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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

161 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 161
Hads: 193
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 8.29%
Wants: 8
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.20% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WebmasterMike on 03-02-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 161 | Hads: 193
Photo of jabocu
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown/orange color with a nice light tan two finger cap. Cap fell to 1/4 inch cap. Aroma is lots of fruity esters of apples, pears, plums, figs...etc. Notes of caramel, bread, alcohol, and slight old ale undertone. Flavor is very caramel sweet right at first, but breaks out into lots of fruit. Cinnamon and spice. Followed by a nice mellow citrus hopiness that hangs for just a few seconds. The alcohol is very warming. Body is Medium-High, with medium carbonation and finishes semi-dry. Excellent beer... and cannot wait to see what happens to this over the next year. (578 characters)

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

On tap this past weekend at Deep Ellum. Was just about to settle the bill, when I saw the bartender put a new tap handle on that said "2006 Old Guard.". So I had to stay for one more. I got the first one from the keg. Poured into a Unibroue chalice. Dark orange amber color. Smelled a bit hot with alcohol, but the hop burn called to me. Tasted pretty darn good. Very mellow flavor. Not as hoppy as the smell would indicate. Alcohol hit your palate though, but with a gentle fist. Great combo of hops and booziness. So glad we stayed for one more beer. If they changed taps 15 minutes later, I would have missed it. (615 characters)

Photo of carln26
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper color with subtle mahogany highlights topped by a 1 inch off-white head. The aroma is very subtle. Light notes of bread dough, vanilla, dates, with a mild citrus finish. I was expecting a harsher nose. Very nice. The taste has rich caramel, dates, figs dark caramel. There is a lot more hop character with grapefruit rind and orange. There is a bit of sherry and vanilla on the finish when a bit of alcohol comes in. The mouth feel is slick, and just a touch hot. Good beer. I wanted to age this a touch more, and I’m sure that would have reduced the heat, but it’s still a fine beer. (598 characters)

Photo of kingchowchowwoof
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Old Guardian glass. Bright white 2 finger head, with lots of medium bubbles. Does not retain for too long but good lacing on the glass.
Smell has lots of date, blood orange, a bit of alcohol and finishes with a pine hop scent.

Taste has a lot of the same character as the smell, sweet raisins, and fig flavors. Dried fruit comes in next, followed by alcohol and the dry hoppy finish.

Leaves a tingly sensation on the tip of my tongue. Not very carbontated, slightly slick feeling. Pretty decent mouthfeel and fair drinkaility. I have another bottle I will late age. I am sure this stuff can only get even better with age. I was just glad to get my hands on some this year. (696 characters)

Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 edition, cellared roughly eight months, poured from a 22oz. bomber into an Old Guardian specialty glass.

A: Dark, browned copper color with a thin sheen of creamy head, more of a yarmulke than a top hat, that clears quickly.

S: Citrus, caramel, slight alcohol, hint of pine. The hop-derived scents and malt-derived scents are well-balanced and complementary. As it warmed, the alcohol definitely began to dominate the aroma.

T: Surprising amount of bitterness at the start, pine breath and citric bite. The sweet, creamy, malty middle is just wonderful; very rich and satisfying, almost hedonistic. Alcohol, not to be forgotten, asserts itself at the end, but gently. More hops than I smelled or expected. A decent amount of bitterness runs through the whole thing, grabbing your attention, mitigating the excess of that delicious midsection, then fading away with the alcohol. As it warmed, I got a bit of grapefruit and some sandalwood during the malty middle.

M: Smooth, thick, but not as cloying as some barleywines out there; it neither coats my palate, nor my taste buds. That being said, it's not insanely remarkable in this department, just a bit better than average.

D: As barleywines go, this one is pretty darn drinkable. It doesn't try to be too complex, so it doesn't lose any flavor nuances to the presence of the alcohol. The flavors are really nice, and I'm farther through the bomber than I expected, already. (1,446 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (2,505 characters)

Photo of DaggerEyes
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown bomber bottled poured into an oversized wine glass

Small fizzy head tops this ruby amber brown barley wine. Very viscous and sticky, clings to the sides of the glass.

