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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
90
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 jeffjfindley
4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Coppery amber beauty with a two finger head that after about 15 minutes fades to a ring around the top with some willowy clouds in the middle. The smell is not incredibly descriptive, but good nontheless. Raisiny and sweet, and doesn't attempt to hide it's high ABV. The taste is a sheer knockout. Hot with alcohol, and similar to my favorite dessert, creme brulee and Disaronno. Nice hop presence, high for the style, but it's Stone. Besides, that's nothing a little time in the ol' cellar won't tone down. My mouth was delighted by this heavenly brew, as it is as smooth as can be. Drinkability is marred only by the massive alcohol content. Not for use with the lawn mower. Extraordinary.

jeffjfindley, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of ReDave
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dug this out of the back of the California cellar [modified refrigerator]

Decided that two years might be enough?

Pours a little head that very quickly dies no lace and no foam at all.

aroma, mostly malt some spices.

taste wow still has a big hop wallop!

great stuff, this could probably still have waited for a year or more....

but it tastes good now if you like a bite, and i do.

ReDave, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of BigV
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried to drink a whole 2 liter growler myself(I didn't finish lol)

(A) pours a reddish orange copper body with a nice tan head

(S) a little bit of alcohol left, but mostly sweet fruits and earthiness

(T) some alcohol but most of it had worn off over the past 3 years(I drank this in 2010). Sweet, apricot with a little bit of citrus

(M) very malty, but obviously it"s a barelywine. Exactly the kind of mouthfeel you would want in a barelywine.

(D) very drinkable considering its 11.27%. It was very smooth and 3 years aged on it really brought this brew together.

BigV, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of YankChef
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a la fin du monde glass.

appearance: amber with peach hues, high clarity and a thick foamy white head that quickly dies down, however leaves fine lacing.

Smell: Smells very sweet and a little fruity. Molasses, cherry, pecan, peach, pear and various other aromas. Needless to say, this beer has a very complex aroma and the aging has certainly changed it.

Taste: Obviously the first sensation is that of sweetness with raw sugar flavors that are akin to sugar cane. A little bit of plum as wel l and some other fruity flavors. This beer is still damn bitter and hoppy after all of this dame and tastes well... like a beer from stone. Strong bitterness in the middle and lingering as well that leaves you wanting more. Seriously dries the mouth out with not just the a/c but also the bitterness.

Overall: Biggest baddest barleywine of them all. Stone doesn't mess around and this beer is another testament to that fact. Even after over a year of aging this beer is still aggressive and bold. Will it mellow out over time... you be the judge if you have a bottle of this sit on it.

YankChef, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of btesta
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

btesta, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of Chelsea1905
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rich auburn/copper colour. Effervescent head, that looked slightly banana yellow in colour. In fact, the head and beer colouring made me think I was about to bite into a caramel-banana candy! Head fizzled away, and left a little lacing

Malt, Caramel, Hops, Sweetness associated with a fruit of some kind. And ever present Alcohol.

Tastes of Malt, hints of Vanilla, Caramel, and then a little bit of Hops in the back. The ever present alcohol is there all the time!

Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Drinkability....one and done baby, one and done!!!

Chelsea1905, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of bradybeer
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a Bev Mo in Oceanside, CA-doubt if I can get it up here

Appearance-Pours a dark brownish orange with thick head. Citrus Hops and malt hit you during the pour.

Smell-Citrus Orange hoppiness with a slightly sweet hint of malt.

Taste-Not as bitter as I thought it would be-good balance between malt and hops.

Mouthfeel-Heavy, dense mouthfeel.

Drinkability-For me this beer is one that I cold have several pints of-becasue there is an excellent balance of hops and malt-this balance keeps my taste buds from being overwhelmed.

bradybeer, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of walshclimb
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a tasty, hoppy Barley Wine. It pours clear, reddish amber with a thin, frothy head with fine bubbles, leaving a nice lace behind as you consume. It smells malty and sweet with fruity overtones - maybe pear? and of course you can smell the alcohol at 11.26%. Initial flavor is stong hops and malt with the scales tipped a little toward hops. The expected alcohol bite gives way to a long lived sweet, hoppy and malty aftertaste. It has a full bodied mouthfeel which is slightly oily to syruppy and a dry finish. I will definitely purchase again next year. It makes a great dessert beer. Consider pairing it with a sampling of dessert cheeses.

walshclimb, May 19, 2007
Photo of PhiloPsych
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pretty copper orange color--completely clear, no cloudiness at all. Slowly rising bubbles make for a moderately thick, bubbly head. Smell is sweet and alcoholic. The alcohol doesn't come out in the taste, though. Big on malt and enough hops to balance it. Big flavor stood up well to the rich and spicy food and sauces I paired with it. The alcohol is listed at 11.26% and even if it's not overwhelming in the flavor it certainly has its effect on the brain. Definitely a good, high-quality brew.

PhiloPsych, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of ojiikun
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally cracked this early-2007 bottle of OG in mid-late 2008. Served up in my fave tulip.

