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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

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

325 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 325
Reviews: 201
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 11
Gots: 86 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: northaustin on 02-13-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 325 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by bagpiper2005:
Photo of bagpiper2005
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Dark, hazy orange-amber color with streaks of red. Three fingers of light tan head that sticks around for awhile and leaves patches of lacing.

Smell: Hoppy aroma of grapefruit and pine needles up front. Hints of Scotch whiskey, caramel, and molasses. Some alcohol presence.

Taste: A hint of pine underneath a big sweet caramel and toffee taste kick things off here. A small hint of yeast and fruit come through in the middle. Finishes with bold pine and citrus hoppy goodness. Alcohol starts off somewhat noticeable but it fades as the beer nears room temp.

Mouthfeel: Thick and rich. Fairly high carbonation for the style. Smooth. Comforting.

Drinkability: Pretty much a wine substitute, as the style suggests. A nice sipping experience that will last all night. Very warming.

Final Notes: A real taste treat that will only get better with age. I plan to buy another bottle and cellar it for a couple of years. It's good now, but I bet it'll be great later. Drink this one nice and warm on a cold night.

bagpiper2005, Sep 11, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The OG came to the Traid early this year,thankfully.Poured into a imperial pint glass a full rich bronze with a tight two finger head that settled slowly leaving one big sheet of lace behind.Wow the resiny hop aromas seem to be amped up this year,they really stand out,some alcohol and caramel show thru as well.Its real big right now,probably to big,leather and alcohol hits ya up front,the hops are oily and resiny,the sweet alcohol burn really hits hard though.It needs to sit no doubt,this is massive and full of extreme hop goodness,Iam gonna come back to it in a few months.

oberon, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours golden-amber with a 2-finger beige head into a standard pint glass. The beer is see-through and seems to be running pretty low on carbonation. The lacing left behind is pretty sticky and thick.

S: First whiff is of piney and slightly citrus hops. This is overcome by a slightly honeydew melon, pear, and hop blend as the beer sits for a few minutes. The aroma is just a little thin and watery, but otherwise has a good balance between sweet malt and bitter hop smells. The more I bring this into my nostrils, it becomes very similar to a Pinot Grigio scent.

T: Bittering hops are ever-present throughout the sip and lend a nice balance to the abundant sweet malts. This is a pretty well balanced American Barleywine and might be the most hop forward of an A.B. that I've tried. It definitely does not tread into the syrup soup category that some others of the style do. A candied fruit flavor is a dominant taste on my palate, as well, with a creeping taste of alcohol as the beer warms a bit.

M: I am really enjoying the contrast between a creamy feel on the back and sides of my palate and the puckering hop collision with my tongue. It is a bruising hop oil presence, but I commend Stone for juicing this up so heavily with the humulus lupulus.

D: Good for the style. The malt/hop balance makes it more drinkable than other malt syrup bombs that I've encountered in other barleywines.

TCHopCraver, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of SIRIUS2
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a large bottle into a snifter style glass.

I'm barleywine fan and was happy to see my local store had this brew as I was unsuccessful in locating it last year.

It pours a golden amber hue, a bit lighter in color than I expected, but it looks very good. Mostly clear with a head of not quite 2 fingers - again, a bit surprised by this but still very nice. There was good lacing all the way down the glass.

Aromas were complex, but with more hops than anticipated. I should expect this from Stone - I love their hopped up brews and that's why I buy them so frequently. There is plenty of that typical barleywine related aroma: carmel, dark fruit, and some estery scents, but the additions that blended nicely included some pine and citrus. Very cool.

Flavors were a rush on the first long pull; a rather balanced blend of heavier caramel malts and dark fruit esters with some interesting grapefruit and pine characteristics. Everything works great together and it really comes together as one full-on flavor rush. It's a touch sweet, as you would expect, but the hops tend to mute that a bit. The finish is cleaner than many barleywines I've had, perhaps do to the hops and heavier carbonation, but it certainly lets it go down easier.

Great brew! Stone Brewing scores another win in my book. If you want to try a slightly new twist on the same old barleywine, check out Old Guardian.

SIRIUS2, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #38 (Mar 2010):

Lacing holds bigger bubbles, while the head does not feel like staying; at least the ring of lace drops a bit on the glass. Sunset amber color, bright and clear. Big mint, pine and grapefruit rind aromas meld with higher-alcohol tropical fruit and a faint caramel malti- ness. Raw honey and caramel are pulverized hard by a resin-filled jackhammer of hops; tobacco, pine sap, hemp seeds, grapefruit rind and fresh-cut grass. The alcohol pigpiles with a semi-hot mess of tropical fruit. Hint of toasted biscuity grain middle to end. Bitter finish lands semi-dry.

