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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
92
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 brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber with a thick head that retains nicely and leaves a nice pattern of lace

Smell: Rich caramel aroma, with figs and vague hints of citrus fruit, much of which have long since faded

Taste: Rich caramel and fig spice cake flavor, with some developing bitterness that arrives by mid-palate; still the profile is dominated by the sweet elements; after the swallow, the bitter flavors become more balanced, with considerable citrusy bitterness, although there is plenty of residual caramel/fig sweetness on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth after the swallow

Drinkability: For those who like a balanced barleywine, as I do, this is drinking very nicely right now; a couple of years of aging have taken the edge off the hops but there is still aplenty to go around to balance the flavor profile

brentk56, Dec 28, 2008
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 kinger
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Limited early 2006 release, 11.26% abv with a long story on the back in print that is way too small. WoW this beer knocked my socks off in every aspect. Poured a subtle golden amber color with pencil thin head and no lacing, random bubbles float to the surface - cool. Sitting next to me my wife suddenly said "your beer smells like wine" exactly, the aroma is a floral bouquet of super sweet malts complimented by citrus and sweet hops. Overpowering and aggressive the sweet scent invites you to sample the precious nectar that awaits. Flavor is extremely intense melding loads of malts, sweet and bitter with a dry hoppiness that shouldn't work but it does all too well. The alcohol walks through the door and shakes your hand but you are still thinking about the malts. The flavor lends itself to a smooth mouthfeel that finishes slightly bitter, the perfect ending to a wonderful story. Overall this is intense and beautiful, truly another fantastic effort created by Stone. Cudos

kinger, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark mahogany red with a big 2+ finger rocky tan head that was moderately lasting.

S: malty and dry with pine and dried grapefruit.

T: some dark caramel and dried fruit with some toffee sweetness. There was only slight alcohol hints and otherwise was hidden nicely. There was some dark molasses, rum raisin and a soothing dark roasted nature.

M: creamy and smooth with a full body. There is a slight stickiness from the sweet malt and hop resins.

D: An easy drinking and very enjoyable barley with a good complexity of dried fruit and Chinook hopping.

beerthulhu, Jul 02, 2008
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 Med
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Med, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Toronado Bwine Fest:
Poured a deep golden/amber with a small foamy tan head. Aroma is hops, grapefruit, caramel and alcohol. Beautiful aroma. Flavor is that of fruits, sweet malts and a hint of alcohol with an upfront hop bitterness. Full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. The alcohol is very well hidden and not overpowering on your tounge. Nice, warming, creamy mouthfeel.

barleywinefiend, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of Overlord
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What is going on with this beer?

I don't know what it is about the Old Guardian series, but none of them taste like any of the others, as far as I can tell.

This beer either was significantly less hoppy than the 07 and 08 versions, or the hops have been obliterated by the aging process. The result is an almost cloyingly malty/sweet beer, with a tinge of pine hops and maybe a hint of floral hop aroma.

Just not sure what to make of this.

Overlord, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.78/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 vintage. Pours a light ruby brown in color. Smell is hops, alcohol and some malt. The hops are still shining through in the taste even after more than a year in the cellar. Nice huge mouthfeel. This one will definitely hurt you at over 11%. A decent warmer on a cold winters night.

FtownThrowDown, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of Floydster
2.93/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

8 ounce glass at Stone Winter Storm for four dollars, split with my girlfriend

A-Murky amber color that looked a little sketchy for a barleywine, 1/2 inch foamy off white head, some retention, minimal lacing

S-Big malty aromas, apricot, caramel, toffee, cherries, some interesting hoppy scents

T-Sweet flavor overall, lots of toffee and caramel tastes just like the smell, grapefruit, hint of dark fruit, particularly raisins, faint dark chocolate flavor, not very balanced, needs more hoppiness

M-Too thick, not enough carbonation, taste lasted a very long time, sweet and syrup-like mouthfeel

D-Heavy stuff, eleven percent ABV, could drink a glass or two maximum, taste is too sweet to be anything else other than a sipper

Certainly not my favorite vintage of Old Guardian, this one needs some age to become more enjoyable, one of my least favorite beers of the day, and probably one of the worst Stone beers I have tasted in general

Floydster, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of williamherbert
3.3/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is the color of a light blush. White finger of foamy head. Tony upswimming bubbles. Very hazy.

