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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:
Photo of TIJAE
TIJAE

Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2011 02:55:34 | More by TIJAE
Photo of aval89
aval89

California

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark copper.. nice soft off white head..

S: white grape peel.. light biscuits.. yeast spiciness.. some dark fruits.. slight apricot/banana..

T: apricot/banana.. slight white wine characteristics.. spiciness from the belgian side.. very mild dark fruits.. there is a slight bitterness from the hops but the spiciness is a little overpowering.. also some candy sugars.. wow this brew is very robust & complex.. tasty.. its like a tripel mixed with a barley wine..

Mf: full bodied but smooth.. leaves your mouth a bit warm from both the spiciness & booze..

D: this thing is amazing!.. but with the abv/rough mf it might be a little hard to swallow for some.. but for me this thing was great! A nice way to end the night..

Overall, I was greatly impressed with this!!

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2011 09:23:43 | More by aval89
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

4oz. pour from bottle during Stone's Winter Storm. The following review is based on notes taken Thursday, February 10, 2011.

Served in a fluted tulip.

Appearance: Crystal clear, deep reddish-amber body with a big layer of khaki froth on top. Head retains as a moderate-sized crown for the entire session and drags tons of web-like lace.

Smell: Pine battles banana, clove, and bubblegum - smells a lot like a fresh Belgian IPA. Molasses lays down a solid base. The mix of strong aromas masks the alcohol pretty well.

Taste: Banana and bubblegum come forth first, then shortbread, and then a wave of pine and alcohol. Molasses and caramel are surprisingly subdued - apparently not bold enough to hang with the other flavors. Flowery esters peek through in an intensely hot and bitter finish. Bold throughout. Needs time to cool off.

Mouthfeel: Starts full and creamy with fine, rolling carbonation; finishes hot, dry, and bitter. Fresh Old Guardian sort of walks the line between pleasure and pain, though it's leaning more toward the pain end at this point. Still, I'm diggin it.

Drinkability: Intense and hot when fresh, just like the regular version. I'd love to try this in a year or two, but right now 4oz. is more than enough.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 18:32:25 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in fluted tulip. Poured a clean, clear, reddish mahogany with 1/2 inch of head that had low retention and OK lacing.

The aroma was on the sweet side, was malty and had a slight fruit aspect floating behind the yeast perfume. The taste started out the same but was noticeably fruitier than the aroma. The beer was sweet and had a definite alcohol flavor.

The body was good, but was noticeably lighter than I look for in the style. Drinkability was very good, the two I had went down very easy and I look for having more.

Overall, a pretty good beer. I was expecting a trainwreck and it wasn't. Certainly worth trying when you see it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2011 02:53:48 | More by beertunes
Photo of duluoz
duluoz

California

4.72/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on cask at Stone.

A - golden orange, beautiful creamy head and lacing.

S - spicy Belgian yeast with piney hops.

T - this tasted like Cali-Belgique but hoppier, fuller-bodied, and creamier. hops were really big on it and there was some Belgian candy/bubblegum, but the bitterness prevailed in a good way.

M - smooth and silky like most good cask pours.

D - dangerously drinkable -- not much hint of the 11.2%.

Pleasantly surprised that it tasted like a bigger Cali-Belgique as opposed to a spicier, yeasty Old Guardian. The cask really rounded this out beautifully, it was pretty amazing.

Serving type: cask

02-08-2011 03:49:26 | More by duluoz
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2/6/2011

On tap at Stone Winter Storm 2011.

A: Reddish orange with a big beige head.

S: Decidedly Belgian, with faint coriander and a lot of bubblegum. Old Guardian lurks beneath: toffee, grapefruit, orange, and pine, with a little candied sugar.

T: Grapefruit, orange, and a little pine. Belgian yeast is pronounced. Spicy phenols are evident, reminiscent of white pepper and clove. I detect some coriander.

M: Upper medium in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky

Overall: Not bad, though the regular version is better.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2011 17:04:38 | More by HopHead84
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Reasonably clear, amber-gold body with a thinning, white head.

Smell: Very modest hints of caramel and bread underscoring the simple pale maltiness, a splash of hot orange liqueur, and the expectedly spicy notes from the new yeast strain.

