Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 286 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4/5 rDev -3.4%
Gives off aromas of toasty malt and a little sour milk aroma. Nothing is too evident in the smell department.
This pours with a moderate amount of CO2 and a slightly hazy dark amber body. The head produced is light tan, but doesn't last too long.
This has a syrupy molasses taste and feel. Definetly warm going down. It has a spicy warmness and a slightly bitter finish.
02-01-2007 18:45:55 | More by TheSarge
4.78/5 rDev +15.5%
Stone Old Guardian
Limited Early 2007 Release
Served in an Allagash tulip glass
Pours an amber brown with a hazy burnt orange tint. A rocky head with great sustain appears. Spotted trails of sticky lacings form complex patterns on the side of the glassware.
Yowza...intense nose with whiffs of sweetness, possibly tropical fruits. Major hop bombs in the nose lending comparisons to balsam fur and a freshly peeled clementine orange.
Toasted grains with a juicy caramel malt backing. Syrupy, but not overwhelming like other American barley wines. Hints of dark fruits with a sweet and spicy citrus contrast. This beer is hot with a touch of rubbing alcohol sharpness due to its infancy. Raisins soaked in Caribbean rum with a black pepper bite. Crazy hop delight with a resiny feel that makes the tastebuds pucker with delight.
11.26% ABV = no joke. A sipper for sure.
No doubt I ripped into this beer too early in the season. I couldn't contain my excitement once I spotted this gem on the shelves. This will age with pure grace. That's why I tucked one away for down the road. Yet another excellent offering from Stone.
I love this brewery.
02-09-2007 01:42:05 | More by Hibernator
3.7/5 rDev -10.6%
Poured into a Stone Old Guardian Barleywine Glass.
One finger of white suds. Lacing as it warms.
S. Rope and grass. A sweet grape caramel and strong yeast. An alcohol aroma in the back but not a lot.
Taste is all over the place. Bittersweet grain with an alcohol afterburn. Raisin and plum with a dry bitterness that might be from the hops. The alcohol is very strong here. But not overpowering.
Mouthfeel is a bit oily but dry enough to make you want another sip.
Drinkability is low here because of the high abv. Stone could have calmed down the abv here and made a better product.
05-27-2007 03:48:20 | More by peabody
3.8/5 rDev -8.2%
This beer poured a clear tan/orange body with a small white head that died pretty quickly.
Nose is dominated by a rich extremely dense caramel malt smell with loads of equally dense citrus hops. Not over the top hops. They seem well muted and fight for control over the malt base. Mild touches of wood and syrup.
Taste is extremely full bodied and thick. Initial taste is smooth without any killer bitter flavors. Starts with some soft but dense caramel malt but then all of the sudden in the finish is this overwhelming citrus hop taste and bitterness that lingers for minutes after each sip. Pine needles, grapefruit rind and peel, touches of black pepper and very mild hints of wood. After the first few sips the hop bitterness becomes overwhelming and detracts from the taste making this a bitter bitter brew that needs to sipped slowly.
I love Stone beer, and every year previous this beer has been outstanding. For the first time I think the bitterness is a little overwhelming, even for being aged for 8 months since I bought it. This is definitely a beer meant for looong term storage. The malt is big and beautiful, but the hops needs some time to cool. Check back in 5 years minimum.
08-27-2007 22:55:35 | More by taez555
4.4/5 rDev +6.3%
Thanks to zapata for sending this brew a couple of states south.
I decided to crack this as my 6 year olds birthday party/slumber party was winding down. My daughter and 2 of her friends were trying out her new Rock Band game as I sipped this down...
My Duvel tulip shone bright amber with a full pour of this awesome brew... A big fluffy off white head slowly formed and stuck around for a while...beautiful beer...
Wonderful aroma of sweet syrupy malts and pungent citrusy sweet hops... I'm surprised at how pungent the hops still are in this but I sure aint complaining...it smells terrific and delicious..
Yep, this is just as delicious as I thought it was going to be. Its loaded with sweet sticky syrupy goodness from the malts and a pungent grapefruit kick in the mouth from those hops... Dang, those folks from Stone sure know how to get it done. This was probably an excellent barleywine fresh and a year has done nothing but make it better... Simply incredible...
I don't think I've found a brew from Stone that I don't love and this is no different... Terrific, terrific brew..
07-19-2008 02:45:25 | More by Tilley4
3.68/5 rDev -11.1%
Fills a tulip glass with clear, reddish copper, some carbonation and a thin, frothy almond head that puts a film on the glass and modest legs.
Well balanced caramel and pine -- almost pine tar. Some raisins and honey are detectible in the background.
Opens with a strong punch of alcohol, immediately followed by a jab of hop bitterness assaulting the tongue before the more subtle flavors can be appreciated. Raisins do come through along with caramel, but the long bitter finish overwhelms the flavor nuances.
A medium to full body beer with slick texture and abrasive carbonation. While some sweetness is present on entry, none remains for the dry finish and alcohol is assertive.
A difficult beer to drink as warmth brings out more alcohol, preventing the flavors from truly developing, especially after aging three years in the cellar. If this is intended to be overly aggressive, then, well done. However, I think Stone has pushed the envelope a bit too far and may have lost the beer in the process. For those who are seeking alcohol and assertive bitterness, Old Guardian is for you.
01-29-2012 22:28:54 | More by SLeffler27
4.35/5 rDev +5.1%
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.
