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

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

330 Ratings
THE BROS
74
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 330
Reviews: 138
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 15.1%


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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: muttyd on 02-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 330 | Reviews: 138 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2012 20:42:41 | More by BostonHops
Photo of mayorwalda
mayorwalda

New York

4.68/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(I'm going to apologize a little for this being so long. But this is honestly one of my favorite beers so, try to understand and hopefully enjoy the review too! If you'd like the short version please check out my ASTMO, towards the bottom! Cheers.)

Hey, now. Look at what we've got here, another offering from Stone's Brewery. It's their Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale, the 2011 classic release.

On the pour, you can tell this brew is big and heavy! Old Guardian is a beautiful dark golden-amber color and is deliciously cloudy. From a gentle pour this beer gathers a really thick head so be careful--this thing could easily runneth over if you get even a little bit ahead of yourself!

From that nice thick head you get two things. The first is of course is that nice bustling bouquet boasting all of the maltiness of this brew. And as a perk you get a nice bit of Belgium lace—a nice aesthetic to please the eyes complimenting your happy nose.

The aroma of this beer is quite something too. What this brew provides should be called nothing short of malt heaven! Honestly, it’s like being in a grain silo. And the best part is, it’s not compromised by any of the piney, resinous hop smells most beers use to balance their malt-heavy brews. I’m pleased to say that this winning recipe follows through just the same with the taste!

On the first sip, well, there it is. This brew is huge! They must use about three pounds of malt per bottle—it’s truly intense.

The taste of this beer is really everything, so, I’m going to spend some time breaking it down as best I can. At the front end of this beer, it has a really sweet taste from all the lighter and medium roasted malts. The brew, after a second of sitting on your palate, levels off though, thanks to the slight—but welcome—hop taste and the hints at some darker roasted malts.

To speak to this brew’s mouthfeel, well, I don’t know if it’s just a bit distracting with the intense taste or if the mouthfeel itself is actually a little lackluster but at very least I can say it is a fitting mouthfeel that goes unnoticed as everything else in this brew is being knocked out of the park—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! I will say that I am proud of Stone for making a 12% ABV brew that doesn’t make my eyes cross on every sip. I didn’t honestly even notice that this brew had such a high ABV until I was finishing off the bottle. You can guess how I noticed…

A: The appearance of this brew is great. You know exactly what you’re getting into from the pour. It’s dark. It’s a bit red. It’s a little gold. You’re getting a load of flavor and an equal amount of booze and each factor perfectly complements the other!

S: The smell of this beer is really spectacular. It smells like you’re in a grain silo, haha. Really, this brew kicks maltiness up to new heights, so, I say that jokingly with a big bit of truth in there too.

T: The taste of this beer is the best part. This brew has an unexpected level of sweetness—all from malt—and Stone has dared to leave it be and not compromise it with unnecessary hoppiness. I give ‘em a pat on the back for that…

M: Mouthfeel is the only underwhelming aspect of this brew. It is good in so far as it does not detract from the beer in any way but it doesn’t have anything necessarily ‘going’ for it in any special way. Again, this isn’t a bad thing but it’s impossible to say one way or another when it doesn’t stand out… It should not be seen as a detracting factor, though.

O: Well, we have another offering from Stone Brewery that really knocks it out of the park. This is a bit daring as they do not muddy up the sweet, sweet malty waters with hops but that’s what they made their Belgo Barley Wine Style Ale for, after all! So I definitely have to say, go for it with this one… you will not be sorry you did. This beer capitalizes on doing what most brewers apparently are too afraid to do—make a big, big brew with a ton of malt that is not necessarily balanced; and, well, I say kudos to them!

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2012 04:15:22 | More by mayorwalda
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
BlurryVisi0n

New York

4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured unto a flute.

Appearance: slightly dark, cloudy amber with a full inch off-white head.

Smell: Hint of red wine properties, like seriously smelling dark fruits with a blend of alcohol.

Taste: An amplified description of the smell to the tenth power. Super tasty and very hard not to love and most of all indulge in.

