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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

287 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 287
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 5
Gots: 13 | 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: 287 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ColoradoBobs
2.65/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 ounce bomber. Moderate pour yields an ample long-lasting off-white head over a clear amber body. Lots and lots of thick, sticky lacing. Very pretty beer.

Smell is sweet malt, lots of floral hops.

Taste is a overtly unbalanced to the hop end of things. Once again, a typical Stone beer for taste: no balance at all, with everything smothered by too much hops. Why do they want to make their Barleywine so much like a DIPA or just an over-hopped IPA? This is SO off style!

Thick and sticky mouthfeel, but the taste is so dominated by bittering hops that you can't keep it in your mouth for long.

It's over 11% ABV, so for it to be more drinkable, it would have to have at least a little balance. There is none. At all.

My review numbers for taste and drinkability are actually very generous. This may be the most over-rated beer I've ever had. It serves as one more proof of my conviction that Stone is the most over-rated brewery in the world. If I hadn't paid so much for this, I certainly would not have finished it.

Photo of Hokies
2.75/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear red color with dense lasing.

S: Boozy, sweet, malty with decent hop hints.

T: Strong booze taste to it with some malt and citrus flavor.

M: Light with a strong alcohol taste that takes over.

D: Is decent but will not go out of my way to get another one.

Photo of sethmeister
2.83/5  rDev -31.5%
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.

Photo of Erdinger2003
2.85/5  rDev -31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a beautiful big head. The head retains quite nicely. The color is brown to amber and looks nice. The lacing let behind i s very very good. The smell is very grapefruity with some dark fruit, almost a plum. The taste is grapefruity with some wet cardboard oxodized flavors. Not much, but enough. The mouthfeel was nice and smooth with only a touch of carbonation fizz. Overall, I would love to have more after a bit of time in the cellar. Last years was better, but only because it wasn't oxodized and it was aged a bit before it was tried.

Photo of david131
2.9/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From the 2007 bottling. Has been cellared for a year.

A- A very clear orange/red liquid with a lot of streams of rising carbonation. The head is thin, but creamy and dense.

S- Carmey malt, vegetably hops, lots of cotton candy. Very aromatic with a good amount of Alcohol shining through.

T- BOOZE with carmely malt, vegetably hops and a lot of cotton candy. Has a lot going for it, but the alcohol presence kills it.

M- Thin, alcoholic, and harsh. Still, it is somewhat sticky.

D- The booze is killer. Otherwise it would have been great.

Photo of dbalsock
2.95/5  rDev -28.6%
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.

Photo of jenray
3/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of ToddT
3.08/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a bright coppery color with a three finger cream head that fades quickly bur leaves a nice ring at the top to the glass. A little cloudy in appearance

S- Notes of fruit and caramel, strong underlying smell of alcohol.

T- Caramel and a quick hit of fruit then the burn of alcohol takes over. Finishes slightly bitter with a warm touch in the back of the throat.

M- Smooth feel with light carbonation. A little thin for what I expect from a barley wine.

D- Not as drinkable as I would have liked. Feels like it needs to age more to hide the 11.26% ABV and develop some body and complexity, since the alcohol taste is somewhat overwhelming.

Review is for a 2007 release that was found on the shelves of the local beer distributor in 2008. Sometimes it is a good thing to not rotate your stock. I really hoped the year of aging would have yielded a spectacular beer, but this was not the case. I would be afraid to drink this one fresh from the brewery.

Photo of badbeer
3.1/5  rDev -24.9%
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 Thorpe429
3.13/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of drabmuh at last weekend's Stone tasting. Served in a Stone goblet.

Pours a semi-hazy golden-caramel color with a bit of an orange hue. Short head without much in the way of retention or lacing.

The nose brings some caramel and brown sugar, as well as some older hops. Faint fruits in the background. This is the hoppiest of the bunch when compared with the 2005 and 2006, though still not super hoppy. The flavor has a good deal of sweetness and still just a touch of lingering bitterness. Some alcohol. Medium body with low carbonation and a mixture of sugar and alcohol. There's some fullness to it.

This was okay, but it's not something I'd really plan to age all that much of in the future.

Photo of GimpyCane
3.23/5  rDev -21.8%
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

Photo of xgrigorix
3.23/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Twenty two ounce brown bottle. Dated winter 2007.

Copper hued, bright & clear. Thin tan head holds nicely. Thin lines of easy carbonation.

Fruity aroma - notes of melon & berries. Heavy whiff of alcohol.

A bit of grainy malty sort of flavour to start. Some melon type flavours, along with a taste of Munich malt. Thin smack of herbal bitterness. Slight hint of citrus.

Slick, medium-full bodied. Gentle carbonation.

Not really ready for consumption yet. Hopefully some age will make this the tasty powerhouse that past releases have been.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.38/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 1/13/2009 (bottled Early 2007):

Pours a filtered amber orange brown colored body. Smallish head, foamy and creamy white. Dark grape aroma. Malty sweet, sickly almost. Some spiciness. Grainy maltiness and alcohol. Mellow light sweet taste. Grape malty taste. Some hotness on the aftertaste. Alcohol is hidden well.

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 mithrascruor
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish-brown color. Somewhat dark, but subdued. Very little head, which is pretty much gone before you can evaluate it.

Smell: The aroma is very fruity and floral. Malt flavors aren't distinct or very noticable at all.

Taste: Starts a bit sweet with malts (caramel-like), which leads into a grapefruit-like hop bitterness. From start to finish it is rather tart and very direct. The alcohol takes a bit of time to be noticed in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth, yet quite viscous. The carbonation feel seems to be masked by the tartness of the flavor.

