1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

192 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 192
Reviews: 161
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.18%
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:
Beer added by: WebmasterMike on 03-02-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 192 | Reviews: 161
Photo of orsulacp
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Beaver13
2.99/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of kmo1030
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 wouldn’t say that it’s “sessionable” – hahaha – but if you HAD to drink a party keg it would be a task worthy of the most faithfull BA.

Photo of Dmann
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of JayTheFinn
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of taez555
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of maddamish
4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of AltBock
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of hero27
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of mentor
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of bignick
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle purchased at Bauer Wine and Spirits in Boston for $6 pourned into a St. Bernardus glass.

This is a very nice offering from Stone. It is not overwhelming like many other of their beers. On the contrary, for its stength, it is pretty smooth and mellow. The hops are not as aggressive as they are in some of the other Stone offerings. There is definitely a citrusy and grapefruit hoppiness there, but it is extremely well balanced by a caramel sweet maltiness. I like this, and it is definitely a nice beer to share with others.

Photo of TheBungyo
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It looks like a liquid ruby. Very little head. Smell is like cognac with a burst of sweetness. Taste begins with banana but not similar to a hefe, this is very unique. That initial banana is followed by a syrupy berry taste mixed with caramel. Very very complex. The back is slightly bitter hops. The massive alcohol is well hidden but apparent enough to let you know you are indeed drinking a barley wine. I plan on drinking this many more times and buying some extras to age. I've heard that Stone advises us to drink this fresh but I can't help but think that some years under the belt would make this a more complete beer.

Photo of Sephiroth
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with moderate initial head. Body is a crystal clear amber. Aroma is huge, sweet caramel, nutty malts with citrusy, piney hops.

Taste is raw, primal, fiery, and young. Nutty caramel and juicy hops abound, and a slight cognac character. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Drinkability is good, but I will cellar my remaining 22 bottles.

Photo of ypsifly
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz from the Limted Early 2006 Release that is silkscreened and has a novella printed on the back. Acquired via trade and poured into a snifter.

Dark amber with less than an inch of aged ivory that struggles under the weight of the abv and falls into a veiled ring in a minute or so. Not much for lace.

Big almost candy like malt aromas mixed with warm alcohol and piney hops. Very strong and aromatic with caramel and brandy. Oh shit, I'm in for a ride.

Big burst of full malt upfront followed by an equally large blast of pine and spice followed by a slow warming from the abv. The middle has some oil from the hops but they, burn off, pleasntly, by the finish which carries a lot of the spice. Normally I do not like to taste the alcohol, but this beer embraces it well.

It reminds me of the story of the A-10 Warthog. The USAF came to the aviation industry and said, "Here's a 20mm Gatling Gun. Build a plane around this." Both plane and weapon were integrated perfectly. In this case its the same with the abv and the beer. I would like some more hop flavor, but this is a really good example of big beer done right.

Full mouth that is a bit slick from the oily hops, but as I mentioned above it finishes clean. For a beer of this caliber, this is quite drinkable and I can't wait to try more Stone beers and after finally getting to sample one of their beers, the rumors that they will come to MI will get me even more excited.

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bottle picked up from Table and Vine for 6.95.

From the first sips, it seems like it is worth every penny. This is one of those mystical beers that seems to rarely show up on the East Coast. Anyhow, as I was reading the label wafting cinnamon and warming fennels overcame me. Needless to say I stopped reading and started drinking. Mellow, mellow, mellow on the tongue. Not too spicy, not too numbing. Perfect.

At 11.20 this is obviously a bear- beware! This could quite possibly the easiest drinking high ABV beer I've ever had. Simply wonderful. This is one is definitely one for the cellar.

Photo of Gritsak
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- nice bright amber red color with a decent offwhite head that slowely dissapates into a thick film that laces down the glass.

S- malty sweetness, some citrus hop presence. also a slight alcohol aroma.

T- very well balanced. The initial taste is sweet from the malt and alcohol, but then the hops show through to even out the taste, but not dominate it like with some barleywines. The finish is very smooth and even.

