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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
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

TheLongBeachBum, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of ism
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

ism, Jul 26, 2006
Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Halcyondays, Feb 21, 2010
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 kingchowchowwoof
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Old Guardian glass. Bright white 2 finger head, with lots of medium bubbles. Does not retain for too long but good lacing on the glass.
Smell has lots of date, blood orange, a bit of alcohol and finishes with a pine hop scent.

Taste has a lot of the same character as the smell, sweet raisins, and fig flavors. Dried fruit comes in next, followed by alcohol and the dry hoppy finish.

Leaves a tingly sensation on the tip of my tongue. Not very carbontated, slightly slick feeling. Pretty decent mouthfeel and fair drinkaility. I have another bottle I will late age. I am sure this stuff can only get even better with age. I was just glad to get my hands on some this year.

kingchowchowwoof, Apr 18, 2006
Photo of DaggerEyes
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown bomber bottled poured into an oversized wine glass

Small fizzy head tops this ruby amber brown barley wine. Very viscous and sticky, clings to the sides of the glass.

Sweet Musky earthy nose. Scents of Caramel, Stawberry, Morrell mushrooms, doughy malts and slight cirtusy hops. Beautiful bouquet on the nose.

The strawberry and malt caramel are present in the taste as is the alchohol. Some oily piney hops on the front of the tounge with a carmel brown sugar malty taste as the beer moves back, maybe a hint of vanilla too, despite all the different notes detected The taste is a bit monochromatic and some what numbing on the pallette perhaps due to the young age of the brew....I can imagine it developing into a much more complex taste with age, as some mellowing of the alchohol would do it some good...(don't get me wrong it's still a pleasure to drink now)

Prickly on the tip of the tounge with a full and somewhat chewy body and a dry finish

An enjoyable beer and fairly drinkable despite it's High ABV

I have another bottle that I am tucking away until late july 2009 when i complete my graduate program, can't wait to review it and see how it's aged then!!!

DaggerEyes, May 18, 2006
Photo of mdm46410
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

mdm46410, May 30, 2007
Photo of jabocu
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

jabocu, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of scott
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful apricot, very little head retention - all carbonation is is in suspension. Awesome. The brew appears gelatenous.
Smell is a delicate interpretation of malt kissing a fig.
Taste is a close encounter with the smell, but the hop is quite evident.
This is what you would characterize as a lip-smacking barley wine. Clean, refreshing, yet entertains a malt complexity.
Nicely done, because if I had a six pack, I wouldn't have anything left to cellar tomorrow.

scott, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of elricorico
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to orrshow for sharing his bottle with me. This review is from notes.

The beer is a clear deep amber with a thick foamy tan head. The head recedes leaving plenty of lacing. Visible carbonation climbs up through the glass.

The smell has toffee and molasses with a dry vinuos backbone. There is an alcohol warmth to the smell.

The is a very sweet and malty beer. Molasses and cane sugar up front. Woody, vinuos finish. Overall impression is very malt heavy.

The mouthfeel is thick and sticky, and the carbonation is light. Just how you want this style to feel.

I really enjoyed this one, it went down very well, almost too well considering the ABV.

elricorico, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of Gilgemesh
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Gilgemesh, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of Onibubba
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Haven't cracked one of these open in several months. Pours a dark amber into a tulip glass leaving a full inch of frothy beige head. The smell is very nice - the lightest scent for rich floral hops. The taste is much more about the sweet malts than the hops, but this is a wonderfully mild barleywine. Mouthfeel is outstanding. Faintest tickle of carbonation makes it seem not so heavy. Drinkability is outrageously high considering the ABV involved here. I'm not even tasting the alcohol, and am seriously considering having another.

OK - That last thought was at about half the bottle. I've thought better of having 2 in a row. You may not taste the alcohol, but it is there and it will creep up on the unwary. Dman good stuff that seems to just get better with every bottle. Glad I stocked up this year.

Onibubba, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

glid02, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of russpowell
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

russpowell, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of surferman576
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

surferman576, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

SurlyDuff, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of twelvsies
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

twelvsies, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of neenerzig
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the first, and to my knowledge only, Barley Wine style ale I have ever tried. This beer is a nice amber color with a glow. A big thick white head forms when poured that lasts 5 minutes, maybe longer. After that a bit of a head lingers for quite some time. Bread dough and malt are the strongest smells in this brew followed by alcohol. The taste is somewhat bitter yet sweet and the same time, even a bit salty and a taste of some crisp and maybe even roasted hops. There is a dry mouthfeel and aftertaste with moderate carbonation. After a few sips you start to feel warm inside. Not the most drinkable of beers I have had, but enjoyable nontheless. This is the type of beer that should take someone at least an hour to enjoy the whole thing. I can't see myself drinking this quickly or drinking more than one a time. The 11.26% alcohol per volume level starts to hit you after a few sips. I have now had this particular beer 3 times. I do not believe I like it as much now as I did the first time I tried it back about 2 months ago right when this year's batch had just hit the shelves. For whatever reason it tasted much sweeter to me the first time I tried and I thought it was quite possibly the best beer I had ever tasted. Anyone have ideas as to why that might be? Can 2 months of shelf life really effect or change the taste of a beer of this caliber that much? I still enjoyed my most recent bottle of it, but not to the same degree that I did the first time trying this beer. At any rate I shall have to try some other brands of Barley Wines so I have something to compare Stone's to.

Eric

neenerzig, May 09, 2006
Photo of RedHaze
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

RedHaze, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
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...

ThatWineGuy, Aug 10, 2007
Photo of klewis
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

klewis, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of BradBLR
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BradBLR, May 30, 2006
Photo of Fish113d
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*22oz bottle served at room temp into a tulip glass.

Pours a brass color with some reddish/ruby undertones to it. Head is tan, fizzy, dissipating edge layer. Clean apprearance.

Pretty hoppy nose. A bit of alcohol and oak aroma as well. I also detect just a bit of vanilla and caramel. Decent.

Sipping reveals a sweet vanilla & fruit beginning. The sweetness gives way to an overwhelming bitter hops flavor and a bunch of alcohol burning my palate to all hell. Oak drying flavor due to the alcohol.

Tingly carbonation gives way to a huge full body including lots of warming and drying from the alcohol. Fun actually. Starts mild, but then kicks your rear end!

Overall, I am excited to drink teh whole bottle ALLL ALONE! I'd love to try other years, and I should probably get another bottle and hold onto it for a few years also. Yummy!

Fish113d, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a chalice with this one!
Pours a beautiful, radiant deep honey color; it doesn't bother with head or lacing.
The smell has an interesting, pleasant twang of citrus rind... an orange/tangerine blend thing.
Tastes a bit like... twizzlers, more so the raspberry kind than the licorice kind but there is a bit of the latter as well. Has a nearly abrasive hop bitterness in flavor and mouthfeel but settles down in the finish. The finish is definitely a lingering sticky yet slick hop oil.
Pretty drinkable for such a big beer. Doesn't strike me as being as smooth as last year's vintage but this is a tasty animal in its own right.

ommegangpbr, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Metalmonk, Jun 17, 2006
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.