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:
3.7/5 rDev -10.8%
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.
05-05-2006 12:42:21 | More by DarkerTheBetter
3.83/5 rDev -7.7%
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.
05-03-2006 04:23:56 | More by DogFood11
4.83/5 rDev +16.4%
Better than Bigfoot and I love Bigfoot! Also, and excellent value at $4.50 a bomber, although admittedly not quite as good a value as Bigfoot at $10/sixer.
This one is great fresh - the hops are there, oh yes they are there, but by no means do they overpower and I think they are just right right now. I'm goign to put a bottle away and see how this drinks in a year, but I'd be surprised if it gets any better than it already is - but then again, who knows!
An outstanding barleywine with exception balance for the style. That 11% somehow flies under the radar and is in your face at the same time. Another great one from Stone!
04-30-2006 06:45:33 | More by mitchfor3
3.88/5 rDev -6.5%
2006 release, 11.26% alc/vol.
Pours out a clear reddish orange color with about a half inch off-white head.
The smell kind of reminds me of 90 Minute IPA with its biscuity malty scent, with a little bit more citrusy fruit and a lot more alcohol.
The taste is more malty than I expected. Very biscuity with only a slight note of citrusy hops. The alcohol is very noticable while the beer is in your mouth, but finishes fairly smooth. This beer could use a little bit more bitterness IMHO. And age.
The mouthfeel is the best aspect of this beer. Its very heavy and full, and extremely creamy with just the right amount of cabonation.
Fairly drinkable for a beer of this magnitude. Perhaps a bit too young right now, and intense. This is going to be a lot better in a few years.
04-26-2006 02:37:41 | More by ej285701
4/5 rDev -3.6%
Shimmering copper with lively carbonation and a quickly fading ecru foam cap. Aromas of rum-soaked figs and hazelnuts doused in sherry -- an overall vinous nose. Sherry and port qualities abound in the taste; dark fruits (plum, cherry, fig) and a bit of roasted nut flavor. A small amount of bitter hoppiness is detectable in the finish, but the mammoth alcohol presence overtakes things from mid-sip onwards. This is still one hot barley wine. Slick mouthfeel; a bit chewy but smooth for the most part. For me, this is reminiscent of Double Bastard, but with a less aggressive overall flavor and a cranked up alcohol content. Seems as if this one definitely needs time for the alcohol heat to meld with the rest of the flavors. Stone has the most amazing bottle art.
Big ups to dmeadows for the trade!
04-24-2006 03:14:34 | More by orfeu
3.73/5 rDev -10.1%
Served on draft at Zeno's in State College, PA, 03/06.
Smells are aromatic; dried fruits with hints of hops and an ever so slight medicinal alcohol smell. Presentation with minimal head, possibly a delay from the tap to my seat. The first sips mimic the smell. Hints of raisins and prunes with a finish of a slight hops and alcohol. Further into the glass, the fruity notes disappear and the alochol presence takes over. A good barleywine representation lacking full depth in my opinion.
04-23-2006 19:40:19 | More by Budlum
4.4/5 rDev +6%
22 oz bomber poured into a tulip, this is gorgeous garnet-amber with a big two fingers of off-white dense head and great retention for a barleywine with this much alcohol, nice looking lace left behind on the glass. Nose is interesting, with a slight herbal hoppyiness over a doughy malt with a slight bit of fig and dark fruit. Taste is more of the same, a sweet slightly caramael malt with raisins and fig flavors blending nicely with spicey bitter hops and a slight alcoholic finish. Full bodied and very smooth, almost creamy. Very nicely balanced and smooth drinking, and for the ABV this is absolutely evilly drinkable. Great barleywine from Stone.
04-22-2006 19:19:03 | More by cubedbee
3.7/5 rDev -10.8%
Had this against the '04 last night the review for the '04 is also posted. '04 won in every category accept appearance in my book but this will be much better with a couple years to settle down.
Very clean vibrant amber/copper color. Slightly less frothy head and lacing than it's brother from '04 but much prettier.
Cleaner more distinct hop aromas, a little brown sugar, and less malt noticeable. Not as delicate as the '04.
Subdued complexity overall compared with the '04. When I tried this in the bottle I thought the '06 was less hoppy and thinner bodied than the previous vintages I'd tried from bottle ('04, '05 withouth aging). But compared with the 2 year old '04 the '06 seemed like a monster. This was much more hoppy with a bitter caramel component, and toffee in the mid palate. Very clean tasting but after trying the '04 cellared for 2 years I would'nt touch a bottle till at least '07.
