1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 287 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy glowing orange with good carnbonationa nd a nice white head

S:Nose is big citrus and booze

T: Taste is a nice hop and malt balance, feel of aging hops and caramel sweetness

M:Medium bodied with plenty of boozer but the gae has subdued it and balanced it out well

D: Pretty damn good. had a pint of this and still went for a Double Mountain Vaporizer

Photo of wedgie9
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of BigV
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
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 spartanfan
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a snifter.

Appearance: Caramel amber appearance, almost golden in the narrower parts of the glass. A bit lighter than the more recent vintages.

Smell: Surprisingly light on the nose. Very nuanced aroma of apricot, light citrus hops, and soft caramel malt.

Taste: I think it may be aged a bit too much for my taste. The caramel malt and apricot citrus hops combine for great smoothness, but it is a little dull and light. The complexity seems to be breaking down.

Mouthfeel: Great, soft feel. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Extremely smooth and easy to drink.

Photo of SeanFlanagan
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Blind Tiger in NYC in proper, tulip glassware.

A: Pours according to style: small head that dissipates quickly, no lacing. Color is a rosy orange-red. Much more red than others in the style.
S: Sweet; hints of stone fruit and maple syrup. Little to no hop aroma. Typical of style, if a little sweeter. This has aged nicely.
T: Very, very smooth. Maple syrup up front, followed by mellow but strong alcohol, finishing with lots of molasses and sugar. A sweet brew to be sure. Hops present themselves at the finish, though linger only slightly.
M: again, very smooth. Syrupy and coating. Not chewy like a stout. Almost akin to an after dinner cordial. Fine carbonation that's present, but in the background.
D: Fairly low ABV for the style (though not the lowest I've had), but mouthfeel and overall sweetness make this an occasional brew. Drinks smoothly (can't stop using that word) so is very drinkable each sitting.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber bottle. Out of the cellar and into my nonic pint glass. Appears a hazy golden amber color with about a finger of quickly fading off white foam. Nose and flavors consist of sweet caramelized malt, prunes, plums, a bit of alcohol in the aroma, brown sugar, apricots, citrus such as perfume-y orange peel, still some noticeable bitter hops hanging on. Body falls somewhere between medium and full with adequate carbonation. Some alcohol heat in the back of the throat with each swallow. This barleywine is drinking nicely now, but some more time in the cellar wouldn't hurt it either.

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

Early 2007 vintage bomber, poured into a Duvel tulip on 12/08/09.

Pours a dark, slightly hazy caramel amber with an initial 2+ finger foamy head. This settles down into a small bubbly cap that leaves a nice network of lacing.

Aromas are mainly gentle sweetness- caramel, toffee, apple pie in the oven, mulled cider- but a subtle fruity and pine presence serves as a reminder that this was once a fairly bitter beast of a beer.

And indeed, what is the first thing that hits the tongue? A pine presence that isn't overpowering, but is persistent all the way through to the finish. Loads of delightful sweet flavors- caramel, apple spice cake, tangerine, prunes, fermenting peaches, butterscotch, a hint of vanilla. So much going on- delicous.

A hint of oxidation shows up in the finish, along with carmelized brown sugar and the pine that refuses to go away. Medium-thick bodied with full carbonation and a bit of alcohol burn.

Overall impression: Excellent barleywine. Just about perfect at this age for my taste- the bitterness and sweetness seem to be in perfect harmony at this point.

Photo of joepais
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Early 2007 release poured into a tulip glass produced a good size tan colored head that faded away slowly. This was on top of a brownish orange body.

The hops are gone but the malts are coming into there own in the aroma department. A little bit of oxidation but to be expected in my book. The flavor was what I expected it had a nice sweetness and it made it a really great sipper. The feel in my mouth was full and just the right amount of carbonation.

It went down fine but I should have split the bomber my head knew it later. I would drink this again if I could

Photo of jminsc76
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, pours a decent head initially, with little lacing and no legs. The body exhibits a reddish orange color out of the light and a more yellowish orange in the light.

Strong aromas of candy, hops, and malts. Very complex. Even gives off a little graham cracker scent.

Flavors are sweet, and similar to the aromas complex, but as alexd3891 (who I am drinking this with while watching UFC) says, "it needs to come together more." For those with a palate of stone (no pun intended), you will get the flavors you need but the heat at the finish may disappoint slightly.

Mouthfeel is hot, slightly chewy, and exhibits a little bit of carbonation.

Overall, I agree with alexd3891 that this could use a little more aging to bring what is potentially a phenomenal barleywine into its peak. That said, it's about as enjoyable as a 2007 as a Bigfoot Barleywine by Sierra Nevada is in 2009. If you enjoy that at that year, you should enjoy this.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, early 2007 release. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours an orange/amber color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is pine and citrusy hops, caramel malt, brown sugar, and some apricots. Taste is similar to the aroma. Surprisingly the hops are still strong in this brew after 2 years. Pine and citrusy hops dominate, while caramel malt, butterscotch, booze and brown sugar flavors are noticable, too. There's also a good lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit syrupy and slick with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, although you can tell there's some alcohol in this brew! Overall I think it's a good beer, aging it hasn't hurt it although aging it a bit longer wouldn't be a bad thing either.

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

Dug this out of the back of the California cellar [modified refrigerator]

Decided that two years might be enough?