Mouth: Medium carbonation, smooth with a few bumps on the road. Once you sip a few times you tend to appreciate how well crafted it is.

Overall: This is great beer, not for everyone though that's why I can't rate it any higher. Hope you all have enjoyed it as much as I did, Salud!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 20:51:10 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of Agold
Agold

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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,

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2012 06:26:57 | More by Agold
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TTAmod

Illinois

3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 04:34:42 | More by TTAmod
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silentnoiz

Tennessee

4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bomber in a pint glass.

A - Deep golden amber with a steady stream of carbonation rising from the bottom. Thin smooth head across the top.

S - Malty, a bit of oak, hops.

T - Vanilla, caramel, raisin, and very bitter (in a good way) from the middle to the very end. Continues to get more bitter further back.

M - Carbonation hits fairly strong up front but then tapers nicely towards the middle and is smoothed out.

O - Great Barleywine. It's pretty bitter, which I like, but if you don't like bitter, you may not appreciate this one. I think the best year I've had from Stone if my memory serves me well. I'd love to A/B this next to Avery's Hog Heaven (a fav BW of mine).

I'll probably go pick up another bomber or two of this, really enjoying it.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 01:53:13 | More by silentnoiz
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drabmuh

Maryland

3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 15:00:20 | More by drabmuh
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FattyJLE

Oregon

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 03:01:41 | More by FattyJLE
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andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. The color is bright red with some haze. There is a small off-white head.

The aroma is full of caramel, toffee and some hops.

The taste is very bitter, with notes of grapefruit. There is some good caramel flavor as well. This is interesting, the malt is very prominent in the aroma, but the flavor seems more hoppy.

This has a nice medium to full body, with a hefty dose of carbonation.

This is really tasty. I wish I had the patience to age this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 01:10:30 | More by andrewinski1
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Heatwave33

Florida

3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 17:12:01 | More by Heatwave33
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brentk56

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 03:40:12 | More by brentk56
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StoutHunter

Michigan

4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bomber of Stone's Old Guardian Barleywine Style Ale a few weeks ago for $6.49 at The Lager Mill. I have been on a Barleywine kick lately and since I have never had a beer from Stone before I thought I should give this beer a try and see how it goes. 2011 vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label is pretty plain but the colors look good on the bottle and the stone logo always looks good. It poured a nice looking amber/copper color with three fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left some nice rings of lacing.

S- The aroma is pretty on a par for a strong American Barleywine. It starts off with loads of sweet caramel malts that impart some nice caramel and toffee aromas, there is also some dark fruits going on too, with a very slight boozy aroma. I also pick up a little bit of floral hop at the end.

T= The taste follows the nose nicely. It starts off with a lot of caramel malts that have a low amount of medium sweetness, I was expecting this to be much sweeter but I really like the lower level of sweetness in this beer. The caramel malts impart some nice caramel and toffee flavors along with some candied sugar and some dark fruits, mainly raisin. There is a slight amount of booze but not nearly as much as I was expecting out of a 12% Barleywine. The hops seem to be on the lighter side of medium and mainly floral with a little bit of earthiness, the finish has a low amount of medium bitterness, just the right amount of bitterness for a Barleywine.

M- Smooth, creamy, on the light side of being full bodied and it had a nice medium amount of carbonation, the mouthfeel was perfect for this beer, no complaints here.

Overall I thought this was an excellent American Barleywine, that was extremely balanced. It seems with Barleywines there is a fine line between to hoppy and too malty, and this beer falls right in the middle just like it should be. The drinkability was really good for an American Barleywine, usually a bomber of a 12% Barleywine would be hard to take out by myself, but I am pretty sure that I could drink the whole thing by myself, the alcohol is hidden really well for a beer this strong, and the flavors keep me coming back for more. The price point was also really good, for $6.49 I thought this was a pretty damn good deal. What I like most about this beer was the flavor and drinkability. it had no off flavors and all the flavors were spot on for an American Barelywine, the mouthfeel was also really good. There wasn't anything that I didn't like about this beer, everything seemed to be on par for it's style. I would for sure by this beer again, so I will be going back and getting a couple more bottles to cellar. I highly recommend this beer, if you are a Barleywine lover you need to try this. This was my first beer from Stone and I have to say that I was really impressed and it made a good first impression, they did a great job with this Barleywine, and I can't wait to see what else they have to offer. I don't know why I waited to so long to try a beer from Stone, I always thought that they were pretty expensive but this beer was a bargain in my opinion. After reading some reviews when it was first released I see how well this beer aged after about a year, it was no were near the boozy and hoppy mess people thought it was when it wad first released, this is for sure a beer to let sit for a while, I can only imagine it will get better in another year. Great job Stone, I will be trying more of your beers very soon.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 05:08:34 | More by StoutHunter
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ZorPrime

