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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
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 taigor
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 8oz glass.

A - Poured cloudy orange color with big head that slowly dissipated leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Mostly citrus, hops and slight scent of malts.

T - Sweet start, very fruity with citrus and brown sugar with slightly bitter hoppy finish.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D - High abv is noticeable so be warned. Otherwise, very enjoyable and highly recommended barleywine.

taigor, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of garuda
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazed deep amber that gets a one finger thick off white head that recedes to a thin ring of bubbles that cling to the edges of the glass. Little lacing.

S/T - Similar with big sweetness of dark fruits and caramelized malts. Pine hops finish off both the aroma and finish. Lingering mouthfeel is both warm from the alcohol, and bitter from pine resin like hops.

M - Full body, medium carbonation with warming alcohol.

D - Given the abv and style, the alcohol was well hidden and enhanced the drink. Everything seemed nicely balanced, but I would like to compare it against a fresh bottle. I would buy this again.

garuda, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of SuperSpy
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very cloudy copper. If not for the small head that quickly dies down to a nice foam cap I would say that this almost looks like apple cider.

S - Very fruity, sweet and malty. Some dark fruits but also hints of tropicals like starfruit and guava. There is a heavy malty aroma that lets you know this is going to be a BIG beer.

T/M - Very rich deep flavor. A bit of caramel, a woodsy flavor that is reminiscent of the smell of the air in a humid forest. Bits of dark fruits. Cured hickory, but not at all smoky, more like the aroma of the cured wood. Warm alcohol and a dry finish. heavy bodied and almost chewy.

D - An excellent barley wine. I will be cellaring a few bottles of this and revisiting every 6-12 months.

SuperSpy, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of mjaskula
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early 2010, served in a tulip glass. The beer is a nice clear dark copper reddish color. The head is moderately thick and tan. It thins and leaves some thick lacing.

The aroma is thick and syrupy sweet with carmel and dark fruits. It is backed with bitter pine hop aroma. The flavor follows the nose, starting off sweet and smooth. The carmel and fruit are still there, and the bitter finish is aggressive.

Mouthfeel is thick, but not as syrupy as I expected. Overall I really like this one. I have a second bottle to age. I'm looking forward to seeing how the hops will mellow out over the next year.

mjaskula, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of BigPlay1824
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in an Ommegang Tumbler
22oz Stone Old Guardian Bomber

A: Pours a beautiful cloudy reddish amber color with very little head

S: Honestly one of the most distinct smelling brews ive ever come across. Has heavy alcohol scent but also a deep woody smell that is also very sweet

T: Deep flavors of woody with a very strong alcohol presence but also has a very sweet wine like finish that stays right on the taste buds

M: Immediately burns the tongue on contacts, really awakens the mouth all around. Flavors linger on the back of the tongue

D: Really a great taste that has intense depth but is surprisingly not too heavy, definitely cant be drank too fast but if taken slowly it gets better as it warms up (i drank mine outta the fridge) and is actually a really enjoy able brew

BigPlay1824, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber. Limited Early 2010 Release.
Amber color, tan head, a little bit of lace.
Aroma of caramel, sweetness, and flowers.
Big hops. Mostly grapefruit, a little bit of piney hops. Sweet caramel malt.
Pretty sharp and piquant.
Great beer to drink.
Definitely a sipper.

lordofthewiens, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of xanok
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle into my Stone RIS tulip

A-Body is somewhere between an orangish-amber and a brick red. Unusual and pleasing actually. The just-off white head sticks around for quite a while.

S-Sooo..complex. Dried fruit, hops, citrus fruits. There's also some caramel malt here as well.

T-Sweeter than expected, the maltiness takes a front seat to everything. Piney hops come through along with the aforementioned fruit notes.

M-Carbonation borders on heavy with a thick, but smooth body. Aftertaste is strong and lingers. Very small sips needed!

D-Low drinkability, even for the style. Absolute flavor explosion combined with the high ABV make even just the one bomber a lot to tackle.

xanok, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of Loot
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- it pours a burnt orangey, golden yellow color, think unfiltered apple juice. Minimal head, and carbination, what i'd expect from the style.

S- the smell is really complex, but mellow from what i was expecting, think DIPA, but aged the hops have fallen out just a bit but matured, into spicy, herbal, earthy tones. It smells sweet, like fresh wort. a cereal sweetness that really comes through, the smell to me is almost malt forward. earthy, sweet, and spicy. like in other reviews, has that stone character. i don't know what it is. Great.

T- sweet, almost smokey flavor, spicy and earth malt character, the bitterness builds, and leaves resiny hoppy, tingly and coating your mouth. Finishes with alcohol vapors, but not too distracting, gets more noticiable as it warms. apricots and caramel.

