Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

161 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 161
Hads: 193
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 9.18%
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:
Beer added by: WebmasterMike on 03-02-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 161 | Hads: 193
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark red, reminiscient of an irish ale, decent carbonation visible and a creamy white sturdy head. hints of orange peel aromas add to the overal smell
tastes warm, bitterly smooth as it goes down. slight orange taste that sweetens at the end, like a caramel or butterscotch taste. sure warms the stomach.
my first Stone Brewery brew, and i look forward to more, this beer is great.

 392 characters

Photo of taez555
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber served at cellar temp.

This beer poured a amber/orange body with a small white head.

Nose has a thick sugary butterscotch and caramel candy malt smell. Day old sweet bread with a surprisingly mild hop spice. There's definitely a little prick of alcohol or sharp spice in the nose but it's mostly lost in a sea of big juicy candy like malt smells.

Big full bodied beer with a very smooth texture from start to finish. This beer goes down wayyyy to easily. Nice well balanced huge caramel malt taste. Candy like with mild butterscotch tones. Black pepper, milder citrus peel, pine needles and just that classic chinook stone sort of hop taste. All big and present but leaves plenty of room for sugary sweet caramel malt to dominate. There's a very present bitterness that takes hold more in the finish.

Another fantastic year of Old Guardian from Stone. A great balance between English and American Barleywine. Not pure malt, yet not over the top with hops. More brewers should aim for this middle ground. Great beer, and very drinkable now. I couldn't imagine aging this, although I'm sure it change it some equally good ways.

 1,149 characters

Photo of ypsifly
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz from the Limted Early 2006 Release that is silkscreened and has a novella printed on the back. Acquired via trade and poured into a snifter.

Dark amber with less than an inch of aged ivory that struggles under the weight of the abv and falls into a veiled ring in a minute or so. Not much for lace.

Big almost candy like malt aromas mixed with warm alcohol and piney hops. Very strong and aromatic with caramel and brandy. Oh shit, I'm in for a ride.

Big burst of full malt upfront followed by an equally large blast of pine and spice followed by a slow warming from the abv. The middle has some oil from the hops but they, burn off, pleasntly, by the finish which carries a lot of the spice. Normally I do not like to taste the alcohol, but this beer embraces it well.

It reminds me of the story of the A-10 Warthog. The USAF came to the aviation industry and said, "Here's a 20mm Gatling Gun. Build a plane around this." Both plane and weapon were integrated perfectly. In this case its the same with the abv and the beer. I would like some more hop flavor, but this is a really good example of big beer done right.

Full mouth that is a bit slick from the oily hops, but as I mentioned above it finishes clean. For a beer of this caliber, this is quite drinkable and I can't wait to try more Stone beers and after finally getting to sample one of their beers, the rumors that they will come to MI will get me even more excited.

 1,449 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one at AndrewK’s tasting.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is tasty and has aged really nicely in my opinion.

 572 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks for sharing Chris!

(A)- Pours a fairly dense reddish chestnut color. Some tan froth.

(S)- A nice rich profile of toffee and caramel. Bits of fig and wood.

(T)- A nice malt profile and smooth finish. Lots of toffee and caramel.

(M)- A great carbonation level and a great balance too. Smooth and malty with almost no bite to it.

(D)- Aged gracefully, but I think it can go for even longer and longer.

 446 characters

Photo of flexabull
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of BeerBeing from way back when, thanks again! (wherever you are...)

Have been thinking of drinking something from the cellar, figured this one would be prime for the drinking now that it's 3+ years old. Let's see...

Pours a bright and dark orange color, a little cloudy, with a nice off white head.

Aromas are quite grainy, like sweet grape nuts, a little bit of hard candies, and with some earthy hops on the nose. Very complex and nice.

Taste has some definite boozy flavors, but it doesn't totally kick you in the teeth with all the alcohol. Up front, there are light malts, a little creaminess, easy and sweet cereal grains, and some bright stewed fruit flavors. Finish has a mineral hop bite, a light bourbon flavor, and some alcohol warmth. As mentioned before, there is plenty of alcohol here, but it manages to not overwhelm.

Mouthfeel is nice, and this beer manages to be smooth and full, without being to heavy on the mouth. Manages to go down and feel easy on the mouth.

Drinkability is quite good. This beer is drinking quite nicely. Goes down very easy for such a huge beer, and is light years from the big beast that Old Guardian tends to be when released. If you have one in the cellar, it wouldn't be a bad idea to crack one open, and see what you think.

