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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

331 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 331
Reviews: 201
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 11
Gots: 84 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: northaustin on 02-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 331 | Reviews: 201
Photo of whoneeds8
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2010 Release poured into a tulip glass. Deep transluscent amber in color with a nice two and a half finger white head. Great retention and lacing. The scent is strong of carmeled malt. The alcohol scent that accompanies fresh bottles is very faint. The taste shows great aging. Flavors of carmeled fruits like figs. Very high in candied flavors. But there is still a piney bitterness from the hops present. For it's age, the mouthfeel is great: medium bodied, syrupy, and well carbonated.

Photo of larryi86
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- A clear deep ruby red with a two finger off-white head.

S- Dark fruits, cherries, figs, syrup, caramel malts, some alcohol, faded hops, sweet.

T- Piney hops are big and bitter, brunt aftertaste, syrup and dark fruits up front, very little alcohol. The burnt aftertaste is less off putting the more I drink this.

M- Medium body, little syrupy.

O- I did not try this fresh, but I still feel this is a solid beer at two years old. I am surprised how much hop bitterness is still in this beer. 11.1% ABV is not noticeable.

Photo of AwYeh
3.23/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber into nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a foggy amber color with half a finger of fine, white head.

S: My initial impression is that this smells surprisingly like a Fig Newton (plus alcohol). Bready and syrupy smelling, with heavy doses of lighter fruits and spices.

T: A heavy dose of alcohol is here, of course, but the sweetness of the beer's other flavors can hold their own against it. Similar to the smell, with a nice piny bitterness on the finish.

M: Thick and almost flat, very sticky. Lingering heat from the alcohol is consistently present.

O: A good beer, looking forward to trying other offerings in the Old Guardian line after this one– but maybe not too soon, I can still almost taste this one when I think about drinking it yesterday. [Reviewed to a 3 average with style heavily in mind, so it's a decent amount above average even if my score looks woefully low compared to the other ones for this beer.]

Photo of lsummers
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an amber deep red on tap. Head took a minute to settle but eventually diminished to leave some impressive lacing.

First hints at a mollasas buttery smell but is a little faint.

The taste hits you right up front. It's like a zesty syrupy taste that changes into the molasses like flavor with a touch of the hops coming through. It ends very pleasantly with a sweet nutty burnt aftertaste. To me the sweetness of this beer combined with the hoppy burnt molasses flavors makes this one a great sipper.

The mouthfeel helps the flavor dance on the tongue at first confusing you into the complex notes. On tap this beer had a bit more carbonation than what I remember but I liked it. It lightens an otherwise thicker mouthfeel.

Can't wait to keep trying these year after year.

Photo of BostonHops
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber (22oz) served in a snifter glass.

pours a murky amber tone with slightly less than a finger of a creamy beige head; not much retention, lacing in spots.

aroma is great: smacks of heavy, sweet maltiness... brown sugar, caramel, maybe a hint of dark fruits... some hops evident.

the malty introduction of the flavor is quickly followed by a surge of hops, much more than i would have guessed judging by the nose. lends the beer a decided bitterness lasting through the finish, which also packs some heat from the alcohol. solid representation of an american barleywine, if maybe a little too hoppy/boozy for my taste.

smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel; drinking pretty well for a north of 11% ABV beer. will have to experiment with some more age on this one.

originally reviewed: 12-10-2010

Photo of tewaris
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aged 2 years in a CLOSET. It worked.

Looks great albeit a little hazy... smells great... strongly malty: caramel, old hops (it's Stone alright!), toasty, awesome.

Great and robust malt character minus the sweetness... an excellent fruit and nut character with a finish to die for. Excellent feel if not quite as silky as I'd like. Great overall.

Photo of JDizzle
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was aged for a year.

Looks really nice with a frothy off white head and deep ruby color. Smells OK, with dark fruits but a little too much alcohol bite. Pretty hoppy with a bit of booze in the finish. Some nice dark fruits mix with a malty backbone. Good barleywine that I will continue to try year after year.

Photo of Rojopunk
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- amber with a little bubbly to it . slight lacy

S- sweet with slight hints of alcohol

T- Very sweet but not too sweet with sight hints of hops

M- medium

Overall id say this was a great barley wine . Stones is a impressive brewery with 90% of there beers being IPAs. Here and there they make a non ipa beer and it rocks! This is a slightly hoppy barely wine with no burn . Also it has enough hop to keep it from being to sweet or syrup like. Lastly this beer was brought out of retirement i bought a bottle today ! Sadly it will probably go back into retirement soon .

Photo of Mar02x
2.96/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

With thanks to ?, Sorry I forgot who brought this bottle. I was able to try this beer on a tasting organized by Fiona de Lange (the Dutch beer lady) at 'de Molen'.

A - An amber looking fluid with a slight beige lacing.