M- thinner than expected, but sill admirable, coats the mouth with sweetness, and maltiness, finishing with a hoppy resin, not overly bitter.

D- pretty drinkable, from what i was expecting, over 11%, and not that filling, two pints for sure, but by then, might have to tap out...too much sweetness to have more...great journey while it lasted. alcohol, starts getting to you. great sipping beer.

*this was my first venture into barley wines and no doubts i will be back for more!

Loot, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of nkersten
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy reddish orange with a small off white head, small bubbles near the edges. Smell is very hop forward - spicy herbal and floral. Malt sweetness is there but not as in your face as most American Barleywines. Taste is spicy hops up front balanced by malt, but definitley heavy on the malt. Finish is an earthy hop profile. Mouthfeel is medium body and light carbonation, not as coating as most in the style. While it might not fall perfectly into style, i prefer my barleywines extra hoppy and when i saw this one was fresh i had to pick one up. For me, this is a great example of the style.

nkersten, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of pumptrick
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this barley wine, this is the reason for my love of the style. Can never get enough. The taste is typical stone with the mighty hop presence that give way to delicious roasted barley then the alchohol burn. Pour this beauty straight into a snifter on release date or cellar it for years and watch how it changes. Hops fall out and the flavors just meld into pure enjoyment.

pumptrick, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.7/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance -- Pours a ruddy amber with one finger of sudsy beige head. Fair amount of lacing for the style.

Smell -- Right off the bat it just *smells* like a Stone beer...what is it, mineral content? Must be the water. Grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, tropical fruity as the day is long. A dash of mint rounds out the hop aroma. Great hops, but the malt base seems a big flat: caramel is all that can be picked out.

Taste -- The hop character is all over the place: citrus pith and pine resin up front, vegetal bitterness toward the back end. Malts are sweet and simple: honey, soft caramels, possibly some brown toast. Finish is bitter herbal/medicinal hops, caramel, and dark toast. Alcohol presence is more than would be desired, but not terribly distracting.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full body with mild carbonation. Moderate alcohol sharpness. Meh.

Drinkability -- I know many (most?) will disagree with me, but I wasn't bowled over by this one, and I'm typically a Stone fan. The hop profile is scattered, overly strong (even for the style), and downright unpleasant in the finish; it tastes like I swallowed a cloud of gnats. Even after the hops fade with time, I'm not convinced I enjoy the malt base enough for that to turn it for me as it is lacking in depth.

Your mileage will likely vary, and feel free to disagree. If it helps, I'm really quite bummed that it didn't meet my seemingly sensible expectations.

yeahnatenelson, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of birchstick
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a very dark burn orangish red, similar to the color of the leaves on the trees right now

S - loads of citrus hops that are balance by caramel malt. If I didn't know what this was, I would have through it was a DIPA

T - a barrage of citrus and grapefruit hops greeted me at first, but these were pushed aside by the Barleywine flavors I am accustomed to tasting - sticky, sweet, caramel malt, brown sugar, and some dark fruits. This is packed with a lot of flavor.

M - creamy, full, and smooth. Nice!

D - Solid barleywine here. You can definitely pick up the California influence with the huge amount of hops, but once your palette adjusts a little this starts to really shine. Awesome barleywine by Stone.

birchstick, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle at 48* into a snifter.

A: This pours somewhere between burnt-orange and brick-red with a finger of long-lasting and great lacing head.

S: It features aromas of chocolate, molasses, a medium-strong hop character, and a strong caramel malt backbone.

T: It tastes like candy sugar, raisins, molasses, chocolate, and a bit of an oak taste.

M: It is a bit sticky and sweet, yet it never gets too thick.

D: This is superb in every way. It is potent but not too noticeable; sweet but in a good way; and boisterous but still balanced and drinkable. Nice.

bucklemyshoe, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of Kmiller565
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a nonic pint glass. 2010 edition

A: poured a nice orange-ish amber color with a slight haziness to it. Head is one index finger thick with a nice off-white color. This barleywine leaves solid lacing on the glass as you drink. This brew looks awesome.

S: the first aroma i am getting is of sweet malts and some nice dried fruit along with a mild grapefruit and pine hop nose. Nothing about the aromatics stunned me, but the aromas did open up a bit more once this brew warmed up some in the glass.

T: wow, this barleywine is the real deal. The first taste matches the nose, with a good amount of sweet malts and breads coming through. The second wave of flavor is all hops baby. A really nice combination of citrus and pine gives this barleywine a nice complexity and balance that is needed to combat the sweetness. At just over 11% abv, the last taste is a little warm, but nothing overpowering. I also taste a little smoke in the finish.

