Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 286 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
3.95/5 rDev -4.6%
A slow turn through an 06-09 and 11 Belgo vertical. Poured into a tumbler glass.
A: The barleywine is a darker orange copper, still within the acceptable parameters of amber. The barleywine is translucent, nearly transparent. A finger and a half of off-white head, a yellow-brown shade, leaves a few strings of lace behind.
S: Lots of malts, thick and prickly. But there are plenty of hops here too. The balance is big, a little muddled at times, but powerful nonetheless. My final opinion is that the maltiness is wins out, its wall of caramel and toffee overpowering the hops.
T: The hops come sprinting through in the first sip, a flash of bitterness that is quickly swallowed up by rich caramel sweetness. The caramel builds quickly to a full wall of treacle. Hops return after the caramel passes, a fresh pine aroma that adds to the thickness of each sip. The combined hop/malt finish is bold, still intense 4 years in.
M: The mouthfeel is touch, incredibly strong with each sip, the hops a nice stand out.
07-22-2011 21:47:43 | More by akorsak
4.1/5 rDev -1%
Clear reddish amber colored beer with a small tan colored head.
Smells like ice tea with lemon at first. Citrus with a definite lemon note. Chocolate on toast with a slight menthol aroma.
Starts out neutral with a savory aftertaste. Quite a smooth flavor 3 years of aging has mellowed out this beer a lot. A little bitter up front on the tongue with a woody caramel aftertaste. Not real complex in flavor though, just mellow.
Mouthfeel is good, not quite thick though.
Drinkability is where this beer really shines. At this point it is perfectly mellowed and deceptively easy to drink. It would be a mistake to age this beer anymore it is perfect right now.
09-28-2010 06:10:38 | More by Zorro
3.65/5 rDev -11.8%
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.
10-28-2007 17:29:35 | More by DoubleJ
4.33/5 rDev +4.6%
Been sitting on this one well over a year. When I first popped the cap I could smell the sweet malts. Pours a nice orange golden amber color, nice creamy tan head, nice lacing/puddles throughout the drink. Scents of sweet malts, citrus, hops, spices, caramel, yeast, and slight alcohol. The taste is amazing, sweet malts, hoppy, slight caramel, and slight alcohol, nice dry finish. Medium body, pretty complex barleywine. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Stone to say the least.
05-09-2008 00:31:15 | More by Wasatch
District of Columbia
3.53/5 rDev -14.7%
Bottle shared by Damian and Lona. Thanks!
This beer is hazy light brown with crimson hues. The head is rather small and leaves subtle lacing. The aroma is of sweet malt and alcohol. The taste follows suit, with additional notes of toffee and butterscotch. Alcohol remains prevalent despite a few years of aging. The feel is medium bodied, with moderate sweetness. A decent beer, but only an average example of the style. A small serving is plenty.
11-13-2010 00:58:13 | More by Huhzubendah
4.03/5 rDev -2.7%
My super bowl beer of choice, 22oz bomber. Pours a shiny, bright orange/mahogany body topped by a medium full white head.
Smells of sweetened raisins, some walnuts, floral, and pine.
Tastes about the same. As it warmed the pine came out more, the alcohol was easy, non-burning. Hops makes the finish crisp and enjoyable.
02-06-2007 00:03:50 | More by Mebuzzard
4.22/5 rDev +1.9%
A: Poured a clear medium marzen color with a moderate bubbly off white head with a very soft visible carbonation.
S: sticky pine scented, with dry grapefruit and a touch of boozy burbon barrel alcohol.
T: The initial flavor was malty, with very dry pine notes and a light smoked burbon woodiness. Dry bready caramel malting, pine, and a big alcohol fade finishes things out. The finish was very dry with some boozy burbon notes.
M: very light and boozy upon warming. soft due to the light carbonation.
D: an easy drinking barley for the massive 11.2%abv.
10-06-2008 22:43:16 | More by beerthulhu
4.25/5 rDev +2.7%
22 oz bottle.
Pours a lightly hazed copper red, really nice and vibrant colour, thick off white head forms and slowly settles down to a thick ring around the glass, some lace spots stick around, good retention, looks real nice. Smell is great, very rich toffee, biscuits, brown sugar, tons of malt, grapefruit, strawberries, lots of fruit, alcohol comes through but is well hidden, nice floral hoppiness and big malts, nice kick to it. Taste is similar but better, lots of toffee, very rich in the mouth, biscuity malt, more brown sugar, grapefruit juice, raisins, strawberries, butter cookies, alcohol, more fruit, more toffee, just great stuff, very rich and full flavour. Mouthfeel is full bodied, lightly syrupy with low carbonation, some warmth going down but alcohol is generally well hidden, super smooth going down. Great barleywine and has aged like a champ, I wish I would have gotten more of this stuff, too bad I was a cheapskate a couple years ago.
