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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

324 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 324
Reviews: 201
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 11
Gots: 86 | 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
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of muskabeatz
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear, burnt amber in color with a creamy toasted white head. Good lacing and head retention.

S- Lots of floral hops are the first thing to hit the nose, combined with herbal, spicy, grassy and bready notes. Slightly fruity as well. Citrus aroma is blended in as well with just a touch of booziness. Maybe I'm pulling this out of my ass, but I want to say I get a bit of banana.

T- Sweet malty backbone, with hints of caramel. Fair amount of hops blended in, although not overwhelming. Drying, bittering finish

M- Subdued, lingering carbonation, maybe would expect slightly more with it being this fresh. I would like just a bit more body as well.

D- Despite a few minor shortcomings, I find this to be a very drinkable beer. Only slightly boozy for it's 11% abv

muskabeatz, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of uhhhaaron
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..

uhhhaaron, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of pnkRed
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this into the Old Guardian Barley Wine Glasss I got from the brewery.

A-This poured a rich deep amber color with a one finger head that stays relatively long.

S- You can smell this bad boy from a mile away. The hops are very apparant. Citrus and pine. Some sweetness on the back end.

T- Sweetness hits you up front quickly followed by some hops with some alcohol on the finish. I can taste some raisins and fig and piney hops.

M- The alcohol lingers and so do the oils from the hops.

D- The alcohol is hidden for an 11% but it's still apparent. Definitely a sipper. As you drink on it actually feels a bit lighter and it seems to mellow out the warmer it gets.

pnkRed, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of dlmccabe1
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This high ABV (11.1%) monster is one of the better barleywines I've come across. A lot of great aromas coming from this with a fragrant sweetness on the nose with pronounced (at least to me) apricot flavors. The head looks like a primary fermenter mid fermentation - dense and rocky, and very alive looking.

The flavor was mellow and smooth. Easy to drink for a barleywine with a nice malty start and a bit of spiciness on the finish.

A new go-to barleywine for me.

dlmccabe1, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of dionisio
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

dionisio, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of n0rc41
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer in a 22oz bottle. poured into a pint glass

A: Deep red, amber dark wood color. Head was cream color off white, 1.5 fingers thick, good lacing as it went down.

S: strong hop, pine bitter smell.

T: Malts, pine(reminds me of SN celebration ale) bitterness is good, small caramel smell maybe? wood? good smell

M: suprisingly good! nice and almost syrupy thick cream feel, bitter taste, pine, malts what you would expect from this barley wine. oily, goes down great!

D: Its good drink-ability, sipper, I wouldnt though a party with it thats for sure! I could go for another thats for sure! cuz I am already feeling great!

Overall I would say this is a very good, barley wine. I havent had to many barley wines. I got a few more I am getting ready to try this week. So I dont want to say too much. but I like most all stones brews. Cheers!

n0rc41, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of AnswerInQuestion
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a Chimay glass; dark brown with a hint of red, less than 1 cm of head fizzling out to bareley any, very faint lacing.

S: Fresh and crisp piney hops with a relatively faint sweet raisiny malt, especially for a barleywine.

T: Bitterness from Stone's signature hop profile, mixed with the barleywine sweetness of caramel and woody notes. Definitely more bitter than I usually like my barleywines, but the hops give way to more sweetness as the beer warms.

M: Lightly carbonated, but adequately for the style. Clean finish, with a slight hoppiness pushing aside the threat of an alcoholic sting.

D: Although this beer is not as sweet as I usually enjoy in a barleywine, it strikes me as a very accurate representation of stone's beer esthetic: cascade hops are stone's duct tape (in the best way, the ultimate tool), layered over the classic deep sweetness and high alcohol of the beer style. The crisp finish makes this beer taste more like their usual offerings, which are not quite as high in alcohol, but, having finished too much of a 22oz too fast, I can tell you that the alcohol sneaks up on you in a way that usualy barleywines are more obvious.

AnswerInQuestion, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Rojopunk
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- amber with a little bubbly to it . slight lacy

S- sweet with slight hints of alcohol

T- Very sweet but not too sweet with sight hints of hops

M- medium

Overall id say this was a great barley wine . Stones is a impressive brewery with 90% of there beers being IPAs. Here and there they make a non ipa beer and it rocks! This is a slightly hoppy barely wine with no burn . Also it has enough hop to keep it from being to sweet or syrup like. Lastly this beer was brought out of retirement i bought a bottle today ! Sadly it will probably go back into retirement soon .

Rojopunk, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of Loot
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- it pours a burnt orangey, golden yellow color, think unfiltered apple juice. Minimal head, and carbination, what i'd expect from the style.

