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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
92
outstanding

288 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 288
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 4
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.26% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wildman on 01-25-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 288 | Reviews: 239
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am just starting to get into barley wine ales, and this one definitely pulled me in more. Sampled on tap at Teresa's in Wayne just last night.

Pours a dark hazy peach into a tulip glass, with very little head. I am starting to expect this from the style.

The smell seems like a combination of a barleywine and an IPA. It smells strongly of hops, a Stone signature. Citrusy and piney hops dominate the hop character. Sweet caramel malts come through to balance the hops. Fruity esters hang around the background of both the taste and the smell. There is only a slight presence of alcohol, as the beer is big enough with enough character to mask it nicely.

Slightly syrupy, the feel of this on my palate is something that I want to be able to get used to. The alcohol is felt more than it is tasted. I could definitely have a few of these.

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

Had this a couple months back from a growler fill but never got around to posting my review...

A: A nice amber color without much head to speak of and hardly any lacing.

S: Extremely malty and sweet caramel, the hoppiness that is usually present in this beer when fresh is almost gone.

T: Lots of malty sweetness, caramel, toffee, and some very slight bitterness.

M: Almost syrupy--very full bodied with low carbonation.

D: Much more drinkable than it's fresh counterpart, but obviously not something you're going to have several of.

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.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler fill from Stone Brewing Co.

Pours a deep honey amber color with a 1 inch off-white head that fades to nothing. Small rivulets of lacing on the glass. Smells of caramelized sugar, cherry cordials, citrus zest. Taste is sweet sugary caramel malt, cherry cordial, and citrus zest hops. Bitterness is quite subdued but still noticeable, which I attribute to the 3+ years of cellaring. Good carbonation still present on this beer. Leaves a sticky sweet coating in the mouth. Drinkability is quite good for such a high ABV. A rare treat from the Stone cellars.

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.

Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of flexabull
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
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 GClarkage
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

04/30/08- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle poured into my Old Guardian glass.

Appearance- Brandy red colored pour. Very lucid. About a 3/4 to and inch larger bubbled head. Leaves a nice semi-creamy rim. Excellent sticky patchy lace.

Smell- More subdued than normal years, but still a very nice caramel malt and fruity hop aroma. About equal and nothing really trumps the other. Just a bit of a sniffer.

Taste- A year plus worth of aging has done well for this one, just as it usually does. Flavors meld very well. Sweet caramel goodness, maybe a touch of fusel alcohol as well. Sharp grapefruit and lemon hops pass up the malt by just a bit. Well balanced for Stone.

Mouthfeel- Chewy and a higher carbonation level. As always a nice bitter ass whooping on the tongue.

Drinkability- Another 2 thumbs up for Old Guardian. It appears aging is your best bet unless you like scorching hops burning a hole through your stomach.

Photo of Jmoore50
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this 1 liter growler filled on Saturday the 19, 2009 at Stone Brewery.

The appearance is great. The first thing I have to mention is the head and the lacing. Ridiculous. This is absurd, especially for a 11.26% ABV. Great amber color with no floaters. Beautiful looking beer.

The smell is nothing spectacular, but a lot of the smells translate into the taste.

The taste is great. This is an entirely different brew than this years. The recipe was no doubtingly different, but age also puts a great spin on this. Dark fruits are the overwhelming characteristic. Dried prunes, bit of currants, apricot, and dry peaches. A small brown sugar taste with a huge sweet alcoholic flavor. I also get a bit of licorice.

The mouthfeel is great, fresh keg tapped two days ago. What else could you ask for? This is the way they wanted it, and this was great.

Drinkability is dangerously high, almost 12% ABV. I am tossing this back like it is water, shit, probably should save some for later but I cannot stop. Just so good.

J

Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
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 ElGordo
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a Chouffe tulip glass. Body is a radiant deep orange color, topped by a large, creamy white head that slowly descends to a small, creamy ring. Decent lacing on the glass.
Aroma of sweet, bready malt, tons of spicy, floral hops, and more than a little alcohol. Palate is an almost-perfect blend of huge hop flavor and assertively sweet malt. Notes of biscuit, sweet fruit, and a touch of pine are detectable, although this beer isn't exactly huge on nuance. Finishes surprisingly smooth, with little heat from the alcohol.
Body is rich and at times a bit creamy, at others a bit sticky. Dangerously drinkable, so be careful. At 11+%, this could create some havoc if you're not prepared.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a hazy bright orange with a small head. Quick fade with little to no retention and a nice layer of lace left on the glass.