02-15-2009 03:56:52 | More by Viggo
4.47/5 rDev +8%
Very clear copper topped by yellowish, dark cream foam. Good head retention with a fair bit of lacing, especially for the gravity. Whiff of vanilla just after popping the cap. Piney hop aroma backed up by grapefruit rind, plus some fruity and bready notes. Alcohol is present, but not overwhelming. Some caramel and yeast as well. A combination of caramel, sharp grapefruit and alcohol flavours kick things off, but as the malt melts away you're left with a piney bitterness. A little bready with some ripe fruit. Hops jump back and forth between citrus and resin. The alcohol in the finish is a little spicy too, a bit warmer than the 2006 I had recently (which was expected since that bottle had been aging for the better part of a year). Alcohol and resinous bitterness linger, but don't end up being harsh. Faint vanilla can be detected as well. Full bodied, creamy texture, well-integrated carbonation. The alcohol stunned my tongue after a few minutes too. I really like this stuff and I look forward to its release each year. I find it highly drinkable considering its abv and liken it to enjoying a fine scotch at the end of the night.
02-24-2007 02:21:21 | More by DrJay
4.35/5 rDev +5.1%
Got this on-tap at the GA release.
Pours a cloudy copper color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty sticky.
Smells good. Sweet malts and alcohol to go along with a mild piney hop aroma.
Tastes similar to how it smells. A big sweet malt taste up front ending with a mild piney hop flavor and bitterness. The alcohol burns just a bit on the way down and gives a nice warming sensation.
Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness and the carbonation is just a tad too much. Very smooth but could be smoother.
Drinkability is great. This goes down very easily for a beer with this much alcohol.
Overall this is a very good barleywine but if I had to choose I'd go with the Double Bastard as the Old Guardian seems like a more subdued version of that.
09-23-2008 05:02:09 | More by glid02
4.53/5 rDev +9.4%
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"!
11-01-2007 16:51:20 | More by Gusler
4/5 rDev -3.4%
22oz bomb, split in preparation for a man man/yeasayer show
appearance: poured into a 42nd street oyster bar pint glass, hazy orange-amber body with a beige froth cap
smell: smells like danger - big citrus hops as expected, big caramel malts, noticeable booze presence which prompted the recipient of the 2nd half of the bottle to ponder the abv %
taste: big and bold on all fronts...huge citrus hop bite, lush pine, thick caramel malts and strong booze undertones. grapefruit and syrupy maple balance this one out...easily could age a few more years at least, but i was thirsty
mouthfeel: syrupy and smooth, hop bite, hot alcohol
04-19-2008 00:38:08 | More by dirtylou
4.9/5 rDev +18.4%
Well I'd been sitting on these bottles for a few months, and tonight I decided to crack my first one. And from the first sip, I thought WOW, this is the best BW I've ever had! And, between 2 BW fests this winter, my own homebrews, as well as a bunch of well regarded bombers in the fridge, I've had quite a few! My running favorite was a tie between my own and Midnight Sun's Arctic Devil...but until I can do a taste off, this is clearly the one.
Poured into a bomber, Old Gaurdian is a clear tawny amber, with a thin egg shell head and relatively active carbonation, leaving a moderate foamy lace. I dig it, on the lighter side, but quite nice.
The nose is pleasantly sweet, lots of cinammon and caramel, with a nutty, grape malt punch and a touch of booze. It's not as robust as some, but I really dig the cinnamon, it plays right into my sweet tooth, beer wise!
While the nose was tantalizing, the taste is where this really rises above, and to my palate, boarders on sublime - I give it a 5! So fruity and rich, caramel and vanilla, barely discernible alcohol, and a fairly clean, bitter finish, it's pretty much my ideal take on the style. In regards to hype, I hadn't yet been been blown away by Stone's brews before, which is why I sat on these for 3 or 4 months, but damn - this is the shit! I'm getting a case next year, and if I had more money and time, I'd get more! Fuckin incredible! I'd be curious to taste it fresh at their pub, and I can't wait to have my other bottle, for which I hope I can hold off for at least 9-12 months!
Like the color, the mouthfeel's on the lighter side, pretty smooth with a touch of creamy carbonation. Maybe a little cloying, I'd have to have this in a barleywine off to give it a 5. But since I don't have that luxury tonight, trust that it's nice and light for the style.
