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
83
good

560 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 560
Reviews: 300
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 16.8%
Wants: 17
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine Alström Bros
Ratings: 560 | Reviews: 300 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DIM
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

a: This was a clear, orange tinted amber color. It poured with a moderately sticky head.

s: Surprisingly bland and very different from what I tasted. Mellow yeasty esters that suggest clove and banana, plus a little toffee. Where are the hops?

t: Starts off pretty well with softly sweet toffee and some and some vague fruitiness in the form of raisins and bananas. I also found some caramel hop candy towards the middle. The finish is where this falls completely apart. Its a long lasting combination of yeasty cloves and strong, flavorless bitterness. Its also pretty hot at the end.

m: Big and chewy with nicely creamy carbonation.

o: This didn't sound good to me but I had to try it. It is a mess, but not quite as bad as I thought it would be. The inventors behind this should have spent more time wrangling with the pickle matrix.

Photo of AgentZero
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Hazy orange colored beer that poured with a big, foamy head on it. Surpringly low stick on the sides.

S - Belgian yeast is upfront and center. Quite pungent, with a smell of fruits and ethers. Some coffee, toffee, and floral notes round out the aroma.

T - A dose of caramel and toffee with some floral and herbal notes. Then the yeast really takes over. I don't particularly care for the combination of strong belgian yeast and barleywine notes, it is overly pungent.

M - Too much soapy carbonation and fizz, pretty full bodied.

D - Kind of hard to drink this, not even considering the high ABV. It is just an odd tasting brew that I don't care for in most circumstances.

Photo of dcloeren
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Shared this bomber with JayAre46

Poured a beautiful crisp copper with 2.5 fingers of light tan head. This brew looks fantastic, very inviting.

SWEET Belgian yeast, very present hop aroma, carmal malt, a little bit of citrus and some mint??? Regardless of the subtle mint aroma, this beer is smelling great.

NOTE: At this point in this experience I'm thinking to myself "What the hell is everyone bitching about? This beer looks and smells fantastic!" And then I took my first sip...

Taste: The SWEETEST beer I have ever tasted. It tastes like someone ground smarties and sweet-tarts up into a fine powder and slipped it into my beer. What the FUCK is this? Nothing but sweet belgian yeast and sweet tarts until the very very last part of the sip a bitter hops shine through.

The mouthfeel of this beer (outside of taste) was great. Great carbonation, bitter hop aftertaste, medium bodied.

Overall, I want to know what the fuck went wrong with this beer. Everything but the taste was great. It was the sweetest damn beer on the planet. I'm hoping that the sweetness will mellow out with some age because I feel like this beer has alot of potential due to the other aspects of the beer. I definitely expected a better beer from Stone.

Definitely drain poured this beer. No way I could have made it through more than half a glass

Photo of misinformed
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2011 bottle, reviewed 3/4/11, tulip glass.

A- Nice deep red/brown color. Clear, but not translucent. Poured with barely a 1/2" of tan head that really quickly faded to a tiny ring around the edge.

S- Really strong right out of the bottle. Huge yeast smell...Spicy, cloves, sour green apple.

T- Again, huge yeast presence...Apple, grain, cloves, spicy/peppery. At the beginning of the glass a hint of the sweet malty backbone peaked out, but very quickly got lost underneath all the yeast. Some notes of the hops in the finish otherwise I didn't detect them.

M- Nice solid medium body. Very smooth with just a touch of heat.

D- All I wrote in my notes was "meh". Right out of the bottle the belgian yeast was the dominating smell and flavor, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if there was something else going on. It very quickly became overpowering for me. I can't taste the original Old Guardian here anywhere. Had about 12 oz. and that was enough.

Photo of Rutager
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2011 bottle

Appearance. Pours a murky burnt orange with a finger of off-white head.

Smell. Banannas and cloves, sweet caramel, a little citrus fruit, berries and white pepper. Not too shabby!

Taste. Sweet caramel, molasses, metalic bitter hops, a little citrus and fruity yeast.

Mouthfeel. Full body, low+ carbonation, warm.

Overall. Some nice flavours, some not so nice. Way too warm for me as well. I've had worse.

Photo of goldbot
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2011 odd year release, 22 oz bottle.

Pours dark, tawny with some copper hues around the edges. Very hazy/cloudy. Very little tan head that dissipates immediately. Some lacing. Lots of malt aroma - bread, caramel, grain. Also a strong Belgian yeast characteristic. Spicy, floral, a bit sulphury. The aroma lacks somewhat underwhelming but is quite pleasant.

The flavor profile in this beer is out of this world. Tons of malt as expected from a strong barleywine. However it is overshadowed with tons of spicy Belgian yeast notes. Typical coriander, orange peel notes. Also a strong floral hop character with some hints of pine resin. Strong aftertaste of hops mixed with yeast notes. Incredibly bitter on the back end.

Complex and interesting brew but lots of clashing of flavors going on. Hopefully this one ages well and becomes a bit more balanced and even.

Photo of Mosley1212
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Taken from notes. Poured from the bomber into my DFH Signature glass. Split between me and my girlfriend.

A—Very little head. White cream-colored head that dissipated quickly. Lots of carbonation. Ruby, amber colored, lots of light coming through it.

S—Wow. Tons of yeast. Smells like a Belgian IPA without the distinct hop aroma. Also, there’s a bit of a fruity (grapefruit?) after smell.

T—Yeast and spice. This thing burns from the alcohol. There’s nothing to this beer except the yeast to me.

M—Heavy bodied, lot of carbonation, and alcoholic burn.

O—This is not something I enjoyed. I’m usually a huge fan of Stone, and I love regular Old Guardian, but Belgo was practically undrinkable.

Photo of AlexChillton
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of Nickfellow007
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of jheezee
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of Diomede
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: Amber with really no head or lacing. Non-descript.
smell: A whiff of watered down Begian sour. Not much else.
taste: A weird mix of Belgian, smackload of hops and kind of a barleywine. Doesn't work well at all imo.
overall: Not sure if this is failed experiment or what.

Photo of richbrew
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of Sam516
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of smurphy493
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of Azrael
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of MordorMongo
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of strykn42
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of ryan1788a5
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of BraatenBrew
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of bwarren82
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of Lawnboy33
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of GHeinze89
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of DoctorB2B
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine from Stone Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.