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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.

557 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 557
Reviews: 300
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 16.8%
Wants: 17
Gots: 94 | FT: 4
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: 557 | Reviews: 300 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fitze
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Fitze, May 08, 2014
Photo of hopkrid
4/5  rDev +10.2%

hopkrid, May 03, 2014
Photo of GrumpyGirl
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

GrumpyGirl, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of Burt
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Burt, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of dejones
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

dejones, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of wolf_switzer
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

wolf_switzer, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of afsdan
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

afsdan, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of biegaman
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

biegaman, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of vma
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

vma, Mar 27, 2014
Photo of Xandrose
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Xandrose, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of mverity
3.34/5  rDev -8%
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.

mverity, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of Goofster
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Goofster, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of OKCNittany
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

OKCNittany, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

jaydoc, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of charliebuckeye
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

charliebuckeye, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of mattboyer182
3/5  rDev -17.4%

mattboyer182, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of Peter_L
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Peter_L, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

TheRougeBastard, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of bwarren82
3/5  rDev -17.4%

bwarren82, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of iatethecloudsfor
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

iatethecloudsfor, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of BKotch
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

BKotch, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of JMBSH
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

JMBSH, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of thegrimone
4/5  rDev +10.2%

thegrimone, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

BillRoth, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of mmulebarn
3/5  rDev -17.4%

mmulebarn, Nov 23, 2013
Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine from Stone Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 557 ratings.