Taste: Sweet and candyish on the first sip. Lightly bready pale malts, some hints of caramel, but they're mainly overridden by a cutting sugariness. Soft touches of clove as well as coriander. Cirusy hops, prominently featuring an orange-like flavor, with a firm bitterness. Like the original version, the alcohol really shines through. Dry, bitter finish with ample alcoholic warmth and some roundabout phenolic accents.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Some noted stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Truth be told, the Old Guardian barleywine was never at top of my favorite barleywines list, and was always one I generally considered to be merely OK. Dosing it with a Belgian strain, well, it's still OK, but now with a different yeast.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2011 16:24:24 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of cwguy5
cwguy5

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at Duckworth's in Charlotte on tap in a glass chalice. Reviewed from notes of 10/09/10 tasting.

- poured rich amber color with haze; thin head but with good lacing

- a lot of hops; fairly boozy with some floral and mild herbal

- nice foamy, chewy mouthfeel

- overall a bit bitter for me in combination of some mildly hot boozy alcohol; would this benefit from laying down? i would prefer if the hops faded a bit and the alcohol settled some. still a decent brew for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2010 09:02:14 | More by cwguy5
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on-tap at Small Bar Fullerton. Got a stange-like taster glass of this one.

A - My buddy Andres had a goblet of this, and it looked almost identical to the other versions. Perhaps a touch cloudier body and slightly more foam.

S - Huge Belgian yeast, with some fruity esters that evoke stone fruits. Very yeasty and bready, with much less overt caramel sweetness. Not as hoppy as regular Old Guardian either. You can definitely pick this one out of a lineup, but I don't think it's an improvement.

T - Taste is again very evocative of a Belgian Strong Ale rather than a barleywine, with plenty of yeast and fruity esters mixed with sugar and toffee. Better balance of sweetness and other flavors here. It's hard to believe such a minor change in recipe results in a drastically different beer, but such is the power of the Belgian yeast. Again, the hop character seems muted - I think this batch was available at EBF, so it's not super-fresh at this point.

M - It's a little thinner than the other Old Guardians I had, with some dryness in the finish rather than unabashed stickiness. Seems appropriate for the Belgian style.

D - My sample went down easily enough, but I don't think I could have done a full goblet of this one.

Serving type: on-tap

10-06-2010 16:34:23 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey.

Pours a ruby red with a bit of rust. Slight off white head that leaves a pretty good trail of lacing. Nose is a bit faint in that while there is a lot going on, it is almost too much and it was hard to discern individual elements. The taste helps clarify things quite a bit. While we had some drink confusion throughout the evening, this was plenty unique and easy to identify. Large quantities of Belgian yeast esters and a good amount of accompanying fruit. Some malt sweetness and also spice. Hop profile is pretty strong win nice citrus and pine notes. Medium feel is nice. Fairly drinkable but not one of my favorites of the evening.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2010 22:52:02 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yep, on draft at Churchkey, after drinking more than 20 Stone beers last night, its no wonder why I woke up with the taste of hops on my mouth.

Beer is ruby red and has a tiny head of off white tiny bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is malty with these odd esters in there from yeast and bready and fruits. Smells really interesting.

Beer is big bodied and very malty up front but the midpalate gives way to these great Belgian characteristic esters and some late bitterness finishes it off well. Its a very good barleywine IMO.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2010 16:04:05 | More by drabmuh
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: growler

05-27-2010 00:07:17 | More by tpd975
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap, served in a snifter. Orangey-copper in color. Served with a good 1/4" of head billowing over the top of the snifter. Good retention. The nose on this was surprisingly muted, leaving me a little surprised. The flavor was on the sweeter side. Malt, orange and citrus with a bitterness that seemed fade as the beer disappeared from the glass. The Belgian yeast were trying to assert another dimension to the flavor profile, but it wasn't showing through clearly. In all actuality, the flavor was quite tame for a beer of this caliber and alcohol content. It did have a very nice smoothness to it - not at all harsh - that encouraged another sip.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2010 01:21:28 | More by Florida9
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
gueuzeonhigh

Maine

4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy red amber.
Long lasting head with some lacing

At first a quite fruity and flowery nose. Almost transported me to a florist shop. But after a while the nose settled down to a fraction of what it was at first popping the top.

