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

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

283 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 283
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 5
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.26% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Wildman on 01-25-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 283 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of taez555
taez555

Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a clear tan/orange body with a small white head that died pretty quickly.

Nose is dominated by a rich extremely dense caramel malt smell with loads of equally dense citrus hops. Not over the top hops. They seem well muted and fight for control over the malt base. Mild touches of wood and syrup.

Taste is extremely full bodied and thick. Initial taste is smooth without any killer bitter flavors. Starts with some soft but dense caramel malt but then all of the sudden in the finish is this overwhelming citrus hop taste and bitterness that lingers for minutes after each sip. Pine needles, grapefruit rind and peel, touches of black pepper and very mild hints of wood. After the first few sips the hop bitterness becomes overwhelming and detracts from the taste making this a bitter bitter brew that needs to sipped slowly.

I love Stone beer, and every year previous this beer has been outstanding. For the first time I think the bitterness is a little overwhelming, even for being aged for 8 months since I bought it. This is definitely a beer meant for looong term storage. The malt is big and beautiful, but the hops needs some time to cool. Check back in 5 years minimum.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2007 22:55:35 | More by taez555
Photo of RonfromJersey
RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Red orange body, clear but thick. Some fine carbonation. Off white head drops from one finger to table top to oil slick but clings desparately to the edges.

Rich sweet aroma. Heavy with candy and light fruits.

Taste starts rich, powerfully sweet. Might be sweet but this is no pixie stick. Rich toffee. Apricots. Sudden burst of hops explodes across the tongue and balances the sweetness like a lightning bolt. Hop tingle rides through the finish on into the sunset. Warming glow in the belly.

Smoot, slick, rich mouthfeel.

Dangerous and surprising drinkability considering the size of the elements here.

A superb afterdinner/nightcap barleywine. Great now and probably great with age.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2007 21:37:39 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of yodaseo
yodaseo

Massachusetts

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

2007 early release, it says on the bottle
poured into my sniffer a hazy amber nectar with very little head, as can be expected froom a 11.3% beer. the initial smell was that of mango dipped in a jar of honey, and the sweet malt scent crept through near the end. the initial taste revealed a sweet and fruity front with a sticky malty finish, followed by a little dry bitterness. now i'm a big fan of stone's brews, which are some of the most complex and over the top beers in the american market. this one was a bit of a let down in that though the taste and mouthfeel was solid, it wasn't up to the par of some of their better brews. the thing that saved this beer from mediocrity and allows it to stand proudly next to its brethren is its spectacular drinkability. never have i had any beer close to 11% that tasted this smooth. I had to constantly remind myself that this was close to wine in abv to prevent reckless chugging. i'll take the good simple flavor and mouthfeel if it's going to be this smooth. we'll see what i think tomorrow morning.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2007 22:29:46 | More by yodaseo
Photo of Freshie
Freshie

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Early 2007 release. Opened on 8/2/07, so i imagine thats ages at least 5 months.

Pours an amber, caramel color. Lacing is thick, but settles nicely.

Smell is very pungent with hops and a warming phenol alcohol.

Taste is a big hops smack. Sweet malt following, almost candy like sugar presence. A bit of citrus in there as well. High ABV warms the palate as you drink, bringing a rising smokiness to the flavor.

The hops and the malt seem to be a bit out of balance, which creates an uneven mouthfeel.

A bit of sipper, but I still enjoyed it. They went a bit overboard on the hops this year? I don't know. But even if I liked other Old Guardian vintages better, they still manage to make one kick ass beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2007 18:24:42 | More by Freshie
Photo of shaebs99
shaebs99

New York

4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2007 05:40:38 | More by shaebs99
Photo of sloejams
sloejams

California

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

I don't often partake in Barleywines, except around winter when SN Bigfoot is an annual staple. Aside from a few other various offerings that pretty much makes up my barleywine intake. Every year I buy a few and they always linger. They're big, intense offerings that often scare me when I look into my refrigerator. So in that regard, I find them quite easy to age - not drinking it = best way to age, of course.

Old Guardian is one I try every year. So far, it's been until today nearly August for me to sample Stone's 07 offering, and to be honest, I'm not sure what drove me to try it today, but I'm certainly glad I did.

As expected this is a big beer. Chewy malt characteristics up and down with tons of hop bitterness. Not as floral as my favorite, Bigfoot, but some say that has too much hop character for a barleywine. I like lots of hops so perhaps that is what makes me so comfortable with that. This is far more balanced, which is not to say there are subtleties - everything is there and there in spades.

Wonderful caramel and bready flavors fill out the hops and chewy malts. The body is rich and full with a smooth finish. Quite tasty. Why have I waited so long to try this?