S - A bit woody and no hops in the smell.

T - Smells like a 'wine IPA'!!

M - A medium carbonation.

O - This is not my style.

Photo of vic21234
3.55/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Early 2010 release bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a nice dark and cloudy orange with only a bit of head. Lots of lacing along the side of the glass.

S- Not much in the smell. Smells slightly boozy with some hints of light fruits.

T- Starts off smooth with hints of cherries and similar fruits. Then comes a biting finish combined with booze and hops. Lots of piney resin notes in terms of the hops.

M- Light and very carbonated for an 11%ABV. The alcohol is apparent and the warming sensation from it is there.

I have quite the collection of Old Guardian vintages in my cellar and I enjoy them, but there are several better barley wines that I can think of.

Photo of Zimbo
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In the bottle this smells like an old tire yard in the mid day Summer sun but develops a nice complex perfume in the glass. Cooled and carefully poured, this had a cloudy deeply concentrated orange core with some unusual pockets of faded paleness towards the bottom of the glass. Thin head, almost off white with a fairly faintly light yellowish tinge. Very little carbonation, almost none at all. Fat silky body with a slight volatile fizzy end before leading a uniform and long but not overly challenging boozy bitterness. A pretty pumped up inflatedness which brings bigness at the expense of individuality and complexity.

Decent but a bit clumsy and not surprisingly unchallenging. A bit of a disappointment really. Maybe my expectations were too high but this certainly does not to be what I would expect from Stone.

Photo of RyanLigeia
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Love it. Looks like a glass of auburn/brownish/reddish muddy water. Surprising head for such high abv that dissipates to froth. Excellent lacing. It almost looks like the foam at the top of a mug of cocoa.

Smell- Oaky booziness. Sort of sweet.

Taste- Delicious. VERY boozy. Some may not care for that but I personally love that. Tastes like its been aged in oak barrels, not sure if it actually has though. Excellent winter beer, has a little spice to it as well. Not a ton, not like a winter warmer or anything but its got some strong flavors. Maybe a dash of nutmeg or ginger.

Mouthfeel- Incredible. Very full and smooth. Good carbination but not at all "bubbly" somehow.

Overall- Would DEFINITELY buy this one again. Could be priced way way higher and still be worth it. I highly reccomend it if you like strong beers in general.

Photo of ebrauser
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dull pale amber with lots of creamy tan foam on top. The speed at which the carbonation bubbles are passing through the beer does not reveal the syrupy thickness of this one.

Pineapple dominates the nose with touches of wood as well as other fruit sweetness. The flavor matches the smell perfectly, with lots of intensely sweet pineapple and light, maybe Galaxy, hops. Oak and molasses deaden the fruit sweetness before a very bitter finish drives home.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky honey orange with a 2 inch puffy orange-white head that settles to a thin cap. Chunky rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and lots of citrus zest hops. Taste is of malt, caramel, brown sugar, grapefruit, citrus zest, and an herbal and almost medicinal hop flavor. Very alcohol forward too even after 1.5 years or so of age on it. Mild hop bitterness after each sip that lingers on the palate. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barleywine but this one has a better smell than taste. The alcohol seems to be pretty potent in this year's vintage as well which takes a bit away from the enjoyability of this one.

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger head, off white/orange tinged, nice retention. Not much lace. Beer is murky amber in color.

S: some alcohol and red wine aromas with cherry and malt notes.

T: Wow this is a strong one. Once you get past the booze, it is sweet, mostly caramel malts, some dark fruits, Nice earthy and hop notes in the finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: This one got easier to drink as most do but the booze was too much overall. As far as the non-booze tastes, it is fairly good.

Photo of jdense
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Early 2010 vintage shared, poured into wine tumblers 10.13.11.

Nary any head, white, quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Nose features a bit of burnt sugar and noticeable alcohol aroma with citrus hops. Taste mirrors nose, caramel up front, decent hop punch but despite the year and a half aging still significant alcohol heat on back end. Mouthfeel is light for style, marginal effervescence, no stickiness. I'm guessing this wasn't the best of vintages, not a lot of depth in the taste department.

Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage poured into a Stone Old Guardian glass.

The beer pours a hazy tannish-brown color with a small white head. The aroma is a mix of caramel, brown sugar, pine and some orange. The beer smells very sweet and syrupy, with no detectable alcohol.

The flavor is heavy on the toffee with a nice amount of orange citrus and pine notes. There is also a lot of sweetness from the brown sugar. The orange notes really come through and increase as the beer warms. The alcohol is detectable but the beer is still easy to drink.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A classic American beer that never disappoints.

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: It pours with a beautiful golden caramel color with a head that last a couple minutes but leaves a great lacing.

