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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

188 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 188
Reviews: 161
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.4%
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: 188 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Brian700, Jul 23, 2006
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.

frothyhead, Apr 17, 2009
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.

WaffleSauce, Mar 20, 2006
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

maek228, May 07, 2006
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.

audiojon, Mar 12, 2006
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.

walleye, May 24, 2006
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

tonistruth, Mar 17, 2007
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.

DogFood11, May 03, 2006
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.

jackorain, May 14, 2007
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.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 04, 2008
Photo of ChillMike
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber-ish red with a hefty offwhite head that leaves nice lacing. Smell is of dough and fruit and not much of an alcohol smell (which is suprising seeing how it is 11.26%). Sweet taste that gives way to a bitterness that is pleasant with a noticeable presence of alcohol. Has sort of an oily feel to it. Definitely a sipper, and a one at a time kind of beer. Overall it’s pretty good, will be interesting to see how it tastes after being cellared for 6 months.

ChillMike, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

limited early 2006 release...i believe i have only had the 04 release prior to this

enjoyed during bears-titans with a funky bleu mont dairy reserve cheese

appearance: served in a hopleaf tulip, bright amber body, autumnal highlights...light beige ring with very light lacing. Its not as aggressive on the eyes as i would have imagined

smell: sweet malty nectar, notes of a once-bitter hop profile come through after the brown sugar and alcohol whiffs fade...2 years out from the release of this and the aroma is a bit messy

taste: This Stone release has a big malty center and heavy notes of nut and fig...brown sugar, alcohol, and a fading bitter hop profile make this a very powerful ale. This is good, but not great....i much preferred the 04 version and hope the 05 i have will be drinking nicely

mouthfeel: creamy and full, very high bitterness

drinkability: rough stuff for sure

dirtylou, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice dark amber pour with hints of red. The head was foaming and chunky with fairly nice lacing. Aroma was dominated by a glazed donut tinge, hops, malt and caramel.
Taste was kind of plain for Stone. Simple caramel, malt and sticky sweet molasses.
The finish and aftertaste is where the alcohol kicked in. This was a 1.6 Liter bottle, too much in one night.

Mebuzzard, Jun 18, 2006
Photo of EvilKeith
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into the glass a seemingly hazy garnet orange color. Head began as a thick tan foam, faded to a cap (still impressive for the higher ABV). Lace was impressively thick, for the ABV.

Smell was rich sweet caramel malts, molasses, pine forest and ethanol. The smell was incredible.

Taste was suprisingly less hopped than other American barleywines I've tried. Sweetness and caramel maltiness initially, piney hops followed by alcohol and slight hop bittering finish. Actually pretty well balanced mix of malty sweetness and hops bitterness. Alcohol is pretty overt, but that was not unexpected.

Medium plus body. Fairly low carbonation. Overall, pretty drinkable for the style.

EvilKeith, Jun 18, 2006
Photo of ej285701
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2006 release, 11.26% alc/vol.

Pours out a clear reddish orange color with about a half inch off-white head.

The smell kind of reminds me of 90 Minute IPA with its biscuity malty scent, with a little bit more citrusy fruit and a lot more alcohol.

The taste is more malty than I expected. Very biscuity with only a slight note of citrusy hops. The alcohol is very noticable while the beer is in your mouth, but finishes fairly smooth. This beer could use a little bit more bitterness IMHO. And age.

The mouthfeel is the best aspect of this beer. Its very heavy and full, and extremely creamy with just the right amount of cabonation.

Fairly drinkable for a beer of this magnitude. Perhaps a bit too young right now, and intense. This is going to be a lot better in a few years.

ej285701, Apr 26, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper/amber hue, very clear, with only a thin head. The malt aroma is very sweet and caramel-like, with the hops more in the background. A bit of alcohol fume in the nose also. The flavor is rich and alcoholic too. Lots of sugary caramel flavor with notes of raisin and dark fruits. The hops are present but don't seem to jump out at me like I would expect from a Stone brew. The mouthfeel is medium in thickness, maybe a bit syrupy, with a nice subtle carbonation. This a solid choice, but perhaps a bit strong and malty sweet for my palate...

bennetj17, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of jim102864
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must confess I don't know the vintage of this American Barleywine. It was served on tap at Hop Devil in New York last week, so I'll have to review this again in bottle form.

The appearance was hazelnut brown with a thin head and served in a short goblet. Lot's o' bananas noted in the aroma and nut much else detected. The taste again was ripe bananas with some hop bitterness in the finish and alcohol. Mouthfeel was viscous and chewy with more alcohol noted in the finish. Definitely a sipping brew and one I will revisit. Worth the investment.

jim102864, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of GolgiIPAratus
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled: 4.9.06

The beer looks like bourbon of the darker golden brown variety. Only a slight foam head sits on top and leaves little to no lacing.

The aroma is of caramel and barley, pretty light though. It doesn’t pack a huge punch. What IS noticeable, however, is how UNnoticeable the alcohol is. Barely any, if at all. It’s seriously hidden, despite the beer not having a huge nose to begin with. As it warms, though, a graham cracker aroma starts to bloom. Bready and full.

The flavor is sweet caramel maltiness up front. Following suit from the nose, the alcohol is not very apparent. A nice bitterness balances out the finish, and it isn’t too sharp. It does leave an oily feeling. The mid to low carbed beer sits in the mouth just right, not too heavy, not too light.

