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

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

287 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 287
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 5
Gots: 13 | 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: 287 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vtfan77
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice clear reddish-orange color with about a half inch of head. The head doesn't stick around long and leaves a touch of lacing on the glass.

S- Big malty aromas. Caramel, toffee, molasses, and a hint of alcohol. Hops really aren't very noticeable.

T- Quite sweet up front, almost candy-like. Malt flavors include the aforementioned toffee and caramel. Hops don't contribute to a whole lot to the flavor but add a decent bitterness to the finish that lingers for quite some time.

M- Nice full moutfeel. Carbonation is higher than expected, but still nice.

D- Pretty darn good considering its strength. Alcohol is very well-hidden.

It's good for sure, although not the best I've ever had. The flavors, while nice, just didn't jump out at me. Very solid barleywine, though. Maybe a bit of age will help it. Recommended.

Photo of phisig137
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange copper color with a thin half finger head. Little retention doesn't leave much behind, aside from a creamy blanket of foam. Not surprising considering the ABV.

Aroma is hoppy, and filled with big time solvent alcohol. The hops are a bit floral, but the alcohol overwhlems everything.

Flavor is malty sweet up front, with nice caramel and brown sugar flavors, followed by a solid hop kick in the back. after the swallow, an un-ignorable alcohol bite assaults your tongue and warms all the way down to your belly. Motuhfeel is creamy and smooth, if not slightly thin. Drinkability is pretty good.

Right now, this is a brash, bright, obnoxious young barleywine. Give it a few years in the cellar, and I think this will mellow out into a round masterpiece. I know I've stashed a few bottles away for myself.

Photo of Grundle20
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance:
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.

Smell:
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.

Drinkability:
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.

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.

Photo of mjd83goblue
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber for $4.99 from Goodrich's. I was getting antsy for this one to get in.

A: Orangish-copper colored. Very clear. About 1" head. Nice looking, a little lighter than expected.

S: Toffee, butterscotch, a touch of hops. Once it warms the malt and some raisins and other fruits come out (plums?)

T: Sweet butterscotch and caramel. Bruising hops in the back. Not as hoppy as a Bigfoot, but Bigfoot's hops are up front. You taste these all the way down. Brown sugar. Slightly warming, but doesn't seem like 11+. Finishes very(!) bitter with some pine needles.

M: A nice vicosity while still finishing pretty clean. No stickyness at all, but still full.

D: One bomber is definitely enough for the night. It slaps you around, but I'll probably be back.

I'd like to cellar this, but I don't have a proper cellar or the self-restraint. Wanted to make sure I tried it a couple times before my supply ran out. I'd be interested to see what it does after a year or so after the hops cool down a bit. Another excellent Stone Brew, but I think I'd take the Double Bastard over this.

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 BlackAngus
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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

Is it just me or does this beer get better every year? This is what this style is all about. Strength, substance, character, power and finess, all in one offering. Colored a deep mohogany, viscous red with an amber-ish firm head that whisps away like you'd expect a brandy to. Starts out with strong malt flavor, taking on syrupy proportions with deep amber malt sweetness. Fruitiness from deep over-ripened fruits of dates and figs to tart ripe fruits of cherries and berries. All with an underlying yet powerful alcoholic warming and sweetness. Full and rich right into the finish with a light sour astringency before the beer enters the throat.

Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of mcallister
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks like Old Gaurdian. Nice and burnt orange with ruby red hints abound. Big off white head lasted fairly long considering the ABV. Nice fluffy lacing slides down the glass.

Dried fruity, with big toffee and caramel malt components. A lovely floral hop brings it all together. Raisin, fig, brown sugar, hints of maple, sweetly complex, and very enticing. Now too wait for this beast too warm up.

A little hot and slightly out of whack. May need a little more time too mature. Hops are bitter and in your face. Very floral with hints of pine. Hop actually drowns out the sweet toffee, and caramel notes. Dried viognier grapes seem too be hidden in the back. Fig is delicate and somewhat lost, brown sugar does add a little depth too the mid-palate.

Mouth is medium and bruatally bitter. A year in bottle (or keg for this matter) should help bring those unto themselves and tame this beast.

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Photo of ColoradoBobs
2.65/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 ounce bomber. Moderate pour yields an ample long-lasting off-white head over a clear amber body. Lots and lots of thick, sticky lacing. Very pretty beer.

Smell is sweet malt, lots of floral hops.

Taste is a overtly unbalanced to the hop end of things. Once again, a typical Stone beer for taste: no balance at all, with everything smothered by too much hops. Why do they want to make their Barleywine so much like a DIPA or just an over-hopped IPA? This is SO off style!

