Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
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.
07-14-2006 00:33:21 | More by kirok1999
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 !!!
03-04-2006 12:04:53 | More by scottoale
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.
12-13-2006 04:45:40 | More by BlindPig
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!
02-26-2011 00:49:50 | More by arizcards
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!
08-05-2006 04:31:23 | More by froggyfrog
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
Bomber, allowed to warm a bit and then poured in a goblet. Nice deep darkish almond amber, clear, with a minor tan head and leaving fine, rich and scattered lacing. Nose is of mellow malts and some alcohol. Waves of malt, warming alcohol, honey, smokey, vinious and of course, heady stuff. Smooth, coating, world class sipper/Night capper. What can be said beyond this is yet more wonderful beer from the left coast's Stone Brewing Co. Plus Stone puts this out @ $5.50 for a 22 oz. bomber ( Purchased at New Beer in NYC) Truly a bargain for world class BW. Wish I had the set up to put a case away every year for a few years...
09-08-2006 21:46:20 | More by Billolick
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
Cue the Charleston Heston styled "oh, my, God."
Poured into the glass, she was a ruby colored beast with browny browniness. A pillowy head sat atop her that dissipated, as all heads are wont to do, unless you chug the beer, but I didn't. Smells of a deep, malty alcohol, warm, almost woody or grainy. Hops in the nose, pungent piny hops with some grassy tones. Taste was a deep, alcoholic warmth with a dark bread tastiness. Hops were prevelent, adding resin to the tongue.
She was a good brew, and as Charleston Heston said is probably every movie he was in, "oh, my, God."
03-10-2006 05:57:29 | More by HoboAGoGo
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass.
A: The beer is an orangey amber color with a thick off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: Robust citrus hops aroma with caramelized malt. Very nice! You do smell the alcohol, which is expected, but it’s not as strong as I thought it would be.
T: Intense burst of hops is what you taste first followed by the alcohol sting, this beer does NOT mess around (but what else would you expect from Stone). Then there’s a slight touch of citrus and malt sweetness. As the sweetness fades, you’re left with a mildly bitter hops after-taste.
M: Very crisp, medium body with medium-to-high carbonation and a quite clean finish.
D: This is a very drinkable beer, since it’s so flavorful. However with such a high ABV, it’s only drinkable for so long.
Overall this is an excellent beer. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It will get you going in a hurry though, so it’s not for the weak. Stone has done it again. Another great beer!
05-18-2006 04:24:07 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
A smothered dark amber glow with a blanket of off-yellowy firm foam about a finger high. Keeps a nice thick skim and collared edge. Lacing is decorated in a pleasing array of stringed patches and spots.
Aroma is slightly tropical with a sliver of alcoholic tinted warmth where warm bodied toffeish malt, mild pineapple, mango, and a piney tug of oils and citric pith make for a nice complexing nose.
Taste is so smooth, much like other Old Guardians, from what seems like ions ago, this has a much smoother malt tone than hop bite. Large malts bring in some very nice caramel swirling about a tropical fruity soaken depth of thick mango-like juices and pleasing warmth of chewy caramel candy. A warming pine oil of hoppy bitterness is sweet and smooth with well rounded orangeyness.
Slight texture of carbonation grits along the edges of the malty smooth body. Thick and succulant, nearly full, body thats warm and toastified. Hoppy oilyness ensues through the finish adding some complexing warmth and flachback of malts.
And, again, much like other Old Guardians, this stuff is majorly drinkable and gone before you know it. Another wonderful rendition by Stone. And my thanks goes to cvschaller for the hook up on so many chances to drink down some fine brews like this one!
09-19-2006 01:47:35 | More by tavernjef
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
A - Color is very good. Caramel and very uniform. The only disappointment is the almost non-existent head (off-white) that disappeared quickly and no lacing.
S - Clean with no hint at the high alcohol.
T - Layers of flavor with an initial hoppiness quickly turning into a balanced sweetness hinting caramel. Fantastic.
M - Disappointing lack of bubbles, but a nice texture
D - This is an amazingly smooth beer, especially for the strength. I can't wait to see what more time will do to it!
