1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 286 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Imstillthegman
4.47/5  rDev +8%
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.

Imstillthegman, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

MiScusi, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of RevDru
4.43/5  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.

RevDru, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of hoppymeal
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a reddish hue, mainly clear with a small cream head that slowly dissipates. Light and sugary smell, like a nice toasted marshmallow, light bready caramel sweetness. There is the faintest hint of sweet citrus in the aroma as well. Taste is very similar, quite rich and sugary, bready and caramel sweet, with a hint of citrus. Nice alcohol kick in the finish with some peppery hops on the tongue. Mouthfeel is a medium creamy and soft body with the sugars involved, hops show a nice dryness in the taste and mf that continues long into the aftertaste, wish they would be more present in the aroma and taste. An easy to drink, mellow barleywine, rich for sure, not a lot of hop presence, at least flavor-wise, but no trouble loving every ounce of these 22.

hoppymeal, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of Stoneman78
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Appearance is of clear body with a copper red/amber hue. Small, white head that is mostly diminishing. Fair lacing throughout.

S- Nose is mild and sweet malt. Hoppy aroma with tones of caramel, citrus, and a touch of honey. Fairly strong alcohol aroma as well.

T- Initial flavor is moderately bitter and marked by followed by sweet malt, with a short finish of hoppy goodness. Alcohol tones are present throughout, but not overwhelming.

M- Medium body with a smooth, almost creamy, texture. Soft carbonation with a moderately alcoholic finish.

D- Surprisingly drinkable given the high ABV. A very smooth drinking BW with a nice hop profile that is not overly sweet. Great option for a nightcap or after-dinner brew.

Stoneman78, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of uberabr
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is clear with just a slight haze. Color is a glowing golden amber with red hues. Off-white head is minimal with no real retention but decent lace. Loads of hop oil floating up top.

Aroma is mild and floral. Orange blossoms and a fresh, woodsy, beach. Cherries and some spiceyness, along with a fresh-cut grassy hop and candy sugar.

The taste starts with a bitter hop and quickly eases into a decadently sweet and sugary malt, then returns to a bitter pine aftertaste. Flavors are complex and extremely well rounded...so much so that it's hard to distinguish them all....plus they seem to "dance": just when I focus on the malt, the hop comes into play, and vice-versa.

A malt backbone of butter, honey, caramel and toffee combines with an Angelfood Candy quality, and plays off subtle esters- apple, orange rind, lemon juice, hints of strawberry, and a resiny hemp. The floral bouquet is subtle but definitely notable, lending a delicate orange and cherry blossom, along with a nosey potpourri. Very complex, very difficult to do it justice.

All in all a very enjoyable and extremely drinkable brew. Oh, and you can't taste the alcohol. At all. Very impressive for such a potent beer. I nearly downed the entire bomber just to get at the taste. The only downfall is the appearance...the head sucks. But, head is highly variable. This is a great brew.

uberabr, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of sleazo
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark amber with a substantial head. Goes down quicly but plenty of lace. Nice for a barley wine

S-Toffee, Alcohol, slight fruit

T-Sweet malty richness followed up by a nice hop backbone. The alcohol is there but i was expecting worse considering the newness. Delicious. I was expecting this to be harsh and it really isnt. I will need to see what age will do to this.

M-Smooth and rich wouithout being too viscous

D-Way too smooth despite %

sleazo, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of jmz62565
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

jmz62565, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of nickss
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a typical 16oz pint glass.

Pours a deep copper with some reddish tinges... about a 1/2" solid head recedes oh so slowly.

Whew this one smells fresh! I guess thats what I get for drinking a barleywine shortly after bottling. Loads of hops... pine and citrus team up to slap the nasal passages. Despite the front edge of hops, there is definitely some malt in the backbone... I won't say its balanced, but then again, I don't like my barleywines to be too balanced. Quite nice.

