Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 239 | Hads: 289
Photo of xymyl
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (671 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 pitasoup
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz poured into snifter per suggestion. Thanks to flexabull for another blind bif beer.

A: slightly hazy amber brown with a finger of dense white head that is very slow to subside. 3.5

S: Wow, intense caramel, raisins. Slight hops, apples, coconut and lemon rind. This smells oreo cookie sweet. After letting this sit, there's a bit of alcohol and mint as well. From the smell alone, I'm going to like this beer. 5

T: A bit of hop bitterness, then strong sweet caramel malts. Slightly smoky, slightly peaty flavors and smells with the first sip. barley malts, a bit of lemon, pear, and tannins at the end 4.0

M: medum-full body. slightly hot, finishes with lingering bitterness and heat. 3.5

O: This seems nicely developed. The flavors aren't harsh but I believe it still has room for improvement. Alcohol heat detracts from the overall enjoyability but the fantastic smell makes up for most of its shortcomings. 4.0 (922 characters)

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

amber/copper colored beer with minimal lacing. nice slight swirling head, and just enough light is trapped to create a faint glow. take a deep whiff and you'll burn some nose hair -- lots of alcohol. underneath the alcohol are smells of fruit (apricot) and hops, along with sweet malts. taste is much more toward the light/fruity end of the spectrum than i was expecting, especially from Stone. flavors of light fruit and nuts mingle with sweet pale malts, some toasted flavors, significant hops, and plenty of noticeable alcohol burn. despite the unmasked alcohol, this is a very enjoyable sipper.

i was pleasantly surprised by this, probably because i was expecting something unbearably unrefined (i.e. imperialdoublebastardwine). (736 characters)

Photo of GimpyCane
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: poured a hazy amber with a slight orange hue with an off white 1 inch head. the head fully lasted and left virtually no lacing.

smell: light scent of wet straw, moderately piney with a hint of grapefruit. I picked up a bit of sulfur with a light touch of alcohol.

taste and mouthfeel: medium body, soft carbonation, and watery. Starts off slightly sweet and malty, somewhere in the medium I got an astringent bite and very bitter and sour milk aftertaste that was long lasting.

drinkability: tough brew for a faint tongue. Personally I enjoy sipping barleywine, but Stone was a tab rough around the edges.

Overall, I purchased several bottles to keep in my cellar. I'll wait six months, than a year to try this brew again. I'm sure the flavors will shine through like the previous years. Enjoy (817 characters)

Photo of auntfloyd
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a silk-screened Stone bomber into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter glass.

Pours a dark, clear copper color, with virtually no head, and minimal lacing.

The nose is a mixture of sweet malt and citrusy hops.

As in most (all?) of Stone's brews, hops are a big component of the taste, certainly more so than most American barleywines I've tried. The hops provide a citrus and slightly pineappley flavor up front, with the fruity malts being more pronounced later on. The flavor is not especially sweet, nor spicy as many barleywines can be; rather it is slightly bitter with a good balance of flavors, and a small hint of alcohol at the end.

The mouthfeel is very good for this style: it is smooth and well-carbonated. Drinkability is high, especially given the type of ale this is.

Overall, this is an excellent American barley wine that puts hops back in the mix. Fans of Stone's other brews will definitely want to try it out; others should as well. Recommended for sure. (991 characters)

Photo of spartanfan
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (785 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 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 Graebner
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An amber and orange pour with little head. Low bubble-column activity.

Smells rich, full of caramel, butter, spice, hops.

A tastebud sledgehammer. Sweet caramel malts up front giving way to grapefruit rind and pine pitch levels of bitterness towards the finish. Alcohol noticable but not near 11%. Leaves you feeling mildly like youve just bitten into an unripe persimmon. Delicious, and enough flavor to send you reeling.

Mouthfeel is great. Smooth, creamy, buttery feel, light carbonation, and a nice bittering/drying effect on the tail end.

11% abv. Other than that, a smooth bastard that you could drink way too quickly. A little aging will probably only help this one. Try it in six months or so. (714 characters)

Photo of mjd83goblue
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber for $4.99 from Goodrich's. I was getting antsy for this one to get in.

A: Orangish-copper colored. Very clear. About 1" head. Nice looking, a little lighter than expected.

S: Toffee, butterscotch, a touch of hops. Once it warms the malt and some raisins and other fruits come out (plums?)

T: Sweet butterscotch and caramel. Bruising hops in the back. Not as hoppy as a Bigfoot, but Bigfoot's hops are up front. You taste these all the way down. Brown sugar. Slightly warming, but doesn't seem like 11+. Finishes very(!) bitter with some pine needles.

M: A nice vicosity while still finishing pretty clean. No stickyness at all, but still full.

D: One bomber is definitely enough for the night. It slaps you around, but I'll probably be back.

