Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 286 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
4.05/5 rDev -2.2%
hazed orangey amber with very little head.
malty aroma with lots of caramel, quite fruity too, i get peach, berry, fermented apple, pear, and a sugary sort of star fruit. a slight bready cocoa powder mingles with the fruit. a good amount of alcohol is also detectable along with earthy hoppiness.
the flavor is pretty malty too, and quite boozy. this is very warming. rich caramel and fruit dominate up front. pear, apple, berries, and that same sugary star fruit, and maybe something akin to grape skin. it's also got a baked goods type flavor, like pie crust. hops are big in the back, with earthy citrus bitterness taking up a good portion of the show.
i feel like the mouthfeel is similar to other years, but i'm really feeling the active carbonation in a relatively full body this time around.
as alsways a good barleywine. good to share too.
05-03-2007 01:26:36 | More by kmo1030
District of Columbia
4.1/5 rDev -1%
Pours clear amber with a slow dissolving two finger head. Nose is sweet spicy malt, some breadiness, a little apple and pumpkin. Taste is a bit of a shock, off the bat. Strong spices fill your mouth, kind of bready, then a failry strong alcohol hit that stay with you for most of the beer. This one tastes like booze, although it's not something that necessarily turns me too far off. There's also some brown sugar, some molasses, and raisins, dried fruit. Main thing is a lot of alcohol, though, throughout, that you can't really avoid (I've had RIS's just as high that hid it a fair bit better). It's good, but not great. Feel, on the other hand, is incredible; thick and syrupy, just fantastic. Overall, it's a tasty one, if not any good at hiding its booze.
04-30-2007 02:56:58 | More by soupyman10
3.7/5 rDev -10.6%
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.
04-26-2007 16:35:24 | More by Kendo
4.4/5 rDev +6.3%
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.
04-25-2007 01:47:26 | More by xymyl
4.22/5 rDev +1.9%
thanks to fartingdog for this via trade! I'm used to stone being a hoppier type of company and figured this one would be one of their hoppier versions. Surprise! I thought they did a nice job toning back some of the hop overkill I seem to find in the west coast influenced barleywines and creating a well balanced american version. It's malty, it's medium citrus hoppy, it's got a great nose, medium bodied and smooth to drink fresh. And the price is amazing for what you get. If I could get it locally I'd put a case in the beer cellar. As it is, I got 5 via trade and will enjoy the next four over time to see how it ages. I'll have to figure out how to get more for next years release.
04-20-2007 13:27:34 | More by barleywinebrewer
3.9/5 rDev -5.8%
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.
04-18-2007 01:24:55 | More by bjohnson
3.85/5 rDev -7%
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.
04-17-2007 06:27:22 | More by neonbrown82
4.25/5 rDev +2.7%
Poured from a tall 22oz brown bottle into a snifter. Home.
A: Deep ruby, amber coloring. Decent head, but it thins out quickly, not much left towards the end. Not a whole lot of Belgian lace down the sides.
S: Sweet, floral aroma. Some sharp, biting astringency of hops with a hint of alcohol.
T: Very surprised by the large hop bitterness in this one great balance to the sweetness. First to hit is a piney bitter flavor of the hops, followed by a caramel, candy sweetness with some lemon and orange flavors. Finishes fairly sweet with a strong alcohol bite. This is almost like a huge imperial IPA.
M: Full and syrupy. Good amount carbonation that helps the strong alcohol kick.
D: Very drinkable for a BW.
I purchased the last two on the shelf about a month back. Ill check back in one year to see how the second one develops.
04-17-2007 00:37:41 | More by IgnatiusReilly
4.28/5 rDev +3.4%
4/15/2007 $5.99 22 oz. 11.26% No best by date.
Pours a mostly clear orange brown with mild minute bubble carbonation. No head, just isolated islands of white wisps scattered throughout the glass.
Loads of overripe ready to burst sweet fruit. Perhaps a hint of alcohol, but overally relatively mild for a barley wine.
Nice slick/oily mouthfeel. Flavors start off sweet, with notes of caramel and lychee, but transition into hoppy bitterness, with grapefruit and pine vying for dominance. Hot alcohol is nicely masked, but does appear towards the end, in a warming sensation. Overall a well crafted barley wine. Another stellar achievement from Stone.
04-15-2007 17:52:56 | More by cbl2
3.9/5 rDev -5.8%
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.
04-15-2007 02:56:58 | More by jwc215
4.15/5 rDev +0.2%
"Limited Early 2007 Release"
Copper color, good head and head retention.
Smell is dominated by the malt. Very sweet smelling, like toffee, with a very distinct aroma that reminds me somewhat of anisette cookies. The hop aroma that was there when I had this fresh has almost disappeared. Surprising since this beer is about 4 months old. Alcohol is noticeable, but unlike the Stone IRS, it is well hidden and not nearly as solvent-y.
