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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 Bfarr
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy deep red amber with tan head and okay retention. Barley and alcohol aroma. nice balance and warming. Mostly just caramel barley sweetness and floral hops. Smooth and light stickiness.

Seems to have more alcohol and less complexities than past years. It is however much smoother and more balanced and easier to drink. Myself, I always like a bit of a challenge in my barley wine. (393 characters)

Photo of Auracom
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Poor Phil's on March 15th, 2011.

A - Dark amber/golden? (poor lighting at the bar). One finger, white, foamy head. So-so appearance.

S - Caramel/Toffee dominates the nose with a slight bitter undertone. Also spice (cinnamon) and citrus (orange mostly).

T - What you smell is what you get. Big malt nose = big malt flavor. The citrus is more apparent. Hops *try* to balance but they feel pretty subdued.

M - Medium body, alright carbonation.

D - The ABV is really well-hidden, could have a few easily in one sitting on that alone. Not sure it did much for my palate, but it wasn't really bad in any respect. Since I'm more of a malt guy I appreciate this in comparison to the standard fair that I've had from Stone before. (739 characters)

Photo of jamescain
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass

Appearance: Pours an orange-mahogany with an off white head about a centimeter thick that slowly fades into a lacing over the top of the beer that lingers almost half of the glass.

Aroma: Sweet malt, caramel, toffee, fruity esters and a touch of alcohol, very pleasant to smell.

Taste: Sweet up front with a caramel, fruity background and a hint of alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy with medium carbonation, a sipper for sure. It has a sweet finish with a noticeable alcohol warming sensation.

Overall: I really enjoyed this one and will enjoy seeing how it ages. It’s a little hot up front but not as hot as I remember it. (665 characters)

Photo of hoptualBrew
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (523 characters)

Photo of rootbeerman
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: thin sheet of head, body is brown, yet ruby when held to a light.
S: ton of sweet malt, floral and lightly piny hops.
T: sweet and malty up front, a mix between caramel and dark bread. Hops are a mix between pine grapefruit and a touch of grass. Hop bitterness lasts a long time. Alcohol has a light amount of burn as the brew warms up
M: a little thick, hops give a coating feeling, carbonation is a little low due to my dropping half the bottle.
O: needs a year to mellow out, but I think I prefere past years. (517 characters)

Photo of BeerMaverick
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Classic Release

A - The EXACT color of apple cider, a dark brownish orange. There is no head whatsoever, this may be because it is extremely cold. Very minimal lacing, if none.

S - Sweet carmel hints...I want to smell apple cider because it looks just like it. The barley and the alcohol really stand out.

T - This is a very FULL-bodied beer as in after just a few sips I am getting full. With absolutely no translucency, you can tell that this viscous brew will fill you up. The alcohol is very noticeable as is the barley.

M - The alcohol pretty much numbs the tastebuds. Slight hop bitterness as well...nothing too spectacular.

D - This beer is a 12% 22 oz. bomber...there is no way you will have more than one of these unless you're sharing it with someone...like I am...round two! (795 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I just picked this beer up tonight, so I don't have too terribly high hopes that this is ready to drink right now, but let's give a fresh Guardian a shot for a change.

Appearance: There was a solid off-gas when the top was popped, so this beer must be pretty well carbonated. It pours a somewhat cloudy burnt orange color with a very small <1/8" head after a pretty quick pour...surprising after the off-gas. There really isn't any lace left, and the beer doesn't really do that much else visually

Aroma: Surprisingly enough, through the rich malt and somewhat bold hops, I am getting a Bretanomyces presence that is unmistakeable. As the beer warms up some, this Brett character is fading quickly and the alcohol, hops, and malts are making an appearance...in that order.

Taste: The flavor is much more bold and driven by the hops than I thought it would be from the aroma. Overall the beer is full bodied with ample carbonation, but it still comes across the palate as a bit heavy. I don't get the Brett in the flavor at all, and it is fading in the nose...so maybe I was mistaken? Anyway, the hops are becoming a MUCH bigger player in the flavor as the beer warms up. Overall the beer is balanced toward the hops in the finish, but it isn't so much that the beer is hard to drink. The alcohol is contributing as much balance in the finish as the hops are.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer right now, but I really think that it would be a WHOLE LOT better in a couple years. Right now, it has a lot of flavor, but they are a bit out of balance. I think once the hops start to fade, mixed with the nice bitterness balance, this beer will age really well. One thing said is that this beer isn't as boldly bitter as a lot of Barley Wines are, so I think that it may lean more toward Old Ale as it matures than a Barley Wine. (1,833 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (1,991 characters)

Photo of BigB415
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage pours dark orange with large white head into my 22oz glass. Smells of caramel. Tastes of caramel and alcohol with a little burn on the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thick with alcohol and notes of caramel sticking around and not going away. It makes me pucker my lips and savor the caramel. If it weren't for the 12% ABV I'd have a couple of these right after the other but I have work in the morning. (413 characters)

Photo of misinformed
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

22 oz, reviewed 3/17/11. Tulip glass.

A- Poured with 1/2" of light tan head that faded really quickly. Beer itself is a nice, clear inviting mahogany. Some light carbonation bubbles are present as well.

S- Caramel/burnt sugar malt sweetness is the dominating scent with just a hint of the sweet citrus hop. Definite alcohol notes.

T- Bitter hops upfront with notes of bitter citrus pith and faint pine/grassy notes. The citrus blends right into the sweet caramel malt which eventually gives way to a mild pithy finish. Huge malt presence here that overshadows the hops.

M- Smooth and light bodied.

