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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

286 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 286
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
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
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Ratings: 286 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gmcfarre
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into Caracole tulip glass
Decanted @ 50 degrees

A - Clear ruby brown with a nice one inch light tan head with varied bubble size. Leaves a smooth and full coat of lacing upon tipping. Slow moving carbo bubbles work their way to the surface.

S - Sweet dark fruits (raisin stands out) with a spicy alcoholic vibe that only increases upon warming. Aside from the sweetness, its not incredibly malty, nor do the hops stand out. Nicely balanced.

T - Overall taste is rich, with a cloying sweetness that refreshes your dark fruit quota and adds a nice complementary drying effect. Some alcohol resides at the end as well, especially as this beer warms.

M - Moderately carbonated with a smooth alcoholic bite. Smooth overall however, making this mouthfeel rather enjoyable.

D - Looking forward to cracking one open a year or so down the road, as this one was tasty but a little hot in terms of alcohol.

gmcfarre, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of sethmeister
2.83/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz into goblet at just below room temperature.

Deep red with tan head, small amount of lace. Head completely disappears.

Nose of pineapple, brown sugar, pine and rum.

Taste is, in a word, hops. A slight malt sweetness to start with a peppery sensation and a hot alcohol note. Then grapefruit hops. Everything then seems to vanish from the palate momentarily before returning with a strong resiny bitter hop finish. Maybe the alcohol is just masking it or maybe my understanding of the style is misinformed, but its missing the fruit, yeast, and brown sugar flavors I expect from a barleywine. This seems more like a really hot DIPA.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin with moderate carbonation. Not full or chewey. Excessively hot. I imagine this would be much better after a year of cellaring. I need to get a couple of bottles to store and compare against this review in 6 months and a year respectively.

Drinkability as it stands is pretty low. I'll try this again after a year.

sethmeister, Mar 06, 2007
Photo of quasimoto
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

quasimoto, Mar 28, 2007
Photo of Freshie
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Early 2007 release. Opened on 8/2/07, so i imagine thats ages at least 5 months.

Pours an amber, caramel color. Lacing is thick, but settles nicely.

Smell is very pungent with hops and a warming phenol alcohol.

Taste is a big hops smack. Sweet malt following, almost candy like sugar presence. A bit of citrus in there as well. High ABV warms the palate as you drink, bringing a rising smokiness to the flavor.

The hops and the malt seem to be a bit out of balance, which creates an uneven mouthfeel.

A bit of sipper, but I still enjoyed it. They went a bit overboard on the hops this year? I don't know. But even if I liked other Old Guardian vintages better, they still manage to make one kick ass beer.

Freshie, Aug 03, 2007
Photo of HugoGrim
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bomber into a standard pint. Look is standard for the style. An aggressive pour produced little head. Golden amber body.

Aroma is sweet and malty. Very little hops in the nose, which is unexpected.

Flavor begins with subtle citrus elements mixing with the bold hops. Pine hops, toasted oats, creamy honey. Finishes with an intense hop and fresh wood flavor. Alcohol is subtle for being as high as it is. Very warming.

HugoGrim, Oct 01, 2007
Photo of scottg
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a tulip glass at American Flatbread in Burlington, VT during the "Stone Extravanza."

Pours a cloudy orange wtih a thin off white head that dissipates quickly leaving light lacing. Sweet aromas or caramel, honey and apricot. Up front honey flavors with grapefruit and sweet orange hops followed by caramel, vanilla and chocolate with a strong alcohol finish and bitter lemon aftertaste. Medium high carbonation, full bodied this has a bubbly start and a very dry finish. The alcohol warmth is noticeable throughout, it is 11+%, but the balance of flavors makes this highly drinkable. Hoppy than other barleywines I've had but not surprising being from Stone.

scottg, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of Onibubba
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Onibubba, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of nickss
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a typical 16oz pint glass.

Pours a deep copper with some reddish tinges... about a 1/2" solid head recedes oh so slowly.

Whew this one smells fresh! I guess thats what I get for drinking a barleywine shortly after bottling. Loads of hops... pine and citrus team up to slap the nasal passages. Despite the front edge of hops, there is definitely some malt in the backbone... I won't say its balanced, but then again, I don't like my barleywines to be too balanced. Quite nice.

Still a fairly hoppy flavour, but not quite so hoppy as the aroma would indicate. The malt is much more obvious, lending molasses and sugar-like qualities to the brew. The alcohol is fairly noticeable... not surprising considering the abv... still... could stand to age a year or so.

