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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
92
outstanding

330 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 330
Reviews: 201
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 11
Gots: 85 | 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:
Beer added by: northaustin on 02-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 330 | Reviews: 201
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear burnt-orange color with a small 1/8" head of off-white bubbles after a pretty aggressive pour. There are quite a few bubbles slowly making their way to the top of this obviously viscous liquid. They don't maintain the head, though there are quite a few rising. Just from swirling and the head falling, there is a decent amount of lace on the glass already. There is some pretty significant lacing left after drinking the beer and the head never completely disappears, so this is nice for a Barley Wine.

Aroma: I initially got a healthy dose of clean and slightly toasty malts to go along with the generous citrusy hops. The hops are the predominant force in the aroma, but the malt and some mild peppery spice from the alcohol are definitely a player. As the beer warms, the alcohol and spice are coming out a bit more, but really the volume is just getting turned up on the overall aroma profile.

Taste: The flavor is full of hops, so much that they are leaving a bit of a chalky impression on the top of my palate all the way to the belly. The alcohol is definitely big in this one, and this is my first beer of the night, so it is quite noticeably warming. Though the hops are such a huge player in the flavor, they don't completely dominate the finish. There is some malt and warming to notice in the finish as well as a substantial bitterness. The balance is definitely toward the bitter, but it isn't tipped so hard that this beer is hard to drink. The mouthfeel is actually quite pleasant for a Barley Wine. It is well carbonated, so this keeps the slightly high TG from saturating your palate. Big surprise, as I am about half-way through the beer, it is getting MUCH easier to drink.

Opinion: I typically like to let a Barley Wine sit for at least two years before drinking it as I am more fond of the malt than the hops and I like to let them settle down a bit...but I didn't do that with this beer so I could try it as Stone intended it. I must say that I am impressed. This is a well-crafted Barley Wine. I don't find that this is the easiest style to drink when you first open it up, but this one never gets too sweet, or bitter, or hot from the alcohol. I would definitely try this beer again and I would recommend it if you are in pursuit of the ultimate Barley Wine (as I know MANY that are)...this just may be the one for you.

Photo of gopens44
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep ruby red and a touch hazy with a nice 1/2" foamy head that didn't hang out with us veyr long

S - Nice pine shaped aromas hit first with a malty finish. Maybe hints of plum as well.

T - Sweet, and a tad boozy. Pine and a little few hints of grapefruit hop characteristics swirl around as well.

M - Low carbonation and smooth. A little on the thick/syrupy side, but otherwise very pleasant on the tongue.

I enjoyed this quite a bit and look forward to a few more. A few to drink now, and maybe age a couple.

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 hophead1901
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of nhindian
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into an Stone Old Guardian glass.

A - Pours a dark goldenrod color with about a finger's worth of khaki colored head. Decent retention. Lacing is sporadic, yet thick. Relatively muddy body and no hint of carbonation.

S - Upon first smell this beer is definitely heavy on the malts, sweet, thick and bready. Not biscuit-dry but a bit chewy. But then the rest of the nose comes through and you can tell this is pretty heavily hopped. Juicy citrus crowd the back-end of this beer and it's appetizing.

T - Taste certainly follows the nose for this beer. The front end is very malt heavy, almost like biting into a freshly baked loaf of bread, but quite sweet. This sensation doesn't last for very long, however, before switching to a surprisingly hoppy finish. Easy to pick up flavors of pine and citrus, especially orange, which helps switch the beer from malt to the bitter finish. And the finish is quite bitter, both as a result of the hops and the high alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Finish is long and especially bitter. Leaves a nice coating in the mouth.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. Honestly, a great transition beer to the more malt forward beers out there and probably one of my favorite barleywines I've had so far. It is a great balance between the two extremes of malt and hop and although the alcohol is there, it's certainly not apparent that it's 11.1%.

Photo of Lerxst
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours an orange/amber with a nice sized white head that has good retention and leaves some nice lace.

S-Rich malts greet me first, then some citrus and a bit of pine and a bit of booze. Very prominent and pleasant nose.

T-Nice balance with bready malts and citrus & pine hop notes, a bit of dark fruit, and a hint of booze which is not at all unpleasant.

M-Full bodied, slightly creamy, moderate carb level.

D-A bomber is thoroughly enjoyable but as I drank I didn't think I would be wanting more when it was empty. but I wouldn't have minded a bit more.

One of the best American Barleywines IMO.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 GarthDanielson
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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 MatthewPatthew
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

Photo of dtivp
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy reddish brown with a very nice one finger off white head with good retention, moderate lacing on the glass.

Aroma of malt, citrus and some pine.

The hop bitterness hits your taste buds hard at first then the malt smooths the taste. There is also hints of grapefruit and caramel.

Mouthfeel is a smooth medium to full body with moderate carbonation. It is very surprising that this is a 11.1 % ABV beer, the alcohol is very well masked.

This is a nice barley wine beer, it may even get better with a little age.

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 PicoPapa
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with "Limited Early 2010 Release" on the front. Pours a hazy reddish amber color with a thin head. Some lacing. Aroma is boozey. Also picking up on some apple and malts. Taste has a nice malty, boozey sweetness to it. Some hop bitterness as well. This barleywine has a lot going on and is really good. Nice alcohol burn to it but is still surprisingly drinkable. One of the best barleywines out there.

