Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

348 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 348
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 14.81%
Wants: 9
Gots: 110 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: muttyd on 02-14-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 348 | Reviews: 140
Reviews by boilermakerbrew:
Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Time to open and review one of the first bottles I put in the cellar after turning 21.

A- Pours a very hazy, opaque, toffee brown color. The color is a mix between brown and amber, but with the hazy aspect to it. Head is 1.5 to 2 fingers in thickness and tan. Retention is great, and so is the lacing.

S- Boozey with big malts right up front on the nose. Fairly sweet caramel is the biggest tone here, with some more, peat-like scents also mixing in. Alcohol in the smell is somewhat stinging in the nostrils.

T- Smooth, fairly one dimensional and stronger. This drink starts with a bang of caramel malts and a fair amount of bitterness. Sweetness and bitterness offset each other to provide some balance to the flavor. Toffee flavor is prominent in the middle of the drink, and towards the end the bitterness is heightened due to an alcohol bite.

M- Smooth, boozey, and heavy with a low level of carbonation. This is on the sipping side of beers, but the alcohol level is fairly restrained for the 12% ABV. Don't get me wrong, it will catch up to you and shouldn't be drank quickly, but hides the alcohol well.

Overall, nothing spectacular, but also not bad at all. Two years in the bottle has mellowed the flavors and melded them into a semi-sweet, yet bitter, boozey beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of steelerguy
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Deep amber, thin head that hangs around for a bit, low carbonation, nice looking barleywine.

S - Good bit of hop aroma, along with some sweet caramel malt, the alcohol comes through but in a somewhat astringent way.

T - Big malt backbone, nice hop bitterness, and a big smack in the face of alcohol that does not come on in a smooth way.

M - Moderate body, but actually pretty thin feeling for a barleywine.

D - A 22 oz. bottle is about all I could drink in one sitting and I think all I ever need to drink from the 2011 batch.

Overall...Stone...WTF??? This was way below par.

Photo of Jason
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz brown bomber with a vintage date of 2011 on the labeling.

Showcasing a great head right away, sticky lace on the glass as well. Tawny glow in the light. Tobacco, citric rind and tree sap from the hops with a faint beef broth, caramel and rose water mix ... nose is pretty damn complex. Hops are strong to say the least, like a thick wool blanket that keeps you warm but reminds you that it is wool with an occasional itch here and there that only the smacking of the tongue can shake it. Big fat kernel of bready caramel malt is completely surrounded my the hop blanket and a very warming alcohol wants to clean house or at least the malt character. Hoppy alcoholic finish is more than aggressive.

Boozy mess, insane amount of hops that does not even come close to making sense to me and the combo really just detracts from all aspects. With that said ... if you are looking for something that got pushed over the edge this is your bag then. Nothing horrific ... just overboard.

Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, 2011 edition.

Pours rich darker honey amber, ample loose head, collar, sheeting and rings of scattered lacing.

As it warms, the nose opens up with notes of honey infused malts, some ginned up alcohol also present.

Large, bold, flavorful...Loads of malt-Loads of hops....I'm picking up vanilla, honey, grapefruit, pineapple. Smokey malts smoldering in the rear, fruity hops up front. Alcohol quite present...Love to have the chance to try an aged bottle of this huge beer in a few years.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a westmalle chalice a deep amber with a 1/4" head that disapated rather quickly. The nose has some carmel with leather hints.

Being a fresh barleywine, this has a supprising hop bite to it. (Is it just me or has there become a new style in barleywines lately with a little too much hops?) The basic barleywine taste I'm accustom to is there, but the hops kick you in the butt and make you forget what you're drinking. The high alcohol burn takes away from the mouthfeel and causes a little pucker. This is one that needs some aging.

Photo of rdilauro
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden sherry color with little creamy head. Hints of tropical flavors, orange, pineapple.
The taste was clean and bright, the mouthful was semi-big, but the aftertaste still was very light.
Surprising for a barley wine style of beer.
Would go very well with smoked trout or other smoked lighter foods.
Still not a barley type of person

Photo of GilGarp
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber served cold into a pint glass.

Old Guardian is a hazy copper color with thin white head on top. It settles pretty fast but there is some good lacing.

Aroma is strong in both alcohol and hops. The hops aren't the super-fresh citrusy types but more earthy and grassy.

Flavor is also very strong but more balanced than I was expecting. Huge hop bitterness and enormous malt bill colide.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and lower carbonation, which is good. The alcohol is very strong but at least it's not hot.

Drinkability is not very good. Usually I would be able to finish a bottle of barleywine but not tonight.

