Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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.

239 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 239
Hads: 289
Avg: 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 239 | Hads: 289
Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First pour of a bomber into a tulip glass. At about 50° it is a hazy deep orange, with a thin but tight tan head. The head starts at about a finger and fades to a thin coating rather quickly. It stays put from that point on. Not much lacing however.

The aroma has a nice hoppy spice to it which is entwined around a deep earthy maltiness. Some nice hints of dark fruit, even whiskey soaked fruitcake. Taste is really a nicely balanced and complex blend of some piney hops, sweet caramel and earthy malt, prune and ripe plum notes, and the warming alcohol. This is really a delight in the mouth. Returning to take a deep whiff before each sip is mandatory. An overall sensory delight.

Big and thick, no question this is one hearty beer. Sippability is high :-) I'll be working on this bomber for much of the rest of today. Right on, who is going to session a barleywine anyway?

 879 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally opened a bottle of the 2007. Wow. Poured a nice orange-brown color with a thin off-white head. Not much lacing.

Mmmm...take a deep breath of this one. Sweet malts blending with the citrus (and to a lesser extent woody) hops and the expected alcohol. Sometimes it's sweet, other times spicy, and yet other times the burning alcohol is all you get.

Flavors run the gamut from sweet to bitter to burning to zesty and back again. Malt shows up mostly as caramel, but there is a touch of bready flavors in there as well. Hops are citrus, earthy pine, and a little peppery. The abv isn't really noticeable in the flavor. You feel it, but don't really taste it. The alcohol warmed my belly right up as I sat out by the fire pit. What a night...getting warmed from the inside and the outside.

Smooth, full bodied brew. The abv sneaks up on you, so don't get carried away with this one. One bomber was plenty for me, but I did want another one. Now, let's see how this one ages.

 987 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very clear copper topped by yellowish, dark cream foam. Good head retention with a fair bit of lacing, especially for the gravity. Whiff of vanilla just after popping the cap. Piney hop aroma backed up by grapefruit rind, plus some fruity and bready notes. Alcohol is present, but not overwhelming. Some caramel and yeast as well. A combination of caramel, sharp grapefruit and alcohol flavours kick things off, but as the malt melts away you're left with a piney bitterness. A little bready with some ripe fruit. Hops jump back and forth between citrus and resin. The alcohol in the finish is a little spicy too, a bit warmer than the 2006 I had recently (which was expected since that bottle had been aging for the better part of a year). Alcohol and resinous bitterness linger, but don't end up being harsh. Faint vanilla can be detected as well. Full bodied, creamy texture, well-integrated carbonation. The alcohol stunned my tongue after a few minutes too. I really like this stuff and I look forward to its release each year. I find it highly drinkable considering its abv and liken it to enjoying a fine scotch at the end of the night.

 1,143 characters

Photo of PDXHops
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Early 2007 vintage bomber, poured into a Duvel tulip on 12/08/09.

Pours a dark, slightly hazy caramel amber with an initial 2+ finger foamy head. This settles down into a small bubbly cap that leaves a nice network of lacing.

Aromas are mainly gentle sweetness- caramel, toffee, apple pie in the oven, mulled cider- but a subtle fruity and pine presence serves as a reminder that this was once a fairly bitter beast of a beer.

And indeed, what is the first thing that hits the tongue? A pine presence that isn't overpowering, but is persistent all the way through to the finish. Loads of delightful sweet flavors- caramel, apple spice cake, tangerine, prunes, fermenting peaches, butterscotch, a hint of vanilla. So much going on- delicous.

A hint of oxidation shows up in the finish, along with carmelized brown sugar and the pine that refuses to go away. Medium-thick bodied with full carbonation and a bit of alcohol burn.

Overall impression: Excellent barleywine. Just about perfect at this age for my taste- the bitterness and sweetness seem to be in perfect harmony at this point.

 1,091 characters

Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Bottle says "Limited early 2007 release." Enjoyed on 3/4/2007.

A - Translucent copper/orange in appearance. Thick, lingering head from a semi-vigorous pout. Mild carbonation present in the bottle.

S - Sweet and malty, very true to what I would expect from a barleywine. A little bit of orange peel coming through in addition to the predominant sugar flavor.

