1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

324 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 324
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: 324 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrDemento456
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
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!

DrDemento456, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

BeerFMAndy, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of rarbring
4.47/5  rDev +8%
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.

rarbring, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.03/5  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.

GarthDanielson, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of BeerLover99
4.28/5  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!

BeerLover99, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of MatthewPatthew
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

MatthewPatthew, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of dtivp
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

dtivp, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of aerozeppl
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

aerozeppl, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of PicoPapa
4.33/5  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.

PicoPapa, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of merryjoulton
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
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...

merryjoulton, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of stylinprofiylin
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
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

stylinprofiylin, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of perrymarcus
4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

perrymarcus, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of BBP
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

BBP, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of Mosley1212
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Mosley1212, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of dlmccabe1
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

dlmccabe1, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of brewerburgundy
3.85/5  rDev -7%
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.

brewerburgundy, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of godless1one
4.28/5  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

godless1one, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of arboristfish
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

arboristfish, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this bottle up at Capone's. Poured into a Bruery tulip. Split with Amyliz4 and her dad after some Thanksgiving leftovers.

The color is a bright peach with a single-finger white head that doesn't stick around too long but leaves a bit of ringy lacing and some extra bubbles around the edges of the glass. The nose is caramel, cherry, sweet malt, honey, and some alcohol. The hops aren't there like I remember in earlier vintages of this brew. There is some slight citrus, I suppose.

The flavor brings some nice sweetness and adds in quite a bit of booze compared with the nose. There is some slight cherry and a bit of toffee. The booze is quite prevalent and heavy at this point. Medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Drinks fairly well but is a bit boozy at this point and I'd like to sit on a bottle for at least another year.

Thorpe429, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of wvsabbath
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
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

wvsabbath, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of WildTurkey
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber to snifter.

A: Dark bronze w/ amber color. Thin head.

S: Big bready malts. Maybe some dark fruit. Noticeable hops.

T: Malt tastes like bread, some carmel, some raisins. Big hop kick for a barley wine - it kind of overpowers any sweetness coming through on the malts. Tart, bitter, a little piney. Some alcohol is also coming through.

M: Fuller body. Pretty dry.

D: Big flavor. Strong alcohol flavor. I couldn't slug this one back, I needed to take my time with this one.

WildTurkey, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of Anaz
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Almost looks like honey in the glass, golden, red-orange with a large white head that leaves some sticky lacing.

S-Lots of citrus, very bright with pine, caramel, and some raisiny, brown sugar sweet smells underneath. There is some booziness on the nose.

T- Mandarin and Meyer lemon zest, orange flower water, and pine from the hops with a boozey honey and caramel sweetness that fades into and assertive grassy bitterness with sugar and toasty malts at the finish. A lot of depth that will only become richer with age. I had a 2007 and a 2008 OG a few weeks back, so I know good things will come to those who wait.

M- Boozy, but very nice dry finish, not syrupy or astringent. Nice.

D- Deceptively drinkable, but the alcohol makes itself known, so slow sipping is a must. I hope I can buy a few and keep myself away from them for a few years, but it drinks really nice now with the hops being so prominent.

Anaz, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of SDtastentune
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Amber orange red, no head no lace.

S - Almost sweet apricot and alcohol, not sure about hops or malty'ness.

T - Hot and apricot mixed with slight malts of some sort. Slight aftertaste but not too much.

M - Medium fizzy/body, kinda easy drinking for a barley wine but then again its heavy.

D - Drinks great for a BW but I expect a little more almost.. maybe I like the black BW more out of sierra nevada now. This was a alltime favorite, but does it change every year or is this the same recipe as previous years? Thumbs up but kinda expensive ($8).

SDtastentune, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of OnThenIn
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a yellow head a finger high and a dark ruby body with orange hues.

S: hops and caramel. Some dark fruit and light alcohol notes. Lots of molasses.

T: Citrus hops are in the forefront, closely followed by hop bitterness, malt sweetness, molasses, tiny bit of dark friuit, and a bit of alcohol. The alcohol is somewhat hidden in the initial taste, but moves on to really be felt as the beer is going down.

M: thick body and a tiny bit higher carbonation than I expected.

D: it is definitely a slow drinker, but it is by no means hard to drink, especially considering it's large size. This beer really could use the help of a bit of age.

OnThenIn, Nov 20, 2010
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.