I'd like to cellar this, but I don't have a proper cellar or the self-restraint. Wanted to make sure I tried it a couple times before my supply ran out. I'd be interested to see what it does after a year or so after the hops cool down a bit. Another excellent Stone Brew, but I think I'd take the Double Bastard over this. (1,100 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 zuggy9
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This barley wine pours a copper-reddish with a nice creamy head that retains quite well and laces well. It has a prominent smell a malts and some citrus. The alcohol content is also quite noticeable. The taste starts sweet with strong malts and heavy citrus and hops. A bit of a harsh aftertaste due to the level of malt. Very good body and mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation. It's not very drinkable, as to be expected, but a good choice. (441 characters)

Photo of IgnatiusReilly
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. I’ll check back in one year to see how the second one develops. (836 characters)

Photo of jgap
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
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 (1,029 characters)

Photo of k3n
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber.

A: Coppery red with a thin white head.

S: Caramel and citrus.

T: Caramel, dark fruit, bitter citrus, and another punch of sweetness on the finish, just before some piney bitterness. Nicely complex.

M: Slippery. Not much carbonation, feels nicely thick going down.

D: Balance is ok, but the alcohol might be a bit hot right now. I'd like to try this again in 6 months or so. Still, an excellent brew. (429 characters)

Photo of PBBC
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours much lighter than i expected, considering the high abv.... Nice, slightly cloudy appearance, not too clear... giving the beer a nice glow.

The scent speaks of rich caramel accented with white cherries and and perhaps melon? A very full scent... with hops dancing around the edges.

The taste is exquisite... So smooth. Whenever I try a barleywine I wince, expecting tons of flavor, but a slap in the face from the abv.... but as i sat with my friends, I quickly realized that this beer is very drinkable and flavorful.... dangerously so. Feels thick on the tongue, but finishes clean, with a nice lingering caramel-grain aftertaste...

A great example of the complexity and balance available in beer . (717 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 FuzzyGuy84
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Bottle says "Limited early 2007 release." Enjoyed on 3/4/2007.

A - Translucent copper/orange in appearance. Thick, lingering head from a semi-vigorous pout. Mild carbonation present in the bottle.

S - Sweet and malty, very true to what I would expect from a barleywine. A little bit of orange peel coming through in addition to the predominant sugar flavor.

T - Caramel, mild roasted cashew flavor. Starts smooth and sweet but heat and astringency are really noticable on the finish. A very balanced experience with a really diverse mix of flavors that happen in the mouth.

MF - Thin in the mouth, but the carbonation and alcohol dance on the tongue.

D - Almost dangerously drinkable with such a high alcohol content. Watch out for it to sneak up on you, but a surprisingly easy to drink beer for something so complex.

Overall - Another impressive offering from Stone. Not the be-all-end-all of barleywines, but certainly near the top of the file. Will be interested to try this again after it's aged a year. (1,065 characters)

Photo of buffettfan
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking beer out of the bottle and into the glass. The smell is just awesome! A powerful, but sweet smell, like candy!
Taste was mucht he same, and strong, but sweet taste, heavy, but smooth. You can sit and drink a ton of this stuff, but I loved it, and will be in my fridge all summer! (292 characters)

Photo of uberabr
4.69/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is clear with just a slight haze. Color is a glowing golden amber with red hues. Off-white head is minimal with no real retention but decent lace. Loads of hop oil floating up top.

Aroma is mild and floral. Orange blossoms and a fresh, woodsy, beach. Cherries and some spiceyness, along with a fresh-cut grassy hop and candy sugar.

The taste starts with a bitter hop and quickly eases into a decadently sweet and sugary malt, then returns to a bitter pine aftertaste. Flavors are complex and extremely well rounded...so much so that it's hard to distinguish them all....plus they seem to "dance": just when I focus on the malt, the hop comes into play, and vice-versa.

A malt backbone of butter, honey, caramel and toffee combines with an Angelfood Candy quality, and plays off subtle esters- apple, orange rind, lemon juice, hints of strawberry, and a resiny hemp. The floral bouquet is subtle but definitely notable, lending a delicate orange and cherry blossom, along with a nosey potpourri. Very complex, very difficult to do it justice.

All in all a very enjoyable and extremely drinkable brew. Oh, and you can't taste the alcohol. At all. Very impressive for such a potent beer. I nearly downed the entire bomber just to get at the taste. The only downfall is the appearance...the head sucks. But, head is highly variable. This is a great brew. (1,428 characters)

Photo of maybrick
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber color with a sizable off white head. As it warmed, it poured clear. Great head retention. Nose is definitely malty and the alcohol is definitley detectable. nicely balanced between malt and hop. Finishes with the warming of a higher alcohol brew yet the hops crisoness is noticable. I purchased this last week and assume it was made in 2007. (360 characters)

Photo of boogles
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone really does their big efforts well, I think. The barleywine is to barleywine what Stone's RIS is to RIS. It's big and complex, and does not hide the alcohol, but in a good way: it's factored into the equation.

On the other hand, I wish it had a bit less alcohol to allow the piney hops to rise up. It works in the aftertaste, but the nose hit is abrupt and there's no way around it. (389 characters)

Photo of PSUBeerman
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (597 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)

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