M: overall very smooth with medium carbonation. A bit of creaminess makes this brew feel great on the palate.

D: i love this barleywine. Many times barleywines can over do certain aspects whether it be hops or sweetness, but this is great with its complexity and balance. This is a strong brew, but also very drinkable. It would be a shame to pound a couple of these, you want to taste and savor this one.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking to get into barleywines or anyone who enjoys them. You will not be disappointed this one is a beast with great taste and complexity

Kmiller565, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of begforme4484
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light brown with an amber hue. About a finger's width of an off white head which subdued quickly. Spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

The malt scent is the most standout. But the yeast and the hops are fairly subdued and even. No real hint of the 11.1% monster I'm about to consume.

Wow, I'm going to have to take a second sip just to realize what I'm drinking. What a flavor explosion, very surprising based on the nose. A very warm beer. There's a wall of flavor that hits you instantaneously. The flavors then begin to unfold, the is a nice sweet fruity/bready malt flavor. An overall spiciness from the yeast and an astringent bitterness from the hops all throughout. The 11.1% percent IMO, is hidden fairly well, although, you can definitely tell it's there. That just adds to the experience of the flavor profile for me. The warm and slight sting definitely go hand in hand with the flavor.

This beer is smooth and thick. A well placed amount of carbonation, and a very slight lingering bitterness.

It's very drinkable for 11.1%. I've had barley wines that are just sickeningly sweet and overboard. But this beer was balanced very well, and is very enjoyable.

begforme4484, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of flagmantho
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into a tulip. This is the "limited early 2010 release" according to the bottle.

Appearance: rich, cloudy, tawny-orange hue with one thick finger of frothy tan foam. A superb looking beer, indeed.

Smell: rich, sweet malt aroma. It's not bursting with fruit or yeast character or even hops; it's simply a strong but even-handed aroma. It's balanced and I like it.

Taste: big, in-your-face malt hits you right up front; there's a big sweetness with some piney hop characteristics. It is only at the end that a huge bitterness hits you. Stone really knows their strong ales, and this beer is no exception; though, I will say this beer lacks a lot of complexity (at least at this age). It's good, it's smooth and it's strong, but I feel like it could be a whole lot more.

Mouthfeel: thick, roamy body with plenty of well-integrated carbonation. This bad boy is silky, creamy and ambrosial when it comes to texture. Love it.

Drinkability: a tasty beer which is quite drinkable at the 11.1% ABV level. The alcohol is definitely there, but with the flavor and body to back it up. Good stuff.

flagmantho, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of bierguru
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -
cloudy copper brown thick tan head which is fairly foamy

S -
sweet grapefruit hops and pine

T -
grapefruit bold hop taste on the backend very mild alcohol taste there is also some dark fruit characters as well as some roasted notes
grapefruit taste fasdes as beer warms

M -
thick and froathy smooth slight tingling from the hops

D -
pretty hopy for probably for the average person however i really enjoyed it and would for sure get it again

bierguru, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of ykncornelius
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Even with almost a year of aging behind it, this thing is really really big, with a ton of bitter bite and alcohol heat showing through. It's still fantastic right now.

Poured a clear garnet red in the glass, which just glowed with some backlighting. Really good-looking. Thick just-off-white two-finger head left fantastic lacing for such a potent potable. It's like a stained glass window of booze.

The aroma isn't terribly complex, but it smells sweet and warm and inviting.

There isn't a ton of sweetness with each sip, but there is warmth and fantastic hop flavor and some lingering aftertastes of smoke and roasted malt. Basically, this thing is just aching to be aged for a few more years before seriously delivering.

Excellent mouthfeel...savory and sweet, with strong enough carbonation that it's still going strong at the end of the glass.

The drinkability suffers a little because it's so strong, and it's obvious with each sip. I love beers like this, but many would prefer that kick be hidden a bit better. It flows down the hatch like water for me; a definite sipper to be enjoyed.

Need to get my hands on more barleywines...

ykncornelius, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of StaveHooks
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy glowing burnt orange color. A bubbly off-white head melts into wispy islands.

S - Rich caramelized brown sugar, fresh cut pine wood, grapefruit, pineapple, cinnamon, strawberries. Notes of oak comes out as it warms.

T - Warm and spicy up front before blankets of malt brings in sweet toasted toffee, and rich caramel. The grapefruit rind hops start invading the castle and turn from citrus to pine resin on the finish diminishing any and all sweetness from the malt. The aftertaste is dry with flavors of malt, herbs, and bittering hops.

M - Full bodied with high carbonation.

