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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

239 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 239
Hads: 289
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 8.33%
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
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Reviews: 239 | Hads: 289
Photo of beerthulhu
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear medium marzen color with a moderate bubbly off white head with a very soft visible carbonation.

S: sticky pine scented, with dry grapefruit and a touch of boozy burbon barrel alcohol.

T: The initial flavor was malty, with very dry pine notes and a light smoked burbon woodiness. Dry bready caramel malting, pine, and a big alcohol fade finishes things out. The finish was very dry with some boozy burbon notes.

M: very light and boozy upon warming. soft due to the light carbonation.

D: an easy drinking barley for the massive 11.2%abv. (560 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very clear copper topped by yellowish, dark cream foam. Good head retention with a fair bit of lacing, especially for the gravity. Whiff of vanilla just after popping the cap. Piney hop aroma backed up by grapefruit rind, plus some fruity and bready notes. Alcohol is present, but not overwhelming. Some caramel and yeast as well. A combination of caramel, sharp grapefruit and alcohol flavours kick things off, but as the malt melts away you're left with a piney bitterness. A little bready with some ripe fruit. Hops jump back and forth between citrus and resin. The alcohol in the finish is a little spicy too, a bit warmer than the 2006 I had recently (which was expected since that bottle had been aging for the better part of a year). Alcohol and resinous bitterness linger, but don't end up being harsh. Faint vanilla can be detected as well. Full bodied, creamy texture, well-integrated carbonation. The alcohol stunned my tongue after a few minutes too. I really like this stuff and I look forward to its release each year. I find it highly drinkable considering its abv and liken it to enjoying a fine scotch at the end of the night. (1,143 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (962 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the early release 2007

It pours from 22oz bottle a hazy copper colour with a 1 finger head of foam. The foam recedes to a fine broken layer and it has some nice lacing.

The smell is of caramel and roasted malt, citrus hops, and some fruit.

The taste has big notes of caramel malt, roasted malt, grapefruit hop bitterness, some molasses, some dark fruit: fig, toffee, a bit of plum...very complex and boy, it has an alcohol kick to it that really warms during and after the swallow. I like how the malt and hop character are nicely balanced and makes it, despite the agressive flavours, a smooth sipping BWSA. Really nice stuff! Oh, and the alcohol becomes less noticeable further into the session.

The mouthfeel is nice and thickish and the carbonation is on the light side. It finishes semi sweet.

Bottom line: A very tasty and enjoyable example of the style indeed. I wouldn't hesitate in buying more. Another great job by Stone Brewing! (953 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (803 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on-tap at the GA release.

Pours a cloudy copper color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty sticky.

Smells good. Sweet malts and alcohol to go along with a mild piney hop aroma.

Tastes similar to how it smells. A big sweet malt taste up front ending with a mild piney hop flavor and bitterness. The alcohol burns just a bit on the way down and gives a nice warming sensation.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness and the carbonation is just a tad too much. Very smooth but could be smoother.

Drinkability is great. This goes down very easily for a beer with this much alcohol.

Overall this is a very good barleywine but if I had to choose I'd go with the Double Bastard as the Old Guardian seems like a more subdued version of that. (863 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Early 2007 Release

After its release from the 22-ounce brown silk-screened bottle, it resides in the glass a cloudless burnished copper with a gigantic head that is tan in color, creamy in texture and as it slowly erodes, the lacing provides a glutinous curtain to drape the glass. Nose has a big sweet malt aroma, caramel, with hints of strawberry cotton candy, oh yeah, fusel alcohol, also in the mix a touch of hops. Start is ambrosial, with the alcohol and hops providing a serious bite at the rear, the palates not my derriere? lol