Watch out, this is one crazy dangerous BW! If I had more of these to drink tonight, which I wish I did, I can see myself really getting into trouble. I see the ABV on the label, but aside from the ruddy glow in my cheeks, it's nothing but butter. And my difficulty focusing on the proofread! Wow, I'm really surprised how much this Old Guardian has blown me away! The only negative is that, in spite as how smooth it tastes, I can really taste the hobo breath. But if your kissing someone drinking vodka, you're covered...If you see them, buy a few, drink some now and cellar the rest.
06-09-2007 08:06:31 | More by ccrida
4.3/5 rDev +3.9%
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!
11-08-2007 23:26:41 | More by Bitterbill
4.13/5 rDev -0.2%
22 ounce bottle, early 2007 release. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours an orange/amber color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is pine and citrusy hops, caramel malt, brown sugar, and some apricots. Taste is similar to the aroma. Surprisingly the hops are still strong in this brew after 2 years. Pine and citrusy hops dominate, while caramel malt, butterscotch, booze and brown sugar flavors are noticable, too. There's also a good lingering bitter hoppy finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit syrupy and slick with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, although you can tell there's some alcohol in this brew! Overall I think it's a good beer, aging it hasn't hurt it although aging it a bit longer wouldn't be a bad thing either.
11-26-2009 23:35:18 | More by bluejacket74
3.78/5 rDev -8.7%
Bottle, 2007 vintage, 11.26%, that I picked up at the Whole Foods in Georgetown back in the day.
Pouring a clear barleywine-red-brown with a dense, beige head with rather excellent retention and lacing, this looks like a good barleywine. It smells like one too, with quite a bit of crystal and caramel malt character, along with a mostly faded pine hop character. QC at Stone is pretty good (IMO) and so, there's none of the deleterious oxidation here, with no cheesey hops or stale, papery malts. Brown sugar, toffee, creme brulee even, there's some wildflower honey with some floral aspects. Pretty nice!
The palate is mostly sweet with some alcohol. Medium-full in body with soft carbonation, this beer is all kinds of sweet. Caramel, toffee, a little brown sugar, some burnt sugar, a little vanilla, and some booze to round out the front and back-ends. A moderate bitterness is present, at a surprising level even, balancing some sweetness. Aggressively caramel-like, though the complexity really does tell me that this is kettle caramelization and someone playing fast and loose with crystal malt, this is growing on me. Bitter and sweet on the finish with honey and pine, this beer is pretty enjoyable, and from past experience, better than it was fresh. Recommended, and it ages well too. Hits all the right notes for a style that typically doesn't do much for me.
03-17-2012 01:06:55 | More by DefenCorps
4/5 rDev -3.4%
07 vintage. Pours dark orangey amber with a dense beige head that leaves thick lacing. Aroma is still citric hoppy but the caramel malt has clearly taken the front seat here. Flavor is chewy bready caramel with accents of orange and grapefruit. Alcohol is still present but subdued compared to fresh bottles. Fulfilling, creamy mouthfeel and solid drinkability.
01-26-2009 07:54:05 | More by illidurit
4.35/5 rDev +5.1%
On-tap at Sheffield's in Wrigleyville into a snifter.
A: Hazy, reddish-amber body with a solid finger of creamy ecru head. Great retention and lacing, especially for the style and strength.
S: Huge malts (caramel, raisin, grape, prune, etc, etc) and equally huge hops presence, predominantly citrus. Grapefruit; butterscotch; caramelized tangerine? The ultimate mix of American hops and English malts. Phenomenal.
T: Hops are still big up front (after 3 years!), followed by a panorama of sweet, luscious malt. Significant, but not overwhelming booze on the finish. Impressive.
M: Medium-to-full bodied with plenty of soft, fine carbonation.
D: I love it, but the sweetness gets a bit overbearing.
Notes: Getting to sample this vintage on tap was a true treat. I still can't believe how well the hop/malt balance has held up over the years. Truly delicious, truly outstanding.
07-29-2010 02:35:38 | More by woosterbill
4.22/5 rDev +1.9%
Update: 06/2007: This tastes much, much better after having six months behind it. I have to adjust my review accordingly because the flavors really made me smile this time.
I had been anticipating this one for a while. It pours a nice ruddy orange color with a really good head (maybe I poured too fast). The smell is not very strong. The taste is average barleywine and alcohol. This is the first Stone beer that has ever disappointed me. it wasn't bad but I always expect to be blown away by Stone seasonal beers (I usually am). The alcohol was pretty noticeable but I think in a year or two this one will be awesome. I plan on picking up a case for aging purposes.
01-29-2007 23:16:39 | More by ArrogantB
4.22/5 rDev +1.9%
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.
11-10-2007 21:48:37 | More by tpd975
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.