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

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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

334 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 334
Reviews: 203
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 11
Gots: 86 | FT: 5
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: 334 | Reviews: 203
Photo of NahpunGnome
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Early 2010 Release bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

A - Light brown/copper with no head.

S - I get peaches, dried apricots, and prunes.

T - Prunes, some citrus, and hops. It's pretty sweet and the hop bitterness balances the sweet pretty well. Not much alcohol taste at all.

M - It's a bit thick, which I would expect given that the alcohol is so well hidden and it's a bit sweet.

D - Sipped or gulped, it's pretty easy to drink. With that said, I doubt I can gulp this one down for long only because it is a little thick.

Summary - This is my first barleywine style beer and I'm glad I chose a Stone product. I've yet to be disappointed by any of their beers. I didn't feel the 11.1% abv while drinking it, but it definitely creeps in and you feel the warmth in your gut. Old Guardian is able to balance the sweetness and the hop bitterness VERY well. Great job!

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

On-tap 6/19/10 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large light tan head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, brown sugar, dark fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruits. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in along with a significant alcohol sting. The malt character is hearty and creates a good balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easy, slightly filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, with each year's release this beer continues to be a very good high-octane beer to drink for as long as you handle it.

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

Bold, foggy casted copper toned body with a flint of dark gold at the bottom. Small, but dense capping of dark ivory foam sits atop and holds itself well until leaving a thick collar. Big gobby inky stringed lacing droops across my tall Stone goblet.

Aroma is wonderfully full of pine soaked citrusy stuff. The 11% is well displayed within its nose. Pineapple schnapps, melon spiked punch, rummy bright plum, some white grape wine, burntish orange zest, caramel, and deep earthy pine. A damn solid Stone nose!

Taste is smooth and warm with a soft comfortable caramel tone spiked with burntish, lightly toasted and biscuity orangified pine and an alluringly liquesent core of melding dark, dull, citrusy goo. The caramel core encircles a bunch of darker citrus tones underneath with plum, golden raisin, melon, and some over ripe peachy fuzz. Finishing tenderly raw and hoppy with a bite of orangey, toasted, piney bitterness that screams the Stone speak. Has a very nice malt complexity with that inspiring Stone attitude of hops thrown in.

Smooth, warm, medium body. Slight texture of citrusy skin fuzz and peel zest tied together into the carbonation. Ending dark, bold, yet evenly bittered with piney orange(the fruit, not the color) oilyness.

Whoofda! What an easy goin', 11%, drinkin' Barleywine. Once this warmed, it was slurpingly delish and nearly effortless to down. Not surprising really. So watch out, cuz it'll knock you out. Ahhh, alas, Stone does make alot of my favorite beers and Old Guardian is always at the top for Barleywines.

Photo of hophead1901
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Absolutely delicious. Its massive amount of hops countered by tons of malt and a very high alcohol content leave this strong ale with a wonderfully slight sweetness. This beer is ideal for aging as well. I recently had the 2008 Old Guardian and it was even better. It's really heavy though and I could only drink about two bombers in a night.

Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a pint bottle to an imperial pint glass. Had a reddish/gold color and a slightly hazy texture. There was a quarter inch of foamy head and very good lacing.

S: Surprisingly underplayed aroma of hops, caramel, and a bit of malt.

T: Tasted of pine hops, caramel, and a bit of hops in the finish. Gets better as it goes along. Very bitter, but definitely flavorful.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a slightly slick finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

D: An extremely drinkable, if potent, barleywine.

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

I love me some Old Guardian. This is a fave of mine for a long time.

A- Nice dark copper color, the head was thick and full when the beer was poured. After a spell it has simmered down to a thin layer over the beer itself. not much in terms of lacing.

S- Very fragrant, with a nice caramel smell with some definite boozyness. A fruityness that comes from the hops which are strong but not overpowering. I'm getting some bubblegum and other flavors I'm just not putting my finger on.

T- Caramel is good and strong, some great sweetness and the hops taste are fruity and cut the thicker malt presence. This one is tasty right now, almost seems like it has been sitting around for a good few months as it is. I bet this years batch will be a great candidate to age. Glad I have a few more for this.

M- Thicker body, but the hops and the carbination do help this one in the mouth.

D- Easy to drink, but best to just sip and enjoy.

Photo of northaustin
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a very clear red/maroon with a finger and a half of very even white head which has long retention and leaves a solid strong lacing.

smell is upfront with fresh hops of the citrus and pine variety backed by an earthy note of malts and hops. alot of alchohol heat as well.

taste is suprisingly mellow after the smell. everything balances nicely in the beginning and leaves with a huge bang of hops and syrupy sweetness. not so much alchohol in the taste, but it is still noticeable.

mouthfeel: lightly carbonated, but sorta foams up in the mouth helping it go down smoother. im left with a nice mixture of a oilyness and flavor.

drinkability: lets just say im glad this one is back. it was the first beer i have bought an entire case of at once. i cant wait to try this one with some age. very sessionable for the big beer drinker.

