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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

286 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 286
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 5
Gots: 12 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Wildman on 01-25-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 286 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bjohnson
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Shared with szwaya.

Pours a dark rust color with a one finger cream colored head. Thin retention on the edges of the glass with swirls in the middle. Candied sugar aromas with sweet malts. Thick and syrupy in the nose. Spicy hop notes are present with subtle tart like fruit.

Caramel malt notes. Burnt sugar, candied sugar, and cotton candy flavors. Fruits comprised of grapefruit, melons, and orange rind. Complex and interesting flavors. Coating on the roof and sides of the mouth. Thick, resiny, and juicy with a stickiness. Spicy hops with a floral background to them. Bitterness in the finish lasts well into the aftertaste. Nice and smooth body considering the high abv and abundance of hops. A nice barleywine at 11+%, is masked very well. How do they do it? A pleasure to drink.

bjohnson, Apr 18, 2007
Photo of willjschmidt
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a Stone Old Guardian glass.

A: Pours an orangish copper color.

S: Sweet malts, caramel, and above all: a bunch of alcohol.

T: Very sweet with caramel malts. Hops definitely take a back seat in this one. It's very warming, I have a hard time getting over the amount of alcohol in this one. It's damn near like taking a shot with every sip.

M: Slightly thick and chewy, a bit of a dry finish.

D: Hard to drink a lot of this one due to the overwhelming taste of alcohol.

willjschmidt, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of Grundle20
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance:
The beer pours with little head but displays some above average retention regardless of substance. There is some patchy lacing down the glass as you work through the brew. The color is a slightly dark copper with a fair amount of murky haze.

Smell:
The alcohol presence here is a real nose burner. It is offset by some mild caramel sweetness and crisp citrus hop character but it's hard to tame an 11+ percent ABV beast like this.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
As I was drinking this cold I was finding it slightly caustic, simply too much alcohol presence but as the brew warmed I find the flavors to really develop. The warmer this gets the more the astringent alcohol burn fades to make way for a mild caramel sweetness, some citrus rind, and a fruit punch note in the fore. Drink this one warm for sure. The mouthfeel is still predominantly bitter and stinging but as far as 11% beers go this one is dangerously smooth and flavorful. I wish I had another bottle to cellar but alas I don't.

Drinkability:
It really isn't drinkable despite how impressive it is. I can't see myself drinking many of these especially considering that it comes in bombers. Watch out, this beer will put you on your ass.

Bottom Line:
My last 11+ ABV beer was Weyerbacher Eleven and when I had that I knew it was pretty bad but now I really know why. Stone has done a really good job here where it seems many have failed.

Grundle20, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of bbothen
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -Orangish amber & copper color with a nice bubbly tan head.

S - Smells of sweet caramel & toffee with some fruity hop character as well. Oh, and a big booze presence as well.

T - This is a huge beer. Assertive hop presence balaned out by the sweet malty caramel sweetness. Lingering alcohol & bitter finish.

M - Thick & sticky with a nice level of carbonation.

D - This will get to you. It is huge on all levels.

This is a great representation of a US barleywine. Stone really flex their brewing muscles on this one. God bless them.

I wish it came in 12oz bottles as a bomber is a bit much for one person. Although I did finish it off. Happily.

bbothen, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of BeerTruth
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance is a semi-clear beautiful ruby red. Head is a light khaki colored that withers away shortly after pour. Lacing is minimal throughout tasting. Smell is fairly hoppy but has more of a sweet malty tone. You can also smell a good amount of alcohol. Taste is less hoppy than I had anticipated. Much more of a syrupy malt/sugar burst in the mouth. Carbonation is low. This BW is balanced fairly well, but the alcohol overpowers it in a sense. Drinkability is a bit rough because of the the high ABV, but I look forward to aging a case that I have and seeing what this one becomes.

BeerTruth, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Hollingshead's, 2 year old barleywine here,

A: Pours a light amber, with a full white head into a Chimay chalice. Good long-lasting head for this old a beer, good lacing as well.

S: Aged malt, I don't now how to describe the smell, though I find it in nearly all aged American Barleywines. Hops are prevalent though the malt has surely taken this one over.