Drinkability: This is a beer that is probably difficult for most people to drink, and even those people (like me) who enjoy barley wines will find this a bit less drinkable than others (since it's so powerful).

Quite a beast! Both the flavor and the alcohol are at times nearly overbearing. Seems to be a bit of a novelty, but it's still fun and enjoyable. Not for the weak of heart, but if you enjoy barley-wines or generally strong, unique beers, give it a try.

Photo of goochpunch
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Damian and Lona. Thanks!

This beer is hazy light brown with crimson hues. The head is rather small and leaves subtle lacing. The aroma is of sweet malt and alcohol. The taste follows suit, with additional notes of toffee and butterscotch. Alcohol remains prevalent despite a few years of aging. The feel is medium bodied, with moderate sweetness. A decent beer, but only an average example of the style. A small serving is plenty.

Photo of Floydster
3.55/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 ounce bottle from Hollymain Liquor in El Segundo

Poured into a Stone pint glass

Very, very strong tasting barleywine with a fairly thick head

Least favorite beer from Stone Brewing

Too sweet for my liking, probably would not drink this again, being that I could barley get through 16 ounces of the bottle

Photo of mt5000
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance is brown/amber. Aromas and flavors of sweet cherry, candied pineapple, apricot, caramel, citrus and a bit of pine from the hops. Quite bitter on the mid-palate and finish. This beer is big on both the malts and the hops. In fact, the hops is really my only complaint about this beer. I know that Stone's trademark is hoppy beers, but in my opinion this beer tastes like somebody combined a recipe for a barleywine and an IPA, which is not what I wanted. If you are a hop-head and you also like strong, malty beers than this beer is for you. To me it makes the beer taste a bit out of balance and not terribly drinkable. The beauty of barleywine is the intense maltiness, so by upping the hops quotient this beer in effect subdues the malts. That being said, the beer had many interesting flavors and I believe it is worth a try.

Photo of mcallister
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks like Old Gaurdian. Nice and burnt orange with ruby red hints abound. Big off white head lasted fairly long considering the ABV. Nice fluffy lacing slides down the glass.

Dried fruity, with big toffee and caramel malt components. A lovely floral hop brings it all together. Raisin, fig, brown sugar, hints of maple, sweetly complex, and very enticing. Now too wait for this beast too warm up.

A little hot and slightly out of whack. May need a little more time too mature. Hops are bitter and in your face. Very floral with hints of pine. Hop actually drowns out the sweet toffee, and caramel notes. Dried viognier grapes seem too be hidden in the back. Fig is delicate and somewhat lost, brown sugar does add a little depth too the mid-palate.

Mouth is medium and bruatally bitter. A year in bottle (or keg for this matter) should help bring those unto themselves and tame this beast.

Photo of Vancer
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent BW, sent courtesy of Secret Bunny rayjay.

Another classic Stone, this BW has all the right ingredients, but they just up not mixed quite properly; amber orange pour, topped by a sweet ivory head that just sticks to the glass sides. Orangy caramel in the aroma and taste. A bit tangy and piney, slightly off-style. Guess the ol’ Bastard wanted to lend a hand to this brew too, as it ends up a bit on the IPA side. Alcohol is well-hidden, but I know it’s there by the sharp path it cuts across the tongue.

I have the 2006 version too, can’t wait to see how it mellows after a year, or if that year was more BW than IPA.

Photo of Ego
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap during the Stone "welcome to NJ" party @ Andy's.. and truth be told it was god awful, undrinkable really, and all of us agreed... so now it has some time to settle let's see if it has improved.

eyes...
nice head for a barley, one full finger of slightly off white foam, packed microbubbles layer up nicely, lacing is dead on cling on, kind of a burnt orange/caramel hue, the head retains better than a lot of barley wines. this is very good looking.

nose...
fresh out of the laundry west coast hops, the alcohol lurks beneath but the hops dominate.... but not in an over zealous way, you would almost think you were smelling an IPA... an overly hopped IPA

taste etc...
old crustacean anyone ? this isn't as brutally bitter as that actually. I swear you can't even touch an old crusty for about 5 years. This is not as hoppy as I thought it was going to be and is very smooth. The alcohol content says hello as it warms your bum ass up. This is very easy to drink considering the ABV. The depth of flavor is a bit sparce though compared to other barleywines.. maybe it will develop more as it ages. Though right now as a fresh BW it drinks well. Mostly hops here but not over the top (imo). Once they fade with time I wonder what character this beer will develop.

verdict?
I am going to pick up a couple of more bottles and put some time on them to really judge this offering properly... but the alcohol is well hidden and this beer is well constructed.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had a bottle of Old Guardian since January. I had nothing to do last night, so I thought why not break it out? Let's see what nearly 10 months has done to this beer:

I'm a proud owner of an Old Guardian serving glass, and that's what this beer goes into. Deep ruby red appearance with orange hues, topped by the perfect two-fingers thick head. This barleywine has an herbal smell and a spray of veggies. When it warms up, a fruity aroma takes that down. The taste is quite different from anything I was expecting, bittersweet tasting. Extremely thick like syrup. Surprisingly floral and piney tastining, but warming it up brings in fructose and cough drops. Either way, the alcohol is big.

This way my first attempt to age a beer. Not as good as I was hoping for, perhaps this needed more time. You'll want pair this up with food, as the flavor can become quite cloying.

Photo of nd5282
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A richly malty beer with a golden light brown coloring. A smooth and sweet flavor initially followed by a well-balanced bitterness towards the end of the palate. As far as barley wines go, this beer is an exceptional example. After cellering for one year this beer became a bit sweeter and easier to drink, definitely worth the wait.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 287 ratings.