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

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BA SCORE
92
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 AaronHomoya
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange-amber color, slightly cloudy with good carbonation and a little head.

Malty, alcohol, and butterscotch aroma. Bready, and similar to a dopplebock.

Taste is also malty and sweet, with peppery alcohol flavor. Finishes a bit dry with some hop aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium-thick and a little syrupy, though the carbonation makes it nice to drink. Alcohol presence is noticeable, but very smooth and drinkable.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz bottle, poured in glass chalice

Appearance: Seems to glow! Shimmers of orange and yellow Thick lacing that hangs around for a good while. More than any Barleywine ive seen to-date.

Smell: Nothing out of ordinary as far as barleywines go. n

Taste: As with most of Stone's lineup, theres nothing mild here, but behind the strong taste, theres lots of subtle flavors. Is it wheat, burnt nut, clove or anise, caramel? Hard to put ones finger on all the flavors.

Mouthfeel: Satisfying! Makes you feel like your really drinking something with some substance. Alcohol tingle warms ya without the burn. Makes your mouth water more than a bit a few minutes later

Drinkabilty: Another good one from Stone. I could sip on this one all night. I'd like to put a bottle of this aside to see how it compares to next years...dont think i could resist opening em though.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dug up and old review of this one while going through notes. Sampled in October 2006.

Clear red/amber, very amazing colour, thick off white head, great lacing, great retention, very sticky. Smell is sweet, caramel, pine/floral, grains, signature Stone aroma, tons of caramelization, has smoothed out a bit. Taste is sweet and toffee, grains, nice hoppy balance through the middle, pine and floral, sticky toffee finish, pleasing bitterness. Mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation, very chewy, definately a sipper, but a world class barleywine.

Photo of stephendr
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage , cellared about one year , opened 1/12/7 - 22 oz. bottle- color of murky honey , with a thin off white head - nose of dried apricots , deep red fruit , soy sauce , iodine , bitter , chocolate , and malt – taste of resin , honey , slight hopps , red fruit , brown sugar , and slight alcohol- body harsh but clean , and low carbonation – aftertaste of salty , honey , gummy , and bitter

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.

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.

Photo of BlindPig
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this from a place I trust to keep beers well. Has probably been in the same refridgerator for about 6 months now, so it is ever so slightly aged.

Appearance: Pours a very similar color to Double Bastard - a dark, cider-like deep caramel mahogany. Head is barely existent, settling into a perma-lace around the circumference of my oversized wine glass. Lacing, like many of Stone's beers, is definitely there. A little spotty and transient, however, in this case.

Smell: Wow. Definitely a Barley Wine. My nose literally stings a little bit as I inhale - so, alcohol. Has that familiar "Stone" aroma up front as well - a sort of nutty funk probably a result of their one-of-a-kind yeast strain. Underneath the front end are sweet malts - a cashew-infused caramel, bread crust, caramel, sweetened chocolate, very, very piney and citrusey hops. Corn meal. Extremely strong, extremely complex. I could spend a few hours, probably, bringing out and isolating aromas from this thing, but it's just too daunting of a task.

|Taste: Nutty, bread, grapefruit peel, caramel, light pine, alcohol. Just slams your tongue into submission. Wow.

Mouthfeel: Hot, hot, hot. Extremely alcoholic. Moderately dry upon swallowing. A little light carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a barley wine. This is not meant for casual drinking, but a dedicated session. I am regretting, actually, having drank a Meantime India Pale Ale a few hours prior to this. It's a bit too much. But amazing, amazing stuff that you could pick apart for hours.

Photo of elricorico
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to orrshow for sharing his bottle with me. This review is from notes.

The beer is a clear deep amber with a thick foamy tan head. The head recedes leaving plenty of lacing. Visible carbonation climbs up through the glass.

The smell has toffee and molasses with a dry vinuos backbone. There is an alcohol warmth to the smell.

The is a very sweet and malty beer. Molasses and cane sugar up front. Woody, vinuos finish. Overall impression is very malt heavy.

