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

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
92
outstanding

317 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 317
Reviews: 202
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%


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
Ratings: 317 | Reviews: 202 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bierguru
bierguru

Florida

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -
cloudy copper brown thick tan head which is fairly foamy

S -
sweet grapefruit hops and pine

T -
grapefruit bold hop taste on the backend very mild alcohol taste there is also some dark fruit characters as well as some roasted notes
grapefruit taste fasdes as beer warms

M -
thick and froathy smooth slight tingling from the hops

D -
pretty hopy for probably for the average person however i really enjoyed it and would for sure get it again

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2010 02:22:48 | More by bierguru
Photo of ykncornelius
ykncornelius

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Even with almost a year of aging behind it, this thing is really really big, with a ton of bitter bite and alcohol heat showing through. It's still fantastic right now.

Poured a clear garnet red in the glass, which just glowed with some backlighting. Really good-looking. Thick just-off-white two-finger head left fantastic lacing for such a potent potable. It's like a stained glass window of booze.

The aroma isn't terribly complex, but it smells sweet and warm and inviting.

There isn't a ton of sweetness with each sip, but there is warmth and fantastic hop flavor and some lingering aftertastes of smoke and roasted malt. Basically, this thing is just aching to be aged for a few more years before seriously delivering.

Excellent mouthfeel...savory and sweet, with strong enough carbonation that it's still going strong at the end of the glass.

The drinkability suffers a little because it's so strong, and it's obvious with each sip. I love beers like this, but many would prefer that kick be hidden a bit better. It flows down the hatch like water for me; a definite sipper to be enjoyed.

Need to get my hands on more barleywines...

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2010 02:59:14 | More by ykncornelius
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy glowing burnt orange color. A bubbly off-white head melts into wispy islands.

S - Rich caramelized brown sugar, fresh cut pine wood, grapefruit, pineapple, cinnamon, strawberries. Notes of oak comes out as it warms.

T - Warm and spicy up front before blankets of malt brings in sweet toasted toffee, and rich caramel. The grapefruit rind hops start invading the castle and turn from citrus to pine resin on the finish diminishing any and all sweetness from the malt. The aftertaste is dry with flavors of malt, herbs, and bittering hops.

M - Full bodied with high carbonation.

I had high hopes for this beer and it didn't let me down. The nose is heavenly. The different stages of this beer from start to finish is like a Willy Wonka beer. With an 11.10ABV the alcohol shows up a bit, but is not off-putting. It's hidden well. An excellent and very complex Barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2010 23:37:16 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of yuriruley
yuriruley

Oregon

4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Cloudy, ruby red, and brown, little bit of a white head. It is hard to see through this one. Looks awesome.

Smell - Various fruits and bread. I love the way barely wines smell.

Taste - Almost an apricot flavor, with other darker fruits. Get a little bitterness from the hops and small hint of the alcohol on the tail end. Amazing flavor, and very well balanced.

Mouthfeel - pretty thick and syrupy like most good barley wines, with the perfect amount of carbonation.

Drink - I am taking my time with it, it is very rich, plus the high ABV. Something you want to take your time and enjoy for sure.

I am not sure when this bottle was brewed. I see some people really talking about the hops being crazy, but the hops are pretty mellow in this bottle. It says limited early 2010 release so I assume it has several months on it. It's drinking really well right now, as far as barley wines go I'd put it right below Doggie Claws which is one of my favorites. I saw two bottles of this at the store the other day and passed them over. I am glad I went back for this tonight, the other one had been sold.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2010 02:50:35 | More by yuriruley
Photo of misinformed
misinformed

California

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured in my good old pint glass.
A- Clear, medium red/brown. Poured with thick, tan 1/2 finger head that left some lacing.

S- Sweet and fruity with strong pine hops as well.

T- Starts off with piney hops followed by sweet dark fruits, and caramely goodness. Finishes with hops again for a mildly spicy finish. Very nicely balanced, the flavors are in perfect harmony. I didn't detect the alcohol more than once or twice and very, very faintly when I did.

M- Medium bodied with a faint bit of carbonation. Pleasant dryness that leaves the mouth coated for a long finish. Some warmness for the alcohol, but it didn't feel hot at all.