Drinkability was hit once again because of the high alcohol factor.
04-21-2006 11:20:41 | More by mcallister
4.13/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
04-18-2006 04:04:22 | More by kingchowchowwoof
4.35/5 rDev +4.8%
A chalice as well for me.
I don't normally open a Guardian this young but we cracked one for Easter week-end. I have accouple to age as well up to a year. It will be nice to see this beer mature.
At a first pour, I was concerned, for there was no carbonation reaction and no head, just a oily ruby color. At a second pour, minutes later, the carbo-reaction was there, as well as a small but known tan head. This beer awoke.
The aroma was good but not overly strong.
The taste carried by the aroma welcome, was malted sweet alcohol. Fruits of grape, candied caramel and a known but background hop. Alcohol rounds out the taste as its strong but with a gentle side. At 11.2% it can sneak up on you for even at that strength, the beer is Very drinkable and easy on the mouth.
When you drink one of these, it helps you realize what a treat, as a BA, an annual special brew can be. Cheers!!
04-18-2006 02:34:09 | More by chilidog
3.68/5 rDev -11.3%
Pours a ruby red, clear with some floaties, some nice head, some lacing. Pretty enough. Smells like bready coffeed red wine. Similar to last year's batch, but definitely hoppier. Different. Taste is way hoppier too. Still some breadyness, some maltyness and some red wine- but hops take over. In full force. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and sudsy, nice but not incredible. Fairly drinkable for an 11% beer- definitely sneaky- but drinkable nonetheless. A good brew, but not last year's batch... sigh.
04-15-2006 06:24:11 | More by scooter231
4.22/5 rDev +1.7%
This beer poured into the glass with a soda like fizz, really weird. It had a copper color with some ruby highlights and an off white head that disappeared quickly. A bit of hops in the smell, but the sweet malts take over and dominate. Almost like candy it is so sweet. The taste is very good; I get sweetness at first, like grapes and some other fruits that I can't come up with now. There is a sharp alcohol bite at the end combined with the bitter hops. The mouthfeel is very nice, not as syrupy as most barleywines, somehow it is heavy and light at the same time.
04-15-2006 02:03:19 | More by orsulacp
3/5 rDev -27.7%
22 oz 2006 bottle. Pours a glowing reddish orange with a medium off white head that goes to a thin film.
The aroma is sweet and spicy candy-like caramel with some hoppiness and a bit of watery DMS. It's kind of metallic and phenolic as well.
The flavor is spicy caramel and a strong watery alcohol with a sharp and spicy bitter alcoholic finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with light carbonation.
Overall, not so great. It's too alcoholic and not very complex. I wonder if this bottle might be a little bad (especially from the smell). I've had it once before and remember not being impressed though.
04-14-2006 05:11:59 | More by Beaver13
4.22/5 rDev +1.7%
rich clear ruby brown with a thin tan head.
the nose has tons of raisins and some fresher grape juice aromas. there is also a good dose of brown sugar and caramel. some slight orange rind aromas. very little in the hops department, maybe just a little grassy herbal hops. actually the hops do come out quite a bit when approaching room temp. a little boozy.
the taste is big and fruity, with a butt load of hops on the back end (i was a little worried there, judging form the smell). lots of brown sugary raisins with rich caramel, washed over by a flood of pine needle hop bitterness. butterscotch and pepper on further inspection. alcohol is moderately present, but doesn't detract at all. the taste desreves a little less than a 4.5, but i'll give it the benefit of the doubt.
lighter full body with sharp carbonation.
good drinkability, fairly easy drinking. by all means a good beer, but not as good as last year. funny, but in reading the back it says it's the same exact recipe as last year, doesn't taste or smell like it. last year didn't need a lot of warmth for the nuances to come out, this one does for sure. let it sit for at least 15 minutes
04-14-2006 00:53:06 | More by kmo1030
4.03/5 rDev -2.9%
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.
04-13-2006 01:30:40 | More by ommegangpbr
4.38/5 rDev +5.5%
Picked up a couple of these at Bauer for an unbelievable cheap price...lets just say over $2 less than some other place I frequent.
Dark mahogany in color with 1/4 finger of bright white head...very little sporadic lacing remains.
Mellow in the nose...but filled with raisins, cherries, bubble gum and fruity hops.
Splendid flavor...enough sweetness to prove a malt bomb and fruity hops, just enough heat to feel the alcohol, but very well hidden for 11% plus.
Thick mouthfeel and the carbonation is fantastic for the style...bomber goes down too easy.
