Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
4.45/5 rDev +7.2%
Striking screen print label explains Limited early 2006 release, 11.26% ABV with decorative fonts.
Pours with a light polished copper hue containing a few rising bubbles to a thick 1/2" solid island of spotty craggy beige coating. Some solid lace holds firm. A rather bright color for an American Barley wine.
Perky scents of caramel and hard candy malts with an impressive array of hop balance. Solid sturdy scents of beer ingreients that state bold sugar and malt bomb all the way. A tad of cherry fruit and bubble gum in the fruity mix of aromas.
First swigs: Rich sugar meld of hard sugar rock candy that just oozes clean American barley wine. Tricky flavor that would beguile the most discerning tastebuds. The hops create a swiggable big barleywine to crazy proportions. All the pear and apple fruit in the world is in here.
Feel is gentle with a subtle restrained carbonation. This one is ready to go! No cellaring needed. Gawd! Fresh barleywines can be awesome!
Last swigs: To assuage my personal tastes I'd pump a tad more malt backing along the lines of a SNBF and this is golden! It's tasty as it is.
Beer is good. Happy American barleywie beering.
06-21-2006 05:44:45 | More by blitheringidiot
4.45/5 rDev +7.2%
I received this as a birthday gift in April, and the bottle says "Limited Early 2006 Release," so this beer must be about 8-10 months old at this point. I'm not an expert on aging, and I'm even less of an expert on patience when it comes to beer, so I may be making a huge mistake by cracking my one and only bottle of this stuff so soon, but I've become Stone's bitch over the past few months and tonight the gargoyle wants to have his way with me again so I must submit.
The brew poured a flawless transparent mahogany with minimal head that quickly dissolved to a thin, tan lace.
The odor was notably potent, a mix of sweet red wine and caramel with a spicy quality (ok, I'm not doing this one justice, but my sense of smell and spices still needs a lot of work). Suffice to say, it was enticing.
The first sip was equally rewarding. A bit of the burn of alcohol, but at 11.2% ABV, I expected much worse. The flavor was so intense I could taste it just by inhaling through my mouth before the liquid ever touched my taste buds. Aside from the alcohol, it had a bit of red wine flavor and the sweetness of caramel, along with a strong piney, hoppy quality I've grown to love about Stone's brews.
Mouthfeel was pretty impressive for such a strong beer. Although the alcohol burned going down and the hops were intense upon contacting my palate, the finish was remarkably clean with very little lingering aftertaste.
I know this beer is going to kick my ass with so much alcohol, but I could easily see myself making short work of it. I just need to remind myself that I only have one bottle, I don't know if/when I'll see it again, and it's damn good. If I see it again, I'm buying a case.
All this coming from someone who previously disliked and even feared barley wines. Either I've come a long way, or Stone just reinforced why they've quickly become my favorite brewery.
10-04-2006 01:35:25 | More by instrumentality
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
4.47/5 rDev +7.7%
Clear dark cherry wood with a nice white foamy white head that left some streaks of lace on the glass. Plenty of nice ripe dark fruits in the nose with some alcohol peaking through. Some bready malts helped add some depth. The flavor starts off with ripe fruit sweetness and some warming alcohol. Notes of doughy malts helped to cut the sweetness and light hops. Finishes fruit with a slight alcohol bite. Nice full body and smooth going down. Very similar to last years but with less harshness this fresh, great stuff.
05-17-2006 20:19:22 | More by meathookjones
4.47/5 rDev +7.7%
Clear coppery amber topped by a substantial yellowish/light brown head. Generous chunky lacing remained as the head slowly fell. Rich caramel aroma, combined with notes of bread, alcohol, vanilla, and earthy hops that have a slightly citric edge. Great flavour - sweet malts blend with caramel, spicy alcohol, soft vanilla, mild ripe fruit and balanced citrusy/resinous hops. Bitterness never overpowers, but is a formidable presence from beginning through to the lingering finish. Medium to full bodied, the carbonation falls just short of giving it a creamy texture, leaving the mouthfeel just a bit rough (appropriately, I think). Alcohol starts to stun the tongue after a few sips, but it's not overbearing, and the warmth in the finish is quite pleasant. I really like this one this year. The character is balanced nicely between refinement and roughness, like it hasn't quite been tamed. The alcohol is also kept a little more in check. I'll try it again in a few months to see how it's coming along.