D- Incredibly drinkable, but works well as a sipper for a cool evening. I finished off my bottle fairly quickly on a rainy evening and could have had another. I didn't try this fresh, but it tastes like it has mellowed out some.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2010 00:07:14 | More by misinformed
Photo of beyah
beyah

Maine

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Somewhere between amber and red, starts off witha bout 1/2 finger of head,some lacing.

Nice full malty flavor, with a bitter hops finish. Touch of alcohol to finish.

Any enjoyable barely wine, a 11% beer, hard to belive. It didn't have that wine like flavor that many Barley wines have, you can tell that it's a relative of Arrogant Bastard, but that's ok since Arogant Bastard is my go to beer, when I want a pleasent bomber of a fine ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 01:35:49 | More by beyah
Photo of Kikkycat
Kikkycat

Maryland

3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 21:01:32 | More by Kikkycat
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 03:17:10 | More by bobhits
Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
CHILLINDYLAN

Washington

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reddened copper, Mandarin edges. Big foamy beige head, good retention. Prehistoric amoeba lacing.

Citrus, grapefruit, floral, resins, spicy. Sweet, toasty, vanilla, booze. Some yeast esters.

Rush of citrus, floral, and grapefruit. Followed by sweet toasty vanilla and booze. resins, spicy hops, grapefruit, bitter rush. Some dark fruit and appley yeast esters.

thick, sticky, and drying. med heavy body. slow carb.

big hoppy, bitter, and boozey. very tasty. A little more age might take the edge off the booze, but lose out on some of the hop flavors.
This bottle was an early 2010 batch consumed in August 2010.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 18:55:05 | More by CHILLINDYLAN
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 beer. Beer is amber, dark, with a haze and a medium head of small and medium bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The bubbles are yellowing and fluffy. The carbonation is moderate and steady.

Mild pine hops with a thick malt aroma.

Beer is medium bodied and has a definite sweetness in the front with a strong bitterness in the back. It finishes slightly dry. The overall connectivity is pretty good, its a little hot on the front end but not too bad. I wish it wasn't so dry but I understand that's what they want. I've had a lot of these over the years and mostly haven't bothered to review them, this one is about like the rest. A vertical (with probably 4 other people) would be fun to do to see how they change from year to year or over time, but that will have to wait.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2010 03:14:12 | More by drabmuh
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 00:13:24 | More by tavernjef
Photo of bagpiper2005
bagpiper2005

Idaho

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 01:28:39 | More by bagpiper2005
Photo of Tilley4
Tilley4

Tennessee

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours into my Perfect Pint an auburn reddish color with a quickly growing and persistent off white head... Almost a burgundy color really... Sort of like AB....

Interesting aromas of sweet caramel toffee malts and resiny piney hops... The malts wind out in the end as they seem more assertive but there is definitely some pungency left to the green stuff as well... A touch of booze here and there but nothing like I would expect in a brew of this ABV...

A big dose of sweet toffee and caramel malts mingled with a hint of booze followed quickly by a rough-around-the-edges hoppiness of the piney variety... There's a battle between the two elements of the beer without a clear cut winner... There is a long bitter finish here that leaves me waiting for the next sip so that's a good thing.. No booze to speak of which is scary... This one could down you in a hurry...

I like my barleywines nice and hoppy and although the hops have faded a bit in this, its still a very nice sipper for a cool early autumn evening....

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 13:58:36 | More by Tilley4
Photo of kzoobrew
kzoobrew

Michigan

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Moderately strong pour into Duvel Tulip. Two and a half finger head is produced. White sand colored head recedes quickly only to stop leaving a 1/4 finger cap. Sticky lacing left surrounding the glass. Body is a coppery orange color, clear no cloudiness or haze.

Liquid caramel and citric hops dominate the aroma. Caramel malt comes through strong up front. Sweet liquid candy with an underlying breadiness. The hops, while very apparent, come to the surface a bit after the malt. Big citrus and light floral hop aroma

Flavor is much like the aroma but with a couple key differences. The malt and hops play an interesting back and forth game on the tongue making it difficult to describe what hits first. The hops are a bit more abrasive than the nose would indicate. While the citrus flavors are there a more assertive piny bitterness shines through. The floral component is not lost though is much more subtle than the citrus and pine flavors. The malt delivers the caramel flavors as you may expect. The caramel is not the liquid candy as it was in the nose however. The caramel in a bit darker in flavor, think heavily caramelized sugars. Certainly this is a big and assertive beer, and you can be assured it is down right enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is full and thick as any self respecting Barley wine should be. Viscosity is there but stops short of a syrupy body. Carbonation is low while still managing to hold up this rather large body. Smooth and just shy of creamy. Finish is long as the sweetness and resinous hops dig in.

