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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

188 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 188
Reviews: 161
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 8
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.20% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: WebmasterMike on 03-02-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of froggyfrog
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%

2006 Stone OGBWSA carried by me (and at times by my buddy Money3) in a large and very heavy open-top box (crammed in closely with many other potentially exceptional bottled ales) from Downtown Liquors in Boston's Davis Square. Our trek traversed many perilous city blocks on foot and included no less than three subway trips, one shuttle bus (packed sardine-style), one stop at a beer festival and one at a bar, and one taxi cab ride to Weymouth. After being allowed to sleep for a few hours the beer was then driven from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania (via Connecticut and New York) where it settled into rest in my cellar refrigerator. I share this history with you now so that you may understand that I worked hard for this beer. And now, six weeks later, it is time to pick the fruit.

Two things I can tell you right off the bat. Number one: if you want to make a lot of new friends in a hurry, walk around downtown Boston with an open box stuffed full of well-made beer. It's guaranteed to work. Number two: this beer was definitely worth the effort.

On my desk is a handsome 22 ounce brown bottle screen-printed with script and images of barley and a mug-wielding gargoyle. The back of the bottle tells a lengthy story about this beer.

11.26% alc. by vol. limited early 2006 release.

The cap comes off with a flourish and the brown-swirled, burnt-orange liquid finds its way to the receiving bowl of my crystal snifter. A substantial eggshell-colored flossy pillow floats atop the tawny liquid like meringue.

The bouquet is a whirlwind of sugars with dark hidden secrets and the dank moss-covered bases of deciduous trees in a fantastic forest blended with spicy alcohols saucy enough to warrant caution for even the boldest who enter here.

The darkest of fruits linger bruised in the flavor as if the unwitting trees which bore them, in a moment of self-doubt and weakness, did not merely drop these flesh-covered seeds to the ground but indeed hurled them toward the earth with such vengeance that birds in the boughs shrieked in horror as they flew frightened from amidst the leaves, and Satan himself did smile from his perch far beneath the damp soil as the fruits hit the ground in a frenzy. Splat, splat, splat, splat!

In an attempt to conceal atrocities against fruit, tied cinnamon sticks and candied Belgian esters seek to soften the apparent infanticide described above. A wood-like, strong alcohol component underlies the experience of this beer. It is both spicy and prevalent. Wooden and earthy like the barks of the homicidal fantasy forest trees, this beer tempts the tongue while swiftly and silently poisoning my bloodstream behind my back, unashamed of using its alluring and sensuous features and over-the-top yet slick-shoed and malicious intoxicants.

This beer is absolutely fantastic. It is exactly what I was searching for tonight. Lots of sugar and fruit tempered heavily with clingy bitters and alcohol heat. Beautiful.

Thank you to anyone still reading this for indulging these faux-literary ramblings. Cheers!

froggyfrog, Aug 05, 2006
Photo of scottoale
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%

I truly must say, this is the best "Old Guardian" so far! The 650ml brown bomber silkscreened label (all Stone labels are s/s, no paper) states: "Limited Early 2006 Release" as well as "11.26 Alc. Vol." Think this stuff is strong ? You'ld better believe it !

Pours a deep, brilliant copper color with a one-finger, off-white head. The head deminishes rather quickly, perhaps the alcohol helps dissolve it, yet it has a nice delicate lacing.

First wiff is much like every OG I've had in the past, nothing really jumps out at you, just the usual good, some what sweet malty goodness with a mild hopping in the background. To me it pretty much smells the same, sniff after sniff, year after year. It just doesn't smack you in the nose like Bigfoot does, but that's ok.

The flavor however is much tastier and balanced from the previous years. It's smoother and not as chewy. It's just a grand malt expirience balanced perfectly by the hops, with a $hit load of alcohol blending the two. The finish is warm and tasty, a bit sweet. but not too sweet. I couldn't say for sure how well "Old Guardian" ages as I haven't ever cellered any. Outside of the alcohol being a bit pronounced, it really doesn't need to mellow and with the carbonation being a bit on the low side I say drink it now. Think I'll have another (this is plentiful here) and suggest you do the same, if you like strong American barleywine !!!

Cheers !

scottoale, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of BlindPig
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%

A- 1/4" light tan head. Clear amber body with bit of orange. Thin collar with lacing sticking to the side. Thin lacing covering the top.
S- Some citrus hops and alcohol. Has a nice malt balance in it also. Maybe a bit of bread too. Caramel malts and a light bit of toffee.
T- A nice big bitterness really cuts through right off the bat with alcohol following the path. The big malt follows the alcohol. Comes through as a nice caramel malt right off then kind of changes to a toffee malt as it sits there for a second or two. A light bread is still there like the 05 also. This one seems a bit stronger flavors (my guess is that extra year on the 05 helped it). Think this in a year though will be a bit weaker than the 05 today. They are very similar (same recipe just different breweries) but I think the 05 is a bit better. Better blended but still strong as this is very separate and strong but a bit weaker once the hops die down.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation and maybe a bit cloggy.
D- Like I said I think the 05 is a bit better but this is a very nice beer. Would like to see if it could hold its strength though once the hops have died down (IMO I don't think it will be able too).

