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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

289 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 289
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 289 | Reviews: 239
Photo of BMoney575
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 3-25-07

Pours a deep red, with a nice white head with great retention, no real lacing.

Smell is good, fruity but also caramelly and sweet. Strong floral hops, with a definite aroma of alcohol.

Taste is not as good, sweet maltiness with a huge hop bite. Finishes dry and bitter with strong alcohol warmth. After awhile the alcohol becomes too much.

Mouthfeel is not good. Way to thin and watery. Changes the hop flavor to just bitterness.

Drinkability is also poor, the alcohol and thin mouthfeel makes it a beer that I won't try again without some time to age.

Overall, this is the second big beer from Stone that I've been disappointed with. Both the Old Guardian and Double Bastard suffered from an unnecessarily high abv that did not meld well with the beer. Stone's beers seem to be very well filtered and clean, and this does not lend itself well to masking alcohol. It's a shame, Stone makes so few different beers, and their biggest ones aren't any good.

Score edited: 5-2-09
2007 Vintage

Two years in the cellar made a world of difference.

Photo of neonbrown82
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - A hazy copper brew with a medium sized head with impressive retention. Thin intricate webs of lacing cling indefinitely to the glass. Tiny bubbles move as if through molasses.

S - Caramel malt with a hint of honey and maple syrup. Hints of licorice as well. A peppery alcohol flirts with piney and floral hops. All vie for dominance of the nose and seem to oscillate their control. It is great, but too mild.

T - Calling this flavor complex would be like calling , it simply misses the gravity of the scenario. Initially, there is a malty caramel infused with honey and licorice while a strange (yet delightful) fruity alcohol dances on the back of the tongue. This fruity abv lingers through into the aftertaste where it is slowly joined by a peppery hop bitterness as the sweetness fades. Te alcohol then fades as this delightful bitterness comes to the foreground with a touch of honey lingering to smooth it out. Amazing.

M - Thick, smooth and refreshing.

D - Awesome. I want more bottles. This is the perfect brew to end a rough day. Stone has both disappointed and impressed me in the past - but this monster simply blew me away. I need more bottles.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to fartingdog for this via trade! I'm used to stone being a hoppier type of company and figured this one would be one of their hoppier versions. Surprise! I thought they did a nice job toning back some of the hop overkill I seem to find in the west coast influenced barleywines and creating a well balanced american version. It's malty, it's medium citrus hoppy, it's got a great nose, medium bodied and smooth to drink fresh. And the price is amazing for what you get. If I could get it locally I'd put a case in the beer cellar. As it is, I got 5 via trade and will enjoy the next four over time to see how it ages. I'll have to figure out how to get more for next years release.

Enjoy!

Photo of joepais
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
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

Photo of bjohnson
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Shared with szwaya.

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

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

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 drseamus
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to aerozeppl for sharing this bottle.

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

Photo of MisterClean
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Davis Grad.

A - Orange copper, 1 fingered head, which dissipates to a half, but decides to stick around.

S - Peaches, caramel, and light alcohol.

T - Nectarine or peach, light hops (undescribable), and light alcohol.

M - Very viscousy, oh so good. Excellent.

D - Get me a cigar, stat!

Photo of sleazo
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
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 %

Photo of cbl2
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4/15/2007 $5.99 22 oz. 11.26% No best by date.

Appearance:

Pours a mostly clear orange brown with mild minute bubble carbonation. No head, just isolated islands of white wisps scattered throughout the glass.

Aroma:

Loads of overripe ready to burst sweet fruit. Perhaps a hint of alcohol, but overally relatively mild for a barley wine.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Nice slick/oily mouthfeel. Flavors start off sweet, with notes of caramel and lychee, but transition into hoppy bitterness, with grapefruit and pine vying for dominance. Hot alcohol is nicely masked, but does appear towards the end, in a warming sensation. Overall a well crafted barley wine. Another stellar achievement from Stone.

Photo of scottoale
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh yeah, an early release of a fine, young barley wine that just gets better...year after year!

From the 22oz. brown bomber with silk-screened label, pours a deep coppery orange with a stiff and creamy beige head with a slight orange tint. Good head retension with ample carbonation and plenty of lace left as consumed...nice.

Sweet, floral and fruity in the nose, very much the scent of honeysuckle. The maltyness dominates with sweet and fusel alcohols running down deep and a grassy hop note past that. The smell is sweet and tantilizing with lots going on in it's young stages...fairly complex, yet well balanced.

Sweet, malty intro with a fruity and alcoholic punch, fusel and billowy through the middle and ending cleanly sahweet. Light bitter aftermath.

Plenty viscous in body, loads of alcohol ta-boot...take it easy on this one if your not used to the big beers exceeding 11% ABV. Very enjoyable now, but will age beautifully like a fine wine, no doubt! Cheers to a brew of my favorite style!

