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

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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

333 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 333
Reviews: 202
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: 333 | Reviews: 202
Photo of tavernjef
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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 birchstick
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of prototypic
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of jsh420
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
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

Photo of homebrew311
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
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

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 ThePorterSorter
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Appearance:
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.

Smell:
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!

Taste:
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.

Mouthfeel:
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.

Overall:
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!

Cheers.

Photo of Overlord
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Better than some of the past vintages, for sure.

Pours a deep amber orange. Smells like caramel-ed grapefruit, a bit of interesting mineral herbaliness, and a heaping load of randomized fruit/citrus aromas.

Taste is not quite as good. The grapefruit, citrus, and sweet, sweet malt backing are a bit eclipsed by the weird funky medicinal herbal thing that's going on. It's still pretty good, oily, sticky, and resiny, but it smells better than it tastes.

Maybe the Old GUardian stuff is back on the right track.

Photo of rarbring
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is clouded, orange with ruby hints, the head is light tan, rather small, recedes fairly quick, leaves a little lacing, has good curtains.

The smell is full of ripe fruit, peaches, apples, earthy aromas, old closet, hay, some ripe cheese.

Very much taste in this one, brown sugar, loaf of bread, fruits, peaches, apricots, pears, rhubarbs, grape-fruit zest.

Low carbonation, a complex body, smooth and pleasant feeling.

A really good session beer, as most american barley wines rather hoppy, but that's nice.

Photo of atsprings
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer during an '07-'10 vertical served in a Stone Old Guardian glass that was mine to keep. Served a crisp copper with a thin diminishing head that left slight lacing on the glass. Aroma was sweet malts and a trace of alcohol. The taste was loads of very sweet malts that clearly need some age to tone them down. The beer is also a bit heavy on the alcohol presence, but it is still a smooth sipper. This is still an enjoyable beer this young, but I can tell it will only get better with age.

Photo of BeerLover99
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: deep cloudy orange, brown. fluffy oatmeal/tan head. detailed, splendid lacing.

S: barley, pine, citrus and subtle earthy quality.

T/M: sweet, barley, pine, spices, hint of citrus, dancing on the tongue prickle from the carbonation, good amount of carbonation, med/heavy body, hint of tackiness in the finish. goes very down smooth for such big ABV.

D: This is rather good Barley wine. I discovered this style a few years ago and always love trying new offerings. This is to be shared and sipped with purpose. I should be sipping it more, but it is just such a fresh and delicious brew. Well done, STONE!

Photo of Arbitrator
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chilled bottle into a glass (2010). I'm working backwards through my Stone stash to kill bottles one by one.

A: Pours a chill-hazed burnt amber body with a beautiful fluffy 1.5 fingers of off-white head. Retention is excellent (2+ minutes) for a beer of this gravity. It maintains a thick collar of large bubbles with some thin, broken film on top.

S: Kind of a mild nose. Citrus hops and some pine. The hop profile immediately made me recall Double Bastard, for some reason. Butterscotch, toffee, almond brittle, caramel, brown sugar.

T: Hoppy up front, but in a flavorful citrus manner, with light wet pine needles. The bitterness is noticed but not fully appreciated, due to the strong malt presence of butterscotch, toffee, and nuts (as in the aroma, I liken it to almond brittle). Caramel is pretty strong, of course, and so is a general brown sugar sweetness. There's a medicinal bitterness in the aftertaste that I find off-putting, but otherwise, I find this is hitting a lot of right notes for me. It's very aggressive, but still enjoyable.

M: Chewy, full-bodied. Swirls in the mouth with a very viscous resistance. Carbonation is spot-on. It's definitely warming, but not hot.

D: It'll get ya drunk! You'll be f***ing fat chicks in no time! This is a surprisingly drinkable big boy. I haven't been able to finish a lot of bombers on my own lately, but I had no trouble with this one. I'm definitely a fan and will buy them again, at least fresh. I have a few vintage bottles to evaluate as to whether aging this one is worth it.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another winner for Old Guardian. Great copper-brown look with a nice tanned head served about an inch high. Great stick and legs. The nose is strong, even through the foam. Caramelly sweet malt with a ton of citric hops backed up by a wall of alcohol. No surprises, and no punches pulled.

The flavor is in your face, with a huge amount of hops doing battle with fiercely sticky malts. Sweet, with notes of caramel, toffee, slightly roasted barley, toast, and bubblegum. The hops are fruity, especially grapefruit pith, with a hint of pine. Will age like a champion, no doubt. Firm, thick mouthfeel that plays nicely with the high hopping and spot-on carbonation. Superb.

