1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 544 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by SeaUrchin:
Photo of SeaUrchin
SeaUrchin

Michigan

3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into my Delirium Tulip on Easter, only had half the bottle i split it with my brother, copied from notes

appearance - poured a light golden brown with moderate carbonation, thick white head that faded to just a thin layer at the top for the remainder of the time, lighter than i expected it

smell - there is a spice blend and bread(yeast) up front, then there is a malty citrusy hoppy blend in the middle and finishes with a hint of booze, makes me a bit nervous to try it

taste - up front it is a sweet/bitter tango going on, there are obviously some sweet roasted malts working here but they have a heavy hop backbone, almost confusing at first for my palate, it then fades into a nice spicy sweet citrus with a bit of a pine after taste, noticeable alcohol burn at the end, this beast needs a little bit of time to settle down

mouthfeel - this felt much lighter than i expected, i think of most barley wines as being thick but this was surprisingly light, went down easily, a little too easily

drinkability - i could see myself polishing off 2 bottles of this during a tigers game, easy to drink but dangerous

overall- this is a nice barley wine with that distinct stone flair, i have to pick up another bottle to throw in the "cellar" i think given a little time this bad boy will shine

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2011 04:37:25 | More by SeaUrchin
More User Reviews:
Photo of wjlenz03
wjlenz03


3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

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

California

3.75/5  rDev +3%

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

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.9%

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

California

4/5  rDev +9.9%

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

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

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

New York

3/5  rDev -17.6%

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

California

3.75/5  rDev +3%

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

New York

1.75/5  rDev -51.9%

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

California

3.75/5  rDev +3%

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

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

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

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

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

Vermont

2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

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

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +3%

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

Florida

4/5  rDev +9.9%

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

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +3%

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

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

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

Michigan

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

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

California

3.75/5  rDev +3%

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

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev +3%

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

California

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

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

Maryland

4/5  rDev +9.9%

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

Sweden

3.75/5  rDev +3%

02-22-2014 13:24:07 | More by Goofster
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine from Stone Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 544 ratings.