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 Tdizzle
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I cellared this on 2/11/07 and I drank this on 2/12/08.

A- Poured into a snifter, this beer pours a clear orangish-amber color with an off-white head that settles to a thin layer. The head leaves some thick lacing at first. Very nice to look at.

S- Sugary sweet with a strong alcohol backing. Some carmel too. Not as much citrus from the hops.

T- Sweet, malty, and carmely. The bitterness has faded but it still lingers on the finish. Very boozy as well. The alcohol has melded with the other flavors nicely but this is still pretty hot.

M- Creamy and smooth. Very little carbonation.

D- This is a huge beer, so it's hard to finish a bomber by myself, but it sure is tasty. The drinkability has increased after a year.

 724 characters

Photo of ByTor2112
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my rep John for snagging this for me last year!
Pours up the color of orange marmalade/ orange blossom honey. A soapy one finger head stays then breaks down leaving medium lacing. Aroma- buttery caramel with a faint whiff of alcohol, some dried fruit-apricot maybe? Heavy malty aromas are keeping the hops down but they are there.
Mouthfeel- BIG bold barleywine flavor here. Not too sweet but you can tell the backbone is solid malt and the alcohol is present but is not too hot. A froth intensifies the hops and leaves a lingering metallic bitterness right on the back sides of the palate on the finish.
This ale has a thick resinous mouthfeel like a DIPA that just exudes all that is Stone! I do agree with mt5000 about it tasting like a barleywine and then fading towards a DIPA or IIPA. But I enjoyed that. This one was choice!

 841 characters

Photo of jminsc76
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 952 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 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 MiguelMandingo
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It was hard to hold on to this one for a year, but I am pleased with the results.

Poured part of a bomber into a snifter.

Appearance - It has a hazy translucent peach copper color. It produced a 1 finger off white head that slowly dissipated to a thin crown. It left behind a decent amount of lacing. This is a damn fine looking beer.

Smell - The scent of this one has really changed from what I remember it smelling like. There is a huge booze presence as well as some fruit scents like grape, sweet orange and cherry.

Taste - It doesn't quite taste as good as it smells. There are some signs of oxidation, but that goes well with barleywines. The booze scent is huge. There is a nice caramel flavor that rounds everything out. It still maintains a large hop presence despite being over a year old. The fruit flavors of cherry, grape, and orange make an appearance, but the lingering booze finish quickly wipes them out. The finish slightly bitter, with the booze and the hops battling for supremacy - which detracts from the overall flavor.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel on this one is impressive. It is medium/full bodied, and has a good level of carbonation - nothing too lively, but keeps it interesting nonetheless. It is both slightly oily and slightly sticky at the same time.

Drinkability - Overall I enjoyed this beer. It is pretty easy drinking and tastes good, but the overwhelming booze in the flavor and the nose is too apparent.

 1,446 characters

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

A: Pours an orange copper color with little to no head.

S: Sugary caramel malt, piney hops that have aged a bit giving it that medicinal quality, but not overwhelming

T/M: Quite hoppy, with the bitterness lingering through the finish. The blast of hops at first gives way to a nice caramel sweetness. But overall this is one the hoppier versions of this style. Mouthfeel is nicely balanced with good carbonation and full body.

D: Nicely balanced and drinkable given the 11% abv. But you're going to have to like hoppy beers to enjoy this one.

 546 characters

Photo of Braudog
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
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)

 397 characters

Photo of Grundle20
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer pours with little head but displays some above average retention regardless of substance. There is some patchy lacing down the glass as you work through the brew. The color is a slightly dark copper with a fair amount of murky haze.

The alcohol presence here is a real nose burner. It is offset by some mild caramel sweetness and crisp citrus hop character but it's hard to tame an 11+ percent ABV beast like this.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
As I was drinking this cold I was finding it slightly caustic, simply too much alcohol presence but as the brew warmed I find the flavors to really develop. The warmer this gets the more the astringent alcohol burn fades to make way for a mild caramel sweetness, some citrus rind, and a fruit punch note in the fore. Drink this one warm for sure. The mouthfeel is still predominantly bitter and stinging but as far as 11% beers go this one is dangerously smooth and flavorful. I wish I had another bottle to cellar but alas I don't.

It really isn't drinkable despite how impressive it is. I can't see myself drinking many of these especially considering that it comes in bombers. Watch out, this beer will put you on your ass.

