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
83
good

139 Reviews
THE BROS
75
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 139
Hads: 348
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 9
Gots: 109 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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
Reviews: 139 | Hads: 348
Photo of Jason
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
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. (985 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
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. (980 characters)

Photo of obrike
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Liked the look...a nice dark amber. Some lace, but not too sticky.

I could get a few traces of sweet malt...some hops...not very much of anything else.

Wow...the first sip was strange...a weird, almost tinny aftertaste...certainly not like any good american barlewine i've had recently. Very hot, boozy finish as well...of course, it tasted better when i got to the end, after i was buzzed. Hard to discern the hops/malt as it was mostly boozy.

Good mouthfeel though...moderately carbonated. Again, as this beast warmed, I really seemed to like it a bit more.

I can't give this a good overall rating strictly based on how hot it was and how the initial taste threw me off. However, it's one of those beers that certainly gets a bit better as it warms and you become more buzzed by the brew. A strange, intriguing release by Stone to say the least. (851 characters)

Photo of bballmj2k
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A few years ago when I began drinking craft beers I dug everything Stone did. It was badass and bold. As I've gained more experience with craft beer I find most of their stuff is just unrefined.

A - Good barleywine look - amber, minimal head, heavy lacing.

S - Alcohol. Bready/caramel malts. Alcohol. Dose of hoppiness in there too.

T - Burn. It just burns and is a hot a mess of a beer. First taste is bitterness, followed by heat from the alcohol. Theres malty flavors continued with more bitterness on the tongue and finishes with more alcohol on the throat.

M - Creamy, full-bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall the past few Stone beers I've had just seem over the top, alcoholic or hoppy just for the sake of it. Give me something with some balance anyday. Meh. (775 characters)

Photo of muttyd
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an amber/orange with a thin off white head. Aroma is of caramel, some citrus hops, and burnt sugar. Flavor follows the nose. Big burnt sugar flavor, toasty, citrusy and grainy. Some orange peel as well. Very hoppy for a barley wine. The citrusy, slightly earthy hops help balance out the big brown sugary flavor profile. Sticky on the palate with moderate carbonation. (374 characters)

Photo of flannelman808
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: This is a very clear beer with a mother of pearl colored head. The foam has medium to small bubbles and decent retention as well as lacing.

S: Ever try to make simple syrup? Ever try to flavor it with orange peels? That's my first notion along with Bing cherry and brown sugar.

T: Muted fruit flavors and heightened boozy notes (as noted from the bouquet). Sweet molasses comes hits the mid palate and then some hop bitterness follows in the back palate and help to balance a what otherwise would be a very malty sweet beer.
note: I think this needs time to mellow though I would also guess its not going to get an eyebrow raising degree better, unless your a real sweet tooth. There is just not enough hopping to balance the malts which the aging will mellow (the hopping). All that said a year or two will improve this one for sure, as the time should cut the strong alcoholic notes.

M: sticky booze

D: low given the fusel nature of this one. (952 characters)

Photo of rdilauro
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
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 (336 characters)

Photo of whoneeds8
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
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. (545 characters)

Photo of alexhahn82
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours full with chasing carbonation that dissipates at a medium rate, 1.5 finger head light semi cloudy non filtered amber.

S. Smell is of barley wine, as it should. Nothing too impressive scent wise.

Taste. This is where I say call me crazy, but after the poor I tasted a semi sour (good sour) flavor for about 30 seconds, then it dissipated into a mild semi sweet caramely flavor.

M. Semi syrup feel but not a thick chewy viscosity. Semi peppery bite from the alcohol with a nice dry crisp carbonation bite.

Overall. On a whim purchased this beer at The Nugget, was the last one and usually the customers there have a good palette. Definitely worth a try, gonna have to try to scrounge up another bottle for the cellar. (728 characters)

Photo of b3shine
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft to snifter. Probably the worst from Stone I've tried - but that's relative to Stone's upper-end craft brews. Just too intense and bitter for a barleywine. A little too liquidy, especially given the high alcohol content (which is overly apparent). I'd drink it again, but only if someone else ordered the round. (316 characters)

Photo of BostonHops
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle served in a snifter.
2011 vintage.

pours a cloudy, burnt amber tone yielding 3/4" tan colored head that dissipates fairly quickly; lacing in patches. nose is malt heavy with notes of citrus, caramel, and some breadiness... a touch of hops in the background... alcohol is evident. decent aroma, nothing spectacular.

flavor likewise is okay. not the complete boozy mess i was expecting, although the alcohol presence is definitely a player. bready maltiness takes center stage with secondary notes of caramel and hops - the latter mostly in the finish. reasonably enjoyable barleywine though in my opinion there are much better renditions out there. mouthfeel is solid - medium-full bodied with slightly above-average carbonation.

overall i'd say this is a middling BW, maybe slightly above that. booze could be more hidden and the hoppiness turned up a notch. not terrible by any means, just sort of one-dimentional.

originally reviewed: 03-28-2011 (963 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
3.43/5  rDev -7%
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. (703 characters)

Photo of perrymarcus
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle served in a snifter.
2011 vintage.

pours a cloudy, burnt amber tone yielding 3/4" tan colored head that dissipates fairly quickly; lacing in patches.

nose is malt heavy with notes of citrus, caramel, and some breadiness... a touch of hops in the background... alcohol is evident. decent aroma, nothing spectacular.

flavor likewise is okay. not the complete boozy mess i was expecting, although the alcohol presence is definitely a player. bready maltiness takes center stage with secondary notes of caramel and hops - the latter mostly in the finish. reasonably enjoyable barleywine though in my opinion there are much better renditions out there.

mouthfeel is solid. medium-full bodied with slightly above-average carbonation.

overall i'd say this is a middling BW, maybe slightly above that. booze could be more hidden and the hoppiness turned up a notch. not terrible by any means, just sort of one-dimentional. (931 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
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. (784 characters)

Photo of JLeege
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (792 characters)

Photo of CuttDeez
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
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 (831 characters)

Photo of TTAmod
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber into snifter.

A: Fairly good pour yields a hazy brown-ish amber liquid with a one-finger khaki head with a decent retention. Yeast and carbonation bubbles remain suspended in the liquid. Lacing looks good.

S: Smell is of dark, vinous fruit, strong malt, resiny hops and alcohol.

T: Strong malts up front. Tastes of toffee and caramel. A little bit of darker fruits show up after that. A bit of hops come in later and ends with a really strong, lingering tea-like bitterness and a quick taste of alcohol.

M: Thicker side of medium, yet pretty easy to drink. Carbonation helps balance out some of the malts and lingering bitterness.

O: This one needs to be a tad sweeter and maltier to really shine. It's obviously well-crafted, but needs to be a touched up a bit. Age would probably benefit this beer. It's better than average, but not quite great. (866 characters)

Photo of Agold
3.49/5  rDev -5.4%
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, (454 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
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 (661 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (745 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (657 characters)

Photo of Thanby
3.54/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (752 characters)

Photo of Dlish
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (940 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (1,614 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (534 characters)

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.