Pours a little head that very quickly dies no lace and no foam at all.

aroma, mostly malt some spices.

taste wow still has a big hop wallop!

great stuff, this could probably still have waited for a year or more....

but it tastes good now if you like a bite, and i do.

Photo of jdklks
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

filled a growler at stone last saturday night. pours beautifully, with a murky dark orange body and an orange-ish white head. smells of everything you want a barleywine to smell like, though the scent is not as strong as one would want it to be. very sweet and citrus fruity. great.

wow. the flavor is truly exceptional. all of the flavors have developed into a mellow complexity that just works. the over-bearing hoppiness characteristic of fresh old guardian has finally settled into its place among the other flavors. fruity (oranges, apricots, grapes) and sugary, which adds up to a great sweetness that is put in check by what is left of the bitter hops. all of this is complemented by a perfect alcohol presence that is as subtle as the rest of the beer, and only adds to its greatness.

mouthfeel is a little lighter than i would like it to be, and it has lost perhaps a little too much carbonation. the drinkability is scary, especially at 11.26%

Photo of Jmoore50
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
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 mtnbikerpa
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottle with the early 2007 release on the front. Mountain of head and good carbonation released fruity notes from the start. Heavy yet smooth flavor of dried friut, prune like taste. Alcohol very noticeable still very warming are I sip. Appearance is deep copper red color. The age has mellowed this only a bit. I am guessing it could still sit for a few more years.

Photo of womencantsail
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
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 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.

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.

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

An aggressive pour into my tulip produces a cascading dark copper with a medium-sized light tan head. Short retention. Good-looking barleywine.

Smells pretty good. Unfortunately I just had an Old Ruffian yesterday, so this one is almost boring in comparison. It's got the right smell for the style, just seems a little muted, not so intense. Definitely nice though, surprisingly dark fruitiness almost like a dark Belgian, but with an obvious bright hoppiness. Amazingly deceptive 11%er!

Taste confirms what I already knew. This is good shit! Stone has never let me down! It doesn't seem to have the gorgeous look and stunning smell of Great Divide's extraordinary barleywine, but Old Guardian is certainly delicious. A lot hoppier than you would've thought, it's got a lot of bite to it! Smooth and creamy on the tongue for a good mouthfeel. Dangerously drinkable! I paid 1400 yen for this, and it was worth every penny (^_<)~*

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

Had this at HopCat. Reviewing from notes.

A- Poured into a sample glass. Good clear amber color. Little quater inch head that went away. Left little lacing on the sides as I sipped on this. Nice steady bubbles the entire time. More so I think than most beers I have seen with this kind of age on them.

S- Not what I expected at first. I smelled a boat load of floral hops still. To be honest I expected more malt to be the forefront but this was not the case. The floral hops give way to a malty backbone which has a slight biscut smell to it. Maybe a little caramel or something along those lines of sweetness go with the malts. Also, the alcohol is present but is put into check with all the other smells going on.

T- Still a nice Stone quality hop taste to it. The hops have done some fading over time but still a nice floral/bitter taste. The malts come through almost right away after the hop taste. Sweet/bready/brown sugar(?) are all along the malts with the alcohol bringing up the tail end of this beauty. The alcohol is not really hidden toward the end but it doesn't stop you from wanting more.

M- Nice clean mouthfeel. It coats the palate in a bittersweet taste that lingers for a short period. It's a heavy feeling beer with a little chew to it. THe carbonation is still amazing and near perfect I think. Helps the beer glide and dance over the tounge.

D- I wish I would have kept some of these around when they first came out. This is an amazing drinkable barleywine that everyone should try. I like the age on it and think it made it into what it is.

Photo of jgap
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
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 projectflam86
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
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 Viggo
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle.

Pours a lightly hazed copper red, really nice and vibrant colour, thick off white head forms and slowly settles down to a thick ring around the glass, some lace spots stick around, good retention, looks real nice. Smell is great, very rich toffee, biscuits, brown sugar, tons of malt, grapefruit, strawberries, lots of fruit, alcohol comes through but is well hidden, nice floral hoppiness and big malts, nice kick to it. Taste is similar but better, lots of toffee, very rich in the mouth, biscuity malt, more brown sugar, grapefruit juice, raisins, strawberries, butter cookies, alcohol, more fruit, more toffee, just great stuff, very rich and full flavour. Mouthfeel is full bodied, lightly syrupy with low carbonation, some warmth going down but alcohol is generally well hidden, super smooth going down. Great barleywine and has aged like a champ, I wish I would have gotten more of this stuff, too bad I was a cheapskate a couple years ago.

Photo of ToddT
3.08/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a bright coppery color with a three finger cream head that fades quickly bur leaves a nice ring at the top to the glass. A little cloudy in appearance

S- Notes of fruit and caramel, strong underlying smell of alcohol.

T- Caramel and a quick hit of fruit then the burn of alcohol takes over. Finishes slightly bitter with a warm touch in the back of the throat.

M- Smooth feel with light carbonation. A little thin for what I expect from a barley wine.

D- Not as drinkable as I would have liked. Feels like it needs to age more to hide the 11.26% ABV and develop some body and complexity, since the alcohol taste is somewhat overwhelming.

Review is for a 2007 release that was found on the shelves of the local beer distributor in 2008. Sometimes it is a good thing to not rotate your stock. I really hoped the year of aging would have yielded a spectacular beer, but this was not the case. I would be afraid to drink this one fresh from the brewery.

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