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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

547 Ratings
THE BROS
74
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 547
Reviews: 298
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 16.8%
Wants: 18
Gots: 94 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine Alström Bros
Ratings: 547 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Connor
Connor

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +24%

04-25-2012 18:37:53 | More by Connor
Photo of LarryMyers
LarryMyers

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +24%

06-30-2012 19:04:36 | More by LarryMyers
Photo of wattershed
wattershed

California

4.5/5  rDev +24%

11-15-2011 20:56:51 | More by wattershed
Photo of cadaugherty
cadaugherty

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +24%

05-07-2013 22:55:09 | More by cadaugherty
Photo of razorsdescent
razorsdescent

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +24%

01-23-2012 10:21:39 | More by razorsdescent
Photo of hickmancase
hickmancase

California

4.5/5  rDev +24%

On tap at the Brewery.

A: Hazy brownish orange. Thick-bubbled two-finger head.

S: Glistening hops.

T: Robust. Solid. Excellent and unique hop profile. Strong malt backbone. The strength of the other ingredients didn't quite seem to let the belgian yeast come out.

M: Just like it should be.

D: Quite strong, so it's a sipper. Great sipper, though. Gotta have another one just to double check everything.

9/10

03-16-2011 15:56:20 | More by hickmancase
Photo of mjmadsen21
mjmadsen21

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +24%

01-13-2012 05:29:16 | More by mjmadsen21
Photo of KiMiRaiK
KiMiRaiK

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +24%

01-20-2013 04:57:57 | More by KiMiRaiK
Photo of patm1986
patm1986

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +24%

22oz bottle poured into Duvel snifter

the beer has an impressive head for a barleywine: very thick and sea-foamy, it retains much like a barleywine, less like a brew with such head regularly would. the cream-colored lace settles after a swirl and a sitting for a few moments. the color of this beer is a beautiful, reddish-brown, like mahogany.

it smells of honey, grapes, raisins, some ambiguous berry, and that all-too-familiar belgian yeast sourness. alcohol coasts underneath, but mildly.

it tastes unlike any barleywine i've had. it's sour, then sweet, then the carbonation explodes with the honey and sharpness of yeast. it has a casecade and simcoe bitterness in the middle there that plants some serious hop-pop.

it's thin-bodied. i haven't tasted a barleywine this light that has such complex characteristics. it's so smooth, and that's a total testament to the yeast; it veils the abv and the hop-forwardness incredibly. this beer just flows through your palate and down the hatch.

at 12 abv, it's a tall order, but the flavor and body deceive that detail. this is a wildly interesting take on the style for me; the belgian yeast really makes everything that seems out of the genre feel like it should be involved invariably. this is beautiful.

02-17-2011 03:47:19 | More by patm1986
Photo of jjayjaye
jjayjaye

New York

4.5/5  rDev +24%

Overall...Outstanding. I REALLY appreciate this...scoring points out the butt for imagination and creativity!!! It's too bad that we've got to stick everything "in a box"...but then again, if we didn't and you pulled it off a shelf with the expectation that it would be representative of an American Barleywine you'd be VERY disappointed...but HELLO..."B E L G O" highlighted, BOLD and "in red"...accompanied by "Odd Year Release"!!!! (if that doesn't adjust your expectations then labels are a lost cause). I'm not going to score it to style. I HIGHLY recommend that every inquisitive BA take the opportunity to consider this one while it's out there. Very Complex...and worth the time. ($7.99 at Sam the Beer Man).
Pours hazy and lighter in color than expected... another hint of a departure from style. An aggressive pour yields a double finger antique parchment colored collar with reasonable hang time. Negligible Belgian lacing and circumstantial visual evidence of carbonation (3.75). I love the aggressive earthy Belgian yeast in the nose. The classic caramel and butterscotch barleywine characteristics are there, but they all but buried beneath the WONDERFUL aggressive earthy Belgian yeast AND fruity LeBleu-like brett character..wow!!
The explosive (NEW) flavors are 'out of the box' and the mouth texture may cause a blur. The flavors are bright, tangy and reminiscent of an oily hoppy-malty-sweet-caramel resin (if that's possible). There is also a very significant apple-pear, harvest fruit thing going on with it.
The mouthfeel has a nicely carbonated, refreshingly light texture...which coincides with the anomaly of its lighter appearance. Had fun with this one!!!