M- medium to thick body, very lightly carbonated.

D- besides the light sweetness that the alcohol adds to the overall flavor, its suprisingly drinkable. the finish is so smooth and blanced that you dont even suspect this is over 11%.

overall- i hate to repeat what ive already said, but this is a very well balanced and smooth beer. It is totally different from bigfoot, which the hops are the dominate flavor.

Im not sure how well this would age either because it seems so balanced and smooth now.

Photo of shroompod
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz silkscreened bottle , dated Limited early 2006 release.
Pours a clear red , not much head.

Smells citrusy , sweet...grapefruit juice smell.

Taste starts bitter , with a floral bite. Alcohol presents itself , although not at all unpleasant. Some woodsy bourbon tones come through.

Mouthfeel is sharp , nicely carbonated.

I can imagine this beer increasing in drinkability after aging. I'll be buying the stock out , if any's left.

Photo of WaffleSauce
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber from BevMo in San Diego. Greg’s gone crazy with this rant. . .it’s barely legible. . .

Pours into my trusty Stone pint glass. Loose-knit two-finger head, slightly caramel colored head. Flurry of bubbles swarms from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is close to Arrogant Bastards. . .but more subtle, and earthy. Malt dominated. Floral, earthy.

Very, very sweet caramel malt up front. Rolls into a warm alcohol at the back of the throat. A hint of hops, but nothing major. Alcohol isn’t at all overwhelming, in fact it’s superbly masked considering how much is in here. This is by far the most drinkable Stone special release I’ve ever had. Much more subtle and drinkable than its big-footed brethren, which in my humble opinion makes it much more appreciable.

I’ll look forward to trying these every so often over the next couple of years to see how they turn out. Very drinkable.

Photo of phisig137
3.69/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with copper highlights, and a two finger head that slowly disappates to a small ring around the glass, and no lacing.

Smell is dominated by floral and grassy hops. Small amounts of malty sweetness are also present.

The flavor at first is strickly hops, but after further sipping, shows a nice balance between floral hops and malt. The malt is prevalant on the mid-palate, but is overwhelmed by hoppy bitterness on the finish. A pleasant alcohol warming lingers for a while after your last sip.

Mouthfeel is full, but somewhat astringent. Slightly more carbonated than other barleywines. Drinkablility is good, but slow due to the high alcohol.

Good overall, but not quite as good as a few of Stone's other offerings. Perhaps this is due to the new brewery? Either way, I'll be curious to see how this develops in a year or two in the cellar.

Photo of Freshie
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage.

Pours a nice dark amber color with one finger cream head.

Smells sweet, and fruity.

The taste is very malty and sweet, with fruity overtones, that finishes with a nice warming alcoholic burn. Very oaky.

The sweet flavour makes the for a nice drinkability.

A very good example of an American Barleywine.

Photo of unklesyd
4.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Whee-o! This is my new favorite BW.

I feel like I have an illogical/pathological dislike of Stone for some reason, and yet I love every one of their brews. Thus is my mindset going into this bottle.

I had this after a fairly rich dinner of whiskey/cream sauce flank steak and garlic/basil potatoes. I was ready for the onslaught of bombasticity that was expected from Stone. Agression! Hops! Mellowed tannins!

Instead, this beer is the epitome of balance in a Barleywine. I served it at about 55F, letting the second half of the serving warm. Initially, the sweetness of the carmel was fantastic. It came through in the aroma as well as subtlely in the flavor. It was noticable with deep sniffs that this was not by virtue of color/caramel malts, but rather the caramelization of sugars in the base malt, as the aroma came through as raw but not husky after about ten minutes of warming/acclimatizing.

As it warmed, the aroma came through as more alcoholic, but not astringent. A nice addition to the complexity.

Didn't leave the palate tired. Full body and flavor, but not stagnating or hebetudinous (I learned this from the Oregon spelling bee competition double elimination list, so don't read backward for spoilers if you're a spelling bee entusiast). Bravo!

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.