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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 Alström Bros
Ratings: 348 | Reviews: 140
Photo of gdrydenc
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber that looks almost brown if you don't look through light. Pours with finger solid fingers of middle brown head that is quite resilient. The head sticks around in volume for a while, but remains as a thin layer throughout. Gorgeous beer overall.

S - After the head dies down, I can smell this beer from a ways away. It smells like dark fruits, plums, maybe apricots. Additionally, I'm getting some caramel from it.

T - I think this must be my first ever barleywine, which I find shocking. This baby is a doozy though. At the front, it's fruits and bitterness that stand out. The malt backbone is very present. Pretty boozy in the finish, but the fruitiness remains. Frankly, this seems like it needs some time on it to fully develop.

M - Syrupy, but the taste leaves my mouth surprisingly quickly, which is nice. I don't like it when a beer clings to my palate for too long. Overall, the carbonation seems appropriate, at very minimal.

D - Well, I suppose if I'm reviewing within the style, this is probably about average. However, if I was reviewing for me personally, I would have a hard time finishing a bomber alone and walking after. Not that that's stopping me, though.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

way better with a year on it, or two, I found this edition to be a much more approachable version of the style, although barleywines are supposed to be a little intimidating I think. this one pours that same dark crimson color, bordering on brown, and retains a decent tan head. the nose and the taste are identical, with all kinds of fruit being detectable in here, red apples, ripe cherries, even dried dates. I think its complexity isn't so stifled by its raging booze content as it is in the fresh version, so I pick up so many more subtleties in both aroma and flavor. the alcohol is still sharp though, and the carbonation is disappointing. its a slow sipper, and when it warms its almost like a distilled spirit. the oaked and smoked versions mellow this out in a special way that apparently even age cant do with this one. still, I think its an improvement over the fresh, and maybe this year I will keep a few bottles around a lot longer to really see how time affects these barleywines.

Photo of Tifore
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sad to say this but the bottle tipped over and beer started shooting everywhere so I saved what I could and rebottled it in a 750ml swing top I have. Figured I'd try it fresh so I poured a bit into my DFH snifter.

A - Pours a beautiful deep amber color with red and pink cherry notes. Also extremely clear. Looks very nice. Pours alot thinner than I was thinking but it still looks appetizing. A nice 1/2 finger head that is tan to light khaki in color rises and falls quickly.

S - Smell is intense. Lots of bready malty notes, caramel, toffee, some bitterness from the loads of hops are also present. Grapefruit mainly and some just over the top smelling hops, can't pinpoint the kind exactly. Very much an alcohol smell is present as I was expecting. Didn't think I'd be opening this beer right now, was hoping to throw it in the cellar but it didn't make it there.

T - Taste is actually alot mellower than the smell but this beer is definitely far too fresh for drinking now. The flavors need time to meld together and for the alcohol burn to tone down a bit. I get the bready and hoppy notes right away followed by malts after that. Theres something coyingly sweet that hits the tounge but then this bitter bomb sweeps it up and kills it.

M - Mouthfeel is light and oily. Coats the mouth very nice. Some pretty good carbonation makes itself known and is a good player in this one.

D - Alcohol is far too high right now and the flavors all need to mellow out and smooth themselves over. I'll be snagging a few more bottles and throwing them in the cellar without dropping them and watching them explode.

Photo of Ehrnstrom
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance: dark copper with rusted red coloring. moderate amount of creamy head, good head retention. opaque in texture.

smell: creamy malt smell with hints of alcohol and hops.

taste: an old ale taste with strong hop presence, especially in the after taste. roasted malts and hops blend well together. thick, rich, creamy beer.

mouthfeel: the aftertaste has a bit to be desired. the initial mixture fades and the hop bitterness is somewhat unexpected.

notes: for Stone, this is a good pick. frequently, I feel Stone can be inconsistent, but definitely check this one out if you get the chance. not great, but good.

Photo of jmdrpi
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, 2011 Classic release from back in January. I had read that the beer was way too hot fresh, so waited until now in October.

appears a rusty orange copper color. frothy white head, a thin covering stays. aroma is caramel, piney hops, and alcohol. fiarly intense.

taste starts malty, hops in the middle, spicey and boozy in the finish. warms the throat and belly. sticky, coats the mouth. higher carbonation.

it's still hot. I've got another bottle aging and will give it awhile.