S- the smell is really complex, but mellow from what i was expecting, think DIPA, but aged the hops have fallen out just a bit but matured, into spicy, herbal, earthy tones. It smells sweet, like fresh wort. a cereal sweetness that really comes through, the smell to me is almost malt forward. earthy, sweet, and spicy. like in other reviews, has that stone character. i don't know what it is. Great.

T- sweet, almost smokey flavor, spicy and earth malt character, the bitterness builds, and leaves resiny hoppy, tingly and coating your mouth. Finishes with alcohol vapors, but not too distracting, gets more noticiable as it warms. apricots and caramel.

M- thinner than expected, but sill admirable, coats the mouth with sweetness, and maltiness, finishing with a hoppy resin, not overly bitter.

D- pretty drinkable, from what i was expecting, over 11%, and not that filling, two pints for sure, but by then, might have to tap out...too much sweetness to have more...great journey while it lasted. alcohol, starts getting to you. great sipping beer.

*this was my first venture into barley wines and no doubts i will be back for more!

Loot, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of RaulMatisse
3.85/5  rDev -7%
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.

RaulMatisse, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of ykncornelius
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...

ykncornelius, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of NahpunGnome
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Early 2010 Release bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

A - Light brown/copper with no head.

S - I get peaches, dried apricots, and prunes.

T - Prunes, some citrus, and hops. It's pretty sweet and the hop bitterness balances the sweet pretty well. Not much alcohol taste at all.

M - It's a bit thick, which I would expect given that the alcohol is so well hidden and it's a bit sweet.

D - Sipped or gulped, it's pretty easy to drink. With that said, I doubt I can gulp this one down for long only because it is a little thick.

Summary - This is my first barleywine style beer and I'm glad I chose a Stone product. I've yet to be disappointed by any of their beers. I didn't feel the 11.1% abv while drinking it, but it definitely creeps in and you feel the warmth in your gut. Old Guardian is able to balance the sweetness and the hop bitterness VERY well. Great job!

NahpunGnome, May 23, 2010
Photo of ajbick
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with white fluffy head.

Smells of citrus and earthy hops. Slight malt aroma.

Taste has a nice balance of malt and hoppiness. Malt up front with bitter hop finish.

Good mouthfeel. Carbonated, but not too much.

Drinkability is great. Very easy to drink. Big beer, but not too heavy.

Overall, a great beer. Great hop and malt balance. Somewhat deceptive in the alcohol content - doesn't seem like a 11% abv beer.

I highly recommend this beer.

ajbick, May 31, 2010
Photo of msimmons32
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

One of my buddies picked this up for me from stone in a growler about 3 weeks ago. It has been sitting in my fridge waiting to be drank.

The first pour was good but the alcohol was quite overwhelming. I let it sit for about 30 mins and the taste was quite citrusie. Over the couse of an hour or so the hops and barley really came out. The beer really started to shine after this and was quite drinkable.

The mouthfeel was very heavy malt backbone, and biscuit. It also was quite floural and fluffy on the palte. As the beer warmed up and began to breathe I got notes of vanilla, oak, taosted nuts, pine (due to the hops).

This beer is great young but i would recommend this beer several years down the road. I am aging a bomber to compare to this atleat 2 years down the road.

msimmons32, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of Alf7247
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've read many were disappointed with the 2009. The only one I've had of this was back in 2008 with a virgin palate, and I don't remember much from it. I've also been on a barley wine binge this past month and I was quite let down by comparison of others.

Served in a 22oz snifter

A- Reddish/orange, tan and creamy head that left quickly leaving a ring of thick bubble around the edge of the glass. Little lacing.

S- Hoppy at first, well balanced with malts. Very fruity. It became more malty and fruity as it warmed; the hops became faint in the background. It even showed some nuts. Alcohol remained well hidden, even as it warmed.

T- Very hoppy and bitter at first; loved it. Malts were present, providing nice balance. Fruits. Raisins poked through, with very faint molasses. Malty/fruity finish, which was unfortunately short. Alcohol made its presence known as it warmed.

M- I'm coming from a biased love for barley wines with some good viscosity. This was too thin for me; good carbonation though.

D- Very drinkable at 11%.

I love Stone. I guess I was expecting to be blown away. I felt like a teenager again waiting and calling the local bevmo if they had received it yet. I'm sad with the disappointment. Oh well. I hope it gets better with age; got two for the future.

Alf7247, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of Kikkycat
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.

Kikkycat, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of stylinprofiylin
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Red and golden body, off white head with some lacing

S - this smells sweet as hell, fruity with scent of apple lingering.

