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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
93
outstanding

189 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 189
Reviews: 161
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.16%
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: 189 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of neelyjr1
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Slight head, cloudy. Once it settles down it looks much like a darker scotch.

S: Very sweet, alcohol coming through at the end.

T: Sweet at first, alochol coming through towards the back end, with a bit of a hop aftertaste. The sweet sensation does stay on your tongue however.

M: At first I thought it was rather thin compared to some other barelywines I have had, but the beer does in fact coat the mouth quite well, leaving a lingering of malt.

D: Good, but not an everyday beer. I have had this one for a few months and thought it was time to break it out, but this will hold me over for several more months.

Photo of cproioi
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Reddish Orange color. Poured a thin head that disipated quickly and left no lacing. Visible carbonation bubbles that continued to rise through out the whole drinking.

S: Had a very strong smell of alcohol. Faint scent of hops, sort of an earthy smell. However, the hops aroma was equal to the strong barley malt aroma. Had an almost bittersweet smell. This made me very nervous I do not like overly bittersweet things.

T: Wow, this was not what I expected from the aroma. It was a nice balance between the two. Now it was not equal by any means the hops was over powering but it did bring up a very strong malt malt back bone that could not be denied. The after taste was a very strong alcohol taste.

M: The alcohol content burnt my lips a little when drinking it. Had a thick body to it but not oily. The carbonation feeling was a very lively feeling.

D: While I am not a fan of Barley Wines, I would buy this one again. Hopefully next time I can pair it with a spicy food like a curry dish or something. I may have to buy a couple and cellar them for a little while and try them again.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spring 2006

A - Pours murky amber copper with 2 fingers of head and a touch of lacing.

S - Very malty with caramel and apricot. Some raisin, tropical fruit and alcohol is also present.

T - Malty with caramel and toffee. Malt forward with citrus grapefruit hoppyness.

M - Medium to thick with sticky almost syrupy mouthfeel. Light carbonation.

D - Very drinkable for the abv but I was expectingmore from Stone.

Photo of Hunter
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rich, deep amber color, substantial carbonation. The head dissipates pretty quickly.

Smell: Alcohol is the first to make its presence felt. Behind that, caramel, sugar, heavy malt.

Taste: Alcohol is right there, mellowing somewhat as it warms to room temperature. Sugary malt is the only thing coming to mind here as the taste, but this is typical of the style.

Mouthfeel: Oily mouthfeel, cloying aftertaste.

Drinkability: Baarley wines are not to my personal taste, but this is a fine representation of the style. I can see it as a fine apertif, or paired with lamb or beef.

Photo of danielocean03
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Was given a sample tasting at Crown Liquors at 116th and Brookschool Road in Fishers, IN.

Poured a deep and dark amber color, slightly coppertoned at the edges. Slower pour still rendered a thick, sticky head that slowly faded to a heavier sticky lacing that coats the glass as it goes. Aroma is caramelly sweet and malty, with strong hoppy undertones in the end of the nose, smells hoppier than any Barleywine I've sampled, but not to the point of excess. Taste is very much the same in the smell, only with the warmth of the alchol finishing out the taste. Mouthfeel is rough, the hops definitely bite and so does the alcohol, both of which are typically not the stars of this style. Again, still welcome additions to my palate, simply unexpected in this style. Carbonation level medium, matched very well to the moderate body. Easily drinkable, still hides the 11% abv better than most, finishes out smoother on the tongue than it starts. Would likely purchase and try again, would nicely meet the standards of a hoppier barleywine kick.

Photo of nflmvp
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly cloudy copper/orange with 2 inch eggshell foam head that diminished to a light ring with sticky lacing around the glass.

Smelled of sweet and heavy fruit with some alcohol presence.

Taste seemed a little green to me. It hit hard up front with hops but seemed more subdued throughout the glass....probably a more drinkable beer in a year or so but good enough right now.

Mouthfeel was thick andsolid with a nice little reminder of the ABV.

Drinkability is good but I would think a review in another year would reveal a more drinkable beer. I look forward to it.

Photo of pjwilson
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of scooter231
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer served in the appropriate glassware because I'm a responsible adult. Step aside children.

Beer is ruby and clear, tan head of small bubbles, moderate retention, a little lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, very yeasty / biscuit and bready, mild musk.

Beer medium in body, mildly bitter from grain on the finish, mild leathery musk to the beer, fine malt palate, good Marris otter feel, overall the beer is fine, not my favorite but a good version of it.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of mcallister
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of phisig137
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
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 Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a reddish color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of sweet malt is pretty intense with some discernable hops on the top. Taste is dominated by huge sweet malt on the border of being disgustingly too sweet. Finish is hoppy but not overly so and provide a nice balance with the malt. Alcohol is well hidden. Overall, this is a nice example of an American barleywine and something I would probably seek again.

Photo of Budlum
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on draft at Zeno's in State College, PA, 03/06.

From notes:
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.

Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/11/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle. Vintage 2006. Poured into my Old Gaurdian Barleywine glass.

Appearance- Off brown, slight reddish watered down iced tea colored. Looks very lifeless. Pours with a 1/2 inch head, immeadiately evaporates into nil. The slightest sight of lace left behind.

Smell- Even smells a bit watery. Pretty harsh pine and grapefruit hop scent with a bit of fusel alcohol. A touch of caramel malt underneath.

Taste- Thankfully it taste better than it looks and smells. Gee, what a suprise...all hops. Not as harsh as I was thinking though. More grapefruit than pine, but the pine is there. Caramel roasted malt is hidden, but if you taste and smack your gums enough you can make it out. A tiny bit of cherry flavoring as well.

