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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

288 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 288
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 4
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.26% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wildman on 01-25-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 288 | Reviews: 239
Reviews by BigV:
Photo of BigV
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried to drink a whole 2 liter growler myself(I didn't finish lol)

(A) pours a reddish orange copper body with a nice tan head

(S) a little bit of alcohol left, but mostly sweet fruits and earthiness

(T) some alcohol but most of it had worn off over the past 3 years(I drank this in 2010). Sweet, apricot with a little bit of citrus

(M) very malty, but obviously it"s a barelywine. Exactly the kind of mouthfeel you would want in a barelywine.

(D) very drinkable considering its 11.27%. It was very smooth and 3 years aged on it really brought this brew together.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Its been a few years since I have had the chance to have an Old Guardian its nice to see the 2007 vintage available in my area.Poures a clear burnt orange-like color with a large craterous head that leaves a nice ring behind.Big balanced aromas juicy,fruity malt almost like holiday season fruit caked soaked with alcohol the alcohol esters really show thru a big resiny hop profile shows thru more and more as it warms.Warming and chewey this almost a meal in itself definently not one to drink quickly,flavors could use some time to meld I think its pretty brash right now sweeter cakey malt flavors dominate upfront along with some dark fruit melding into dry resiny and I measn resiny finish.The alcohol warms the insides as it goes down its very pronounced and really kicks,Iam holding one and will drink it in the fall and see how this puppy ages right now its no holds barred and from Stone thats how I want it to be.

Photo of boston2bburg
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear dark orange with a finger and a half of head into a snifter from a 22 ounce bomber. Head dissapates to almost nothing as I wait for it to warm a bit. Gives me time to read the novel on the back of the bottle...the brewer writes well, if about nothing in particular.

The aroma doesnt seem to be the showcase here, and that's clearly evident once I take my first sip. As I swirl and it warms, cherry cheesecake and sweet pastry grace the olfactory nerves. Some caramel and cereal scents pull through. I continue to wonder why I chill big beers. Room temperature or close to it is optimal for this one.

The tenacious assault of bitterness upon the first sip of cool beer gradually eases as the aroma strengthens with warmth. Maybe my palette was obliterated, but the hops dont seem overboard anymore for a barleywine of this size, as noted in some other reviews. The 11.26% is actually hidden fairly well, except in my extremities, which were quite chilly just minutes earlier. Hmmmm...

I refill my snifter with the remains of the warmed bottle with a vigourous pour. Three fingers of beige foamy head take much longer to subside, and leave some modest lacing. Head still doesn't cover the liquid, but doesn't completely clear either.

The mouthfeel is very smooth, syrupy and inviting. It's sweetness makes me pucker and my stomach is being eaten away by the alcohol so I doubt I'd be OK if I had more than one of these.

The best judge of a beer is the way you feel when you've finished it. I feel like I wish I'd bought two.

Photo of JasonA
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber, not much head, some lacing. Virtually no carbonation in glass.

Gotta take a big whiff to get the citrusii wine smell. Good once you get it.

Stone hops, barley wine. Can taste the alcohol. Not bad ABV, strong and tasty.

Kinda syrupy. Smooth, but maybe a little thick.

Overall a very nice brew. Maybe not something I would have a lot of due to ABV, but a good changeup. I think this BW is defined by the Stone Hops.

Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Old Guardian
Limited Early 2007 Release

Purchased @ New Beer Distributors, NYC, NY. $6.00. 22 ounce Stone style bomber. Poured into a Belgian style snifter/tulip kind of thing and after a small initial glass, its clear that this yet more fine brew from Stone, very pleasant to sip right now and clearly with the potential to be aged for a few years. Pours cloudy, dull, orangey amber, with a typical tan head that leaves nice scattered lacing. Nose is all about buttery, malty good ness, with a sneaky undercoating of resiny hopping. Full bodied nectar, with notes of more soft butter, maple, whole wheat nutty toast with a orange marmalade hint. Warming and complex, with those resiny/pine hope notes again subtly in the background and finish. Fine stuff, drink it now or in a year or two…Stone Brewery overrated? Please………

Photo of badbeer
3.11/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice amber color with a strong head that lasted very well and left good lacing. Smell had more grassyness to it than I recall from last years version. There was still some sweet caramel underneath, but I think the malt would come in more with age. Taste was much of the same, maybe slightly better. Grassy, but did have a malt base underneath, which led me to believe that this one should become much better. Fairly high carbonation with a medium body. This one was not as drinkable as most beers I have from Stone. I'll say it again, I think this will develop very nicely, as the 2006 did, but it's not there yet.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64oz Growler poured into a hill farmstead tulip, found at Pearl Street Beverage in Burlington! Huge thanks for them putting this on the Growler bar!

