Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
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%.
12-15-2005 18:28:20 | More by Dicahomebrewing
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!
12-07-2005 04:19:13 | More by Viggo
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
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!
11-25-2005 03:47:04 | More by orbitalr0x
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.
11-20-2005 22:04:04 | More by scooter231
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.
10-23-2005 01:28:34 | More by coasterfreak75
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.
10-07-2005 08:07:44 | More by ommegangpbr
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.
10-07-2005 03:01:20 | More by UncleFlip
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
3.48/5 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
4/5 rDev -5.9%
This beer poured a clear opaque, reddish hue with tiny white tan head that died quickly.
Nose was a mix of rich malt, all malt, a little more malt, with a very mild, almost German bock smelling hop touch.
Taste was big and very thick. Barley, barley, barley and some alcohol make up the taste of this baby. A surprisingly subdued hop taste. There is however a decent sized hop bitterness that balances well against the big malt taste. More of an English style barley wine, with just faint hints of a spicy/pine hop flavor.
Not your normal Stone Hop attack of a beer, just a classic style barley wine. Went well with some stilton and sharp cheddar.
08-31-2005 17:04:04 | More by taez555
4.03/5 rDev -5.2%
Very attractive dark orange tinted bronze with a semi-dull clarity. The cap is ivory colored, small, compact, and loosely set, doesn't keep for too long, but leaves a ton of thin glazing sheets of lace.
Aroma is of caramel covered pears and melons soaked in rum. Understated hops to this one with just a hinting of floral resin hop oilyness intwined in an alcoholic heat.
Taste is quite mild. Medium malts with a full fronting caramel and fruityness favoring a bit of tropical flavors. Pineapple, pear, melon, dates, and a mish-mash of rummy/whiskey malt-like malting and warmth. Actually, this is quite a warm belly full. Slight pine and hop heat with a tiny floral edge add some depth to its finish. Warm and long standing finish of heat easing off with touches of the caramel laced with the floral hop tend to keep a solid position on the palate, in the throat, and down into the belly.
Feel is about medium and less substantial then most other Stone brews I've encountered. Not quite as beefy or big. A little more loose and free in this one. Still has that inevitable creamy smoothness and low carbonation that can be found in most other Old Gaurdians'. The somewhat lack of body is more then made up for in its beautifully enhanced warmth. Its very soothing and warm. A definate worthy sipper in that regards. The bigger ABV is evident enough in its warming character but still yields that quick and slick drinkability, even when sipped, the palate still yearns for more, making this another dangerously fine drinker from Stone.
07-30-2005 01:24:58 | More by tavernjef
4.28/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
07-12-2005 04:36:06 | More by Sephiroth
4.18/5 rDev -1.6%
This is my second year of trying the locally unavailable Stone barleywine, and having gotten through several more beers of this style over the past year, I feel much more qualified this year.
The 22 oz. brown bomber looks identical to the 2004 version, except it has Winter 2005 release in the painted on artwork, and the musings on the back seem even longer. The beer pored out deep reddish amber and clear, with a cascade of bubbles making up a half inch thick foamy head which does not last long. The aroma seems muted at first with a hint of citric hops, but a deep inhalation reveals more of a malty sweet aroma and some pine resin.
The taste is sweet and malty up front, with a prickly, peppery hop presence that becomes more prominent towards the end of the swallow. The beer is syrupy thick on the tongue, but carbonation lightens that effect somewhat. The beer feels somewhat abrasive as a solitary sipper, but accompanied by Vermont extra sharp while cheddar cheese, the harshness disappears.
I still think it feels young in the year of its release. My 2004 bottle in the cellar should be probably at a mellow prime next year.
07-11-2005 02:58:22 | More by rajendra82
4.38/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
07-04-2005 20:29:53 | More by kmo1030
4.43/5 rDev +4.2%
This brew is a hazy, dark orange/brown color, huge cream colored head that lasts throughout the drink. Great lacing left behind. Caramel malts, hops, hint of alcohol spice in the nose. The taste is dominated by think malts, and finished with a smack of bitter hops. The alcohol warms the belly. The mouth is thick and syrupy. Outstanding.
06-22-2005 20:40:12 | More by Tballz420
4.13/5 rDev -2.8%
Appearance: dark orange hue, almost no head, moderate lacing, carbonation briefly collected on the glass and disappeared shortly after I began to drink.
Smell: Dark fruits, mostly raisins, and traces of alcohol
Taste: Very strong cherry flavor, slightly sweet, that is balanced very nicely on the finish with prominent alcohol flavors.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied, just the right amount of carbonation.
Drinkability: I'm not sure if I would drink a lot of this in one sitting, but I would definitely purchase this again.
