Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 161 | Display Reviews Only:
3.93/5 rDev -5.3%
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.
02-10-2007 03:07:46 | More by bkett01
4.18/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
09-26-2006 00:03:38 | More by BlackJeremiah
3.8/5 rDev -8.4%
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.
03-12-2006 23:05:23 | More by audiojon
4.83/5 rDev +16.4%
Better than Bigfoot and I love Bigfoot! Also, and excellent value at $4.50 a bomber, although admittedly not quite as good a value as Bigfoot at $10/sixer.
This one is great fresh - the hops are there, oh yes they are there, but by no means do they overpower and I think they are just right right now. I'm goign to put a bottle away and see how this drinks in a year, but I'd be surprised if it gets any better than it already is - but then again, who knows!
An outstanding barleywine with exception balance for the style. That 11% somehow flies under the radar and is in your face at the same time. Another great one from Stone!
04-30-2006 06:45:33 | More by mitchfor3
3.78/5 rDev -8.9%
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.
04-17-2009 01:24:32 | More by frothyhead
4.08/5 rDev -1.7%
At first this chilly companion hid behind it's crystal clear dark amber attire. Hiding the delicate beauty of it's bouquet. Then As I gently warmed it the complex malty aromas were released ands the undercurrent of alcohol was released. Pressing forward I take a tentative sip. Again I am wondering what all the hype was about when I am hit with a wave of malty smoothness. Intermingling with this tasty sweetness are bitter hops. Taunting your every taste bud as soon as the sweet is registered. The bitter finish is cut short by a blast of acohol that both cleanses and leaves one hoping that it will diminish with time. A sweet and bitter darling with suble fruit and a bit of sadistic joy describe this brew. And masochist that I am I drink again.
03-06-2009 23:39:51 | More by Gilgemesh
3.78/5 rDev -8.9%
Bomber from BevMo in San Diego. Gregs gone crazy with this rant. . .its 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 isnt at all overwhelming, in fact its superbly masked considering how much is in here. This is by far the most drinkable Stone special release Ive ever had. Much more subtle and drinkable than its big-footed brethren, which in my humble opinion makes it much more appreciable.
Ill look forward to trying these every so often over the next couple of years to see how they turn out. Very drinkable.
03-20-2006 04:17:53 | More by WaffleSauce
4.13/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
04-18-2006 04:04:22 | More by kingchowchowwoof
4.22/5 rDev +1.7%
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.
07-05-2006 13:18:17 | More by KilgoreTrout27
3.5/5 rDev -15.7%
A: Slight head, cloudy. Once it settles down it looks much like a darker scotch.
S: Very sweet, alcohol coming through at the end.
T: Sweet at first, alochol coming through towards the back end, with a bit of a hop aftertaste. The sweet sensation does stay on your tongue however.
M: At first I thought it was rather thin compared to some other barelywines I have had, but the beer does in fact coat the mouth quite well, leaving a lingering of malt.
D: Good, but not an everyday beer. I have had this one for a few months and thought it was time to break it out, but this will hold me over for several more months.
08-13-2006 00:27:56 | More by neelyjr1
4.05/5 rDev -2.4%
this is a great barleywine style ale. it pours with a good but not big head that disappears within a couple minutes. the color is a deep ruby or raspberry red - absolutely beautiful. the smell is strong with strong hint of brandy - this is also true in the tase which is very sweet, but not unbalanced. the alcohol is very noticeable in the taste at 11.26% but isn't at all unpleasant :) I would definitely pick this over many other barleywines. get to the store now and buy one.
03-10-2006 04:15:54 | More by surferman576
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2006 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.