1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

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

186 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 186
Reviews: 161
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.18%


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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 186 | Reviews: 161 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 00:03:14 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Glazed dark apricot with a subtle cherry blush. A vigorous pour produced a thickly creamy crown the color of orange-brown sugar mousse. I'm surprised at the amount of sea foam lace given the ABV. There must be plenty of hop resins still hanging around. Good.

The malt portion of the nose smells like primarily pale with an assist from something slightly darker. Typical Old Guardian BWSA. Other aromas include orange liqueur and... not much else. Unless things open up with warming... not impressed.

This bottle of OG is about two years of age. In that time, the hops have faded significantly and the alcohol is still on the rambunctious side. I have always thought that more caramel malt would result in a better beer that would age more gracefully. Midnight Sun Arctic Devil is a prime example.

Perhaps the key is to drink Old Guardian super-fresh. Maybe then the alpha acids put a major smackdown on the ethanol and neutralize it more effectively. In spite of a flavor profile that is less than complex, this is good beer. It has the orange peel macerated in triple sec and Irish whiskey vibe that a lot of pale malt-dominant barleywines possess.

Even though hop flavor is no longer intense, hop bitterness does a bang-up job countering the prodigious, sugar cookie-like malt backbone. The contrast between the drying qualities of the hops and the alcohol on the one hand, and the stickiness of the malt sugars on the other hand, makes for an interesting tug-of-war on the tongue.

Now matter how the brewery changes this ale from year to year (hop bill only, I think), it always has a wonderfully full mouthfeel. This edition seems more firm than creamy, but that isn't a problem at all.

It's too bad that Stone (Greg) doesn't seem to be open to a major overhaul of the 'always dependable, but seldom outstanding' Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale. Tradition is all well and good, but sometimes thinking outside the box is the best way to go. There's no reason why this barleywine can't be as fantastic as most of the rest of their lineup.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2008 22:36:09 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Med
Med

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2008 22:10:11 | More by Med
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

2.78/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 vintage. Pours a light ruby brown in color. Smell is hops, alcohol and some malt. The hops are still shining through in the taste even after more than a year in the cellar. Nice huge mouthfeel. This one will definitely hurt you at over 11%. A decent warmer on a cold winters night.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 16:04:09 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of williamherbert
williamherbert

New York

3.3/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is the color of a light blush. White finger of foamy head. Tony upswimming bubbles. Very hazy.

Pungent, smoky barley aroma. Heavy deep grape with notes of bitter cherry. Barley and alcohol are dominant. A bit too grainy an aroma for me.

The barley taste is big and grainy, with sweet and bitter cherry and grape flavors. Very harsh with alcohol and thick barley. Less brutal as it warms up.

Feels fizzy like a Belgian ale, but thicker and more chewy. Not my favorite of the Stone brews (although to be fair, barleywines are not my forte). Drinkable, though.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 19:12:49 | More by williamherbert
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spring 2006

A - Pours murky amber copper with 2 fingers of head and a touch of lacing.

S - Very malty with caramel and apricot. Some raisin, tropical fruit and alcohol is also present.

T - Malty with caramel and toffee. Malt forward with citrus grapefruit hoppyness.

M - Medium to thick with sticky almost syrupy mouthfeel. Light carbonation.

D - Very drinkable for the abv but I was expectingmore from Stone.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 03:15:05 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of ThatWineGuy
ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I feel the need to start with a disclaimer: my beer bud and I opened this to celebrate a moment recently, a clearly compulsive act since the beer was not refrigerated and came out of the cellar at about 20 degrees celsius * groan *.

A brown head that dissipated too early with not a lot of carbonation gave way to a ruby colour. Given better lighting, there were lots of well-spaced miniscule bubbles that revealed a fullness of life. Cherry on the nose with malty baguette suggestions. This barley wine offering was loaded with hops and very full in the mouth, reminescent of a port or sherry, giving way to an over ripe mango in the finish. The combination of big alcohol and warm serving temperature threatened to knock me out with an intoxicating finish.

As I said in the disclaimer, there's a reason why the scoring here is not higher - where it deserves to be. Clearly another sampling - a proper one - is necessary to give this product the recognition it deserves. Now, I need to find one of these, or drive to the States at my first good opportunity...