I remember someone stating how this year's offering was on tap at the release in NJ as "raw" and needing to cellar for a while...while I am sure this will be simply phenomenal with a year on it, it is so delicous right now.
04-13-2006 00:12:46 | More by warriorsoul
4.47/5 rDev +7.7%
Appearance This is an innocent-looking orange with some light brown coloring. The head almost blew up at the pour but settled quite nicely.
Smelll Yes, the hops are definitely taken aback from previous years. The malts are sticky sweet. They are very broken down and probably would not respond well to prolonged aging. This is good as is. The booze is in the background but not to be forgotten.
Taste This is so much bigger at the taste. The hops first of all, which were all but AWOL at the nose, are huge. They are a complex mix of sharp fruits and light pine with maybe a bit of herbalness.
The huge malts from the nose are at first hard to find at the taste. But, there they are, soaked in alcohol and drenched in this, hardy fruit syrup. This is a heavy-hitting, complex flavor profile that will keep the note-keepers very busy.
Mouthfeel This is almost full in the body with some surprising carbonation and a mild alcohol sting in the cheeks.
Drinkability This is very drinkable with no aging. I wouldnt say that its sessionable hahaha but if you HAD to drink a party keg it would be a task worthy of the most faithfull BA.
04-09-2006 10:26:04 | More by RoyalT
4.78/5 rDev +15.2%
Another great year for Old Guardian. The beer poured a burnt orange color with a thickness that could definantly be felt. The head was nice and thick as well, and stuck to the glass like glue. Big alchoholic fumes were there in the smell as well as a good dose of malty sweetness and a bit of citrus in the background. This beer went down a little eaiser at this young age than ones in years past. The big alchohol flavor was still there but it was mixed better with the orange and sweet malt flavors of the beer. There were some faint hops but they could not break through the malty exterior. All in all one of the best OG's I've had and definantly recommended.
04-09-2006 07:54:40 | More by Dmann
4.15/5 rDev 0%
I had a huge ol' sandwich while drinking this one and it still put me on my seat. Wow, 11.26% ABV, that's ridiculous! I thought their Imperial Stout had a powerful kick!
Barley Wine's not my favorite style but this was tasty. It just got better after each new sip. And the sweetness gradually came on as it warmed up to room temperature, just as i like it.
Nothing to complain about here. This is solid.
04-07-2006 04:07:44 | More by JayTheFinn
4.28/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
04-05-2006 23:58:36 | More by taez555
4.75/5 rDev +14.5%
A great barely wine from a great company.
Highlights: Butterscotch, hop and grape notes.
Lowlights: Nothing really. If I wanted to get nitpicky I could say that it is .... You know what? I am not going to get nit picky. This is an excellent brew that you should get as soon as you see it on the shelves. This is the most complex and tasty barely wine that I have ever had. The alcohol is well masked which could get some BA's in trouble.
Overall: A great success
04-05-2006 03:28:29 | More by maddamish
4.63/5 rDev +11.6%
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.
04-03-2006 18:58:23 | More by AltBock
4/5 rDev -3.6%
22 oz bomber. Limited Early 2006 Release. 11.26% abv.
Interestingly weird monologue written on the back. Aromas of fresh pulled-taffy, tree sap, and sweet caramel..with the alcohol barely poking it's head through the mix. Flavors of black licorice & old-fashioned candy...enormous, sweet malts and a ridiculous hop punch. The alcohol is a natural byproduct of all this chaos..which somehow comes together to make a pretty damn good barleywine. Not one you'll be drinking on any regular basis, but it's a great treat fresh, and a superb aging candidate.
04-03-2006 06:02:12 | More by hero27
4.43/5 rDev +6.7%
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.
04-02-2006 07:57:48 | More by mentor
4.5/5 rDev +8.4%
Shared this one with my father while watching the extended "Return of the King". He really liked it.
This one was a lovely amber color, clear, with a half finger head. What a barley wine should be.
Aroma was slightly sweet, fruity malt, a bit musty. Alcohol was noticeable in the nose.
The flavor washed over the tongue so easily... strong malt, a trace of mustiness, slightly sweet, with a hint of pine-like hoppiness. No alcohol in the flavor... very deceptive!
Mouthfeel was quite chewy, thick and syrupy. It went down really smooth.
Drinkability was very nice. I will have to get one and cellar it for a year or two. Dang, I am running out of cellaring space in my cabinet!
03-31-2006 04:31:44 | More by connecticutpoet
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.