T: Great malt flavour, bittersweet with a nice mix of hops. Hops are still clearly evident after 2 years, pine, stone fruit are clearly evident. Just a good flavour, an enjoyable ale to drink.

M: Full bodied, lightly viscous with alcohol evident in the finish, no burn at all. Very smooth.

D: The 2007 version of this brew has held up very well. I'm glad Kenny had a keg of this. Not mind-blowing, just a tasty and drinkable aged barleywine.

Halcyondays, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of PSUBeerman
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber bottle, tulip glass

Pours a rich amber color with an orange tint. The head is creamy and thick with a light tan color and again an orange tint.

Aroma is nice with a Stone character. Floral, some hops and rich caramel malts. The alcohol accent hits the nose after awhile.

Flavor has a spicy hop background with big malts up front. A little peppery, yet sweet. Good balance, actually more balanced like an English style barleywine. Alcohol somewhat noticeable, but incorporated evenly considering the ABV.

A bit chewy and thick. It would be a task to do more than one or two in a session.

PSUBeerman, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of cabsandking
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lightly hazed amber/peach color with minor white lacing. Immediate juicy, tropical fruit aromas of pineapple, apple, and cherry cut by bit of hop oil and an apparent alcohol. Very silky smooth mouthfeel on a full body and mild carbonation and some oily slickness is left on the palate. Caramel and sweet roasted malt starts the flavor rush and quickly pushed aside by hops. Pine, pineapple, grapefruit, citrus and a monster bitterness, a tad astringent, at the end. Some vanilla and oaken notes in the mix as well. Alcohol is fairly soft and fits in well in the finish with a peppery, dryness and citric acidity. A hop bomb even after a year.

cabsandking, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of gonzo138
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a clear ruby amber color, vigourous carbonation rising up from the bottom of my manchester united pint glass with a big creamy head that both retains well and laces nicely

S- smells of sweet malts and big grapefruit citrusy hop aroma

T- complements the smell, sweet rich malt at first, followed by a big tasty grapefruit ish hop bitterness at the finish

M- full thick body with good carbonation

D- said it before and ill say it again, a good barley wine should not be that drinkable, definitely worth picking up though

gonzo138, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of drseamus
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to aerozeppl for sharing this bottle.

Amber body with a slight white head. The aroma is chock full of raisiny goodness. The flavor matches the aroma with raisins but adds a good amount of spiciness and leaves a lasting bitterness. The body is medium to heavy but overall this beer needs more age on it.

drseamus, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of neonbrown82
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours to a dark amber color with an orangish hue. Nice carbonation supports a tall off-white head. Spotty lacing. Looks decent.

The smell is on the malty side. Very doughy with a hint of biscuit. Reminds me of a graham cracker for some reason. Plenty of hops in the background as well. Very citric (grapefruity) and piney. The alcohol burns the nostrils.

The taste is very similar to the nose. Sweet biscuity malt and fresh dough up front, along with a strong caramel malt. Once again, reminds me of graham crackers, but with a bitter finish as opposed to a honey sweetness. Rough cohumulone content. Light grapefruit citrus and a very strong pine. Tastes like burning. On that note, the alcohol is much more concealed in the taste than in the nose and mouthfeel.

The body is surprisingly thin for a barleywine, though still on the fairly heavy side. Very gentle carbonation feels great on the palate. The bitterness is rough, but it doesn't linger for long, and the alcohol is astringent. Definitely not one of my favorite barleywines, but it was very good nonetheless. Thanks to dogfooddog for the bottles. The second one will age for at least a year.

neonbrown82, Apr 17, 2007
Photo of phisig137
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange copper color with a thin half finger head. Little retention doesn't leave much behind, aside from a creamy blanket of foam. Not surprising considering the ABV.

Aroma is hoppy, and filled with big time solvent alcohol. The hops are a bit floral, but the alcohol overwhlems everything.

Flavor is malty sweet up front, with nice caramel and brown sugar flavors, followed by a solid hop kick in the back. after the swallow, an un-ignorable alcohol bite assaults your tongue and warms all the way down to your belly. Motuhfeel is creamy and smooth, if not slightly thin. Drinkability is pretty good.