T - Caramel, mild roasted cashew flavor. Starts smooth and sweet but heat and astringency are really noticable on the finish. A very balanced experience with a really diverse mix of flavors that happen in the mouth.

MF - Thin in the mouth, but the carbonation and alcohol dance on the tongue.

D - Almost dangerously drinkable with such a high alcohol content. Watch out for it to sneak up on you, but a surprisingly easy to drink beer for something so complex.

Overall - Another impressive offering from Stone. Not the be-all-end-all of barleywines, but certainly near the top of the file. Will be interested to try this again after it's aged a year.

 1,065 characters

Photo of buffettfan
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking beer out of the bottle and into the glass. The smell is just awesome! A powerful, but sweet smell, like candy!
Taste was mucht he same, and strong, but sweet taste, heavy, but smooth. You can sit and drink a ton of this stuff, but I loved it, and will be in my fridge all summer!

 292 characters

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.

 1,571 characters

Photo of mjd83goblue
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber for $4.99 from Goodrich's. I was getting antsy for this one to get in.

A: Orangish-copper colored. Very clear. About 1" head. Nice looking, a little lighter than expected.

S: Toffee, butterscotch, a touch of hops. Once it warms the malt and some raisins and other fruits come out (plums?)

T: Sweet butterscotch and caramel. Bruising hops in the back. Not as hoppy as a Bigfoot, but Bigfoot's hops are up front. You taste these all the way down. Brown sugar. Slightly warming, but doesn't seem like 11+. Finishes very(!) bitter with some pine needles.

M: A nice vicosity while still finishing pretty clean. No stickyness at all, but still full.

D: One bomber is definitely enough for the night. It slaps you around, but I'll probably be back.

I'd like to cellar this, but I don't have a proper cellar or the self-restraint. Wanted to make sure I tried it a couple times before my supply ran out. I'd be interested to see what it does after a year or so after the hops cool down a bit. Another excellent Stone Brew, but I think I'd take the Double Bastard over this.

 1,100 characters

Photo of RevDru
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a lighter golden amber than the Great Divide Old Ruffian. Good carbonation provides a nice, quarter-inch of foam.

S - Definite berry and citrus notes prevail, with just a hint of bitter-sweet chocolate.

T - Sweet fruitiness is balance with a hoppy citrus bitterness. Alcohol esters are fairly strong, but not overpowering. Flavor balance is excellent.

M - Creamy and bubbly. Very rich.

D - This is a very tasty brew! I took my time a really savoured it. This is probably a good thing, considering the high ABV. This brew is one and done.

 551 characters

Photo of ojiikun
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally cracked this early-2007 bottle of OG in mid-late 2008. Served up in my fave tulip.

Colour is very orange, faily hazy, and with little head, though it's possible to whip up a fair bit of foam with a flick of the wrist on the stem.

Smell is exactly what I was hoping for. Tons of caramel and mellowed out citrus - that syrupy sweet that only year-old or older hops will give you. Bready and yeasty, toasty, too. There's no other way to put it - this is a nicely aged barleywine.

Taste is light as air at first, then melts into a malt-bomb of sweet and sour. Yeast really comes forward, almost tasting old world in origin. Each subsequent sip, the booze comes out a little more, but it brings even more floral notes out. Alphas join the party as it warms in the mouth. Finish is . . . unbuttered popcorn??

What can I say - I love it, because this beer was exactly what I hoped for. The ladies and gents at Stone really hit on a formula that ages well, and shows great merit from that time in the cellar years before most would. I would almost hesitate to say this is near it's peak - I wouldn't wait more than another 6 months!

 1,136 characters

Photo of wedgie9
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007 tasted on draft at Twisted Spoke. Pours amber orange with a thick white head that dissipates to heavy lacing. Sweet malt and cereal aroma with candied orange and some hops bitterness. The flavors are sweet maltiness with the candied orange really coming through but representing more rind buttebess than fruit sweetness. The cereal is prominent on the back of the palate. The palate is rather oily with medium carbonation and a long bitter finish. This is a great beer and the perfect example of a barley wine.