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 Bfarr
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear red amber with full tan head. Aromas of floral, tea and barley aroma with a little alcohol note. A whole range of flavors from tea and brown sugar to sweet barley, hazlenuts and chocolate. A nice scotch-like finish with a good mouth coating that doesn't build up the more you drink.

Stone is able to make their barleywine smooth and drinkable but still have the bite and feel of a good barleywine. The flavors blend together so well and leave with just a hint of alcohol which is quite good considering the ABV. A very fine sipping beer.

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep red in color, fantastic head and thick lace left in the glass.

S - Smells of sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, and hops.

T - Sweet caramel, toffee, brown sugar, sweet dried fruit, hops and alcohol, all blended together perfectly in sweet harmony!

M - Syrupy, coats the mouth with malty goodness, medium carbonation and sticky.

D - Love this beer and look forward to trying it every year! Enjoy!

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in an Ommegang Tumbler
22oz Stone Old Guardian Bomber

A: Pours a beautiful cloudy reddish amber color with very little head

S: Honestly one of the most distinct smelling brews ive ever come across. Has heavy alcohol scent but also a deep woody smell that is also very sweet

T: Deep flavors of woody with a very strong alcohol presence but also has a very sweet wine like finish that stays right on the taste buds

M: Immediately burns the tongue on contacts, really awakens the mouth all around. Flavors linger on the back of the tongue

D: Really a great taste that has intense depth but is surprisingly not too heavy, definitely cant be drank too fast but if taken slowly it gets better as it warms up (i drank mine outta the fridge) and is actually a really enjoy able brew

Photo of birchstick
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a very dark burn orangish red, similar to the color of the leaves on the trees right now

S - loads of citrus hops that are balance by caramel malt. If I didn't know what this was, I would have through it was a DIPA

T - a barrage of citrus and grapefruit hops greeted me at first, but these were pushed aside by the Barleywine flavors I am accustomed to tasting - sticky, sweet, caramel malt, brown sugar, and some dark fruits. This is packed with a lot of flavor.

M - creamy, full, and smooth. Nice!

D - Solid barleywine here. You can definitely pick up the California influence with the huge amount of hops, but once your palette adjusts a little this starts to really shine. Awesome barleywine by Stone.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to Greg Koch/Stone for bringing these with him and visiting us at the Schlafly Tap Room...

pour was bright orange with hints of straw yellow. light fluffy head, nice lacing.

tons of hops, lots of pine, pine resin, light grapefruit. faint hints of malt.

flavor was similar, huge hops. lots of pine bitterness, pine resin, tart grapefruit, and beneath are heavy malts. light toffee and caramel hidden through out. being that this was fresh, the hops were quite dominant. no hints of booze.

fairly thick and chewy but also light and easy. this was one of the easier barleywines i have had. carbonation was light, and no alcohol burn for a 11%.

i FINALLY got to try this and I am pleased I did. this was one easy drinking barleywine that was not a malt bomb or overly heavy.

Photo of azdback
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful burnt orange. Head maybe a finger and a half, but after warmed the second half of the bottle had a much larger head but the same great lace retention.
Smell was earthy, with citrus and boozyness.
Outstanding!!!! Hops bitterness with caramel sweetness
Mouthfeel was great. Full bodied and even though I let this warm a bit is stayed carbonated and full.
Drinkability!?!?!? This brew is over 11% abv but without even trying I finished it in less than an hour. Very drunkable!!!
Did I say that out loud?

Photo of Lerxst
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours an orange/amber with a nice sized white head that has good retention and leaves some nice lace.

S-Rich malts greet me first, then some citrus and a bit of pine and a bit of booze. Very prominent and pleasant nose.

T-Nice balance with bready malts and citrus & pine hop notes, a bit of dark fruit, and a hint of booze which is not at all unpleasant.

M-Full bodied, slightly creamy, moderate carb level.

D-A bomber is thoroughly enjoyable but as I drank I didn't think I would be wanting more when it was empty. but I wouldn't have minded a bit more.

One of the best American Barleywines IMO.

Photo of Foxtrot
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've held off on reviewing this one, letting the bomber gain a little age on it. Paired it with some Stilton.

Pours a decadent ruby/orange body with an abundance of foam, tight bubbles slowly recedes into a beautiful lacing that is none other than world class.

Aroma is of sticky pine resin, a dash of floral hops to round it out. Its not the hops that stand out, but the sweet barley malts that really take the cake here. Perhaps even some orange peel or tangerine on the back end.