This is my last review for the drinking a new year day after day (give or take a day or two). Overall the ones that stick out the most are the 2000 (by far) 02 and 05. I think the ones that arn't worth buying again (as of now) are 01 (I know 00 and 01 are same recipe but they do taste quite a bit different) and 06 (it is young). The 04 and 03 are good but nothing that will really make a big statement. Come Christmas eve I will be able to try the 99.

BlindPig, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of arizcards
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%

Had on tap at the Bistro this past Wednesday for $5.00 for an 8 oz snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Beer poured orange with a nice off white head.

Nose was still quite pungent of floral hops. Amazing after all this time.

Taste was extremely well balanced. Grapefruit bitterness was still alive and well balanced nicely with a huge malt backbone.

Mouthfeel was exquisite, full bodied and extremely smooth.

Drinkability was very good. Wow, this was a gem. In the past I have primarily had the Old Guardians fresh and although they are good this proves that aging does wonders for some brews. Definitely try this if you are at the Bistro!

arizcards, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of cynical1027
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

cynical1027, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of connecticutpoet
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Shared this one with my father while watching the extended "Return of the King". He really liked it.

This one was a lovely amber color, clear, with a half finger head. What a barley wine should be.

Aroma was slightly sweet, fruity malt, a bit musty. Alcohol was noticeable in the nose.

The flavor washed over the tongue so easily... strong malt, a trace of mustiness, slightly sweet, with a hint of pine-like hoppiness. No alcohol in the flavor... very deceptive!

Mouthfeel was quite chewy, thick and syrupy. It went down really smooth.

Drinkability was very nice. I will have to get one and cellar it for a year or two. Dang, I am running out of cellaring space in my cabinet!

connecticutpoet, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of Freshie
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

2006 vintage.

Pours a nice dark amber color with one finger cream head.

Smells sweet, and fruity.

The taste is very malty and sweet, with fruity overtones, that finishes with a nice warming alcoholic burn. Very oaky.

The sweet flavour makes the for a nice drinkability.

A very good example of an American Barleywine.

Freshie, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of 530veerguzzler
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

530veerguzzler, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of codynevels
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

codynevels, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of PhineasGage
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

PhineasGage, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of kirok1999
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Appearance- Ruddy dark copper with a nice head and lacing that just won't quit.

Smell- Sweet fruity malts, raisins, bread, cherries. Hops come through but are beaten up by the malts.

Taste- One smooth mother of a barleywine. The malts dominate yet the hops come through at the end. Very complex and delicious. The sweetness makes it a delight to drink, it is thick and substantial, no watery qualities at all.

Mouthfeel- Thick and clingy, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability- Way too drinkable for the ABV. I'm hosting a blind tasting this weekend and this and AleSmith Speedway Stout will be my contributions. This is what I look for in a good ale: no watery taste at all, simply an ale that stands up on it's own and makes a statement. Stone can do no wrong.

kirok1999, Jul 14, 2006
Photo of jvillefan
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

jvillefan, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of Budinetz
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Budinetz, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%

Appearance – This is an innocent-looking orange with some light brown coloring. The head almost blew up at the pour but settled quite nicely.

Smelll – Yes, the hops are definitely taken aback from previous years. The malts are sticky sweet. They are very broken down and probably would not respond well to prolonged aging. This is good as is. The booze is in the background but not to be forgotten.

Taste – This is so much bigger at the taste. The hops first of all, which were all but AWOL at the nose, are huge. They are a complex mix of sharp fruits and light pine with maybe a bit of herbalness.

The huge malts from the nose are at first hard to find at the taste. But, there they are, soaked in alcohol and drenched in this, hardy fruit syrup. This is a heavy-hitting, complex flavor profile that will keep the note-keepers very busy.

Mouthfeel – This is almost full in the body with some surprising carbonation and a mild alcohol sting in the cheeks.

Drinkability – This is very drinkable with no aging. I wouldn’t say that it’s “sessionable” – hahaha – but if you HAD to drink a party keg it would be a task worthy of the most faithfull BA.

