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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.

239 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 239
Hads: 290
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 4
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.26% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 239 | Hads: 290
Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler.

Big thanks to plenum for this vintage gem!

The kettle's a-boilin' now, so what better time to break out a vintage OG? It pours a hazed tawn' topped by a half-finger of tan-ish cream foam. The nose comprises light caramel, lemon zest, light mandarin orange, and buttered biscuits. The taste holds notes of tangerine, lemon, very light buttery caramel, and a strong phenolic bite in the back. The body is a solid medium, with a moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a pretty solid barleywine, though I think age may be starting to get to this guy. Even still, despite that, this is surprisingly pretty good.

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Photo of Foxman
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in an Old Guardian glass, because I can.

Beer is ruby in color and clear with an off white head of small bubbles with low retention, some lacing and moderate carbonation.

Aroma is bready, yeasty, nice esters, a little fruity with plums or other stone fruits.

Beer is medium in body and sweet, very sweet, mildly bitter from the grains in the back and the midpalate is estery with some nice fruits or grape skins. Not my favorite series of beers from Stone but this one is pretty decent.

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Photo of Onibubba
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Damn my arrogance. I broke into this baby too early. Just testing the waters...An attractive amber pour with a short lived cream colored head. Hops assail the nose with a potent alcohol backup. Taste has some of the malt presence, but it is out of balance with the aggressivness of the hops and the heat of the alcohol. Mouthfeel reaasures me that all is well, this just needs more time in the bottle to balance out. Drinkability takes a hit as this is just too hot and hoppy to be really enjoyed right now.

The 2006 bottles I've held on to taste mighty fine right now. I imagine about this time next year, the 2007 will too.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fills a tulip glass with clear, reddish copper, some carbonation and a thin, frothy almond head that puts a film on the glass and modest legs.

Well balanced caramel and pine -- almost pine tar. Some raisins and honey are detectible in the background.

Opens with a strong punch of alcohol, immediately followed by a jab of hop bitterness assaulting the tongue before the more subtle flavors can be appreciated. Raisins do come through along with caramel, but the long bitter finish overwhelms the flavor nuances.

A medium to full body beer with slick texture and abrasive carbonation. While some sweetness is present on entry, none remains for the dry finish and alcohol is assertive.

A difficult beer to drink as warmth brings out more alcohol, preventing the flavors from truly developing, especially after aging three years in the cellar. If this is intended to be overly aggressive, then, well done. However, I think Stone has pushed the envelope a bit too far and may have lost the beer in the process. For those who are seeking alcohol and assertive bitterness, Old Guardian is for you.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of Cresant
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a nonic glass. 2007 vintage. One finger of off-white head sat atop a clear, light amber colored body. The second pour created a larger head that left some lace.

Smell was soapy hops. Sweetness was in the background. Earthy and floral. Clean grains. Perfumy and later, leafy. This one opened up significantly as it warmed. Eventually this one smelled like I stuck my nose into a freshly opened plastic wrapper of Roman Meal bread.

Taste was first of rowdy hops, then muted sweetness. Tropical fruit. The flavors became more intense as it warmed. The scorching hops, the sweet malts and the pleasant alcohol flavors formed a trinity of balanced and highly drinkable barleywine. There was a lingering, mild bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was zesty and creamy with an alcohol prickle. Medium to full bodied. Usually barleywines are too sweet and boozy for me, this one was not (I am an admitted hophead). This one was very drinkable.

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Photo of peabody
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of Kendo
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of velo343
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice clear copper color with no head.

S:Malt with some mustiness. Raisins as well.

T:Tons of malt and a faint hop smell in the back.

T: Medium syrupy body. Very smooth though.

D: Fresh this beer "Rips your throat out" but given some time it really mellows out and becomes quite drinkable. Also it ends up being one of the more traditional barley wines we had the other night.

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Photo of spartanfan
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a beautiful orange red color with a small white head, which has since dissipated into a small ring around the outside of the brew.

S: This a a very complex aroma with quite a bit of estery alcohol. Smells of sweet brown sugar and caramel. Also, juicy pears and apples.

T: More of the sweetness from the nose. Caramel and some spicy hops are up front. A lingering bitter aftertaste is quite dry.

M: Very full creamy mouthfeel. Perhaps a bit too much carbonation for my liking, but still very good. Incredibly smooth for the alcohol content.

D: This beer has a very complex flavor, but it is also quite strong, and the alcohol is pretty apparent, so the drinkablity is not what it could be.

This beer is still very good, but I prefer it fresh at the peak of it's hoppiness.

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Photo of BBM
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a vibrant clear orange color, with a rocky white head, nice lacing and a lot of carbonation action. The aroma is syrupy and heavy on the alcohol; notes of earth and flowers do come through a bit.

This is a hell of a big beer, with a stern malt backbone trying its best to mask a surprisingly noticeable hop profile. The alcohol makes its presence felt as well, especially as the beer warms. Piney hops, earth, and barley are the main themes here. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. It will take a while to finish 22oz of this, and you'll be satisfied with that.

Generally I love when Stone goes overboard with their beers, but this one didn't quite do it for me. Seems big just for the sake of being big. It's still a quality brew, but I've had better Barleywines.

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Photo of tkarsies
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served cool in a pint glass. Second half of bomber had warmed closer to room temperature. Poured a dark orange-copper with a 1 finger cream head that left lots of lacing

Smell was some hops and malt with some fruitiness and significant alcohol on the nose.

