Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
3.5/5 rDev -15.5%
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.
10-14-2011 14:23:49 | More by jdense
3.53/5 rDev -14.7%
appearance: Reddish-caramel with a pretty substantial off white head.
smell: i drank one a year ago and put this one back. Smells promising. Actually some malt in there. Last year i thought i had a DIPA.
taste: Yikes, the hops just slapped the barleywine out of my mouth. Thought a year might tame it. Even for a DIPA, this would be unbalanced for my taste. Fully understand these hop monsters are just what the Doc ordered for some (many from the reviews). Either my palate is not refined enough or Stone just ain't for me.
And yea, it fits the style of American Barleywine. It is indeed "insanely hopped". Am not getting the complexity though, just the "insanely hopped". Still i do love beer and don't get me wrong...still a fine experience
02-13-2011 21:00:13 | More by cindyjeffsmith
3.55/5 rDev -14.3%
22oz. bomber served into a snifter
Pours a sort of cloudy, muddy-water-looking shade of orange-brown that gets more yellow towards the top of the body. Less than a finger of whitish head that leaves some sparse, dotted-line lacing. Pretty basic looking stuff. The relative lightness of color is the most intriguing aspect to Old Guardian's appearance.
This beer has plenty of assertive aromas vying for attention. There is an abundance of deep malt smells, of course. Caramel, french bread, cinnamon rolls w/o the icing. Then there are the hops. Lots of hops. Floral honeysuckle sweetness along with a tiny flutter of mint. A massive crest of fresh-squeezed orange tries to dominate the nose. Seriously, there is a lot of bright orange flesh aroma to this beer. The herbal/mint quality makes for an enticing combination with the orange hop aromas. It gets to be like a cough drop after a while though. Feel free to interpret that as a positive or a negative, depending on how much you like cough drops.
This might be too young? I don't know. This bottle is one of the more perplexing beers I've had in a long time. Lots of hop resin leave a bitter orange flavor in the start and finish of the drink. Sweet, deep malts bloom in the middle. The aftertaste is equal parts sugary and ashy. Does this ever come together to form a congruent whole? Not for me it doesn't. This is a challenging beer.
This is among the thicker barleywines I've come across in terms of mouthfeel. Its viscosity and sticky nature compliment the orange, resiny flavors. As far as drinkability goes, well, this seems about average for the style. You can feel that 12% ABV and you can feel the heavy flavors accrue on your palate.
Strange barleywine. Too incongruous for me to fall in love with. If I had another bottle I would let it sit in the cellar for a while, hoping that the flavors cohere with age.
08-16-2010 04:19:30 | More by Reaper16
3.55/5 rDev -14.3%
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.
02-07-2012 03:44:42 | More by vic21234
3.58/5 rDev -13.5%
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.
01-11-2011 02:09:47 | More by BeerAdvocate
3.58/5 rDev -13.5%
A: Poured gently into chalice. Color is hazy reddish brown. Half finger of big-bubbled head that evaporated within a couple of minutes and left a ring. Traces of lacing remain on the glass.
S: Smells like drunk raisins and bread.
T: The first flavor to show up in my mouth is the bitter taste of hops. They landed at the very back of my throat as soon as the liquid entered my mouth. Then the raisiny sweetness passes by and the hops re-appear in the finish. I'm not surprised, since it is a Stone product, but it's a bit different from most barleywines I've enjoyed.
M: It's got the expected barleywine richness, but leads itself to slightly on the syrupy side of thickness.
D: I would drink it again, but not in one sitting. This might have been better saved for a more wintery evening than tonight is.
10-01-2010 21:01:32 | More by Kikkycat
United Kingdom (Scotland)
3.58/5 rDev -13.5%
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.
01-25-2012 20:47:40 | More by Zimbo
3.58/5 rDev -13.5%
Amber colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is caramel and dark fruits.Taste is pine,sugar cane,alcohol,dark fruits and caramel malts.Heavy bitter aftertaste.Overall a decent beer that isn't hopped to death like some of their other beers.I enjoyed it and would recommend and purchase again.
07-19-2010 13:07:35 | More by matty
3.63/5 rDev -12.3%
Picked this bottle up at Capone's. Poured into a Bruery tulip. Split with Amyliz4 and her dad after some Thanksgiving leftovers.
The color is a bright peach with a single-finger white head that doesn't stick around too long but leaves a bit of ringy lacing and some extra bubbles around the edges of the glass. The nose is caramel, cherry, sweet malt, honey, and some alcohol. The hops aren't there like I remember in earlier vintages of this brew. There is some slight citrus, I suppose.