Much easier than I’d figure a beer of 11+% ABV would be to drink, so this could be dangerous. It wasn’t my favorite Barleywine style, but definitely a good beer.

GolgiIPAratus, May 31, 2006
Photo of seaoflament
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought this one sometime in 2007.

Pours an amber color with ruby sides, very little foam. Maybe this was a little too cold when I poured it so let's see how the second pour presents itself. A swirl does seem to make the beer more active and attractive. The second pour was pretty much the same.

Deep caramel, brown sugar, cherry, toast, and faint orange and grapefruit hops in the background. Ripe fig and prunes as the beer opens up, some nutty malts as well. I thought it would be more intense in the aroma but it doesn't seem to be that malty sweet or complex.

Now that's better. Toast, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, cocoa, raisins, figs, cherry, strawberry, and ale yeast fruitiness. Low bitterness in the finish but enough to balance out the malt and the alcohol. Subtle citrus flavors in the background, lemon, sweet orange, grapefruit, and tangerine. Hop like resin flavor in the finish/aftertaste. A little more toffee and malt character and I would have been sold on this one. Still quite tasty.

A little syrupy up front but the carbonation lifts up the beer and guides it nicely though the palate. Very nice mouth-feel.

seaoflament, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of bkett01
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Managed to hold onto this one for a year without drinking it somehow. It pours with a healthy tan head over a highly carbonated reddish/orange brew. It leaves a sticky lacing behind on the glass as it settles down.
Smell is a complex sweet aroma containing hints of dark fruits and alcohol. Taste is very sweet, and while the hop character has faded away over the year, we're still left with a very enjoyable well rounded barley wine. The sweetness is balanced out with a mild warming finish. Glad I held onto a couple of these, and looking forward to seeing how another 6 months changes my other one.

bkett01, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by drabmuh alongside several other Stone brews. Thanks Matt.

The beer is mostly clear, appearing golden orange hued with crimson / ruby highlights.

The aroma offers bread, biscuits, caramel malt, faded citrus hops, alcohol.

The flavor is sweet, offering some old citrus, a touch of basement, caramels, bread, booze.

Medium bodied with moderately low carbonation.

Overall, this was pretty good. Not among my favorites in the style, but still worth trying. A bit too sweet. Best is small quantities.

Huhzubendah, May 08, 2012
Photo of cheers2beers
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Special thanks to boolshot for this wonderful beer.
Served in a brandy snifter.

Appearance: Very clean and clear amber color. Nice off-white head that dissapeared rather abruptly. A good amount of lacing is left behind as well.

Smell: This one has a pronounced bready aroma. A little sweet odor with a hop character that is grassy yet subdued.

Taste: This doesnt have nearly as much hop flavor as I anticipated but it is definantly there. Sticky sweet with yet more doughy and bready notes. Maybe a little vanilla and cinnamon. Just a bit of alcohol is detected. Not bad just not as full and bold as I expected.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful full and sticky consistancy. Lingers forever with a smooth and very oily finish. Just beautiful.

Drinkability:Not bad by any means, but this is maybe just too sweet for me. This one is inducing a very powerful buzz as I approach the end. Definitely stick to 12 oz. servings. A decently easy quaff but I would defer to other barleywines if given the choice.

Cheers2Beers

cheers2beers, May 13, 2006
Photo of Brewfan
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Early '06 release.
Poured into my Stone Old Guardian glass.

Quite a full cream colored head. Decent retention fades into long lasting pleasant lace.
Crystal clear dark amber color. No trace of cloudiness. No haze, no particles. Very clean.
Quite hoppy nose. Piney and alcoholic. Crisp apple peel aroma, bitter yet sweet. Not a huge nose.
Very hoppy on the tongue. My whole mouth is filled with the presence of hops. Tongue, roof, back of throat. Hops are everywhere. Maltyness comes through later but is definitely overpowered by the power of the hop cone. LOTS going on in this barleywine. Sweet, hoppy, bitter, malty. But in the end, the hops wins the battle.
Big, chewy mouthfeel. Had a tuna sammich on russian rye with this. Needed the food to "ease" the hoppy bite.

Brewfan, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of Prufrock
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber into a goblet.

clear bright orange amber. a touch of tan head that leaves slight hints of lace.

caramel, raisins and toffee dominate the aroma, with some balancing citric and piney hops. slightly alcoholic, but not too bad given the 11%.

medium body with a slightly syrupy feel; some sweet caramel malts washed away by sharply piney hops and a boozy finish. mild but stinging carbonation takes some of the edge off of the sharp flavors. nicely balanced and very drinkable.

Prufrock, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really wanted to cellar this bottle for a year or two, but I cannot resist opening it as I've been very interested in Stone stuff lately. Will have to buy multiples and age a few. (Thanks to jabocu for the trade)

A good pour offered a nice big creamy head but it thinned very quickly. Color is an amber/copper, a more reddish hue than most barley wines I've seen so far. Very very mellow bubbles.

Smell is citrus and dark fruits, pine, molasses, cherry Twizzlers.

Flavor is hot and medicinal, with hops giving a grapefruit wang and a butter/caramel/malt sweetness adding balance. It's a little acidic, not as smooth as I'd hoped. Maybe aging is just what this needs. Adds a pleasantly sticky mouthfeel in the finish, mightily enjoyable.

All Stone beers I've had so far have been absolutely delicious and this is no exception. But I do come away with two thoughts 1) there are barley wines out there with more depth, and 2) this would probably be better with some age on it.

Metalmonk, Jun 17, 2006
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.