11-23-2006 03:03:45 | More by DrJay
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
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
4.5/5 rDev +8.4%
Appearance- Ruddy dark copper with a nice head and lacing that just won't quit.
Smell- Sweet fruity malts, raisins, bread, cherries. Hops come through but are beaten up by the malts.
Taste- One smooth mother of a barleywine. The malts dominate yet the hops come through at the end. Very complex and delicious. The sweetness makes it a delight to drink, it is thick and substantial, no watery qualities at all.
Mouthfeel- Thick and clingy, moderate carbonation.
Drinkability- Way too drinkable for the ABV. I'm hosting a blind tasting this weekend and this and AleSmith Speedway Stout will be my contributions. This is what I look for in a good ale: no watery taste at all, simply an ale that stands up on it's own and makes a statement. Stone can do no wrong.
07-14-2006 00:33:21 | More by kirok1999
4.53/5 rDev +9.2%
I truly must say, this is the best "Old Guardian" so far! The 650ml brown bomber silkscreened label (all Stone labels are s/s, no paper) states: "Limited Early 2006 Release" as well as "11.26 Alc. Vol." Think this stuff is strong ? You'ld better believe it !
Pours a deep, brilliant copper color with a one-finger, off-white head. The head deminishes rather quickly, perhaps the alcohol helps dissolve it, yet it has a nice delicate lacing.
First wiff is much like every OG I've had in the past, nothing really jumps out at you, just the usual good, some what sweet malty goodness with a mild hopping in the background. To me it pretty much smells the same, sniff after sniff, year after year. It just doesn't smack you in the nose like Bigfoot does, but that's ok.
The flavor however is much tastier and balanced from the previous years. It's smoother and not as chewy. It's just a grand malt expirience balanced perfectly by the hops, with a $hit load of alcohol blending the two. The finish is warm and tasty, a bit sweet. but not too sweet. I couldn't say for sure how well "Old Guardian" ages as I haven't ever cellered any. Outside of the alcohol being a bit pronounced, it really doesn't need to mellow and with the carbonation being a bit on the low side I say drink it now. Think I'll have another (this is plentiful here) and suggest you do the same, if you like strong American barleywine !!!
03-04-2006 12:04:53 | More by scottoale
4.53/5 rDev +9.2%
A- 1/4" light tan head. Clear amber body with bit of orange. Thin collar with lacing sticking to the side. Thin lacing covering the top.
S- Some citrus hops and alcohol. Has a nice malt balance in it also. Maybe a bit of bread too. Caramel malts and a light bit of toffee.
T- A nice big bitterness really cuts through right off the bat with alcohol following the path. The big malt follows the alcohol. Comes through as a nice caramel malt right off then kind of changes to a toffee malt as it sits there for a second or two. A light bread is still there like the 05 also. This one seems a bit stronger flavors (my guess is that extra year on the 05 helped it). Think this in a year though will be a bit weaker than the 05 today. They are very similar (same recipe just different breweries) but I think the 05 is a bit better. Better blended but still strong as this is very separate and strong but a bit weaker once the hops die down.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation and maybe a bit cloggy.
D- Like I said I think the 05 is a bit better but this is a very nice beer. Would like to see if it could hold its strength though once the hops have died down (IMO I don't think it will be able too).
This is my last review for the drinking a new year day after day (give or take a day or two). Overall the ones that stick out the most are the 2000 (by far) 02 and 05. I think the ones that arn't worth buying again (as of now) are 01 (I know 00 and 01 are same recipe but they do taste quite a bit different) and 06 (it is young). The 04 and 03 are good but nothing that will really make a big statement. Come Christmas eve I will be able to try the 99.