The flavor brings some nice sweetness and adds in quite a bit of booze compared with the nose. There is some slight cherry and a bit of toffee. The booze is quite prevalent and heavy at this point. Medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Drinks fairly well but is a bit boozy at this point and I'd like to sit on a bottle for at least another year.
11-28-2010 02:03:20 | More by Thorpe429
3.63/5 rDev -12.3%
Poured a hazy reddish brown with a very nice one finger off white head with good retention, moderate lacing on the glass.
Aroma of malt, citrus and some pine.
The hop bitterness hits your taste buds hard at first then the malt smooths the taste. There is also hints of grapefruit and caramel.
Mouthfeel is a smooth medium to full body with moderate carbonation. It is very surprising that this is a 11.1 % ABV beer, the alcohol is very well masked.
This is a nice barley wine beer, it may even get better with a little age.
12-27-2010 16:42:46 | More by dtivp
3.65/5 rDev -11.8%
Pours a nice full, rosy head. Beer itself is a clear amber.
Smell has a certain hoppy citrus feel to it. Although somewhat muted, it does have a hop presence that breaks through.
First sip is a quick snap of sweetness mixed in with a very sharp hop bitterness, brought together with a nice malt body. The flavor is nice because, although very up and in your face at the beginning, the after-taste mellows out to leave a crisp hop finish.
As barleywines go, this tends towards the more hop-filled, yet at the same time leaving in enough sweetness to keep it from becoming too overly bitter.
A good beer, but not my favorite in the genre.
03-01-2010 01:58:34 | More by techfed87
3.65/5 rDev -11.8%
I had this last year and thought it was a great beer. Unsurprisingly, they upped the ante and made an even better brew with the 2010 vintage. I have had at least 5 bottles of this, and it is consistently good. The hop aroma is top notch with pines, needles, sticky icky grapefruits, and a coying and large malt. Taste is mostly bitters, but the abv shines through and makes it taste very high class. I expect 2011 to be even better, but I wonder how they will pull it off...
12-22-2010 07:56:39 | More by merryjoulton
3.7/5 rDev -10.6%
I'm pretty new to barleywines so i dont have too much to compare to but here it is.
A- pours deep amber/red/orange. gigantic head that leaves good amount of lacing.
S- strong on the sweetness with a rush of hops and fruit toward the middle and end. medium booze taste at the end. pretty tasty
T- very sweet upfront that turns bitter in the middle that ends with a bitter lingering.
M- small carbonation bubbles feel nice, sweetness/bitterness make me pucker a tiny bit. medium/heavy feel on the tongue.
D- definately drinkable, flavors are good, decent mouthfeel.
03-14-2011 23:51:44 | More by Gushue3
3.7/5 rDev -10.6%
I haven't had a brew by Stone that I haven't at least appreciated. Their pale ale and basic IPA were dull in comparison to Arrogant Bastard (including the oaked version) and Ruination IPA. Both of those brews changed my opinion of craft brews and especially highly hopped beers. That being said, this is a barleywine, a style I am not a huge fan of, but still appreciate the subtle nuances of the style.
A: Translucent amber hue with virtually no head and some minimal lacing. Looks like your typical barley wine.
S: Hops, pine, and some mild fruit hit the nose. I can definitely tell this is a Stone concoction simply because of how prominent the hops are in this brew. That's certainly not a bad thing by any means.
T: Mildly sweet and quite hoppy, which of course, isn't a surprise considering the brewer. Well balanced, but hops still peek out more so than any other nuance. Considering this a really hoppy barleywine, it still finishes crisp and smooth with no unusual or overly bitter ending.
M: My 3.0 rating on this one is indicative of the style, not necessarily this actual beer itself. I personally prefer higher carbonation level in most of my beers, but do note that this one is totally true to style. That being said, this one has some mild carbonation, and oiliness due to hops and and moderate mouthfeel. First few sips almost felt slightly watered down, but after several more, I realize that is not correct. This is a moderately full brew in comparison to other barleywines I've had.
D: As always, Stone's brews always hide their ABV very well, but of course any brew pushing over 11% is going to catch up at some point, I don't care if you have alcohol running through your veins instead of blood; this one will still overwhelm you after a few. Still, one of the better barleywines I have had, and reasonably drinkable. Not a session, but a good sipper and probably a great night cap.
02-20-2010 00:51:48 | More by irishking1977
3.73/5 rDev -9.9%
Served in a snifter
A - It is dark amber to almost copper in color. I got about an inch of tan head.
S - I get a sweet malty molasses aroma.
T - The taste is malty and sweet. It finishes with an unpleasant bitterness.
M - Medium mouthfeel and oily slick
O - I don't like the hop profile in this one. I love the mouthfeel and the ABV.
04-17-2011 18:37:29 | More by buschbeer
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.