 1,293 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a goblet, Deep-red amber 1" thick white head, dissipated fast, nearly totally gone within a few minutes.

Smells seriously roasty and sugary. Hickory smoked with honey and a slight hop.

SWEEET malts, like honey. An early hop bitterness and some slight earth greens, maybe green peppers.

Light body, Thick full taste, sweetness resonates on the palate, mellow herbal greens take over later.

Powerful stuff, big ABV%, two MAX!!

 455 characters

Photo of Orrshow
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – The color is a clear but dark reddish brown. The head is small but a nice beige color and it leaves lacing all over my glass. Something about the look of this one is almost sophisticated.

Smell – Up front alcohol aromas are dominant. There is toffee, caramel, bread, wood, and a bit of citrus hop. I did not find the scents overly strong until it warmed though. Good here.

Taste – It begins very sweet with brown sugar, toffee, and caramel flavors. Not surprisingly this is accompanied by alcohol. There is some citrus hop up front that leaves a slight bitterness. The finish is slightly woody with pine arising. It’s a well balanced ale and very tasty.

Mouthfeel – It has chewy feeling with a slightly oily texture. The carbonation is quite noticeable.

Drinkability – Good. Its very strong but its smooth as hell.

Like this beer a lot. It was a great experience and I must thank my Father for bringing it to me from the states.

 963 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, somewhat cloudy orange in color. Huge nose of dried fruit-apricots and figs come to mind. Very malty up front. Slick and viscous flavors of fruit, malt and alcohol. Very heavily hopped. Big, wet, slick grapefruit flavors. Loose some of the alcohol to round it off a bit more-aging would do that I am sure. Good body-pleasant tongue stripping quality to it. Very drinakble and enjoyable barleywine. It has been a year-a few more would calm this down into a real gem. Get some/horde some.

 492 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark mahogany red with a big 2+ finger rocky tan head that was moderately lasting.

S: malty and dry with pine and dried grapefruit.

T: some dark caramel and dried fruit with some toffee sweetness. There was only slight alcohol hints and otherwise was hidden nicely. There was some dark molasses, rum raisin and a soothing dark roasted nature.

M: creamy and smooth with a full body. There is a slight stickiness from the sweet malt and hop resins.

D: An easy drinking and very enjoyable barley with a good complexity of dried fruit and Chinook hopping.

 569 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This 2006 barrel was on tap at Three Floyds. I just happened to ask if was the 2010 and was pleased to hear it was the 2006! Had to try it.

Served in a goblet styled chalice.

Pours a nice coppery hued golden orange color with a tanned head and sticky clumps of lace. Smells sweet and malty with enough of a hop presence-- citrus and slight pine-- to make you know it's still an American barleywine as oppesed to the British style. A nice caramel malt flavor presents with a great smoothness... Mouthfeel is perfect. Smooth would be the one word to describe this beer at this moment.

 584 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been sitting on this one since the beginning of the year. When I first popped the cap I could smell the sweet malts. Pours a nice orange golden amber color, nice creamy tan head, nice lacing/puddles throughout the drink. Scents of sweet malts, citrus, hops, spices, caramel, yeast, and slight alcohol. The taste is amazing, sweet malts, hoppy, slight caramel, and slight alcohol, nice dry finish. Medium body, pretty complex barleywine. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Stone to say the least.

 502 characters

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this from a place I trust to keep beers well. Has probably been in the same refridgerator for about 6 months now, so it is ever so slightly aged.

Appearance: Pours a very similar color to Double Bastard - a dark, cider-like deep caramel mahogany. Head is barely existent, settling into a perma-lace around the circumference of my oversized wine glass. Lacing, like many of Stone's beers, is definitely there. A little spotty and transient, however, in this case.

Smell: Wow. Definitely a Barley Wine. My nose literally stings a little bit as I inhale - so, alcohol. Has that familiar "Stone" aroma up front as well - a sort of nutty funk probably a result of their one-of-a-kind yeast strain. Underneath the front end are sweet malts - a cashew-infused caramel, bread crust, caramel, sweetened chocolate, very, very piney and citrusey hops. Corn meal. Extremely strong, extremely complex. I could spend a few hours, probably, bringing out and isolating aromas from this thing, but it's just too daunting of a task.

|Taste: Nutty, bread, grapefruit peel, caramel, light pine, alcohol. Just slams your tongue into submission. Wow.

