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:
4.15/5 rDev 0%
Presentation: 22 ounce screen printed bottle that retains the same overall Stone Old Guardian screen printed design as last years 2005, which differed from prior years. A few minor changes to the design include the fact that words Limited Early 2006 Release are now relegated to a smaller text and situated as a single line at the bottom the main label. As with the OG2005, this one also clicks in at a mighty 11.26% Alc.Vol.
Appearance: Striking clarity runs through this lucid orange-brown beauty. At its darkest it has a polished chestnut body which lightens to a shimmering yet rusty dark orange when backlit. Sticky deep tan colored froth forms a concave head riddled with inner marrowbone-like passageways and cavities. Soft swirls reveal a finely dissolved carbonation which keeps the head at ¼ thick; the lacing though is very delicate and spotty. Solid looks.
Nose: Cracking the cap off of this one immediately filled the surrounding air with a stench of alcoholic malts and some dark caramel. Classic Old Guardian traits from last year are repeated. This one has a strong and very deep alcoholic skeleton, fleshed out with caramels, thick malts and piney hops.
Taste: Thick malty start with a big hop-fused middle that deposits an oily hue on the tongue and lower part of the mouth. Alcoholic orange is thick and transitions through a distilled pine oil phase to finish with a warming gullet swallow which teases at first, then finishes kicking and screaming. As it warmed the complexity opens a little and reveals Aniseed, thick home-made Cob crusts, a hint of vanilla just before the swallow and the singe that follows. Long after the swallow and between sips the lingering finish softens and turns into a fruity hoppy reminiscent memory.
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, powerful, demanding and just damn big, with a little swaggering Stone brashness mixed in for good measure, not totally unexpected. Moves between dark and malty, hoppy and oily with a fruity aniseed ending.
Drinkability: The heat did not seem as harsh as past years; either that or I can handle it better these days. I always look forward to cracking an Old Guardian when the time comes around.
Overall: I think this is good to go right now, I would even go so far as to say that I think this is one of the best fresh samples of Old Guardian that I have tried to date. A more rounded and palatable 2005 version which retains all of its flavors and strength whilst adding a little more Drinkability.
03-14-2006 05:19:46 | More by TheLongBeachBum
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
3.8/5 rDev -8.4%
I'm admittedly not a big fan of barley wines, but I picked this up at the Stone brewery this weekend due to its being a special release. Brought it back to a friend's place, where we proceeded to go to work. Appearance is great, nice copperish amber, smell was very pleasant, very sweet (as is to be expected). Taste was extremely sweet at first, but the back end had a nice hopped balance to it. I had a couple of glasses of this, as did my buddy, and promptly took a nap afterward. This is the exact reason I don't drink much barley wine, it seems to knock me for a loop even more than high gravity Belgians do. I would like to pick up a bottle of this for aging, as I'm sure it would benefit greatly from a couple of years in a cellar. Even still, it was very smooth, and the only thing limiting me from finishing the growler is the high ABV. Worth a try, but be prepared to get knocked on your ass.
03-12-2006 23:05:23 | More by audiojon
4.05/5 rDev -2.4%
I haven't really been into many barleywines recently, but, tis the season I suppose. I always regret not getting the good ones when they come out. This is one of those good ones. Pours a ruddy applejuice color, with hints of red shining through. A short lived head is present, and is about all you can expect from a barleywine. I am amazed by the clarity though. As bright and clear as a nice German pilsner, only red. Really fruity and lively in the nose, full of raisins, prunes, whifs of alcohol, and a big raw maltiness. Not too much of a strong hop profile, but some citrussy notes show thier face. Taste is not as aggressive as your average Stone brew, but more refined, and toned down by en excellent, chewy mouthfeel. More on that later. Sweet, in a word. Very similar to the smell, plenty of raisiny, gooey, fruit-snack notes and a big malt character. Some subtle vanilla as it warms, and a soft and sleepy boozy quality to this one, not harsh in the least. A nice bitterness pops up at the end, just enough for somewhat of a balance, but it's more of an afterthought. Surprisingly, this isn't a very hoppy beer, overall. But the thing that ties this beer together is the eat-it-with-a-fork mouthfeel. Full bodied, super slow and chewy on the palate. Manages not to come across as syrupy however, which is important. Refreshing to see a barleywine that doesn't have a chip on it's shoulder or something to proove, especially from Stone. Very refined, very soft and complex, but energetic. Not frenetic or all over this place. Hmmm I did just notice that this beer is 11.26%... I suppose that might contradict my last few sentences, but not in this case. This beer doesn't drink like an ass-kicker. The perfect beer for the first warm day of the upcoming spring season.
