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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

327 Ratings
THE BROS
82
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | 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: 327 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of avalon07
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a pint bottle to an imperial pint glass. Had a reddish/gold color and a slightly hazy texture. There was a quarter inch of foamy head and very good lacing.

S: Surprisingly underplayed aroma of hops, caramel, and a bit of malt.

T: Tasted of pine hops, caramel, and a bit of hops in the finish. Gets better as it goes along. Very bitter, but definitely flavorful.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a slightly slick finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

D: An extremely drinkable, if potent, barleywine.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a clear ruby red color with hints of orange shinning through. The head is off white, almost a light yellow, thick and tight. An aggressive pour produces ample head that has very good retention. A thick lacing sticks to the side of the glass.

S-the nose is quite hoppy, not big, but balanced. The citrussy hops really hit you up front with notes of grapefruit. Oily piney hops set in with an underlying caramel malt backbone that adds some balance.

T-much maltier than the nose but still hoppy. Oily pine resign and caramel malts combine in the front. Grapefruit taste and bitterness compliment the onslaught of bitter malts up front to balance this out. Notes of rum soaked plums seem to be present at the very back with hints of alcohol warming

M-this is extremely smooth and slightly dry at the finish. It brings a medium to full body and is somewhat syrupy. Enough carbonation to finish somewhat crisp and hold the body throughout

D-this is somewhat boozy and brings a good bit of hops. Definitely a tasty brew, even fresh. Looks like this could really change with age and I can't wait to crack an 07! Much like Sierra Bigfoot with the big hop presence, not quite as hoppy as bigfoot but definitely a solid hop presence

Photo of goldbot
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coppery-red color with medium, off-white head that reduces quickly to a surface haze. Spotty lacing.

Up front, the nose is citrusy with some planty, herbal hop aromas as well. Notes of grapefruit and orange along with tropical fruit such as mango and pineapple. Some alcohol is detectable towards the end, particulary as it warms. The malt is definitely in the back seat on this one right now.

Fruity flavors of citrus and pineapple with an intense bitter throughout. Malt notes of caramel and dough, but these are again in the background compared with the substantial hoppiness.

Big bodied with a chewy and somewhat viscous mouthfeel. For a barleywine, this is all hops at this point; the malts are very subdued. Intensely bitter, slightly sweet at the finish, with a great hop profile. This could be an interesting beer for aging if the hops fade to reveal a good malt backbone.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: copper garnett, almost brown

smell: large hop presence, some citrus and pine aroma

taste: very hoppy anf I'm drinking this freash vs lst years at 6 months. This beer probably benfits alot from aging. slightly uncormfortably bitterness and not a very balanced BW

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: Nice beer, but probably better if aged.

Photo of champ103
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark garnet color. A two finger beige head forms with excellent retention. The wispy foam gently recedes after several minutes and leaves some sticky lace behind.
S: I don't get much in the nose. At first a light soapy and oily citrus hop aroma. Followed by some toasted caramel malt. Just not big enough.
T: Surprisingly balanced for a Stone Barleywine. Toasted caramel malt up front. Some chocolate and dark fruits. Plenty of citrus and piny hops linger on for a great balance.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Syrupy, sticky, soapy, and oily. There is some hot alcohol, but a great beer to sip on.

This years Old Guardian is much more balance than years past. This is very complex, and I have several bottles to cellar. I can't wait to see how this develops over the next few years. Recommend.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a large bottle into a snifter style glass.

I'm barleywine fan and was happy to see my local store had this brew as I was unsuccessful in locating it last year.

It pours a golden amber hue, a bit lighter in color than I expected, but it looks very good. Mostly clear with a head of not quite 2 fingers - again, a bit surprised by this but still very nice. There was good lacing all the way down the glass.

Aromas were complex, but with more hops than anticipated. I should expect this from Stone - I love their hopped up brews and that's why I buy them so frequently. There is plenty of that typical barleywine related aroma: carmel, dark fruit, and some estery scents, but the additions that blended nicely included some pine and citrus. Very cool.

