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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

286 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 286
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: 286 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of quasimoto
3.85/5  rDev -7%
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.

quasimoto, Mar 28, 2007
Photo of PSUBeerman
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

PSUBeerman, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of cabsandking
3.88/5  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.

cabsandking, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of gonzo138
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a clear ruby amber color, vigourous carbonation rising up from the bottom of my manchester united pint glass with a big creamy head that both retains well and laces nicely

S- smells of sweet malts and big grapefruit citrusy hop aroma

T- complements the smell, sweet rich malt at first, followed by a big tasty grapefruit ish hop bitterness at the finish

M- full thick body with good carbonation

D- said it before and ill say it again, a good barley wine should not be that drinkable, definitely worth picking up though

gonzo138, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of drseamus
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to aerozeppl for sharing this bottle.

Amber body with a slight white head. The aroma is chock full of raisiny goodness. The flavor matches the aroma with raisins but adds a good amount of spiciness and leaves a lasting bitterness. The body is medium to heavy but overall this beer needs more age on it.

drseamus, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of MrHirschybar
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

MrHirschybar, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper with a one-finger head that descends to a thin, creamy cover.

The smell is of robust sweet malt with a generous amount of citrus/pine. Sharp, spicy alcohol comes through.

The taste is citrusy/piney - quite hoppy for the style, with caramelish, slightly grainy, malt - giving it a sweet characteristic. Remains sweet, though hoppy citric/pine remains very noticeable. Alcohol is present, though not as sharp as in the aroma. The alcohol lend a peppery spice kick to it. Nice carbonation for the style, making it smooth despite alcohol rawness. Medium to full bodied. Flavors linger along with alcohol notes.

A nice one to sip on. Nice hop/malt combo, though alcohol does give it a certain rawness.

jwc215, Apr 15, 2007
Photo of bjohnson
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Shared with szwaya.

Pours a dark rust color with a one finger cream colored head. Thin retention on the edges of the glass with swirls in the middle. Candied sugar aromas with sweet malts. Thick and syrupy in the nose. Spicy hop notes are present with subtle tart like fruit.

Caramel malt notes. Burnt sugar, candied sugar, and cotton candy flavors. Fruits comprised of grapefruit, melons, and orange rind. Complex and interesting flavors. Coating on the roof and sides of the mouth. Thick, resiny, and juicy with a stickiness. Spicy hops with a floral background to them. Bitterness in the finish lasts well into the aftertaste. Nice and smooth body considering the high abv and abundance of hops. A nice barleywine at 11+%, is masked very well. How do they do it? A pleasure to drink.

bjohnson, Apr 18, 2007
Photo of willjschmidt
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

A: Pours an orangish copper color.

S: Sweet malts, caramel, and above all: a bunch of alcohol.

T: Very sweet with caramel malts. Hops definitely take a back seat in this one. It's very warming, I have a hard time getting over the amount of alcohol in this one. It's damn near like taking a shot with every sip.

M: Slightly thick and chewy, a bit of a dry finish.

D: Hard to drink a lot of this one due to the overwhelming taste of alcohol.

willjschmidt, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of Grundle20
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Grundle20, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of bbothen
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -Orangish amber & copper color with a nice bubbly tan head.

S - Smells of sweet caramel & toffee with some fruity hop character as well. Oh, and a big booze presence as well.

T - This is a huge beer. Assertive hop presence balaned out by the sweet malty caramel sweetness. Lingering alcohol & bitter finish.

M - Thick & sticky with a nice level of carbonation.

D - This will get to you. It is huge on all levels.

This is a great representation of a US barleywine. Stone really flex their brewing muscles on this one. God bless them.

I wish it came in 12oz bottles as a bomber is a bit much for one person. Although I did finish it off. Happily.

bbothen, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of BeerTruth
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance is a semi-clear beautiful ruby red. Head is a light khaki colored that withers away shortly after pour. Lacing is minimal throughout tasting. Smell is fairly hoppy but has more of a sweet malty tone. You can also smell a good amount of alcohol. Taste is less hoppy than I had anticipated. Much more of a syrupy malt/sugar burst in the mouth. Carbonation is low. This BW is balanced fairly well, but the alcohol overpowers it in a sense. Drinkability is a bit rough because of the the high ABV, but I look forward to aging a case that I have and seeing what this one becomes.