Quebec (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 01:09:09 | More by ZorPrime
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jmdrpi

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 03:12:50 | More by jmdrpi
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TheTot

Indiana

2.75/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 04:53:54 | More by TheTot
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kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Hazy orange with light tan 1 finger head. Some lacing that resides immediately.

S- Caramel and amber malts, toffee, alcohol.

T- Amber and toasted malts. Slightly astringent flavor with big hop bitterness at finish.

M- Full body with alcohol very present. Finish is on the dry side.

O- Remembered this as being better. Actually a fairly middle of the row barleywine. Needs some more sweetness and more complexity in flavor and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 02:32:33 | More by kawilliams81
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UCLABrewN84

California

4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 03:41:18 | More by UCLABrewN84
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kojevergas

Texas

3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 03:56:23 | More by kojevergas
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mattsegall

Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a orange/amber brown with 3/4" egg shell head. Minimal lacing, but its definitely still there. Head is gone after about 3-5 minutes.

Smell - Sweet, definitely candy sugar, and dried fruits: rasins, prunes. Decently strong alcohol scent as well, as its 12%.

Taste - This beer's is really pretty consistent with his smell. Sweet, with raisiny barley taste. Slight alcohol burn and aftertaste.

Mouth - Surprisingly creamy for a beer of this nature. Taste doesnt not linger for that long.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 01:06:12 | More by mattsegall
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GodOfBeer

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky copper-brown with a thin white head.

Aroma of mostly alcohol, hops and sweet fruity malts.

I sense a vast array of different tastes. Mostly sweet fruits and a mouthful of hops. Alcohol is definitely noticeable. Lots of interesting spices, some cinnamon, cloves. Nice and bitter balanced by the sweet malts. Very medicinal and pretty smooth considering the alcohol content.

Overall a very good beer, a bit overwhelming with the alcohol, could probably do better with age.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2011 01:44:43 | More by GodOfBeer
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Blueribbon666

Ohio

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Bomber poured slowly into tall beer stein pours a honey caramel orange color with a quarter inch head that dissipates quickly. A fresh smell of hoppy pine mixed with the scent of alcohol, a little apprehensive as I know that American Barleywine is much more of a hoppy affair then the English versions, which I find to be more pleasing to MY palate. Wow very surprised as the assertive hops in the front are soon smothered by the thick velvety alcohol back end that coats the tongue as it goes down. Definitely a sipper but I am pleasantly surprised at this decent drinking bomber I thought might be shared with the drain, heaven forbid.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 12:56:01 | More by Blueribbon666
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blincoln

California

3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into an Imperial ping glass. Thin head that didn’t last long – completely dissipated. Left no lacing. Light rusted copper color.

Aroma: Sweet bitterness, hoppy with a hint of alcohol. Slight smokiness.

Taste: Hoppiness combines with a sticky malty sweetness. Bitterness that subsides towards the finish leaving a bread alcohol taste.

Palette: Medium body with a sticky dry finish.

Overall: Not a great blend of flavors. Almost like there is a little too much of everything. Too much bitter, too much hops, and too much of the bready caramel flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 02:27:48 | More by blincoln
Photo of Ehrnstrom
Ehrnstrom

Michigan

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 00:14:00 | More by Ehrnstrom
Photo of fox227
fox227

California

3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 01:19:38 | More by fox227
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 17:04:17 | More by Kegatron
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 330 ratings.