Alcohol is very noticeable early on and also gives a burn with swallowing. After the initial domination by the alcohol, the malt does provide a sweetness and good backbone for the hops. Hops do balance out the maltiness, but neither can quite overcome the alcohol. There are some flavors of fruit and even a little grassiness that appears from time to time. As it warms, the alcohol dominates less.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with fairly light carbonation. Very nice.

Drinkability definitely suffers from the alcohol presence. I will have to try this again after some aging. Right now it has hints of being a great beer but still needs some mellowing.

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Photo of gpcollen1
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an intriguing golden dark amber into my Lees Harvest Ale glass. Head barely comes to life and all but disappears. Aroma is caramelly sweet with hops riding in a staying on top. This is obviously young but not as pungent as some young BWs.

Hits my tongue with some mild carbonation and right into a syrupy sweet light hops. Hops intensifies on the tongue as it rolls its way back and makes me feel as if my tongue is swelling a bit. Not quite over the top for a young BW but you can definitely sense that as the hops mellow, the malt profile will dovetail into it and make something nice.

I do not get people killing the ratings on this one. It is fresh and can only be judged as such. If you think it will be good in a few years then it should be judged as such, without killing it now. On the other hand, giving this a 5 would be ridiculous. Waiting for a 1/2 case of this to lay down and will return to review.

Thanks to my buddy Spencer for finally bringing me something I did not have - I am still looking for something I cannot get!!

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.8/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark brown with orange highlights and a bit of a thin head. The smell is barley malt with a big punch of floral and grassy hops. The taste starts off with some malt sweetness that goes into some grassy and floral hops with a bit of alcohol in the back end. The mouthfeel is thick and slightly syrupy with a low amount of carbonation and some warming from the alcohol. This beer is a bit daunting drinkability wise, but that's really my only complaint with it. I haven't had anything from Stone that wasn't powerful and impressive.

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Photo of taez555
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours to a dark amber color with an orangish hue. Nice carbonation supports a tall off-white head. Spotty lacing. Looks decent.

The smell is on the malty side. Very doughy with a hint of biscuit. Reminds me of a graham cracker for some reason. Plenty of hops in the background as well. Very citric (grapefruity) and piney. The alcohol burns the nostrils.

The taste is very similar to the nose. Sweet biscuity malt and fresh dough up front, along with a strong caramel malt. Once again, reminds me of graham crackers, but with a bitter finish as opposed to a honey sweetness. Rough cohumulone content. Light grapefruit citrus and a very strong pine. Tastes like burning. On that note, the alcohol is much more concealed in the taste than in the nose and mouthfeel.

The body is surprisingly thin for a barleywine, though still on the fairly heavy side. Very gentle carbonation feels great on the palate. The bitterness is rough, but it doesn't linger for long, and the alcohol is astringent. Definitely not one of my favorite barleywines, but it was very good nonetheless. Thanks to dogfooddog for the bottles. The second one will age for at least a year.

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Photo of phisig137
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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

This beer pours with nice light copper / amber color. It also has a big fluffy off white head and leaves a lot of nice lace. The aroma starts off a little shallow when its cold, but as I let it warm they become more apparent. Strong notes of caramel are followed by a roasted chocolate, plums and has a background of hops. very pleasant. The aromas transfer to the flavor but then turns rather toasty, which gives it more complexity. Bready notes, and ends with light citrusy hops that blend together. The mouth feel starts off smooth and clean, but then turns warm and thick in the middle. It ends dry and bitter with a nice clean finish. The taste stays for a awhile, and is very enjoyable.

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

Lightly hazed amber/peach color with minor white lacing. Immediate juicy, tropical fruit aromas of pineapple, apple, and cherry cut by bit of hop oil and an apparent alcohol. Very silky smooth mouthfeel on a full body and mild carbonation and some oily slickness is left on the palate. Caramel and sweet roasted malt starts the flavor rush and quickly pushed aside by hops. Pine, pineapple, grapefruit, citrus and a monster bitterness, a tad astringent, at the end. Some vanilla and oaken notes in the mix as well. Alcohol is fairly soft and fits in well in the finish with a peppery, dryness and citric acidity. A hop bomb even after a year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of PSUBeerman
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber bottle, tulip glass

Pours a rich amber color with an orange tint. The head is creamy and thick with a light tan color and again an orange tint.

Aroma is nice with a Stone character. Floral, some hops and rich caramel malts. The alcohol accent hits the nose after awhile.

Flavor has a spicy hop background with big malts up front. A little peppery, yet sweet. Good balance, actually more balanced like an English style barleywine. Alcohol somewhat noticeable, but incorporated evenly considering the ABV.

A bit chewy and thick. It would be a task to do more than one or two in a session.

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Photo of MrHirschybar
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a growler at a Stone Saturday Tap Night recently to go.

A- Murky copper/peach color with an off-white and tan head that quickly dissipate. Almost like a really dark mimosa-like appearance...

S- Initial boozy alcohol smell, followed by light hop scents with a citrus fruit and grape reminiscent smell with a follow through that reminded me of yeast...

T- A little tart initially, with strong maltiness and hops still hanging around strong at the 3 year (January 2011) so almost 4 year mark depending on the original release date. Much better drinkability as it warmed in my New Belgium glass. Reminded me of a lighter tasting North Coast Old Stock Ale in a way..

M- Felt it was light to medium at most, very little coating from drinking it, with a nice little alcohol warming near the finish that lingered nicely.

D- Enjoyed this quite a bit actually, though I definitely would sip and let it warm as I felt it tasted better as it warmed. The girlfriend enjoyed it quite a bit as well. For the growler fill price it was quite nice and would definitely enjoy again as an aged barleywine.

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