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.

203 Reviews

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Reviews: 203
Hads: 334
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 9.71%
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 surprenant1138
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter. Pours a hazy dark amber. Small amount of quickly disappearing head. Nice lacing. Aroma is of hops, wet sour smell, wet hay. Mouthfeel is slightly grainy. Taste is of hops, dry, slightly bitter. It stays with you. Flavor makes me picture a hot, sunny day on a midwestern farm. This is my #2 barleywine and one of my favorite Stone brews.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy golden orange with a fingers worth of white head. Nice lacing holding up well.

Sweet bready malt up front dominating the nose for the most part. Smells very inviting.

Sweet malt with bold bitter hops on the back end. There is some biscuit flavors along with the malt upfront. Pretty balanced.

The mouthfeel is smooth and bitter, very well balanced. Its a great mixture. This is a monster ale that sits heavy.

Overall, one of the better barleywines ive had and will revist this. Glad i have another 2010 in the cellar.

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Photo of jsh420
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours murky reddish amber orange with a 2 finger off white head that had good retention and coated the glass with lacing

smells of sweet caramel malt and a good amount of citrus hops

taste is just like the nose but the malts are a bit too sugary sweet - the hops do save it and give it the bitter juicy fruity hop flavors

mouthfeel is great - just what i want in a 11% Bwine - full body with ample carbonation and gives it a little zip but still very creamy

overall this is another solid hoppy malty brew from stone

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Photo of whatthehull
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
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

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Photo of Gushue3
3.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm pretty new to barleywines so i dont have too much to compare to but here it is.

A- pours deep amber/red/orange. gigantic head that leaves good amount of lacing.

S- strong on the sweetness with a rush of hops and fruit toward the middle and end. medium booze taste at the end. pretty tasty

T- very sweet upfront that turns bitter in the middle that ends with a bitter lingering.

M- small carbonation bubbles feel nice, sweetness/bitterness make me pucker a tiny bit. medium/heavy feel on the tongue.

D- definately drinkable, flavors are good, decent mouthfeel.

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Photo of crossovert
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Early 2010 release. 650ml bottle.

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

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

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

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

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Photo of AdamBear
2.64/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A-murky dark amber with a light tan head. good lacing.

S-smells very malty with a lot of barley. it smells a lot like syrup. it smells a bit boozy as well. the smell is very strong.

T-comes in with a very malty blast of caramel and barley. its very striking. it then transforms in to a boozy bitterness that i don't find too desirable. the only part of this barley wine that i enjoy is the after-taste. it has good caramelized sugars that slightly remind me of belgian sugars. they're a bit bitter as well. this beer has a lot of heat to it. i'm not sure i'm a fan

M-has a creamy medium carbonation that is also bitter. the finish is bitter and fairly dry.

D-well i wish i would've saved this bomber for a tasting or something. it sure is a lot of beer. i could've split this four ways. its just not the type of beer i can drink a lot of.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottled, opened 02/2011.

Poured a murky cider-amber color with a finger of quick-receding eggshell head. Aroma of toffee, boozy heat, biscuit, and orange-dominated citrus.

Carbonation just shy of average and a creamy mouthfeel with just a touch of thinness on the finish. Flavor isn't overly sweet up front with lots of citrusy hops balanced by toast, brown sugar, mild spice. Agressive, hot finish with lots of bitter pine hop presence.

Enjoyable, but I thought this brew was a little two-dimensional compared with some of the other fresher barleywines I've sampled lately. Very malty, very hoppy, but not too much complexity emerging beyond that.

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Photo of Casey10
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow have had this in the cellar for a little while and decided to open it up. This is a very strong beer with lots of malt and a almost syrupy taste to it.

It has a golden hue about and the lacing on the glass is really nice.

This is a very strong brew if you don't take it easy with it.

It has a nice back raison taste as well.

well crafted will see what a couple of years on this might do to turn it down as it is hot.

A must try for the style though.

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Photo of deadliest
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A foggy copper-amber pour with a nice 2 finger light khaki head leaving a map of lacing down the sides of my Duvel tulip. All Stone products look awesome.
S: Caramel malts, a surprising amount of citrus hops. Brown sugar.
T: Caramel, hops and alcohol battle it out. I'm sure there are other flavors in there somewhere but my palate too busy with these 3 to find out.
M: Full with light carbonation, syrupy more than creamy.
D: It tastes good enough to want to keep drinking, but its a bruiser for sure. Not sure I could handle much more than this bomber.

Wish I could spare the room in my tiny collection to age some.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance: Reddish-caramel with a pretty substantial off white head.
smell: i drank one a year ago and put this one back. Smells promising. Actually some malt in there. Last year i thought i had a DIPA.
taste: Yikes, the hops just slapped the barleywine out of my mouth. Thought a year might tame it. Even for a DIPA, this would be unbalanced for my taste. Fully understand these hop monsters are just what the Doc ordered for some (many from the reviews). Either my palate is not refined enough or Stone just ain't for me.
And yea, it fits the style of American Barleywine. It is indeed "insanely hopped". Am not getting the complexity though, just the "insanely hopped". Still i do love beer and don't get me wrong...still a fine experience

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Photo of hopsyum
4.16/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early 2010 vintage

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.08/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of gopens44
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Photo of hophead1901
4.45/5  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.

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Photo of nhindian
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
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%.

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Photo of Lerxst
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of rarbring
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
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!

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Photo of MatthewPatthew
4.82/5  rDev +17%
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.

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