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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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

203 Reviews
THE BROS
81
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 203
Hads: 334
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 6.08%
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: 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 WickedSluggy
4.31/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The "early 2010 release" of this ale is a beatiful beer, ruby colored with half inch of foam - some parabolic retention and streaky lace.

There seems to be plenty of beauquet and aroma but unfortunately this tasting is with a mild head-cold. I can't pull out specifics so I'll just give it a 4.

Flavour is luscious. This ale seems to have significant age on it already - all those swirly ripe flavors are present and this release is ready to drink, aged yes but not extremely complex. The caramel sweetness is well balanced by plenty of hops. Satisfies need for intensity.

Mouthfeel is a thick swimmy bath for the tongue. Plenty of body. Dive in.

The drinkability of this ale is superb - good cold; better as it warmed. Dangerous, could take one to oblivion. (765 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage poured into a Stone Old Guardian glass.

The beer pours a hazy tannish-brown color with a small white head. The aroma is a mix of caramel, brown sugar, pine and some orange. The beer smells very sweet and syrupy, with no detectable alcohol.

The flavor is heavy on the toffee with a nice amount of orange citrus and pine notes. There is also a lot of sweetness from the brown sugar. The orange notes really come through and increase as the beer warms. The alcohol is detectable but the beer is still easy to drink.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A classic American beer that never disappoints. (627 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (441 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (877 characters)

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Early 2010 release, figured I'd review this one fresh.

A: Very interesting head, small and large bubbles mingling to form a very thin and white layer. Small bubbles are gone now, head is retaining quite like a barleywine should. A murky copper color with some orange highlights. Looks very traditional.

S: Nice malt profile for how hoppy this beer is supposed to be. It has a firm malt backbone for the hops to rest on. The hops are quite nice, citrusy and aromatic. Some apricot and peach in here. Also get a banana aroma, sweet fruits for sure. Very nice smell. No alcohol burn or hop bitterness.

T: Big butterscotch/caramel/vanilla hits the tongue right away. A bit of oakiness or burnt wood character. Has a flavor of sugar that has been just barely over caramelized. Nice subtle fruitiness, apricots and peaches. Really doesn't strike me as a barleywine type of flavor. Almost like a well made DIPA with a big malt bill. I am very impressed.

M: Not thick and syrupy, not thin and wispy. Very well balanced and feels like it has been aged. If I can grab another I'll put it away for a bit.

D: Very, very drinkable BW. Very well crafted, cheers to Greg on a fantastic brew! (1,182 characters)

Photo of Pahn
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Obviously, early 2010 release.

Appearance: Rather aggressive pour yields a half inch, fluffy white head that dissipates very slowly leaving little lacing. Pours a hazy reddish amber, has good legs, and leaves occasional swoops of thin lacing that usually disappear after a minute or so.

Smell: From the bottle: piny hops, some sugary malt in the background. In the glass: Citrus, floral, and piny hops, and a really deep caramel note (in general, when I smell or taste an American barleywine, I want some form of a caramel note like this to be there). Lots going on; raisin, cherry, a hint of fig. Hard to pin down sweet notes that could be several different, unexpected fruits, or types of fresh bread or cake.

As the beer warms, a vodka-like alcohol smell swallows up almost everything in the aroma. It still smells decent, but that alcohol note is huge (significantly bigger than in the taste). The pre-vodka nose is pretty much a 5, and the post-vodka nose somewhere between a 3 and a 4.

Taste: First sip: wow, lots going on; more than I can keep track of. At first there's a thick, chewy caramel flavor that quickly (but smoothly) develops into other sweet malty notes, then a big hit of piny hop bitterness, then a very warming finish.

In subsequent sips, a very interesting mix of solvent-like, pine, and sugary pastry flavor pops up in the middle (it tastes like it's high in my mouth, up to my nose). Deeper into the bottle, the flavor really fills up with various fruit notes, and the finish takes on a spiciness along with the alcohol. The malt stays very deep and strong up front, tasting like toffee and other sweet, usually chocolaty flavors.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium bodied. Finishes very hot, but the bitterness is not as influential on the feel as with, say, a strong (D)IPA.

Drinkability: I love barleywines, and I love this barleywine. More than one bomber would surely put me in a place beyond the ability to type beer reviews (or do much besides embarrass myself), but it's a great sipper. I want an American barleywine to be aggressive and full-flavored, with each sip giving me something different than the last. As long as I keep receiving that, its drinkability is high, and Old Guardian doesn't stop delivering.

As expected, another stellar "big beer" from Stone. Old Guardian provides delicious, complex, diverse, but still stylistically consistent American barleywine flavors, in abundance. Further, I'd be shocked if two to three years in the cellar don't bump the smell and taste score of this beer up to 5. (2,586 characters)

Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

big hoppy, bitter, and boozey. very tasty. A little more age might take the edge off the booze, but lose out on some of the hop flavors.
This bottle was an early 2010 batch consumed in August 2010. (616 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (894 characters)

Photo of nkersten
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy reddish orange with a small off white head, small bubbles near the edges. Smell is very hop forward - spicy herbal and floral. Malt sweetness is there but not as in your face as most American Barleywines. Taste is spicy hops up front balanced by malt, but definitley heavy on the malt. Finish is an earthy hop profile. Mouthfeel is medium body and light carbonation, not as coating as most in the style. While it might not fall perfectly into style, i prefer my barleywines extra hoppy and when i saw this one was fresh i had to pick one up. For me, this is a great example of the style. (602 characters)

Photo of beyah
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

Any enjoyable barely wine, a 11% beer, hard to belive. It didn't have that wine like flavor that many Barley wines have, you can tell that it's a relative of Arrogant Bastard, but that's ok since Arogant Bastard is my go to beer, when I want a pleasent bomber of a fine ale. (442 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (1,151 characters)

Photo of jdklks
4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank god Old Guardian not only came back, but that it is much much better than last year's batch. Pours a burnt dark orange that is absolutely stunning. This is accompanied by a soft, off white, almost tan head that lingers awhile and laces the glass wonderfully. The smell is of hops and citrusy fruits; more like a DIPA but not as strong, and not as good. Some peach, lots of figs, and tangerine.