S - The smell was massively sweet orange hops. Lots of alcohol present in the beginning as well, but definatly drounded out by hug hoppiness. There was a slight hint of lemon, tangerine and pineapple which started to come through as it warmed, but overall very sweet aroma.

M & T - Very very smooth and of course remarkebly hoppy. Pretty much a perfect taste for a barleywine, and definatly in my top three. Very dry bitter aftertaste that literally lingered with me all night long. Huge flavors of citrus and floral hops were soo powerful, I almost could think of this as a stong IIPA. Bigtime alcohol and bigtime flavors, wonderful.

D - Overall I really have nothing bad to say about this one. The alcohol will knock you off your feet if you are not careful. I definatly am going to cellar a few to see how they hold up and see wehat kind of flavors can come through after a year or so, but really wonderful.

Photo of BRLockwood
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Joey at South Bay Drugs in Imperial Beach, CA for throwing this in with the rest of my purchase. Keep up the great work Joey!

A: Pours a cloudy amber color with a medium head - not great retention - but worthy. The cloudiness looks quite inviting, I can't see through the glass!

S: The first smell that comes to me is a caramelly/roasty smell - a fine start to this Barleywine. The hops come in with a nice herbal presence, and I detect a faint fruity smell at the end.

T: A classic Barleywine - good malt up front and plenty of herbal hoppiness as well. You get a big kick of alcohol in the aftertaste - but what you might expect from this 11.26 abv monster. A well balanced beer that just keeps kicking with all gears. To me the malt flavor keeps coming through and through.

M: This is definietely a heavy, chewy, but smooth beer. Carbonation seems to be just right and the heavy lacing on the glass leaves myriad designs as they gravitate towards the bottom of the glass.

T: The final pour of the bomber gives a real good head but again it settles rather quickly - which is a good thing in my opinion. The alcohol seems to subside as I finish the bomber - but that could be for other reasons! Truly representative of the style. I usually reserve Barleywines for the nightcap but this will be the only beer I drink today - and a fitting conclusion to my San Diego soujourn - at least until my package arrives!!!

Brian

Photo of BretSikkink
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. This is a good one. Tasted early '08; this ale has aged to become a jolly fine drink.

Orange-brown body, lovely highlights and a picture perfect head.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, traces of a ridiculous amount of hopping still present but nicely subdued. Sharp, almost sweet but not quite, the hopping is mellow but packs a punch of peppery citrus. The pine character is not as prominent as the '08; a sure sign of mellowing.

All outstanding characteristics; this is a well put together ale that would please any lover of big flavors in their beer.

Photo of Knapp85
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle of this in 2010. The bottle had been on the shelves of a local beer shop for 3 years I suppose. Hard to imagine something like this sticky around for that long. The beer pours out as a nice looking thick brown liquid. The head was still pretty good right after the pour. The head settles and left a decent looking lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer was loaded with malts giving off a bit of sweetness mixed with some heavy booze aromas. There is also a healthy amount of hops on the nose too, not surprising from Stone. The taste is a so mellow, I found this to be one of the easiest barely wines I've ever drank. I'm not sure if it's because of the age or if that's how it's just made. The mouthfeel is thick and has a heavy body to it. It's a very filling beer. Overall this beer was quite impressive, I figured I'd enjoy it but I didn't expect to at this level. Very good stuff.

Photo of atsprings
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Get to have this one on-tap at Flying Saucer as part of a 4 year vertical tasting. Served a crisp orange with a thin diminishing head. Aroma was a nice amount of burnt caramel hops, mild citrus hops and a trace of alcohol. The taste is a nice balance of sweet caramel malts with a mild hop backbone. The beer is clearly the smoothest of the four with the alcohol having become very well hidden. This one has aged out very nicely to a truly enjoyable Barleywine.