Overall solid but not exceptional. Old Ruffian and Hog Heaven are far better.

Photo of haddon
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a couple of bombers... one for now and one for the cellar.

Pours a dark amber color with a dirty white & thin head

Very boozy with a lot of caramel and toffee. Dark fruit notes as well as some bread. I could actually feel a bit of alcohol burn come through the nose after a big wiff.

malts= Bread, caramel, and toffee. Quite boozy with some mild fruits and a touch of pine. the hops aren't that noticeable at first but the bitter aftertaste sits on the back of the throat after a while.

The body is medium to full with ample carbonation.

this was a good barleywine and I am looking forward to tasting some of the Guardians with some age on them (have '08-'11 in the cellar)

Photo of Snow81
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light orange clean glow

Head: Little tan head that dissipates quickly

Smell: Big dark citric with a nice malty tone and a subtle heat

Taste: Malty rich dark citric with a bit of heat on the backend

Weight: Light to medium body with a medium to low carbonation

Finish: Heavy citric with a little heat and a nice stickiness on the lips

Photo of prototypic
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Guardian pours a copper color. Looks a tad hazy. Backlighting gives it a slight orange look. Not bad. The head is a very light tan color. It rises to nearly a finger, then falls to a surface covering quickly. I suspect the 12% abv might be a little much. Lacing was light and spotty.

The nose is pretty good. It’s a tad weak in the strength department. It kicks off with a nice caramel malt scent. Definitely smells a little sweet. Hops are easily noted, but may have diminished a little. They smell mostly like pine with a touch of citrus grapefruit and pineapple. There’s a little dark fruit in the mix, mostly raisin. It’s secondary, but adds nice depth. Alcohol is there, but isn’t as strong as it usually is fresh. That’s a positive.

The flavor is good. A nice caramel malt base anchors things down. It’s a little sweet, but isn’t too much. Hops are definitely more vibrant in flavor. They are piney and a little citric. Grapefruit and pineapple flavors are strong. It does have a bit of a bitter kick, despite the wealth of malt present. I like it. Raisin and a little fig are in the mix. They’re subtle and a little tangy, but add nice depth. Alcohol is there in flavor, but isn’t warm or hot. At 12% abv, that’s performing pretty well. Finishes malty, hoppy, and bitter.

Old Guardian has a medium body that feels a bit chewy. Carbonation is light and restrained. It is nice and smooth. For a beer of its size, it really does go down easy. A bomber really isn’t that much of a problem.

The 2011 release of Old Guardian is a good one. I don’t if or how much the recipe changes from year to year. The quality seems pretty consistent, if you ask me. Yeah, the nose could use a little more strength, but it performs well otherwise. I do believe the alcohol in Old Guardian is a little better integrated after 6 months or so. I recall it being very strong early on. If you’re a fan, you should like the 2011 release. If not…you probably never will be.

Photo of Heatwave33
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 1pint and 6oz bottle to a Cigar City Snifter.

Color: Deep murky amber with a beige head.

Smell: Caramel malts, yeast, fruit and hops.

Taste: Caramel malts, yeast, fruit, hops and an alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, smooth with a dry finish.

Overall: For the alcohol presence the drinkability was good. Not one of my favorites though. Don't think I will hunt this one down. Cheers.

Photo of hoptualBrew
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours nicely into oversized wine glass. Appearance is a sexy deep amber as most of the barleywines I have tried are.

Smells of complex malts with a touch of earthy hop aromas and raisony as well. Taste is sweet malts with a backside of hoppy bitterness, bittersweet indeed. Alot of hoppyness to offset the sweetness of the malt. A touch of toffee picked up, but nothing more from my palate.

Mouthfeel is exceptional with a nice hoptual aftertaste. Hides the 12% abv very nicely.

Overall, I think its a solid barleywine.

Photo of 20ozmonkey
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone Old Guardian glass. Decided to drink this since today is their 15th anniversary.

Pours a consistently cloudy dark amber with a short head that dissipates to a film on top of the beer. This beer looks thick and chewy.

Smells like sweet malts. I get a little bit of that soap smell that I tend to pick up in a lot of barley wines. When I get my nose down in it there is definitely some alcohol to the smell.

Very tasty. Brown sugar, sweet bread and a tinge of bitterness on the end. The bitterness sticks to your tongue for quite some time reminding you that you've been drinking a Stone beer.

This is probably one of my favorite barley wines and I bought a decent amount of bottles to hold to. This is first bottle I've had since this first released back in February.

Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a couple of tulip glasses. 2011 Release.