Photo of jpro
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at CBX a couple of weeks ago...

A: Poured into a snifter... tea-like amber with some cloudiness that eventually clears up; no lace or much of a head to speak of

S: Caramel cake; some fruity-slightly estery-booze tinged aroma; earthy hops

T: Brown sugar sweetness; rummy spice cake; a little alcohol and lasting hemp hop aftertaste

M: Medium-light and a touch zingy; nothing too crazy

D/O: Not the most exciting; surprisingly malt forward for Stone... its OK

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 MetalHopHead6
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Old Guardian is earthy, thick, and long-lasting.

It poured a very nice dark copper with ruby highlights. It had little-to-no head but left a ton of lace. The smell and flavor had a great deal of complexity, with a dark fruit sweetness, followed by an earthy, grassy middle, and a salty roasted nut finish. A slightly unpleasant metallic aftertaste lingered. The feel was thick, full, and bitter, with a dry finish and very long-lasting.

Old Guardian has a beautiful dark color and a nice balance of sweet and bitter flavor with an extreme bitter feel and an aftertast that begs for a water chaser.

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

I have been fortunate to have tried the Old Guardian for the last five years. 2010 was my favorite year. It seemed to get better or change with a different complexity each year. This year the recipe seems to have gotten somewhat worse.

I think they may have put their greater effort in the Belgo style. I have that on the shelf as a future review, but I recommend that as a purchase over this bottle. That is to say, if it is available any more at your store.

On it's own, this is a classic Barleywine style. The flavors are standard, without much additional fanfare. The alcohol flavors stand out, as well as the strong barley and malts.

I would recommend the Avery version over this one, or if you live in San Diego pick up a growler of the Ballast Point version (my first and favorite). Just be careful, the ABV will set you up for the night.

Photo of litheum94
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Reviewed 6/19/11.

P: Ruddy body, slightly opaque. Brownish head, not very big. It settles to a thin cover.

A: Lots of caramel malts on the nose. Fig sweetness. Spicy hops. Brown sugar. Hops are more-downplayed on the nose than I expected.

T: Semi-sweet at first, with a caramel and brown sugar sweetness. A citric sourness starts to come on, complimented by a burnt orange peel flavor. Very floral mid-palate, and pine hops creep up on the end. The finish has a long lasting bitterness, and a warming alcohol burn.

I actually enjoyed this more than the 2009 OG that I had just a couple of months ago, which is kind of surprising. This had more balance and better drinkability. Very enjoyable.

Photo of jsprain1
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep deep red, about as dark as one can safely call amber. Thick head retains at a quarter finger's width and leaves lots of sticky lacing.
S- Resinous hops, citric, and actually much maltier than I would have expected out of a Stone Barleywine. Not terrible smelling, just... unexpected.
T- Caramel malts up front, long resinous hop finish. A bit of citric flavor but pine resin is really the big hop presence. Much boozier than I would like as well. Dark fruit, something like I would imagine an unsweet pomegranite would taste like is also in there.
M- Pretty syrupy, definitely needs a bit more carbonation. Good body to it though.
O- (Still used to putting a d there...) A bit boozy and not as hoppy as I was hoping considering both style and brewery. Alas, I would still drink it again, even if it is more boozy, syrupy, and not as hoppy as I would have it.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looking forward to this beer every year. Scored two bottles for 5.99 each, great price too.

A- Red amber in color, one finger of fluffy chunky head.

S- The smell is great, caramel, dark candy sugars, molasses, honey, dark fruits, honey and a nice crisp piny/gin/citrus hop smell. There is an alcohol note to this too.

T- The taste is a bit flat compared to other years. There is a hop taste, but it doesn't seem to have a specific hop direction. I get some caramel taste, and some maltyness, but this one needs to sit down and take a few years snooze. I'm a bit bummed at the moment, but I know this one is going to kick ass in 3-5.

M- Good, the alcohol and hops wreck the palate.

D- It isn't something I'm going to drink too quickly.

Photo of fox227
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep amber hue, off white one fingered head, good lacing.

S: Grassy hops, caramel, molasses, fig newtons.

T: I'm not a Barley Wine specialist, but I can say that I like this better than Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot. Here I find the bitter better balanced with the sweet, but the malt is obviously dominate, and the taste more or less follows the nose. I'm drinking this *today* so this has been aging a little bit. I think that it would benefit from more bitter hops, which means drink it fresh.