O- Way more malt than I remember from last year. The citrus hop flavors do work well with the rich maltiness, but it never quite feels like everything jives. Different flavors are constantly vying for your attention. Even so, I like this beer a lot. (852 characters)

Photo of FanofHefe
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle labeled 2011 Classic Release. No other dates found.

Pours a hazy light brown body with a big two finger off-white head. Very bubbly and carbonated. Good lacing from the head.

The aroma is a mix of the very strong malt base and a little bit of hops. Reminds me of the DFH 90 Minute IPA aroma, but a little sweeter.

The taste is dominated by the sweet malt. I expected a little more hoppy taste up front from a barley wine, but the hops are definitely in the background. Other flavors include dark fruit, espeically raisin.

The alcohol is a little hot, detracting from the drinkability. Aging would probably help, but may also mute the hops. Solid brew. Not my favorite from Stone, but still good. (708 characters)

Photo of colforbin73
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this brew pours a good dark frothy rich amber. with an aggressive pour you get a lively one finger head -- held up to good natural light you can really appreciate the rich red color -- AMBER HONEY.

the smell is mild and malty, with just a hint of hops and yeast. there is a good bitterness, but overall the taste is very warming -- the alcohol is present -- a little like drinking a well-honeyed, perfect hot toddy. sweetness and a thick drink are the order of the day here.

this is a real fall brew, bringing to mind mulled cider and all things apple -- a slick slithery treat for raking up 10 million leaves.

not my favorite barley wine -- and not the most accessible - this is an intense malty boozed up brew with some edge -- but i would have another gladly. (767 characters)

Photo of EricCioe
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a particulate-laden ruby red with a small tan head rising and falling down to nothing with no lace. On the nose there are rum-soaked raisins, a mixture of dark fruits and a boozy note that I seem to tolerate and like more than others. In the mouth the dark fruits are the foundation for the rest of the taste, where a caramel malt emerges. If there is a complaint, it's that in the finish the booze stands out too much. There is also a hop note that for me didn't come out until the finish that didn't really integrate well with the rest of the beer. The body is a bit sticky but still fine.

Overall, this is a decent barleywine with a few demerits. One wonders what happens with this with some age. Maybe it would smooth out the somewhat harsh booze and the slightly disjointed hops. (796 characters)

Photo of UTCengOwl
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (654 characters)

Photo of Wildman
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a clear ruby red color and formed a nice off white foamy head that coated the glass with lace as it slowly subsided. A medium amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, hops, pine, and caramel. The flavor was of malt, hops, caramel and pepper. The body was medium and creamy and the finish bittersweet and slightly astringent. It could use some again, but it is not as rough new as some of the other years. (432 characters)

Photo of FattyJLE
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass...probably should have used a snifter.

S - Strong malt sweetness, roasty malts, tropical fruits, alcohol.

A - 1/4-inch off white head with little lacing. Opaque, murky brown-orange color. Dark sunburst appearance when held to light.

T - Strong malt backbone upfront. Intense caramel sweetness and acrid roastiness. Roastiness subsides as it warms. Dark fruits/raisins emerge as the beer warms. Hop bitterness balances the malt backbone, but hop flavors are pretty well held in check by the strong malt presence. Alcohol present but not overpowering, especially for a 12% abv. Finishes sweet.

M - Moderately carbed, sticky and full-bodied. Appropriate amount of alcohol warming.

O - This beer is listed as an American Barleywine and although true to style, this is the first Stone beer I've had where the hops were not the main attraction. Far and away, the malts dominate this brew. The hop presence is just enough to add complexity and balance without imposing a flavor profile to mask the sweetness. A quality barleywine. Will definitely age the next one and share it with a friend. (1,135 characters)

Photo of begforme4484
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice reddish-amber color with a good amount of head. Nice sticky lacing.

Lots of malts, candy, molasses on the nose. Definitely some dank resinous hops in there too. Hint of alcohol.

Somewhat on the sweeter side than I was expecting. Slight hop bitterness persists throughout the entire beer/sip.

Smooth and creamy, medium bodied.

This was a more subdued Olde Guardian than of years past. That said, it still was good in it's own right. (442 characters)

Photo of haddon
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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) (685 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (984 characters)

Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (843 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (671 characters)

Photo of megahurts4
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 Classic Release

Appearance: red, medium head, and some good lacing.

Smell: yeast and flowery hops.

Taste: banana peel, flowery hops, malts, and a faint yeast.

Mouthfeel: medium and smooth.

Overall:
This is very smooth and malty. The flavors are interesting. (312 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky copper orange with a 2 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Nice chunks of lace cling to the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and some citrus zest hops. Taste is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, citrus fruit, citrus juice, and citrus zest. A mild hop bitterness sticks around the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a smooth and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barleywine with a nice hop presence but the flavors are still a bit all over the place. I bet this one would get better as it ages. (632 characters)

Photo of surprenant1138
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Hazy, murky, dark amber pour leaving almost no head. Slight lacing. Smell is lightly earthy, nutty, with some maple syrupy hints. The hoppy taste is there, but moreso after the swallow. It is then that the rich malty flavors rise. Mouthfeel is light, not too heavy. This tasty barleywine is not my favorite, but it certainly keeps me content. (365 characters)

Photo of capeannbass36
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 2011 bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Slightly hazy, orange, amber with a slightly yellowish tan, cream colored, two and a half finger head that faded after 5 minutes. Light lacing remained throughout.

S- Sweet malt, caramel. A little piney hops. Some booze.

T- Bready. Sweet malt. Caramel. Slightly bitter pine hop finish.

M- Light carbonation, but still somewhat creamy.
Very warm in the belly.

O- Like it a lot. Especially the finish. Only a hint of bitter hops. Just what I like. Not too sweet or syrupy. Will gladly have another. (542 characters)

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