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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.

203 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 203
Hads: 334
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 11
Gots: 87 | FT: 6
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: Reviews & Ratings
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
Reviews: 203 | Hads: 334
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ok, so the Old Guardian is not new to me..it's darn good. This is the 2010 early release..aged about 3 months in my...uh...cellar. I have 2 more aging.

Looks damn fine. Deep amber, solid. Creamy, off white/light ruby head. Man...bee-ute-if-full. Lacing is thin...so no 5. Oh well.

Aroma is a nice balance of sweet caramel and malt, pine and citrus zest and alcohol. It's powerful. At 11%, the alcohol isn't hidden, but it's well incorporated.

Taste follows the nose. Caramel up front, sweet malt comes into play to introduce the pine and zest. It's a bit slick or syrupy in the feel. The alcohol provides a nice bit, in addition to the hops, at the end. This is nice. Perhaps a bit rough and early for this one....can't wait until the first snow of the winter.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a nice relatively clear amber, with a soft white head, fair lace.

S: The difference in hop character is clearly from the 1 year old '09, grapefruit, orange and pine - classic San Diego.

T: Similar hop character to the nose, with that big biscuity hop note I always find in Old Guardian, another well made effort.

M: Solid again, medium/full mouthfeel with a nice creamy carbonation.

D: The '10 really brings this back to where it is suppossed to be. I wasn't a huge fan of the '09 fresh and aged, but this is really good, I'll love to see where this goes.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a pint glass. The beer is a deep amber-brown color with a thin, scant head. The beer has heavy aromas of malt, citrus, and alcohol. The beer has sweet flavors derived from fruit, which is well balanced with undertones of spice and alcohol. The beer is smooth and robust in mouth, and finishes with a slightly sour aftertaste. The sourness is mild, but lingers for a while. The beer is extremely mild and drinkable for a barleywine. The flavors are balanced and blended extremely well, and the alcohol isn't overpowering.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to ybnorml for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice dark copper color, nice carbonation, nice creamy one-finger tan head, with some nice small islands and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a good dose of hops, slight citrus, and some spice notes. The taste is sweet malts, hoppy, slight caramel, citrusy. Medium body, this is a pretty complex barleywine. Very drinkable, glad to get this one. Thanks Wayne.

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Photo of Tone
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into a tulip. This is the "limited early 2010 release" according to the bottle.

Appearance: rich, cloudy, tawny-orange hue with one thick finger of frothy tan foam. A superb looking beer, indeed.

Smell: rich, sweet malt aroma. It's not bursting with fruit or yeast character or even hops; it's simply a strong but even-handed aroma. It's balanced and I like it.

Taste: big, in-your-face malt hits you right up front; there's a big sweetness with some piney hop characteristics. It is only at the end that a huge bitterness hits you. Stone really knows their strong ales, and this beer is no exception; though, I will say this beer lacks a lot of complexity (at least at this age). It's good, it's smooth and it's strong, but I feel like it could be a whole lot more.

Mouthfeel: thick, roamy body with plenty of well-integrated carbonation. This bad boy is silky, creamy and ambrosial when it comes to texture. Love it.

Drinkability: a tasty beer which is quite drinkable at the 11.1% ABV level. The alcohol is definitely there, but with the flavor and body to back it up. Good stuff.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours murky deep orange, almost like a sunset in haze. The white head is rather thin and leaves only some lacings.

S: Molasses; sweet caramell malt. Some floral hops gives it a citric tone. Rather surprising since I've stored this bottle for quite some time. Dark dried fruits.

T: Sweet caramell malt. Still hoppy, both floral and bitter. Lots of dark dried fruits. Syrupy.

M: Full thick body, smooth. Carbonation is moderate. Aftertaste is sweet and stays for a little while, some faint bitterness as well. Warming and alcoholic.

O: Since I waited about a year to drink it, I can't say for sure what it was like when it was fresh, but the hops were surprisingly potent, still. A very nice American Barleywine. I kind of regret that I didn't buy more of it and stored a few bottles even longer...