10-29-2007 06:28:31 | More by jasonjlewis
3.68/5 rDev -11.1%
It pours a very slightly hazy guava orange amber. Three fingers of fluffy light beige head drop gradually to a lunar froth scape. Wings of lacing fly along the inside of the glass.
The aroma is mucho malty, toasted and caramel syrup sweet, with berry and apple accompanying. A draft of citrus and pine signify the hops arrival, and the alcohol is hot and sinus-clearing.
Upon sipping, there rushes in a dense malt sweetness, lofty with brown sugar and caramel, and fruity with cherry and juicy, crisp apple. Dry grapefruit and pine presage a marked turn toward a glowing bitterness. The alcohol is searing and almost raw. The finish is an extended bitter but clean assault. It's big, brash, and seemingly full of potential, but before its time as well.
Full bodied, the coating and glowing is actually one of the more impressive points.
In time, with good age, this will likely develop a pleasing measure of dimension and complexity, but right now it's too shallow for its size and too hot for its own good. The ABV is a slap and a jab, with the result a thin case for drinking very much more. Age, maturity, seasoning- a Jedi may crave not these things, but this beer does, because the potential's there. Let's revisit this one in six months, or maybe a year.
02-06-2007 22:17:38 | More by Foxman
3.38/5 rDev -18.4%
Reviewed 1/13/2009 (bottled Early 2007):
Pours a filtered amber orange brown colored body. Smallish head, foamy and creamy white. Dark grape aroma. Malty sweet, sickly almost. Some spiciness. Grainy maltiness and alcohol. Mellow light sweet taste. Grape malty taste. Some hotness on the aftertaste. Alcohol is hidden well.
01-23-2009 04:03:47 | More by jujubeast6000
4.03/5 rDev -2.7%
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.
04-04-2010 17:48:38 | More by KickInTheChalice
4.22/5 rDev +1.9%
Pours a burnt umber color with some ruby highlights. Nice beige head that recedes to a filmy lace on top of the beer. Lot's of lacing sticks to the side of the glass. I'm suprised at the volumn of the head and lace considering the abv of the beer.
Smells buttery, biscuity, and toast.
Flavor has much more to offer than the aroma. Sweet, fruity, on a caramel toasty backbone. Very candy apple like. Strong alcohol finish. This beer is splended in both it's grace and strength.
Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, with some burn and warmth from the alcohol.
The drinkability is the most amazing part of the beer. I look up from my review and the pint is empty. I'm not usually one to drink high abv beers as fast. Oh well it's time for a refill.
03-04-2007 19:39:42 | More by wcudwight
4.22/5 rDev +1.9%
Poured thick and creamy. The color was a amber with a reddish hue with no foam. The smell was of hops, spices and a hint of a fruity aroma.
The flavor was of a thick sweet candy, like toffee and caramel was evident, along with a medium piney hoppy taste. Not a lot of alcohol flavor to ruin the taste. Well balanced. Bought a half case to store for special occasion.
03-03-2007 08:03:19 | More by BeerManDan
4.45/5 rDev +7.5%
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.
12-09-2009 00:54:49 | More by PDXHops
4.22/5 rDev +1.9%
Pours clear reddish/amber with a large tan head that lasts forever and leaves great lacing. The smell is pungent with a real strong "bisquity" aroma with dark fruit,hops, and alcohol. The taste is very hoppy for the style,which I like,but it's not really true to style. Bitter and citrus hops along with alcohol, malt,and some fruits. The m/f is medium with the flavors mixing well. A different b/w. More like Bigfoot than traditional b/w's and I for one really like that.
03-15-2007 23:49:00 | More by jmz62565
4.38/5 rDev +5.8%
Nothing like a hoppy Barleywine. Old Guardian has a nice hazy orange color. Off white head, pretty good retention and nice lacing.
Smells of caramel malts, grapefruits, pine and traces of alcohol.
Lots going on taste wise, big hop bitterness, sweet mats and a comforting alcohol edge.
05-09-2008 05:38:05 | More by irishkyle21
3.9/5 rDev -5.8%
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.
03-11-2007 01:09:31 | More by BeerTruth
3.93/5 rDev -5.1%
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.
06-19-2007 01:20:03 | More by bort11
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
4.72/5 rDev +14%
A - A hazy copper brew with a medium sized head with impressive retention. Thin intricate webs of lacing cling indefinitely to the glass. Tiny bubbles move as if through molasses.
S - Caramel malt with a hint of honey and maple syrup. Hints of licorice as well. A peppery alcohol flirts with piney and floral hops. All vie for dominance of the nose and seem to oscillate their control. It is great, but too mild.
T - Calling this flavor complex would be like calling , it simply misses the gravity of the scenario. Initially, there is a malty caramel infused with honey and licorice while a strange (yet delightful) fruity alcohol dances on the back of the tongue. This fruity abv lingers through into the aftertaste where it is slowly joined by a peppery hop bitterness as the sweetness fades. Te alcohol then fades as this delightful bitterness comes to the foreground with a touch of honey lingering to smooth it out. Amazing.
M - Thick, smooth and refreshing.
D - Awesome. I want more bottles. This is the perfect brew to end a rough day. Stone has both disappointed and impressed me in the past - but this monster simply blew me away. I need more bottles.
02-18-2008 05:54:57 | More by mrasskicktastic
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
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
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
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.