Thick and sticky mouthfeel, but the taste is so dominated by bittering hops that you can't keep it in your mouth for long.

It's over 11% ABV, so for it to be more drinkable, it would have to have at least a little balance. There is none. At all.

My review numbers for taste and drinkability are actually very generous. This may be the most over-rated beer I've ever had. It serves as one more proof of my conviction that Stone is the most over-rated brewery in the world. If I hadn't paid so much for this, I certainly would not have finished it.

Photo of k3n
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber.

A: Coppery red with a thin white head.

S: Caramel and citrus.

T: Caramel, dark fruit, bitter citrus, and another punch of sweetness on the finish, just before some piney bitterness. Nicely complex.

M: Slippery. Not much carbonation, feels nicely thick going down.

D: Balance is ok, but the alcohol might be a bit hot right now. I'd like to try this again in 6 months or so. Still, an excellent brew.

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.

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into Caracole tulip glass
Decanted @ 50 degrees

A - Clear ruby brown with a nice one inch light tan head with varied bubble size. Leaves a smooth and full coat of lacing upon tipping. Slow moving carbo bubbles work their way to the surface.

S - Sweet dark fruits (raisin stands out) with a spicy alcoholic vibe that only increases upon warming. Aside from the sweetness, its not incredibly malty, nor do the hops stand out. Nicely balanced.

T - Overall taste is rich, with a cloying sweetness that refreshes your dark fruit quota and adds a nice complementary drying effect. Some alcohol resides at the end as well, especially as this beer warms.

M - Moderately carbonated with a smooth alcoholic bite. Smooth overall however, making this mouthfeel rather enjoyable.

D - Looking forward to cracking one open a year or so down the road, as this one was tasty but a little hot in terms of alcohol.

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

Pours reddish brown and perfectly clear. Little to no head and not much carbonation seen in my tulip. Smell is hop oils with some malt in the background. First taste is very sweet. Caramel is very noticeable. Turns into a slick hoppy beer that really lingers and coats the mouth. Not what I was expecting after the initial taste but really interesting and keeps me coming back for more. The hop oil just lingers on the tongue. Mouthfeel is excellent. Slick, buttery and smooth. I heard this was drinking well but wasnt expecting something quite this smooth from such a big beer. Really very impressed. The drinkability is rather high for a beer with this much flavor and alcohol. Definitely packs a punch though. Be careful and enjoy.

Photo of Graebner
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An amber and orange pour with little head. Low bubble-column activity.

Smells rich, full of caramel, butter, spice, hops.

A tastebud sledgehammer. Sweet caramel malts up front giving way to grapefruit rind and pine pitch levels of bitterness towards the finish. Alcohol noticable but not near 11%. Leaves you feeling mildly like youve just bitten into an unripe persimmon. Delicious, and enough flavor to send you reeling.

Mouthfeel is great. Smooth, creamy, buttery feel, light carbonation, and a nice bittering/drying effect on the tail end.

11% abv. Other than that, a smooth bastard that you could drink way too quickly. A little aging will probably only help this one. Try it in six months or so.

Photo of EStreet20
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got my hands on two bombers of this year's OG. Figure I'll pop one now and age one for a while.

22 ounce bomber poured into a snifter glass.

A - A nice orange colored beer with two fingers of white head. Really looks great. The head has some staying power. A gorgeous brew overall.

S - Some candy sugar aroma along with a hint of alcohol.

T - Wow alcohol leads the way like crazy. After that a bit of a sugary/fruity sweetness comes through. Hop presence is there but the alcohol is really out in front on this one. This beer begs to be aged before enjoying. Still the flavors seem interesting. I'd like to give it a year or so to balance out a bit.

M - Nice full body to sip on.

D - This is one of the few brews that I can honestly say NEEDS some age. It's a good beer with lots of flavor but the drinkability suffers a bit because of the alcohol. Some time would likely give this beer some balance, and make it a great BW.

T -

Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Old Guardian
Limited Early 2007 Release

Purchased @ New Beer Distributors, NYC, NY. $6.00. 22 ounce Stone style bomber. Poured into a Belgian style snifter/tulip kind of thing and after a small initial glass, its clear that this yet more fine brew from Stone, very pleasant to sip right now and clearly with the potential to be aged for a few years. Pours cloudy, dull, orangey amber, with a typical tan head that leaves nice scattered lacing. Nose is all about buttery, malty good ness, with a sneaky undercoating of resiny hopping. Full bodied nectar, with notes of more soft butter, maple, whole wheat nutty toast with a orange marmalade hint. Warming and complex, with those resiny/pine hope notes again subtly in the background and finish. Fine stuff, drink it now or in a year or two…Stone Brewery overrated? Please………

Photo of Hibernator
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Old Guardian
Limited Early 2007 Release
Served in an Allagash tulip glass

Pours an amber brown with a hazy burnt orange tint. A rocky head with great sustain appears. Spotted trails of sticky lacings form complex patterns on the side of the glassware.