Flavor-- I might as well admit that I'm a Stone Brewery Groupie.
The flavor of this beer is robust to say the least. Bitter comingled with malt. While the ABV slightly exceeds 11 % I notice that the alcohol is subdued. Whatever it is with the flavor the bitter note has me smacking my lips.. and I could envision getting very well toasted on this beer. Alas I only have one bottle.
A wonderful fruity and flowery flavor.

A long lasting "Energizer Bunny" finish that keeps going and going--

The mouthfeel is very cordial- it's as if this beer had a greater viscosity on my palate... the flavor lasts so long it incites me to keep taking swigs to renew the flavor.

Drinkability-- this is the only thing I'd downgrade-- thanks to the 11+% ABV. I admit w/o it the beer wouldn't be a barley wine.. still under the influence of this libation I'll be welded to my chair only to be released with a pounding headache.

Highly recommended a wonderful beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2010 23:24:41 | More by gueuzeonhigh
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2010 17:26:20 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of willPS21
willPS21

West Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My introduction to barleywine. Since it was stone, I felt it was time. Don't know why I found it in a store in the middle-of-nowhere, MD, but the gargoyle called me, and I answered.

Poured into my $1 gold rimmed Stella snifter-like thing. The color is somewhat bourbony to mahogony with its' cherry hue. A bit menacing considering its abv. The 1F head was strikingly white/amber by comparison, but had a 45sec halflife.

S: it has a smell, but I can't follow it. It seems a bit boozy and sugary with an edge of bourbon, but it certainly doesn't kick you in the face like some. Pretty tough to chase down.

T: I encourage you not to try to "wade in". Dive in. This will reduce the bitter effect of the hops and allow them to express their more floral tones sooner than later. There are definitely some earthy tones and floral tones involved, somewhat like a field of wildflowers, but I can't partition out specific elements. Depending upon which part of the tounge it rests on before swallowing, it seems to have different profiles. I got some very bready notes one sip, but only one.

aT: Aftertaste is a very important gauge, and it's *damn good*. The bitter hops kick fades to fruitier and aromatic tones, and frankly the flavors improve in your mouth with time. One of the most composed aftertastes I've enjoyed with a distinct floral sweetness that eminates very gently from all corners of your mouth with a clear numbingness accompanying.

M: Somewhat thick , perfect carbonation it would seem, and leaves a medium-well sticky finish.

D: if you're starting off with this, you won't charge through it. If you're a bit oiled up, you're in real position to put yourself to sleep. I would say for the abv, it's very drinkable. The alc heat is VERY subdued, an important point.

Boozy wildflower: my best two word description. Something that can be very enjoyable. The brewing seems entirely masterful in this presentation: the aftertaste and disguise of alc reflect this best.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 02:58:37 | More by willPS21
Photo of Duhast500
Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2010 18:15:11 | More by Duhast500
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this from a tasting glass at EBF.

The beer pours a clear light brown with a little orange hightligts. The head is light with no retention or lacing.

The aroma is typical belgian hops you'd smell in a belgian ipa with a little bit of apple.

The taste is super hoppy, doesn't remind of a bw at all. Its not too hoppy or ipa hoppy, just hop dominated. I like it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2010 13:51:10 | More by jrallen34
Photo of srroos
srroos

California

4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the 2010 Old Guardian Barleywine fermented with the belgian yeast used on the Cali-Belgique IPA. Enjoyed from a growler filled today at Stone Winter Storm 2010 and poured into a brandy snifter.

A: Clear and reddish-amber with a small tan head, fading quickly to a thin film.

S: Sweet and fruity like the normal Old Guardian, but yeasty like a Belgian tripel. Much milder aroma than a fresh Old Guardian. (little alcohol in the nose)

T: Initially very sweet and malty with notes of dried apricots. Moves on to bitter hops with grapefruit tartness. Finishes with a hot alcohol burn.

MF: Medium-light with moderate carbonation. Slightly syrupy sweet.

D: Tasty and smooth for a fresh barleywine, but still very hot. Needs time to mellow.

An excellent brew fresh, but I'd like to try this again in a year. Not sure if this would be one that would hold up for many years though.

Serving type: growler

02-08-2010 05:14:00 | More by srroos
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Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine from Stone Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 544 ratings.