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2007 18:24:28 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2007 02:55:39 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of objectivemonkey
objectivemonkey

Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early spring release, 2006. Into a chalice, pours a deep orange color with a small whitish head, but little lacing to speak of. A swift swirl yields a falling sheet of lacing that doesn't stick. The aroma is well tempered by now, the malts well developed, lots of caramels and a hint of citric fruit, the hops a little more laid back from the aging, and the alcohol probably a little more assertive. True to Stone form, the taste is much more hoppier than the nose, even at this age. They lend a oily orange to a thick, sweet, juicy malt base, and then, more subtly than should be legal, the alcohol creeps in, warming, soft even, a very well crafted sucker this is. The mouth is smooth, sticky and sweet, slightly carbonated still and very much warming. Overall, I was hoping for more, but perhaps thats just because I expect the best from Stone.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2007 02:45:28 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of mdm46410
mdm46410

Indiana

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep golden/amber with a small foamy tan head. Aroma is hops, grapefruit, caramel and alcohol. Beautiful aroma. Flavor is that of fruits, sweet malts and a hint of alcohol with an upfront hop bitterness. Full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. The alcohol is very well hidden and not overpowering on your tounge. Nice, warming, creamy mouthfeel. Very well done.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2007 23:32:58 | More by mdm46410
Photo of jackorain
jackorain

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber copper, a little cloudy. Big white head, very good retention and fantastic lace.
S- Carmel malt, biscuit malt. Alcohol carries a raisony smell and tripical fruit, nothing earth shattering here.
T-Great big malts, carmel, mollasses. After the swallow a great big dose of green hop bite comes through. The bitterness lingers quite long.
M-Creamy medium to fill body, mild nice carbonation
D-Drinkable for such a high ABV, but this is still the limiting factor.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2007 16:57:52 | More by jackorain
Photo of RedHaze
RedHaze

Nebraska

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane, WA

Pours a murky rusty brown, with a one finger head that settles quickly to a thin soapy cap. There's really no lacing to speak of at all with this one, but that's not very surprising considering to alcohol content.

Smell; lots of brown sugar and toffee with some biscuity malts, and dark cherries. There's also a fair amount of piney hops in the nose along with a little alcohol.

Taste; lots of sweet malts upfront, with toffee, brown sugar and some faint hints of maple syrup. Mildly fruity with some dark cherries and and rum soaked raisins. The finish is piney hops and spicy alcohol, with a definite warming in the belly. The alcohol presence is not as you would pronounced in the flavor as you would expect with this being 11.2%.

Mouthfeel is very full bodied, and comes of a sticky and syrupy. The drinkability is pretty decent, and would be much better if the alcohol were not so high and the palate were not so sticky.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2007 02:07:38 | More by RedHaze
Photo of dickieb
dickieb

Rhode Island

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2007 23:17:28 | More by dickieb
Photo of tonistruth
tonistruth

Nevada

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- clear copper, oddly similar to color of empty bottle little retent on a 1/4" white head, leaving little signs of its existence.

S- overload on malts, syrupy sweet, citrus tang, bready, caramel

T- heavy on malt sweetness, fruit(date, raisin), alcohol heat at finish, piney and grassy hop toward finish, citrus

M- medium body, surprisingly smooth, higher carbonation level than expected, coats palate

D- not the best barley wine but very enjoyable, recommended, its good

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2007 01:10:20 | More by tonistruth
Photo of bkett01
bkett01

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Managed to hold onto this one for a year without drinking it somehow. It pours with a healthy tan head over a highly carbonated reddish/orange brew. It leaves a sticky lacing behind on the glass as it settles down.
Smell is a complex sweet aroma containing hints of dark fruits and alcohol. Taste is very sweet, and while the hop character has faded away over the year, we're still left with a very enjoyable well rounded barley wine. The sweetness is balanced out with a mild warming finish. Glad I held onto a couple of these, and looking forward to seeing how another 6 months changes my other one.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2007 03:07:46 | More by bkett01
Photo of Mdog
Mdog

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear reddish orange with a good head.

Smell: Smells like an alcohol-soaked sweet muffin.

Taste: Toffee, caramel, some alcohol bite, peppery, earthy bitterness.