RoyalT, Apr 09, 2006
Photo of meathookjones
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%

Clear dark cherry wood with a nice white foamy white head that left some streaks of lace on the glass. Plenty of nice ripe dark fruits in the nose with some alcohol peaking through. Some bready malts helped add some depth. The flavor starts off with ripe fruit sweetness and some warming alcohol. Notes of doughy malts helped to cut the sweetness and light hops. Finishes fruit with a slight alcohol bite. Nice full body and smooth going down. Very similar to last years but with less harshness this fresh, great stuff.

meathookjones, May 17, 2006
Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%

Clear coppery amber topped by a substantial yellowish/light brown head. Generous chunky lacing remained as the head slowly fell. Rich caramel aroma, combined with notes of bread, alcohol, vanilla, and earthy hops that have a slightly citric edge. Great flavour - sweet malts blend with caramel, spicy alcohol, soft vanilla, mild ripe fruit and balanced citrusy/resinous hops. Bitterness never overpowers, but is a formidable presence from beginning through to the lingering finish. Medium to full bodied, the carbonation falls just short of giving it a creamy texture, leaving the mouthfeel just a bit rough (appropriately, I think). Alcohol starts to stun the tongue after a few sips, but it's not overbearing, and the warmth in the finish is quite pleasant. I really like this one this year. The character is balanced nicely between refinement and roughness, like it hasn't quite been tamed. The alcohol is also kept a little more in check. I'll try it again in a few months to see how it's coming along.

DrJay, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of Vancer
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%

Holy moly, look what I found in the back of the closet cellar! Cool!

Oh yeah, pours a cascading hazy amber with a cascading tan head, plenty foamy even after 3 years and a whopping 11%+ Oily sheets of lace ripple around the Corsendonk tulip.

Classic, pure classic Barleywine aroma - sweet caramel malts back with the orange liquor. Progresses into the quaff nicely, add a bit of stinging alcohol and hop bite for an enjoyable Barleywine afternoon while March madness prevails. Finish has plenty of hops to balance with the initial sweetness.

A full bodied beer, to say the least. A true sipper, the hot alcohol is still there and biting me in the arse.

Vancer, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%

Striking screen print label explains Limited early 2006 release, 11.26% ABV with decorative fonts.

Pours with a light polished copper hue containing a few rising bubbles to a thick 1/2" solid island of spotty craggy beige coating. Some solid lace holds firm. A rather bright color for an American Barley wine.

Perky scents of caramel and hard candy malts with an impressive array of hop balance. Solid sturdy scents of beer ingreients that state bold sugar and malt bomb all the way. A tad of cherry fruit and bubble gum in the fruity mix of aromas.

First swigs: Rich sugar meld of hard sugar rock candy that just oozes clean American barley wine. Tricky flavor that would beguile the most discerning tastebuds. The hops create a swiggable big barleywine to crazy proportions. All the pear and apple fruit in the world is in here.

Feel is gentle with a subtle restrained carbonation. This one is ready to go! No cellaring needed. Gawd! Fresh barleywines can be awesome!

Last swigs: To assuage my personal tastes I'd pump a tad more malt backing along the lines of a SNBF and this is golden! It's tasty as it is.

Beer is good. Happy American barleywie beering.

blitheringidiot, Jun 21, 2006
Photo of instrumentality
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%

I received this as a birthday gift in April, and the bottle says "Limited Early 2006 Release," so this beer must be about 8-10 months old at this point. I'm not an expert on aging, and I'm even less of an expert on patience when it comes to beer, so I may be making a huge mistake by cracking my one and only bottle of this stuff so soon, but I've become Stone's bitch over the past few months and tonight the gargoyle wants to have his way with me again so I must submit.

The brew poured a flawless transparent mahogany with minimal head that quickly dissolved to a thin, tan lace.

The odor was notably potent, a mix of sweet red wine and caramel with a spicy quality (ok, I'm not doing this one justice, but my sense of smell and spices still needs a lot of work). Suffice to say, it was enticing.

The first sip was equally rewarding. A bit of the burn of alcohol, but at 11.2% ABV, I expected much worse. The flavor was so intense I could taste it just by inhaling through my mouth before the liquid ever touched my taste buds. Aside from the alcohol, it had a bit of red wine flavor and the sweetness of caramel, along with a strong piney, hoppy quality I've grown to love about Stone's brews.

Mouthfeel was pretty impressive for such a strong beer. Although the alcohol burned going down and the hops were intense upon contacting my palate, the finish was remarkably clean with very little lingering aftertaste.

I know this beer is going to kick my ass with so much alcohol, but I could easily see myself making short work of it. I just need to remind myself that I only have one bottle, I don't know if/when I'll see it again, and it's damn good. If I see it again, I'm buying a case.