Pours a fairly unfortunate hazy, muddy amber brown wig a small light yellow head that settles quickly. Nose is really malty and rich - caramel and an almost honey and oats note that's really nice.

Taste is simply fantastic, no surprise but age has done this beer a lot of good! Not hot at all, rich and mellow with that honey and oat finish that was on the nose. Light carbonation and a dry finish. Very good beer!

Photo of ehammond1
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA
02-20-2011 Sunday Funday Growler Fills

(Aged 4 years at the brewery)

A murky and cloudy deep copper. Very thin milky brown head with small bubbles. Leaves not so much rings of lacing as sheets of it.

Orange citrus hops, cherries, and lemon in the nose. A sugary caramel sweetness as well.

The bitterness from the hops have faded and what's left is just the essence of citrus hop flavors. These are accompanied by flavors of caramel malts, maple syrup, sweet dates, and old-fashioned donuts. No alcohol heat whatsoever. A fantastic sipper.

Silky yet sticky. Feels like drinking a divine dessert.

As with most decadent desserts, one is most often enough. Even without the slightest hint of alcohol, I don't find myself grabbing for more. (Until around midnight, just like with a rich dessert, and I sneak down to the kitchen for just one more!).

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a sunburst amber with deep crimson red edges head forms a bit thin with a light off white beige head lacing is left with each sip pretty thin but even streaks of lacing on my stone pint glass. Aroma zesty spicy floral and piney edged hops deep ripened fruit notes with glazed brown sugar and deep citrus tones, of course deep alcohol notes blended with all of the caramelized sugar notes. Even after a bit of time since the release hops still stand out just a bit more melded into the rest of the flavors coming up on almost a year of cellaring this one is drinking really nice. Sweet waves of malt sugars slight burnt with orange peels and spicy pine hop character leaves a slightly charred burnt brown sugar flavor on the palate ripened tropical fruit notes with white grape and raisin acidity, also strong assertive pine tree resin bitterness with a mellow lasting alcohol cringe. Mouthfeel is full bodied syrupy with viscosity the pure gravity of this brew is all the way detectable carbonation has a slow ample bubbling through the thick body oily resins give added bonus texture from the hops. Alcohol has really waned since the release a much smoother alcohol burn than earlier this year, but I still have layers of hop bitterness that stay with me. Drinkability incredible fresh or aged very aggressive Stone style barleywine even after a 10 months aging this beer has all of the flavor of most fresh barleywines hoppy as hell.

Photo of OStrungT
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a ruby red color with a light tan head that fades slowlt, leaving a decent lacing.

This beer has a very malty sweet aroma. I smell some molasses. It also has a strong hoppy aroma. Piney. The alcohol in present in the aroma as well.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. Piney hop flavor. There is also a strong caramel malty flavor. The alcohol is present in the flavor. I taste a slight fruity flavor also. Figs I think.

This beer goes down surprisingly smooth. It is full bodied. It leaves a sweet aftertaste. It is perfectly carbonated.

I dount this beer would make the best session beer. It has an aggressive flavor, and the alcohol content is a little high.

Overall: This beer is as good as anything that Stones puts out. It is a good choice, and is definately worth it.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice amber color with medium head but some heavy lacing. Some carbonation is present throughout the body.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts and mild hops. Mild alcohol notes present.

Taste: The alcohol notes make themselves known in the finish but mostly the caramel and hops shine through.

Mouthfeel: Nice creamy feel, the mild carbonation is pleasant but not distracting.

Drinkability: If you can get past the minor alcohol notes in the finish this is incredibly drinkable high alcohol content beer. The hops linger nicely on the tongue while the caramel malts provide a strong backbone. I plan on buying a case of this to age. Apparently this beer does great with aging.

Photo of ByTor2112
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my rep John for snagging this for me last year!
Pours up the color of orange marmalade/ orange blossom honey. A soapy one finger head stays then breaks down leaving medium lacing. Aroma- buttery caramel with a faint whiff of alcohol, some dried fruit-apricot maybe? Heavy malty aromas are keeping the hops down but they are there.
Mouthfeel- BIG bold barleywine flavor here. Not too sweet but you can tell the backbone is solid malt and the alcohol is present but is not too hot. A froth intensifies the hops and leaves a lingering metallic bitterness right on the back sides of the palate on the finish.
This ale has a thick resinous mouthfeel like a DIPA that just exudes all that is Stone! I do agree with mt5000 about it tasting like a barleywine and then fading towards a DIPA or IIPA. But I enjoyed that. This one was choice!

Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on-tap at the GA release.

Pours a cloudy copper color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty sticky.

Smells good. Sweet malts and alcohol to go along with a mild piney hop aroma.

Tastes similar to how it smells. A big sweet malt taste up front ending with a mild piney hop flavor and bitterness. The alcohol burns just a bit on the way down and gives a nice warming sensation.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness and the carbonation is just a tad too much. Very smooth but could be smoother.