Sweet Musky earthy nose. Scents of Caramel, Stawberry, Morrell mushrooms, doughy malts and slight cirtusy hops. Beautiful bouquet on the nose.

The strawberry and malt caramel are present in the taste as is the alchohol. Some oily piney hops on the front of the tounge with a carmel brown sugar malty taste as the beer moves back, maybe a hint of vanilla too, despite all the different notes detected The taste is a bit monochromatic and some what numbing on the pallette perhaps due to the young age of the brew....I can imagine it developing into a much more complex taste with age, as some mellowing of the alchohol would do it some good...(don't get me wrong it's still a pleasure to drink now)

Prickly on the tip of the tounge with a full and somewhat chewy body and a dry finish

An enjoyable beer and fairly drinkable despite it's High ABV

I have another bottle that I am tucking away until late july 2009 when i complete my graduate program, can't wait to review it and see how it's aged then!!! (1,194 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Early 2006 release. 11.26% abv



Looks like ambrosia with some head. Pretty fizzy at first for a barley wine. But the head runs away rather quickly in true barley wine fashion. Amber, copper, bronze, honey, cognac, brandy color with some very sparse bubbling. The aroma is like a bitter ambrosia. From the smell of this beer, it has awesome aging potential. With about a year or two in the cellar, the pronounced hop bitterness will subside. Letting the strong alcoholic honeydew, maple syrup, and brown sugar malts take hold of the nostrils. The taste give the young alcohol more definetion with lots of west coast hops to boot. This beer tastes like something that requires a little patience to enjoy its full potential. Lots of amber, fruity malts with some medium pine bitterness, a bit resiny. Good to sip for prolonged periods of time. I hope I can have this beer when its about a year old in the bottle. Let the bitterness mellow out a little. (955 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have 5 years (2006-2009, 2011 Belgo) of a six year vertical. Time to dig in with oldest to newest (and maybe I'll come across a 2010 to complete things).

A: The barleywine is cuprous, amber with a darker nature. Still transparent, the ale has plenty of sediment suspended mid-glass. A quarter finger of eggshell white head reduces quickly, just a thin band with no lacing.

S: Thick and meaty, the malts are intense and focused. No simple malt bomb, the hops are powerful even after five years. Syrupy thick like molasses. Flowery hops, citrus-tinged, still jump out.

T: First sip: overpowering hops. Second sip: overpowering hops. Third sip: See one and two. Caramel and molasses, thick and heavy, bog down the taste. Perking it up, the flowery citrus hops zing with power. The ale is quite peppery, hot even. Both the hops and the malts are huge, restoring balance to the force. Booziness is present, sandwiched between the hops and the malts. Age has worked wonders; this beer could have lasted another 5 years I think.

M: Syrupy and rich, both the hops and the malts contribute to the strength. Rich caramel lingers alongside the hops; a decadent barleywine. (1,167 characters)

Photo of jameaterblues
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Hop Devil Grill
A-Very dark amber brown color....1/4 inch white head, and a light white lace that surrounds the glass.
S- Musky, dank and citrusy the hops are definitely big...there are light sweet malts with caramel, red fruits, and sugars present as well.
T-Big hops all throughout the beer...big hop pick up in the finish...nice citrusy hops, slightly muskiness....as this beer warms up the maltiness really comes out...with nice caramel, and a slight hint of cherry.
M-Moderate carbonation for the style, long finish both nice malts and hops that linger...the beer lightly coats the tongue...
D- I found myself wanting a little bit more than just the 12oz pour that I got on tap....I will definitely sit down with a bomber of this one when it gets colder...great example of the style. (807 characters)

Photo of ism
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Winter 2005 release, cellared for 8 months. A beautiful copper with deep amber tones, clear, with a taupe head that settles to a thick but thin layer -- but nicely cloudy when you get to the bottom of the bottle. Lacing forms spotty rings. Malty aroma, sweet and spicy, a mix of apples and pears, with a refreshing hop earthiness. Active carbonation in a thick body, the malts hitting right away, with earthen freshness in the undercurrent. Goes down smooth and this is where the real action is -- a subtle alcohol warmth with a complex mix of pepper spices in the back of the throat, with bitter earthy hop lingering.

