Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
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.
09-13-2006 23:08:36 | More by crwills
4.38/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
11-30-2009 04:27:30 | More by LordAdmNelson
4.13/5 rDev -2.8%
Appearence: Pours a perfectly clear copper with a thin, creamy white head.
Smell: The smell is quite enjoyable. The malts are huge, and so is the alcohol, but a suprising amount of hop presence shines through, and balance the smell perfectly.
Taste and Mouthfeel: Instantly, wood flavors burst forth with massive amounts of malt sweetness. It finishes rather dry, with the hops playing a key role. This is possibly the most balanced Barleywine that has ever touched my lips, but not the best tasting, and it reminds of alot of a Double Bastard. The mouthfeel is chewy.
Drinkability and Overall: All the quality you'd expect from Stone and more. A crisp, clean, sippable Barleywine. It's not as good as the Double Bastard, but still worth trying. I put a few back to age, and I bet they'll do wonderfully.
02-05-2005 00:24:43 | More by santoslhalper
3.33/5 rDev -21.6%
A soft mattress of foam stands on a very pure mahogany color body. Quiet and silent. The smell I found a little less powerful than expected. The initial sweetness got more nutty and woody as the brew warmed. The taste was way more bitter than expected; martini was the closest thing to this brew. The finish was more like sucking on a tree, with light hints of liquorice. I also got a round malty feeling at this point, making circles in my mouth.
The mouthfeel, although extremely smooth, was a bit weak in my opinion, lacking some more robustness and consistency. Drinkability is kind of low. I'm not entirely convinced by this Stone interpretation of the style. Maybe it needs to age a little bit. Will put one in the cellar for in a few years.
02-19-2005 21:36:51 | More by tjd25
3.7/5 rDev -12.9%
Appearance: Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a large crystal sniffer. The beer is a clear and bright red with a fluffy tan head.
Smell: Caramel, brown sugar, bready. There is a fruit aroma that I spent a while trying to discern. I settled on calling it an apple cider-like aroma. I don't really like that descriptor, but it's the best I could come up with. Nonetheless, there is a subtle and nice fruit aroma in the beer.
Taste: Big alcohol flavor seems to be the base flavor that carries all others. It is bready with some caramel, raisins, and a sweet and dry ending. Along with the alcohol the sweetness seems to follow the entire flavor. This beer tastes a bit too young. It has a light hop bitterness in the middle of the flavor but it is quite different from OG of the past, particularly 2002 (my favorite year).
Mouthfeel: This beer is soft but still pungent and forceful on the palate. It's a bit punchy since the flavors have yet to mellow out.
Drinkability: I think this beer is too young. I will probably buy another bottle and lay it down for 8 months or so to see how it improves. This definately ain't no wussy beer, but it's not great...yet.
03-12-2005 22:03:59 | More by BrewMaster
4.33/5 rDev +1.9%
Probably one of the most drinkable barley wines Ive 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. Ive had quite a few barely wines this season but this one the best. When the hell is the 2006 coming out?! Highly Recommended.
01-29-2006 06:53:29 | More by arguemaniac
3.65/5 rDev -14.1%
Winter 2005 edition. Sampled very young in April 2005.
Pours from the bottle a translucent reddish-copper. Minimal head and lacing, as expected for this style. Smells sweet and sherry-like with an undercurrent of bitter hops. Very sweet, almost cloying, in flavor initially. Develops a tree-bark like leafy hop bitterness in the middle before returning with lots of sugary alcohol warming. Finishes astringently dry with assertive piney hops. Sticky and syrupy in body with light carbonation.
An nice barley wine, if a bit over the top in piney hops and alcohol strength. Worth trying again after it's mellowed for a year or so. I generally prefer the Stone Double-Bastard.
05-01-2005 06:10:51 | More by dgallina
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
3.7/5 rDev -12.9%
Chestnut brown with just a wisp of foam around the circumference of my English Style pint glass. Very little nose to be found, with traces of oak and malt just peeking through.
Entry provides a tingle of carbonation around the base of the tongue and an instantaneous high-profile warming of alcohol to the throat. Taste is as complex as it is unique, with multi-faceted malt variations providing layers of licorice, candy sugar, and the dominating presence of oak fading with a brandy-like finish.
The '05 edition is still a wee bit green, but should age well as long as the malts are not overtaken by the woody oak.
02-09-2005 17:05:49 | More by IceAce
4.28/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
03-09-2005 18:18:39 | More by xgrigorix
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!
02-10-2006 04:25:14 | More by GreatPondBrewer
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
4.43/5 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.
02-05-2006 03:50:36 | More by SteveO1231
4.25/5 rDev 0%
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.
03-09-2005 21:21:54 | More by palliko
4.88/5 rDev +14.8%
My goodness. I've had their Barleywine for the last few years and have no posted reviews or notes! What was I, drunk?...or Stoned?
Sorry about the pun.