While one bomber is certainly the limit (possibly too much on certain occasions) Old Guardian is a heck of a beer. For such a big beer the booziness is well masked and drinks quite smoothly. Great beer all around and certainly worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 17:51:49 | More by kzoobrew
Photo of dasenebler
dasenebler

Maine

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark amber with a dense head that reduces to a thin layer, lacing fairly well.

Nose is packed with woody, spicy hops along with a bit of fruity, juicy hop notes.

This is a big barleywine with a a hefty hop dose; typical Stone. Not too sweet, but definitely rich and malty, with lightly roasted notes and a dense bready character. Plenty of dark caramel and brown sugar, too. The finish is somewhat bitter, but actually very manageable for this style. Unlike others, I think the alcohol is well integrated here, especially for this high of an ABV, and it will only get smoother with age. The mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated, resinous and weighty.

I feel like the rich flavor rather than the alcohol would hold back drinkability with Old Guardian, which speaks to the well-crafted nature of this brew. Tasty and dangerously drinkable. Kind of like a bigger, badder Bigfoot.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2010 03:56:33 | More by dasenebler
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 22oz bomber.

A - Pours a gorgeous dark amber color with slight haze and muddy hints. a thin .25 inch head that is off-white forms. It is pretty dense and there is active carbonation raising up the glass.

S - Delicious caramel sweetness from the malt. Tons of malt sweetness that is expressed as plums and some nice brown sugar as well. Slight honey and booze as well and a mild grassy aroma form the hops.

T - Crisp citrus blast up front that is nice and intertwined with some caramel sweetness as well as some slight bready malt. Pretty dry finish with the earthy and grassy hops on the back end. The citrus is very strong but delicious and refreshing. Very much an American Barleywine.

M - Crisp complex and full bodied with great face-sucking citrus and nice dry mouthfeel. Very carbonated.

D - Delicious but high in ABV.

Edit: as the beer warms there are some delicious pineapple hints that pop up in the fruit sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 21:43:49 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of uhhhaaron
uhhhaaron

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

consumed on 04-18-2010, 22oz bomber into snifter

Poured into snifter....copper/dark caramel color with a fluffy off white head that stuck around for a while.. settled in at a thin nice looking film..

when i first cracked it open it smelled of sweet dark cherrys. I got this again once it was poured into glass. very sweet boozy smell..piney/hoppy with a malt backbone.. a little caramel, grapefruit..wood, really a lot going on in the nose..

First sip was whoa!..as it enters my mouth I get sweetness right away. I keep sipping because I cant really get any other flavors except for the aftertaste. i let it warm up a bit.. minutes later I retaste and get sharp grapefruit, orange peel, very strong hop presence but yet still get that dark cherry sweetness, almost medicinal...aftertaste is a burn, hoppy tone with wood (cedar? oak?)

mouthfeel is thick and very warm...def a slow sipper..

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2010 01:27:25 | More by uhhhaaron
Photo of Reaper16
Reaper16

Alabama

3.55/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 04:19:30 | More by Reaper16
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, amber color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, alcohol, and hint of vanilla. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops, sweet malt, alcohol, dark citrus, and hint of vanilla. Overall, good appearance, body, and feel.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 15:16:04 | More by Tone
Photo of boomer31
boomer31

Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Waited on this one for a bit but really looking forward to it after along week. I loved bastard, oak aged bastard, double bastard, IPA and Ruinition so I expect this to be good.

A - Burnt orange haze with a thin lacing of off white head. Very nice looking b-wine

S - Lots of malt and a touch of hop fruitiness. You get a load of malt which is almost intimidating.

T - Piney hops up front then the carmel malt and more grassy hops in the back. Piney, grassy and a touch of sweet malt and thats it. Very dry finish begs you to drink more. Impressive

M - Carbonated well. Not overly viscous but you can tell there is a lot of malt in this brew.

