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Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Guardian BELGO BarleywineOld Guardian BELGO Barleywine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

544 Ratings
THE BROS
74
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 544
Reviews: 298
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 16.76%
Wants: 18
Gots: 95 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 02-07-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 544 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Alieniloquium:
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.26/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

650 mL bottle poured into a CCB snifter. 2011 bottle.

Appearance - Pours a deep burnt orange with a small off-white head. A little bit murky.

Smell - Smells like honey. Really. Exactly like honey. Fruity. Apples. Fascinating.

Taste - No honey here. Slightly sweet up front. Fruity, like the aroma. Apples. Immediately caramelly and then a strong hop bitterness. Astringent in the back. Hot, too.

Mouthfeel - It's hot, but not that bad. Well carbonated. Sweet without being syrupy.

Overall - The reviews make this sound like it's going to be awful. It's a rough beer, but its flavors are just a bit better than average.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 01:48:30 | More by Alieniloquium
More User Reviews:
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wjlenz03


3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

07-19-2014 22:15:25 | More by wjlenz03
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zestar

California

3.75/5  rDev +3%

07-19-2014 05:57:26 | More by zestar
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Stargazer2892

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.9%

07-16-2014 01:11:46 | More by Stargazer2892
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GClarkage

California

4/5  rDev +9.9%

07-03-2014 22:10:42 | More by GClarkage
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daron7

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

07-03-2014 00:57:24 | More by daron7
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smurphy493

New York

3/5  rDev -17.6%

06-28-2014 19:13:39 | More by smurphy493
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sourdog

California

3.75/5  rDev +3%

06-24-2014 05:58:08 | More by sourdog
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Comparison_Ford

New York

1.75/5  rDev -51.9%

06-24-2014 04:40:32 | More by Comparison_Ford
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Joe_Mahma

California

3.75/5  rDev +3%

06-19-2014 18:15:49 | More by Joe_Mahma
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Latarnik

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

05-29-2014 20:36:14 | More by Latarnik
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reitzbrewing

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

05-21-2014 05:21:22 | More by reitzbrewing
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patrick802

Vermont

2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

05-12-2014 16:21:25 | More by patrick802
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Fitze

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +3%

05-08-2014 15:09:19 | More by Fitze
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hopkrid

Florida

4/5  rDev +9.9%

05-03-2014 18:23:45 | More by hopkrid
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GrumpyGirl

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +3%

04-23-2014 18:34:40 | More by GrumpyGirl
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Burt

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

04-19-2014 19:44:47 | More by Burt
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dejones

Michigan

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

04-12-2014 03:43:07 | More by dejones
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wolf_switzer

California

3.75/5  rDev +3%

04-09-2014 20:31:18 | More by wolf_switzer
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afsdan

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev +3%

04-09-2014 17:24:19 | More by afsdan
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biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The "BELGO" part is as emphasized in the appearance as it is on the label; this much froth and foam is equivalent to bold, capitalized print reminding us that ONLY BELGIAN yeast could produce a head of such mass and magnitude. Otherwise, however, Old Guardian looks much the same glassy, clear-ish, burnt amber beer as always.

What I love most about American barleywines is their combination of rich, sticky-sweet maltiness and candied, citrusy hops. Old Guardian - even fermented with Belgian yeast - exemplifies that profile as good (maybe better) than anything else; the figs, flower petals, dried apricots, and candied grapefruit are completely unperturbed by the yeast.

When aging beer, the yeast is typically the last thing to go. Hops, they fade fast. Malt, it thins out and oxidizes. Alcohol, it mellows. But the yeast, it seems to sometimes gain strength when left to brood at the bottom of a bottle. And yet this beer, distinguished by its use of Belgian yeast, at three years of age, has plenty of malt and even hops but little appreciable yeastiness...

Which is especially curious because Belgian yeasts have invariably the most character, distinction, and longevity of any. Indeed, this 2011 vintage has held up mighty fine but seemingly with no thanks to any additional esters or phenols. The crushing bitterness, the familiar dried and rotting orchard fruits, honeyed malt and nut brittle notes of standard Old Guardian still prevail.

Old Guardian is a consummately American barleywine. Even fermenting it with a strain of Belgian yeast can't change that. I didn't quite understand the appeal of a 'Belgianized' barleywine and, frankly, I still don't - it didn't make the beer any better or, surprisingly, more distinct. Maybe a side-by-side tasting would yield a different conclusion, but I didn't like this enough to buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 16:09:53 | More by biegaman
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vma

California

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

03-27-2014 01:43:08 | More by vma
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Xandrose

Maryland

4/5  rDev +9.9%

03-23-2014 06:23:45 | More by Xandrose
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mverity

Florida

3.34/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a snifter. Great reddish-amber-brown color with thick tan head that held pretty well. Good lacing and legs. Full body and medium carbonation. Aroma is of toffee, some mahogany, medium roasted malt sweetness. Taste is funky. The big thing that throws me off is that it tastes like burnt marshmallows. That burtn flavor is front and center and I'm glad I was splitting this bottle because I would've drain poured it if I tried to finish it myself.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 03:55:48 | More by mverity
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Goofster

Sweden

3.75/5  rDev +3%

02-22-2014 13:24:07 | More by Goofster
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Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine from Stone Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 544 ratings.