02-24-2008 22:10:11 | More by Med
4.63/5 rDev +11.6%
22oz. bomber bottle with this really nice silk screened picture of their symbol, the Stone Gargoyle holding a picture of beer on the front. On the back (also silk screened) was this novel of what I would call rambling. The whole back of the bottle is small letters was this story. The whole story is only a couple of words short of the entire book of War & Peace. :-) If you have time to spare, then you can read the back of the bottle. Still a really nice looking bottle.
Appearance: When poured into my Snifter, the beer was this beautiful dark ruby color with just a splash of orange in there as well. I only got just a sliver of a white head of foam and even that dissipated fast leaving only a few rings and no lace.
Smell: The aroma had a huge helping of sweet malts in the front, some citrus fruits in the middle, the grapefruit being the most predominate, and nice fair aroma of piney hops in the background. Very Nice!
Taste: There's alot going on in this beer, it's not one dimensional of just strong alcohol, this beer had a lot more going for it. The initial taste was that of sweet caramel, then some sweet malts, and then after all the sweetness came this nice not too strong citrus fruits flavor. It's not done after that. After all that came this pleasant piney hops flavor. Not too strong of hops, just right for me. I expected this strong alcohol taste, but none of that was there in the taste.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, smooth, some carbonation, and this is where I detected just a slight hint of alcohol. I'm still surprised that this beer clocks in at 11.2%ABV. I really can't feel the alcohol.
Drinkability: This is a beer that I would buy again and probably will. A surprisingly smooth beer that's probably only good once in a while.
04-03-2006 18:58:23 | More by AltBock
4.68/5 rDev +12.8%
22oz bomber into a wine glass. Dark caramel with thick, khaki head that doesn't go away. Sticky lacing. Redish tint to it all.
Malt on top of malt. Sweet with underlying spiciness to it. The hops will come, oh yes, but the aroma leads you to think this one is a malt bomb. Scotch-like overtones. Some alcohol in the mix as well.
Taste: Like hoppy scotch. Heh, "hop-scotch." Malt leads with heavy hop middle and balanced finish. Smoky quality below it all, like an Isle whisky. Nice. Malt asserts itself even more as the glass warms.The alcohol remains present throughout but never dominates.
A tad thick for the mouthfeel. still, it works well. High drinkability, despite the debilitating alcohol content.
I have a 12 pack in storage for later (years later) enjoyment. I'll check back in next year to update on it's cellared experience.
07-09-2006 20:41:35 | More by rabsten
4.72/5 rDev +13.7%
This beer pours a reddish brown into my Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine glass. The fluffy light brown head fades slowly, leaving thick laces.
This beer has a sweet malty aroma. I can smell some fruits, like prunes, dates, or raisins. Also, I can smell the 11.20 % ABV. Not much hop aroma, but that is likely because all the other aromas are so strong, that a slight hop aroma would be missed. I think this ight have one of the best aromas I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
This beer tastes wonderfull. Obviously, I can taste some alcohol, but that is only just the begining. It has a pleasent malty sweet flavor. I taste some dark fruits. Wow, this might be the best Barley Wine I have ever had!
This beer is full bodied. It goes down surprisingly smooth. It leaves a malty sweet aftertaste. Carbonation is low, to fit the style.
I could probably drink this beer all the time if it wasnt for the high alcohol content. Although the flavor is aggressive, it is still very pleasent. I think I will have to pick up about a case of this beer soon. I wonder what a few years will do to this wonderfull beer.
03-14-2006 01:56:56 | More by OStrungT
4.72/5 rDev +13.7%
Translucent orange/ruby body with lots of carbonation and a light tan and lemon skin colored head both undulating and rocky, tiny to small and medium bubbles. Retention and lace are good.
The smell is sweet roasted molasses, caramel and spice.
Mild sweet malts up front with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and a little bit of butterscotch flowing into a perfect balanced experience with then takes you into the aftertaste of sharp hops and extra spiced honey. The alcohol is there but held in check extremely well.
Full and solid body. Plenty of coating yet not too slick. The first few sips have a pleasant warming effect.
Highly drinkable as an all evening sipper.
06-17-2006 19:41:57 | More by oelergud
4.75/5 rDev +14.5%
A great barely wine from a great company.
Highlights: Butterscotch, hop and grape notes.
Lowlights: Nothing really. If I wanted to get nitpicky I could say that it is .... You know what? I am not going to get nit picky. This is an excellent brew that you should get as soon as you see it on the shelves. This is the most complex and tasty barely wine that I have ever had. The alcohol is well masked which could get some BA's in trouble.