D - Very tasty and the dry finish really make you want more and more. The hops are really up front and powerful but not overwhelming.

Overall I love this beer. Wish I would have picked up more of these...but I went with multiple RIS instead. Maybe a mistake as this is great.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2010 00:02:16 | More by boomer31
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Arenbeer

Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle Into a Snifter Glass

Pours a hazy dark orange with a nice 2 finger yellowish off white head.

S- Sweet barley and malts hit you up front with a great citrus earthy hop background. Also getting hints of yeast and caramel or toffee.

T- Pretty harsh up front, the alcohol is alittle overpowering. Probably should let this one age a bit. After the sting fades your greeted by a sweet malt base and a nice strong hop finish.

M- Full bodied with moderate carbonation and a strong bitter finish.

Overall I think they could have blended this brew alot better. The flavors there but I think it needs some maturing to bring out the real life of this beer.

SkÅl!

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 19:13:31 | More by Arenbeer
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BarrelO

Virginia

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a goblet.

A: Copper-colored body. Giant white head. Not much lacing, though.

S: Lots of caramel with a fair amount of citrus.

T: Caramel and chocolate. Citrus and bitterness from the hops. Alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming.

M: Medium to heavy. Not a lot of carbonation.

D: A solid barleywine, but not one that particularly wowed me. Unlike last year's offering, I feel like some aging would significantly improve it.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2010 11:23:17 | More by BarrelO
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The 2010 release of Old Guardian is an attractive copper color. It's a little hazy, and looks somewhat crimson when held to light. A light, off-white head covers it. It only rises to about a finger and falls quickly. Lacing was very sticky, and moderate in volume.

The nose is fairly standard for an Old Guardian release. It's good. There's some caramel malt at the center, adding plenty of sweetness to the mix. A hint of dark fruit resonates throughout. Smells like raisin and fig to me. Hops are quite prominent. The smell predominantly piney, with a touch of floral/earthy qualities. Alcohol is definitely in the mix. Smells a tad boozy if you ask me. No huge surprises.

The flavor is good. The caramel malt base is a little sweet, and is notable early on. However, it seems to fade once the hops attack. They're definitely piney, and have an earthy quality. It's very bitter. Not much balance here. I'm a fan of hoppy Barleywines, so that works for me. Dark fruit flavors of raisin and fig are subtle and secondary. They add some nice depth. Alcohol is aggressive and warm. I wouldn't say it's hot, but it's not far off. Finishes bitter and earthy.

Old Guardian has a medium body that seems to grow a little more chewy with warming. Carbonation is light, and it is fairly smooth. Drinkability is above average. This is an aggressive American Barleywine that' s big, badass, and takes no prisoners. It's a sipper to be sure. Nonetheless, I am enjoying it.

I think I've gotten past the point of expecting a surprise from Old Guardian. For an annual release that warrants a new profile each year, there's a surprising consistency to the brand. It's a good American Barleywine that I enjoy every year. Having said that, it is quite aggressive in its youth. The 2010 release is no different. Eh. Check it out and see for yourself.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2010 02:45:38 | More by prototypic
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't drank this one in awhile and decided to crack it pretty fresh. Pours into my glass a lovely deep ruby red with good clarity and a quarter inch of khaki foam on the top. Aromas start off with a dense mix of sweet caramel, molasses, brown sugar and a good dose of fruitiness as well. Hops kick in a resinous piney undertone with some earthy floral accents as well. Great depth in the aroma. A little lighter on the hops than previous years if I recall.

First sip brings sweet dense caramel malts upfront intertwining with an array of fruit, toffee and brown sugar. Piney, slightly floral hops kick in with some nice resinous accents and a solid bitterness that helps to counteract the malt sweetness. Alcohol is there on the finish to let you know it's not playing around.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a great viscosity and carbonation. Quite easy to drink given the fact that this packs quite an ABV punch. On the sweeter side but not overly so and the bitterness does a good job of working out some of the sweetness. Overall, a tasty barleywine and I'll look forward to seeing how it ages.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2010 02:56:25 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of matty
matty

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2010 13:07:35 | More by matty
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 317 ratings.