Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
4.28/5 rDev +3.1%
Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one at AndrewK’s tasting.
Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is tasty and has aged really nicely in my opinion.
10-29-2012 19:40:12 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.13/5 rDev -24.6%
Bottle courtesy of drabmuh at last weekend's Stone tasting. Served in a Stone goblet.
Pours a semi-hazy golden-caramel color with a bit of an orange hue. Short head without much in the way of retention or lacing.
Much like the 2005 version, the nose brings some caramel and brown sugar, as well as some older hops. The hops are a bit more citrusy and prominent than in the '05. Faint fruits in the background. The flavor has a good deal of sweetness and still just a touch of lingering bitterness. Medium body with low carbonation and a mixture of sugar and alcohol. A bit of oxidation there as well.
This was okay, but it's not something I'd really plan to age all that much of in the future.
04-03-2012 11:27:09 | More by Thorpe429
3.85/5 rDev -7.2%
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.
03-04-2008 22:36:09 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.38/5 rDev +5.5%
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
12-28-2008 14:46:16 | More by brentk56
3.73/5 rDev -10.1%
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.
09-18-2006 20:12:58 | More by Phyl21ca
4.2/5 rDev +1.2%
...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.
03-16-2006 03:42:12 | More by BEERchitect
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass.
A: The beer is an orangey amber color with a thick off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: Robust citrus hops aroma with caramelized malt. Very nice! You do smell the alcohol, which is expected, but it’s not as strong as I thought it would be.
T: Intense burst of hops is what you taste first followed by the alcohol sting, this beer does NOT mess around (but what else would you expect from Stone). Then there’s a slight touch of citrus and malt sweetness. As the sweetness fades, you’re left with a mildly bitter hops after-taste.
M: Very crisp, medium body with medium-to-high carbonation and a quite clean finish.
D: This is a very drinkable beer, since it’s so flavorful. However with such a high ABV, it’s only drinkable for so long.
Overall this is an excellent beer. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It will get you going in a hurry though, so it’s not for the weak. Stone has done it again. Another great beer!
05-18-2006 04:24:07 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.05/5 rDev -2.4%
Pours caramel to red in color with a an okay white head, drops off to a bubbly layer. No head retention or lacing???
Smell: Fruitcake, alcohol, dates,
Taste: Sweetbread, alcohol, oakiness & hops bite on the edge. Finish is fruitty, dry & alcohol
MF: Chewy and not so slight undercarbonation
Pretty drinkable for the heft, nice winter warmer as old man winter comes back around here. A good barleywine that will only get better until 2009 at least
03-11-2006 05:34:44 | More by russpowell
3.68/5 rDev -11.3%
Beer served in the appropriate glassware because I'm a responsible adult. Step aside children.
Beer is ruby and clear, tan head of small bubbles, moderate retention, a little lacing, low carbonation.
Aroma is sweet, very yeasty / biscuit and bready, mild musk.
Beer medium in body, mildly bitter from grain on the finish, mild leathery musk to the beer, fine malt palate, good Marris otter feel, overall the beer is fine, not my favorite but a good version of it.
04-06-2012 18:34:27 | More by drabmuh
4.15/5 rDev 0%
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.
02-21-2010 02:48:41 | More by Halcyondays
3.75/5 rDev -9.6%
08/11/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.
Presentation- 22oz bottle. Vintage 2006. Poured into my Old Gaurdian Barleywine glass.
Appearance- Off brown, slight reddish watered down iced tea colored. Looks very lifeless. Pours with a 1/2 inch head, immeadiately evaporates into nil. The slightest sight of lace left behind.
Smell- Even smells a bit watery. Pretty harsh pine and grapefruit hop scent with a bit of fusel alcohol. A touch of caramel malt underneath.
Taste- Thankfully it taste better than it looks and smells. Gee, what a suprise...all hops. Not as harsh as I was thinking though. More grapefruit than pine, but the pine is there. Caramel roasted malt is hidden, but if you taste and smack your gums enough you can make it out. A tiny bit of cherry flavoring as well.
Mouthfeel- A bit watered down, about average maybe lower carbonation level. Bitter lasting aftertaste.
Drinkability- As all Old Gaurdian's....put them away for 1 year...no, make that a decade! A hophead delight as is if you like harsh numbing bitterness.
08-12-2006 01:22:31 | More by GClarkage
4/5 rDev -3.6%
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.
02-23-2008 23:38:04 | More by barleywinefiend
3.43/5 rDev -17.3%
Just opened and consumed tonight. From my cellar. I'd say this beer is past its prime by this point. More one imensional and washed out than it used to be and with a slightly unpleasant bitterness that tastes a bit woody. Somewhat cloudy appearance and no real head to speak of. Smells woody and fruity with peaches , melon, and some citrus flowers. An undercurrent of bitterness. Taste is quite similar to this profile, but with a bit of oxidation in the finish, a little less fruit and a little more woody dryness. There is a bit of sweetness to the flavor, though, which helps tame the woodiness. A bit tannic in the mouth from all the wood. Not bad, and still drinkable, but all the hops are long gone and the beer has gone from its intense, rough beginnings all the way through the balance it achieves with some aging straight through to being unbalanced again- but tamer.
03-16-2010 02:27:57 | More by Georgiabeer
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
Bomber, allowed to warm a bit and then poured in a goblet. Nice deep darkish almond amber, clear, with a minor tan head and leaving fine, rich and scattered lacing. Nose is of mellow malts and some alcohol. Waves of malt, warming alcohol, honey, smokey, vinious and of course, heady stuff. Smooth, coating, world class sipper/Night capper. What can be said beyond this is yet more wonderful beer from the left coast's Stone Brewing Co. Plus Stone puts this out @ $5.50 for a 22 oz. bomber ( Purchased at New Beer in NYC) Truly a bargain for world class BW. Wish I had the set up to put a case away every year for a few years...
09-08-2006 21:46:20 | More by Billolick
4.15/5 rDev 0%
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.
07-10-2011 19:51:16 | More by akorsak
4.33/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
10-08-2006 20:42:30 | More by Wasatch
District of Columbia
3.95/5 rDev -4.8%
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.
05-08-2012 01:08:02 | More by Huhzubendah
3.88/5 rDev -6.5%
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.
06-18-2006 00:50:49 | More by Mebuzzard
4.33/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
07-02-2008 00:03:14 | More by beerthulhu
4.35/5 rDev +4.8%
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.
01-30-2007 04:47:26 | More by Viggo
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.