Flavors were a rush on the first long pull; a rather balanced blend of heavier caramel malts and dark fruit esters with some interesting grapefruit and pine characteristics. Everything works great together and it really comes together as one full-on flavor rush. It's a touch sweet, as you would expect, but the hops tend to mute that a bit. The finish is cleaner than many barleywines I've had, perhaps do to the hops and heavier carbonation, but it certainly lets it go down easier.

Great brew! Stone Brewing scores another win in my book. If you want to try a slightly new twist on the same old barleywine, check out Old Guardian.

Photo of BigJim5021
4.28/5  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.

Photo of Alf7247
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've read many were disappointed with the 2009. The only one I've had of this was back in 2008 with a virgin palate, and I don't remember much from it. I've also been on a barley wine binge this past month and I was quite let down by comparison of others.

Served in a 22oz snifter

A- Reddish/orange, tan and creamy head that left quickly leaving a ring of thick bubble around the edge of the glass. Little lacing.

S- Hoppy at first, well balanced with malts. Very fruity. It became more malty and fruity as it warmed; the hops became faint in the background. It even showed some nuts. Alcohol remained well hidden, even as it warmed.

T- Very hoppy and bitter at first; loved it. Malts were present, providing nice balance. Fruits. Raisins poked through, with very faint molasses. Malty/fruity finish, which was unfortunately short. Alcohol made its presence known as it warmed.

M- I'm coming from a biased love for barley wines with some good viscosity. This was too thin for me; good carbonation though.

D- Very drinkable at 11%.

I love Stone. I guess I was expecting to be blown away. I felt like a teenager again waiting and calling the local bevmo if they had received it yet. I'm sad with the disappointment. Oh well. I hope it gets better with age; got two for the future.

Photo of Tdizzle
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on February 9th, 2010. 11.1% ABV.

A- Poured into a Bruery tulip, Old Guardian pours a clear orangish-amber color with a sticky head of tan-colored foam that settles to a fine cap over the beer. Not a lot of lacing remains on the glass, but a silky layer is encased by a thick ring that sticks around for an hour or two.

S- Candied fruits, hoppy and floral notes of citrus fruit and herbal pine, and sticky malt sweetness are kicked up by a strong alcohol presence that actually adds to the character of the aroma -- there's no burn to the smell.

T- The big malt body and its dripping, fruity sweetness hits the palate first, but it's quickly brushed aside by a moderate hop bitterness that lasts through the lightly dry and warming finish. The booze lends a good amount of brashness to the end flavor, but it's not cloying.

M- The feel is surprisingly on the medium side of full-bodied with low carbonation. Rather than being a detriment, the lighter-than-expected texture adds to the drinkability.

D- This year's edition is my favorite thus far. This is probably Stone's biggest beer, but it just works for me.

Photo of Spineypanda
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of Overlord
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Better than some of the past vintages, for sure.

Pours a deep amber orange. Smells like caramel-ed grapefruit, a bit of interesting mineral herbaliness, and a heaping load of randomized fruit/citrus aromas.

Taste is not quite as good. The grapefruit, citrus, and sweet, sweet malt backing are a bit eclipsed by the weird funky medicinal herbal thing that's going on. It's still pretty good, oily, sticky, and resiny, but it smells better than it tastes.

Maybe the Old GUardian stuff is back on the right track.

Photo of elniko
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into goblet. Limited early 2010 release.

A: Rich glowing somewhat hazy deep amber coloring with nice head for barleywine. Heavy lacing apparent as well. Good looking brew.

S: Nice Stone nose dominated by citrus hop notes but a backing of toffee tinged malt. Nice nose.

T & M: From what I recall the 2010 release strikes me as being more balanced than the 2009 release. Up front malt and toffee notes readily apparent with nice Stone hop notes on the finish.