12-13-2006 04:45:40 | More by BlindPig
4.53/5 rDev +9.2%
Had on tap at the Bistro this past Wednesday for $5.00 for an 8 oz snifter. Reviewed from notes.
Beer poured orange with a nice off white head.
Nose was still quite pungent of floral hops. Amazing after all this time.
Taste was extremely well balanced. Grapefruit bitterness was still alive and well balanced nicely with a huge malt backbone.
Mouthfeel was exquisite, full bodied and extremely smooth.
Drinkability was very good. Wow, this was a gem. In the past I have primarily had the Old Guardians fresh and although they are good this proves that aging does wonders for some brews. Definitely try this if you are at the Bistro!
02-26-2011 00:49:50 | More by arizcards
4.55/5 rDev +9.6%
2006 Stone OGBWSA carried by me (and at times by my buddy Money3) in a large and very heavy open-top box (crammed in closely with many other potentially exceptional bottled ales) from Downtown Liquors in Boston's Davis Square. Our trek traversed many perilous city blocks on foot and included no less than three subway trips, one shuttle bus (packed sardine-style), one stop at a beer festival and one at a bar, and one taxi cab ride to Weymouth. After being allowed to sleep for a few hours the beer was then driven from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania (via Connecticut and New York) where it settled into rest in my cellar refrigerator. I share this history with you now so that you may understand that I worked hard for this beer. And now, six weeks later, it is time to pick the fruit.
Two things I can tell you right off the bat. Number one: if you want to make a lot of new friends in a hurry, walk around downtown Boston with an open box stuffed full of well-made beer. It's guaranteed to work. Number two: this beer was definitely worth the effort.
On my desk is a handsome 22 ounce brown bottle screen-printed with script and images of barley and a mug-wielding gargoyle. The back of the bottle tells a lengthy story about this beer.
11.26% alc. by vol. limited early 2006 release.
The cap comes off with a flourish and the brown-swirled, burnt-orange liquid finds its way to the receiving bowl of my crystal snifter. A substantial eggshell-colored flossy pillow floats atop the tawny liquid like meringue.
The bouquet is a whirlwind of sugars with dark hidden secrets and the dank moss-covered bases of deciduous trees in a fantastic forest blended with spicy alcohols saucy enough to warrant caution for even the boldest who enter here.
The darkest of fruits linger bruised in the flavor as if the unwitting trees which bore them, in a moment of self-doubt and weakness, did not merely drop these flesh-covered seeds to the ground but indeed hurled them toward the earth with such vengeance that birds in the boughs shrieked in horror as they flew frightened from amidst the leaves, and Satan himself did smile from his perch far beneath the damp soil as the fruits hit the ground in a frenzy. Splat, splat, splat, splat!
In an attempt to conceal atrocities against fruit, tied cinnamon sticks and candied Belgian esters seek to soften the apparent infanticide described above. A wood-like, strong alcohol component underlies the experience of this beer. It is both spicy and prevalent. Wooden and earthy like the barks of the homicidal fantasy forest trees, this beer tempts the tongue while swiftly and silently poisoning my bloodstream behind my back, unashamed of using its alluring and sensuous features and over-the-top yet slick-shoed and malicious intoxicants.
This beer is absolutely fantastic. It is exactly what I was searching for tonight. Lots of sugar and fruit tempered heavily with clingy bitters and alcohol heat. Beautiful.
Thank you to anyone still reading this for indulging these faux-literary ramblings. Cheers!
