Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
4.05/5 rDev -2.4%
Bottle shared by Robert – thanks!
Pours a hazy dark copper color with a cream-colored head that leaves decent lacing.
Smells of moderately sweet caramel malts with good amounts of smooth vanilla and hints of leafy hops. Also present are small amounts of oxidation-induced sherry.
Tastes similar to how it smells. Mildly sweet caramel malts up front are joined quickly by slight vanilla with hints of sherry. Midway through leafy hops come into play, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending. Mouthfeel is very good, with grainy carbonation.
Overall the last five years were kind to this beer, however I still prefer this beer fresh. Worth a shot if you like lighter hop influence in your barleywines.
07-22-2011 16:06:24 | More by glid02
4.15/5 rDev 0%
I have 5 years (2006-2009, 2011 Belgo) of a six year vertical. Time to dig in with oldest to newest (and maybe I'll come across a 2010 to complete things).
A: The barleywine is cuprous, amber with a darker nature. Still transparent, the ale has plenty of sediment suspended mid-glass. A quarter finger of eggshell white head reduces quickly, just a thin band with no lacing.
S: Thick and meaty, the malts are intense and focused. No simple malt bomb, the hops are powerful even after five years. Syrupy thick like molasses. Flowery hops, citrus-tinged, still jump out.
T: First sip: overpowering hops. Second sip: overpowering hops. Third sip: See one and two. Caramel and molasses, thick and heavy, bog down the taste. Perking it up, the flowery citrus hops zing with power. The ale is quite peppery, hot even. Both the hops and the malts are huge, restoring balance to the force. Booziness is present, sandwiched between the hops and the malts. Age has worked wonders; this beer could have lasted another 5 years I think.
M: Syrupy and rich, both the hops and the malts contribute to the strength. Rich caramel lingers alongside the hops; a decadent barleywine.
07-10-2011 19:51:16 | More by akorsak
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
4.83/5 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
4.33/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
02-20-2011 03:03:19 | More by HopHead84
4.33/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
06-14-2010 17:57:49 | More by AleWatcher
3.43/5 rDev -17.3%
Just opened and consumed tonight. From my cellar. I'd say this beer is past its prime by this point. More one imensional and washed out than it used to be and with a slightly unpleasant bitterness that tastes a bit woody. Somewhat cloudy appearance and no real head to speak of. Smells woody and fruity with peaches , melon, and some citrus flowers. An undercurrent of bitterness. Taste is quite similar to this profile, but with a bit of oxidation in the finish, a little less fruit and a little more woody dryness. There is a bit of sweetness to the flavor, though, which helps tame the woodiness. A bit tannic in the mouth from all the wood. Not bad, and still drinkable, but all the hops are long gone and the beer has gone from its intense, rough beginnings all the way through the balance it achieves with some aging straight through to being unbalanced again- but tamer.
03-16-2010 02:27:57 | More by Georgiabeer
4.15/5 rDev 0%
22 oz. bomber,
A: Pours burnt orange, with a nice frothy white head, good retention.
S: Really where these aged barleywines shine. Rum soaked oranges, fig, aged caramel malt make for a great fragrance.
T: Sweet toffee malt, oranges, butterrum and brandy. Definite bit of ethanol on the back end.
M: Smooth, silky and solventy. Full-bodied, elegant.
D: This is really good right now. Might be better after a few more years to take the heat off the finish, though I really don't mind it. A nice sipping brew.
02-21-2010 02:48:41 | More by Halcyondays
4.35/5 rDev +4.8%
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.
02-15-2010 00:46:46 | More by hophead247
3.48/5 rDev -16.1%
2006 bottle courtesy of HogtownHarry. This BW is a deep and hazy caramel colour, topped with a frothy beige cap. The nose is huge on this one. Massive caramel and piney hops meet citric notes, some apricot, bread crust too. Tastes of big complex malts, caramel and butterscotch, piney, citric hops, some apricot. Quite bitter and malty on the finish, massive lingering hoppiness. A slight metallic twang at the end. Good stuff. Thanks Harry!
08-01-2009 12:15:25 | More by mrmanning
4.25/5 rDev +2.4%
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.
06-12-2009 03:15:54 | More by flexabull
3.78/5 rDev -8.9%
After a year and a half or so stored in a closet I decided to pour this one before it got too old.
Pours a cloudy amber/brown/red into a snifter with not much head to speak of. A little off-white ring around the glass. No lacing.
Nose is malty and boosy. Bready yeast, caramel, some apricot, a hint of chocolate. Smells more like an old ale than a barleywine.
Mouth is full bodied with minimal carbonation. Thick and velvety with an alcohol burn and dryness in the finish.
Taste is malty and straight up alcoholic. This one has a pretty rough burn. Some caramel, chocolate. Bready. Some bitter and citrusy hops in there, but I think they've faded quite a bit at this point or are at least overshadowed by the alcohol bite.
Drinkability takes a big hit as this is a serious sipper - the alcohol bite and lingering dry, bitter finish slow this one down quite a bit.