Still a fairly hoppy flavour, but not quite so hoppy as the aroma would indicate. The malt is much more obvious, lending molasses and sugar-like qualities to the brew. The alcohol is fairly noticeable... not surprising considering the abv... still... could stand to age a year or so.

Perfect... big, thick, and chewy. Subdued carbonation with bittering hops. I can't think of any way to improve it.

While I love the flavour and the aroma, this brew is too hot right now to be very drinkable. Once again, nothing a year in the cellar couldnt remedy. All in all, quite nice.

nickss, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of schusterbauer
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

amber/copper colored beer with minimal lacing. nice slight swirling head, and just enough light is trapped to create a faint glow. take a deep whiff and you'll burn some nose hair -- lots of alcohol. underneath the alcohol are smells of fruit (apricot) and hops, along with sweet malts. taste is much more toward the light/fruity end of the spectrum than i was expecting, especially from Stone. flavors of light fruit and nuts mingle with sweet pale malts, some toasted flavors, significant hops, and plenty of noticeable alcohol burn. despite the unmasked alcohol, this is a very enjoyable sipper.

i was pleasantly surprised by this, probably because i was expecting something unbearably unrefined (i.e. imperialdoublebastardwine).

schusterbauer, Mar 12, 2007
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 WesWes
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a bold, pale malt scent with just a bit of crystal malt to add some complexity. It's warm with some hop aroma to boot. The taste is great. It has an extremely smooth flavor that goes down slow and warms in the finish. It's simple in design, but delivers a near perfect flavor experience. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. It has a nice hop bitterness which helps balance the high abv. . This is a damn good drinking barleywine. It's flavorful, but not too extreme. Excellent job guys.

WesWes, Mar 10, 2007
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 auntfloyd
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a silk-screened Stone bomber into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter glass.

Pours a dark, clear copper color, with virtually no head, and minimal lacing.

The nose is a mixture of sweet malt and citrusy hops.

As in most (all?) of Stone's brews, hops are a big component of the taste, certainly more so than most American barleywines I've tried. The hops provide a citrus and slightly pineappley flavor up front, with the fruity malts being more pronounced later on. The flavor is not especially sweet, nor spicy as many barleywines can be; rather it is slightly bitter with a good balance of flavors, and a small hint of alcohol at the end.

The mouthfeel is very good for this style: it is smooth and well-carbonated. Drinkability is high, especially given the type of ale this is.

Overall, this is an excellent American barley wine that puts hops back in the mix. Fans of Stone's other brews will definitely want to try it out; others should as well. Recommended for sure.

auntfloyd, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of sethmeister
2.83/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz into goblet at just below room temperature.

Deep red with tan head, small amount of lace. Head completely disappears.

Nose of pineapple, brown sugar, pine and rum.

Taste is, in a word, hops. A slight malt sweetness to start with a peppery sensation and a hot alcohol note. Then grapefruit hops. Everything then seems to vanish from the palate momentarily before returning with a strong resiny bitter hop finish. Maybe the alcohol is just masking it or maybe my understanding of the style is misinformed, but its missing the fruit, yeast, and brown sugar flavors I expect from a barleywine. This seems more like a really hot DIPA.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin with moderate carbonation. Not full or chewey. Excessively hot. I imagine this would be much better after a year of cellaring. I need to get a couple of bottles to store and compare against this review in 6 months and a year respectively.

Drinkability as it stands is pretty low. I'll try this again after a year.

sethmeister, Mar 06, 2007
Photo of dbalsock
2.95/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

App: Pours a darkish amber, but lighter than I expected, with about an 1/2 finger of head and medium lacing.

Smell: Pineapple... and brownsugar... pretty nice.

Taste: Again the pineapple, but it takes a step back and lets in some hops and more brown sugar, as well the alcohol. A hint of cherries comes through, but a barrage of hops lets me know they're in charge.

Mouthfeel: Extremely bitter, and very sharp hoppiness with intense alcohol. It wasn't terrible, but it definitely wasn't up to par on the palate.

