Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 - Stone Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
3.75/5 rDev -9.6%
08/11/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.
Presentation- 22oz bottle. Vintage 2006. Poured into my Old Gaurdian Barleywine glass.
Appearance- Off brown, slight reddish watered down iced tea colored. Looks very lifeless. Pours with a 1/2 inch head, immeadiately evaporates into nil. The slightest sight of lace left behind.
Smell- Even smells a bit watery. Pretty harsh pine and grapefruit hop scent with a bit of fusel alcohol. A touch of caramel malt underneath.
Taste- Thankfully it taste better than it looks and smells. Gee, what a suprise...all hops. Not as harsh as I was thinking though. More grapefruit than pine, but the pine is there. Caramel roasted malt is hidden, but if you taste and smack your gums enough you can make it out. A tiny bit of cherry flavoring as well.
Mouthfeel- A bit watered down, about average maybe lower carbonation level. Bitter lasting aftertaste.
Drinkability- As all Old Gaurdian's....put them away for 1 year...no, make that a decade! A hophead delight as is if you like harsh numbing bitterness.
08-12-2006 01:22:31 | More by GClarkage
4.22/5 rDev +1.7%
This 2006 batch has really grown on me. I went from liking it to really, really liking it.
It pours a reddish orange with a white head. Little lacing. The smell is of molasses, ripe fruit, and in typical Stone fashion- a hint of citrus hops. Very nice.
The taste includes the prerequisite citric hops, but also a beautiful malt backbone. There is overly ripe fruit, molasses, sweet bread, and a little alcohol heat at the end. This is huge and complex on the palate.
The mouthfeel is chewy and it satisfies. Drinkability would have to be above average for the style.
Another great beer from Stone. I'm glad their new brewery has higher production. They will need it to satisfy my thirst for their products.
08-09-2006 01:30:43 | More by gotbeer
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
4.38/5 rDev +5.5%
Finally opened up my first bottle from the latest round of Old Guardians at poker the other night...
Pours a slightly viscous rich, bronze/amber with shiny copper tones. Head is a bit thin, but the lacing holds.
Gives off a faintly sweet aroma of brown sugar and malt, vague hints of sweet citrus fruit and vanilla, almost molasses, but nothing quite that rich.
Whoops! Strike the "nothing quite that rich," this baby packs a wallop! Alcohol is noticeable if not quite predominant in a delicious warmth. Hits with a burst of that brown sugar sweetness, vanilla is again noticeable, fruit notes seem more ripe fruit than citrus now. Which is a big leap, I know. What would be described as a bracing hop bitterness elsewhere really just barely starts to even things out on the back end. There's some citrus and spice to the bite, but it definitely doesn't leave one's mouth dry. No sickly sweetness left on the tongue, this definitely has you coming back for more. Feel is rich and incredibly smooth with just enough carbonation to liven up the party. Flat, and this wouldn't be suitable except in a port glass.
Another outstanding Stone creation.
08-02-2006 15:45:57 | More by errantnight
4.15/5 rDev 0%
Winter 2005 release, cellared for 8 months. A beautiful copper with deep amber tones, clear, with a taupe head that settles to a thick but thin layer -- but nicely cloudy when you get to the bottom of the bottle. Lacing forms spotty rings. Malty aroma, sweet and spicy, a mix of apples and pears, with a refreshing hop earthiness. Active carbonation in a thick body, the malts hitting right away, with earthen freshness in the undercurrent. Goes down smooth and this is where the real action is -- a subtle alcohol warmth with a complex mix of pepper spices in the back of the throat, with bitter earthy hop lingering.
A solid brew, interesting and smooth, that could probably use a bit more time cellared. The flavors are a bit on the sweet side, more than i'd like, but its complex is nice but not the best, suggesting raisins and dates, and the hop freshness makes it stand out, West Coast style.
07-26-2006 07:46:54 | More by ism
3.63/5 rDev -12.5%
Poured a slightly cloudy copper/orange with 2 inch eggshell foam head that diminished to a light ring with sticky lacing around the glass.
Smelled of sweet and heavy fruit with some alcohol presence.
Taste seemed a little green to me. It hit hard up front with hops but seemed more subdued throughout the glass....probably a more drinkable beer in a year or so but good enough right now.
Mouthfeel was thick andsolid with a nice little reminder of the ABV.
Drinkability is good but I would think a review in another year would reveal a more drinkable beer. I look forward to it.
07-24-2006 21:59:13 | More by nflmvp
3.55/5 rDev -14.5%
Appearance: Rich, deep amber color, substantial carbonation. The head dissipates pretty quickly.