Here we go. Found at Bevmo in Walnut Creek on 1/24. 7 days before the official release date?
Pours a nice copper color with a small, large bubbled head. You can tell this is a thick mutha by the way the few carbonation bubbles slowly struggle to the top.
Mouth watering smells. Big sweet malt, caramel, orange citrus fruits. On the hop side, its fresh, clean and resinous.The alcohol is certainly present but works well in the whole. Almost a brandy presence to it.
Taste is big and rich. Tangy, citrusy and bittersweet flavors. The malt seems a little sweeter and it picks up a toffee flavor with a hint of nut, vanilla and a wisp of smoke. Had some nuances like it could have been aged in bourbon barrels including that rare coconut like taste. The hops charge in to balance this bad boy and do an exceptional job. Citrusy and resinous. Great melding of huge flavors and alcohol. This is certainly drinkable now but I think would improve with a year of aging to mellow the alcohol a bit more.
Rich, yet surprisingly light bodied all things considered. Full, viscous and slightly oily mouthfeel.
Outstanding drinkability for such a huge beer. Another top notch beer from Stone! Get some, drink some, age some.
01-26-2005 02:15:17 | More by rkhaze
4.38/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
11-17-2008 02:56:55 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
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
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
3.08/5 rDev -27.5%
It's rare that I write a review of a beer I didnt enjoy, and even rarer I dislike a beer from Stone, but this years Old Guardian resulted in both. On tap at Mahars in Albany, I tried OG after an Old Engine Oil and before a Bigfoot 2005, which I enjoyed far more.
The color was a deep, murky amber with a thin whisp of tawny head. Carbonation, if any, was not visable thru the protien haze.
Aroma was Hot with higher alcohols and a snootfull of gooey, malty stewed fruit. Spicey hop notes are in the mix but overshadowed by the massive caramel malt blast. The intense nose made me dive in, fully expecting the same intensity in flavor.
Flavor is certainly intense, but WAY over the top. If there is balance here, it was lost on me due to the huge alcohol presence from first sip to the long slow burn after swallowing. Very tasty, thick, fruity malt flavors coat the mouth as super strong boil hops just pummel the palate with bitterness that was too strong to be pleasent for me- and I Love hoppy beers- and west coast Barley wines in particular. I havent tried a bottle yet, and maybe they are a bit mellower, but the keg beer was too "over done" for my liking. Why do these brewers release these beers before they are ready? This, to me, is just way too raw and green.
Mouth feel was slick and heavy, full bodied and rockingly alcoholic. I am more impressed with strong beers that manage to hide the alcohol till the finish. Alcohol is most certainly there at the finish in this one and loong aftewards.
This is a good ( bad?) example of US brewers pushing the envelope too far. Its relatively easy to keep throwing stuff in the brew kettle and comming up with a massive beer. Its not so easy to make a fine, warming, balanced BW that doesnt wreck both palate and brain cells. I hope my OG 2005 bottle ages into something better. I may have to save it for 5+ years tho.
05-13-2005 17:01:19 | More by Shiredave
4.15/5 rDev -2.4%
Pours a root beer color with a copper hue. No head and the carbonation is mild.
Has a roasted caramel malt aroma with a herbal, resin, and orange hops smell.
Moderately sweet and a heavy bitter flavor also the taste resembles the smell.
Medium to full body, almost oily and syrupy texture, flat carbonation, with a light metallic finish.
The drinkability is good for this style.
05-07-2005 09:39:48 | More by Troyone
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
4.1/5 rDev -3.5%
The ale poured a brown amber color with a small white head. Complex malt aroma, taste was delicious sweet malt with minimal hops to balance. Very warming and a great sipping barley wine. A little too sweet for my taste. The price was a bit much ($6.95/bomber) but heck it was my birthday.
03-03-2005 14:43:39 | More by John1985
3.55/5 rDev -16.5%
appearance: beatiful copper color...head vanishes within seconds
smell: maltly with some alcohol ...not much hops
taste: much blander than i thought it would be....it's Stone so i expected alot of hops but are very little in the taste....the aftertaste is bitter though...Tastes like a very smooth burbon almost....(sips). yeah it certainly does....
drinkablitly is very low... about the same as scotch...it took me a good 3 hours to finish a 22 when i was in a chill out mood...
a decent tasting beer but i've had many better barley wines...least best offering i've had from stone
02-19-2005 04:40:24 | More by pjwilson
4.55/5 rDev +7.1%
Orange-ruby glass. I didn't expect such a gentle nose, not that it's weak; I get blossoms of fruit and geraniums, fruit concentrates, fruit liquer. Mouthfeel strikes first - like drinking fresh strawberry kefir; it's bubbly, fermented milk.
This is what high alcohol beer is supposed to taste like. The alcohol is part of the palate. It boosts the sharpness of the refined hop character which smoothly rides the creamy grain moguls like Jeremy Bloom winning 6 straight world cup events.
03-05-2005 23:38:39 | More by gbontrag
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.