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

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

327 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 327
Reviews: 201
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 11
Gots: 84 | 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
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Ratings: 327 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours murky deep orange, almost like a sunset in haze. The white head is rather thin and leaves only some lacings.

S: Molasses; sweet caramell malt. Some floral hops gives it a citric tone. Rather surprising since I've stored this bottle for quite some time. Dark dried fruits.

T: Sweet caramell malt. Still hoppy, both floral and bitter. Lots of dark dried fruits. Syrupy.

M: Full thick body, smooth. Carbonation is moderate. Aftertaste is sweet and stays for a little while, some faint bitterness as well. Warming and alcoholic.

O: Since I waited about a year to drink it, I can't say for sure what it was like when it was fresh, but the hops were surprisingly potent, still. A very nice American Barleywine. I kind of regret that I didn't buy more of it and stored a few bottles even longer...

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thought I had gotten lucky and grabbed a brand new 2011 bottle...unfortunately I was getting a year old 2010. We shall see how well it has kept.

Appearance:
Light brown with hues of orange and red. A thin white head blankets the beer and doesn't leave much lacing. The beer may have lost some carbonation sitting for a year, but that's speculation only. The high %abv may also contribute to this beer's lacking head. Everything seems fine so far, I have no major complaints.

Smell:
Caramel maltiness with notes of vanilla and cherries. The alcohol is also quite pungent, almost burns the nostrils. Thankfully the beer doesn't smell infected, so this may actually be a pleasant surprise!

Taste:
I'm very selective for which barley wines I like and this one is pretty damn flavorful. The beer is sweet and smooth, almost reminds me of a beer that spent time in a barrel. A beverage that is good for sipping and easily pleases the palate. I enjoyed this beer with some sausage and pepperoni pizza, but it could easily be paired with a more complex dish.

Mouthfeel:
Sticky sweetness with a noticeable bitterness in its finish. The alcohol works to improve this beer's sweet-bitter balance. Likewise there is a subtle bitterness that works to improve the beer's spice factor and contributes some additional bitterness. Describing this beer's mouthfeel in a few words: resiny, thick, strong, and smooth.

Overall:
Although I thought I had a brand new 2011 in my hands, this wasn't a bad purchase. The beer was fairly priced and lived up to my expectations. Rich sweetness with a little spice, there is a place for a beer like this, but I was unfortunately in the mood for an IPA.
I am looking forward to the 2011, but I may not wait a year just to buy it!

Cheers.

Photo of buschbeer
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle
Served in a snifter

A - It is dark amber to almost copper in color. I got about an inch of tan head.

S - I get a sweet malty molasses aroma.

T - The taste is malty and sweet. It finishes with an unpleasant bitterness.

M - Medium mouthfeel and oily slick

O - I don't like the hop profile in this one. I love the mouthfeel and the ABV.

Photo of robbrandes
4.25/5  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.

Photo of joecast
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hollingsheads deli.

Fairly light color. Clear deep amber / mahogany. Thin frothy tan head. Actually impressed it has such a stable head considering the age and abv.

Seriously complex stone fruit and heavy malt aroma. The type of beer you could easily sit back and sniff for a good while before drinking. Alcohol weighs in a bit as a warning of it's strength.

Big, no, huge malt bomb. Amazing how this beer, and obviously a good example of the style, can be so forthright in it's robustness. It seems to push everything else out of it's way. Don't let it fool you, hop bitterness, even after a year, creeps up on you in the finish.

Not something I would look to sip everyday, but this makes a fantastic night cap on those special occasions. More than a glass and you better phone a friend.

Photo of DrJay
4.33/5  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.

Photo of RandyV
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark amber color on the pour with a nice two inch head that dissipates quickly with little lacing. The smell is of malt and distinctive Belgian yeast with some tropical fruit. The alcohol is upfront initially with a nice warming finish. The dry finish is a nice balance to the malt presence. I tread lightly when it comes to Belgian ales, but this is a nice job by Stone to bring the style to Cali with a nice offering.

Photo of Snow81
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light orange haze

Head: Small head that dissipates quickly

Smell: Nice caramel malts with a great citric on the nose

Taste: Sweet dark citric with healthy malt sweetness

Weight: Medium body with low to medium carbonation

Finish: Rich full sweet hops with malts on the back end and subtle heat

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes, 7-21-2010

A - somewhat clouded deep copper body, medium taupe head.

S - sweet malts, some hop undertones.

T - full and complex malt sweetness, well balanced with some spicy hops

M - full bodied and creamy

O (D) - goes down easy and smooth, but its pretty strong.

Photo of surprenant1138
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of ChugginOil
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of jsh420
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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

Photo of whatthehull
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
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

Photo of Gushue3
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Photo of crossovert
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of AdamBear
2.6/5  rDev -37.2%
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.

Photo of grittybrews
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of Casey10
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of deadliest
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
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

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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 -3.4%
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 -13.5%
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.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 327 ratings.