I had high hopes for this beer and it didn't let me down. The nose is heavenly. The different stages of this beer from start to finish is like a Willy Wonka beer. With an 11.10ABV the alcohol shows up a bit, but is not off-putting. It's hidden well. An excellent and very complex Barleywine.

StaveHooks, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of yuriruley
4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Cloudy, ruby red, and brown, little bit of a white head. It is hard to see through this one. Looks awesome.

Smell - Various fruits and bread. I love the way barely wines smell.

Taste - Almost an apricot flavor, with other darker fruits. Get a little bitterness from the hops and small hint of the alcohol on the tail end. Amazing flavor, and very well balanced.

Mouthfeel - pretty thick and syrupy like most good barley wines, with the perfect amount of carbonation.

Drink - I am taking my time with it, it is very rich, plus the high ABV. Something you want to take your time and enjoy for sure.

I am not sure when this bottle was brewed. I see some people really talking about the hops being crazy, but the hops are pretty mellow in this bottle. It says limited early 2010 release so I assume it has several months on it. It's drinking really well right now, as far as barley wines go I'd put it right below Doggie Claws which is one of my favorites. I saw two bottles of this at the store the other day and passed them over. I am glad I went back for this tonight, the other one had been sold.

yuriruley, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of misinformed
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured in my good old pint glass.
A- Clear, medium red/brown. Poured with thick, tan 1/2 finger head that left some lacing.

S- Sweet and fruity with strong pine hops as well.

T- Starts off with piney hops followed by sweet dark fruits, and caramely goodness. Finishes with hops again for a mildly spicy finish. Very nicely balanced, the flavors are in perfect harmony. I didn't detect the alcohol more than once or twice and very, very faintly when I did.

M- Medium bodied with a faint bit of carbonation. Pleasant dryness that leaves the mouth coated for a long finish. Some warmness for the alcohol, but it didn't feel hot at all.

D- Incredibly drinkable, but works well as a sipper for a cool evening. I finished off my bottle fairly quickly on a rainy evening and could have had another. I didn't try this fresh, but it tastes like it has mellowed out some.

misinformed, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of rootbeerman
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrived in a tulip. With a half finger of tan head. Body is medium brown. Smell is very sweet malt a light fruitiness along with toasted nuts and burnt sugar. Taste backs up the aroma, with the sweet barley malt, toasted nuts and a hint of alcohol. This sticks and lingers in the mouth and is a bit syrupy with low carbonation. This is more a sipping brew.

rootbeerman, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of beyah
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Somewhere between amber and red, starts off witha bout 1/2 finger of head,some lacing.

Nice full malty flavor, with a bitter hops finish. Touch of alcohol to finish.

Any enjoyable barely wine, a 11% beer, hard to belive. It didn't have that wine like flavor that many Barley wines have, you can tell that it's a relative of Arrogant Bastard, but that's ok since Arogant Bastard is my go to beer, when I want a pleasent bomber of a fine ale.

beyah, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of Kikkycat
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured gently into chalice. Color is hazy reddish brown. Half finger of big-bubbled head that evaporated within a couple of minutes and left a ring. Traces of lacing remain on the glass.

S: Smells like drunk raisins and bread.

T: The first flavor to show up in my mouth is the bitter taste of hops. They landed at the very back of my throat as soon as the liquid entered my mouth. Then the raisiny sweetness passes by and the hops re-appear in the finish. I'm not surprised, since it is a Stone product, but it's a bit different from most barleywines I've enjoyed.

M: It's got the expected barleywine richness, but leads itself to slightly on the syrupy side of thickness.

D: I would drink it again, but not in one sitting. This might have been better saved for a more wintery evening than tonight is.

Kikkycat, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of bobhits
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Maybe stone does change this beer yearly.

Deep amber/red, in finger off white head, a LOT of bubbles, and some lacing.

Fruity, amber malt, finished with sweet citrus hops. Touch of alcohol to finish.

The first taste is honestly of a pale ale/amber, but then the rush of malt comes kicking down the door. Now 9 or so months old the hops are lacking more than expected. I didn't have the 2010 fresh but most years this beer packs a hell of a hop kick for a long time. They still bite at the end but the opening is a touch watery where there should be a powerful hop start.
3.5

One of the most drinkable barely wines I've had and for some reason I like that about this beer. It doesn't have that "sip me" feel so this all works. The 11+% is pretty subdued as well...I expected more given it's under a year old.
5

It's a bit thin and the carbonation works to emphasize that. I want a touch more body, this is medium heavy vs heavy and far form the syrupy body many barely wines take on.
3

The best "pizza" barely wine I've had in ages. I recall stone doing a better job in the past, but a fully worthy effort.

bobhits, Sep 30, 2010
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.