Bottom Line:
My last 11+ ABV beer was Weyerbacher Eleven and when I had that I knew it was pretty bad but now I really know why. Stone has done a really good job here where it seems many have failed.

 1,421 characters

Photo of Tolann
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Orange in color and hazy. Not too much head. Dense, white head that fades quickly.

S - the smell hit me before I was even looking for it. Kinda fruity and hoppy. Not a boozy smell. Bigger smell than other beers I've had, but it's not offensive or too over powering.

T - lots of citrus hop taste. Bitterness is strong but balanced and not offensive.

M - can feel the alcohol warm you after the sip. Taste lingers some and keeps you from drinking too fast. Probably a good thing. Bitterness really sits on your tongue. Some carbonation can be felt in the sip. The bitterness comes out as you burp it. Not exactly a 'wine' like quality like in the style name may suggest. It's a medium/light body.

D - Good to have another, but I don't want a lot at one sitting. I'm glad I have another in the fridge, but it will be enjoyed a later date.

 844 characters

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

Pours a light amber, not much head, some lacing. Virtually no carbonation in glass.

Gotta take a big whiff to get the citrusii wine smell. Good once you get it.

Stone hops, barley wine. Can taste the alcohol. Not bad ABV, strong and tasty.

Kinda syrupy. Smooth, but maybe a little thick.

Overall a very nice brew. Maybe not something I would have a lot of due to ABV, but a good changeup. I think this BW is defined by the Stone Hops.

 446 characters

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Coppery amber beauty with a two finger head that after about 15 minutes fades to a ring around the top with some willowy clouds in the middle. The smell is not incredibly descriptive, but good nontheless. Raisiny and sweet, and doesn't attempt to hide it's high ABV. The taste is a sheer knockout. Hot with alcohol, and similar to my favorite dessert, creme brulee and Disaronno. Nice hop presence, high for the style, but it's Stone. Besides, that's nothing a little time in the ol' cellar won't tone down. My mouth was delighted by this heavenly brew, as it is as smooth as can be. Drinkability is marred only by the massive alcohol content. Not for use with the lawn mower. Extraordinary.

 691 characters

Photo of ReDave
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

 387 characters

Photo of BigV
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried to drink a whole 2 liter growler myself(I didn't finish lol)

(A) pours a reddish orange copper body with a nice tan head

(S) a little bit of alcohol left, but mostly sweet fruits and earthiness

(T) some alcohol but most of it had worn off over the past 3 years(I drank this in 2010). Sweet, apricot with a little bit of citrus

(M) very malty, but obviously it"s a barelywine. Exactly the kind of mouthfeel you would want in a barelywine.

(D) very drinkable considering its 11.27%. It was very smooth and 3 years aged on it really brought this brew together.

 568 characters

Photo of YankChef
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a la fin du monde glass.

appearance: amber with peach hues, high clarity and a thick foamy white head that quickly dies down, however leaves fine lacing.

Smell: Smells very sweet and a little fruity. Molasses, cherry, pecan, peach, pear and various other aromas. Needless to say, this beer has a very complex aroma and the aging has certainly changed it.

Taste: Obviously the first sensation is that of sweetness with raw sugar flavors that are akin to sugar cane. A little bit of plum as wel l and some other fruity flavors. This beer is still damn bitter and hoppy after all of this dame and tastes well... like a beer from stone. Strong bitterness in the middle and lingering as well that leaves you wanting more. Seriously dries the mouth out with not just the a/c but also the bitterness.

Overall: Biggest baddest barleywine of them all. Stone doesn't mess around and this beer is another testament to that fact. Even after over a year of aging this beer is still aggressive and bold. Will it mellow out over time... you be the judge if you have a bottle of this sit on it.

 1,109 characters

Photo of Chelsea1905
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rich auburn/copper colour. Effervescent head, that looked slightly banana yellow in colour. In fact, the head and beer colouring made me think I was about to bite into a caramel-banana candy! Head fizzled away, and left a little lacing

Malt, Caramel, Hops, Sweetness associated with a fruit of some kind. And ever present Alcohol.

Tastes of Malt, hints of Vanilla, Caramel, and then a little bit of Hops in the back. The ever present alcohol is there all the time!

Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Drinkability....one and done baby, one and done!!!

 554 characters

Photo of bradybeer
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a Bev Mo in Oceanside, CA-doubt if I can get it up here

Appearance-Pours a dark brownish orange with thick head. Citrus Hops and malt hit you during the pour.