Mouthfeel: Hot, hot, hot. Extremely alcoholic. Moderately dry upon swallowing. A little light carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a barley wine. This is not meant for casual drinking, but a dedicated session. I am regretting, actually, having drank a Meantime India Pale Ale a few hours prior to this. It's a bit too much. But amazing, amazing stuff that you could pick apart for hours.

 1,534 characters

Photo of sinistrsam
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark copper with a yellow-tan head that left good lacing about the glass. Mild carbonation.
The smell was decently typical for a Barleywine but well-balanced and pretty complex. Raisin, sweet malts, vanilla, caramel. Not too much of one thing.
The taste was a little heavy on the raisin at first, then gave hints of sweet and roasted malts, hops, dark fruits, vanilla, alcohol. As I said, well balanced and complex.
The mouthfeel was a bitter-sweet at first, with the rasisin and sweet malts, then faded into a nice dry feel that left a butter sensation on your tongue. Medium-bodied. Very nice.
One 1pt 9.6 oz bomber adn you're toast, so you gots to sip this beer. I recommend splitting it with a friend. Overall a great example of the style and another achievement for Stone.

 791 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


On tap at Stone apposed next to the 2011 vintage.

A: Hazy dark orange with a large yellowish white head. Good retention and scattered lacing.

S: Aromatic candied grapefruit with a rich caramel and toffee presence. Oxidation is graceful and complementary. Alcohol is well hidden. Gives the overall impression of malt richness and depth with an overtone of citrus and resinous hop aromatics. Very nice.

T: Sugary caramel with faint oxidation notes. Upper moderate bitterness with notes of pine and candied grapefruit. Somewhat boozy but there's a lot of flavor to overshadow that aspect. The finish displays an increase in bitterness with lingering caramel and grapefruit rind.

M: Upper medium in body with upper moderate carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel with alcohol warming and some astringency.

Overall: I'm sure this was cold stored, regardless, it has aged quite well. 

 886 characters

Photo of chilidog
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A chalice as well for me.
I don't normally open a Guardian this young but we cracked one for Easter week-end. I have accouple to age as well up to a year. It will be nice to see this beer mature.
At a first pour, I was concerned, for there was no carbonation reaction and no head, just a oily ruby color. At a second pour, minutes later, the carbo-reaction was there, as well as a small but known tan head. This beer awoke.
The aroma was good but not overly strong.
The taste carried by the aroma welcome, was malted sweet alcohol. Fruits of grape, candied caramel and a known but background hop. Alcohol rounds out the taste as its strong but with a gentle side. At 11.2% it can sneak up on you for even at that strength, the beer is Very drinkable and easy on the mouth.
When you drink one of these, it helps you realize what a treat, as a BA, an annual special brew can be. Cheers!!

 890 characters

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber, Left a tan one finger head that recedes to surface skim, with not too much lacing. Body was an orange brown amber.

Smell - Competing rich bready malt, diacetyl, and esters. Dried dark fruits like dates, figs, raisins. Cinnamon sweet rolls, with dates and raisins. Some alcohol, but not as strong as abv would suggest. Hint of piney bitterness.

Taste - like the smell. Rich, thick bready malt. Lots of diacetyl. Esters. Caramel, dates, rasins, cinnamon sweet rolls, all washed with some alcohol astringency, but not nearly as high as abv would have it. Piney hop bitterness barely there, almost all but cancelled out by the heartiness of the malt. The hops on the other hand, mitigate the diacetyl to make the malt pleasantly caramelly sweet instead of overly overripe fruity sweet. Finishes with bready malt again, mild alcohol astringency. Aftertaste is hearty bread and longlasting with hint of lemony hops. Like I said before, high abv is very well hidden, and this is rich, hearty, and bold without being very alcoholic at all.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, low carbonation. Somewhat chewy at times, slight alcohol astringency and burn with slight drying, but not really that much.

Drinkability - goes down well, and is deeply satisfying. But even though the alcohol is subdued in the taste, it is definitely present in its full potency nonetheless, that limits it to one bomber in any given session.