Smell: Alcohol is the first to make its presence felt. Behind that, caramel, sugar, heavy malt.
Taste: Alcohol is right there, mellowing somewhat as it warms to room temperature. Sugary malt is the only thing coming to mind here as the taste, but this is typical of the style.
Mouthfeel: Oily mouthfeel, cloying aftertaste.
Drinkability: Baarley wines are not to my personal taste, but this is a fine representation of the style. I can see it as a fine apertif, or paired with lamb or beef.
07-24-2006 20:23:15 | More by Hunter
3.75/5 rDev -9.6%
This is a 2004 bottle that Trancefishy brought over the other night.
This one poured a nice cloudy orange color with an off-white head.
The aroma was of raisins, figs, sweet malt, and mild alcohol.
There is a decent amount of residual sweetness in the flavor yet is has quite a bit of bitterness to it as well. There is a dark fruit presence like raisins, figs, dates, etc with a nice alcohol warming. There does seem to be something missing in finish.
The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation.
This is a pretty drinkable beer and I would like to try a few more of these during different stages to see how it is both young and old.
07-23-2006 04:03:13 | More by Brian700
4.3/5 rDev +3.6%
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!!
07-18-2006 23:46:09 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
3.58/5 rDev -13.7%
Was given a sample tasting at Crown Liquors at 116th and Brookschool Road in Fishers, IN.
Poured a deep and dark amber color, slightly coppertoned at the edges. Slower pour still rendered a thick, sticky head that slowly faded to a heavier sticky lacing that coats the glass as it goes. Aroma is caramelly sweet and malty, with strong hoppy undertones in the end of the nose, smells hoppier than any Barleywine I've sampled, but not to the point of excess. Taste is very much the same in the smell, only with the warmth of the alchol finishing out the taste. Mouthfeel is rough, the hops definitely bite and so does the alcohol, both of which are typically not the stars of this style. Again, still welcome additions to my palate, simply unexpected in this style. Carbonation level medium, matched very well to the moderate body. Easily drinkable, still hides the 11% abv better than most, finishes out smoother on the tongue than it starts. Would likely purchase and try again, would nicely meet the standards of a hoppier barleywine kick.
07-16-2006 15:31:49 | More by danielocean03
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
4.68/5 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
4.22/5 rDev +1.7%
Poured into a standard pint glass.
Nice ruby/copper color and a decent foamy head to start off. The smell is of bread, molasses and alcohol, letting you know what you are about to get into. Lovely bready caramel/molasses taste with fruit and hints of bitter hops and a warming alcohol finish that was pleasant and not overdone. Mouthfeel was thick. At 12% alcohol, you don't want to drink too many of these, but the flavors make the drinking expereince pleasurable.
One of the better American barleywines out there, and another reason to seek out anything that says Stone on the bottle.
07-05-2006 13:18:17 | More by KilgoreTrout27
3.5/5 rDev -15.7%
A: Reddish Orange color. Poured a thin head that disipated quickly and left no lacing. Visible carbonation bubbles that continued to rise through out the whole drinking.
S: Had a very strong smell of alcohol. Faint scent of hops, sort of an earthy smell. However, the hops aroma was equal to the strong barley malt aroma. Had an almost bittersweet smell. This made me very nervous I do not like overly bittersweet things.
T: Wow, this was not what I expected from the aroma. It was a nice balance between the two. Now it was not equal by any means the hops was over powering but it did bring up a very strong malt malt back bone that could not be denied. The after taste was a very strong alcohol taste.
M: The alcohol content burnt my lips a little when drinking it. Had a thick body to it but not oily. The carbonation feeling was a very lively feeling.
D: While I am not a fan of Barley Wines, I would buy this one again. Hopefully next time I can pair it with a spicy food like a curry dish or something. I may have to buy a couple and cellar them for a little while and try them again.
06-30-2006 19:10:01 | More by cproioi
4.33/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
06-29-2006 02:34:54 | More by wcudwight
4.45/5 rDev +7.2%
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.
06-21-2006 05:44:45 | More by blitheringidiot
4/5 rDev -3.6%
This bomber courtesy of Zorro. Thanks again.
Pours a nice ruby color with shades of amber mixed in. Thick tan head that left good rings of lacing. Sweet smelling with the scent of caramel, molasses, raisin bread, and of course the alcohol coming through. The taste is along those same lines. Begins sweet with caramel and molasses then gets a bit bready with some dark fruit flavors thrown in finishing with the warming of the alcohol. The ABV wasn't noticed as much as I expected, which makes this very drinkable for a beer this big. Full body with lower carbonation. Another brew well done by Stone.
