1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
93
outstanding

326 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 326
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | 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: 326 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of merryjoulton
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
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...

merryjoulton, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of Gushue3
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Gushue3, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of irishking1977
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

irishking1977, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of buschbeer
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

buschbeer, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

olradetbalder, Friday at 07:19 AM
Photo of joewsorenson
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

joewsorenson, May 13, 2012
Photo of Lantern
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Lantern, May 08, 2012
Photo of alex021224
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

alex021224, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

GClarkage, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of thewimperoo
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

thewimperoo, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Jmick28
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Jmick28, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of baybassboy
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

baybassboy, May 14, 2013
Photo of originsbrewery
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

originsbrewery, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of akang
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

akang, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of afsdan
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

afsdan, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of 2beerdogs
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

2beerdogs, Apr 19, 2013
Photo of Smarty_Pints
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Smarty_Pints, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of deadliest
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

deadliest, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of OnThenIn
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

OnThenIn, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of bobhits
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

bobhits, Sep 30, 2010
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 Casey10
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Casey10, Feb 14, 2011
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
Photo of RandyV
3.85/5  rDev -7%
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.

RandyV, Apr 09, 2011
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.