1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 DogFood11
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first dive into the old guardian series. I admit it the barley wine style was one of the last styles that I learned to enjoy. I'd always found them so wildly ranging in taste that it was a complete crapshoot. The Old Guardian is the one that brought me back and the 2006 version to me, as a novice, is exceptional.

An aggressive pour produces a nice sized eggshell white head that sits atop a copper body, with decent spider web like lacing. Any hop bitterness seems to wait until very late in the game to make its presence felt but when it does they are sharp and clean up nicely. Caramel, or rather more of a dark rich sugary quality makes up the jist of it, although there are subtle complexity that keeps me interested. The hop presence actually crispen this brew up quite a bit. Warming is evident, red cheeks wouldn't suprise folks who have that sensitivity.

I would say that this leans toward the malted, sweet side of the wide ranging style. Mouthfeel is a bit on the syrupy, rich side as well. I picked up 24 bottles and plan on sampling one every couple of months. So far this is my 2nd bomber sampled and its growing on me. Solid offering, well brewed.

DogFood11, May 03, 2006
Photo of mentor
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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 AleWatcher
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

AleWatcher, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of mikeincharleston
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

mikeincharleston, May 13, 2013
Photo of djaeon
4/5  rDev -3.6%

djaeon, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photekut, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of brewcrew76
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

brewcrew76, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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 bennetj17
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper/amber hue, very clear, with only a thin head. The malt aroma is very sweet and caramel-like, with the hops more in the background. A bit of alcohol fume in the nose also. The flavor is rich and alcoholic too. Lots of sugary caramel flavor with notes of raisin and dark fruits. The hops are present but don't seem to jump out at me like I would expect from a Stone brew. The mouthfeel is medium in thickness, maybe a bit syrupy, with a nice subtle carbonation. This a solid choice, but perhaps a bit strong and malty sweet for my palate...

bennetj17, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of morebeergood
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

morebeergood, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of jvillefan
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

jvillefan, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of woemad
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

woemad, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of cadaugherty
4/5  rDev -3.6%

cadaugherty, May 08, 2013
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
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!!

GratefulBeerGuy, Jul 19, 2006
Photo of codynevels
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

codynevels, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of AltBock
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

AltBock, Apr 03, 2006
Photo of Wildman
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear reddish amber color and formed a nice off white foamy head that coated the glass with lace as it slowly subsided. A medium amount of carbonation was present. An aroma of malt, hops, caramel and pine. The flavor was heavy with malt and hops with a slight caramel aspect with a pine presence in the background. It has a medium body and a sligtly sweet, yet astrigent finish with the warming aspect of the alcohol coming through. Undoubtedly will get better with aging.

Wildman, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

sinstaineddemon, Mar 17, 2006
Photo of Mdog
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Mdog, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of taez555
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

taez555, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a beautiful glowing champagne pink and amber with a small collar of tiny bubbles.

Smelled of bread dough, creamy oats, strawberries and a light, oaky cedar. If a beer could ever smell smooth and silky, this one does.

Tasted of a light, thin syrup with a quick snap of oak that faded away leaving behind a light whole wheat toast and creamy bread dough.

The mouth feel is light and dry but feels a little dense with a light carbonation.

If dry and oaky is your thing, pick this one up.

DarkerTheBetter, May 05, 2006
Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.78/5  rDev -33%
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.

FtownThrowDown, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of wcudwight
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

wcudwight, Jun 29, 2006
Photo of meathookjones
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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