 1,442 characters

Photo of stephendr
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage , cellared about one year , opened 1/12/7 - 22 oz. bottle- color of murky honey , with a thin off white head - nose of dried apricots , deep red fruit , soy sauce , iodine , bitter , chocolate , and malt – taste of resin , honey , slight hopps , red fruit , brown sugar , and slight alcohol- body harsh but clean , and low carbonation – aftertaste of salty , honey , gummy , and bitter

 400 characters

Photo of wcudwight
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a copper, brassish color with red hues when held up to the light. !/4" head recedes to a foam on the top. Lot's of carbonation bubbles rise. Thin spotty lacing.
S: As I open the bomber a whiff sound errupts and the aroma of heavy malts and cherries fill the room. Nice. Upon closer inspection the alcohol is noticable.
T: Starts off mild and sweet, the hops slowly start to appear. Piney, Earthy, maybe a little Citrus. Whew, I was beginning to wonder where the hops were. The hops gradually become more intense until they are attacking your palate like an DIPA. Once the hops are at full force wrecking havock on your taste buds the alcohol sweeps in all at once. You can continue to feel the alcoholic burn as you swallow. Once the Guardian reaches his destination(my belly), things calm down until next sip. The flavor is intense and complex. There is a lot happening in this brew.
M: If you like full bodied beer where the alcohol burns you throat and warms your belly then you will like this.
D: I like this brew, I like the flavor and feel of it. I still can only give it a 3 for drinkability. It is a very good barleywine, but I wouldn't call it a very drinkable one.
Overall yet another hit from Stone Brewing Co.

 1,235 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple of these at Bauer for an unbelievable cheap price...lets just say over $2 less than some other place I frequent.
Dark mahogany in color with 1/4 finger of bright white head...very little sporadic lacing remains.
Mellow in the nose...but filled with raisins, cherries, bubble gum and fruity hops.
Splendid flavor...enough sweetness to prove a malt bomb and fruity hops, just enough heat to feel the alcohol, but very well hidden for 11% plus.
Thick mouthfeel and the carbonation is fantastic for the style...bomber goes down too easy.
I remember someone stating how this year's offering was on tap at the release in NJ as "raw" and needing to cellar for a while...while I am sure this will be simply phenomenal with a year on it, it is so delicous right now.

 781 characters

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly thin orange, with a hint of red. about a 1/2 inch head in the snifter, but almost no head when poured in the goblet.

Strong nose of alcohol and hops (pretty much what i expect from a Stone brew).

Taste was different than i expected - very little hops, smooth creamy malts coated the palate. Tasted quite a bit of vanilla, which i think mixed well with the strong alcohol presence (the alcohol was weird - very mild up front, but quite strong in the aftertaste).

Fairly thin for a barleywine (others seem to have commented on this as well).

Fairly drinkable - especially for the style.

Not quite what i expected, but i really liked it nonetheless.

 680 characters

Photo of dickieb
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poors a nice amber, with a finger of quickly dispating head. Smell is very sweet, with a good hint alcohol, and a good amount of maltyness. Comes on with a strong sweet and almost fruity taste, which leads to a realy piny/citrusy hopyness. Pretty smooth and drinkable for a fairly fresh and green barleywine. Im overall very happy with this, and the other stone beers i now have avalible to me now that i work in Mass.

 418 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dug up and old review of this one while going through notes. Sampled in October 2006.

Clear red/amber, very amazing colour, thick off white head, great lacing, great retention, very sticky. Smell is sweet, caramel, pine/floral, grains, signature Stone aroma, tons of caramelization, has smoothed out a bit. Taste is sweet and toffee, grains, nice hoppy balance through the middle, pine and floral, sticky toffee finish, pleasing bitterness. Mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation, very chewy, definately a sipper, but a world class barleywine.

 553 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber with a thick head that retains nicely and leaves a nice pattern of lace

Smell: Rich caramel aroma, with figs and vague hints of citrus fruit, much of which have long since faded

Taste: Rich caramel and fig spice cake flavor, with some developing bitterness that arrives by mid-palate; still the profile is dominated by the sweet elements; after the swallow, the bitter flavors become more balanced, with considerable citrusy bitterness, although there is plenty of residual caramel/fig sweetness on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth after the swallow

Drinkability: For those who like a balanced barleywine, as I do, this is drinking very nicely right now; a couple of years of aging have taken the edge off the hops but there is still aplenty to go around to balance the flavor profile

 870 characters

Photo of hophead247
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark amber with a thin off-white head. Very nice malty aroma with some sweetness and orange peel noted as well. The flavor, in a word, is luscious. Superbly well balanced malt and hops with caramel and cognac also in the background. Wonderful, full mouthfeel with just the right viscocity. I did not find this beer aggressive in the least and the alcohol was incredibly well hidden. This is a finely crafted barley wine.

 433 characters

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.