Pours a clear coppery looking ruby in the glass, with 2 fingers of stiff off-white head. This retains with creamy ½ finger of froth, which leaves back some thick swathes of sticky lacing. The aroma smells floral, piney, and spicy up front, which is undercut by a thick bitter mix of grapefruit and a strong toasted graininess. Alcohol adds some light feeling beef to the nose.

Those American hops are up front of the taste, with pine resins and bitter grapefruit having some strength to them before crashing into a wall of beefy toasted graininess that also has some sweeter caramel flavors to it as well. Alcohol adds a bold sweetness and spice to this that linger in the finish with dry resins and warmth. The mouthfeel is full bodied and quite chewy on the sides, before coming together and laying a solid prickle down the middle of the tongue. The alcohol is mostly confined to the flavors and feel here, luckily keeping any stray heat from the ABV out of the equation.

I was a bit surprised by the strength of the grains in this, as even though the hops still had plenty of force left in them (this was consumed in April, 2011), the malts were what left a final impression on me. Not sure if this was a good or bad thing necessarily but the overall impression this left on me was good. Malt and alcohol drive this more than the hops do though and it’s definitely a good candidate for some extended cellaring.

Photo of HalfFull
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a snifter glass. The 'standard' 2011 Old Guardian pours similar to the Belgo version, that being a bright and clear caramel brown with a lingering film of swirly lace.

Nose is much more traditional with caramel and lightly candied fruit, a touch of alcohol and brown sugar. Bit light overall. Taste is of well muddled malts and a bit of spice thrown into the mixture. I'm not picking up any overbearing hops as others seem to mention yet there is just enough zest and bitterness to yield a smooth and creamy feel. Touch of citrus oil on the finish.

Overall a nice brew and quite well constructed given the balance. ABV is reasonably masked and yet not too malty sweet either. Somewhat subdued and unexciting at the same time. Flavor profile doesn't encourage cellaring.

Photo of jtierney89
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very brash beer. Sweet simple malts with an over abundance of hops and lots of detectable alcohol. Everything battles for dominance. Earthy, malty, caramel, piney, with citric peel notes. Drinkable but not enough focus, and for a beer with so much strength it's not too complex. I wouldn't buy it again and the simplicity of the malt body seems to me make it not a great candidate for ageing. Drinking this beer with pickles on the side makes the process a lot easier.

Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Still have a 2008, 2009, and 2010 in the cellar. The 2008 was one of my first barleywine's and I really enjoyed it (and I'm not big into the style). That had about a year on it. I was curious how this beer would stand up being fresh.

Appearance - Pours into my Bruery Tulip with a ruddy mahogany color. About a finger of white head is achieved with a moderate pour that dissipates relatively fast.

Smell - Hops, floral, citrus, candied like malt, toasted malts, etc. The alcohol is somewhat prevalent also.

Taste - Similar to the aroma but honestly even a bit sweeter than expected. A decent amount of citrus kick, hops, spicy, stick malt sweetness. Actually tastes pretty good though there is a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Big body, creamy, decent carbonation, coats the mouth.

Drinkability - Honestly, for as big ABV as it is, relatively so. For such a cheap price a bomber, I will for sure pick up another to age. Pretty impressed to be honest, but needs some aging for sure.

Photo of philbe311
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers worth of rich creamy light-to-medium colored tan colored head... Very solid retention... The color is a warm inviting caramely brown... Still with no discernible carbonation... Overall this is a very sophisticated and regal looking offering... Very nicely done...

S - The nose rather subdued which is surprising given both the style and brewery of origin... All the usual suspects are present... Rich caramely malts... Some hints of brown sugar... A subdued hop presence lies beneath the surface...

T - There is nothing timid about the palette... This is much more of what I expect for both the style and the brewery... A big challenging mix of malts and hops start immediately... Brown sugar... Caramel... A very nice hoppy bite... A definite boozy warmth on the finish...

M - A very sturdy medium to full bodied offering... A bit of creamy lushness from the head greats the tongue to start... The finish is bit dry and bit chalky...

D - Overall, a rather solid American Barleywine... Not the best, but better than average... This is my first intro to Old Guardian and I'll gladly pick up a bottle next year to see how it changes year over year... Other than a slightly timid nose, there's no doubt this is an aggressive expected out of Stone...

Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby colored and clear, with a light tan fluffy head sitting a full 2 fingers above the brew.

S: Dark bread, raisons, and a touch of yeast.

T: Starts sweet and bready. Notes of raisons. dark bread, darker fruits, and a bit of a earthy flavor. There is a touch of licorice, and the bitterness all comes in the finish. You can definitely feel the booze in this thing. This is almost more of a cross between an American, and English Style BarleyWine. The beginning is a strong malty smack in the face, that is quickly shooed out the door by bitter hops. Interesting, and I think it is going to go quite well with this dark chocolate I have.