05-19-2011 00:57:25 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of DaveONan
DaveONan

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +24%

12-23-2011 01:56:50 | More by DaveONan
Photo of madpentzer
madpentzer

California

4.45/5  rDev +22.6%

Got a couple 22's of this at the local BevMo.

A-Pours a copper-red color into my Gulden Draak tulip glass, with about two fingers of head.

S-Spicy with a little hops and you can definitely pick-up the belgian yeast strain. Smells almost like a Belgian Strong Ale.

T-Bubblegum up front with some toasty malt following. Good hop presence, but not as strong as the regular Old Guardian. Alcohol level is present, but not overpowering.

M-Thick and creamy with a decent level of carbonation.

D-I really enjoyed this beer overall. It went down smoothly, and would probably get even better with age (put the second in my cellar to find out). Another great beer from Stone. Cheers!

03-01-2011 05:11:52 | More by madpentzer
Photo of BierFan
BierFan

Michigan

4.45/5  rDev +22.6%

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a chalice.

Thin head and a cloudy dark amber body that looks like apple cider. Belgian yeast shines through in the aroma more than I was expecting. I'm not sure if this fruitiness I'm smelling is from the yeast or the hops. Time for the first sip. Smooth and sweet. Tropical fruits and a little mint from the hops. Nice bitterness. Kind of reminds me of a fresh Double Crooked Tree from Dark Horse Brewery. I really dig this brew fresh. I'm gonna try to track down a couple more bottles to age and see how it goes.

06-26-2011 23:26:40 | More by BierFan
Photo of obywan59
obywan59

Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +22%

Pours a crystal clear light ruby with a 3 1/2 finger pale-tan head. It looks very elegant in my Old Guardian glass, almost like a liqueur except not so clingy.

Not a lot going on here, but nice. Hard candy sweetness and Belgian yeast.

The bitterness was borderline off-putting on the first swig, but I soon adapted. Very sweet. That, along with the Belgian character and the strong taste of alcohol, combined to remind me of a hard candy I enjoyed as a child. It had a brownish color and a barrel-like shape. I don't remember what it was called. Bitterness rises after the sweet to balance. The beer is vaguely licorice-like in flavor with a whiff of cherry as it warms.

Relatively light-bodied for such a sweet brew. Pleasant feel of light syrup and very warming to boot. A nice combination.

Another over-the-top creation from Stone. Perhaps a bit too over-the-top, judging by the reviews, but right down my alley. A sipper for certain, but not a chore for this sweets lover. A beer to relish, a beer to challenge your taste, and a beer that I would not hesitate to sample again.

03-23-2011 03:08:46 | More by obywan59
Photo of djaeon
djaeon

California

4.43/5  rDev +22%

A: Pours a perfect amber hue, with pretty much no head or lacing. I did pour it from a bottle in a smaller than normal snifter, so maybe there wasn't enough of a fall for the liquid to produce a head.

S: The first thing that hits me is a delicious malty sweetness, which immediately makes me think Belgian rather than barleywine. As it warms up, a spiciness emerges which reminds me of a spiced beer... nutmeg, cinnamon and the like.

T: The Belgian influence is immediately apparent to me. If fact, it makes me want to expand my palate by trying more Belgians. I've tried a few and liked them, but tend to go for craft American brews before going to the world beers, but I need to remedy that. Anyway, back to the point, this is a great marriage of malt and yeast. The hops is balanced out well and comes in at the end with a mild bitterness.

M: This has a substantial mouthfeel, with moderate carbonation. There is a lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

D: This is much more balanced and drinkable than the regular Old Guardian, in my opinion.

I know I should score this a little lower for the style, because it seems to be half Belgian and half barleywine, but it tastes so good! I had to give it high marks.

02-24-2011 02:12:08 | More by djaeon
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +22%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy head that lasted an average amount of time. Average lacing.

S: A big aroma of hops, yeast, fruit, and caramel. Very aromatic.

T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, a big shot of hops, caramel, citrus, pepper and some other spices. An extremely complex and powerful flavor. Not your classic American Barleywine.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: As I said, this is not classically of its style, but it is extremely tasty and drinkable.