Right now, this is a brash, bright, obnoxious young barleywine. Give it a few years in the cellar, and I think this will mellow out into a round masterpiece. I know I've stashed a few bottles away for myself.

phisig137, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of quasimoto
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with nice light copper / amber color. It also has a big fluffy off white head and leaves a lot of nice lace. The aroma starts off a little shallow when its cold, but as I let it warm they become more apparent. Strong notes of caramel are followed by a roasted chocolate, plums and has a background of hops. very pleasant. The aromas transfer to the flavor but then turns rather toasty, which gives it more complexity. Bready notes, and ends with light citrusy hops that blend together. The mouth feel starts off smooth and clean, but then turns warm and thick in the middle. It ends dry and bitter with a nice clean finish. The taste stays for a awhile, and is very enjoyable.

quasimoto, Mar 28, 2007
Photo of BlackAngus
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark orange color, crystal clear, white fluffy head that dissipated fast. Nice lacing.

S - Dark fruits, caramel, with a strong fruity/citrusy hops aroma.

T - Piney hops flavor, none of the complexity from the nose comes through. Hot alcohol flavor...may be too young.

M - Medium body, sticky, but tongue-numbingly bitter. I would imagine this will age well.

D - In a year or two, this will be an excellent beer. Now, it's a little too much for me.

BlackAngus, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of taez555
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a clear tan/orange body with a small white head that died pretty quickly.

Nose is dominated by a rich extremely dense caramel malt smell with loads of equally dense citrus hops. Not over the top hops. They seem well muted and fight for control over the malt base. Mild touches of wood and syrup.

Taste is extremely full bodied and thick. Initial taste is smooth without any killer bitter flavors. Starts with some soft but dense caramel malt but then all of the sudden in the finish is this overwhelming citrus hop taste and bitterness that lingers for minutes after each sip. Pine needles, grapefruit rind and peel, touches of black pepper and very mild hints of wood. After the first few sips the hop bitterness becomes overwhelming and detracts from the taste making this a bitter bitter brew that needs to sipped slowly.

I love Stone beer, and every year previous this beer has been outstanding. For the first time I think the bitterness is a little overwhelming, even for being aged for 8 months since I bought it. This is definitely a beer meant for looong term storage. The malt is big and beautiful, but the hops needs some time to cool. Check back in 5 years minimum.

taez555, Aug 27, 2007
Photo of TheTrevor
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark brown with orange highlights and a bit of a thin head. The smell is barley malt with a big punch of floral and grassy hops. The taste starts off with some malt sweetness that goes into some grassy and floral hops with a bit of alcohol in the back end. The mouthfeel is thick and slightly syrupy with a low amount of carbonation and some warming from the alcohol. This beer is a bit daunting drinkability wise, but that's really my only complaint with it. I haven't had anything from Stone that wasn't powerful and impressive.

TheTrevor, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of gpcollen1
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an intriguing golden dark amber into my Lees Harvest Ale glass. Head barely comes to life and all but disappears. Aroma is caramelly sweet with hops riding in a staying on top. This is obviously young but not as pungent as some young BWs.

Hits my tongue with some mild carbonation and right into a syrupy sweet light hops. Hops intensifies on the tongue as it rolls its way back and makes me feel as if my tongue is swelling a bit. Not quite over the top for a young BW but you can definitely sense that as the hops mellow, the malt profile will dovetail into it and make something nice.

I do not get people killing the ratings on this one. It is fresh and can only be judged as such. If you think it will be good in a few years then it should be judged as such, without killing it now. On the other hand, giving this a 5 would be ridiculous. Waiting for a 1/2 case of this to lay down and will return to review.

Thanks to my buddy Spencer for finally bringing me something I did not have - I am still looking for something I cannot get!!

gpcollen1, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of BBM
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a vibrant clear orange color, with a rocky white head, nice lacing and a lot of carbonation action. The aroma is syrupy and heavy on the alcohol; notes of earth and flowers do come through a bit.