The flavor this year is much less hoppy than last year's version was fresh. This version in three years will taste like the 07 does now: incredible. Definitely my favorite batch since 07. Starts off with its usual hoppy character, but it is neither over-done, nor does it linger for too long. Instead, it gives way to an alcoholic orange flavor that is quite pleasing, and perfectly sweet. Other flavors include a hint of figs, red apple, and a very subtle maltiness that develops so well in this beer over a few years. This years version is leaps and bounds better than last. Mouthfeel is too light, but well carbonated nonetheless. (1,035 characters)

Photo of lsummers
4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an amber deep red on tap. Head took a minute to settle but eventually diminished to leave some impressive lacing.

First hints at a mollasas buttery smell but is a little faint.

The taste hits you right up front. It's like a zesty syrupy taste that changes into the molasses like flavor with a touch of the hops coming through. It ends very pleasantly with a sweet nutty burnt aftertaste. To me the sweetness of this beer combined with the hoppy burnt molasses flavors makes this one a great sipper.

The mouthfeel helps the flavor dance on the tongue at first confusing you into the complex notes. On tap this beer had a bit more carbonation than what I remember but I liked it. It lightens an otherwise thicker mouthfeel.

Can't wait to keep trying these year after year. (782 characters)

Photo of BigJim5021
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was a huge fan of the 2009 vintage of Old Guardian, so I was incredibly excited to crack open of the 2010 model.

The beer is identical to the 2009 in appearance. It pours a gorgeous, deep amber with a beige head that leaves copious lacing.

The aroma is heavier on sweet caramel malts this year. I'm not complaining, just pointing it out. That's not to say that you don't get some hops in the nose, just not as much as last year.

The flavor is also sweeter and more malty than last year. The 2009 -- when fresh -- was essentially the hoppiest beer I've ever had. The piny, resinous hops immediately kicked you in the teeth. This year, they've upped the malt and produced a somewhat more balanced barleywine. Again, I'm not gonna sit here and say that this little momma isn't hoppy. She is. She's just added some more malt to the repertoire.

Mouthfeel is just as thick and creamy as last year. It just feels great in your mouth. (That's what she said.)

Drinkability is as high as it comes at 11.1%. This beer is a guaranteed ass kicker. No doubt about it. Treat it with respect and it might just see fit to let you survive. (1,128 characters)

Photo of Rojopunk
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
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 . (575 characters)

Photo of godless1one
4.25/5  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 (503 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
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! (612 characters)

Photo of whatthehull
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a brown/orange super opaque almost swamp water look, no head and no lacing

S - orange, toasted malt, barley and oak. Really sweet end of the smell, a bit of hops, floral and citrus and huge alcohol. There is one other note, I can't quite describe but it is very much there. Earthy, sappy, fresh cut tree like quality

T - Very nice. Lots of citrus and floral hops. A lovely bitterness that turns sweet. Orange flavored liqueur. Toasted everything. Malt, barley, wheat. Maybe some wine notes or wine barrel? The yeast note is very nice

M - a bit sticky, but well carbonated, leaves a bitter sweet citrus flavor that last for sometime. Really nice.

D - For $6 and 11.2% abv. This beer has great drinkability. Flavor is awesome when really cold and when it cools down it's flavors change nicely. Stone has done it again

Final thought - Love this beer (862 characters)

Photo of Spineypanda
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a nice amber almost brown color and a large frothy head.
Smells of straight up barley. A bit of sweets because of the large amount of malt.
Tastes a lot less strong than I expected which is great! I don't like my barleywines to be exceptionally sweet.
Has a nice barley taste and some bitterness.
I love this beer! Better than the many before. (347 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
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! (339 characters)

Photo of Loot
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
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! (1,282 characters)

Photo of WeedKing4
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle pours a dark, clear golden amber with a decent amount of foam using the sam adams perfect pint glass. I could smell it as soon as I opened the cap. I found this beer to be quite bitter in a good way, with lots of hop bite as it was still remotely fresh. Very smooth overall and no hint of the 11.1% at all in either glass I poured. A very nice beer overall. (371 characters)

Photo of robbrandes
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 22oz bomber.

pours a deep, slightly hazy copper. minimal head, but superior retention.

the nose is a nice mix of maltiness, caramel and a faint bit of alcohol and that unmistakable 'stone' fruity-earthyness.

huge, huge, huge malt bomb on the palate. and an aggressive 1-2 punch of alcohol and hop bitterness, as it makes it way down your throat. nice warmth in the belly after a glass or two.

exceptional mouthfeel. carbonation isn't huge, but the slippery quality to this barleywine is awesome. leaves you certainly wanting another drink. (558 characters)

Photo of tewaris
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aged 2 years in a CLOSET. It worked.

Looks great albeit a little hazy... smells great... strongly malty: caramel, old hops (it's Stone alright!), toasty, awesome.

Great and robust malt character minus the sweetness... an excellent fruit and nut character with a finish to die for. Excellent feel if not quite as silky as I'd like. Great overall. (347 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
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 (697 characters)

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