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2007 22:02:48 | More by sloejams
Photo of giblet
giblet

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

daaammmmnnnn!!! this is some good beer. pours a copper color, strong carbonation at first setling into a nice thin trail of bubbles. about 1/4" of head that settles quickly, decent lace.

this has a pleasant smell. malt and sweet balanced with nice hops. the taste, well like i started off with - daaammmnnnn!!! this is some good beer.

definately has some alcohol warming aftertaste - me likes!

suckem up and movem out! giblet

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2007 20:46:46 | More by giblet
Photo of khiasmus
khiasmus

South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep copper color with a finger of off white head that remains as a layer for the life of the beer. Crystal clear with some fingers after a swirl.

S- Sweet and caramelly malt, with a hint of sweet bread as well. Some alcohol esters, and tons of dark fruit... raisins, prunes, dates, along with some toasted nuts.

T- Intense, rich malt character... caramel, honey, molasses, sweet bread. After that, some intense hops come in to balance and dominate the finish, along with a hint of yeast and white bread.

M- Full-bodied, thick, velvety, chewy smooth. low carbonation, and an astringent finish, with a hint of warming alcohol. Perfect.

D- Excellent. Not overly intense, even though it's strong, bitter, and sweet. Highly recommended. One of the best barleywines I've had.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2007 03:05:02 | More by khiasmus
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2007 05:34:06 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Stone- Old Guardian

Limited Early 2007 release

Appearance- Golden copper brown with a thick, creamy, sticky head. Thick lacing down the glass.
Smell- Oily green hops with grape/ plum notes. Alcohol is also present.
Taste- A quick dose of pungent hops followed with a sweet hit of fruits, raisin, prune, and cherry. Alcohol shows up in the end.
Mouthfeel- Sweet and cough medicine like from beginning to end. Slighty thick with a big hit of alcohol in the end.

Overall- This is 11.26% alc, so this is slighty potent beer here. I aged it for 4-5 months but feel that had probably little effect on it.
A good sipper for a relaxing evening or in place of wine.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2007 22:27:18 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of bort11
bort11

Missouri

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

22 oz bottle poured into a goblet. Quick egg shell white head with little lacing. Color is a clear coppery red.
Smell is a spicy herbal malt. Sweet with a bit of ginger and molasses. Taste follows smell, and finishes with a mild hops.
Mouthfeel is a solid medium body with a smooth finish. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2007 01:20:03 | More by bort11
Photo of wingman14
wingman14

Ohio

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a redish orange with a very small off white head. This one has a sweet citrus fruit smell with caramel notes and some hop presence. The very noticable potent taste sticks out at first with the sweet citrus flavors. Somewhat sweet with malty characteristics follow. This one has a very powerful alcohol aftertaste that has a smooth mouthfeel. Some may be turned away by this one especially those that are not fans of a great barleywine. This was an enjoyable beer, and definitely worth checking out for all the BW fans out there.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2007 05:06:08 | More by wingman14
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

4.9/5  rDev +18.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2007 08:06:31 | More by ccrida
Photo of number1bum
number1bum

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this is one super hopped barleywine. But then again what did I expect from Stone?

Pours a deep amber that's almost a little redish, with a nice and fluffy buttercream colored head. Head recedes very slowly and leaves behind a nice ring around hte glass, with a little bit of stick. Smell is quite hoppy, with big juicy fruit citrus aroma, as well as some piney hops. Also smells sweet with some caramel malt, and there's some alcohol in there as well, particularly as it warms.

The taste is nicely balanced between sweet malts and fruity, bitter hops. Starts out sweet and fruity, then some bitterness comes to the forefront from the hops, which have some pine like the smell. Citrus hoppy flavor is more pronounced in the taste than the piney flavor overall. Finishes bitter as the oily hops stay on the palate, but overall this is quite smooth and well balanced. Mouthfeel is full bodied and its very creamy.

This is quite drinkable and almost goes down too easily for the abv. The alcohol does get more noticeable as it warms but it is well hidden for the most part.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2007 00:19:43 | More by number1bum
Photo of OStrungT
OStrungT

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2007 01:13:59 | More by OStrungT
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2007 03:06:01 | More by prototypic
Photo of Atron67
Atron67

Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- looks good, a light white foam, hazy, medium amber.

S- kinda fruity, with hops and malty, its good, full smell

T- strong taste, complex and very strong, highly enjoy it, starts with the malt and alcohol kinda hitting together alcohol is a little bitter, then the fruit and hops come in, theres alot happening at the same time so its hard to separate, aging some of these will make it better, I do really really like the taste of this beer. Im looking forward to what this will taste like when it ages a little more.

M- slightly dry good

D- the alcohol and strong flavor makes drinking it go a little slow, its delicious but its a beer that is slow to drink. ITs something you ponder over, makes a great sunday afternoon.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2007 22:49:43 | More by Atron67
Photo of peabody
peabody

Kentucky

3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone Old Guardian Barleywine Glass.
One finger of white suds. Lacing as it warms.
S. Rope and grass. A sweet grape caramel and strong yeast. An alcohol aroma in the back but not a lot.
Taste is all over the place. Bittersweet grain with an alcohol afterburn. Raisin and plum with a dry bitterness that might be from the hops. The alcohol is very strong here. But not overpowering.
Mouthfeel is a bit oily but dry enough to make you want another sip.
Drinkability is low here because of the high abv. Stone could have calmed down the abv here and made a better product.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2007 03:48:20 | More by peabody
Photo of xgrigorix
xgrigorix

Michigan

3.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Twenty two ounce brown bottle. Dated winter 2007.

