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

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

327 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 327
Reviews: 201
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
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:
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: 327 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of speak72
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ryko
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of arboristfish
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a deep red amber, almost like a blood like color. The smell was of caramel malts, and citrus hops. The flavor was strong with caramel malt, with a balance of citrus hops. There was a lot of alcohol there but it wasnt out of place, it was balanced well in the beer. The mouthfeel was medium, and the carbonation was right on. Overall I would say a sipping beer, but even though its sipping it is very drinkable.

Photo of magine
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic glass.

Pours a cloudy dark tea like colored amber, with an off white pillow like fluffy head. Head retention is excellent and the lacing is excellent. Head stays thick and fluffy throughout; rings the glass beautifully.

Brew smells of big sweet barley malts, and multiple hops and yeast. Huge barley malt nose, with an excellent hop presence in there as well; floral, citrus. Very tasty smell.

Brew is very smooth, creamy and velvety, has a massive barley malt flavor. Has the hops in the aftertaste. Slightly sweet, finishes slightly dry and a little bitter. A huge flavorful brew. Brew has multiple hop flavors, fruits, floral and then the yeast and barley. Mmmmm...Tremendous stuff.

Wow - this is top shelf stuff; big, bold and flavorful. As me and my real "bro" would say this is a brew that hits you in the jaw and makes you notice. At 11% alcohol, sip and enjoy. A very easy drinking excellent looking brew. Only a slight presence of alcohol is detected. Stone is world class.

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.

Photo of ajbick
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with white fluffy head.

Smells of citrus and earthy hops. Slight malt aroma.

Taste has a nice balance of malt and hoppiness. Malt up front with bitter hop finish.

Good mouthfeel. Carbonated, but not too much.

Drinkability is great. Very easy to drink. Big beer, but not too heavy.

Overall, a great beer. Great hop and malt balance. Somewhat deceptive in the alcohol content - doesn't seem like a 11% abv beer.

I highly recommend this beer.

Photo of rarbring
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is clouded, orange with ruby hints, the head is light tan, rather small, recedes fairly quick, leaves a little lacing, has good curtains.

The smell is full of ripe fruit, peaches, apples, earthy aromas, old closet, hay, some ripe cheese.

Very much taste in this one, brown sugar, loaf of bread, fruits, peaches, apricots, pears, rhubarbs, grape-fruit zest.

Low carbonation, a complex body, smooth and pleasant feeling.

A really good session beer, as most american barley wines rather hoppy, but that's nice.

Photo of hophead1901
4.47/5  rDev +8%
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 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.

Photo of Snow81
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light orange haze

Head: Small head that dissipates quickly

Smell: Nice caramel malts with a great citric on the nose

Taste: Sweet dark citric with healthy malt sweetness

Weight: Medium body with low to medium carbonation

Finish: Rich full sweet hops with malts on the back end and subtle heat

Photo of NahpunGnome
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
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 +7.5%
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 +7.5%
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 Norfawkers
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recommend drinking this one when it's fresh if you're into that big hoppy flavor. Overall, this is a highly drinkable barley wine and another excellent Stone issue.

Appearance: Cloudy amber with little head

Smell: Floral and hoppy, sweetness, rich

Taste: Hops up front with a strong malt back; spices

Mouthfeel: Bitterness throughout with slight CO2

Drinkability: Definately a sipping beer with its complexity and fullness. Let it warm up if stored in the fridge to bring out more flavor.

Photo of northaustin
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
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 avalon07
4.43/5  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 Bfarr
4.43/5  rDev +7%
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 BigPlay1824
4.43/5  rDev +7%
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 Wetpaperbag
4.43/5  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 birchstick
4.43/5  rDev +7%
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 beerandcycling88
4.43/5  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 hooliganlife
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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 crossovert
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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 StoneBrewFanatic
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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 azdback
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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?

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 327 ratings.