M: lots of carbonation, a bit of numbing on the palate felt from the 12% abv, and goes down dry.

O: I don't know how Barley Wines go, but this one isn't making me a convert. Judged strictly on its own merits, it's a good brew.

Photo of broken22
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So lets get to it. Pouring this beer out you are greeted with a nice dark honey color. A nice head formed during the pour and dissipated quickly. The smell is a sharp hop and a sweet almost fruity smell. The taste is very much the same except the hops bite a lot more. There is a lingering bitterness to this beer on the back end. The flavor is reminding me a little of Arrogant Bastard. As I progress though the beer the hops take a back seat so the subtle sweetness I smelled starts to come though. So this beer is definitely a flavor changer on the palate. The overall mouth feel is very much a full bodied beer with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall it's a decent beer and very much a Stone Brewery flavor. If your into their stuff and you like a kick in the mouth check this out. I don't think this beer is for everyone much like the Arrogant Bastard but you should still try it because you never know...

Photo of DrJay
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, reddish amber with a cap of fine off-white bubbles, a few soapy ones forming a collar. Sticky, spotty lacing, great head retention. Mild aroma. Malty and bready, caramel and alcohol, a bit of citrus. Malty flavour up front, cereal grains and caramel, more bread, with sugary sweetness following. Light citrus, alcohol flavour and warmth, lingering sharp bitterness. Nice texture, nicely integrated carbonation gives the full body some richness. Pretty good, but seems like it needs some aging to really tie everything together.

Photo of drabmuh
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage Stone Old Guardian Barleywine served in a new style Stone Old Guardian glass. Beer is amber, dark, caramel, hazy, nice tan head of small bubbles, lots of lacing, low carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is sweet, plums, malt, thick on the nose already, stone fruits.

Beer is medium to heavy in body, oddly bitter and dry finish at the end. Very sweet, very syrupy, very malty, strong throughout. Lots of fruit flavors, I drank the whole bomber and it put me out for the night, not my favorite Stone beer but this my annual ritual, drink the Old Guardian for that year. I'll wait until 2012 for the next one.

Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pt 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a three finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and excellent retention for the high ABV. Colour is a semitransparent textbook copper.

Sm: Bittering hops (I can't distinguish which), chocolate, caramel, cream, and slight biscuity yeast. Aroma is of moderate strength.

T: It's got a nice little character to it. The bittering hops are present mainly from the climax through the third act, and aren't overdone. It's biscuity, malty, and slightly sour all at one. Very caramelly without going overboard. The yeast gives it that biscuity quality which is really its best feature. The alcohol does come through, but it's buried beneath a layer of caramelized sugar and maybe extremely slight molasses or candy sugar, which is an extraordinary way to handle it. I definitely get a Belgian candy sugar vibe from it, which is pleasant. Most of the flavour is in the second half, which sort of messes with the balance, but I don't find it particularly problematic. It's built well for the style. Good all around.

Mf: Smooth and wet, and extremely thick. Biscuity and good, suiting the flavour. The thickness is a bit much for the drinkability, however.

Dr: She's a sipper. Difficult to quaff but easy to enjoy. As a note on presentation, I don't know that this size bottle is really necessary. The ABV is too high and the temperature won't maintain for the time it takes to consume. For the ABV and the power of the flavour, it's very drinkable.

Photo of Dlish
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A- a Redish brow color, little head that is a rich tan color but disappears quickly.

S- I get a malty chocolate, just a hint of vanilla, a light floral hops in the background. And thats about it.. But kind of normal for barley wines in my opinion.

T- Big malt and alcohol profile, no hiding the the alcohol. Then merges straight into very bitter hops, like horizon lots of grapefruit, or stomach acid its really harsh. This taste could def use some aging in oak or just chilling in the bottle for a while. Although I guess that is what stone is all about In your face beerm and this barely wine def hits that on the mark.

M-Lot of alcohol burn, big bold malt and hops that stay on your tongue long after your taste.

O- This is stone barely wine, if your a stone fan you will love it, if your are not you might now. My recommendation is get a little more creative, or let this 12% booze hound age in some oak or wine barrels for a while.

Photo of Thanby
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours like a hazy iced tea with a thin beige head and a bit of lacing.