Perfect... big, thick, and chewy. Subdued carbonation with bittering hops. I can't think of any way to improve it.

While I love the flavour and the aroma, this brew is too hot right now to be very drinkable. Once again, nothing a year in the cellar couldnt remedy. All in all, quite nice.

nickss, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of gpcollen1
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an intriguing golden dark amber into my Lees Harvest Ale glass. Head barely comes to life and all but disappears. Aroma is caramelly sweet with hops riding in a staying on top. This is obviously young but not as pungent as some young BWs.

Hits my tongue with some mild carbonation and right into a syrupy sweet light hops. Hops intensifies on the tongue as it rolls its way back and makes me feel as if my tongue is swelling a bit. Not quite over the top for a young BW but you can definitely sense that as the hops mellow, the malt profile will dovetail into it and make something nice.

I do not get people killing the ratings on this one. It is fresh and can only be judged as such. If you think it will be good in a few years then it should be judged as such, without killing it now. On the other hand, giving this a 5 would be ridiculous. Waiting for a 1/2 case of this to lay down and will return to review.

Thanks to my buddy Spencer for finally bringing me something I did not have - I am still looking for something I cannot get!!

gpcollen1, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of cabsandking
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

cabsandking, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of macster
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 spring vintage. Pours from the bomber a slightly hazy copper-bronze color under a creamy beige 1" head. Admirable head retention throughout the snifter with just some spotty lacing coating the sides.

Aromas are nicely balanced with notes of dark caramel candies, toasted malts, toffee and honey initially coming to the forefront with supporting background notes of citrus, oak and herbs.

Palate was quite full, round, creamy and slightly oily. Just a touch of fine carbonation to tinlge the tongue.

Flavor profile was expertly balanced between the malts and hops. Sugar Daddy candy, toffee, caramel are perfectly balanced with moderate tones of citrus, pine, spice and oak.

No gettin' away from the 11.26% abv. It makes its muscular presence well known in the finish, but is just right for a relaxed sippin' big ole' Barley Wine.

macster, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of BRLockwood
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Joey at South Bay Drugs in Imperial Beach, CA for throwing this in with the rest of my purchase. Keep up the great work Joey!

A: Pours a cloudy amber color with a medium head - not great retention - but worthy. The cloudiness looks quite inviting, I can't see through the glass!

S: The first smell that comes to me is a caramelly/roasty smell - a fine start to this Barleywine. The hops come in with a nice herbal presence, and I detect a faint fruity smell at the end.

T: A classic Barleywine - good malt up front and plenty of herbal hoppiness as well. You get a big kick of alcohol in the aftertaste - but what you might expect from this 11.26 abv monster. A well balanced beer that just keeps kicking with all gears. To me the malt flavor keeps coming through and through.

M: This is definietely a heavy, chewy, but smooth beer. Carbonation seems to be just right and the heavy lacing on the glass leaves myriad designs as they gravitate towards the bottom of the glass.

T: The final pour of the bomber gives a real good head but again it settles rather quickly - which is a good thing in my opinion. The alcohol seems to subside as I finish the bomber - but that could be for other reasons! Truly representative of the style. I usually reserve Barleywines for the nightcap but this will be the only beer I drink today - and a fitting conclusion to my San Diego soujourn - at least until my package arrives!!!

Brian

BRLockwood, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of ByTor2112
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
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!

ByTor2112, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of jminsc76
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

jminsc76, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of wedgie9
4.43/5  rDev +7%
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.

wedgie9, May 12, 2010
Photo of davidchollar
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
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 (^_<)~*

davidchollar, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It was hard to hold on to this one for a year, but I am pleased with the results.

Poured part of a bomber into a snifter.

Appearance - It has a hazy translucent peach copper color. It produced a 1 finger off white head that slowly dissipated to a thin crown. It left behind a decent amount of lacing. This is a damn fine looking beer.

Smell - The scent of this one has really changed from what I remember it smelling like. There is a huge booze presence as well as some fruit scents like grape, sweet orange and cherry.

Taste - It doesn't quite taste as good as it smells. There are some signs of oxidation, but that goes well with barleywines. The booze scent is huge. There is a nice caramel flavor that rounds everything out. It still maintains a large hop presence despite being over a year old. The fruit flavors of cherry, grape, and orange make an appearance, but the lingering booze finish quickly wipes them out. The finish slightly bitter, with the booze and the hops battling for supremacy - which detracts from the overall flavor.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel on this one is impressive. It is medium/full bodied, and has a good level of carbonation - nothing too lively, but keeps it interesting nonetheless. It is both slightly oily and slightly sticky at the same time.

