1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  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 mikeincharleston
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

mikeincharleston, May 13, 2013
Photo of djaeon
4/5  rDev -3.4%

djaeon, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of CoolEthan
4/5  rDev -3.4%

CoolEthan, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of DoctorB2B
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

DoctorB2B, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of DerekMorgan
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

DerekMorgan, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of jvillefan
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

jvillefan, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of hooliganlife
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to Greg Koch/Stone for bringing these with him and visiting us at the Schlafly Tap Room...

pour was bright orange with hints of straw yellow. light fluffy head, nice lacing.

tons of hops, lots of pine, pine resin, light grapefruit. faint hints of malt.

flavor was similar, huge hops. lots of pine bitterness, pine resin, tart grapefruit, and beneath are heavy malts. light toffee and caramel hidden through out. being that this was fresh, the hops were quite dominant. no hints of booze.

fairly thick and chewy but also light and easy. this was one of the easier barleywines i have had. carbonation was light, and no alcohol burn for a 11%.

i FINALLY got to try this and I am pleased I did. this was one easy drinking barleywine that was not a malt bomb or overly heavy.

hooliganlife, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. Long-winded blurbs excerpted from a journal entry written during a trip to India on the back - seemingly little to no connection to the contents within.

Glassy raspberry and alizarin body with a large array of tiny bubbles rushing to the surface. Heavy isabelline head recedes to a large collar and a thin peninsula leading to a quarter sized hill of bubbles in the center of the glass. A swirl reactivates the crown while leaving a stippling of lace around the sides. Viscous legs drag down the sandy lacing when you take a sip.

Punishing malt aromatics with an unconcealed dose of alcohol. Stewed nectarines, leather, lanolin, dark cherry, and maple syrup with a hint of blueberries. Hops are grassy and earthy, but can't cut through the rest of the aromatics.

Malt base delivers a tsunami of carmel-dipped bread, which becomes crustier as it approaches the finish. The hops assert themselves mid-palate, with a biting pine bitterness and a touch of grapefruit. The finish shovels on licorice, more earth, and a hint of pepper. Low dried fruit notes throughout as well. Actually has much in common with Arrogant Bastard, though this dials up the malt and alcohol quite a bit.

Medium, almost medium-heavy bodied, with good carbonation. A bit slick, and a little hot.

Distinctively Stone - and a pretty good example of the style. Curious to try an older vintage.

augustgarage, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of cadaugherty
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

cadaugherty, May 08, 2013
Photo of Lantern
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Lantern, May 08, 2012
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

BEERMILER12, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of bbadger
2.5/5  rDev -39.6%

bbadger, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -27.5%

chrispoint, Feb 03, 2012
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 MbpBugeye
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An earlier vintage of this was my first Barleywine. I havent had thins since I started reviewing, but nows the time.

A- A ruddy red color that is moderately clear. The head is a brassy color. I love when the labels on the bottle use colors that match the colors of the beer inside. This one does that nicely. The body is nearly the color of the red ink and the head is very close to the color of the gold ink.

S- Lots of malts and hops. It is pretty strong on hops. Alcohol is also abundant. Lots of fruity ale characteristics. Raisins, toffee, wood, pine, citrus and a hairspray smelling astringency.

T- This is a real hoppy barleywine but that is to be expected. The taste follows the nose but with much much more strength in the hops. The beer starts off nice and malty rich and full of fruits and toffee. The hops break up that party with A LOT of pine and very bitter grapefruit rind and a touch of sweeter pineapple. Alcohol comes around at the end with the hops. This beer finishes very very bitter.

M- Very resinous and palate coating. It will easily ruin your mouth for the day. I need a glass of water with this one.

MbpBugeye, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of DCon
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

DCon, Jan 08, 2012
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 jdense
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Early 2010 vintage shared, poured into wine tumblers 10.13.11.

Nary any head, white, quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Nose features a bit of burnt sugar and noticeable alcohol aroma with citrus hops. Taste mirrors nose, caramel up front, decent hop punch but despite the year and a half aging still significant alcohol heat on back end. Mouthfeel is light for style, marginal effervescence, no stickiness. I'm guessing this wasn't the best of vintages, not a lot of depth in the taste department.

jdense, Oct 14, 2011
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.

grittybrews, Feb 22, 2011
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 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.

SkeeterHawk, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served with an orange-amber body...a very thin head to begin and spotty retention...not much lacing

S - The nose was nice...sweet aromas with a syrupy texture to it...the hops, as in most Stone beers, were very pronounced and had citrus and pine aromas going on

T - This barleywine was very well balanced...the sweetness dominated in the beginning with lots of caramel malts...the hops show up at the end for a long, bitter finish...but the two of them join in the middle and play off of each other nicely...alcohol provides a warming finish when swallowed

M - Medium bodied...syrupy, smooth, nice push from the nitro

D - This was a decent barleywine...the alcohol was very evident which hinders a little but I think the balance of the flavors make up for it

thain709, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of Lawnboy33
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Lawnboy33, Nov 14, 2011
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.

AdamBear, Feb 23, 2011
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
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.