Photo of ericj551
4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I managed to find this beer at the Whole Foods in Hadley. 2007 Old Guardian pours a red amber with a slightly off white head. Smell is sweet caramel malts and citrusy, piney hops, with almost a metallic twinge to it. Alcohol is there but light.

Flavor is a slam of intense hoppy bitterness. Huge grapefruit and other citrus, with tons of bitterness, complemented by a nice spicy alcohol flavor. The hops are backed up by delicious sweet malts, very fruity and flavorful with hints of raisin and toffee. I don't know if its the massive amount of raw hop flavor and bitterness, but the beer is certainly not overly sweet like some beers tend to get as the pass 10 or 11% abv.

I'm glad I finally tracked this one down, hopefully I have the will power to save the second bottle I bought and see how it does with some age. I have a feeling this one will be even more amazing with a year or two under its belt.

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.

Photo of OStrungT
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a ruby red color with a light tan head that fades slowlt, leaving a decent lacing.

This beer has a very malty sweet aroma. I smell some molasses. It also has a strong hoppy aroma. Piney. The alcohol in present in the aroma as well.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. Piney hop flavor. There is also a strong caramel malty flavor. The alcohol is present in the flavor. I taste a slight fruity flavor also. Figs I think.

This beer goes down surprisingly smooth. It is full bodied. It leaves a sweet aftertaste. It is perfectly carbonated.

I dount this beer would make the best session beer. It has an aggressive flavor, and the alcohol content is a little high.

Overall: This beer is as good as anything that Stones puts out. It is a good choice, and is definately worth it.

Photo of projectflam86
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of kmo1030
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

hazed orangey amber with very little head.
malty aroma with lots of caramel, quite fruity too, i get peach, berry, fermented apple, pear, and a sugary sort of star fruit. a slight bready cocoa powder mingles with the fruit. a good amount of alcohol is also detectable along with earthy hoppiness.
the flavor is pretty malty too, and quite boozy. this is very warming. rich caramel and fruit dominate up front. pear, apple, berries, and that same sugary star fruit, and maybe something akin to grape skin. it's also got a baked goods type flavor, like pie crust. hops are big in the back, with earthy citrus bitterness taking up a good portion of the show.
i feel like the mouthfeel is similar to other years, but i'm really feeling the active carbonation in a relatively full body this time around.
as alsways a good barleywine. good to share too.

Photo of brew3crew
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at acre for the stone tap takeover

A-transparent amber with no head whatsoever

S-lots of malt with some hops still left suprisingly

T-sweet malts with a little bit of burn from the alcohol. Very slight alcohol but its there still

M-medium body and smooth.

O-Age has really mellowed the beer out. Would love to try agai with more age

Photo of Vdubb86
3.92/5  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.

Photo of oelergud
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful cloudy orange body, orange tinted head, great retention that leaves clumpy lace.
The smell is caramel, hops and alcohol in perfect balance with some grass and bread.
Perfect caramel spiced hop goodness. Mild toffee and mouthwatering strong brown sugar and burnt pine resin. The aftertaste lasts forever and is beyond excellent.
Full thick body, good coating and slick.
So delicious and drinkable, just take it slow or the Old Guardian will get up and kick your ass.

-Oelergud

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 MiScusi
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of Smurf2055
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage enjoyed at Bevridge Place in West Seattle. Aroma was amazing! Sweet yet balanced, malt and hops, aggressive yet friendly. Appearance was dark amber with about a finger of foam. Obviously at four years old, there’s very little carbonation on it. Taste was decent. Warming feeling and a bit of citrus. Lot’s of malt. There was a bit of an alcohol bite, and I sort of expected a bit more complexity at four years old. Palate was full and strong, all over and remains for a while. Overall, I’m not a big barleywine fan, but I still keep an eye out for them. As far as they go, this one was pretty good. It’s very Stone brewing; up front and aggressive, and it knows it.

Photo of rallison
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful dark amber color with a 2 finger fluffy white head that never really dies down (make sure you serve this not too cold, or you'll get no head!).

S: Smells of caramel and toffee malts with a nice touch of hops. Very nice smell - although I wouldn't mind it just a touch more pronounced (this is nitpicking, not real criticism).

T: Delicious. Tons and tons of great tasting caramel and toffee malts, but with a great hop bite. Not the most bitter barleywine I've had (can someone say Old Crustacean?), but hopped just enough to balance the tons of malt. Hops are more of the This is one beer that absolutely must be served warm enough. I've had it too cold before, and it absolutely loses the characteristics that bring everything together. Served at cellar temperature, all the aspects balance each other out. Mmmm.

M: Rich, delicious, and yummy. Low-ish carbonation, but good for this beer.

D: Relatively drinkable, but not the most drinkable for a barleywine - of course, for 11.26%, it's pretty drinkable.

Highly recommended. Go get yourself a bottle.

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.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.