Yowza...intense nose with whiffs of sweetness, possibly tropical fruits. Major hop bombs in the nose lending comparisons to balsam fur and a freshly peeled clementine orange.

Toasted grains with a juicy caramel malt backing. Syrupy, but not overwhelming like other American barley wines. Hints of dark fruits with a sweet and spicy citrus contrast. This beer is hot with a touch of rubbing alcohol sharpness due to its infancy. Raisins soaked in Caribbean rum with a black pepper bite. Crazy hop delight with a resiny feel that makes the tastebuds pucker with delight.

11.26% ABV = no joke. A sipper for sure.

No doubt I ripped into this beer too early in the season. I couldn't contain my excitement once I spotted this gem on the shelves. This will age with pure grace. That's why I tucked one away for down the road. Yet another excellent offering from Stone.

I love this brewery.

Photo of Foxman
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a very slightly hazy guava orange amber. Three fingers of fluffy light beige head drop gradually to a lunar froth scape. Wings of lacing fly along the inside of the glass.

The aroma is mucho malty, toasted and caramel syrup sweet, with berry and apple accompanying. A draft of citrus and pine signify the hops arrival, and the alcohol is hot and sinus-clearing.

Upon sipping, there rushes in a dense malt sweetness, lofty with brown sugar and caramel, and fruity with cherry and juicy, crisp apple. Dry grapefruit and pine presage a marked turn toward a glowing bitterness. The alcohol is searing and almost raw. The finish is an extended bitter but clean assault. It's big, brash, and seemingly full of potential, but before its time as well.

Full bodied, the coating and glowing is actually one of the more impressive points.

In time, with good age, this will likely develop a pleasing measure of dimension and complexity, but right now it's too shallow for its size and too hot for its own good. The ABV is a slap and a jab, with the result a thin case for drinking very much more. Age, maturity, seasoning- a Jedi may crave not these things, but this beer does, because the potential's there. Let's revisit this one in six months, or maybe a year.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My super bowl beer of choice, 22oz bomber. Pours a shiny, bright orange/mahogany body topped by a medium full white head.
Smells of sweetened raisins, some walnuts, floral, and pine.
Tastes about the same. As it warmed the pine came out more, the alcohol was easy, non-burning. Hops makes the finish crisp and enjoyable.

Photo of flexabull
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of velo343
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - A deep amber/orange with a thick tan head.

Smell - Plenty of pine and citrus hops, not surprisingly. The alcohol is very noticeable through the hops.

Taste - A fruity, grape juice-like sweetness, with a bit of orange and grapefruit, pretty syrupy. Once again, the alcohol is clearly there, this time taking precedence over the hops, which themselves add to the citrus flavors and some grassy notes.

While a decent beer, it really does seem a bit young. The hops and malt seem to be too separate and have not become balanced yet. I'm sure my second bottle will be extremely enjoyable after a few months of cellaring.

Photo of BlindPig
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Thick light tan head in my Old Guardian tulip. Crystal clear light amber, dark orange body. Almost a copper.
S- Big citrus and pine hops. Grapefruit comes through quite a bit too. Some alcohol is found in there also. Hints of bread and light yeast. Very faint hints of caramel too.
T- Citrus and light pine flavors come out first. Grapefruit is in there with that. Caramel and toffee malt body come in soon after. Alcohol throws itself in there to be tasted with the malt body. It then fades to something I can't quite put my finger on. Almost like a light bread? The alcohol gives a nice harsh warming through the big bitterness that is lingering on the tongue from the very first sip. I don't think the alcohol warming is as bad as everyone has made it out to be. It is there but it isn't a LOT! There are a lot worse beers. There is a grapefruit undertone to all of this also.
M- Full body with low carbonation.
D- It is really good. I do prefer these than bigfoot (both being fresh). I think it has a nice warming to it and just a very good complex beer and great example of the style.

Note: I would want to give it a 4.75 on the taste and a 4.75 on the drainkability, but I can't. I don't think though that it should just get a 4.5 and that is why I chose to round up.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 287 ratings.