One of the most fierce beers out today, this is an angry beer ... a clear view of where the hops and alcohol are here. A slow sipper that should be shared. As for cellaring, to each their own, as the hops will lessen. So, if you don't like your palate to be totally shredded, then some cellaring might be a good idea.

BeerAdvocate, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't drank this one in awhile and decided to crack it pretty fresh. Pours into my glass a lovely deep ruby red with good clarity and a quarter inch of khaki foam on the top. Aromas start off with a dense mix of sweet caramel, molasses, brown sugar and a good dose of fruitiness as well. Hops kick in a resinous piney undertone with some earthy floral accents as well. Great depth in the aroma. A little lighter on the hops than previous years if I recall.

First sip brings sweet dense caramel malts upfront intertwining with an array of fruit, toffee and brown sugar. Piney, slightly floral hops kick in with some nice resinous accents and a solid bitterness that helps to counteract the malt sweetness. Alcohol is there on the finish to let you know it's not playing around.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a great viscosity and carbonation. Quite easy to drink given the fact that this packs quite an ABV punch. On the sweeter side but not overly so and the bitterness does a good job of working out some of the sweetness. Overall, a tasty barleywine and I'll look forward to seeing how it ages.

orbitalr0x, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber. Limited Early 2010 Release.
Amber color, tan head, a little bit of lace.
Aroma of caramel, sweetness, and flowers.
Big hops. Mostly grapefruit, a little bit of piney hops. Sweet caramel malt.
Pretty sharp and piquant.
Great beer to drink.
Definitely a sipper.

lordofthewiens, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am not always the biggest fan of Stone's brews but this one was really great.

The appearance of the beer was a beautiful copper that was clean and crisp to look through.

The smell was syrupy sweet with a pungent aroma of hops and alcohol.

A syrupy sweetness hits you in the front, and the taste of alcohol really lingers with this one. Really got to sip this one because those fresh west coast hops extenuates the alcohol even more

The beer has some good body to it , and ends with a crisp hoppy finish

The alcohol really brings down the drinkabilty I have had a lot of beers with higher ABV's that went down a lot easier than this one. If you are planning on sitting back and just enjoy one glass, it is perfect though.

3HovsepiansBrews, May 12, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Mora2000, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of jondeelee
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

jondeelee, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of whoneeds8
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

whoneeds8, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone has been good to the state of Ohio, it's a pretty good day when you can buy 22 ounces of Barleywine for 6.99. This one pours a deep ruby amber hue with a large off white khaki cream head forming thick with fine even lacing forming as the head dwindles. Big deep dark fruit notes soaked in alcohol, a nice raisin, plum, fig fruitiness going on with big rounded booziness. Pine and earthy grapefruit ridden hops blends in aggressively, definitely a welcomed aspect in a young American barleywine. Almost a cedar or charred oak with a bit of vanilla a very interesting humidor or oak barrel hints, although I know this one hasn't touched the wood. Perfect serving temp adds to the experience don't serve this one too cold. Big bold layered flavors, rough and aggressive hop bitterness that tends to soften with some age. Juicy citrus grapefuit rinds, with pine/earthy hop flavors colliding. Big caramel and dark fruit infused malt layers, toffee nearly burn flavors...booze blends with vanilla, charred oak and plum and fig brandy blends. Mouthfeel is full bodied carbonation is mellow and easy going, heavy abrasive waves of hop bitterness are left behind with each sip. Drinkability overall this one has huge potential with more aging much like most barleywines, a nice heavy brooding hoppy b-wine that will get better and better.

WVbeergeek, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of valkyre65
4/5  rDev -3.4%

valkyre65, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of cynical1027
4/5  rDev -3.4%

cynical1027, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of Loot
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- it pours a burnt orangey, golden yellow color, think unfiltered apple juice. Minimal head, and carbination, what i'd expect from the style.

S- the smell is really complex, but mellow from what i was expecting, think DIPA, but aged the hops have fallen out just a bit but matured, into spicy, herbal, earthy tones. It smells sweet, like fresh wort. a cereal sweetness that really comes through, the smell to me is almost malt forward. earthy, sweet, and spicy. like in other reviews, has that stone character. i don't know what it is. Great.

T- sweet, almost smokey flavor, spicy and earth malt character, the bitterness builds, and leaves resiny hoppy, tingly and coating your mouth. Finishes with alcohol vapors, but not too distracting, gets more noticiable as it warms. apricots and caramel.

M- thinner than expected, but sill admirable, coats the mouth with sweetness, and maltiness, finishing with a hoppy resin, not overly bitter.

