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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

239 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 239
Hads: 289
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 8.33%
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
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Reviews: 239 | Hads: 289
Photo of drseamus
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (310 characters)

Photo of boston2bburg
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (1,542 characters)

Photo of BBM
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
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. (770 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (382 characters)

Photo of ByTor2112
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my rep John for snagging this for me last year!
Pours up the color of orange marmalade/ orange blossom honey. A soapy one finger head stays then breaks down leaving medium lacing. Aroma- buttery caramel with a faint whiff of alcohol, some dried fruit-apricot maybe? Heavy malty aromas are keeping the hops down but they are there.
Mouthfeel- BIG bold barleywine flavor here. Not too sweet but you can tell the backbone is solid malt and the alcohol is present but is not too hot. A froth intensifies the hops and leaves a lingering metallic bitterness right on the back sides of the palate on the finish.
This ale has a thick resinous mouthfeel like a DIPA that just exudes all that is Stone! I do agree with mt5000 about it tasting like a barleywine and then fading towards a DIPA or IIPA. But I enjoyed that. This one was choice! (841 characters)

Photo of mt5000
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance is brown/amber. Aromas and flavors of sweet cherry, candied pineapple, apricot, caramel, citrus and a bit of pine from the hops. Quite bitter on the mid-palate and finish. This beer is big on both the malts and the hops. In fact, the hops is really my only complaint about this beer. I know that Stone's trademark is hoppy beers, but in my opinion this beer tastes like somebody combined a recipe for a barleywine and an IPA, which is not what I wanted. If you are a hop-head and you also like strong, malty beers than this beer is for you. To me it makes the beer taste a bit out of balance and not terribly drinkable. The beauty of barleywine is the intense maltiness, so by upping the hops quotient this beer in effect subdues the malts. That being said, the beer had many interesting flavors and I believe it is worth a try. (839 characters)

Photo of srroos
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber recently acquired from Lone Hill Liquor into a Riedel Snifter.

A: Caramel color with a small tan head. Lighter in color than amny other barleywines.

S: Sweet caramel and citrus.

T: Initially sweet, with a big bitter punch. Not as intense as other reviews describe, perhaps due to the age.

MF: Well carbonated in the mouth, despite the minimal head. Not as thick and intense as many other barleywines.

D: As noted above, this is lighter than other barleywines, and more drinkable because of it.

I still have a bottle in my stash that has been aging since release. I'll have to update this review with a comparison (vs this bottle which was kept refrigerated) when I open that one. (712 characters)

Photo of Lothore
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (416 characters)

Photo of cabsandking
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (642 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a chance to try this on New Years Eve. Yey.

Pours a reddish amber, with not much of a head. Maybe a thin crust of carbonation throughout.

Taste is aggressively hoppy; startling so, in fact. Not a bad taste, mind you, just not what I was expecting. Pine needles, grapefruit, and a gargantuan alcohol bite. Maybe a bit more caramel malt to balance it out than would expected from a DIPA/IPA, but I would scarcely have guessed this was a barleywine.

Still, very quaffable. (477 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This is lighter than the average barleywine, looks a bit like an amber ale. Pours with a medium sized white head.

s: It's been less than a year, but the change is pronounced. The piny hop has ebbed a bit to let the malts through.The malts are now big and sweet with hints of chocolate and cherries. Alcohol blankets everything.

t: Some changes for the better here as well. The piny hop still dominates and is still a bit too rough and agressive. The balance from the malt is coming along nicely, however. Some mild chocolate and moderate amounts of brown sugar. Still a bit too hot on the finish.

m: For a hoppy as hell barleywine the carbonation is perfect, foamy rather than fizzy. Thick and very sticky.

d: I might try to find some more 07s for aging. (761 characters)

Photo of pavandal
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured into my Schlitz beer goblet (you know you're jealous, haha) from a bottle dated 2007 release. It was a cloudy amber color, with no head. It had a soft, cream colored, oily film in place of it. Not the most magnificent looking beer, but it makes up for it in taste.

I smelled tea, caramel, and raisin scents. It also had a very soft vanilla scent as well.