03-04-2011 14:20:08 | More by avalon07
Photo of MadCat
MadCat

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +22%

First off, this is a bit different than what the other reviews would suggest. I enjoy belgians, and I enjoy most of the different brews stone comes up with, so this excited me, though I've never had Old Guardian before. And I'm quite pleased with the results.

Appearance: Amber brown typical of barleywines, minimal white head, leaves no lacing.

Smell: Beautiful boquet of fruit and hops. Banana, plum, raisins, a little bit of orange and pine in there. Hints of alcohol, which is less than I would expect for 12%

Taste: An explosion of flavor. More banana, plum, raisins, orange, pine, along with some hop bitterness, and some balancing sweetness that reminds me of a Belgian Quad. Tastes like a hoppy quad. Quite good in my book.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, light carbonation, semi-dry, bitter finish

Drinkability: From the reviews, I thought I would have to choke down the first glass, and have to save the rest of the bottle for another night. Not necessary at all.

Overall, I'm glad I got a second bottle, and might be picking up more because I think it is that good. Maybe I'm in the minority, but that means more for me!

03-09-2011 03:04:00 | More by MadCat
Photo of Duhast500
Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.4/5  rDev +21.2%

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass.

The color is a red/amber that is clear with a finger or two of white foamy white head and some nice lacing.

The smell is a little fruity and has a pretty strong yeast flavor that comes right out as well. This was a bit surprising for Old Guardian.

The taste is a pretty sweet fruit flavor with some plum and dried apricots. There is a nice bitterness as well in the beer on the back end where the hops takes over and gives a bit of a knock at the taste buds. Some grapefruit and tangerine flavor.

The feel of this beer is pretty light and is a bit easy to get down then Old Guardians in the past. The alcohol does not seem to be as pronounced and does not seem to warm the palette as much.

02-23-2010 18:15:11 | More by Duhast500
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +20.7%

22oz bottle poured into snifter glass

Pours a transparent deep burnt cherry with golden orange hues. A soft white head fades out into clouds of film with rings and spots of lacing left on the glass.

Plenty of malty presence in the nose with a noticeable Belgian funk followed by soft fruit sweetness. Light alcohol warmth and hop bitterness as well.

A nice punch of pine hops right up front, quickly followed by some sticky bitterness. The Belgian yeast comes right to the forefront with funk and assorted fruit flavors. Pineapple and grapefruit swirl with a bit of acidity. Boozy warmth with caramel and syrupy malt backbone. Finishes bitter, hoppy, and warm.

Fuller body, a bit syrupy and creamy, decent carbonation. This is still a bit hot but is super drinkable considering the ABV and complex taste. I tried this on tap a while ago and wasn't sure how I felt but I'm convinced right now.

02-19-2011 07:16:57 | More by xnicknj
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +20.7%

On tap in a snifter.

Appearance: Slightly hazy caramel color. Soft white head with a ring of lace around the edge.

Smell: The Belgian yeast first makes itself apparent in the smell. As opposed to the regular Old Guardian, the aroma contains a variety of spices - cloves, all spice, and cinnamon. Smells like Christmas.

Taste: I found the taste of the Belgio-Barleywine to be worth an extra .5 in the taste department compared to the regular Old Guardian. Bready notes are present up front, balanced with a variety of spices. The robust malt flavor gradually fades to the light citrus hops. Almost no alcohol is tasted over the course of each sip; it is masked perfectly. The ending is smooth and balanced, with nearly no aftertaste. I am actually left with a nice floral aroma in its place. Still a little hoppier than most barley wines, though.

Mouthfeel: A nice, bubbly feel. There is also a slight graininess here.

Drinkability: Great taste, but knowledge of the ABV will slow me down.

04-04-2010 17:26:20 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of TIJAE
TIJAE

Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +19.8%

Purchased at A&P in Old Lyme for dinner at the Cove - served with a potluck-a-palooza with the Tuesday night gang - Dave's Quiche, Doug's Spinnach, Dan's Stuffed Mushrooms, Jon's Spagetti Casserole, and mini Valentine's cupcakes...
Appearance: Red, with a hint of brown

Smell: Gin soaked olive with juniper berry

Taste: Roasted grain with a long aftertaste that melts in your mouth. It tastes like a freakin' martini - dirty, with a lot of vermouth and olives. That's all we can say about it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. that's it.