 523 characters

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pretty copper orange color--completely clear, no cloudiness at all. Slowly rising bubbles make for a moderately thick, bubbly head. Smell is sweet and alcoholic. The alcohol doesn't come out in the taste, though. Big on malt and enough hops to balance it. Big flavor stood up well to the rich and spicy food and sauces I paired with it. The alcohol is listed at 11.26% and even if it's not overwhelming in the flavor it certainly has its effect on the brain. Definitely a good, high-quality brew.

 496 characters

Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottle with the early 2007 release on the front. Mountain of head and good carbonation released fruity notes from the start. Heavy yet smooth flavor of dried friut, prune like taste. Alcohol very noticeable still very warming are I sip. Appearance is deep copper red color. The age has mellowed this only a bit. I am guessing it could still sit for a few more years.

 387 characters

Photo of davidchollar
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An aggressive pour into my tulip produces a cascading dark copper with a medium-sized light tan head. Short retention. Good-looking barleywine.

Smells pretty good. Unfortunately I just had an Old Ruffian yesterday, so this one is almost boring in comparison. It's got the right smell for the style, just seems a little muted, not so intense. Definitely nice though, surprisingly dark fruitiness almost like a dark Belgian, but with an obvious bright hoppiness. Amazingly deceptive 11%er!

Taste confirms what I already knew. This is good shit! Stone has never let me down! It doesn't seem to have the gorgeous look and stunning smell of Great Divide's extraordinary barleywine, but Old Guardian is certainly delicious. A lot hoppier than you would've thought, it's got a lot of bite to it! Smooth and creamy on the tongue for a good mouthfeel. Dangerously drinkable! I paid 1400 yen for this, and it was worth every penny (^_<)~*

 933 characters

Photo of Tilley4
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to zapata for sending this brew a couple of states south.

I decided to crack this as my 6 year olds birthday party/slumber party was winding down. My daughter and 2 of her friends were trying out her new Rock Band game as I sipped this down...

My Duvel tulip shone bright amber with a full pour of this awesome brew... A big fluffy off white head slowly formed and stuck around for a while...beautiful beer...

Wonderful aroma of sweet syrupy malts and pungent citrusy sweet hops... I'm surprised at how pungent the hops still are in this but I sure aint complaining...it smells terrific and delicious..

Yep, this is just as delicious as I thought it was going to be. Its loaded with sweet sticky syrupy goodness from the malts and a pungent grapefruit kick in the mouth from those hops... Dang, those folks from Stone sure know how to get it done. This was probably an excellent barleywine fresh and a year has done nothing but make it better... Simply incredible...

I don't think I've found a brew from Stone that I don't love and this is no different... Terrific, terrific brew..

 1,095 characters

Photo of Boto
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle sampled 12-2011: This one pours a clear, coppery color. There was almost no head on it as well as no lacing. Big whiff of caramel malts. Some piney hops trying to rise up from the malts. Maybe some raisin and other faint fruits. The taste is very rich. Lots of the caramel malts, but the sweetness is subdued. Hints of the pine hops in there balancing it out a bit. Actually a hint of dryness to the finish. Really nice!!

 433 characters

Photo of xymyl
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big billowy light tan/off white head atop a copper/orange crystal clear brew.

Toasty, roasty, bready, grainy, and caramel notes, alongside dried apricots, orange peels, citrus leaves and alcohol. Faint spices.

Taste is very well balanced. Flavor is representative of the aroma. Starts off rich and fruity and moves slowly toward a slightly dry slightly spicy finish, still not overly dry.

Body is medium full to full, doesn't seem to be too much point in aging this one. I only bought two and might open the other fairly soon. Interesting interplay of flavors with a very old stilton. Onion and roasted garlic cheddar paired well too, but nothing novel happened.

 671 characters

Photo of irishkyle21
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nothing like a hoppy Barleywine. Old Guardian has a nice hazy orange color. Off white head, pretty good retention and nice lacing.

Smells of caramel malts, grapefruits, pine and traces of alcohol.

Lots going on taste wise, big hop bitterness, sweet mats and a comforting alcohol edge.

 286 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Incredible head. 4 finger initial thickness on head. Insane rentention. Somewhat clear amber coloar. Very beautiful.