A solid brew, interesting and smooth, that could probably use a bit more time cellared. The flavors are a bit on the sweet side, more than i'd like, but its complex is nice but not the best, suggesting raisins and dates, and the hop freshness makes it stand out, West Coast style. (902 characters)

Photo of kdmorse
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: After a big of an overzealous pour (have been dealing with RIS’s and DIPA’s 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 doesn’t last long. 22oz of 11.2% is more than enough for me. (532 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

...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. (644 characters)

Photo of Gritsak
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

M- medium to thick body, very lightly carbonated.

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

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

Im not sure how well this would age either because it seems so balanced and smooth now. (936 characters)

Photo of Stockfan42
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had lunch at deep ellum this afternoon before work. Had great selections on tap and this one I could not pass up.

The tap poured a color mixed of orange and amber, pretty creamy head that eventually withers down.

Could both taste and smell the alchohol in this one. Very nice aroma that consists of some grapefruits, figs, a hint of caramel and some bitter hops.

Taste pretty damn good. Nice malt touch to it, bitter hop bite, very well balanced. You can taste fruits that lingre in its aroma. the shnazberrys taste like shnazberrys. Sweet figs and caramel. Alote of great flavors just lash out at you.

Not to heavy, you warm up to it after the first few sips. Overall a great and highly recommended beer. (709 characters)

Photo of orsulacp
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured into the glass with a soda like fizz, really weird. It had a copper color with some ruby highlights and an off white head that disappeared quickly. A bit of hops in the smell, but the sweet malts take over and dominate. Almost like candy it is so sweet. The taste is very good; I get sweetness at first, like grapes and some other fruits that I can't come up with now. There is a sharp alcohol bite at the end combined with the bitter hops. The mouthfeel is very nice, not as syrupy as most barleywines, somehow it is heavy and light at the same time. (568 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours burnt orange, with a nice frothy white head, good retention.

S: Really where these aged barleywines shine. Rum soaked oranges, fig, aged caramel malt make for a great fragrance.

T: Sweet toffee malt, oranges, butterrum and brandy. Definite bit of ethanol on the back end.

M: Smooth, silky and solventy. Full-bodied, elegant.

D: This is really good right now. Might be better after a few more years to take the heat off the finish, though I really don't mind it. A nice sipping brew. (511 characters)

Photo of tattooedtolley
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an odd color for me to describe, goldish, amber, slightly brown, if all those colors can comine into one color I'd guess this would be it. Little head left quickly and left no real lacing.

Smell: Some hops up front with plenty of malt coming through, mostly caramel.

Taste: I half expected to be blown away by the hops in this one, but it is predominately all malt. I realize this bottle of mine is getting on a year old so maybe that extra time helped out in this. I had a fresh one and it was not near this good. It has turned into a great Barleywine.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Drinkability: Drinkable for what it is, the alcohol has tamed out a bit over the short time it rested and the hops have toned down a bit. I typically like'em like big hop bombs but this was a pleasent surprise. I'll keep my other one put away for a while longer. (874 characters)

Photo of KilgoreTrout27
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Nice ruby/copper color and a decent foamy head to start off. The smell is of bread, molasses and alcohol, letting you know what you are about to get into. Lovely bready caramel/molasses taste with fruit and hints of bitter hops and a warming alcohol finish that was pleasant and not overdone. Mouthfeel was thick. At 12% alcohol, you don't want to drink too many of these, but the flavors make the drinking expereince pleasurable.