BeerTruth, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Hollingshead's, 2 year old barleywine here,

A: Pours a light amber, with a full white head into a Chimay chalice. Good long-lasting head for this old a beer, good lacing as well.

S: Aged malt, I don't now how to describe the smell, though I find it in nearly all aged American Barleywines. Hops are prevalent though the malt has surely taken this one over.

T: Great malt flavour, bittersweet with a nice mix of hops. Hops are still clearly evident after 2 years, pine, stone fruit are clearly evident. Just a good flavour, an enjoyable ale to drink.

M: Full bodied, lightly viscous with alcohol evident in the finish, no burn at all. Very smooth.

D: The 2007 version of this brew has held up very well. I'm glad Kenny had a keg of this. Not mind-blowing, just a tasty and drinkable aged barleywine.

Halcyondays, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of boston2bburg
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear dark orange with a finger and a half of head into a snifter from a 22 ounce bomber. Head dissapates to almost nothing as I wait for it to warm a bit. Gives me time to read the novel on the back of the bottle...the brewer writes well, if about nothing in particular.

The aroma doesnt seem to be the showcase here, and that's clearly evident once I take my first sip. As I swirl and it warms, cherry cheesecake and sweet pastry grace the olfactory nerves. Some caramel and cereal scents pull through. I continue to wonder why I chill big beers. Room temperature or close to it is optimal for this one.

The tenacious assault of bitterness upon the first sip of cool beer gradually eases as the aroma strengthens with warmth. Maybe my palette was obliterated, but the hops dont seem overboard anymore for a barleywine of this size, as noted in some other reviews. The 11.26% is actually hidden fairly well, except in my extremities, which were quite chilly just minutes earlier. Hmmmm...

I refill my snifter with the remains of the warmed bottle with a vigourous pour. Three fingers of beige foamy head take much longer to subside, and leave some modest lacing. Head still doesn't cover the liquid, but doesn't completely clear either.

The mouthfeel is very smooth, syrupy and inviting. It's sweetness makes me pucker and my stomach is being eaten away by the alcohol so I doubt I'd be OK if I had more than one of these.

The best judge of a beer is the way you feel when you've finished it. I feel like I wish I'd bought two.

boston2bburg, Feb 01, 2008
Photo of projectflam86
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Limited early release 2007. This one has been sitting around for a year and a half. It is sure to have matured quite a bit from its initial bottling.

A- Chilled to 55 degrees and poured into my favorite snifter. Beautiful deep amber color with a small white foam that leaves some lacing. A bit cloudy with a nice bubble stream.

S- Aged malty nose with some floral hops and some yeasty biscuit scents as well. Alcohol is very much present in the aroma but is kept in check with some piney apricot and brown sugar/caramel scents.

T- Huge malty sweet bread flavor. Alcohol is a bit brash and boozy. The hops try to come through but the age has really knocked their bitterness down. Spice and dark fruit flavors are present with a caramel sweetness. A diacetyl buttery finish that was a bit surprising.

M- Big and chewy with a decent amount of carbonation.

D- A decent brew that aged well but the hops sadly perished.

projectflam86, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of bort11
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.

bort11, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of EStreet20
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
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 -

EStreet20, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of Vdubb86
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 via Plenum for allowing the partaking of this beer

This offering pours a cloudyish golden orange with not really too much head to speak of. The aromas are faint on some hop notes and heavy on the caramel and toffee on the nose. The taste I was rather impressed with because the hop character that I'm used to kicking me in the face with Stone beers. I suppose hops don't stick around for 3 years. There was a buttery taste to the beer along with the aforementioned caramel characters. This beer wasn't overly boozy, but I found it to be flat. Though I must admit I truly had no problem whatsoever drinking this beer. It was a very good, clearly above average barleywine.

Vdubb86, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of Chelsea1905
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rich auburn/copper colour. Effervescent head, that looked slightly banana yellow in colour. In fact, the head and beer colouring made me think I was about to bite into a caramel-banana candy! Head fizzled away, and left a little lacing

Malt, Caramel, Hops, Sweetness associated with a fruit of some kind. And ever present Alcohol.