Drinkability: I found this way too intense and needs to mellow. I probably wouldn't try the 2007 for another year.

dbalsock, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of Gatch
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A ruby/rusty orange color.
S - Toasted biscuits, malt, light hops, alcohol.
T - Smooth, buttery, toasted biscuits, dark fruits.
M - Very good, and very strong. The alcohol creates such a smooth, warm finish.
D - Very drinkable, considering the ABV, but it is a barleywine and the style is incredible. Old Guardian is a great beer and it's scary how fast you drink it. I would love to sip on this all night, especially during colder months.

Gatch, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

oberon, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

FuzzyGuy84, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of wcudwight
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a burnt umber color with some ruby highlights. Nice beige head that recedes to a filmy lace on top of the beer. Lot's of lacing sticks to the side of the glass. I'm suprised at the volumn of the head and lace considering the abv of the beer.
Smells buttery, biscuity, and toast.
Flavor has much more to offer than the aroma. Sweet, fruity, on a caramel toasty backbone. Very candy apple like. Strong alcohol finish. This beer is splended in both it's grace and strength.
Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, with some burn and warmth from the alcohol.
The drinkability is the most amazing part of the beer. I look up from my review and the pint is empty. I'm not usually one to drink high abv beers as fast. Oh well it's time for a refill.
Highly recommended.

wcudwight, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of ElGordo
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

ElGordo, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of BeerManDan
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured thick and creamy. The color was a amber with a reddish hue with no foam. The smell was of hops, spices and a hint of a fruity aroma.

The flavor was of a thick sweet candy, like toffee and caramel was evident, along with a medium piney hoppy taste. Not a lot of alcohol flavor to ruin the taste. Well balanced. Bought a half case to store for special occasion.

BeerManDan, Mar 03, 2007
Photo of Braudog
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Limited early 2007 release poured form the 22 0z bomber. It has a warm rosy visual appeal, lightly carbonated with a stoic rocky head. The aroma is sweet and sugary, making me think of some rich dessert. As expected, it carries a big stick to the palate ... syrup, oak, cooked caramel, and resin. Would love to do a vertical comparison of this one; me thinks it will age grandly. (#2729, 3/1/2007)

Braudog, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of GimpyCane
3.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: poured a hazy amber with a slight orange hue with an off white 1 inch head. the head fully lasted and left virtually no lacing.

smell: light scent of wet straw, moderately piney with a hint of grapefruit. I picked up a bit of sulfur with a light touch of alcohol.

taste and mouthfeel: medium body, soft carbonation, and watery. Starts off slightly sweet and malty, somewhere in the medium I got an astringent bite and very bitter and sour milk aftertaste that was long lasting.

drinkability: tough brew for a faint tongue. Personally I enjoy sipping barleywine, but Stone was a tab rough around the edges.

Overall, I purchased several bottles to keep in my cellar. I'll wait six months, than a year to try this brew again. I'm sure the flavors will shine through like the previous years. Enjoy

GimpyCane, Mar 01, 2007
Photo of vtfan77
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice clear reddish-orange color with about a half inch of head. The head doesn't stick around long and leaves a touch of lacing on the glass.

S- Big malty aromas. Caramel, toffee, molasses, and a hint of alcohol. Hops really aren't very noticeable.

T- Quite sweet up front, almost candy-like. Malt flavors include the aforementioned toffee and caramel. Hops don't contribute to a whole lot to the flavor but add a decent bitterness to the finish that lingers for quite some time.

M- Nice full moutfeel. Carbonation is higher than expected, but still nice.

D- Pretty darn good considering its strength. Alcohol is very well-hidden.

It's good for sure, although not the best I've ever had. The flavors, while nice, just didn't jump out at me. Very solid barleywine, though. Maybe a bit of age will help it. Recommended.

vtfan77, Feb 28, 2007
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.