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

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

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

Slick, medium-full bodied. Gentle carbonation.

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

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2007 02:51:37 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of walshclimb
walshclimb

Nevada

4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2007 20:25:03 | More by walshclimb
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second year of sampling the old guardian series. I admit it the barley wine style has me perplexed as it has such WIDE ranging characteristics. I just had one that was very malt based and now the old guardian wich leans towards hops although it holds a sturdy body as well.

This brew sports an offwhite head that leaves spider web lace all the way down. Copper body just like the 2006 version. I'm not even really sure this should have seperate years as they seem to be a clone in my opinion. Hop bitterness spikes towards the end to steal the show. Malts tend to be slightly syrupy and built full of caramel and dark rich frutis. A large beer that will warm you up instantly and a beer I will purchase year after year case after case.

I would say that this leans toward the balanced side of the wide ranging style. Mouthfeel is a bit on the syrupy, rich side as well. Cellarability is good but I found the 2006 better fresh so I'm only going to hold a couple bottles for shits and giggles, the rest is going down the hatch soon.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2007 01:58:38 | More by DogFood11
Photo of CortexBomb
CortexBomb

Michigan

3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have I mentioned lately how glad I am that Stone is available in Michigan, finally? Old Guardian is an interesting brew, it reminds me a lot of a grapefruity counterpart to Arrogant Bastard, which is a damn fine brew in its own right.

The pour on this one is hazy orange, and the smell is a grapefruity, sugary...malts on the edge as well. The flavour of this carries over similar tones: a strong malt backbone with a variety of fruits with grapefruit, apples, and even some dark hints in the background. The flavour is odd though, I have to mark the beer only a 3.5 here because I frankly felt it was subdued for the style.

A similar sort of story on the mouth, it had a great mouth in general, plenty of hop bite, decently thick, but I still think it's only decent relative to the other beers in this style, which often coat like motor oil.

One thing I can't knock this beer on is drinkability though, very easy to put down (just like Bastard).

Overall: This is a good beer, but it happens to be only decent for its style. I can't complain about the price, but I don't think this one stands out enough to be a repurchase for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2007 00:01:08 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of kmo1030
kmo1030

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2007 01:26:36 | More by kmo1030
Photo of soupyman10
soupyman10

District of Columbia

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

Pours clear amber with a slow dissolving two finger head. Nose is sweet spicy malt, some breadiness, a little apple and pumpkin. Taste is a bit of a shock, off the bat. Strong spices fill your mouth, kind of bready, then a failry strong alcohol hit that stay with you for most of the beer. This one tastes like booze, although it's not something that necessarily turns me too far off. There's also some brown sugar, some molasses, and raisins, dried fruit. Main thing is a lot of alcohol, though, throughout, that you can't really avoid (I've had RIS's just as high that hid it a fair bit better). It's good, but not great. Feel, on the other hand, is incredible; thick and syrupy, just fantastic. Overall, it's a tasty one, if not any good at hiding its booze.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2007 02:56:58 | More by soupyman10
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my new Stone Old Guardian glass.

A: Given the high ABV, a surprisingly big, 2-finger tannish, cream-colored head settles over a clear, bright, copper-orange body. A very, VERY slow stream of bubbles rises and the head leaves some rings of lacing.

S: Milder than expected for some reason; usually I drink barleywines out of an oversized wine glass and I thought maybe (1) the narrow glass trapped the nose, thereby diminishing it; or (2) it was too cold . . . . Anyhow, the nose was malty -- sweet and bready -- but with a hint of citrusy hops and a waft of alcohol. Sweet malt nose becomes stronger as it warms.

T: Initial impression is of alcohol -- it's hot in the finish and aftertaste and you can feel the warmth on the way down to the belly and when it settles there. Beyond that, there's the sweet malt -- like the nose, it becomes sweeter as it warms -- and some dark fruit or berries peaking through the alcohol. It does finish, however, with a dry, bitter twang to it. I wrote down "almost lemony bitterness." But the alcohol is noted throughout.

M: Medium-heavy, somewhat oily in texture, but still the most obvious thing is the heat left from the alcohol.

D: Not bad, I suppose, for a beer with an ABV of 11.28%, but that alcohol will definitely slow you down.

Notes: I was warned that this would likely benefit from some aging, and given the dominance of the alcohol, I tend to agree. I'm glad I bought a couple of bottles of this, as I'd like to see if it mellows over time. The underlying flavors were solid, with a decent blend of fruity and sweet malt and hop bitterness for balance, but everything was overshadowed by the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2007 16:35:24 | More by Kendo
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 283 ratings.