Pungent, smoky barley aroma. Heavy deep grape with notes of bitter cherry. Barley and alcohol are dominant. A bit too grainy an aroma for me.

The barley taste is big and grainy, with sweet and bitter cherry and grape flavors. Very harsh with alcohol and thick barley. Less brutal as it warms up.

Feels fizzy like a Belgian ale, but thicker and more chewy. Not my favorite of the Stone brews (although to be fair, barleywines are not my forte). Drinkable, though.

williamherbert, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of brewcrew76
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spring 2006

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

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

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

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

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

brewcrew76, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of ArrogantB
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

ArrogantB, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I feel the need to start with a disclaimer: my beer bud and I opened this to celebrate a moment recently, a clearly compulsive act since the beer was not refrigerated and came out of the cellar at about 20 degrees celsius * groan *.

A brown head that dissipated too early with not a lot of carbonation gave way to a ruby colour. Given better lighting, there were lots of well-spaced miniscule bubbles that revealed a fullness of life. Cherry on the nose with malty baguette suggestions. This barley wine offering was loaded with hops and very full in the mouth, reminescent of a port or sherry, giving way to an over ripe mango in the finish. The combination of big alcohol and warm serving temperature threatened to knock me out with an intoxicating finish.

As I said in the disclaimer, there's a reason why the scoring here is not higher - where it deserves to be. Clearly another sampling - a proper one - is necessary to give this product the recognition it deserves. Now, I need to find one of these, or drive to the States at my first good opportunity...

ThatWineGuy, Aug 10, 2007
Photo of lackenhauser
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, somewhat cloudy orange in color. Huge nose of dried fruit-apricots and figs come to mind. Very malty up front. Slick and viscous flavors of fruit, malt and alcohol. Very heavily hopped. Big, wet, slick grapefruit flavors. Loose some of the alcohol to round it off a bit more-aging would do that I am sure. Good body-pleasant tongue stripping quality to it. Very drinakble and enjoyable barleywine. It has been a year-a few more would calm this down into a real gem. Get some/horde some.

lackenhauser, Jul 28, 2007
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 objectivemonkey
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

objectivemonkey, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of mdm46410
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep golden/amber with a small foamy tan head. Aroma is hops, grapefruit, caramel and alcohol. Beautiful aroma. Flavor is that of fruits, sweet malts and a hint of alcohol with an upfront hop bitterness. Full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. The alcohol is very well hidden and not overpowering on your tounge. Nice, warming, creamy mouthfeel. Very well done.

mdm46410, May 30, 2007
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 RedHaze
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane, WA

Pours a murky rusty brown, with a one finger head that settles quickly to a thin soapy cap. There's really no lacing to speak of at all with this one, but that's not very surprising considering to alcohol content.

Smell; lots of brown sugar and toffee with some biscuity malts, and dark cherries. There's also a fair amount of piney hops in the nose along with a little alcohol.

Taste; lots of sweet malts upfront, with toffee, brown sugar and some faint hints of maple syrup. Mildly fruity with some dark cherries and and rum soaked raisins. The finish is piney hops and spicy alcohol, with a definite warming in the belly. The alcohol presence is not as you would pronounced in the flavor as you would expect with this being 11.2%.

Mouthfeel is very full bodied, and comes of a sticky and syrupy. The drinkability is pretty decent, and would be much better if the alcohol were not so high and the palate were not so sticky.

RedHaze, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of dickieb
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poors a nice amber, with a finger of quickly dispating head. Smell is very sweet, with a good hint alcohol, and a good amount of maltyness. Comes on with a strong sweet and almost fruity taste, which leads to a realy piny/citrusy hopyness. Pretty smooth and drinkable for a fairly fresh and green barleywine. Im overall very happy with this, and the other stone beers i now have avalible to me now that i work in Mass.

dickieb, Apr 18, 2007
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 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 Mdog
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear reddish orange with a good head.

Smell: Smells like an alcohol-soaked sweet muffin.

Taste: Toffee, caramel, some alcohol bite, peppery, earthy bitterness.

Drinkability: A little strong to have more than one.

This has been sitting in my fridge for about 11 months. The hop bitterness seems to have almost disappeared. This is still a quite interesting beer, hopefully Stone starts distributing here soon.

Mdog, Feb 10, 2007
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.

AaronHomoya, Feb 03, 2007
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.