Overall I'm enjoying this but not as much as some nice fresh, hoppy barleywines I've had recently. This is my first Old Gaurdian, so I'll be interested in looking back on this when I crack a bottle of the 2008 I have in the fridge. There is something rather intangible about this 2006, though, that is going to make me inflate the scores ever so slightly. As it warms, the flavors are melding a bit and, even with all the strong flavors bursting about, it is balancing out in a way that makes it an enjoyable beer to drink.
04-17-2009 01:24:32 | More by frothyhead
4.38/5 rDev +5.5%
Review # 666!
I decided for such a review I'd better not tempt fate in light of my usual luck, so I went for the protection that only a Stone gargoyle could provide from such potential bad mojo.
Big-ass silkscreened bomber that states it was an early 2006 release. Purchased for $4.99 at Daanen's in Hayden, Idaho (I think) around the time it was brand new.
Poured a hazy dark amber color that takes on a slightly brighter hue when held up to light. ¾ of an inch of bubbly beige foam sits on top initially, but rapidly recedes to a sudsy collar. Spotty lace.
Caramel tinged malts and spicy hops greet the nostrils. There's some citrusy and raisiny scents floating around as well.
Caramel sweetness is what first greets the tastebuds, but it's almost immediately paired with a spicy hop blast. I've heard that this is something of a hop monster when fresh. Over three years of aging has no doubt decreased the hop impact, but it's still present to a degree that melds well with the malts. There's some toasted malts and a mild flavor of dark fruit as well. A big dry note smacks the palate at the swallow. As this beer warms up, the belly finds itself being increasingly warmed by the growing booziness of the beer.
Relatively full bodied, with a sticky, resiny mouthfeel. The carbonation correctly keeps things from seeming too leaden.
A great nightcap beer to the point where I wished I'd saved it for such a use. It worked out well as a beer for post-work mellowing, however. I'll just have to put off making dinner until the buzz decreases!
04-06-2009 00:26:33 | More by woemad
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.
03-21-2009 19:51:52 | More by Vancer
4.08/5 rDev -1.7%
At first this chilly companion hid behind it's crystal clear dark amber attire. Hiding the delicate beauty of it's bouquet. Then As I gently warmed it the complex malty aromas were released ands the undercurrent of alcohol was released. Pressing forward I take a tentative sip. Again I am wondering what all the hype was about when I am hit with a wave of malty smoothness. Intermingling with this tasty sweetness are bitter hops. Taunting your every taste bud as soon as the sweet is registered. The bitter finish is cut short by a blast of acohol that both cleanses and leaves one hoping that it will diminish with time. A sweet and bitter darling with suble fruit and a bit of sadistic joy describe this brew. And masochist that I am I drink again.
03-06-2009 23:39:51 | More by Gilgemesh
4.2/5 rDev +1.2%
Had lunch at deep ellum this afternoon before work. Had great selections on tap and this one I could not pass up.
The tap poured a color mixed of orange and amber, pretty creamy head that eventually withers down.
Could both taste and smell the alchohol in this one. Very nice aroma that consists of some grapefruits, figs, a hint of caramel and some bitter hops.
Taste pretty damn good. Nice malt touch to it, bitter hop bite, very well balanced. You can taste fruits that lingre in its aroma. the shnazberrys taste like shnazberrys. Sweet figs and caramel. Alote of great flavors just lash out at you.
Not to heavy, you warm up to it after the first few sips. Overall a great and highly recommended beer.
02-22-2009 08:41:50 | More by Stockfan42
3.93/5 rDev -5.3%
I bought this one sometime in 2007.
Pours an amber color with ruby sides, very little foam. Maybe this was a little too cold when I poured it so let's see how the second pour presents itself. A swirl does seem to make the beer more active and attractive. The second pour was pretty much the same.
Deep caramel, brown sugar, cherry, toast, and faint orange and grapefruit hops in the background. Ripe fig and prunes as the beer opens up, some nutty malts as well. I thought it would be more intense in the aroma but it doesn't seem to be that malty sweet or complex.
Now that's better. Toast, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, cocoa, raisins, figs, cherry, strawberry, and ale yeast fruitiness. Low bitterness in the finish but enough to balance out the malt and the alcohol. Subtle citrus flavors in the background, lemon, sweet orange, grapefruit, and tangerine. Hop like resin flavor in the finish/aftertaste. A little more toffee and malt character and I would have been sold on this one. Still quite tasty.
A little syrupy up front but the carbonation lifts up the beer and guides it nicely though the palate. Very nice mouth-feel.
02-13-2009 05:02:22 | More by seaoflament
4.15/5 rDev 0%
On tap this past weekend at Deep Ellum. Was just about to settle the bill, when I saw the bartender put a new tap handle on that said "2006 Old Guard.". So I had to stay for one more. I got the first one from the keg. Poured into a Unibroue chalice. Dark orange amber color. Smelled a bit hot with alcohol, but the hop burn called to me. Tasted pretty darn good. Very mellow flavor. Not as hoppy as the smell would indicate. Alcohol hit your palate though, but with a gentle fist. Great combo of hops and booziness. So glad we stayed for one more beer. If they changed taps 15 minutes later, I would have missed it.
01-14-2009 00:46:44 | More by morebeergood
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.