned fruit with grass and fresh ground black pepper. The flavor matches much of the aroma but with more spicy citrus rind and doughy malt for balance. The aftertaste focuses on the spicy hops and reminds me of Italian cooking spices for their earthy taste. The body and weight are reasonably heavy for this type of beer. Finishing a bomber is no trouble, as long as you're sharing. Good beer.

tempest, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of Overlord
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copperish amber. About a half an inch of white head. Delicious sweet smell.

It could be the age, or this may be a sweeter beer to begin with. Loads of sweet malt, lighter citrus, and tropical notes. The hop content is very muted, with some grapefruit juice mingled with the thick, syrupy mouthfeel.

Very uncharacteristic of stone. I like! Dangerously drinkable. Doubt this will cross my path again, though.

Overlord, May 06, 2008
Photo of Floydster
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Floydster, Jan 30, 2008
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.

Derek, Nov 17, 2007
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!

AlexJ, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of Phatz
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2005. Consumed April 2007. DIVINE!!!!

Appearance: Exudes from the bottle majestic and emanating with class sophistication and beauty right from the start. A brown laced with shimmers of gold and orange, magnificent clarity and big fluffy head that has good retention.

Smell: Boozy sticky malt, and sweet juicy ripe fruit with a resinous hop oil undertone, grace the nasal cavity and induce salivating.

Taste: Sweet as a bottle of schnapps and warm as brandy, very soft pineapple, caramel, and hop resin that sneaks up from underneath the sweetness and gently coats the cheeks so after the swallow you remember it was there. Magnificent! Nicely aged.

Mouthfeel: Soft but full body with mild hop bitterness and slight alcohol sting.

Drinkability: This is a sipping beer. It will take several hours of pure bliss to get through, but loving every moment.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Apr 04, 2007
Photo of Zorro
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle I have held on too for a long time.

This is now a thick copper colored ale with no head formation

The smell is sweet and fruity and still quite strongly hoppy to the nose. Aromas of alcohol and black pepper, fig, cherry, chocolate and rum.

The taste begins sweet and bitter with a nice toffee after taste. This is still quite a strongly flavored beer mostly fruit, wood and hop bitterness. The main flavor defect here is that the hop bitterness is still strong enough to cover up the more subtle flavors. This can still age some more before hitting its peak flavor.

The mouthfeel is thick.

Drinkability is good but not great. This is a beer that still needs some aging to hit its peak of flavor. At present the hop bitterness is covering up flavors, my guess is in two more years this will be at its peak of flavor.

Zorro, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
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).

BlindPig, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of biegaman
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Grub for this one!
January 2005 Bomber sampled September 2006. The good year and half under its belt certainly didn't hurt it!
A beautiful (I use that word appropriately) appearence. Head at a decent level but would diminish slowly through the course. Clearly enough to cross out any doubts of oxidization. It glowed a hazed ruby colour. Hoppy West Coast (typical Stone) aroma. So ever satisfying, no one does hops quite like Stone. Heavy mouthfeel, the hops add density. Warming boozy notes on the middle and finish. Really, an ultimate barleywine. Enough malt to keep things grounded, something alot of these hop monsters overlook. Largely filling. Booze, hops and excellent compliment of malt. Pushes to the back of the mouth and warms the throat. Alcohol, otherwise well contained. Increasingly coudy (and tasty) as sediment was poured in from the bottom of the bottle. Such crisp, floral hops. Just incredible. Stone is a brewery that lives up to its reputation. I would love to have a bomber (or 2) and put myself to sleep.

biegaman, Sep 14, 2006
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.

crwills, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of grub
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

tasting party sept 11/06 with northyorksammy, crwills, biegaman and me (grub). everyone threw in a few bottles and we had an interesting mix of beer and mead. this one was contributed by me. jan 2005 old guardian, purchased in dec 2005 and in my cellar since then.

pours a nice deep golden colour with ruby highlights. big off white head.

aroma is excellent. rich caramel and malt with a little lingering sweetness. alcohol starts to show itself a little

taste is great. caramel and toffee. nice level of bitterness. alcohol comes through a bit in the end, but is very well balanced by the maltyness and bitterness. definitely doesn't tastes like it's 11.26% ABV.

mouthfeel is great. moderate carbonation and great body.

drinkability is also excellent. the balance between the malt/hops/alcohol is right on. this one has mellowed and meshed together really well. glad i held onto this bottle for a while. you could easily polish this off on your own because it's so damn good.

grub, Sep 12, 2006
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.

cbl2, Aug 02, 2006
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

bruachan, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of MuddyFeet
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a year ago and aged since. This beer rocks.

Poured a vibrant orange-tarnish in color. Kind of like an old piece of rock candy you find under the bed after it has aged. Slight scuzzy head that dissolved into a almost invisible film. Nose is maple sugar candies, hops and apricots. Very sweet.

Chewy and hoppy. All sots of sweetness up front, in the middle and up from behind. And on top if it all were such chewy, juicy hops. This beer has not faded at all in a year and has improved in my opinion. Candd sugar, sugared raisins and dried apricots. Quite a bit of heat from the alcohol and it even burned a bit on top of the bitterness. Kind of a smack. Full body and expressive flavors. Thick and just almost syrupy. Such a nice slow-sipping, enjoyable beer. Wish I had another bottler downstairs.

MuddyFeet, Mar 16, 2006
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!

arizcards, Mar 05, 2006
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.