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

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 Alström Bros
Ratings: 334 | Reviews: 203
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

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 Kikkycat
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of techfed87
3.61/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of merryjoulton
3.62/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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...

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of dtivp
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of irishking1977
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Gushue3
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of buschbeer
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle
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.

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a small but fluffy biege head. The lace isn't bad, a few chunks hang onto the side.
Peaty malts and citrus dominate the smell. There is some background pine and caramel with only a hint of alcohol.
Malts and hops cascade into a pretty unique combo, which is both interesting and slightly off-putting. Lots of pine and citrus mix with caramel, pear, smoke, brown sugar... Very complex, might taste more put together with age. Thickness and warmth feels nice going down.
All together I have to say that, though I was appreciative of the complexities of this Barleywine, I wasn't truly sold. Might cellar one since they are changing it up in '11.

Photo of deadliest
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A foggy copper-amber pour with a nice 2 finger light khaki head leaving a map of lacing down the sides of my Duvel tulip. All Stone products look awesome.
S: Caramel malts, a surprising amount of citrus hops. Brown sugar.
T: Caramel, hops and alcohol battle it out. I'm sure there are other flavors in there somewhere but my palate too busy with these 3 to find out.
M: Full with light carbonation, syrupy more than creamy.
D: It tastes good enough to want to keep drinking, but its a bruiser for sure. Not sure I could handle much more than this bomber.

Wish I could spare the room in my tiny collection to age some.

Photo of bobhits
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Maybe stone does change this beer yearly.

Deep amber/red, in finger off white head, a LOT of bubbles, and some lacing.

Fruity, amber malt, finished with sweet citrus hops. Touch of alcohol to finish.

The first taste is honestly of a pale ale/amber, but then the rush of malt comes kicking down the door. Now 9 or so months old the hops are lacking more than expected. I didn't have the 2010 fresh but most years this beer packs a hell of a hop kick for a long time. They still bite at the end but the opening is a touch watery where there should be a powerful hop start.
3.5

One of the most drinkable barely wines I've had and for some reason I like that about this beer. It doesn't have that "sip me" feel so this all works. The 11+% is pretty subdued as well...I expected more given it's under a year old.
5

It's a bit thin and the carbonation works to emphasize that. I want a touch more body, this is medium heavy vs heavy and far form the syrupy body many barely wines take on.
3

The best "pizza" barely wine I've had in ages. I recall stone doing a better job in the past, but a fully worthy effort.

Photo of OnThenIn
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a yellow head a finger high and a dark ruby body with orange hues.

S: hops and caramel. Some dark fruit and light alcohol notes. Lots of molasses.

T: Citrus hops are in the forefront, closely followed by hop bitterness, malt sweetness, molasses, tiny bit of dark friuit, and a bit of alcohol. The alcohol is somewhat hidden in the initial taste, but moves on to really be felt as the beer is going down.

M: thick body and a tiny bit higher carbonation than I expected.

D: it is definitely a slow drinker, but it is by no means hard to drink, especially considering it's large size. This beer really could use the help of a bit of age.

Photo of RandyV
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark amber color on the pour with a nice two inch head that dissipates quickly with little lacing. The smell is of malt and distinctive Belgian yeast with some tropical fruit. The alcohol is upfront initially with a nice warming finish. The dry finish is a nice balance to the malt presence. I tread lightly when it comes to Belgian ales, but this is a nice job by Stone to bring the style to Cali with a nice offering.

Photo of Casey10
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow have had this in the cellar for a little while and decided to open it up. This is a very strong beer with lots of malt and a almost syrupy taste to it.

It has a golden hue about and the lacing on the glass is really nice.

This is a very strong brew if you don't take it easy with it.

It has a nice back raison taste as well.

well crafted will see what a couple of years on this might do to turn it down as it is hot.

A must try for the style though.

Photo of RaulMatisse
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up (2) bottles--one for the cellar and one for tonight. Poured slightly chilled into a Chimay goblet. Bottling date is unknown, but assumed to be recent due to "Early 2010 Release" on bottle.

A :: Pours a rich cognac color, with hints of ruby, copper, and tanned leather. A minimal head cascades to a thin collar with swirls of tiny bubbles forming a film across the surface of the brew. The transparency surprises me.

S :: Spiced apples, earthy hops, and oily citrus dance in an alcoholic dream. Deep, rich molasses lurks in the background with occasional herbaceous and medicinal notes. Surprisingly reminiscent of some overly-alcoholic Imperial IPAs, but the fact that this is a Barley Wine overrides any complaints.

T :: Sharp pine, searing alcohol, abundant malt...and I like it. Big, bright hops provide great balance to truckloads of boozy richness. Woody, citrus notes are a bonus, too.

M :: I am pleased with the healthy carbonation that counters the beer's richness. A smoldering burn from the 11.1% ABV and Stone-grade hop bill remind you that this is a brew to be reckoned with.

D :: This beer surprised me. From my limited experience in the Barley Wine genre, I was expecting raisins, syrup, and face-melting alcohol. Instead, I was greeted with subtlety, structure, and nuance. Well, and a solid dose of alcohol, too. But, after all, this is Stone, and the fact that they produced a product that is so distinctly their own is to be appreciated unto itself. I'm excited to see what a couple months of aging does to Old Guardian.

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Photo of beerdrifter
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at a great beer store, Tops Liquor, while at a conference in Phoenix. Clear copper pour with a big caramel colored head and nice lacing. Malty caramel, toffee and brown sugar in the nose with a bit of orange and hints of dark fruit. Nice spicy, bitter hop bite right off the bat. Sweet candy, dark fruit and some tangerine add to the balance. I'm also getting a touch of soap aftertaste. The alcolhol is pretty well hidden for a barleywine. Chewy mouthfeel is nice which adds to its drinkability, if there's such a thing as drinkability for a barleywine. One bomber is more than enough for me. A bit disappointing seeing that I'm such a huge Stone fan. But still a nice barleywine.

Photo of dionisio
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"This is gonna be hard to drink, isn't it?"
*takes a sip*
"Oh, no it's not." :)

On first sniff, I was a little overwhelmed. On first taste... mmm. Mouthfeel is a little bit sticky, though.

Good beer. Probably one of the better American barleywines I've had. But I can't say I recall what the other ones tasted like, as it's been awhile. This one tastes rather similar to a lot of APAs, as it has that typical super-hoppy taste.

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

Appearance - beautiful redish color with little tan head and not much lacing.

Aroma - sweet dark fruit, cherries, tart, some toastyness and and strong alcohol is present with some resinous like smells as well.

Taste - Woah! Ohhhh demon alcohol! This definitely needs to age to mellow out a little bit. Raisin, kind of vinous, dark fruit, can tell it's complex but alcohol is a little overwhelming - seems more apparent than in the Russian Imperial with the same alcohol content...hop resin comes through I think it's hopped generously for what it is. Caramel??

Overall it needs to be aged and should not be consumed this fresh in my opinion. Will buy another and open in a year +.

Photo of daledeee
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle while in Wisconsin.

Pours a dark walnut brown and off white head. Thin head stayed for a while.

Nose is not real strong but nice. Mild citrus and roasted malt with hints of caramel

Taste is IPA-like. Good dose of hops is predominant. Quite a bit of malt and a slightly sweet undertone. Finish is also pretty hoppy with lots of carbonation, mostly foamy feel in the mouth. Overall, except for the hops, taste is not over the top like other barley wine I have had.

Not hard to drink, alcohol is hidden. A pretty good barleywine.

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

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