Photo of atrus138
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

First off, I've never had a barley wine before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Poured a very nice looking orange color, with red tints. What very little head there was dissipated into a little froth that lay on top. Smell is faint, with fruity notes, but mostly alcohol. Taste is much more intense and complex than the nose would have me believe, especially when warmed a bit. Very fruity, with caramel being very prevalent. A little harsh due to the alcohol content, but less noticeable as it warms and more flavors are apparent. I've never tried cellaring before, but I'll give this one a try and see what happens (though with a little research, I found out that this is released in January, so it's already almost a year old). Very warming, which is just what I needed after all this cold temperature. This will be one I look forward to each year.

Photo of irishkyle21
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nothing like a hoppy Barleywine. Old Guardian has a nice hazy orange color. Off white head, pretty good retention and nice lacing.

Smells of caramel malts, grapefruits, pine and traces of alcohol.

Lots going on taste wise, big hop bitterness, sweet mats and a comforting alcohol edge.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Incredible head. 4 finger initial thickness on head. Insane rentention. Somewhat clear amber coloar. Very beautiful.

Smell is of caramel malts with some vegetable undertones, namely grape. Hops provide a floral aroma in the backround Apple phenol comes out as the beer warms.

Taste is pretty sweet upfront. Sweet caramel malts come out upfront with a tiny bit of cooked vegetables. This is followed by a very balancing hop bitterness that is not over the top like many stone products. Finish leaves a slight grape smell and taste upon the swallow. A very small amount of unmalted barley provides a tiny tiny dry tannin that fits in in a very balanced manner. Alcohol provides a little astringency as the beer warms. As beer warms apple phenol adds both to the nose and helps provide a little balance to the palate.

Mouthfeel: This beer clings fairly well to the palate, but the alcohol and hops make a slightly oily feel on the mouth. However, the thickness of the malt is fairly good and the moderately low carbonation lends itself well.

Drinkability Some breweries seem to fuck up barley wines by making them overly syrupy or way too astringent. I was somewhat expecting a hop bomb, as stone goes crazy with a lot of their stuff. However, this beer was wondefully balanced with a nice complexity.

Photo of jgap
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a classic barleywine rusty orange with head that quickly fades to a splotchy lace. Smell is sweet toffee with some old hop aromas. Very strong sent, lots of over-ripe berries much like a flat of four week old strawberries. Taste is amazing! I've had this brew every few months since it was fresh and let me tell you, if it gets better than this I might just wet my pants. It's a huge butterscotch up front- really amazing and very sweet with a smooth flow to an easy bitterness. Not harsh at all. I feel like I'm being escorted in a goose feather-lined limo... Reminds me of high school with less hormones. I digress, the taste is so long-lasting, that it's hard to really capture. Butterscotch, then bitterness that fades to a smooth toffee, and finally returning to that butterscotch in the aftertaste which is long, drawn-out and simply begs for another sip. Very drinkable if you can handle the alcohol- which I can't! This glass is all I can do but my pallet is seeking emancipation and now I have to go to a therapist

Photo of kirok1999
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dug this out of a box in the cellar. Pours a clear dark amber with hints of garnet and a nice white head.
Smells of creamy, candy malts with lots of fruit and caramel behind.
Taste is a massive, sweet malt explosion. There's so much going on here: caramel, sweet toffee, raisin, plum, and it's really well balanced by some nice fruity hops. Alcohol is barely noticable. This is rich and creamy and a sipper for sure.

Photo of woosterbill
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

Photo of Boto
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
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!!

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

Big billowy light tan/off white head atop a copper/orange crystal clear brew.

Toasty, roasty, bready, grainy, and caramel notes, alongside dried apricots, orange peels, citrus leaves and alcohol. Faint spices.

Taste is very well balanced. Flavor is representative of the aroma. Starts off rich and fruity and moves slowly toward a slightly dry slightly spicy finish, still not overly dry.

Body is medium full to full, doesn't seem to be too much point in aging this one. I only bought two and might open the other fairly soon. Interesting interplay of flavors with a very old stilton. Onion and roasted garlic cheddar paired well too, but nothing novel happened.

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.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.