Nose has a very citrusy character, kinda sweet, orange, pineapple, toasted malt and some citrusy hops to fill it out.

First taste is big on the pineapple and immediately the hops kick you in the mouth. Huge bouquet of bittering hops. Thick, rich malt coats the tongue and paves the way for more hops, a little bit of an apple flavor, pine, a bit spicy and maybe a touch sour (not totally fermented maybe?) Lingering hops spice and a bit of sticky malt sweetness.

Huge body, a bit of spice from the carbonation, two or three years in a cellar would probably round it out to a nice molasses body and mellow hops, but still good fresh. Not the easiest drink, but tasty nonetheless.

Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Stone

A: Pours a dark amber color with a thin layer of off-white/khaki head.

S: Very boozy with a lot of caramel and toffee. Dark fruit notes as well as some bread. Not the big, strong hop aroma that I really remember Old Guardian having.

T: Bread, caramel, and toffee make up the malt profile which is really what you get from this beer. There is a surprising lack of big hop flavor and bitterness which I usually characterize fresh Old Guardian by. Quite boozy with some mild fruits and a touch of pine.

M: The body is medium to full with a moderate carbonation.

D: I usually love Old Guardian fresh but I'm very indifferent about this one.

Photo of brentk56
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a modest head that leaves more than a fair shareof lacing

Smell: Caramel and piney pith, with a grainy edge; nioely balanced between the malt and hops

Taste: Big caramel flavors, up front, with the pith and pine shredding the tastebuds by mid-palate; the assault continues, after the swallow, though the caramel lingers in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation, but the aggressive hopping leaves the tongue feeling like it has been taken out behind the woodshed

Overall: Another polarizing beer from the folks at Stone; this one needs a few years of age to bring the ingredients into balance

Photo of wvsabbath
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark ruby red/brown, no head, some lacing

SMell - Strong malts, carmeal, some hops and plenty of alcohol and sugars, smells a little over the top

Taste - Really alcoholish and maltly. Not as complex as last year. Carmeal mixes well along with molasses to add some sweetness. Has a spice dark fruit flavor also.

MOuthfeel - Really warms mouth up. Actually the aftertaste is dry and bitter. Tounge is numbed from the first sip all the way til the end.

Drinkability - Totally a sipper beer. Alcohol is too much. I split the 22oz with a friend and that was more then enough. I prefer last years version better, but i wonder how good this will be aged for a few years. Not bad, not as good as '10 version.

Photo of Agold
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark caramel brown color with just about no head. Leaves no lacing at all. Aroma is mild citrus with lots of caramel and a bit of toffee. Sort of a dulled orange zest aroma. Taste is well balanced. More toffee, nice caramel a bit of citrusy bitterness, very nice. It is a bit hot, alcohol is not well hidden and is more hot than warm. Mild carb, medium to heavy mouthfel, nice, but it is a bit sharp instead of smooth. Really nice beer,

Photo of JLeege
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

Appearance- Pours a bright copper color with a creamy one finger head. Good retention and lace for such a big beer.

Smell- Lots of caramel and toffee. Some piney resin and lots of citrus.

Taste- Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits up front. Dried raison with some light cinnamon like spice. Resinous pine, leading into a bitter citrus finish. Lots of orange, lemon, grapefruit towards the back end. Boozy heat on the finish too.

Mouthfeel- Full body, medium to low carbonation. Sticky and coating. It is "hot", you can definitely tell its 12%.

Overall- Now that I finally like barleywines, I can say this is a very average one. Lots of flavors going on, but nothing to pronounced or super complex. It is a fresh bottle, but there is a lot of heat in this one.

Photo of CuttDeez
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This bomber poured into a tulip was brown with amber notes in the light and a kahiki tan beautiful head with lace.
S - Pine hops, roasted caramel, dark fruits, and notes of bitter citrus. There is also a distinct alchohol burn in the nose's back end.
T & M & D - Caramel sweetness is obvious. Then comes a hop that overwhelms the taste buds and dominates. It finishes slightly bitter and then the high alchohol warms and covers. I also can pick up grain as the beer warms a little more making the beer slightly bready and chewy.

I was disapointed in the dominance of hops that seem to mask hidden flavors that were alluded to in the nose. I believe if this was aged a bit those subtle flavors would shine through making the beer much more palate friendly and complex. I picked up an extra bomber to try in the future.

-Cheers

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 348 ratings.