D: For a barleywine quite drinkable, Bigfoot is still my favorite Old Guardian is a darn fine example of the style.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another winner for Old Guardian. Great copper-brown look with a nice tanned head served about an inch high. Great stick and legs. The nose is strong, even through the foam. Caramelly sweet malt with a ton of citric hops backed up by a wall of alcohol. No surprises, and no punches pulled.

The flavor is in your face, with a huge amount of hops doing battle with fiercely sticky malts. Sweet, with notes of caramel, toffee, slightly roasted barley, toast, and bubblegum. The hops are fruity, especially grapefruit pith, with a hint of pine. Will age like a champion, no doubt. Firm, thick mouthfeel that plays nicely with the high hopping and spot-on carbonation. Superb.

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

Picked up (2) bottles--one for the cellar and one for tonight. Poured slightly chilled into a Chimay goblet. Bottling date is unknown, but assumed to be recent due to "Early 2010 Release" on bottle.

A :: Pours a rich cognac color, with hints of ruby, copper, and tanned leather. A minimal head cascades to a thin collar with swirls of tiny bubbles forming a film across the surface of the brew. The transparency surprises me.

S :: Spiced apples, earthy hops, and oily citrus dance in an alcoholic dream. Deep, rich molasses lurks in the background with occasional herbaceous and medicinal notes. Surprisingly reminiscent of some overly-alcoholic Imperial IPAs, but the fact that this is a Barley Wine overrides any complaints.

T :: Sharp pine, searing alcohol, abundant malt...and I like it. Big, bright hops provide great balance to truckloads of boozy richness. Woody, citrus notes are a bonus, too.

M :: I am pleased with the healthy carbonation that counters the beer's richness. A smoldering burn from the 11.1% ABV and Stone-grade hop bill remind you that this is a brew to be reckoned with.

D :: This beer surprised me. From my limited experience in the Barley Wine genre, I was expecting raisins, syrup, and face-melting alcohol. Instead, I was greeted with subtlety, structure, and nuance. Well, and a solid dose of alcohol, too. But, after all, this is Stone, and the fact that they produced a product that is so distinctly their own is to be appreciated unto itself. I'm excited to see what a couple months of aging does to Old Guardian.

Photo of techfed87
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice full, rosy head. Beer itself is a clear amber.

Smell has a certain hoppy citrus feel to it. Although somewhat muted, it does have a hop presence that breaks through.

First sip is a quick snap of sweetness mixed in with a very sharp hop bitterness, brought together with a nice malt body. The flavor is nice because, although very up and in your face at the beginning, the after-taste mellows out to leave a crisp hop finish.

As barleywines go, this tends towards the more hop-filled, yet at the same time leaving in enough sweetness to keep it from becoming too overly bitter.

A good beer, but not my favorite in the genre.

Photo of jdklks
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love me some Old Guardian. This is a fave of mine for a long time.

A- Nice dark copper color, the head was thick and full when the beer was poured. After a spell it has simmered down to a thin layer over the beer itself. not much in terms of lacing.

S- Very fragrant, with a nice caramel smell with some definite boozyness. A fruityness that comes from the hops which are strong but not overpowering. I'm getting some bubblegum and other flavors I'm just not putting my finger on.

T- Caramel is good and strong, some great sweetness and the hops taste are fruity and cut the thicker malt presence. This one is tasty right now, almost seems like it has been sitting around for a good few months as it is. I bet this years batch will be a great candidate to age. Glad I have a few more for this.

M- Thicker body, but the hops and the carbination do help this one in the mouth.

D- Easy to drink, but best to just sip and enjoy.

Photo of pnkRed
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this into the Old Guardian Barley Wine Glasss I got from the brewery.

A-This poured a rich deep amber color with a one finger head that stays relatively long.

S- You can smell this bad boy from a mile away. The hops are very apparant. Citrus and pine. Some sweetness on the back end.

T- Sweetness hits you up front quickly followed by some hops with some alcohol on the finish. I can taste some raisins and fig and piney hops.

M- The alcohol lingers and so do the oils from the hops.