T - smooth hoppy bitterness with an amazing warmness to it. not too boozy which is surprising for 11%

M - the feel is where the alcohol can be felt. thick but not too thick. dry but not too dry. i loved the medium amount of carbonation

D - the alcohol hits you which makes me want more haha

stylinprofiylin, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of MatthewPatthew
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great beer; combines the best characteristics of beer, liquor and wine.

This is one of the only Stone brews I've seen with significant Haze. An orange-red amber that sports a long-lasting, creamy head with bubbles of various sizes.

The aroma says barrel-aged - very vinous. The taste has significant alcoholic warmth with a strong malt and hop presence. Great balance. Doesn't succumb to the sweetness that kills some Barleywines.

If I drown, I hope I drown in Old Guardian.

MatthewPatthew, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of hopsyum
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It is -2 Fahrenheit outside right now and I feel as though this is the right weather mindset to be drinking this beer. High in flavor and alcohol, this beer warms the mouth, stomach, and body creating a sense of appropriateness that few beers can.

a- Poured into a sniffer glass from a bomber bottle (early 2010 release) with a beautiful red hue that turns to a wheaty yellow at the edges of the glass. Looks appropriately thick for a barleywine.

s- Somewhat off-putting smell at first. Strange combination of hoppy overload and alcohol. After a few more whiffs it seems to make more sense.

t- I'm a fan of strong hops, so while this particular barleywine may appeal to me, I understand if someone preferred a more malty, sweet, fruity barleywine. With that being said, the alcohol adds character to the hops, and sweetness lingers throughout.

m- This beer stays around for a while. Syrupy hops linger, while the alcohol and malts fade away relatively quickly.

d- I would be curious to see how this beer tasted after another year or two in the cellar. Although this is an early 2010 release, and it is now early 2011, I think that this beer would benefit from aging. The hops are delicious, but its a barleywine, not an IPA. Where I'm going with this is that this flavor is very strong and (most likely even after aging) this is a beer to be sipped on an enjoyed in front of a fire on a cold night with friends listening to John Coltrane.

hopsyum, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of EthersTragic
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber color with a 1/2 head that dissipates quickly, but leaves a nice lacing around the glass.

S - malty & hoppy goodness with a bit of grassy extracts.

T - Piney, woodsy with a nice alcohol bite at the end. Some hoppy bitterness. I was pretty scared because this was my first time trying the style, but it was not at all what I expected.

M - Has a lingering bitter aftertaste, but not too bad. Carbonation is ok, not too much.

D - Not sure I'd drink more than one of these, but at 11% abv, pretty darn drinkable!

EthersTragic, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of godless1one
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - dark tan with some red/amber, bubbles along the side of the glass, minimal white/cream head which dissipates

smell - a sweet fruitiness and a bit of spice

taste - citrus, slightly sweet, with a bitter finish, that alcohol can be tasted but is more felt

mouthfeel - decently thick (not like a stout tho) and dry, fairly decently carbonated

drinkability - good with a meal definitely not a quick drink unless you want to feel it, it's got a strong flavor which i enjoyed but my gf did not

godless1one, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of hophead1901
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Absolutely delicious. Its massive amount of hops countered by tons of malt and a very high alcohol content leave this strong ale with a wonderfully slight sweetness. This beer is ideal for aging as well. I recently had the 2008 Old Guardian and it was even better. It's really heavy though and I could only drink about two bombers in a night.

hophead1901, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of SoCal_Guardian
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

SoCal_Guardian, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of Kmiller565
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a nonic pint glass. 2010 edition

A: poured a nice orange-ish amber color with a slight haziness to it. Head is one index finger thick with a nice off-white color. This barleywine leaves solid lacing on the glass as you drink. This brew looks awesome.

S: the first aroma i am getting is of sweet malts and some nice dried fruit along with a mild grapefruit and pine hop nose. Nothing about the aromatics stunned me, but the aromas did open up a bit more once this brew warmed up some in the glass.

T: wow, this barleywine is the real deal. The first taste matches the nose, with a good amount of sweet malts and breads coming through. The second wave of flavor is all hops baby. A really nice combination of citrus and pine gives this barleywine a nice complexity and balance that is needed to combat the sweetness. At just over 11% abv, the last taste is a little warm, but nothing overpowering. I also taste a little smoke in the finish.

M: overall very smooth with medium carbonation. A bit of creaminess makes this brew feel great on the palate.

D: i love this barleywine. Many times barleywines can over do certain aspects whether it be hops or sweetness, but this is great with its complexity and balance. This is a strong brew, but also very drinkable. It would be a shame to pound a couple of these, you want to taste and savor this one.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking to get into barleywines or anyone who enjoys them. You will not be disappointed this one is a beast with great taste and complexity

Kmiller565, Oct 18, 2010
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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.