This baby tasted awesome! It was very smooth, even with the 11 %, not once did I do the "alcohol shiver". There was a big caramel backbone, and there was a bready flavor as well, with some soft citrus flavors. It did have a hoppy finish, but only enough to balance the huge malt profile.

This was actually a very thin beer, which is surprising considering everything that is going on in there.

This is a great beer. I'm gonna go pick up a few more to age them! (832 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'07 vintage 22oz bottle poured at 50F into a snifter.

Clear orange/amber brown color. Tan head that subsides to a thin cover.

Sweet caramel malts with some floral hops. Sweet alcohol character as well with vanilla and honey.

Nice malts structure balanced by citrusy hops. The finish is a blend or sweet alcohol and tart ripe fruits.

Full body with a creamy and delicate feel. Good amount of carbonation.

Very well balnced with a subtle sherry presence. Alcohol masked under layers of barley and hops.

Good blend between an American and English barley wine. Has aged well over the last year, and will continue to do so for at least another few. (650 characters)

Photo of atrus138
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

First off, I've never had a barley wine before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Poured a very nice looking orange color, with red tints. What very little head there was dissipated into a little froth that lay on top. Smell is faint, with fruity notes, but mostly alcohol. Taste is much more intense and complex than the nose would have me believe, especially when warmed a bit. Very fruity, with caramel being very prevalent. A little harsh due to the alcohol content, but less noticeable as it warms and more flavors are apparent. I've never tried cellaring before, but I'll give this one a try and see what happens (though with a little research, I found out that this is released in January, so it's already almost a year old). Very warming, which is just what I needed after all this cold temperature. This will be one I look forward to each year. (905 characters)

Photo of bosco7
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden brown with sticky tan head.

Toffee, brown sugar, raisins, caramel, and earth in the nose.

Complex sugar and malt flavors throughout the entire experience. I pick up on toffee, bread pudding, raisin, some vanilla, unrefined beet sugar. Some hops hidden in there as well. Bitterness is high even after a little under a year of age.

Nice little barley wine, I prefer it fresh and rough around the edges though. Alcohol is not apparent as one might think. Recommended. (485 characters)

Photo of Onibubba
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
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. (626 characters)

Photo of jakon
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

Pours a clear amber color with a sizable off white head that recedes slowly while leaving behind a wash of slow to catch the glass lacing. The aroma is sweetly malty, alcoholic, and still quite hoppy after nearly a year. The alcohol still comes through big in the taste, as does the grapefruit character of the hops. Oddly, I actually remember this being more about the malt just 6 months ago. Perhaps it's just me, but it still seems very raw. It has definitely changed a bit, but I'm not sure it's been for the better. I'll make a note here to remember not to touch another for at least a year. This beer seems like it will last forever. (653 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one came from beer bro #3 better known as Younger35.

A: Pours a nice amber hue with a rather small head. It dies down to a mere collar but will come to life with a simple swirl of the glass.

S: Nice rich malt aroma. Brown sugar aroma mingled with sweet nutty toffee. A tinge of grapefruit hops and be detected in the background. Nice sweet brew, its gonna be a nice Barleywine, can't wait to taste.

T: Wow. Big caramel malt sweetness right up front. Chocolate pralines come thru with a hint of dark brown sugar. Nice sweet fruits dance on the tongue, before giving way to the bite of a piney sweet yet bitey hop bitterness. Very Nice.

M: Thick like pine tar this one runs down the back of the throat and coats anyting that gets in its way.

D: So nice. It's a sipping beer, but one that is to be cherished.

Overall: Man do I love Barleywines. Greg Kotch speaks of warm fall days that cool into the night. That is what's going on right here in good ol Florida. I opened this one as the sun started to fade and sipped it as daylight turned to dark. The taste is so nice and smooth, and the ABV is relaxing. Stone makes wonderful aggressively hoppy brews and this one does not disappoint. It is a wonderful combination of malty and hops. I really liked this one. (1,269 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the early release 2007

It pours from 22oz bottle a hazy copper colour with a 1 finger head of foam. The foam recedes to a fine broken layer and it has some nice lacing.