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early 2010 vintage

A: Pours a nice cloudy copper color with a nice head that leaves good lacing

S: Fruity malts and some hops in the background. Some bready yeast also comes through. Surprisingly no alcohol in the smell, which is impressive for an 11.1% brew

T: Some nice dark fruits up front with definite malts, followed by a pleasant hop bitterness and some alcohol burn

M: Medium body with light carbonation. Fairly prickly from the alcohol despite the low carbonation

D: This one is a sipper for sure, and a pretty damn good one at that. More and more complexities come out when it warms up, which is very nice. I'd say it could use some more age, but it is still drinking well after almost a year

Photo of CampusCrew
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: copper garnett, almost brown

smell: large hop presence, some citrus and pine aroma

taste: very hoppy anf I'm drinking this freash vs lst years at 6 months. This beer probably benfits alot from aging. slightly uncormfortably bitterness and not a very balanced BW

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: Nice beer, but probably better if aged.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This always has a nice color year after year. Burnt orange color with a quarter finger of white head. Quite a bit of lacing on this guy as well.

S: Super bready and the hops smell like faded hops at this point as this bottle is just about a year old at this point. The malt has a nice balance to it right now and the hops are certainly not dead yet.

T: Little bit of tobacco. Faded hops. Bready malt. The malt is really nice and tossing around some interesting complexity. A little bit of smoke as well. Toffee, Caramel. It does not have the rip your throat out hops it does fresh but they are there but slowly mellowing out.

M: Really nice soft carbonation. Little bit heavy bodied but never overwhelming.

D: Really drinking nicely right now. The tobacco smoke element was really enjoyable and not something I have ever picked up out of Old Guardian before. This beer never disappoints.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to Greg Koch/Stone for bringing these with him and visiting us at the Schlafly Tap Room...

pour was bright orange with hints of straw yellow. light fluffy head, nice lacing.

tons of hops, lots of pine, pine resin, light grapefruit. faint hints of malt.

flavor was similar, huge hops. lots of pine bitterness, pine resin, tart grapefruit, and beneath are heavy malts. light toffee and caramel hidden through out. being that this was fresh, the hops were quite dominant. no hints of booze.

fairly thick and chewy but also light and easy. this was one of the easier barleywines i have had. carbonation was light, and no alcohol burn for a 11%.

i FINALLY got to try this and I am pleased I did. this was one easy drinking barleywine that was not a malt bomb or overly heavy.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of crossovert
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Early 2010 release. 650ml bottle.

It pours a murky, dark orangeish-red with a thick, foamy off-white leaves that leaves ornate, speckled, camouflage-like lacing.

The smell is big and sweet with some interesting hop and yeast notes. It has rip banana, raisin, and citrus fruit notes. There is plenty of caramel in there as well.

The flavor is big and sweet, super sweet. It has a nice hoppy bitterness though. The hops have a herbal, piney, earthy note that blends nice with the thick caramel sweetness. It isn't overly alcohol but certainly the alcohol is not fully cloaked.

The hop bill in this one is intriguing, it comes off as one of the ore bitter barleywines and I like that.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of wvsabbath
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - 22oz Bottle

Appearance - Dark tan/brown, no head at all. Looks like a double ipa really

Smell - Barley, hops, alcohol. sugar and spices, more barley, yeast

Taste - Very hoppy for sure. And barley out the a$$. Very bitey, bitter and strong. Pineapple from the hops mixed with the yeast and barley is intense. This is a hop heavy beer, the fruit is second.

Mouthfeel - BItter and strong, thick and aggrssive, this beer whips your mouth, tounge and palette Sour aftertaste, and tounge is numbed.

Drinkabilty - Its too much to drink anymore then this 22oz. This style is fine once a month or two. Its wonderful for a hoppy version. Too strong to give it anymore then a 3.5 honestly

Photo of garuda
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazed deep amber that gets a one finger thick off white head that recedes to a thin ring of bubbles that cling to the edges of the glass. Little lacing.

S/T - Similar with big sweetness of dark fruits and caramelized malts. Pine hops finish off both the aroma and finish. Lingering mouthfeel is both warm from the alcohol, and bitter from pine resin like hops.

M - Full body, medium carbonation with warming alcohol.

D - Given the abv and style, the alcohol was well hidden and enhanced the drink. Everything seemed nicely balanced, but I would like to compare it against a fresh bottle. I would buy this again.

Photo of StaveHooks
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.