Top feels medium to full, with the finish modestly hopped, sweet with malt and the acidity generous, alcohol evident, with the aftertaste sweetly dry, a true tummy warmer, maybe a better term, "Stone Old Guardian Sensation"! (763 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomb, split in preparation for a man man/yeasayer show

appearance: poured into a 42nd street oyster bar pint glass, hazy orange-amber body with a beige froth cap

smell: smells like danger - big citrus hops as expected, big caramel malts, noticeable booze presence which prompted the recipient of the 2nd half of the bottle to ponder the abv %

taste: big and bold on all fronts...huge citrus hop bite, lush pine, thick caramel malts and strong booze undertones. grapefruit and syrupy maple balance this one out...easily could age a few more years at least, but i was thirsty

mouthfeel: syrupy and smooth, hop bite, hot alcohol

drinkability: good (654 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.89/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well I'd been sitting on these bottles for a few months, and tonight I decided to crack my first one. And from the first sip, I thought WOW, this is the best BW I've ever had! And, between 2 BW fests this winter, my own homebrews, as well as a bunch of well regarded bombers in the fridge, I've had quite a few! My running favorite was a tie between my own and Midnight Sun's Arctic Devil...but until I can do a taste off, this is clearly the one.

Poured into a bomber, Old Gaurdian is a clear tawny amber, with a thin egg shell head and relatively active carbonation, leaving a moderate foamy lace. I dig it, on the lighter side, but quite nice.

The nose is pleasantly sweet, lots of cinammon and caramel, with a nutty, grape malt punch and a touch of booze. It's not as robust as some, but I really dig the cinnamon, it plays right into my sweet tooth, beer wise!

While the nose was tantalizing, the taste is where this really rises above, and to my palate, boarders on sublime - I give it a 5! So fruity and rich, caramel and vanilla, barely discernible alcohol, and a fairly clean, bitter finish, it's pretty much my ideal take on the style. In regards to hype, I hadn't yet been been blown away by Stone's brews before, which is why I sat on these for 3 or 4 months, but damn - this is the shit! I'm getting a case next year, and if I had more money and time, I'd get more! Fuckin incredible! I'd be curious to taste it fresh at their pub, and I can't wait to have my other bottle, for which I hope I can hold off for at least 9-12 months!

Like the color, the mouthfeel's on the lighter side, pretty smooth with a touch of creamy carbonation. Maybe a little cloying, I'd have to have this in a barleywine off to give it a 5. But since I don't have that luxury tonight, trust that it's nice and light for the style.

Watch out, this is one crazy dangerous BW! If I had more of these to drink tonight, which I wish I did, I can see myself really getting into trouble. I see the ABV on the label, but aside from the ruddy glow in my cheeks, it's nothing but butter. And my difficulty focusing on the proofread! Wow, I'm really surprised how much this Old Guardian has blown me away! The only negative is that, in spite as how smooth it tastes, I can really taste the hobo breath. But if your kissing someone drinking vodka, you're covered...If you see them, buy a few, drink some now and cellar the rest. (2,414 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
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. (1,373 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update: 06/2007: This tastes much, much better after having six months behind it. I have to adjust my review accordingly because the flavors really made me smile this time.

I had been anticipating this one for a while. It pours a nice ruddy orange color with a really good head (maybe I poured too fast). The smell is not very strong. The taste is average barleywine and alcohol. This is the first Stone beer that has ever disappointed me. it wasn't bad but I always expect to be blown away by Stone seasonal beers (I usually am). The alcohol was pretty noticeable but I think in a year or two this one will be awesome. I plan on picking up a case for aging purposes. (671 characters)

Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07 vintage. Pours dark orangey amber with a dense beige head that leaves thick lacing. Aroma is still citric hoppy but the caramel malt has clearly taken the front seat here. Flavor is chewy bready caramel with accents of orange and grapefruit. Alcohol is still present but subdued compared to fresh bottles. Fulfilling, creamy mouthfeel and solid drinkability. (361 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Sheffield's in Wrigleyville into a snifter.

A: Hazy, reddish-amber body with a solid finger of creamy ecru head. Great retention and lacing, especially for the style and strength.

S: Huge malts (caramel, raisin, grape, prune, etc, etc) and equally huge hops presence, predominantly citrus. Grapefruit; butterscotch; caramelized tangerine? The ultimate mix of American hops and English malts. Phenomenal.