The smell is of caramel and roasted malt, citrus hops, and some fruit.

The taste has big notes of caramel malt, roasted malt, grapefruit hop bitterness, some molasses, some dark fruit: fig, toffee, a bit of plum...very complex and boy, it has an alcohol kick to it that really warms during and after the swallow. I like how the malt and hop character are nicely balanced and makes it, despite the agressive flavours, a smooth sipping BWSA. Really nice stuff! Oh, and the alcohol becomes less noticeable further into the session.

The mouthfeel is nice and thickish and the carbonation is on the light side. It finishes semi sweet.

Bottom line: A very tasty and enjoyable example of the style indeed. I wouldn't hesitate in buying more. Another great job by Stone Brewing! (953 characters)

Photo of tkarsies
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (916 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Early 2007 Release

After its release from the 22-ounce brown silk-screened bottle, it resides in the glass a cloudless burnished copper with a gigantic head that is tan in color, creamy in texture and as it slowly erodes, the lacing provides a glutinous curtain to drape the glass. Nose has a big sweet malt aroma, caramel, with hints of strawberry cotton candy, oh yeah, fusel alcohol, also in the mix a touch of hops. Start is ambrosial, with the alcohol and hops providing a serious bite at the rear, the palates not my derriere? lol

Top feels medium to full, with the finish modestly hopped, sweet with malt and the acidity generous, alcohol evident, with the aftertaste sweetly dry, a true tummy warmer, maybe a better term, "Stone Old Guardian Sensation"! (763 characters)

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

Drinkability Some breweries seem to fuck up barley wines by making them overly syrupy or way too astringent. I was somewhat expecting a hop bomb, as stone goes crazy with a lot of their stuff. However, this beer was wondefully balanced with a nice complexity. (1,314 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the long Stone Levitation Tulip. Early 2007 Limited Release.

A - Murky caramel honey - virtually small to no head. Lacing and I think legs there.

S - Sweet malt, caramel and honey notes.

T - Again sweet malt, cooked sweet fruit, alcohol - maybe brown sugar a little? Orange like citrus hops take over and remove most of the sweet coating cloying. Towards the end of the bomber, I swear I get tobacco and leather notes too.

M - Full, carbonated and coating. The hops come in and neutralize most of the feel. The finish is pretty balanced, considering the mammoth elements the beer is trying to balance.

D - I read the review first and braced myself for a possible sticky sweet disappointment. I like this beer. The carbonation is good, the coating and subsequent effect of the hops are balanced to a degree. Each sip begs for another. ABV is the only real drawback here. (887 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had a bottle of Old Guardian since January. I had nothing to do last night, so I thought why not break it out? Let's see what nearly 10 months has done to this beer:

I'm a proud owner of an Old Guardian serving glass, and that's what this beer goes into. Deep ruby red appearance with orange hues, topped by the perfect two-fingers thick head. This barleywine has an herbal smell and a spray of veggies. When it warms up, a fruity aroma takes that down. The taste is quite different from anything I was expecting, bittersweet tasting. Extremely thick like syrup. Surprisingly floral and piney tastining, but warming it up brings in fructose and cough drops. Either way, the alcohol is big.

This way my first attempt to age a beer. Not as good as I was hoping for, perhaps this needed more time. You'll want pair this up with food, as the flavor can become quite cloying. (878 characters)

Photo of grub
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. he bought us each one to age, and brought this one over to share. thanks eric!

22oz bottle.

pours a great red colour with a small fine yellow head. the first two glasses were crystal clear, but the bottom of the bottle came a little cloudy.

aroma is great. tons of caramel. alcohol. pine and grapefruit hops. big biscuit and bread malt base. bit of yeast in the last glass.

taste is good. great caramel sweetness. big bread and biscuit malts. grapefruit and orange. bit of pine. medium bitterness level - a little lower than i expected in a fresh sample. the alcohol is there, but seems deceptively light.

mouthfeel is good. silky smooth well integrated medium-low carbonation level. medium-large body.

drinkability is great. well balanced and very nice, but nearly as good as the 2005 i had earlier this year. looking forward to trying this one with some age. (907 characters)

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