Mouthfeel- A bit watered down, about average maybe lower carbonation level. Bitter lasting aftertaste.

Drinkability- As all Old Gaurdian's....put them away for 1 year...no, make that a decade! A hophead delight as is if you like harsh numbing bitterness.

Photo of Brian700
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2004 bottle that Trancefishy brought over the other night.

This one poured a nice cloudy orange color with an off-white head.

The aroma was of raisins, figs, sweet malt, and mild alcohol.

There is a decent amount of residual sweetness in the flavor yet is has quite a bit of bitterness to it as well. There is a dark fruit presence like raisins, figs, dates, etc with a nice alcohol warming. There does seem to be something missing in finish.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a pretty drinkable beer and I would like to try a few more of these during different stages to see how it is both young and old.

Photo of frothyhead
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

After a year and a half or so stored in a closet I decided to pour this one before it got too old.

Pours a cloudy amber/brown/red into a snifter with not much head to speak of. A little off-white ring around the glass. No lacing.

Nose is malty and boosy. Bready yeast, caramel, some apricot, a hint of chocolate. Smells more like an old ale than a barleywine.

Mouth is full bodied with minimal carbonation. Thick and velvety with an alcohol burn and dryness in the finish.

Taste is malty and straight up alcoholic. This one has a pretty rough burn. Some caramel, chocolate. Bready. Some bitter and citrusy hops in there, but I think they've faded quite a bit at this point or are at least overshadowed by the alcohol bite.

Drinkability takes a big hit as this is a serious sipper - the alcohol bite and lingering dry, bitter finish slow this one down quite a bit.

Overall I'm enjoying this but not as much as some nice fresh, hoppy barleywines I've had recently. This is my first Old Gaurdian, so I'll be interested in looking back on this when I crack a bottle of the 2008 I have in the fridge. There is something rather intangible about this 2006, though, that is going to make me inflate the scores ever so slightly. As it warms, the flavors are melding a bit and, even with all the strong flavors bursting about, it is balancing out in a way that makes it an enjoyable beer to drink.

Photo of WaffleSauce
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
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 maek228
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: a dark amber...nice head and great visible carbonation

smell: bready, malty, and some hop oil

taste: same as the smell, bready, malty, and a nice thick coating of hops and oils at the end. alcohol is def. present and has a warming effect.

mouthfeel: thick in the mouth

drinkabillity: decent for barleywine

Photo of audiojon
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of walleye
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

early 2006 from the bottle poured a a nice deep amber with a biege head that left some good lacing. aroma, caramel, brown sugar, malts, just a nice sweetness, a touch of alcohol, hops. flavor this didn’t let me down got a nice sweetness brown sugar, honey, the hops were milder than the aroma, as this beer warms the sweetness comes out more and got just a hint of alcohol it was well hidden, nice smooth mouthfeel.

Photo of tonistruth
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- clear copper, oddly similar to color of empty bottle little retent on a 1/4" white head, leaving little signs of its existence.

S- overload on malts, syrupy sweet, citrus tang, bready, caramel

T- heavy on malt sweetness, fruit(date, raisin), alcohol heat at finish, piney and grassy hop toward finish, citrus

M- medium body, surprisingly smooth, higher carbonation level than expected, coats palate

D- not the best barley wine but very enjoyable, recommended, its good

Photo of DogFood11
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of jackorain
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber copper, a little cloudy. Big white head, very good retention and fantastic lace.
S- Carmel malt, biscuit malt. Alcohol carries a raisony smell and tripical fruit, nothing earth shattering here.
T-Great big malts, carmel, mollasses. After the swallow a great big dose of green hop bite comes through. The bitterness lingers quite long.
M-Creamy medium to fill body, mild nice carbonation
D-Drinkable for such a high ABV, but this is still the limiting factor.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Glazed dark apricot with a subtle cherry blush. A vigorous pour produced a thickly creamy crown the color of orange-brown sugar mousse. I'm surprised at the amount of sea foam lace given the ABV. There must be plenty of hop resins still hanging around. Good.

The malt portion of the nose smells like primarily pale with an assist from something slightly darker. Typical Old Guardian BWSA. Other aromas include orange liqueur and... not much else. Unless things open up with warming... not impressed.

This bottle of OG is about two years of age. In that time, the hops have faded significantly and the alcohol is still on the rambunctious side. I have always thought that more caramel malt would result in a better beer that would age more gracefully. Midnight Sun Arctic Devil is a prime example.

Perhaps the key is to drink Old Guardian super-fresh. Maybe then the alpha acids put a major smackdown on the ethanol and neutralize it more effectively. In spite of a flavor profile that is less than complex, this is good beer. It has the orange peel macerated in triple sec and Irish whiskey vibe that a lot of pale malt-dominant barleywines possess.

Even though hop flavor is no longer intense, hop bitterness does a bang-up job countering the prodigious, sugar cookie-like malt backbone. The contrast between the drying qualities of the hops and the alcohol on the one hand, and the stickiness of the malt sugars on the other hand, makes for an interesting tug-of-war on the tongue.

Now matter how the brewery changes this ale from year to year (hop bill only, I think), it always has a wonderfully full mouthfeel. This edition seems more firm than creamy, but that isn't a problem at all.

It's too bad that Stone (Greg) doesn't seem to be open to a major overhaul of the 'always dependable, but seldom outstanding' Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale. Tradition is all well and good, but sometimes thinking outside the box is the best way to go. There's no reason why this barleywine can't be as fantastic as most of the rest of their lineup.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.