08-05-2006 04:31:23 | More by froggyfrog
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
Bomber, allowed to warm a bit and then poured in a goblet. Nice deep darkish almond amber, clear, with a minor tan head and leaving fine, rich and scattered lacing. Nose is of mellow malts and some alcohol. Waves of malt, warming alcohol, honey, smokey, vinious and of course, heady stuff. Smooth, coating, world class sipper/Night capper. What can be said beyond this is yet more wonderful beer from the left coast's Stone Brewing Co. Plus Stone puts this out @ $5.50 for a 22 oz. bomber ( Purchased at New Beer in NYC) Truly a bargain for world class BW. Wish I had the set up to put a case away every year for a few years...
09-08-2006 21:46:20 | More by Billolick
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
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass.
A: The beer is an orangey amber color with a thick off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: Robust citrus hops aroma with caramelized malt. Very nice! You do smell the alcohol, which is expected, but it’s not as strong as I thought it would be.
T: Intense burst of hops is what you taste first followed by the alcohol sting, this beer does NOT mess around (but what else would you expect from Stone). Then there’s a slight touch of citrus and malt sweetness. As the sweetness fades, you’re left with a mildly bitter hops after-taste.
M: Very crisp, medium body with medium-to-high carbonation and a quite clean finish.
D: This is a very drinkable beer, since it’s so flavorful. However with such a high ABV, it’s only drinkable for so long.
Overall this is an excellent beer. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It will get you going in a hurry though, so it’s not for the weak. Stone has done it again. Another great beer!
05-18-2006 04:24:07 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
A smothered dark amber glow with a blanket of off-yellowy firm foam about a finger high. Keeps a nice thick skim and collared edge. Lacing is decorated in a pleasing array of stringed patches and spots.
Aroma is slightly tropical with a sliver of alcoholic tinted warmth where warm bodied toffeish malt, mild pineapple, mango, and a piney tug of oils and citric pith make for a nice complexing nose.
Taste is so smooth, much like other Old Guardians, from what seems like ions ago, this has a much smoother malt tone than hop bite. Large malts bring in some very nice caramel swirling about a tropical fruity soaken depth of thick mango-like juices and pleasing warmth of chewy caramel candy. A warming pine oil of hoppy bitterness is sweet and smooth with well rounded orangeyness.
Slight texture of carbonation grits along the edges of the malty smooth body. Thick and succulant, nearly full, body thats warm and toastified. Hoppy oilyness ensues through the finish adding some complexing warmth and flachback of malts.
And, again, much like other Old Guardians, this stuff is majorly drinkable and gone before you know it. Another wonderful rendition by Stone. And my thanks goes to cvschaller for the hook up on so many chances to drink down some fine brews like this one!
09-19-2006 01:47:35 | More by tavernjef
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
A - Color is very good. Caramel and very uniform. The only disappointment is the almost non-existent head (off-white) that disappeared quickly and no lacing.
S - Clean with no hint at the high alcohol.
T - Layers of flavor with an initial hoppiness quickly turning into a balanced sweetness hinting caramel. Fantastic.
M - Disappointing lack of bubbles, but a nice texture
D - This is an amazingly smooth beer, especially for the strength. I can't wait to see what more time will do to it!
02-24-2008 22:10:11 | More by Med
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
4.68/5 rDev +12.8%
22oz bomber into a wine glass. Dark caramel with thick, khaki head that doesn't go away. Sticky lacing. Redish tint to it all.
Malt on top of malt. Sweet with underlying spiciness to it. The hops will come, oh yes, but the aroma leads you to think this one is a malt bomb. Scotch-like overtones. Some alcohol in the mix as well.
Taste: Like hoppy scotch. Heh, "hop-scotch." Malt leads with heavy hop middle and balanced finish. Smoky quality below it all, like an Isle whisky. Nice. Malt asserts itself even more as the glass warms.The alcohol remains present throughout but never dominates.
A tad thick for the mouthfeel. still, it works well. High drinkability, despite the debilitating alcohol content.
I have a 12 pack in storage for later (years later) enjoyment. I'll check back in next year to update on it's cellared experience.
07-09-2006 20:41:35 | More by rabsten
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.