Drinkability is great. This goes down very easily for a beer with this much alcohol.

Overall this is a very good barleywine but if I had to choose I'd go with the Double Bastard as the Old Guardian seems like a more subdued version of that.

Photo of sloejams
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't often partake in Barleywines, except around winter when SN Bigfoot is an annual staple. Aside from a few other various offerings that pretty much makes up my barleywine intake. Every year I buy a few and they always linger. They're big, intense offerings that often scare me when I look into my refrigerator. So in that regard, I find them quite easy to age - not drinking it = best way to age, of course.

Old Guardian is one I try every year. So far, it's been until today nearly August for me to sample Stone's 07 offering, and to be honest, I'm not sure what drove me to try it today, but I'm certainly glad I did.

As expected this is a big beer. Chewy malt characteristics up and down with tons of hop bitterness. Not as floral as my favorite, Bigfoot, but some say that has too much hop character for a barleywine. I like lots of hops so perhaps that is what makes me so comfortable with that. This is far more balanced, which is not to say there are subtleties - everything is there and there in spades.

Wonderful caramel and bready flavors fill out the hops and chewy malts. The body is rich and full with a smooth finish. Quite tasty. Why have I waited so long to try this?

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.45/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Stone- Old Guardian

Limited Early 2007 release

Appearance- Golden copper brown with a thick, creamy, sticky head. Thick lacing down the glass.
Smell- Oily green hops with grape/ plum notes. Alcohol is also present.
Taste- A quick dose of pungent hops followed with a sweet hit of fruits, raisin, prune, and cherry. Alcohol shows up in the end.
Mouthfeel- Sweet and cough medicine like from beginning to end. Slighty thick with a big hit of alcohol in the end.

Overall- This is 11.26% alc, so this is slighty potent beer here. I aged it for 4-5 months but feel that had probably little effect on it.
A good sipper for a relaxing evening or in place of wine.

Photo of jmz62565
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear reddish/amber with a large tan head that lasts forever and leaves great lacing. The smell is pungent with a real strong "bisquity" aroma with dark fruit,hops, and alcohol. The taste is very hoppy for the style,which I like,but it's not really true to style. Bitter and citrus hops along with alcohol, malt,and some fruits. The m/f is medium with the flavors mixing well. A different b/w. More like Bigfoot than traditional b/w's and I for one really like that.

Photo of ElGordo
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a Chouffe tulip glass. Body is a radiant deep orange color, topped by a large, creamy white head that slowly descends to a small, creamy ring. Decent lacing on the glass.
Aroma of sweet, bready malt, tons of spicy, floral hops, and more than a little alcohol. Palate is an almost-perfect blend of huge hop flavor and assertively sweet malt. Notes of biscuit, sweet fruit, and a touch of pine are detectable, although this beer isn't exactly huge on nuance. Finishes surprisingly smooth, with little heat from the alcohol.
Body is rich and at times a bit creamy, at others a bit sticky. Dangerously drinkable, so be careful. At 11+%, this could create some havoc if you're not prepared.

Photo of Snow81
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Reddish glow

Head: no head, just a small runner on the sides of the glass

Smell: Dark citrus with a big maltyness no heat

Taste: Sweet malts with a dark light citric hop and subtle warmth

Weight: Heavy body

Finish: Light biter citric with lots of stickiness on the lips

If you ask me for another I would say, yes!

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomb, split in preparation for a man man/yeasayer show

appearance: poured into a 42nd street oyster bar pint glass, hazy orange-amber body with a beige froth cap

smell: smells like danger - big citrus hops as expected, big caramel malts, noticeable booze presence which prompted the recipient of the 2nd half of the bottle to ponder the abv %

taste: big and bold on all fronts...huge citrus hop bite, lush pine, thick caramel malts and strong booze undertones. grapefruit and syrupy maple balance this one out...easily could age a few more years at least, but i was thirsty

mouthfeel: syrupy and smooth, hop bite, hot alcohol

drinkability: good

Photo of prototypic
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's a very nice dark copper color. Head is a little off-white, foamy, and about a finger and a half deep. Retention was good and a nice coat lace lined the glass.

Smell: Very sweet caramel malt aroma. Citrus scents only add to the sweetness (a healthy dose of grapefruit and some orange). Hops are certainly noticeable. Nice and piney.

Taste: Initially, it is sweet. A nice combo of the caramel malts and citrus flavors. Grapefruit adds a bit of bitterness. Hops are certainly piney and bitter, but not overly so. It's pretty well balanced by the malty flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied, but pretty smooth for such a big beer. At nearly 11.3%, it's definitely not a session. But, it's masked pretty well. I shelfed this one for a few months before trying and it is a little smoother and more mature than the first. I'll try another later this year perhaps. Overall, it's a good beer. Not my favorite Stone offering, but it's still a Stone.