Tastes of Malt, hints of Vanilla, Caramel, and then a little bit of Hops in the back. The ever present alcohol is there all the time!

Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Drinkability....one and done baby, one and done!!!

Chelsea1905, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of wknight167
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Apearance - Pours a hazy orangeish amber with a 3 finger off white head, medium retention and some decent lacing.

Nose- Dark caramel and stone fruits with citrus hops still present in a smaller way.

Palate- Hops are still there, but a shadow of there former orange/grapefruit selves. Caramel and toasted malt along with some butterscotch. Alcoholic warming seems to have re-emerged.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied, almost sticky. Carbonation is on the low side which is understandable for a 3 year old.

Drinkability- A little rough. I can't say that 3 years is the prime time for this one.

Overall- I think this might be in a lull. The beauty of the hops has faded, but the malt is yet to shine.

wknight167, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of Lothore
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured a deep amber color with an ample 2 finger eggshell head that adorned the top of this brew for quite a while.

S- Smell was very distinctly Stone, strong maltiness, little bit of hop tinge.

T- Taste was a barage of malt and alcohol flavors. Dark fruits, deep roasted flavors.

M- Mouthfeel was fairly thick and had quite a bit of carbonation.

D- For 11 percent this beer is damn drinkable. Very enjoyable.

Lothore, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of hoppymeal
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a reddish hue, mainly clear with a small cream head that slowly dissipates. Light and sugary smell, like a nice toasted marshmallow, light bready caramel sweetness. There is the faintest hint of sweet citrus in the aroma as well. Taste is very similar, quite rich and sugary, bready and caramel sweet, with a hint of citrus. Nice alcohol kick in the finish with some peppery hops on the tongue. Mouthfeel is a medium creamy and soft body with the sugars involved, hops show a nice dryness in the taste and mf that continues long into the aftertaste, wish they would be more present in the aroma and taste. An easy to drink, mellow barleywine, rich for sure, not a lot of hop presence, at least flavor-wise, but no trouble loving every ounce of these 22.

hoppymeal, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of yodaseo
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.

yodaseo, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of akorsak
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A slow turn through an 06-09 and 11 Belgo vertical. Poured into a tumbler glass.

A: The barleywine is a darker orange copper, still within the acceptable parameters of amber. The barleywine is translucent, nearly transparent. A finger and a half of off-white head, a yellow-brown shade, leaves a few strings of lace behind.

S: Lots of malts, thick and prickly. But there are plenty of hops here too. The balance is big, a little muddled at times, but powerful nonetheless. My final opinion is that the maltiness is wins out, its wall of caramel and toffee overpowering the hops.

T: The hops come sprinting through in the first sip, a flash of bitterness that is quickly swallowed up by rich caramel sweetness. The caramel builds quickly to a full wall of treacle. Hops return after the caramel passes, a fresh pine aroma that adds to the thickness of each sip. The combined hop/malt finish is bold, still intense 4 years in.

M: The mouthfeel is touch, incredibly strong with each sip, the hops a nice stand out.

akorsak, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of zdk9
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After my first barleywine I had to try another. Stone's delivered in a great way and proclaimed the diversity of the palatte of flavors a BW is capable of.

A- Pours out of the bomber a dark deep orange with a fingers worth snowpowder white lacing. No lacing on this one. (Should I be suprised? The hops are powerful but the malt is pretty strong on this one too...)

S- Sweet orangy malt hits my nose with a blast of alcohol. This one is quite warm on the nose. There are also notes of peach and some warm pine sap.

T- Sweet and velvety, but with a pop of bitterness on the back of my tongue and a creeping of alchol warmth. Orange and carmel occupy the majority of my tastebuds but there is a great piney hoppiness that also makes its presence known. This is a powerful beer but with a great blend of flavors that I didn't expect.

M- Bitter and alcoholic, but also full and succulent, keeping me wanting more. The syruppy quality is..so-so. In some ways it tones down how well I notice the alcohol, but it also makes me cleanse my pallate more than I'd like to.

D- An excellent beer that I will go back to. Sure it is alcoholic and powerful. But who doesn't like an alcoholic powerful beer when the occasion warrents it? Certainly not me. And I'm sure with time this one will taste even more complex and delicious.

zdk9, Sep 11, 2007
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.