06-20-2005 03:29:30 | More by klewis
4.53/5 rDev +6.6%
Orange amber color and crystal clear. The head is disappointing in that it dissipates very quickly and leaves little lace.
Beautiful sweet candy sugar aroma. There is the presence of alcohol without the
There are times where I explore the beer world for something memorable. Stone has now done it twice for me. First, I consider their IPA to be best I've yet tasted. Here is the best barley wine. The flavors start with barley malt that is not overpowering like most of this style. Still it is very full bodied. The swallow is a wonderful hop kick that mellows out the sugars.
Usually I find this style to be too obvious in alcohol or sweetness. This is stunningly well-balanced. Yet it retains all of the expectations of a fine barley wine.
06-18-2005 00:24:34 | More by smcolw
4.45/5 rDev +4.7%
I bought this beer a while ago and am sampling at room temp in a snifter/tulip glass.
The beer pours a clear chestnut color with some ruby tints as well. A fluffy tightly packed off white head of 1 cm, floats easily on the surface.
Aroma is appealing, with caramel and toffee, some citrusy hops, a bit of raisin and some dark fruit (plums) as well. A bit of alcohol says hello too.
First sip reveals a very smooth textured and even beer. Very fine gentle rolling carbonation.
Liter body than I expected as well.
Flavor is malty sweet with caramel and toffee mixing and some baker's chocolate in the middle of my tongue. I think some red grape are in there towards the end as well.
I get just a hint of piney hops and then onto my belly. Definitely some warming going on there. The alcohol is not harsh but actually increases the pleasure of drinking this beer. I cant believe how easy each sip goes down at 11.2% this is dangerously smooth.
This beer is very nice and I wish I had another bottle to cellar.
06-17-2005 03:00:52 | More by sulldaddy
4.15/5 rDev -2.4%
Orange amber with a thin, taupe colored head. Lots of caramel sweet aroma mixed with grapefruity citric hops and a prominent alcohol profile. The nose is actually surprisingly sweet, especially as the warming progresses and the malt takes over. Tastes of citric hops initially, blending with bready malts and some sweet, raisiny notes similar to an old ale. As with the nose, there is no shortage of alcohol in the finish. Very thick and smooth on the palate. Nice balance between malt and hops makes it very drinkable. A very nice beer.
06-10-2005 03:43:37 | More by gimmehead
4.47/5 rDev +5.2%
Dark orange, almost red body. Head was so-so, but a good amount of bubbles feeding the top. Huge sweetness in the nose, a bit of a bublegum aroma. Hops are there, same as Double Bastard? A small bit of alcohol can be sniffed. Great taste! Very balanced for a barleywine, quite smooth across the pallate. Hops are evenly distributed in both aroma/flavor and bitterness. Very Nice, have a bottle to cellar for a while too, looking forward to it.
06-10-2005 01:13:47 | More by JackStraw22
4.4/5 rDev +3.5%
Another excelent brew in their Old Guardian line. The beer looked great with a amber color that was simmilar to their Pale Ale. A nice white head puffed up as well and was quite sticky. The smell was very friuty with pinapple notes and lots of sweetness. As soon as this beer hit my mouth the flavor exploded. First with a kick of hop bitterness and then with a wonderfull syrupy sweetness that was smoothe and not cloying at all. The finnish was sweet and slightly dry. I thought the 11.26% abv was blended quite nicely and did not stand out too much like some other reviews have stated. Then again, maybe I'm just getting too used to these high abv beers! Either way, this one is worth trying for sure, and get a couple more to age as well.
06-03-2005 07:16:32 | More by Dmann
4.4/5 rDev +3.5%
Decanting this potent brew reveals a hazy reddish color with an off-white head that likes to stick around. Citrous hops sporting a little spiciness attempt to break up the sticky malty aroma, but have a harder time at it as the beer warms. Some sweet caramel and slight alcohol lend their weight to the divine aroma. Hot damn, is this drinkable for a barleywine. Huge malt bill enhanced by strong caramel goes down creamy and smooth. Hops are present in their spiciness, also presenting a bit of citrous and pine. Finish is very warm with alcohol, mixed with a heavenly blend of sweet caramel and piney citrous hops. Good lord, is this drinkable for 11.26% abv. I would enjoy cellaring a few of these bad boys, but drinking them now is not a chore, either.
06-01-2005 03:58:25 | More by BeerFink
4.43/5 rDev +4.2%
Pours a perfect brilliant clear orange into my Duvel glass with a nice light tan head. You can smell sticky malt in the aroma, with a hint of hops, alcohol, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Big malty flavor, with a good American hop bite. The alcohol comes through the nostrels. The hops linger. This is fantastic. A cross between an Amercan barley wine and an English barley wine. And this is a big beer that belongs in a big glass.
05-21-2005 01:58:20 | More by vladtheimpaler
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
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.