D- The alcohol is hidden for an 11% but it's still apparent. Definitely a sipper. As you drink on it actually feels a bit lighter and it seems to mellow out the warmer it gets.

Photo of Hershdawg
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 22 oz. Bottle into Old Guardian Glass.

A: Reddish brown color. Slight filmy head after pour and slight lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee, cherry, floral and pine hops. Sweet malty smell as well.

T: cherry wood, malts, pine, bit of alcohol but is a barleywine so its to be expected.

M: Smooth creamy goodness. Hop oils stick in your mouth for a while.

D: Its a sipper for sure.

Photo of WickedSluggy
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my stone barleywine glass. (From notes)

A: Ruby/copper in color. One finger slightly off white head. Slightly opaque. Real nice lacing.

S: Intense aroma. Dominated by hops. Tropical fruits (grapefruit/pineapple). Caramel malt background. Smells almost like a DIPA.

T: Honey, caramel, and a bit of toffee malt profile up front. Real bitter hop profile comes through as resin, pine and grapefruit. Some alcohol up in there too.

M: Full bodied. Bubbly, quite dry. Crisp clean finish.

D: Well masked alcohol makes for an incredibly drinkable barelywine.

I was a little caught off guard due to the somewhat DIPA characteristics of this beer, but I feel it was a very interesting twist on the style.

Photo of Zaplt
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - beautiful redish color with little tan head and not much lacing.

Aroma - sweet dark fruit, cherries, tart, some toastyness and and strong alcohol is present with some resinous like smells as well.

Taste - Woah! Ohhhh demon alcohol! This definitely needs to age to mellow out a little bit. Raisin, kind of vinous, dark fruit, can tell it's complex but alcohol is a little overwhelming - seems more apparent than in the Russian Imperial with the same alcohol content...hop resin comes through I think it's hopped generously for what it is. Caramel??

Overall it needs to be aged and should not be consumed this fresh in my opinion. Will buy another and open in a year +.

Photo of AnswerInQuestion
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a Chimay glass; dark brown with a hint of red, less than 1 cm of head fizzling out to bareley any, very faint lacing.

S: Fresh and crisp piney hops with a relatively faint sweet raisiny malt, especially for a barleywine.

T: Bitterness from Stone's signature hop profile, mixed with the barleywine sweetness of caramel and woody notes. Definitely more bitter than I usually like my barleywines, but the hops give way to more sweetness as the beer warms.

M: Lightly carbonated, but adequately for the style. Clean finish, with a slight hoppiness pushing aside the threat of an alcoholic sting.

D: Although this beer is not as sweet as I usually enjoy in a barleywine, it strikes me as a very accurate representation of stone's beer esthetic: cascade hops are stone's duct tape (in the best way, the ultimate tool), layered over the classic deep sweetness and high alcohol of the beer style. The crisp finish makes this beer taste more like their usual offerings, which are not quite as high in alcohol, but, having finished too much of a 22oz too fast, I can tell you that the alcohol sneaks up on you in a way that usualy barleywines are more obvious.

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The OG came to the Traid early this year,thankfully.Poured into a imperial pint glass a full rich bronze with a tight two finger head that settled slowly leaving one big sheet of lace behind.Wow the resiny hop aromas seem to be amped up this year,they really stand out,some alcohol and caramel show thru as well.Its real big right now,probably to big,leather and alcohol hits ya up front,the hops are oily and resiny,the sweet alcohol burn really hits hard though.It needs to sit no doubt,this is massive and full of extreme hop goodness,Iam gonna come back to it in a few months.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head that leaves enough lacing on the glass.

Smells of pine hops with some caramel sweetness.

Tastes of a big caramel malt flavor up front followed by that west coast hop flavors of pine and citrus. Some fruit makes an appearance to add depth to the sweetness. Alcohol is very well hidden. Compared to the 2009, I would say it is more balanced and less raw. My complaint about 2009 was that there was too much alcohol character, but that has been resolved and this is more to my liking.

Mouthfeel is on the full side of medium with a good creamy amount of carbonation.

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