Drinkability - Overall I enjoyed this beer. It is pretty easy drinking and tastes good, but the overwhelming booze in the flavor and the nose is too apparent.

MiguelMandingo, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of Tdizzle
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I cellared this on 2/11/07 and I drank this on 2/12/08.

A- Poured into a snifter, this beer pours a clear orangish-amber color with an off-white head that settles to a thin layer. The head leaves some thick lacing at first. Very nice to look at.

S- Sugary sweet with a strong alcohol backing. Some carmel too. Not as much citrus from the hops.

T- Sweet, malty, and carmely. The bitterness has faded but it still lingers on the finish. Very boozy as well. The alcohol has melded with the other flavors nicely but this is still pretty hot.

M- Creamy and smooth. Very little carbonation.

D- This is a huge beer, so it's hard to finish a bomber by myself, but it sure is tasty. The drinkability has increased after a year.

Tdizzle, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of Nickfellow007
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Nickfellow007, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of abfraser
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an orange copper color with little to no head.

S: Sugary caramel malt, piney hops that have aged a bit giving it that medicinal quality, but not overwhelming

T/M: Quite hoppy, with the bitterness lingering through the finish. The blast of hops at first gives way to a nice caramel sweetness. But overall this is one the hoppier versions of this style. Mouthfeel is nicely balanced with good carbonation and full body.

D: Nicely balanced and drinkable given the 11% abv. But you're going to have to like hoppy beers to enjoy this one.

abfraser, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of Braudog
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Limited early 2007 release poured form the 22 0z bomber. It has a warm rosy visual appeal, lightly carbonated with a stoic rocky head. The aroma is sweet and sugary, making me think of some rich dessert. As expected, it carries a big stick to the palate ... syrup, oak, cooked caramel, and resin. Would love to do a vertical comparison of this one; me thinks it will age grandly. (#2729, 3/1/2007)

Braudog, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of Grundle20
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance:
The beer pours with little head but displays some above average retention regardless of substance. There is some patchy lacing down the glass as you work through the brew. The color is a slightly dark copper with a fair amount of murky haze.

Smell:
The alcohol presence here is a real nose burner. It is offset by some mild caramel sweetness and crisp citrus hop character but it's hard to tame an 11+ percent ABV beast like this.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
As I was drinking this cold I was finding it slightly caustic, simply too much alcohol presence but as the brew warmed I find the flavors to really develop. The warmer this gets the more the astringent alcohol burn fades to make way for a mild caramel sweetness, some citrus rind, and a fruit punch note in the fore. Drink this one warm for sure. The mouthfeel is still predominantly bitter and stinging but as far as 11% beers go this one is dangerously smooth and flavorful. I wish I had another bottle to cellar but alas I don't.

Drinkability:
It really isn't drinkable despite how impressive it is. I can't see myself drinking many of these especially considering that it comes in bombers. Watch out, this beer will put you on your ass.

Bottom Line:
My last 11+ ABV beer was Weyerbacher Eleven and when I had that I knew it was pretty bad but now I really know why. Stone has done a really good job here where it seems many have failed.

Grundle20, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of Tolann
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Orange in color and hazy. Not too much head. Dense, white head that fades quickly.

S - the smell hit me before I was even looking for it. Kinda fruity and hoppy. Not a boozy smell. Bigger smell than other beers I've had, but it's not offensive or too over powering.

T - lots of citrus hop taste. Bitterness is strong but balanced and not offensive.

M - can feel the alcohol warm you after the sip. Taste lingers some and keeps you from drinking too fast. Probably a good thing. Bitterness really sits on your tongue. Some carbonation can be felt in the sip. The bitterness comes out as you burp it. Not exactly a 'wine' like quality like in the style name may suggest. It's a medium/light body.

D - Good to have another, but I don't want a lot at one sitting. I'm glad I have another in the fridge, but it will be enjoyed a later date.

Tolann, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of JasonA
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber, not much head, some lacing. Virtually no carbonation in glass.

Gotta take a big whiff to get the citrusii wine smell. Good once you get it.

Stone hops, barley wine. Can taste the alcohol. Not bad ABV, strong and tasty.

Kinda syrupy. Smooth, but maybe a little thick.

Overall a very nice brew. Maybe not something I would have a lot of due to ABV, but a good changeup. I think this BW is defined by the Stone Hops.

JasonA, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of BrewinHeadBanger
5/5  rDev +20.8%

BrewinHeadBanger, Dec 05, 2011
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.