Drinkability: A little strong to have more than one.

This has been sitting in my fridge for about 11 months. The hop bitterness seems to have almost disappeared. This is still a quite interesting beer, hopefully Stone starts distributing here soon.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2007 02:26:30 | More by Mdog
Photo of AaronHomoya
AaronHomoya

Indiana

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange-amber color, slightly cloudy with good carbonation and a little head.

Malty, alcohol, and butterscotch aroma. Bready, and similar to a dopplebock.

Taste is also malty and sweet, with peppery alcohol flavor. Finishes a bit dry with some hop aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium-thick and a little syrupy, though the carbonation makes it nice to drink. Alcohol presence is noticeable, but very smooth and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 16:13:12 | More by AaronHomoya
Photo of SurlyDuff
SurlyDuff

Oregon

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz bottle, poured in glass chalice

Appearance: Seems to glow! Shimmers of orange and yellow Thick lacing that hangs around for a good while. More than any Barleywine ive seen to-date.

Smell: Nothing out of ordinary as far as barleywines go. n

Taste: As with most of Stone's lineup, theres nothing mild here, but behind the strong taste, theres lots of subtle flavors. Is it wheat, burnt nut, clove or anise, caramel? Hard to put ones finger on all the flavors.

Mouthfeel: Satisfying! Makes you feel like your really drinking something with some substance. Alcohol tingle warms ya without the burn. Makes your mouth water more than a bit a few minutes later

Drinkabilty: Another good one from Stone. I could sip on this one all night. I'd like to put a bottle of this aside to see how it compares to next years...dont think i could resist opening em though.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 04:21:24 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Early 2006 release. 11.26% abv



Looks like ambrosia with some head. Pretty fizzy at first for a barley wine. But the head runs away rather quickly in true barley wine fashion. Amber, copper, bronze, honey, cognac, brandy color with some very sparse bubbling. The aroma is like a bitter ambrosia. From the smell of this beer, it has awesome aging potential. With about a year or two in the cellar, the pronounced hop bitterness will subside. Letting the strong alcoholic honeydew, maple syrup, and brown sugar malts take hold of the nostrils. The taste give the young alcohol more definetion with lots of west coast hops to boot. This beer tastes like something that requires a little patience to enjoy its full potential. Lots of amber, fruity malts with some medium pine bitterness, a bit resiny. Good to sip for prolonged periods of time. I hope I can have this beer when its about a year old in the bottle. Let the bitterness mellow out a little.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2007 07:23:36 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2007 04:47:26 | More by Viggo
Photo of stephendr
stephendr

California

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

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2007 05:55:17 | More by stephendr
Photo of Brewfan
Brewfan

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Early '06 release.
Poured into my Stone Old Guardian glass.

Quite a full cream colored head. Decent retention fades into long lasting pleasant lace.
Crystal clear dark amber color. No trace of cloudiness. No haze, no particles. Very clean.
Quite hoppy nose. Piney and alcoholic. Crisp apple peel aroma, bitter yet sweet. Not a huge nose.
Very hoppy on the tongue. My whole mouth is filled with the presence of hops. Tongue, roof, back of throat. Hops are everywhere. Maltyness comes through later but is definitely overpowered by the power of the hop cone. LOTS going on in this barleywine. Sweet, hoppy, bitter, malty. But in the end, the hops wins the battle.
Big, chewy mouthfeel. Had a tuna sammich on russian rye with this. Needed the food to "ease" the hoppy bite.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 06:06:30 | More by Brewfan
Photo of Prufrock
Prufrock

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber into a goblet.

clear bright orange amber. a touch of tan head that leaves slight hints of lace.

caramel, raisins and toffee dominate the aroma, with some balancing citric and piney hops. slightly alcoholic, but not too bad given the 11%.

medium body with a slightly syrupy feel; some sweet caramel malts washed away by sharply piney hops and a boozy finish. mild but stinging carbonation takes some of the edge off of the sharp flavors. nicely balanced and very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2006 05:09:10 | More by Prufrock
Photo of BlindPig
BlindPig

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2006 04:45:40 | More by BlindPig
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
RidiculedDisplay

California

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2006 13:47:39 | More by RidiculedDisplay
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.