06-18-2006 15:16:07 | More by Imstillthegman
3.88/5 rDev -6.5%
Poured into the glass a seemingly hazy garnet orange color. Head began as a thick tan foam, faded to a cap (still impressive for the higher ABV). Lace was impressively thick, for the ABV.
Smell was rich sweet caramel malts, molasses, pine forest and ethanol. The smell was incredible.
Taste was suprisingly less hopped than other American barleywines I've tried. Sweetness and caramel maltiness initially, piney hops followed by alcohol and slight hop bittering finish. Actually pretty well balanced mix of malty sweetness and hops bitterness. Alcohol is pretty overt, but that was not unexpected.
Medium plus body. Fairly low carbonation. Overall, pretty drinkable for the style.
06-18-2006 01:55:11 | More by EvilKeith
3.88/5 rDev -6.5%
A nice dark amber pour with hints of red. The head was foaming and chunky with fairly nice lacing. Aroma was dominated by a glazed donut tinge, hops, malt and caramel.
Taste was kind of plain for Stone. Simple caramel, malt and sticky sweet molasses.
The finish and aftertaste is where the alcohol kicked in. This was a 1.6 Liter bottle, too much in one night.
06-18-2006 00:50:49 | More by Mebuzzard
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
4/5 rDev -3.6%
Really wanted to cellar this bottle for a year or two, but I cannot resist opening it as I've been very interested in Stone stuff lately. Will have to buy multiples and age a few. (Thanks to jabocu for the trade)
A good pour offered a nice big creamy head but it thinned very quickly. Color is an amber/copper, a more reddish hue than most barley wines I've seen so far. Very very mellow bubbles.
Smell is citrus and dark fruits, pine, molasses, cherry Twizzlers.
Flavor is hot and medicinal, with hops giving a grapefruit wang and a butter/caramel/malt sweetness adding balance. It's a little acidic, not as smooth as I'd hoped. Maybe aging is just what this needs. Adds a pleasantly sticky mouthfeel in the finish, mightily enjoyable.
All Stone beers I've had so far have been absolutely delicious and this is no exception. But I do come away with two thoughts 1) there are barley wines out there with more depth, and 2) this would probably be better with some age on it.
06-17-2006 19:28:39 | More by Metalmonk
4.1/5 rDev -1.2%
Pours a brown/orange color with a nice light tan two finger cap. Cap fell to 1/4 inch cap. Aroma is lots of fruity esters of apples, pears, plums, figs...etc. Notes of caramel, bread, alcohol, and slight old ale undertone. Flavor is very caramel sweet right at first, but breaks out into lots of fruit. Cinnamon and spice. Followed by a nice mellow citrus hopiness that hangs for just a few seconds. The alcohol is very warming. Body is Medium-High, with medium carbonation and finishes semi-dry. Excellent beer... and cannot wait to see what happens to this over the next year.
06-07-2006 23:14:13 | More by jabocu
4.33/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
06-06-2006 20:30:33 | More by ultralarry2006
3.9/5 rDev -6%
The beer looks like bourbon of the darker golden brown variety. Only a slight foam head sits on top and leaves little to no lacing.
The aroma is of caramel and barley, pretty light though. It doesnt pack a huge punch. What IS noticeable, however, is how UNnoticeable the alcohol is. Barely any, if at all. Its seriously hidden, despite the beer not having a huge nose to begin with. As it warms, though, a graham cracker aroma starts to bloom. Bready and full.
The flavor is sweet caramel maltiness up front. Following suit from the nose, the alcohol is not very apparent. A nice bitterness balances out the finish, and it isnt too sharp. It does leave an oily feeling. The mid to low carbed beer sits in the mouth just right, not too heavy, not too light.
Much easier than Id figure a beer of 11+% ABV would be to drink, so this could be dangerous. It wasnt my favorite Barleywine style, but definitely a good beer.
05-31-2006 17:27:55 | More by GolgiIPAratus
4.03/5 rDev -2.9%
This is a good beer now, but will probably be a great beer om six months or a year+. Poured this beer into a nice pint glass, color was a deep amber color with a nice thick whitish yellow head. The smell was a light fruit aroma with a hint of alcohol.
Taste was a sharp bitter fruitish flavor, that was balanced nicely with a sweet malt and hops. There was a slight taste of alcohol, but I think it needs to sit longer. Mouthfeel was good, think like a barley wine should be.
Over all a good barley wine, that can give Sierra Nevade a run for it's money. Can't wait for next year's.
05-30-2006 19:00:39 | More by BradBLR
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.