This is a hell of a big beer, with a stern malt backbone trying its best to mask a surprisingly noticeable hop profile. The alcohol makes its presence felt as well, especially as the beer warms. Piney hops, earth, and barley are the main themes here. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. It will take a while to finish 22oz of this, and you'll be satisfied with that.

Generally I love when Stone goes overboard with their beers, but this one didn't quite do it for me. Seems big just for the sake of being big. It's still a quality brew, but I've had better Barleywines.

BBM, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of DefenCorps
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, 2007 vintage, 11.26%, that I picked up at the Whole Foods in Georgetown back in the day.

Pouring a clear barleywine-red-brown with a dense, beige head with rather excellent retention and lacing, this looks like a good barleywine. It smells like one too, with quite a bit of crystal and caramel malt character, along with a mostly faded pine hop character. QC at Stone is pretty good (IMO) and so, there's none of the deleterious oxidation here, with no cheesey hops or stale, papery malts. Brown sugar, toffee, creme brulee even, there's some wildflower honey with some floral aspects. Pretty nice!

The palate is mostly sweet with some alcohol. Medium-full in body with soft carbonation, this beer is all kinds of sweet. Caramel, toffee, a little brown sugar, some burnt sugar, a little vanilla, and some booze to round out the front and back-ends. A moderate bitterness is present, at a surprising level even, balancing some sweetness. Aggressively caramel-like, though the complexity really does tell me that this is kettle caramelization and someone playing fast and loose with crystal malt, this is growing on me. Bitter and sweet on the finish with honey and pine, this beer is pretty enjoyable, and from past experience, better than it was fresh. Recommended, and it ages well too. Hits all the right notes for a style that typically doesn't do much for me.

DefenCorps, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

GRG1313, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of BDeibs
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

BDeibs, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of tkarsies
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served cool in a pint glass. Second half of bomber had warmed closer to room temperature. Poured a dark orange-copper with a 1 finger cream head that left lots of lacing

Smell was some hops and malt with some fruitiness and significant alcohol on the nose.

Alcohol is very noticeable early on and also gives a burn with swallowing. After the initial domination by the alcohol, the malt does provide a sweetness and good backbone for the hops. Hops do balance out the maltiness, but neither can quite overcome the alcohol. There are some flavors of fruit and even a little grassiness that appears from time to time. As it warms, the alcohol dominates less.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with fairly light carbonation. Very nice.

Drinkability definitely suffers from the alcohol presence. I will have to try this again after some aging. Right now it has hints of being a great beer but still needs some mellowing.

tkarsies, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of velo343
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - A deep amber/orange with a thick tan head.

Smell - Plenty of pine and citrus hops, not surprisingly. The alcohol is very noticeable through the hops.

Taste - A fruity, grape juice-like sweetness, with a bit of orange and grapefruit, pretty syrupy. Once again, the alcohol is clearly there, this time taking precedence over the hops, which themselves add to the citrus flavors and some grassy notes.

While a decent beer, it really does seem a bit young. The hops and malt seem to be too separate and have not become balanced yet. I'm sure my second bottle will be extremely enjoyable after a few months of cellaring.

velo343, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of aerozeppl
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice clear copper color with no head.

S:Malt with some mustiness. Raisins as well.

T:Tons of malt and a faint hop smell in the back.

T: Medium syrupy body. Very smooth though.

D: Fresh this beer "Rips your throat out" but given some time it really mellows out and becomes quite drinkable. Also it ends up being one of the more traditional barley wines we had the other night.

aerozeppl, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of spartanfan
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a beautiful orange red color with a small white head, which has since dissipated into a small ring around the outside of the brew.

S: This a a very complex aroma with quite a bit of estery alcohol. Smells of sweet brown sugar and caramel. Also, juicy pears and apples.

T: More of the sweetness from the nose. Caramel and some spicy hops are up front. A lingering bitter aftertaste is quite dry.

M: Very full creamy mouthfeel. Perhaps a bit too much carbonation for my liking, but still very good. Incredibly smooth for the alcohol content.

D: This beer has a very complex flavor, but it is also quite strong, and the alcohol is pretty apparent, so the drinkablity is not what it could be.

This beer is still very good, but I prefer it fresh at the peak of it's hoppiness.

spartanfan, Apr 25, 2010
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.