S: Burnt, caramel, malts, ginger, apricot, toffee, bready malts

T: Burnt Citrus, piney hops, bready malt, toffee, and some caramel

M: It has a great carbonation that helps build the body of this beer. It has a full, rich, feel to it that also helps it glide over the palate.

O: I am impressed. Almost two years later it still has a great hoppiness, and yet a complex maltiness which has aged gracefully. With age it seems the hoppiness has only barely faded. This is probably one of the top Barleywines I have had to date.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled in August 2011

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a small, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy sheets of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled malty and sweet with caramel notes. There was a mild raisin aroma.

T - Lots of boozy alcohol notes up front. Very sweet caramel flavor with a spicy hop bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied barleywine with a warm alcohol heat.

O - This is good, but I've found older versions to be more smooth and balanced.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes taken 6/4/11

Appearance: Hazy orange brown/amber color with an off-white head and some lacing - the head is especially nice considering that this beer is about a year old

Smell: Cooked, caramelized malts - smells kind of sweet, but also smells really hoppy - citrus and pine - kind of spicy, unfortunately kind of has that "old hops" smell

Taste: Somewhat sweet, but mostly just a remarkable amount of balance - caramel malts, some dark fruits, sugar - on the earthy side, with some leafy hop flavors - really good, and it gets better and better as it warms

Mouthfeel: Medium body - not as heavy as I would have anticipated, maybe this is partially due to the great level of carbonation - this really works for me

Overall: Great, I need to get this yearly

This is a solid American Barleywine. I'm curious if the hops would have been over-the-top a year ago. It aged well, but it could definitely be better. Next I will review the 2011 BELGO...

Photo of jondeelee
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Guardian has all of the rich, malty aromas one would expect from a high-quality barleywine--deep brown sugars, caramel, vanilla, molasses, chocolate malts and hints of oak--and combines these with a medium-strength blast of hoppy goodness.

On the tongue, the brew provides an immediate sugary blast, but with far darker tones than the nose would imply. Here, the sugars tend more towards the blackness of molasses than the sweetness of sugarcane, and are tinged with chocolate malts, syrupy vanillas, dark chocolates, hints of tobacco, fig, and roasted nuts. A thick layer of hops and hoppy flavors counterbalances this darkness, bringing grapefruits as well as lychee nuts and light rosewater threads. The aftertaste is largely black sugars, and lingers. Mouthfeel is medium to medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is an excellent barleywine, and quite refreshing in its depth and complexity. One of the beer's only weaknesses is a strong alcohol tinge that runs throughout the mouthful, obviously the result of the massive ABV (11.3%). I've encountered few beers of this style that so revel in chocolate malts and roasted nuts, and find myself wishing that more did. Well worth trying.

Photo of beerandcycling88
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A pours a nice copper color with a thin head that dissipates quickly.

S lots of sugery fruit, with some port wine notes and a hint of caramel.

T lots of caramel malt and sugary sweetness. Along with some slight bitterness and floral notes from the hops and no heat from the alcohol.

M very thick and syrupy. Coats the mouth when you drink it. Follows up with a slight warming feeling.

Overall this is an incredible american barley wine. Espcially with a little age on it. It is amazingly balanced between hops and malt with no alcoholic heat. I wish I had a few more bottles of this one.

Photo of Blanco
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with tan head. head fizzes out rather quickly. smell is of caramel and a surprising amount of hop presence, though not nearly as much as a fresh bottle. taste is less caramel and bitter upfront. also getting some dark fruit notes. bit of an alcohol burn coming through as well. thicker mouthfeel. overall, decent, though not great American Barleywine. I have another bottle of this vintage that I will let sit for a while and revisit if necessary.

Photo of KomodoDragon
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a hazy copper with a one inch light tan head with terrific lacing.

S - The smell hints at what is in store. Floral wine, fruity, sugar.

T - Malty caramel sweetness. Alcohol warmth is balanced by the bitter taste of american hops.
This is one to sip (and enjoy)

M - In a word, chewy. I would add spicy and malty.

This is a barleywine that changes as you age it. Not quite sure how I'll come up with the patience to test that theory. Delicious!

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours murky deep orange, almost like a sunset in haze. The white head is rather thin and leaves only some lacings.

S: Molasses; sweet caramell malt. Some floral hops gives it a citric tone. Rather surprising since I've stored this bottle for quite some time. Dark dried fruits.

T: Sweet caramell malt. Still hoppy, both floral and bitter. Lots of dark dried fruits. Syrupy.

M: Full thick body, smooth. Carbonation is moderate. Aftertaste is sweet and stays for a little while, some faint bitterness as well. Warming and alcoholic.

O: Since I waited about a year to drink it, I can't say for sure what it was like when it was fresh, but the hops were surprisingly potent, still. A very nice American Barleywine. I kind of regret that I didn't buy more of it and stored a few bottles even longer...

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 331 ratings.