D- pretty drinkable, from what i was expecting, over 11%, and not that filling, two pints for sure, but by then, might have to tap out...too much sweetness to have more...great journey while it lasted. alcohol, starts getting to you. great sipping beer.

*this was my first venture into barley wines and no doubts i will be back for more!

Loot, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of pumptrick
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this barley wine, this is the reason for my love of the style. Can never get enough. The taste is typical stone with the mighty hop presence that give way to delicious roasted barley then the alchohol burn. Pour this beauty straight into a snifter on release date or cellar it for years and watch how it changes. Hops fall out and the flavors just meld into pure enjoyment.

pumptrick, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of alamode
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

alamode, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Griffith, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of Mar02x
2.98/5  rDev -28%
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.

Mar02x, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of nkersten
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy reddish orange with a small off white head, small bubbles near the edges. Smell is very hop forward - spicy herbal and floral. Malt sweetness is there but not as in your face as most American Barleywines. Taste is spicy hops up front balanced by malt, but definitley heavy on the malt. Finish is an earthy hop profile. Mouthfeel is medium body and light carbonation, not as coating as most in the style. While it might not fall perfectly into style, i prefer my barleywines extra hoppy and when i saw this one was fresh i had to pick one up. For me, this is a great example of the style.

nkersten, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of aval89
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

consumed on 04-18-2010 12:55am

Poured into pint glass....copper/dark caramel color with a fluffy off white head that stuck around for a while.. settled in at a thin nice looking film..

when i first cracked it open it smelled of sweet dark cherrys. I got this again once it was poured into glass. very sweet boozy smell..piney/hoppy with a malt backbone.. a little caramel, grapefruit..wood, really a lot going on in the nose..

First sip was whoa!..as it enters my mouth I get sweetness right away. I keep sipping because I cant really get any other flavors except for the aftertaste. so I let it warm up a bit by letting it sit.. minutes later I retaste and get sharp grapefruit...also that taste you get when you bite into the skin of an orange, very strong hop presence but yet still get that dark cherry sweetness, almost medicinal...aftertaste is a burn, hoppy tone with wood (cedar? oak?)

mouthfeel is thick and very warm...def a slow sipper..
you also get a burning down your chest after every sip..

my first barley wine, didnt expect that much hop presence...thought these were hop bombs..def gonna give big foot a try...

overall not bad, i'd try this again..

cheers!

aval89, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -3.4%

jh1982, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of augustgarage
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. Long-winded blurbs excerpted from a journal entry written during a trip to India on the back - seemingly little to no connection to the contents within.

Glassy raspberry and alizarin body with a large array of tiny bubbles rushing to the surface. Heavy isabelline head recedes to a large collar and a thin peninsula leading to a quarter sized hill of bubbles in the center of the glass. A swirl reactivates the crown while leaving a stippling of lace around the sides. Viscous legs drag down the sandy lacing when you take a sip.

Punishing malt aromatics with an unconcealed dose of alcohol. Stewed nectarines, leather, lanolin, dark cherry, and maple syrup with a hint of blueberries. Hops are grassy and earthy, but can't cut through the rest of the aromatics.

Malt base delivers a tsunami of carmel-dipped bread, which becomes crustier as it approaches the finish. The hops assert themselves mid-palate, with a biting pine bitterness and a touch of grapefruit. The finish shovels on licorice, more earth, and a hint of pepper. Low dried fruit notes throughout as well. Actually has much in common with Arrogant Bastard, though this dials up the malt and alcohol quite a bit.

Medium, almost medium-heavy bodied, with good carbonation. A bit slick, and a little hot.

Distinctively Stone - and a pretty good example of the style. Curious to try an older vintage.

augustgarage, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of Beezee
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Beezee, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of brewerburgundy
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, snifter.

Hazed apricot colored beer, with wisps of tannish, but typical off-white head. Maybe this is a case of abv affecting head seriously.

Dried apricot, yellow raisin, apricot hop, huge caramel, and a little diacetyl and alcohol.

Dried apricot again, white pepper, apple, butterscotch, caramel, and all quite sweet. The hop bitterness is pretty miniscule, but the alcohol bitterness makes up for it. Alcohol also contributes a little to the tropical, dried fruit aspects. This is already a pretty cohesive beer built around alcohol, light dried fruit, and a steady does of caramel.

This is quite flat, which reveals a thinner than expected body. I'm not impressed, but the flavor hides this weakness until the end of the glass.

The alcohol is there but it's very well worked into the rest of the beer. It's going down smooth.

brewerburgundy, Dec 07, 2010
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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.