Smell is of caramel malts with some vegetable undertones, namely grape. Hops provide a floral aroma in the backround Apple phenol comes out as the beer warms.

Taste is pretty sweet upfront. Sweet caramel malts come out upfront with a tiny bit of cooked vegetables. This is followed by a very balancing hop bitterness that is not over the top like many stone products. Finish leaves a slight grape smell and taste upon the swallow. A very small amount of unmalted barley provides a tiny tiny dry tannin that fits in in a very balanced manner. Alcohol provides a little astringency as the beer warms. As beer warms apple phenol adds both to the nose and helps provide a little balance to the palate.

Mouthfeel: This beer clings fairly well to the palate, but the alcohol and hops make a slightly oily feel on the mouth. However, the thickness of the malt is fairly good and the moderately low carbonation lends itself well.

Drinkability Some breweries seem to fuck up barley wines by making them overly syrupy or way too astringent. I was somewhat expecting a hop bomb, as stone goes crazy with a lot of their stuff. However, this beer was wondefully balanced with a nice complexity.

 1,314 characters

Photo of jgap
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a classic barleywine rusty orange with head that quickly fades to a splotchy lace. Smell is sweet toffee with some old hop aromas. Very strong sent, lots of over-ripe berries much like a flat of four week old strawberries. Taste is amazing! I've had this brew every few months since it was fresh and let me tell you, if it gets better than this I might just wet my pants. It's a huge butterscotch up front- really amazing and very sweet with a smooth flow to an easy bitterness. Not harsh at all. I feel like I'm being escorted in a goose feather-lined limo... Reminds me of high school with less hormones. I digress, the taste is so long-lasting, that it's hard to really capture. Butterscotch, then bitterness that fades to a smooth toffee, and finally returning to that butterscotch in the aftertaste which is long, drawn-out and simply begs for another sip. Very drinkable if you can handle the alcohol- which I can't! This glass is all I can do but my pallet is seeking emancipation and now I have to go to a therapist

 1,029 characters

Photo of kirok1999
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dug this out of a box in the cellar. Pours a clear dark amber with hints of garnet and a nice white head.
Smells of creamy, candy malts with lots of fruit and caramel behind.
Taste is a massive, sweet malt explosion. There's so much going on here: caramel, sweet toffee, raisin, plum, and it's really well balanced by some nice fruity hops. Alcohol is barely noticable. This is rich and creamy and a sipper for sure.

 416 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Sheffield's in Wrigleyville into a snifter.

A: Hazy, reddish-amber body with a solid finger of creamy ecru head. Great retention and lacing, especially for the style and strength.

S: Huge malts (caramel, raisin, grape, prune, etc, etc) and equally huge hops presence, predominantly citrus. Grapefruit; butterscotch; caramelized tangerine? The ultimate mix of American hops and English malts. Phenomenal.

T: Hops are still big up front (after 3 years!), followed by a panorama of sweet, luscious malt. Significant, but not overwhelming booze on the finish. Impressive.

M: Medium-to-full bodied with plenty of soft, fine carbonation.

D: I love it, but the sweetness gets a bit overbearing.

Notes: Getting to sample this vintage on tap was a true treat. I still can't believe how well the hop/malt balance has held up over the years. Truly delicious, truly outstanding.


 891 characters

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………

 838 characters

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.

 722 characters

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

A - Poured a hazy bright orange with a small head. Quick fade with little to no retention and a nice layer of lace left on the glass.

S - The smell was massively sweet orange hops. Lots of alcohol present in the beginning as well, but definatly drounded out by hug hoppiness. There was a slight hint of lemon, tangerine and pineapple which started to come through as it warmed, but overall very sweet aroma.

M & T - Very very smooth and of course remarkebly hoppy. Pretty much a perfect taste for a barleywine, and definatly in my top three. Very dry bitter aftertaste that literally lingered with me all night long. Huge flavors of citrus and floral hops were soo powerful, I almost could think of this as a stong IIPA. Bigtime alcohol and bigtime flavors, wonderful.

D - Overall I really have nothing bad to say about this one. The alcohol will knock you off your feet if you are not careful. I definatly am going to cellar a few to see how they hold up and see wehat kind of flavors can come through after a year or so, but really wonderful.

 1,053 characters

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.