The mouthfeel is thick and sticky, and the carbonation is light. Just how you want this style to feel.

I really enjoyed this one, it went down very well, almost too well considering the ABV.

Photo of Orrshow
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – The color is a clear but dark reddish brown. The head is small but a nice beige color and it leaves lacing all over my glass. Something about the look of this one is almost sophisticated.

Smell – Up front alcohol aromas are dominant. There is toffee, caramel, bread, wood, and a bit of citrus hop. I did not find the scents overly strong until it warmed though. Good here.

Taste – It begins very sweet with brown sugar, toffee, and caramel flavors. Not surprisingly this is accompanied by alcohol. There is some citrus hop up front that leaves a slight bitterness. The finish is slightly woody with pine arising. It’s a well balanced ale and very tasty.

Mouthfeel – It has chewy feeling with a slightly oily texture. The carbonation is quite noticeable.

Drinkability – Good. Its very strong but its smooth as hell.

Like this beer a lot. It was a great experience and I must thank my Father for bringing it to me from the states.

Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of scott
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful apricot, very little head retention - all carbonation is is in suspension. Awesome. The brew appears gelatenous.
Smell is a delicate interpretation of malt kissing a fig.
Taste is a close encounter with the smell, but the hop is quite evident.
This is what you would characterize as a lip-smacking barley wine. Clean, refreshing, yet entertains a malt complexity.
Nicely done, because if I had a six pack, I wouldn't have anything left to cellar tomorrow.

Photo of Onibubba
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Haven't cracked one of these open in several months. Pours a dark amber into a tulip glass leaving a full inch of frothy beige head. The smell is very nice - the lightest scent for rich floral hops. The taste is much more about the sweet malts than the hops, but this is a wonderfully mild barleywine. Mouthfeel is outstanding. Faintest tickle of carbonation makes it seem not so heavy. Drinkability is outrageously high considering the ABV involved here. I'm not even tasting the alcohol, and am seriously considering having another.

OK - That last thought was at about half the bottle. I've thought better of having 2 in a row. You may not taste the alcohol, but it is there and it will creep up on the unwary. Dman good stuff that seems to just get better with every bottle. Glad I stocked up this year.

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been sitting on this one since the beginning of the year. When I first popped the cap I could smell the sweet malts. Pours a nice orange golden amber color, nice creamy tan head, nice lacing/puddles throughout the drink. Scents of sweet malts, citrus, hops, spices, caramel, yeast, and slight alcohol. The taste is amazing, sweet malts, hoppy, slight caramel, and slight alcohol, nice dry finish. Medium body, pretty complex barleywine. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Stone to say the least.

Photo of instrumentality
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of jameaterblues
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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...

Photo of tattooedtolley
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of tavernjef
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!

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 trep
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage in a trade from Mr. Rabsten.

Perfect clarity in the dark amber body. Creamy off-white head. A bit of yeast floating but no carbonation. Looks very elegant in the snifter as it leaves mas lacing.

Nice sweet malt aroma. A bit of alcohol but not much. A very nice candied fruit aroma rounds it out.

Incredibly smooth even after I let it warm. Pretty hoppy but mostly this is alot thinner than I was expecting. Not alot of flavor outside of the sweet malt and piney hops. Hmm.. a lil disappointed. Not good when the aroma is much more complex than the beer itself. Lingering hop aftertaste.

Medium-Full bodied with very little carbonation. Pretty easy drinking, I just wish it had as much flavor as the aroma boasted. :(

Photo of Billolick
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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...

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly thin orange, with a hint of red. about a 1/2 inch head in the snifter, but almost no head when poured in the goblet.

Strong nose of alcohol and hops (pretty much what i expect from a Stone brew).

Taste was different than i expected - very little hops, smooth creamy malts coated the palate. Tasted quite a bit of vanilla, which i think mixed well with the strong alcohol presence (the alcohol was weird - very mild up front, but quite strong in the aftertaste).

Fairly thin for a barleywine (others seem to have commented on this as well).

Fairly drinkable - especially for the style.

Not quite what i expected, but i really liked it nonetheless.

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