T: Hops are still big up front (after 3 years!), followed by a panorama of sweet, luscious malt. Significant, but not overwhelming booze on the finish. Impressive.

M: Medium-to-full bodied with plenty of soft, fine carbonation.

D: I love it, but the sweetness gets a bit overbearing.

Notes: Getting to sample this vintage on tap was a true treat. I still can't believe how well the hop/malt balance has held up over the years. Truly delicious, truly outstanding.

Cheers! (891 characters)

Photo of jera1350
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A lovely light ruby/gold color that seems to glow. A nice tan head to complement.

Hoppy and sweet smelling with notes of citrus and candy.

Big time sweetness along with citrusy hops that are so well integrated together. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. Such a treat on the palate.

Big body, slick and smooth. A very clean feel as well.

This is one of the best Barleywines I have ever had. The aging seems to have allowed the flavors to marry perfectly. Awesome, awesome beer! (478 characters)

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice amber color with medium head but some heavy lacing. Some carbonation is present throughout the body.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts and mild hops. Mild alcohol notes present.

Taste: The alcohol notes make themselves known in the finish but mostly the caramel and hops shine through.

Mouthfeel: Nice creamy feel, the mild carbonation is pleasant but not distracting.

Drinkability: If you can get past the minor alcohol notes in the finish this is incredibly drinkable high alcohol content beer. The hops linger nicely on the tongue while the caramel malts provide a strong backbone. I plan on buying a case of this to age. Apparently this beer does great with aging. (691 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one came from beer bro #3 better known as Younger35.

A: Pours a nice amber hue with a rather small head. It dies down to a mere collar but will come to life with a simple swirl of the glass.

S: Nice rich malt aroma. Brown sugar aroma mingled with sweet nutty toffee. A tinge of grapefruit hops and be detected in the background. Nice sweet brew, its gonna be a nice Barleywine, can't wait to taste.

T: Wow. Big caramel malt sweetness right up front. Chocolate pralines come thru with a hint of dark brown sugar. Nice sweet fruits dance on the tongue, before giving way to the bite of a piney sweet yet bitey hop bitterness. Very Nice.

M: Thick like pine tar this one runs down the back of the throat and coats anyting that gets in its way.

D: So nice. It's a sipping beer, but one that is to be cherished.

Overall: Man do I love Barleywines. Greg Kotch speaks of warm fall days that cool into the night. That is what's going on right here in good ol Florida. I opened this one as the sun started to fade and sipped it as daylight turned to dark. The taste is so nice and smooth, and the ABV is relaxing. Stone makes wonderful aggressively hoppy brews and this one does not disappoint. It is a wonderful combination of malty and hops. I really liked this one. (1,269 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a 22oz bomber... typical, rambling musings on the back, though I've yet to read it entirely.... "Limited Early 2007 Release" inscribed on the front...

Color is a clear, rich copper, with a small bit of carbo slowly meandering upwards... Head is thin, off-white, and quite finely bubbled. Lacing is light and sporadic. Toasty malt wafts about, along with an edgy, sharp, spicy hop kick and something, oddly, akin to coconut (huh?). A bit of a fruity character is also present, suggesting pear and green apple. Body is solid, and OG is quite smooth, tongue-wise.

Toastiness is very noticeable in the flavor, with sweetness swirling about with light, brown-sugary notes and caramel. There's some fruity action here, also, but it's well-subdued and muted, lingering in the background. Hoppiness here is pronounced and biting, with a sharp edge which sticks all over the mouth. Resiny, piney notes combine with grapefruit to hit the palate... and the 11+ % abv does its job in warming the innards. Even with that high abv, this was not as hot and raw as I expected. Quite well-received, overall, by my palate!

Prosit!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

981 (1,221 characters)

Photo of prototypic
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's a very nice dark copper color. Head is a little off-white, foamy, and about a finger and a half deep. Retention was good and a nice coat lace lined the glass.

Smell: Very sweet caramel malt aroma. Citrus scents only add to the sweetness (a healthy dose of grapefruit and some orange). Hops are certainly noticeable. Nice and piney.