Tastes a lot like it smells, but the hops that were missing in the aroma show up in the bitterness to balance the beer out nicely. Full-bodied with good carbonation. Good but not great drinkability for a barleywine.
04-15-2007 00:17:01 | More by tomParis
3.63/5 rDev -12.3%
A decent BW, sent courtesy of Secret Bunny rayjay.
Another classic Stone, this BW has all the right ingredients, but they just up not mixed quite properly; amber orange pour, topped by a sweet ivory head that just sticks to the glass sides. Orangy caramel in the aroma and taste. A bit tangy and piney, slightly off-style. Guess the ol Bastard wanted to lend a hand to this brew too, as it ends up a bit on the IPA side. Alcohol is well-hidden, but I know its there by the sharp path it cuts across the tongue.
I have the 2006 version too, cant wait to see how it mellows after a year, or if that year was more BW than IPA.
04-14-2007 18:26:03 | More by Vancer
4.3/5 rDev +3.9%
A: Beautiful dark amber color with a 2 finger fluffy white head that never really dies down (make sure you serve this not too cold, or you'll get no head!).
S: Smells of caramel and toffee malts with a nice touch of hops. Very nice smell - although I wouldn't mind it just a touch more pronounced (this is nitpicking, not real criticism).
T: Delicious. Tons and tons of great tasting caramel and toffee malts, but with a great hop bite. Not the most bitter barleywine I've had (can someone say Old Crustacean?), but hopped just enough to balance the tons of malt. Hops are more of the This is one beer that absolutely must be served warm enough. I've had it too cold before, and it absolutely loses the characteristics that bring everything together. Served at cellar temperature, all the aspects balance each other out. Mmmm.
M: Rich, delicious, and yummy. Low-ish carbonation, but good for this beer.
D: Relatively drinkable, but not the most drinkable for a barleywine - of course, for 11.26%, it's pretty drinkable.
Highly recommended. Go get yourself a bottle.
04-14-2007 07:37:22 | More by rallison
3.68/5 rDev -11.1%
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.
04-13-2007 02:53:41 | More by Cresant
4.38/5 rDev +5.8%
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.
04-09-2007 23:19:32 | More by mikesgroove
4.03/5 rDev -2.7%
22 oz. bottle, 11.26% ABV. Pours a clear reddish copper color. Thick off-white foamy head holds together very well, especially considering how big this beer is.
Candied fruit, caramel, floral and citrusy aroma. A bit of fig as well. A hint of booze in the aroma, but not too much.
Huge candy sweet malt character. Figs, fruits, candy covered hops. Nice amount of alcohol warming. Raw piney, floral and citrusy bitterness.
Full body, with just enough carbonation. Big, young and raw. Surely this will age well, but I like it now.
04-09-2007 11:22:24 | More by Bierguy5
3.53/5 rDev -14.7%
Pours out an orangey dark honey color with a thin head that quickly settles to a fine layer on top. Scant bubbles slowly climb up the viscous body. Aroma is caramel, orange marmalade, and warm alcohol. As I find most, if not all, American barleywines to be slightly darker DIPAs, this beer does a decent job of being just that. Flavor starts off with caramel sweetness and maltiness. The hops come in, giving off grapefruit and bitter orange with underlying pine resin and a big, aspirin-like finish of bitterness. Alcohol is too hot and the aspirin flavor is too much. Mouthfeel is viscous, but not too heavy, oddly, with a carbonation that tingles a tad on the tongue, but doesn't hurt the smoothness. This is OK as far as drinkability, but it needs some age.
04-09-2007 03:01:10 | More by goochpunch
5/5 rDev +20.8%
Beautiful cloudy orange body, orange tinted head, great retention that leaves clumpy lace.
The smell is caramel, hops and alcohol in perfect balance with some grass and bread.
Perfect caramel spiced hop goodness. Mild toffee and mouthwatering strong brown sugar and burnt pine resin. The aftertaste lasts forever and is beyond excellent.
Full thick body, good coating and slick.
So delicious and drinkable, just take it slow or the Old Guardian will get up and kick your ass.
04-07-2007 20:59:23 | More by oelergud
4.13/5 rDev -0.2%
Enjoyed from a 22oz bomber... typical, rambling musings on the back, though I've yet to read it entirely.... "Limited Early 2007 Release" inscribed on the front...
Color is a clear, rich copper, with a small bit of carbo slowly meandering upwards... Head is thin, off-white, and quite finely bubbled. Lacing is light and sporadic. Toasty malt wafts about, along with an edgy, sharp, spicy hop kick and something, oddly, akin to coconut (huh?). A bit of a fruity character is also present, suggesting pear and green apple. Body is solid, and OG is quite smooth, tongue-wise.