03-11-2006 08:30:39 | More by twelvsies
4.05/5 rDev -2.4%
Pours caramel to red in color with a an okay white head, drops off to a bubbly layer. No head retention or lacing???
Smell: Fruitcake, alcohol, dates,
Taste: Sweetbread, alcohol, oakiness & hops bite on the edge. Finish is fruitty, dry & alcohol
MF: Chewy and not so slight undercarbonation
Pretty drinkable for the heft, nice winter warmer as old man winter comes back around here. A good barleywine that will only get better until 2009 at least
03-11-2006 05:34:44 | More by russpowell
4.05/5 rDev -2.4%
A: Pours a clear ruby color with a decent sized head for a barleywine.
S: A well-balanced smell with aromas of molasses, rasins, pine, and a moderate amount of alcohol
T: This beer has perhaps the biggest, fullest taste that I've experienced. Loads of bitterness from start to finish, although it is balanced well with the malt. Overall, the taste is very good, although the alcohol dominates much of the flavor.
M: Full-bodied, rich, and syrupy.
D: This is a very good barleywine, and an improvement over last year's I think. The taste is a little tiring on the palate, so this one is probably best shared with a friend.
03-11-2006 01:44:42 | More by klewis
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
4.05/5 rDev -2.4%
this is a great barleywine style ale. it pours with a good but not big head that disappears within a couple minutes. the color is a deep ruby or raspberry red - absolutely beautiful. the smell is strong with strong hint of brandy - this is also true in the tase which is very sweet, but not unbalanced. the alcohol is very noticeable in the taste at 11.26% but isn't at all unpleasant :) I would definitely pick this over many other barleywines. get to the store now and buy one.
03-10-2006 04:15:54 | More by surferman576
3.63/5 rDev -12.5%
appearance: favorite part? the prop. 65 warning that states: "some materials used in the colored decorations on this product contain cadmium a chemcial known to the state of California to cause birth defects". That made me laugh, gee if you are a pregnent mother and considering a drinking a bottle of Old Gaurdian, then i think the kid is gonna have worse things to worry about than the cadmium(what ever that is). ok but seriously...
appearance: got to admit, that's a fine looking barley wine style ale. the amberish beer seems to glow out of my white wine glass. the head is suprising solid and large as well. the head melts down into a solid lacing.
smell: drank the first half of the bottle right out of the fridge and there was no smell. now, at room temp. getting smells of prunes, brandy, fusel alcohols and other dried sweet fruits. all and all a little subduded. quite nice though, and little hops if any.
taste: a bit of alcohol in the taste, blended with hints of sweet figs, a dry bitterness. this is a pretty balanced beer, not too sweet, not to bitter. I don't think it needs much age, at least not to mellow the hops out, only to improve the blending a bit. it works good here.
mouthfeel: old syrup? about like drinking pancake syurp if that's your thing. for me it's a bit much, (would have prefered the beer a bit more dry)
drinkability: one 12 once bottle would be enough, but i can finish the bomber without much trouble. I am left at it's conclusion with absolutly no urge to have another untill next year. If i had the patience and money to age a bottle or two I would, but i don't think i do. I've been drinkin' lots of bigfoot lately and i just plain enjoy that more, along with hairy eyeball. all in all a good once or twice a year beer for me, but it's just a little thick... way more than your average BW.
03-09-2006 06:24:20 | More by pjwilson
4.2/5 rDev +1.2%
A: After a big of an overzealous pour (have been dealing with RISs and DIPAs recently) ended up with 3+ fingers of creamy, tan head. Clear copper color with lighter hints at the edges.
S: Sweet caramel (and slightly fruity) smell. Hops are present but not pronounced.
T/M: Sweet and balanced taste. Very similar to the smell. Has a crisp, floral hop finish. Carbonation is a little much, but not out of line.
D: At the start the drinkability is great, but doesnt last long. 22oz of 11.2% is more than enough for me.
03-05-2006 22:38:57 | More by kdmorse
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
3.85/5 rDev -7.2%
Pours a beautiful amber-ish red with a hefty offwhite head that leaves nice lacing. Smell is of dough and fruit and not much of an alcohol smell (which is suprising seeing how it is 11.26%). Sweet taste that gives way to a bitterness that is pleasant with a noticeable presence of alcohol. Has sort of an oily feel to it. Definitely a sipper, and a one at a time kind of beer. Overall its pretty good, will be interesting to see how it tastes after being cellared for 6 months.
03-03-2006 04:47:12 | More by ChillMike
4.18/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
03-03-2006 02:21:45 | More by Wildman
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.