Photo of yodaseo
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2007 early release, it says on the bottle
poured into my sniffer a hazy amber nectar with very little head, as can be expected froom a 11.3% beer. the initial smell was that of mango dipped in a jar of honey, and the sweet malt scent crept through near the end. the initial taste revealed a sweet and fruity front with a sticky malty finish, followed by a little dry bitterness. now i'm a big fan of stone's brews, which are some of the most complex and over the top beers in the american market. this one was a bit of a let down in that though the taste and mouthfeel was solid, it wasn't up to the par of some of their better brews. the thing that saved this beer from mediocrity and allows it to stand proudly next to its brethren is its spectacular drinkability. never have i had any beer close to 11% that tasted this smooth. I had to constantly remind myself that this was close to wine in abv to prevent reckless chugging. i'll take the good simple flavor and mouthfeel if it's going to be this smooth. we'll see what i think tomorrow morning.

Photo of MiScusi
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into my New Belgium globe glass. Color is a deep burnt orange and a very thin white head that dissipates into some small lacings and bubbles on top. The smell isn't as hoppy as I expected. Fruity, sweet, but yes, definitely hops in there too. Hops are not one dimensional, because I can't pick out their aroma. They are complex- strikingly similar to the Ruination.

The taste is sweet. Hops come in at the end and the the bitterness stays for a very long time. The alcohol is very well hidden at least on the tongue. My stomach is warmed up quite a bit though. Maybe a bit of ethanol aftertaste along with the lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is slick but medium, not overbearing, sticky, or syrupy.

This was my first full Barleywine (although I had a taster or Old Gaurdian back in '05 when my palate wasn't very developed), and it was very delightful.

Photo of alleykatking
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this at HopCat. Reviewing from notes.

A- Poured into a sample glass. Good clear amber color. Little quater inch head that went away. Left little lacing on the sides as I sipped on this. Nice steady bubbles the entire time. More so I think than most beers I have seen with this kind of age on them.

S- Not what I expected at first. I smelled a boat load of floral hops still. To be honest I expected more malt to be the forefront but this was not the case. The floral hops give way to a malty backbone which has a slight biscut smell to it. Maybe a little caramel or something along those lines of sweetness go with the malts. Also, the alcohol is present but is put into check with all the other smells going on.

T- Still a nice Stone quality hop taste to it. The hops have done some fading over time but still a nice floral/bitter taste. The malts come through almost right away after the hop taste. Sweet/bready/brown sugar(?) are all along the malts with the alcohol bringing up the tail end of this beauty. The alcohol is not really hidden toward the end but it doesn't stop you from wanting more.

M- Nice clean mouthfeel. It coats the palate in a bittersweet taste that lingers for a short period. It's a heavy feeling beer with a little chew to it. THe carbonation is still amazing and near perfect I think. Helps the beer glide and dance over the tounge.

D- I wish I would have kept some of these around when they first came out. This is an amazing drinkable barleywine that everyone should try. I like the age on it and think it made it into what it is.

Photo of CortexBomb
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have I mentioned lately how glad I am that Stone is available in Michigan, finally? Old Guardian is an interesting brew, it reminds me a lot of a grapefruity counterpart to Arrogant Bastard, which is a damn fine brew in its own right.

The pour on this one is hazy orange, and the smell is a grapefruity, sugary...malts on the edge as well. The flavour of this carries over similar tones: a strong malt backbone with a variety of fruits with grapefruit, apples, and even some dark hints in the background. The flavour is odd though, I have to mark the beer only a 3.5 here because I frankly felt it was subdued for the style.

A similar sort of story on the mouth, it had a great mouth in general, plenty of hop bite, decently thick, but I still think it's only decent relative to the other beers in this style, which often coat like motor oil.

One thing I can't knock this beer on is drinkability though, very easy to put down (just like Bastard).

Overall: This is a good beer, but it happens to be only decent for its style. I can't complain about the price, but I don't think this one stands out enough to be a repurchase for me.

Photo of goochpunch
3.54/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out an orangey dark honey color with a thin head that quickly settles to a fine layer on top. Scant bubbles slowly climb up the viscous body. Aroma is caramel, orange marmalade, and warm alcohol. As I find most, if not all, American barleywines to be slightly darker DIPAs, this beer does a decent job of being just that. Flavor starts off with caramel sweetness and maltiness. The hops come in, giving off grapefruit and bitter orange with underlying pine resin and a big, aspirin-like finish of bitterness. Alcohol is too hot and the aspirin flavor is too much. Mouthfeel is viscous, but not too heavy, oddly, with a carbonation that tingles a tad on the tongue, but doesn't hurt the smoothness. This is OK as far as drinkability, but it needs some age.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.