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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

323 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 323
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
Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drabmuh
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

drabmuh, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of tavernjef
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%

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.

tavernjef, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of bagpiper2005
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

bagpiper2005, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of Tilley4
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

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....

Tilley4, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of kzoobrew
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

kzoobrew, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of atsprings
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

atsprings, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of dasenebler
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

dasenebler, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

JoEBoBpr, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of uhhhaaron
4/5  rDev -3.4%

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 Reaper16
3.55/5  rDev -14.3%

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.

Reaper16, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of Tone
4.18/5  rDev +1%

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.

Tone, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of boomer31
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

boomer31, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of Arenbeer
4.1/5  rDev -1%

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!

Arenbeer, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of BarrelO
4/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

BarrelO, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of prototypic
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

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.

prototypic, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

orbitalr0x, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of matty
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%

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.

matty, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%

An earlier vintage of this was my first Barleywine. I havent had thins since I started reviewing, but nows the time.

A- A ruddy red color that is moderately clear. The head is a brassy color. I love when the labels on the bottle use colors that match the colors of the beer inside. This one does that nicely. The body is nearly the color of the red ink and the head is very close to the color of the gold ink.

S- Lots of malts and hops. It is pretty strong on hops. Alcohol is also abundant. Lots of fruity ale characteristics. Raisins, toffee, wood, pine, citrus and a hairspray smelling astringency.

T- This is a real hoppy barleywine but that is to be expected. The taste follows the nose but with much much more strength in the hops. The beer starts off nice and malty rich and full of fruits and toffee. The hops break up that party with A LOT of pine and very bitter grapefruit rind and a touch of sweeter pineapple. Alcohol comes around at the end with the hops. This beer finishes very very bitter.

M- Very resinous and palate coating. It will easily ruin your mouth for the day. I need a glass of water with this one.

MbpBugeye, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%

A - Deep red in color, fantastic head and thick lace left in the glass.

S - Smells of sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, and hops.

T - Sweet caramel, toffee, brown sugar, sweet dried fruit, hops and alcohol, all blended together perfectly in sweet harmony!

M - Syrupy, coats the mouth with malty goodness, medium carbonation and sticky.

D - Love this beer and look forward to trying it every year! Enjoy!

StoneBrewFanatic, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of magine
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Poured into a nonic glass.

Pours a cloudy dark tea like colored amber, with an off white pillow like fluffy head. Head retention is excellent and the lacing is excellent. Head stays thick and fluffy throughout; rings the glass beautifully.

Brew smells of big sweet barley malts, and multiple hops and yeast. Huge barley malt nose, with an excellent hop presence in there as well; floral, citrus. Very tasty smell.

Brew is very smooth, creamy and velvety, has a massive barley malt flavor. Has the hops in the aftertaste. Slightly sweet, finishes slightly dry and a little bitter. A huge flavorful brew. Brew has multiple hop flavors, fruits, floral and then the yeast and barley. Mmmmm...Tremendous stuff.

Wow - this is top shelf stuff; big, bold and flavorful. As me and my real "bro" would say this is a brew that hits you in the jaw and makes you notice. At 11% alcohol, sip and enjoy. A very easy drinking excellent looking brew. Only a slight presence of alcohol is detected. Stone is world class.

magine, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of Foxtrot
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%

I've held off on reviewing this one, letting the bomber gain a little age on it. Paired it with some Stilton.

Pours a decadent ruby/orange body with an abundance of foam, tight bubbles slowly recedes into a beautiful lacing that is none other than world class.

Aroma is of sticky pine resin, a dash of floral hops to round it out. Its not the hops that stand out, but the sweet barley malts that really take the cake here. Perhaps even some orange peel or tangerine on the back end.

Stone continues to impress me time and time again. Slight bitterness and carbonation hit the front and sides of the tongue, floral hops take center stage mid palate with a dazzling array of pine, bitterness, and all things hops. Then to round all things off is the impressive malt balance. Modest sweetness to balance out the hop bitterness, and adds a big sticky feeling on the teeth and tongue. Finish was also exceptionally smooth but with linger aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick, of course. Anything less would be unworthy. Thick and viscous to a high degree, not IRS thick but just a tad under.

Drinkability is good, other than the liver loving 11.1% ABV, it is a pleasure to enjoy during the cooler season. Heck it even does well in warmer weather as well

Foxtrot, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of Vengeance526
4.18/5  rDev +1%

Pours a dark orange amber color with a thick tan head that has great retention and leaves light lacing.

Nice aroma that starts off very malty with brown sugar and caramel but soon shows a hoppier side with clear hints of citrus and pine. A little alcohol is detected.

Taste again starts off with sweet caramel and follows with grapefruit and lemony notes along with some spicy and piney hops. Alcohol is a little more prevalent in the taste but isn't overwhelming.

Smooth mouthfeel with a slightly sticky finish. A great barleywine. Alcohol becomes an issue after a while but this is flavorful enough that you don't pay much attention to its strength.

Vengeance526, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%

On-tap 6/19/10 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large light tan head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, brown sugar, dark fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruits. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in along with a significant alcohol sting. The malt character is hearty and creates a good balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easy, slightly filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, with each year's release this beer continues to be a very good high-octane beer to drink for as long as you handle it.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev -3.4%

A - Served with an orange-amber body...a very thin head to begin and spotty retention...not much lacing

S - The nose was nice...sweet aromas with a syrupy texture to it...the hops, as in most Stone beers, were very pronounced and had citrus and pine aromas going on

T - This barleywine was very well balanced...the sweetness dominated in the beginning with lots of caramel malts...the hops show up at the end for a long, bitter finish...but the two of them join in the middle and play off of each other nicely...alcohol provides a warming finish when swallowed

M - Medium bodied...syrupy, smooth, nice push from the nitro

D - This was a decent barleywine...the alcohol was very evident which hinders a little but I think the balance of the flavors make up for it

thain709, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of beerdrifter
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%

Picked this up at a great beer store, Tops Liquor, while at a conference in Phoenix. Clear copper pour with a big caramel colored head and nice lacing. Malty caramel, toffee and brown sugar in the nose with a bit of orange and hints of dark fruit. Nice spicy, bitter hop bite right off the bat. Sweet candy, dark fruit and some tangerine add to the balance. I'm also getting a touch of soap aftertaste. The alcolhol is pretty well hidden for a barleywine. Chewy mouthfeel is nice which adds to its drinkability, if there's such a thing as drinkability for a barleywine. One bomber is more than enough for me. A bit disappointing seeing that I'm such a huge Stone fan. But still a nice barleywine.

beerdrifter, Jun 18, 2010
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.