1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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 Phatz
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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 13, 2006
Photo of grub
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%

22 oz. bomber picked up at Brooklyn Beer and Soda.

Poured very lightly with minimal head. Plenty of bubbles floating up to the surface to create an soda like effect. The body was a deep but completely clear copper color.

The nose was light on the olfactory. The flavors were well rounded and melded into eachother rather than jumping out at you. There were some candy, caramel slight apple, hints of alcohol in every other whiff or so or with a healthy twist of the wrist. Slightly medicinal end with a smidge of piney hops.

The taste was very forgiving for the enormous alcohol content and the aging. Plenty of robust alcohol melting into waves of pine hops, vanilla and perhaps a hint of bourbon in the finish. Aftertaste was a combination of raw hops that did a number on the back of my tongue and a healthy warming alcohol that went to my nose and stoked the embers in my throat.

Mouthfeel was pretty typical for a barley-wine. Slightly raw and battering with not too much carbonation but a little roughness around the edges.

Very good beer and one to sip on a chill evening such as this. Cheers!

GreatPondBrewer, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of SteveO1231
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%

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!

SteveO1231, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of arguemaniac
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

arguemaniac, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of dick783
4.95/5  rDev +16.5%

A: Took this 22oz bomber up from the 50 deg celler and poured it into my snifter glass. Holding it up to a white sheet of paper it just has this brilliant red color to it. Looks exeptional!

S: Potent smell, the room just fill with the smell of this beast just from pouring it. Its got a deliciously malty aroma to it. Butterscotch and caramel come trhough. The sweet candy like smell of this actually makes my mouth water.

T: Simply unreal! Sweet upfront with a bit of bitterness at the end. The alcohol is there but is well masked and not over powering in the least.

M: The carbonation is good but I feel like the beer could have been a little fuller, a bit more round. Its still excelent though.

Overall this is the one of the best barley wines I've had to date. Having one of these just makes you want to try more of the style, and now that the snow is finally here I think I will be doing just that.

dick783, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of DrJay
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

DrJay, Dec 21, 2005
Photo of Dicahomebrewing
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%

One of my favorite beers ever...i have to say. A rich copper color with a great lacing head.

Smell of hops and berries, with alcohol present.

Mouthfeel is smooth and rich with a great after taste. Wonderful going down and after a few it will creep up on you.

I Highly recomend this beer to everyone to enjoy now or age.
I have a few ageing at this time. Very tempted to drink them but i'll wait for a while.

Overall great brew by stone. Very drinkable for a barleywine at 11%.

Dicahomebrewing, Dec 15, 2005
Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%

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!

Viggo, Dec 07, 2005
Photo of OStrungT
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.

OStrungT, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%

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!

orbitalr0x, Nov 25, 2005
Photo of scooter231
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%

Very pretty beer- a deep, rich amber color with a large frothy white head and delicate lacing around the glass. Drink me, it cries. Smells very rich- chocolatey, some coffee, some sweetness, dark fruits, malty, with a lightly roasted tinge at the end.

Tastes delicious- sweet. Red wine flavors going on, along with more coffee, followed by some pine, bitterness, and big bready maltyness. Delicious, I say. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, and super smooth and creamy with just the right amount of bubbles.

Dangerously drinkable, very sneaky 11%- another lovely job well done by Stone.

scooter231, Nov 20, 2005
Photo of coasterfreak75
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%

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.

coasterfreak75, Oct 23, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Very, very smooth, especially for a brew that's so young and begs for aging.
Somewhere between a sipper and a guzzler.
The sweetness here flirts with being too much but holds on to being tasty.
A luxurious experience all around; I intend to cellar some, assuming I can resist the urge to open the bottles.
The alcohol is well used.
Not as hoppy as the 2004 Old Guardian... maltier in flavor profile.
Impressive all around.
Classier than it is badass.
Still pretty badass.

ommegangpbr, Oct 07, 2005
Photo of UncleFlip
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

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

UncleFlip, Oct 07, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
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.

GClarkage, Sep 18, 2005
Photo of quasimoto
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.

quasimoto, Sep 09, 2005
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.