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

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

281 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 281
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%


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: 281 | Reviews: 239 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in an Old Guardian glass, because I can.

Beer is ruby in color and clear with an off white head of small bubbles with low retention, some lacing and moderate carbonation.

Aroma is bready, yeasty, nice esters, a little fruity with plums or other stone fruits.

Beer is medium in body and sweet, very sweet, mildly bitter from the grains in the back and the midpalate is estery with some nice fruits or grape skins. Not my favorite series of beers from Stone but this one is pretty decent.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 18:41:03 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.13/5  rDev -24.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 11:28:11 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 01:06:55 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fills a tulip glass with clear, reddish copper, some carbonation and a thin, frothy almond head that puts a film on the glass and modest legs.

Well balanced caramel and pine -- almost pine tar. Some raisins and honey are detectible in the background.

Opens with a strong punch of alcohol, immediately followed by a jab of hop bitterness assaulting the tongue before the more subtle flavors can be appreciated. Raisins do come through along with caramel, but the long bitter finish overwhelms the flavor nuances.

A medium to full body beer with slick texture and abrasive carbonation. While some sweetness is present on entry, none remains for the dry finish and alcohol is assertive.

A difficult beer to drink as warmth brings out more alcohol, preventing the flavors from truly developing, especially after aging three years in the cellar. If this is intended to be overly aggressive, then, well done. However, I think Stone has pushed the envelope a bit too far and may have lost the beer in the process. For those who are seeking alcohol and assertive bitterness, Old Guardian is for you.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 22:28:54 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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!!

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 20:45:01 | More by Boto
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A slow turn through an 06-09 and 11 Belgo vertical. Poured into a tumbler glass.

A: The barleywine is a darker orange copper, still within the acceptable parameters of amber. The barleywine is translucent, nearly transparent. A finger and a half of off-white head, a yellow-brown shade, leaves a few strings of lace behind.

S: Lots of malts, thick and prickly. But there are plenty of hops here too. The balance is big, a little muddled at times, but powerful nonetheless. My final opinion is that the maltiness is wins out, its wall of caramel and toffee overpowering the hops.

T: The hops come sprinting through in the first sip, a flash of bitterness that is quickly swallowed up by rich caramel sweetness. The caramel builds quickly to a full wall of treacle. Hops return after the caramel passes, a fresh pine aroma that adds to the thickness of each sip. The combined hop/malt finish is bold, still intense 4 years in.

M: The mouthfeel is touch, incredibly strong with each sip, the hops a nice stand out.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 21:47:43 | More by akorsak
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle of this in 2010. The bottle had been on the shelves of a local beer shop for 3 years I suppose. Hard to imagine something like this sticky around for that long. The beer pours out as a nice looking thick brown liquid. The head was still pretty good right after the pour. The head settles and left a decent looking lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer was loaded with malts giving off a bit of sweetness mixed with some heavy booze aromas. There is also a healthy amount of hops on the nose too, not surprising from Stone. The taste is a so mellow, I found this to be one of the easiest barely wines I've ever drank. I'm not sure if it's because of the age or if that's how it's just made. The mouthfeel is thick and has a heavy body to it. It's a very filling beer. Overall this beer was quite impressive, I figured I'd enjoy it but I didn't expect to at this level. Very good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 19:00:29 | More by Knapp85
Photo of pitasoup
pitasoup

Tennessee

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz poured into snifter per suggestion. Thanks to flexabull for another blind bif beer.

A: slightly hazy amber brown with a finger of dense white head that is very slow to subside. 3.5

S: Wow, intense caramel, raisins. Slight hops, apples, coconut and lemon rind. This smells oreo cookie sweet. After letting this sit, there's a bit of alcohol and mint as well. From the smell alone, I'm going to like this beer. 5

T: A bit of hop bitterness, then strong sweet caramel malts. Slightly smoky, slightly peaty flavors and smells with the first sip. barley malts, a bit of lemon, pear, and tannins at the end 4.0

M: medum-full body. slightly hot, finishes with lingering bitterness and heat. 3.5

O: This seems nicely developed. The flavors aren't harsh but I believe it still has room for improvement. Alcohol heat detracts from the overall enjoyability but the fantastic smell makes up for most of its shortcomings. 4.0

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 05:08:44 | More by pitasoup
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler.

Big thanks to plenum for this vintage gem!

The kettle's a-boilin' now, so what better time to break out a vintage OG? It pours a hazed tawn' topped by a half-finger of tan-ish cream foam. The nose comprises light caramel, lemon zest, light mandarin orange, and buttered biscuits. The taste holds notes of tangerine, lemon, very light buttery caramel, and a strong phenolic bite in the back. The body is a solid medium, with a moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a pretty solid barleywine, though I think age may be starting to get to this guy. Even still, despite that, this is surprisingly pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 07:01:53 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Vdubb86
Vdubb86

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 via Plenum for allowing the partaking of this beer

This offering pours a cloudyish golden orange with not really too much head to speak of. The aromas are faint on some hop notes and heavy on the caramel and toffee on the nose. The taste I was rather impressed with because the hop character that I'm used to kicking me in the face with Stone beers. I suppose hops don't stick around for 3 years. There was a buttery taste to the beer along with the aforementioned caramel characters. This beer wasn't overly boozy, but I found it to be flat. Though I must admit I truly had no problem whatsoever drinking this beer. It was a very good, clearly above average barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 07:39:46 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 00:58:13 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear reddish amber colored beer with a small tan colored head.

Smells like ice tea with lemon at first. Citrus with a definite lemon note. Chocolate on toast with a slight menthol aroma.