Toastiness is very noticeable in the flavor, with sweetness swirling about with light, brown-sugary notes and caramel. There's some fruity action here, also, but it's well-subdued and muted, lingering in the background. Hoppiness here is pronounced and biting, with a sharp edge which sticks all over the mouth. Resiny, piney notes combine with grapefruit to hit the palate... and the 11+ % abv does its job in warming the innards. Even with that high abv, this was not as hot and raw as I expected. Quite well-received, overall, by my palate!
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4
04-07-2007 19:18:14 | More by Bierman9
3.1/5 rDev -25.1%
Poured a nice amber color with a strong head that lasted very well and left good lacing. Smell had more grassyness to it than I recall from last years version. There was still some sweet caramel underneath, but I think the malt would come in more with age. Taste was much of the same, maybe slightly better. Grassy, but did have a malt base underneath, which led me to believe that this one should become much better. Fairly high carbonation with a medium body. This one was not as drinkable as most beers I have from Stone. I'll say it again, I think this will develop very nicely, as the 2006 did, but it's not there yet.
03-31-2007 18:43:32 | More by badbeer
2.85/5 rDev -31.2%
The beer pours a beautiful big head. The head retains quite nicely. The color is brown to amber and looks nice. The lacing let behind i s very very good. The smell is very grapefruity with some dark fruit, almost a plum. The taste is grapefruity with some wet cardboard oxodized flavors. Not much, but enough. The mouthfeel was nice and smooth with only a touch of carbonation fizz. Overall, I would love to have more after a bit of time in the cellar. Last years was better, but only because it wasn't oxodized and it was aged a bit before it was tried.
03-31-2007 05:29:18 | More by Erdinger2003
4.15/5 rDev +0.2%
Big thanks to the superior trader that is metallitone1 for this bottle. Limited Early 2007 Release.
a - deep burnt orange color, big off-white head, nice retention and great lacing
s - big piney hops and alcohol dominate the nose, not much hint of malt
t - big piney hops up front, body is more hoppy bitterness with a subdued malty backbone, finish is very bitter with a noticeable alcohol component
m - medium-to-full bodied, moderate carbonation, quite dry finish
d - alcohol and intense bitterness limits drinkability somewhat, but I could drink this beer until I fell over and my palate was destroyed
Another great beer from Stone. Big, hoppy, aggressive, everything I expect from Mr. Koch. I imagine this would be very good aged for awhile, but I like it now.
03-31-2007 01:04:15 | More by WeisGuy
4.58/5 rDev +10.6%
Drank from a 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, MA
Bottle label read: "Limited Early 2007 release"
Poured a deep, dark, glowing, copper-amber with no head but rather a bubbly white film of lace.
Aroma was sweet and quite fruity. (Initially, there was a slight metallic tinge, but this completely faded as the beer warmed.) A nice blend of robust malts and zesty hops, along with some alcohol. By mid-bottle, the alcohol became sweeter and more apparent. Strong notes of orange peel, candi sugar and buttery toffee were also detectable.
Taste was similar to the nose. Both the malts and the hops stood their ground yet they managed to balance each other amazingly well. Super malty rich and sweet up front before the zesty, citrusy hops kicked in mid-palate. Nice, brandy-like alcohol warming in the back of the mouth. The finish was crisply hoppy (but never biting or bitter) and dry with some lingering, sticky, pine sap and grapefruit notes.
Mouthfeel was super frothy, rich, smooth and rather thick for the style.
At 11.26% ABV, this barley wine was amazingly drinkable. Neither the alcohol nor the hops were in the least bit overwhelming. This beer is so well rounded in all aspects and truly sets the mark for the style.
I would highly recommend pairing it with a desert plate of blue cheese and anjou pears.
03-29-2007 05:45:27 | More by Damian
3.85/5 rDev -7%
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.
03-28-2007 13:42:52 | More by quasimoto
4.08/5 rDev -1.4%
Sampled on 3-25-07
Pours a deep red, with a nice white head with great retention, no real lacing.
Smell is good, fruity but also caramelly and sweet. Strong floral hops, with a definite aroma of alcohol.
Taste is not as good, sweet maltiness with a huge hop bite. Finishes dry and bitter with strong alcohol warmth. After awhile the alcohol becomes too much.
Mouthfeel is not good. Way to thin and watery. Changes the hop flavor to just bitterness.
Drinkability is also poor, the alcohol and thin mouthfeel makes it a beer that I won't try again without some time to age.
Overall, this is the second big beer from Stone that I've been disappointed with. Both the Old Guardian and Double Bastard suffered from an unnecessarily high abv that did not meld well with the beer. Stone's beers seem to be very well filtered and clean, and this does not lend itself well to masking alcohol. It's a shame, Stone makes so few different beers, and their biggest ones aren't any good.
Score edited: 5-2-09
Two years in the cellar made a world of difference.
03-26-2007 14:59:39 | More by BMoney575
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.