Stone continues to impress me time and time again. Slight bitterness and carbonation hit the front and sides of the tongue, floral hops take center stage mid palate with a dazzling array of pine, bitterness, and all things hops. Then to round all things off is the impressive malt balance. Modest sweetness to balance out the hop bitterness, and adds a big sticky feeling on the teeth and tongue. Finish was also exceptionally smooth but with linger aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick, of course. Anything less would be unworthy. Thick and viscous to a high degree, not IRS thick but just a tad under.

Drinkability is good, other than the liver loving 11.1% ABV, it is a pleasure to enjoy during the cooler season. Heck it even does well in warmer weather as well

Photo of crossovert
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Early 2010 release. 650ml bottle.

It pours a murky, dark orangeish-red with a thick, foamy off-white leaves that leaves ornate, speckled, camouflage-like lacing.

The smell is big and sweet with some interesting hop and yeast notes. It has rip banana, raisin, and citrus fruit notes. There is plenty of caramel in there as well.

The flavor is big and sweet, super sweet. It has a nice hoppy bitterness though. The hops have a herbal, piney, earthy note that blends nice with the thick caramel sweetness. It isn't overly alcohol but certainly the alcohol is not fully cloaked.

The hop bill in this one is intriguing, it comes off as one of the ore bitter barleywines and I like that.

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 ocelot2500
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head that leaves enough lacing on the glass.

Smells of pine hops with some caramel sweetness.

Tastes of a big caramel malt flavor up front followed by that west coast hop flavors of pine and citrus. Some fruit makes an appearance to add depth to the sweetness. Alcohol is very well hidden. Compared to the 2009, I would say it is more balanced and less raw. My complaint about 2009 was that there was too much alcohol character, but that has been resolved and this is more to my liking.

Mouthfeel is on the full side of medium with a good creamy amount of carbonation.

Photo of Tdizzle
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on February 9th, 2010. 11.1% ABV.

A- Poured into a Bruery tulip, Old Guardian pours a clear orangish-amber color with a sticky head of tan-colored foam that settles to a fine cap over the beer. Not a lot of lacing remains on the glass, but a silky layer is encased by a thick ring that sticks around for an hour or two.

S- Candied fruits, hoppy and floral notes of citrus fruit and herbal pine, and sticky malt sweetness are kicked up by a strong alcohol presence that actually adds to the character of the aroma -- there's no burn to the smell.

T- The big malt body and its dripping, fruity sweetness hits the palate first, but it's quickly brushed aside by a moderate hop bitterness that lasts through the lightly dry and warming finish. The booze lends a good amount of brashness to the end flavor, but it's not cloying.

M- The feel is surprisingly on the medium side of full-bodied with low carbonation. Rather than being a detriment, the lighter-than-expected texture adds to the drinkability.

D- This year's edition is my favorite thus far. This is probably Stone's biggest beer, but it just works for me.

Photo of womencantsail
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap on Stone

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a fluffy cream colored head.

S: The nose is full of bitter, piney, and grapefruit hops. There's plenty of sweet caramel and brown sugar behind that.

T: The flavor features more of the traditional barleywine qualities. The caramel, toffee, and brown sugar provide the usual sweetness and they are balanced nicely by the bitter hoppiness.

M: The body is quite full with a fairly abundant carbonation, eliminating the potential syrupy feel of many big beers.

D: This is quite drinkable, even for its young age. I enjoy the bitterness that Old Guardian has when it's fresh, but look forward to aging a few of these.

Photo of rootbeerman
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrived in a tulip. With a half finger of tan head. Body is medium brown. Smell is very sweet malt a light fruitiness along with toasted nuts and burnt sugar. Taste backs up the aroma, with the sweet barley malt, toasted nuts and a hint of alcohol. This sticks and lingers in the mouth and is a bit syrupy with low carbonation. This is more a sipping brew.

Photo of homebrew311
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear deep red with a foamy 1 finger head, sticky lacing, good retention

S: huge sweet malts with notes of caramel, pine, molasses, and bread followed by a very earthy hop character. Very in your face and aromatic. Lots of alcohol on the end.

T: the malts are spicy, a bit of sweetness which is nicely balanced by earthy hops, every things seems to be in sync, nice long finish with notes of caramel

MF: thick body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky

D: this is a well put together barley wine, huge maltiness with a nice earthy and spicy hop profile, the alcohol is well hidden and overall everything is balanced

Photo of BretSikkink
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another winner for Old Guardian. Great copper-brown look with a nice tanned head served about an inch high. Great stick and legs. The nose is strong, even through the foam. Caramelly sweet malt with a ton of citric hops backed up by a wall of alcohol. No surprises, and no punches pulled.

The flavor is in your face, with a huge amount of hops doing battle with fiercely sticky malts. Sweet, with notes of caramel, toffee, slightly roasted barley, toast, and bubblegum. The hops are fruity, especially grapefruit pith, with a hint of pine. Will age like a champion, no doubt. Firm, thick mouthfeel that plays nicely with the high hopping and spot-on carbonation. Superb.

Photo of bagpiper2005
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 334 ratings.