Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev -3.6%
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.
03-30-2006 03:35:39 | More by bignick
4.22/5 rDev +1.7%
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.
03-27-2006 06:13:16 | More by TheBungyo
4/5 rDev -3.6%
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.
03-27-2006 00:52:37 | More by Sephiroth
4.28/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
03-26-2006 04:03:21 | More by ypsifly
4.43/5 rDev +6.7%
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.
03-26-2006 00:23:08 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
4.18/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
03-25-2006 23:53:08 | More by Gritsak
4.43/5 rDev +6.7%
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.
03-22-2006 02:10:33 | More by shroompod
3.78/5 rDev -8.9%
Bomber from BevMo in San Diego. Gregs gone crazy with this rant. . .its 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 isnt at all overwhelming, in fact its superbly masked considering how much is in here. This is by far the most drinkable Stone special release Ive ever had. Much more subtle and drinkable than its big-footed brethren, which in my humble opinion makes it much more appreciable.
Ill look forward to trying these every so often over the next couple of years to see how they turn out. Very drinkable.
03-20-2006 04:17:53 | More by WaffleSauce
3.7/5 rDev -10.8%
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.
03-20-2006 00:50:31 | More by phisig137
4.5/5 rDev +8.4%
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.
03-19-2006 04:44:23 | More by Freshie
4.9/5 rDev +18.1%
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!
03-18-2006 05:57:57 | More by unklesyd
4.43/5 rDev +6.7%
This year is my first in trying Barley Wines.
Ok...I like them...and enjoy the differences between them.
This old Guardian is surprisingly smooth...
Pours a med redish orange with a small head that ends up very fine lacing.
Aroma is only lightly hops....heavier on citrus and toasted malts.
Mouthfeel is pleasant with it's very fine carbonation.
Taste is slight orange....a little toasty...then nice hop bitterness ending in a grapefruit tang. Nice alcohol warming on the finish.
I enjoyed this one and was surprised at it's mild smoothness with no aging. I can definately drink this one "green" and will be interested in how it matures (If I can restrain myself enough to cellar some for a year.
03-18-2006 01:28:41 | More by IntriqKen
4.25/5 rDev +2.4%
pours a dark red, reminiscient of an irish ale, decent carbonation visible and a creamy white sturdy head. hints of orange peel aromas add to the overal smell
tastes warm, bitterly smooth as it goes down. slight orange taste that sweetens at the end, like a caramel or butterscotch taste. sure warms the stomach.
my first Stone Brewery brew, and i look forward to more, this beer is great.
03-17-2006 23:03:20 | More by sinstaineddemon
4.2/5 rDev +1.2%
...and the granddaddy of all American Barley Wines. This is what this style is all about. Strength, substance, character, power and finess, all in one offering. Colored a deep mohogany, viscous red with an amber-ish firm head that whisps away like you'd expect a brandy to. Starts out with strong malt flavor, taking on syrupy proportions with deep amber malt sweetness. Fruitiness from deep over-ripened fruits of dates and figs to tart ripe fruits of cherries and berries. All with an underlying yet powerful alcoholic warming and sweetness. Full and rich right into the finish with a light sour astringency before the beer enters the throat.
03-16-2006 03:42:12 | More by BEERchitect
4.03/5 rDev -2.9%
*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!
03-16-2006 02:47:03 | More by Fish113d
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
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.