Taste: Initially, it is sweet. A nice combo of the caramel malts and citrus flavors. Grapefruit adds a bit of bitterness. Hops are certainly piney and bitter, but not overly so. It's pretty well balanced by the malty flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied, but pretty smooth for such a big beer. At nearly 11.3%, it's definitely not a session. But, it's masked pretty well. I shelfed this one for a few months before trying and it is a little smoother and more mature than the first. I'll try another later this year perhaps. Overall, it's a good beer. Not my favorite Stone offering, but it's still a Stone. (978 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber**, served in a goblet.

A - clear, orange/amber color with a tan head that settles down leaving some lacing.

S - sweet aroma of fig/dates, but in reality, it's barley malt.

T - sticky-sweet barley malt flavor, with a little hop bite on the finish.
ABV is well hidden in a nice balance of barley malt and hops.

M - medium bodied, light carbonation.

D - good drinkability, it's a 'sipper', but it's a good one!

Final Notes: my local beer store has a few of these (4 / 22 oz. bombers) left on the shelf, I might buy 'em up and 'sit on' them until the leaves turn color or the first snowfall.

** - this is my number 50 'bomber' on a personal quest to drink 100 different beers available in a 22 oz. 'bomber' bottle. (747 characters)

Photo of Vancer
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (635 characters)

Photo of Boto
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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!! (433 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the long Stone Levitation Tulip. Early 2007 Limited Release.

A - Murky caramel honey - virtually small to no head. Lacing and I think legs there.

S - Sweet malt, caramel and honey notes.

T - Again sweet malt, cooked sweet fruit, alcohol - maybe brown sugar a little? Orange like citrus hops take over and remove most of the sweet coating cloying. Towards the end of the bomber, I swear I get tobacco and leather notes too.

M - Full, carbonated and coating. The hops come in and neutralize most of the feel. The finish is pretty balanced, considering the mammoth elements the beer is trying to balance.

D - I read the review first and braced myself for a possible sticky sweet disappointment. I like this beer. The carbonation is good, the coating and subsequent effect of the hops are balanced to a degree. Each sip begs for another. ABV is the only real drawback here. (887 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA
02-20-2011 Sunday Funday Growler Fills

(Aged 4 years at the brewery)

A murky and cloudy deep copper. Very thin milky brown head with small bubbles. Leaves not so much rings of lacing as sheets of it.

Orange citrus hops, cherries, and lemon in the nose. A sugary caramel sweetness as well.

The bitterness from the hops have faded and what's left is just the essence of citrus hop flavors. These are accompanied by flavors of caramel malts, maple syrup, sweet dates, and old-fashioned donuts. No alcohol heat whatsoever. A fantastic sipper.

Silky yet sticky. Feels like drinking a divine dessert.

As with most decadent desserts, one is most often enough. Even without the slightest hint of alcohol, I don't find myself grabbing for more. (Until around midnight, just like with a rich dessert, and I sneak down to the kitchen for just one more!). (887 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours between gold and orange color, medium white head at first pour but dissipates to a thin but well-retained head.

Nose is has a sweet melon citrusy component, and a suggestion of fruity desserts.

On the palate is a candied sweet maltiness with spicy hops that are assertive at first presence but then mellow into a smooth mix of flavors towards the finish.

Aged 1yr prior to consumption. (394 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This finally made it up to Redding, and that makes me happy.

Pours a bright clear copper color, with a nice foamy white head.

Smells like sweet stewed fruits, grape nuts, and a touch of pine like hops.

Flavors are big, and the mouthfeel is incredibly full and well rounded. (I seem to notice this with all Stone brews) There is a very nutty sweet cereal grain like flavor that dominates, and there is also a hint of alcohol, that isn't overpowering, but it let's you know that this is a 11+ ABV beer. Finish is crisp, and has a nice bitterness from the hops.

Drinkability is obviously a bit low because of the high ABV. But this is an excellent American Barley Wine, and I am glad that there are a few of these in my fridge to set down for a while. (761 characters)

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