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:  Latest | 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 nvsblman
nvsblman

Arizona

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!

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2005 21:28:15 | More by nvsblman
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 01:11:13 | More by Derek
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

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!

Serving type: growler

09-20-2010 01:15:58 | More by srandycarter
Photo of beerpadawan
beerpadawan

California

4.25/5  rDev 0%

08-27-2012 14:43:38 | More by beerpadawan
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev 0%

12-08-2013 05:24:11 | More by BillRoth
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev 0%

02-25-2013 02:19:59 | More by t0rin0
Photo of palliko
palliko

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2005 21:21:54 | More by palliko
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2005 16:43:15 | More by clvand0
Photo of xgrigorix
xgrigorix

Michigan

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2005 18:18:39 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

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!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2006 00:38:12 | More by arizcards
Photo of Sephiroth
Sephiroth

Indiana

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2005 04:36:06 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

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

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2005 18:25:03 | More by Bierman9
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

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!

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 03:47:04 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

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

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 21:32:22 | More by dirtylou
Photo of arguemaniac
arguemaniac

Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2006 06:53:29 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of Wildman
Wildman

Ohio

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2005 01:28:20 | More by Wildman
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2010 02:16:55 | More by gford217
Photo of mmmbeer
mmmbeer

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2005 06:47:08 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of Todd
Todd

Colorado

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2005 06:54:09 | More by Todd
Photo of asabreed
asabreed

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 22:15:06 | More by asabreed
Photo of kmo1030
kmo1030

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured in my snifter slightly hazy ruby brown with a tan head.
the smell consists of brown sugar, molasses, dark ripe fruits some, pears, strawberry, apple blossom, with some caramel behind it all.
the taste is hugely complex with a nutty caramel molasses flavor, with light ripe pear, apple and berries. has a little bit of a baked apple pie effect. herbal hop bitterness shows ups strong with some lighter citrus hops. a little later on i find a soft tea flavor coming out along with a good dose of bitter baking chocolate. the bitterness at the back of the palate is just right lending a lot to this beer.
very full bodied with light carbonation. very, very nice. good drinkability, but more than one bottle could definitely be a bit much for the palate.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2005 20:29:53 | More by kmo1030
Photo of LordAdmNelson
LordAdmNelson

Ohio

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 04:27:30 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

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.

Serving type: growler

05-05-2008 23:36:07 | More by Overlord
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
BigMcLargeHuge

Arizona

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2008 02:56:55 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

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!

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2007 00:02:48 | More by AlexJ
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.