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Photo of DrJay
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep copper colour with a wisp of fine beige bubbles that formed a thin collar and coated the top of the beer. The foam stuck around for a long time and left a little bit of spotty lacing on the glass. Tons of malt in the aroma, toasted and caramel for the most part, a little biscuity too. Mild alcohol and fruity hops rounded things out with hints of citrus and pine. I really like the flavour of this beer. Alcohol was present, but restrained, and gave a pleasant warming at the end. Bitterness was solid and was backed up by lots of toasted malt, a little caramel sweetness, and citrusy hops that had admittedly faded somewhat. I found it really well rounded and balanced though, compared to its fresher brethren. Full bodied, medium to low carbonation, pleasant texture. What can I say, this is a beer that I really enjoy and I wasn't let down by this year's batch.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Purple color with a copper hue; color changed drastically in varied light - it was kinda cool. Poured a light yellowish head that dissipated qujickly to a ring around the edge of the glass. Lace washed in streaks.

S: Very sweet and musty. Sharp alcohol and hop aroma.

T: Really sweet boozy flavor up front with the taste of alcohol lingering. Crisp, hoppy finish.

M: Light body. Low carbonation. Resiny, hot and dry.

D: This is a sipper, but a big barleywine. Glad I had a Ommegang cork stopper to save some.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Man what a crazy beer to start my new years off with!

A - Pours a light hazy copper color, kind of amber like, but way lighter than expected. A nice half inch of head looks sweet.

S - I can detect a good amount of hops here which I love stone for doing since they are hop heads! Mild caramel and bread malts dominate.

T - Well I really don't love barley wines but this one was pretty smooth. Starts off bready and sweet and then the alcohol creeps in delivering a slight burn that's quickly picked up with a bitter hop finish. Whew! Saved!

M - Heavy. I found myself sipping the bottle for at least an hour. Damn barley wines.

D - Overall I tend to stay clear of the style but this one was great. It did kind of put me under a bit since the ABV was so high (kind of the reason I bought it) but overall enjoyable. If you can still find it buy it then drink it or save it!

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Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beer purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY. '10 vintage, drank in 2015. 5 year old barleywine, baby.

This pours a murky, slightly reddish brown, with a small head, and no lacing. Kind of looks mud and blood and mixed together.

5 years later, amazingly this still smells like piney and grassy hops, with some slight oxidation, burnt caramel, orange liqueur, and toasted bread.

This has aged quite nicely. There's some sweet sherry-like flavors, and very slight cardboard, from the apparent oxidation. It's not very strong, though luckily. There's still some somewhat intense piney bitterness from the hops, which are magically still present 5 years later. There's some orange marmalade flavor, which when combined with the slight booziness, kind of makes for a orange liqueur or Grand Marnier type thing going on. There's some unsweetened caramel, burnt grain, and toasted bread as well. The sweetness is at about at 5/10, definitely sweet but not overly so.

This is medium bodied, with a somewhat crisp but slightly syrupy mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation.

This was really nice and still quite good after 5 years.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip. 11.1% ABV, Age at Cellar temp. 55°F or below.

A - The moderate pour unleashes a dense bone head with good retention for the alcohol percent. Sheet after sheet of lace is left on the glass. The beer is a hazy, rusty apricot orange. A beautiful color to boot!

S - Malty aroma rich with bread and caramel accents. Lots of earthy hops backing it up well. Not a hop blast but there is a good spicy herbal, floral note to it. Warm alcohol hides in the back without being too hot.

T - Well-balanced between the large American floral and citrusy, pine-laden hops and the lightly sweet amber malt backbone. Good flavor, not over-the-top.

M - Lightly bitter on the finish, this medium-full-bodied barleywine has a round, supple entry to the palate with a nice finish.

D - Not only is this a beer to sip, it's most definitely a beer to share. Very good American barleywine though.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, appetizing, dark honey-golden copper with a thick, fluffy, orangy-beige head. Aroma is strong, fruity and a little yeasty and malty. Fruity, brandy-like flavor has a strong alcohol bite just like a good barleywine. It has hints of malt, hops and even caramel. Texture is lively and fizzy, and the alcohol bite is fierce!

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a clear ruby red color with hints of orange shinning through. The head is off white, almost a light yellow, thick and tight. An aggressive pour produces ample head that has very good retention. A thick lacing sticks to the side of the glass.