Smell-Citrus Orange hoppiness with a slightly sweet hint of malt.

Taste-Not as bitter as I thought it would be-good balance between malt and hops.

Mouthfeel-Heavy, dense mouthfeel.

Drinkability-For me this beer is one that I cold have several pints of-becasue there is an excellent balance of hops and malt-this balance keeps my taste buds from being overwhelmed.

 547 characters

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

This is a tasty, hoppy Barley Wine. It pours clear, reddish amber with a thin, frothy head with fine bubbles, leaving a nice lace behind as you consume. It smells malty and sweet with fruity overtones - maybe pear? and of course you can smell the alcohol at 11.26%. Initial flavor is stong hops and malt with the scales tipped a little toward hops. The expected alcohol bite gives way to a long lived sweet, hoppy and malty aftertaste. It has a full bodied mouthfeel which is slightly oily to syruppy and a dry finish. I will definitely purchase again next year. It makes a great dessert beer. Consider pairing it with a sampling of dessert cheeses.

 649 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 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 shaebs99
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first year of Old Guardian(since I was only 21 at it's release), but my 2nd bottle. This one I aged since the "Limited Early 2007 release"(making it the 1st bottle that I have opened since I started to age bottles). If my memory serves me correctly very little has changed since then (guess I shouldn't have wimped out and waited until the release of the '08 Old Guardian). Maybe a little less hop presence, but that could be imagined or my forgetfullness. The important thing is that the beer has not been spoiled which was the key to this experiment in aging.

Pours a dark rusty amber. Small head, but good carbonation. Lacing is slight around the edges. Drank a little lower than room temperature.

The aroma is malty with a slight hop presence. The alcohol aroma is definitely still there. Hard to explain why exactly I enjoy the smell so much. It triggers some memory that makes me love the smell. Something about it reminds me of pepper or peppermint. As it warms the alcohol aroma does move to the front.

First taste is of sweetness in the malt backed up by a hot alcohol and a grapefruity finish. Still is enjoyable.

Full bodied with a light, but not absent carbonation.

Drinkability is questionable. This beer is definitely a sipper. You can keep the bomber for yourself, but sipping this with a friend would probably be best. I will definitely get future releases and might pick up another bottle of this if I can find it.

Wish I had aged a case so that I could see how this beer ages in 6- month intervals. Recently saw another few bottles of this at a beer distributor near me. I might pick up another bottle and save it for fall '08.
This beer can be enjoyed at its release or anytime after. Don't feel you have to age your bottle of this. I just feel it would be interesting and potentially better if it is aged to attempt knocking back the alcohol presence in the nose and taste.

 1,916 characters

Photo of Hokies
2.78/5  rDev -32.7%
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.

 266 characters

Photo of gonzo138
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a clear ruby amber color, vigourous carbonation rising up from the bottom of my manchester united pint glass with a big creamy head that both retains well and laces nicely

S- smells of sweet malts and big grapefruit citrusy hop aroma

T- complements the smell, sweet rich malt at first, followed by a big tasty grapefruit ish hop bitterness at the finish

M- full thick body with good carbonation

D- said it before and ill say it again, a good barley wine should not be that drinkable, definitely worth picking up though

 539 characters

Photo of BlackAngus
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark orange color, crystal clear, white fluffy head that dissipated fast. Nice lacing.

S - Dark fruits, caramel, with a strong fruity/citrusy hops aroma.

T - Piney hops flavor, none of the complexity from the nose comes through. Hot alcohol flavor...may be too young.

M - Medium body, sticky, but tongue-numbingly bitter. I would imagine this will age well.

D - In a year or two, this will be an excellent beer. Now, it's a little too much for me.

 463 characters

Photo of wknight167
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Apearance - Pours a hazy orangeish amber with a 3 finger off white head, medium retention and some decent lacing.

Nose- Dark caramel and stone fruits with citrus hops still present in a smaller way.

Palate- Hops are still there, but a shadow of there former orange/grapefruit selves. Caramel and toasted malt along with some butterscotch. Alcoholic warming seems to have re-emerged.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied, almost sticky. Carbonation is on the low side which is understandable for a 3 year old.

Drinkability- A little rough. I can't say that 3 years is the prime time for this one.

Overall- I think this might be in a lull. The beauty of the hops has faded, but the malt is yet to shine.

 692 characters

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