One of the better American barleywines out there, and another reason to seek out anything that says Stone on the bottle. (592 characters)

Photo of kmo1030
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

rich clear ruby brown with a thin tan head.
the nose has tons of raisins and some fresher grape juice aromas. there is also a good dose of brown sugar and caramel. some slight orange rind aromas. very little in the hops department, maybe just a little grassy herbal hops. actually the hops do come out quite a bit when approaching room temp. a little boozy.
the taste is big and fruity, with a butt load of hops on the back end (i was a little worried there, judging form the smell). lots of brown sugary raisins with rich caramel, washed over by a flood of pine needle hop bitterness. butterscotch and pepper on further inspection. alcohol is moderately present, but doesn't detract at all. the taste desreves a little less than a 4.5, but i'll give it the benefit of the doubt.
lighter full body with sharp carbonation.
good drinkability, fairly easy drinking. by all means a good beer, but not as good as last year. funny, but in reading the back it says it's the same exact recipe as last year, doesn't taste or smell like it. last year didn't need a lot of warmth for the nuances to come out, this one does for sure. let it sit for at least 15 minutes (1,160 characters)

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early spring release, 2006. Into a chalice, pours a deep orange color with a small whitish head, but little lacing to speak of. A swift swirl yields a falling sheet of lacing that doesn't stick. The aroma is well tempered by now, the malts well developed, lots of caramels and a hint of citric fruit, the hops a little more laid back from the aging, and the alcohol probably a little more assertive. True to Stone form, the taste is much more hoppier than the nose, even at this age. They lend a oily orange to a thick, sweet, juicy malt base, and then, more subtly than should be legal, the alcohol creeps in, warming, soft even, a very well crafted sucker this is. The mouth is smooth, sticky and sweet, slightly carbonated still and very much warming. Overall, I was hoping for more, but perhaps thats just because I expect the best from Stone. (847 characters)

Photo of Wildman
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear reddish amber color and formed a nice off white foamy head that coated the glass with lace as it slowly subsided. A medium amount of carbonation was present. An aroma of malt, hops, caramel and pine. The flavor was heavy with malt and hops with a slight caramel aspect with a pine presence in the background. It has a medium body and a sligtly sweet, yet astrigent finish with the warming aspect of the alcohol coming through. Undoubtedly will get better with aging. (491 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery, this was the last sample I tried. It was identical in color to the 2007, golden with a white head. Aroma was syrupy. The taste was also syrupy, toffee, chewy, delicious. To be honest I couldn't tell the difference between this and the 2007 except maybe less hops. This was by far the best beer I sampled at Stone with fresh Bastard coming in a very close second. It was also nice to not have to track down a bottle of this to try. (453 characters)

Photo of TheBungyo
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It looks like a liquid ruby. Very little head. Smell is like cognac with a burst of sweetness. Taste begins with banana but not similar to a hefe, this is very unique. That initial banana is followed by a syrupy berry taste mixed with caramel. Very very complex. The back is slightly bitter hops. The massive alcohol is well hidden but apparent enough to let you know you are indeed drinking a barley wine. I plan on drinking this many more times and buying some extras to age. I've heard that Stone advises us to drink this fresh but I can't help but think that some years under the belt would make this a more complete beer. (626 characters)

Photo of gotbeer
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 2006 batch has really grown on me. I went from liking it to really, really liking it.

It pours a reddish orange with a white head. Little lacing. The smell is of molasses, ripe fruit, and in typical Stone fashion- a hint of citrus hops. Very nice.

The taste includes the prerequisite citric hops, but also a beautiful malt backbone. There is overly ripe fruit, molasses, sweet bread, and a little alcohol heat at the end. This is huge and complex on the palate.

The mouthfeel is chewy and it satisfies. Drinkability would have to be above average for the style.

Another great beer from Stone. I'm glad their new brewery has higher production. They will need it to satisfy my thirst for their products. (718 characters)

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.