Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 - Stone Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 336 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
1.35/5 rDev -64.8%
2011 vintage, lightly chilled bottle into a glass.
A: Pours a dark amber body with great clarity. It is capped with a beige-colored head that vanishes quickly into a big-bubbled collar and beads of film on top of the beer.
S: Whoa. This is surprisingly, and off-puttingly, malty. I enjoyed fresh Old Guardian last year, so I picked this up right when it was released, hoping to capture the same vibrant hop freshness in this year's version. Alas, no. Up-front aromas of toffee, molasses, and caramel. Hops are *secondary* (I never thought I'd say this about a Stone beer in a non-hop-shortage year), producing a floral, roselike aroma with citric qualities.
T: Multi-grain bread, caramel, molasses, toffee. Some dark fruit notes that are intertwined with floral hop flavors. The citrus I picked up in the nose is absolutely buried here. An incredibly simplistic, imbalanced flavor that delivers none of the delicious hop freshness I expected from this beer.
M: Boozy, syrupy, and thick. The carbonation seems to be similar to years past, and the booziness is sort of what I'd expect from a big beer this fresh, but the syrupiness detracts a lot, here.
D: I drainpoured about 17oz. Looks like I'll be waiting until 2012 to buy more of the "classic" recipe. Between this, 14th Anniversary, and 101010, Stone has been having a lot of misses lately.
03-07-2011 07:15:39 | More by Arbitrator
1.53/5 rDev -60.2%
Maybe one of the the worst beers i have ever had. I cant knock it on the appearance but on the nose it is very muted with nothing coming through. The taste is some malts and hops as well, but it is ridiculously hot with a pronounced well vodka taste. Not a good trait in alcohol much less a beer. Love double bastard and stone in general and will even give this beer a chance 2-3 years down the road hoping it mellows a bit. All in all a complete atrocity.
03-16-2011 06:17:59 | More by Trilogy31
1.93/5 rDev -49.7%
2011 bottle, bought the day of release. Split the bomber with a friend side-by-side with the Belgo. Poured into a tulip glass
L: Dark amber body, nice light head. Left good lacing down the glass
S: Lots of sweetness, sharp alcohol aroma. Underlying the expected aromas is something horrid that I've never smelled or tasted before, and it completely ruined the aroma and most of the flavor as well.
T: Decent until the atrocious foul flavor came through. Alcohol is too hot as well
M: Pretty good for a big barleywine. Moderate carbonation
D: This was almost drinkable.
What a waste. This was easily one of the worst beers I've ever had. Considering how much I enjoyed the Belgo, I wonder whether this was a bad bottle
02-17-2011 21:55:50 | More by zachary80
2.33/5 rDev -39.3%
A: Looks decent. A bronze/copper shade. Not much head here. A small wisp of foam.
S: Pine, caramel, charcoal, hot nuts, nail polish.
T: Insanely boozy. Reminds me of prescription cough medicine. Sticky, syrupy sugary malts. Over the top bitter hops. I'm scared of going for another sip.
M: Gets a little bit more palatable when warming up. Still way too hot to drink now. If you're brave, buy one now and drink it in 2-3 years.
O: A rare letdown from Stone, who's beers I usually love for going to extremes, but here its just a mess.
03-26-2011 07:48:45 | More by diamondc
2.5/5 rDev -34.9%
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.
03-05-2013 02:08:29 | More by jtierney89
2.5/5 rDev -34.9%
A: Partly cloudy honey brown. small white head with bubbly lacing
S: Candied fruits like apples, pears, oranges. Lemon zest and mild kitchen spices. Big hop aroma. Smooth malts.
T: Bitter bite of alcohol and rotten fruits on the initial sip. Smooth malts, and fresh dry hops. Definitely on the complex side of flavor, but it's masked by the taste of alcohol.
M: Boozy, fruity. Not much else to say. Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation.
D: I've had plenty of Barleywines with upwards of 12%, but not like this one. Sad to say, one of my least favorite Stone brews.
03-31-2011 23:35:36 | More by YouSkeete
2.6/5 rDev -32.3%
A: Hazy honeyed ruby brown body, with a respectably sized beige-stained head. Good retention and lacing.
S: The intensity is satisfactory, but the content is uninteresting - a crude expression of barley, and very light background hops.
T: Irritated inbred yokels spring to mind as something so simple spirals into a crass creation. Simplicity alone is by no means detrimental, and the soft caramel of the forepalate is indeed a pleasant example of this. Even the transition into the midpalate isn't bad, and the heavier malt notes begin to appear in an interesting approach. Unfortunately they just don't know when to stop, and from here it's all downhill. The malts seem to regress into an almost wort-like state, with a pungent wet breadiness burying the potential with which the forepalate had flirted just moments earlier. The pungency descends into a sticky mess, which is then accompanied by a brutishly bitter hop profile reminiscent of childhood dares to eat each others earwax (try not to judge).