S-the nose is quite hoppy, not big, but balanced. The citrussy hops really hit you up front with notes of grapefruit. Oily piney hops set in with an underlying caramel malt backbone that adds some balance.

T-much maltier than the nose but still hoppy. Oily pine resign and caramel malts combine in the front. Grapefruit taste and bitterness compliment the onslaught of bitter malts up front to balance this out. Notes of rum soaked plums seem to be present at the very back with hints of alcohol warming

M-this is extremely smooth and slightly dry at the finish. It brings a medium to full body and is somewhat syrupy. Enough carbonation to finish somewhat crisp and hold the body throughout

D-this is somewhat boozy and brings a good bit of hops. Definitely a tasty brew, even fresh. Looks like this could really change with age and I can't wait to crack an 07! Much like Sierra Bigfoot with the big hop presence, not quite as hoppy as bigfoot but definitely a solid hop presence

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Photo of champ103
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark garnet color. A two finger beige head forms with excellent retention. The wispy foam gently recedes after several minutes and leaves some sticky lace behind.
S: I don't get much in the nose. At first a light soapy and oily citrus hop aroma. Followed by some toasted caramel malt. Just not big enough.
T: Surprisingly balanced for a Stone Barleywine. Toasted caramel malt up front. Some chocolate and dark fruits. Plenty of citrus and piny hops linger on for a great balance.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Syrupy, sticky, soapy, and oily. There is some hot alcohol, but a great beer to sip on.

This years Old Guardian is much more balance than years past. This is very complex, and I have several bottles to cellar. I can't wait to see how this develops over the next few years. Recommend.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.45/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Photo of birchstick
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of prototypic
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of jsh420
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours murky reddish amber orange with a 2 finger off white head that had good retention and coated the glass with lacing

smells of sweet caramel malt and a good amount of citrus hops

taste is just like the nose but the malts are a bit too sugary sweet - the hops do save it and give it the bitter juicy fruity hop flavors

mouthfeel is great - just what i want in a 11% Bwine - full body with ample carbonation and gives it a little zip but still very creamy

overall this is another solid hoppy malty brew from stone

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Photo of homebrew311
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear deep red with a foamy 1 finger head, sticky lacing, good retention

S: huge sweet malts with notes of caramel, pine, molasses, and bread followed by a very earthy hop character. Very in your face and aromatic. Lots of alcohol on the end.

T: the malts are spicy, a bit of sweetness which is nicely balanced by earthy hops, every things seems to be in sync, nice long finish with notes of caramel

MF: thick body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky

D: this is a well put together barley wine, huge maltiness with a nice earthy and spicy hop profile, the alcohol is well hidden and overall everything is balanced

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Photo of buschbeer
3.75/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thought I had gotten lucky and grabbed a brand new 2011 bottle...unfortunately I was getting a year old 2010. We shall see how well it has kept.

Light brown with hues of orange and red. A thin white head blankets the beer and doesn't leave much lacing. The beer may have lost some carbonation sitting for a year, but that's speculation only. The high %abv may also contribute to this beer's lacking head. Everything seems fine so far, I have no major complaints.

Caramel maltiness with notes of vanilla and cherries. The alcohol is also quite pungent, almost burns the nostrils. Thankfully the beer doesn't smell infected, so this may actually be a pleasant surprise!

I'm very selective for which barley wines I like and this one is pretty damn flavorful. The beer is sweet and smooth, almost reminds me of a beer that spent time in a barrel. A beverage that is good for sipping and easily pleases the palate. I enjoyed this beer with some sausage and pepperoni pizza, but it could easily be paired with a more complex dish.

Sticky sweetness with a noticeable bitterness in its finish. The alcohol works to improve this beer's sweet-bitter balance. Likewise there is a subtle bitterness that works to improve the beer's spice factor and contributes some additional bitterness. Describing this beer's mouthfeel in a few words: resiny, thick, strong, and smooth.

Although I thought I had a brand new 2011 in my hands, this wasn't a bad purchase. The beer was fairly priced and lived up to my expectations. Rich sweetness with a little spice, there is a place for a beer like this, but I was unfortunately in the mood for an IPA.
I am looking forward to the 2011, but I may not wait a year just to buy it!


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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 203 ratings.