Photo of merryjoulton
3.62/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this last year and thought it was a great beer. Unsurprisingly, they upped the ante and made an even better brew with the 2010 vintage. I have had at least 5 bottles of this, and it is consistently good. The hop aroma is top notch with pines, needles, sticky icky grapefruits, and a coying and large malt. Taste is mostly bitters, but the abv shines through and makes it taste very high class. I expect 2011 to be even better, but I wonder how they will pull it off...

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a small but fluffy biege head. The lace isn't bad, a few chunks hang onto the side.
Peaty malts and citrus dominate the smell. There is some background pine and caramel with only a hint of alcohol.
Malts and hops cascade into a pretty unique combo, which is both interesting and slightly off-putting. Lots of pine and citrus mix with caramel, pear, smoke, brown sugar... Very complex, might taste more put together with age. Thickness and warmth feels nice going down.
All together I have to say that, though I was appreciative of the complexities of this Barleywine, I wasn't truly sold. Might cellar one since they are changing it up in '11.

Photo of stylinprofiylin
4.85/5  rDev +17.4%
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

Photo of perrymarcus
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bomber (22oz) served in a snifter glass.

pours a murky amber tone with slightly less than a finger of a creamy beige head; not much retention, lacing in spots - fairly typical for the style.

aroma is great: smacks of heavy, sweet maltiness... brown sugar, caramel, maybe a hint of dark fruits... some hops evident.

the malty introduction of the flavor is quickly overpowered by a surge of hops, much more than i would have guessed judging by the nose. lends the beer a decided bitterness lasting through the finish, which also packs some heat from the booze. solid representation of an american barleywine, if maybe a little too hoppy for my taste.

smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel; drinking pretty well for a north of 11% ABV beer; that said, i'll be all set with the bomber.

Photo of BBP
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a clear reddish amber with slight carbonation, a creamy head, and tons of lacing, and a slight bit of unfiltered goodness.

S- Definite hop aroma. Pine and citrus. Floral hops as well, and some slight fruit.

T- Bitter hops are pretty front and center in this one. The malt is very minimal but it does play a good part in keeping it from being just a simple hop bomb. There is a ton of pine flavor in this, and I noticed some grapefruit as well. There's a lot of caramel malt that doesn't get in the way of the hops one bit. If I haven't given it away yet the hops are the focus of this beer. For a barleywine, I'd expect more of a malt presence, but I don't think it's a flaw to have a hop heavy beer. The citrus and biscuit flavors in this are so subtle in comparison to the hops and I'm not even drinking it all that fresh either.

M- Full bodied, creamy, and smooth. I love how unintrusive the carbonation is while still complimenting the drink. Leaves a slightly sticky, although not dry, finish.

D- This is really 11.1%?! It is beyond easy to drink. There are a lot more 7% drinks with less ABV presence than this. The only way it's noticable is the heat as it goes down. I found this to be easier to drink than I ever expected a barleywine to be. Just the right amount of hops for bitterness, but not so much as to slow you down. You need to watch yourself with this one.

Photo of Mosley1212
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A--Dark, vibrant orange with a cloudy, brown tint. It poured with a 1 1/2 inch white head that stayed around for a while before leaving. It was beautiful.

S--Wonderful. It has a heavy scent of alcohol for sure, but behind that you have fruit, fruit, and more fruit. Dark grape fruits, raisins, maybe cinnamon. This is probably the best barley wine I have ever smelled.

T--First off, it's hard to ignore the alcohol flavor. It's there from the beginning til the end. You also get a lot of the fruit notes with each sip. Tastes like cinnamon, figs, almost a rum flavor. It really tastes like a nice spiced rum. I liked it.

M--Heavy feel in the mouth. Burn from the alcohol exists for sure.

D--Not very high. It's a good sipper beer, but if you try to drink a lot of this, the 11.00% is going to catch up to you quickly.

Photo of dlmccabe1
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, snifter.

Hazed apricot colored beer, with wisps of tannish, but typical off-white head. Maybe this is a case of abv affecting head seriously.

Dried apricot, yellow raisin, apricot hop, huge caramel, and a little diacetyl and alcohol.

Dried apricot again, white pepper, apple, butterscotch, caramel, and all quite sweet. The hop bitterness is pretty miniscule, but the alcohol bitterness makes up for it. Alcohol also contributes a little to the tropical, dried fruit aspects. This is already a pretty cohesive beer built around alcohol, light dried fruit, and a steady does of caramel.

This is quite flat, which reveals a thinner than expected body. I'm not impressed, but the flavor hides this weakness until the end of the glass.

The alcohol is there but it's very well worked into the rest of the beer. It's going down smooth.

Photo of godless1one
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
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

Photo of arboristfish
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a deep red amber, almost like a blood like color. The smell was of caramel malts, and citrus hops. The flavor was strong with caramel malt, with a balance of citrus hops. There was a lot of alcohol there but it wasnt out of place, it was balanced well in the beer. The mouthfeel was medium, and the carbonation was right on. Overall I would say a sipping beer, but even though its sipping it is very drinkable.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 330 ratings.