M: Medium in body, carbonation feels low and slow. It's nice, and leaves your mouth oily with hop resin.

D: Tasty for sure, definitely not the hop explosion I was expecting from stone, but solid.

Photo of UTCengOwl
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had Real Ale's double ESB this week... but that description seems much more apt for the 2011 Old Guardian. The color, nose and taste all go down that route. Deep red with a fantastic pour on the head. Dissipated quickly, but is excellent. The nose has huge stone fruits and boozy caramel goodness. Double ESB all the way. The taste is strong in the same way... where did my American hops go? Thankfully the taste strays away from medicinal. The Belgian version should be interesting.

Overall, this beer is good, but not great. Give me my hops! I might need to go crack a Bigfoot now so that I can be reminded of what I love about American barleywines.

Photo of notyourdadsbeer
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into snifter at Euclid Hall.

A: Burnt Amber to Sienna with haziness brown hue. Unfiltered with a very nice thick head. Solid lacing but fades moderately fast.

S: Really complex off the bat. Hints of sweetness and sugar mixed with high california piney hops. I would have liked more sweetness off the nose being a barley but this is Stone so understandable that hops are the key ingredient. Thick malt back up the hops.

T: Minor sweetness up front but clean. I would have prefered more sweetness, not cloying, but just a touch more being a barley. Mid palate is clean and the beer finishes dry. The hops aren't a torpedo on this one, instead they creep into your senses from the back of your palate. Very hoppy but not a hop bomb; this one is a sneeker.

M: This is a very heavy beer. They used a lot of malt to really back up the hop profile so it weighs heavy on the palate. Almost a meal in fact. Entire palate is coated cleanly and the hops on the finish completely take over the palate with a bittering affect.

D: Overall I think it's a pretty good barley wine. I would have prefered a lot more sweetness up front and perhaps even more hop aroma as well as bittering in the beer. It seemed pretty mellow for Stone. I know they didn't dry hop this years batch (2011) but maybe they should have.

Photo of gregshead
3.01/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted on 4/14/11. Reviewed from notes:

A: Pours a reddish/copper with a finger+ of head

S: Lots of malt sweetness toffee smells

T: Lots of malt toffee tastes with more boozy flavors

M: Very thick syrupy feel. Light on carb feel. Lots of heat feel.

O: Think arrogant bastard on steroids/alcohol. Okay, maybe it has a lot less hops but it reminded me of arrogant bastard in many ways. The alcohol on this one was not at all hidden. You knew it was 12%.

Photo of smakawhat
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Extremely clear pour into a snifter with a fast disappearing head. Head was a faint off white color and tight bubbles. Gorgeous red hued very clear and transparent body

On the nose is sea salts and yeast, and a small blast of mild sushi style soy sauce. This might be off putting for some but I actually like this smell. Hints of warming alcohol.

Taste unfortunately is very lacking. Cough syrup sensation borderline medicinal, but it has also a tea tannic quality too it as well, perhaps rosehip. Mouthfeel is not too bad but still a bit wet, and the finish is really missing. Not even boozy tasting and a very front forward palate. Unfortunately the cough syrup Halls like bent is too prominent for me on this so I can't make this better than average.

Not sure if this improves with age, but this does not feel like a barleywine I want to be consuming right now. There's certainly better ones you can have than this at this time.

Photo of ZorPrime
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this one in a trip to Stone Brewery. Review notes of tasting in May 14th, 2011. Bought on May 10th, 2011.

Amber color with some ruby in there. Nice head. Soapy looks. Foam color is beige. Floral notes in the aroma with some caramel malts notes. Some yeast in the nose too. Pretty nice aroma. Very thick in the mouth. Complex. Yeast with malts (woody). The finish is very bitter and linger in the mouth for a long time. The 12% ABV is well hidden. Dangerous beer since it is so easy to drink. Another nice one from Stone.

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

still young, this needs some time to develop but wanted to try it fresh for some perspective.

caramel in color with light reddish tints to it. Small head of white rises up from the bottom to cap off the top of it rather nicely, no active carbonation that I could see either.

The aroma was very sweet, with lots of carmael and hints of bready malts. SOme light diffused hoppiness in it as well, but nothing that was terribly overpowering. alcohol notes were hiding underneath as well. The flavor was more of the same, light alcohol, some light piney hops and a touch of carmel and toffee. Nothing really huge here at all, but on the same token nothing really bad either.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 348 ratings.