Colour is very orange, faily hazy, and with little head, though it's possible to whip up a fair bit of foam with a flick of the wrist on the stem.

Smell is exactly what I was hoping for. Tons of caramel and mellowed out citrus - that syrupy sweet that only year-old or older hops will give you. Bready and yeasty, toasty, too. There's no other way to put it - this is a nicely aged barleywine.

Taste is light as air at first, then melts into a malt-bomb of sweet and sour. Yeast really comes forward, almost tasting old world in origin. Each subsequent sip, the booze comes out a little more, but it brings even more floral notes out. Alphas join the party as it warms in the mouth. Finish is . . . unbuttered popcorn??

What can I say - I love it, because this beer was exactly what I hoped for. The ladies and gents at Stone really hit on a formula that ages well, and shows great merit from that time in the cellar years before most would. I would almost hesitate to say this is near it's peak - I wouldn't wait more than another 6 months!

ojiikun, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of shaebs99
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first year of Old Guardian(since I was only 21 at it's release), but my 2nd bottle. This one I aged since the "Limited Early 2007 release"(making it the 1st bottle that I have opened since I started to age bottles). If my memory serves me correctly very little has changed since then (guess I shouldn't have wimped out and waited until the release of the '08 Old Guardian). Maybe a little less hop presence, but that could be imagined or my forgetfullness. The important thing is that the beer has not been spoiled which was the key to this experiment in aging.

Pours a dark rusty amber. Small head, but good carbonation. Lacing is slight around the edges. Drank a little lower than room temperature.

The aroma is malty with a slight hop presence. The alcohol aroma is definitely still there. Hard to explain why exactly I enjoy the smell so much. It triggers some memory that makes me love the smell. Something about it reminds me of pepper or peppermint. As it warms the alcohol aroma does move to the front.

First taste is of sweetness in the malt backed up by a hot alcohol and a grapefruity finish. Still is enjoyable.

Full bodied with a light, but not absent carbonation.

Drinkability is questionable. This beer is definitely a sipper. You can keep the bomber for yourself, but sipping this with a friend would probably be best. I will definitely get future releases and might pick up another bottle of this if I can find it.

Wish I had aged a case so that I could see how this beer ages in 6- month intervals. Recently saw another few bottles of this at a beer distributor near me. I might pick up another bottle and save it for fall '08.
This beer can be enjoyed at its release or anytime after. Don't feel you have to age your bottle of this. I just feel it would be interesting and potentially better if it is aged to attempt knocking back the alcohol presence in the nose and taste.

shaebs99, Jul 31, 2007
Photo of Hokies
2.75/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear red color with dense lasing.

S: Boozy, sweet, malty with decent hop hints.

T: Strong booze taste to it with some malt and citrus flavor.

M: Light with a strong alcohol taste that takes over.

D: Is decent but will not go out of my way to get another one.

Hokies, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of gonzo138
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a clear ruby amber color, vigourous carbonation rising up from the bottom of my manchester united pint glass with a big creamy head that both retains well and laces nicely

S- smells of sweet malts and big grapefruit citrusy hop aroma

T- complements the smell, sweet rich malt at first, followed by a big tasty grapefruit ish hop bitterness at the finish

M- full thick body with good carbonation

D- said it before and ill say it again, a good barley wine should not be that drinkable, definitely worth picking up though

gonzo138, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of BlackAngus
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark orange color, crystal clear, white fluffy head that dissipated fast. Nice lacing.

S - Dark fruits, caramel, with a strong fruity/citrusy hops aroma.

T - Piney hops flavor, none of the complexity from the nose comes through. Hot alcohol flavor...may be too young.

M - Medium body, sticky, but tongue-numbingly bitter. I would imagine this will age well.

D - In a year or two, this will be an excellent beer. Now, it's a little too much for me.

BlackAngus, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of wknight167
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Apearance - Pours a hazy orangeish amber with a 3 finger off white head, medium retention and some decent lacing.

Nose- Dark caramel and stone fruits with citrus hops still present in a smaller way.

Palate- Hops are still there, but a shadow of there former orange/grapefruit selves. Caramel and toasted malt along with some butterscotch. Alcoholic warming seems to have re-emerged.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied, almost sticky. Carbonation is on the low side which is understandable for a 3 year old.

Drinkability- A little rough. I can't say that 3 years is the prime time for this one.

Overall- I think this might be in a lull. The beauty of the hops has faded, but the malt is yet to shine.

wknight167, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of xymyl
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

xymyl, Apr 25, 2007
Photo of jakon
4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

jakon, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of ScottyC54
4/5  rDev -3.4%

ScottyC54, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of pitasoup
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
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

pitasoup, May 20, 2011
Photo of schusterbauer
4/5  rDev -3.4%
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).

schusterbauer, Mar 12, 2007
Photo of GimpyCane
3.23/5  rDev -22%
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

GimpyCane, Mar 01, 2007
Photo of auntfloyd
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

auntfloyd, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of spartanfan
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

spartanfan, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of atrus138
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

atrus138, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of srroos
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

srroos, Jan 16, 2008
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.