All this coming from someone who previously disliked and even feared barley wines. Either I've come a long way, or Stone just reinforced why they've quickly become my favorite brewery.

instrumentality, Oct 04, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%

This year is my first in trying Barley Wines.
Ok...I like them...and enjoy the differences between them.
This old Guardian is surprisingly smooth...
Pours a med redish orange with a small head that ends up very fine lacing.
Aroma is only lightly hops....heavier on citrus and toasted malts.
Mouthfeel is pleasant with it's very fine carbonation.
Taste is slight orange....a little toasty...then nice hop bitterness ending in a grapefruit tang. Nice alcohol warming on the finish.
I enjoyed this one and was surprised at it's mild smoothness with no aging. I can definately drink this one "green" and will be interested in how it matures (If I can restrain myself enough to cellar some for a year.

IntriqKen, Mar 18, 2006
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%

22oz. Bottle picked up from Table and Vine for 6.95.

From the first sips, it seems like it is worth every penny. This is one of those mystical beers that seems to rarely show up on the East Coast. Anyhow, as I was reading the label wafting cinnamon and warming fennels overcame me. Needless to say I stopped reading and started drinking. Mellow, mellow, mellow on the tongue. Not too spicy, not too numbing. Perfect.

At 11.20 this is obviously a bear- beware! This could quite possibly the easiest drinking high ABV beer I've ever had. Simply wonderful. This is one is definitely one for the cellar.

FLAbeergutinMASS, Mar 26, 2006
Photo of Gusler
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%

Early Spring Release 2006
The beer upon the pour from the 22-ounce brown silk screened bottle is a clear burnished copper with a voluminous creamy light tan head that after erosion leaves a nice coating of lace upon the glass. Nose has a nice malt sweetness, hints of caramel, and oh yes a bit of fusel alcohol, and touch of hops me thinks, start is sweet, and the grain profile perfect and the top medium to full in feel to the palate. Finish has perfect carbonation, the delectable in their spiciness, nice bit of tummy warming, and the aftertaste dry. This beer has been a longtime favorite, and one I look for each year, along with the Imperial Stout, of course any beers from Stone Brewing are always a welcome site.

Gusler, May 20, 2006
Photo of shroompod
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%

22 oz silkscreened bottle , dated Limited early 2006 release.
Pours a clear red , not much head.

Smells citrusy , sweet...grapefruit juice smell.

Taste starts bitter , with a floral bite. Alcohol presents itself , although not at all unpleasant. Some woodsy bourbon tones come through.

Mouthfeel is sharp , nicely carbonated.

I can imagine this beer increasing in drinkability after aging. I'll be buying the stock out , if any's left.

shroompod, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of mentor
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%

Happened to notice this is review #500 for me. Pours a full finger of yellow-tan head over a clear rust-colored liquid (has some red character, too). The beer holds some fine particulates and has three streamers racing to the top. Smells richly of caramel in a creamy, smooth, and wet sweet disposition. Hops are much less than I was expecting. Oranges with a hint of pine. Tastes wonderful. Wet sweet malty. Caramel, chocolate, biscuit. Leaves the mouth feeling like I've eaten cotton candy. Hops are gentle orange-like and mix with the alcohol such that I can't define a boundary between the two. Rough alcohol bite on the sides of my tongue. Not fusel, but grassy. It's well hidden by the malt, IMO. The aftertaste shows the alcohol stronger and serves to dry the experience. Thick mouthfeel is creamy smooth and modestly carbonated. Delicious. Buzz...yeah. Drinkable...yeah. I'd have another except i eager to keep the bottle in my cellar in my cellar

Honestly, I was reluctant to open a 2006 bottle this fresh. I find American BWines to be quite offensive when fresh...so much so that I tend to avoid the style altogether. This beer, however, was quite nice. Yet another fine offering from Stone. With this, I am convinced. There only only three breweries that have successfully transitioned to large micro brewery. Bell's, New Belgium, and Stone. My future dream is that, someday, these three breweries will be the 'big three' in America...displacing AB, Miller, and Coors.

mentor, Apr 02, 2006
Photo of cubedbee
4.4/5  rDev +6%

22 oz bomber poured into a tulip, this is gorgeous garnet-amber with a big two fingers of off-white dense head and great retention for a barleywine with this much alcohol, nice looking lace left behind on the glass. Nose is interesting, with a slight herbal hoppyiness over a doughy malt with a slight bit of fig and dark fruit. Taste is more of the same, a sweet slightly caramael malt with raisins and fig flavors blending nicely with spicey bitter hops and a slight alcoholic finish. Full bodied and very smooth, almost creamy. Very nicely balanced and smooth drinking, and for the ABV this is absolutely evilly drinkable. Great barleywine from Stone.

cubedbee, Apr 22, 2006
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.