M: A bit hot to say the least. On the up side, it does present some pretty good carbonation, although no amount of carbonation could seriously tackle the sickly sweet wet breadiness - then again, let's not dwell.
O - It seems that this one needs a few years to settle down into something more sophisticated. A few years in solitary will never produce mind blowing complexity, but it may well create a solid specimen of barley expression. Here's to looking forward to Older Guardian.
03-20-2011 03:07:40 | More by SirRuss
2.63/5 rDev -31.5%
A: A nice looking brew. A deep amber color with a decent one-finger head that didn't need much coaxing. Dissipated pretty quickly to a ring around the beer. Left some spotty lacing.
S: The smell is predominantly hoppy. Behind the hops are carmelized malts and quite a bit alcohol heat. Not much to write about here.
T: A decent amount of hops and bready, caramel malts. The finish is quite bitter and the alcohol is very present. I understand this is a fresh barleywine and will be hot, but this is too much.
M: The body of Old Guardian is almost thin. I would describe it as medium-thin. Disappointing.
D: Not as drinkable as many other barleywines I have had this winter, but definitely not undrinkable. This was the most disappointing beer I've had from Stone.
I have more of these in the cellar and am glad I do. Time will do nothing but good for this brew. Not a great effort.
03-03-2011 02:21:34 | More by thatsfine
2.73/5 rDev -28.9%
Pours a clear copper. Very thick head, remains for a while.
S - hops, pine, orange citrus, smells like I'm about to have an IPA but you can smell the alcohol on top of it.
T - Starts like sweet orange, moves directly and quickly into bitterness, hops, finishes dry. Very bitter and extreme west coast hops.
M & D - not well balanced. I've had barleywines before and this is taken to an extreme with the hops. Alcohol is noticeable in the flavor. Feels syrupy.
03-14-2011 19:52:09 | More by tbern007
2.75/5 rDev -28.4%
Poured from a bomber into a Pint glass.
Before I rate this I will say that I have never had a Stone beer that I have liked but I do enjoy barley wine styles. Having said that here is what I think of this beer.
As I pour, it pours a dark reddish brown with a small but nice off white head. The smell is of dominant pineapple juice with a hint of other fruits. The first taste has a blast of strength from the high alcohol content, will see if this mellows out as i continue. Not a bad beer as I take a couple more sips. The initial taste of this beer is almost unbearable raw alcohol taste but as it lingers you start to taste the flavors of pineapple and other fruits that is rather enjoyable. The mouthfeel is very good, just enough thickness to make it taste like you are drinking something substantial. Overall I think this beer is very drinkable, definitely not one of my favorite beers or even barley wines but and I would not buy it again but still is better than the other Stone beers that I have had.
10-29-2011 04:53:54 | More by TheTot
2.8/5 rDev -27.1%
Poured to NB globe.
A: Pours a hazel brown ale with single finger of head which dissipates in a couple minutes leaving a fine, medium sheet of creamy tan foam. Excellent clarity. Visible ribbons from the bottom.
S: So, um, there's barely any nose here. Unusual for Stone...Really unusual. Nose is of bittering hops, slight pine, alcohol. Moderate malt nose, but poorly exhibited. Hints of Apple skins, astringency. Just the slightest, slightest hint of vanilla.
T: Malts, caramels. Both sweet and bitter. Finish is still a bit sweet, hints of tea. Bitter sticks around on the hind-tongue. The beer breathes back hot.
M: Medium body and lower to moderate carbonation. Dries my palate.
D: Too hot. Although if I already had a few in me, this beer would be easier to drink, the beer as is struggles to meet the quality Stone strives for with every beer.
02-28-2011 18:28:33 | More by harrymel
2.95/5 rDev -23.2%
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%.
05-16-2011 02:31:49 | More by gregshead
3/5 rDev -21.9%
Got this bottle to do a side by side with a 2010... and man, I was disappointed...
Pours a nice copper color with a tiny bit of head. Looks great.
The nose is nothing like last year, I was excited to get one, I have been jonesing for a nice hoppy barleywine. No such luck. Heavy malt character on the nose, and booze booze booze. No hops.
Taste is booze also. Man I wish this was hoppy like it used to be. The alcohol burn on this is a bit much. medium bodied, but man the alcohol is too in your face.
02-24-2011 03:00:44 | More by crusian
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.