Overall: A great success
04-05-2006 03:28:29 | More by maddamish
4.78/5 rDev +15.2%
Another great year for Old Guardian. The beer poured a burnt orange color with a thickness that could definantly be felt. The head was nice and thick as well, and stuck to the glass like glue. Big alchoholic fumes were there in the smell as well as a good dose of malty sweetness and a bit of citrus in the background. This beer went down a little eaiser at this young age than ones in years past. The big alchohol flavor was still there but it was mixed better with the orange and sweet malt flavors of the beer. There were some faint hops but they could not break through the malty exterior. All in all one of the best OG's I've had and definantly recommended.
04-09-2006 07:54:40 | More by Dmann
4.8/5 rDev +15.7%
Limited early 2006 release, 11.26% abv with a long story on the back in print that is way too small. WoW this beer knocked my socks off in every aspect. Poured a subtle golden amber color with pencil thin head and no lacing, random bubbles float to the surface - cool. Sitting next to me my wife suddenly said "your beer smells like wine" exactly, the aroma is a floral bouquet of super sweet malts complimented by citrus and sweet hops. Overpowering and aggressive the sweet scent invites you to sample the precious nectar that awaits. Flavor is extremely intense melding loads of malts, sweet and bitter with a dry hoppiness that shouldn't work but it does all too well. The alcohol walks through the door and shakes your hand but you are still thinking about the malts. The flavor lends itself to a smooth mouthfeel that finishes slightly bitter, the perfect ending to a wonderful story. Overall this is intense and beautiful, truly another fantastic effort created by Stone. Cudos
08-01-2008 12:46:32 | More by kinger
4.83/5 rDev +16.4%
Better than Bigfoot and I love Bigfoot! Also, and excellent value at $4.50 a bomber, although admittedly not quite as good a value as Bigfoot at $10/sixer.
This one is great fresh - the hops are there, oh yes they are there, but by no means do they overpower and I think they are just right right now. I'm goign to put a bottle away and see how this drinks in a year, but I'd be surprised if it gets any better than it already is - but then again, who knows!
An outstanding barleywine with exception balance for the style. That 11% somehow flies under the radar and is in your face at the same time. Another great one from Stone!
04-30-2006 06:45:33 | More by mitchfor3
4.83/5 rDev +16.4%
the 2006 vintage was the coup de grace on that fair evening of retardation and maturation. Unfortunately opened a bit too late for the finer sorts, nonetheless it shone through the pale on this fair eve with an angry recognizance all to its own. It would not be denied. The slight metallic oxygenation only enhanced its bravado. The beer nearly incited a riot, glaring at the willing conquistodores in its impending wake. Golden copper sexiness awaited everyman, everywoman, everychild! The beverage was phenomenal, aged to perfection. It was far superior to the 2008 version which was sampled. The five year old flavor far surpassed most of those that were touched by those human lips which dared to brave the February Day.
All of this to say that this vintage is drinking incredibly right now and it is highly recommended.
02-23-2011 05:43:41 | More by dragonWhale
4.9/5 rDev +18.1%
Whee-o! This is my new favorite BW.
I feel like I have an illogical/pathological dislike of Stone for some reason, and yet I love every one of their brews. Thus is my mindset going into this bottle.
I had this after a fairly rich dinner of whiskey/cream sauce flank steak and garlic/basil potatoes. I was ready for the onslaught of bombasticity that was expected from Stone. Agression! Hops! Mellowed tannins!
Instead, this beer is the epitome of balance in a Barleywine. I served it at about 55F, letting the second half of the serving warm. Initially, the sweetness of the carmel was fantastic. It came through in the aroma as well as subtlely in the flavor. It was noticable with deep sniffs that this was not by virtue of color/caramel malts, but rather the caramelization of sugars in the base malt, as the aroma came through as raw but not husky after about ten minutes of warming/acclimatizing.
As it warmed, the aroma came through as more alcoholic, but not astringent. A nice addition to the complexity.
Didn't leave the palate tired. Full body and flavor, but not stagnating or hebetudinous (I learned this from the Oregon spelling bee competition double elimination list, so don't read backward for spoilers if you're a spelling bee entusiast). Bravo!
03-18-2006 05:57:57 | More by unklesyd
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.