Starts out neutral with a savory aftertaste. Quite a smooth flavor 3 years of aging has mellowed out this beer a lot. A little bitter up front on the tongue with a woody caramel aftertaste. Not real complex in flavor though, just mellow.

Mouthfeel is good, not quite thick though.

Drinkability is where this beer really shines. At this point it is perfectly mellowed and deceptively easy to drink. It would be a mistake to age this beer anymore it is perfect right now.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 06:10:38 | More by Zorro
Photo of spartanfan
spartanfan

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 18:15:36 | More by spartanfan
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber bottle. Out of the cellar and into my nonic pint glass. Appears a hazy golden amber color with about a finger of quickly fading off white foam. Nose and flavors consist of sweet caramelized malt, prunes, plums, a bit of alcohol in the aroma, brown sugar, apricots, citrus such as perfume-y orange peel, still some noticeable bitter hops hanging on. Body falls somewhere between medium and full with adequate carbonation. Some alcohol heat in the back of the throat with each swallow. This barleywine is drinking nicely now, but some more time in the cellar wouldn't hurt it either.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 05:19:14 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 00:54:49 | More by PDXHops
Photo of joepais
joepais

Maine

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Early 2007 release poured into a tulip glass produced a good size tan colored head that faded away slowly. This was on top of a brownish orange body.

The hops are gone but the malts are coming into there own in the aroma department. A little bit of oxidation but to be expected in my book. The flavor was what I expected it had a nice sweetness and it made it a really great sipper. The feel in my mouth was full and just the right amount of carbonation.

It went down fine but I should have split the bomber my head knew it later. I would drink this again if I could

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 01:31:35 | More by joepais
Photo of jminsc76
jminsc76

Texas

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, pours a decent head initially, with little lacing and no legs. The body exhibits a reddish orange color out of the light and a more yellowish orange in the light.

Strong aromas of candy, hops, and malts. Very complex. Even gives off a little graham cracker scent.

Flavors are sweet, and similar to the aromas complex, but as alexd3891 (who I am drinking this with while watching UFC) says, "it needs to come together more." For those with a palate of stone (no pun intended), you will get the flavors you need but the heat at the finish may disappoint slightly.

Mouthfeel is hot, slightly chewy, and exhibits a little bit of carbonation.

Overall, I agree with alexd3891 that this could use a little more aging to bring what is potentially a phenomenal barleywine into its peak. That said, it's about as enjoyable as a 2007 as a Bigfoot Barleywine by Sierra Nevada is in 2009. If you enjoy that at that year, you should enjoy this.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2009 01:03:46 | More by jminsc76
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, early 2007 release. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours an orange/amber color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is pine and citrusy hops, caramel malt, brown sugar, and some apricots. Taste is similar to the aroma. Surprisingly the hops are still strong in this brew after 2 years. Pine and citrusy hops dominate, while caramel malt, butterscotch, booze and brown sugar flavors are noticable, too. There's also a good lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit syrupy and slick with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, although you can tell there's some alcohol in this brew! Overall I think it's a good beer, aging it hasn't hurt it although aging it a bit longer wouldn't be a bad thing either.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 23:35:18 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of ReDave
ReDave

California

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dug this out of the back of the California cellar [modified refrigerator]

Decided that two years might be enough?

Pours a little head that very quickly dies no lace and no foam at all.

aroma, mostly malt some spices.

taste wow still has a big hop wallop!

great stuff, this could probably still have waited for a year or more....

but it tastes good now if you like a bite, and i do.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2009 02:29:54 | More by ReDave
Photo of mtnbikerpa
mtnbikerpa

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2009 18:43:23 | More by mtnbikerpa
Photo of PSUBeerman
PSUBeerman

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2009 02:13:30 | More by PSUBeerman
Photo of davidchollar
davidchollar

Washington

4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
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 (^_<)~*

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2009 09:49:54 | More by davidchollar
Photo of projectflam86
projectflam86

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Limited early release 2007. This one has been sitting around for a year and a half. It is sure to have matured quite a bit from its initial bottling.

A- Chilled to 55 degrees and poured into my favorite snifter. Beautiful deep amber color with a small white foam that leaves some lacing. A bit cloudy with a nice bubble stream.

S- Aged malty nose with some floral hops and some yeasty biscuit scents as well. Alcohol is very much present in the aroma but is kept in check with some piney apricot and brown sugar/caramel scents.

T- Huge malty sweet bread flavor. Alcohol is a bit brash and boozy. The hops try to come through but the age has really knocked their bitterness down. Spice and dark fruit flavors are present with a caramel sweetness. A diacetyl buttery finish that was a bit surprising.

M- Big and chewy with a decent amount of carbonation.

D- A decent brew that aged well but the hops sadly perished.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 15:36:27 | More by projectflam86
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle.

Pours a lightly hazed copper red, really nice and vibrant colour, thick off white head forms and slowly settles down to a thick ring around the glass, some lace spots stick around, good retention, looks real nice. Smell is great, very rich toffee, biscuits, brown sugar, tons of malt, grapefruit, strawberries, lots of fruit, alcohol comes through but is well hidden, nice floral hoppiness and big malts, nice kick to it. Taste is similar but better, lots of toffee, very rich in the mouth, biscuity malt, more brown sugar, grapefruit juice, raisins, strawberries, butter cookies, alcohol, more fruit, more toffee, just great stuff, very rich and full flavour. Mouthfeel is full bodied, lightly syrupy with low carbonation, some warmth going down but alcohol is generally well hidden, super smooth going down. Great barleywine and has aged like a champ, I wish I would have gotten more of this stuff, too bad I was a cheapskate a couple years ago.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 03:56:52 | More by Viggo
Photo of ToddT
ToddT

Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev -25.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 04:48:25 | More by ToddT
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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.