Drinkability: Only in small servings - chill first then swirl in a wide bottom glass until room temperature.

02-16-2011 02:55:34 | More by TIJAE
Photo of SolomonGrundy
SolomonGrundy

California

4.35/5  rDev +19.8%

Part of the "odd years" category at Stone...

The basics: 12% ABV and $5.99/bomber...good stuff, that...

Super clear orange-red amber. nice two fingers of head, very creamy. Poured very thick, an ode to the massive malt backbone herein. Not really carbonated, and the bubbles move slooow...lacinbg is actually excellent given how short the head is.

Nice, sweet aromas. Lots of caramel and vanilla. I get the Belgian yeast they used, also. Very nice and subtle nuance. Not a huge hop caharacter in the aroma profile, however. This is pretty much to style with the added falre of the Belgian yeast. Pretty cool...This is a winner so far.

Flavor is incredible. It's not even remotely as huge and overpowering as I feared it might be. The alcohol is very present throughout and commandeers the ship for itself. You can't really escape it, so the best thing is to join in with the crew. The malt is also very forward, and I also get a very big hop punch to it, starting early middle and carrying all the way through. This is awesome for a barley wine. The price makes this a tier 1 selection for sure. This is drinkable to a fault, so people will get painfully hammered off it...Find and stash a few bottles to mellow it out a touch, but it's great now...

What I like most: The surprisingly balanced flavor profile.

What I like least: The rather subdued appearance, but only a touch.

Verdict: Excellent and uniqgue version of the style, this is awesome and well-priced enough to be an all the time type of ale. Find it!!!

03-10-2011 02:45:41 | More by SolomonGrundy
Photo of Krakistophales
Krakistophales

California

4.33/5  rDev +19.3%

A: Pours a hazy red with half a finger's worth of head that dissipates quickly and leaves some border lacing behind. Carbonation is solid throughout the draught.

S: A touch bit of honey, lemon zest, coriander, and some floral notes.

T: The middle is full of tart cherries, blood orange, and maybe some grapefruit. The aftertaste is pretty hoppy, boozy finish.

M: A bit of a lingering carbonation, but other than that it goes down rather smoothly and is highly drinkable if the flavors are up your alley.

O: Definitely a sipper, but a beautiful beer. It's sweet, but the bitterness and citrus notes balance the sweetness, while still retaining complex flavors. Definitely a great beer.

03-25-2011 04:43:20 | More by Krakistophales
Photo of soulfly1492
soulfly1492

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +19.3%

Aroma: Can smell this one from several feet away during the pour. Lots of barley, caramel, citrus hops, spicy yeasty phenols. Lots of dark fruits as well, dates and apricot. Mild alcohol.

Appearance: Cloudy, looks like a cup full of caramel when held up to a bright light. Deep copper, like caramel of course. A pour from high above the glass develops and a moderate head which is light brown with orange highlights. Great retention, like an espresso, a nice thin frothy layer. Obscene amount of lacing.

Taste: Wow. Super bold. Moderate barley, lots of pine and orange citrus hops. Some dark bitter grapefruit. Some sweet apricot also. Definitely seeing the Belgium yeasty phenols. Tart citrus. No flavor is particularly harsh, just bold all around.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Slick and creamy.. Finishes dry, of course considering the 12% ABV and boat load of hops. Mild to moderate hop sting.

Overall: Bold and beautiful. A bit over the top but it goes down quick nonetheless. The aftertaste lingers for some time.

Notes: 2011 Odd-year release. Drank on 4/4/2012.

05-01-2012 01:11:54 | More by soulfly1492
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.33/5  rDev +19.3%

Thanks to Diego for this one.

A: Pours an amberish brown hue with an average tan head. No retention or lace.

S: Aromas of belgian yeast. Lightly sweet and fruity with hints of citrus and grass.

T: Worlds different than regular Old Guardian. Yeasty Belgian esters mostly banana and bubblegum with mild spicey notes. The hops are still here with nice sweet pine and enough bitter citrus to make this a real interesting brew.

M: Medium in body, nice carbonation for the style.

D: Very good. Tasty and unique. I would say Stone put a unique yet tasty twist on this one.

05-27-2010 00:07:17 | More by tpd975
Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine from Stone Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 547 ratings.