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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
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Ratings: 330 | Reviews: 138 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
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
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 15:26:13 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2011 19:02:00 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
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
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Does life get any better... just put the family to bed, on a cold winter's night, and a world-class barleywine in hand? ....and Sportscenter!

Aromas of this magnificent beer hold a complex matrix of deeply caramelized malts, citrus and resiny hops, and a true malted milk bready character that declares a masculine stature but with refinement and grace.

Malty rich flavors give a bold array of caramel, buttered toast, molasass, and brown sugars. Mild bready flavors allow for the reminescent of toast and honey. Hoppy flavors combat with early citrus, turn pine, turn resiny for a clean bitter finish. There's an aura about this beer that commands respect with its boldness and control, but its restraint and deliberacy shows a sense of elegance and regal that's not to be overlooked. When I taste this beer, it's not about picking apart the individual flavors, but rather about describing the magical qualities of the beer that only the great ones exhibit. For this one, it's the balance and richness of malt and hops- all with the yeasty microbiology steering the wheels.

A creamy, malty upstart holds onto that dense textrue until very late. While citrus flavor turns pithy bitter, then grassy/resiny in the finish; it's not until very late where the beer finally turns the corner toward semi-dryness and a medium-toasty finish. Still, remaining savory and succulent 'til the very end. A return of toffee malt and citrus return in aftertaste, inviting the next sip way sooner than it should.

Delicious and challenging from start unitl finish, this beer is way more palatable and digestible than a 12%er should be. Stone hits homeruns, time after time with this beer!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 04:57:35 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of drabmuh
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
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thick, egg-shell head. Cloudy amber with a strong orange hue. There's some semi-ring lace.

Sweet as if brown sugar was added. Notes of molasses and cane sugar are present. No notable hop in the smell.

Lots of alcohol on the tongue. I do note some hop in the swallow although it takes a back seat to the strong malt. Rich, rich body with enough carbonation to prevent this from being too coy.

This is a BIG beer. It comes closest to cognac of nearly any other beer I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 22:52:51 | More by smcolw
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StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 19:13:27 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of kojevergas
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
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, 2011 edition.

Pours rich darker honey amber, ample loose head, collar, sheeting and rings of scattered lacing.

As it warms, the nose opens up with notes of honey infused malts, some ginned up alcohol also present.

Large, bold, flavorful...Loads of malt-Loads of hops....I'm picking up vanilla, honey, grapefruit, pineapple. Smokey malts smoldering in the rear, fruity hops up front. Alcohol quite present...Love to have the chance to try an aged bottle of this huge beer in a few years.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2011 01:51:05 | More by Billolick
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2011 02:37:47 | More by Jason
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
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 02:58:38 | More by DrJay
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 01:35:22 | More by smakawhat
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2/19/2011

On tap at Stone juxtaposed next to the 2006 vintage.

A: Appears a darker color than the 2006 vintage, more of a murky reddish brown. The head is beige and mountainous, receding in a cavernous fashion and leaving sheets of lacing.

S: Big resin and grapefruit notes overshadow a faint sugary caramel base. The hops are dominant and very aromatic, with increasing pine needle and sap notes with warming. 

T: Upper moderate aggressive bitterness, with ample grapefruit rind notes. Pine is pervasive and deeply resinous. Caramel is subtle compared to the 2006 vintage, and it's mildly sweet and sugary, though quickly obliterated by the dry bitter presence. Booze is also aggressive.

M: Upper medium in body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth with some astringency and warming.

Overall: This beer is a much different beast when fresh, but it's damn tasty. I think I prefer it slightly less fresh as the booze is pretty strong at this point.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2011 03:34:43 | More by HopHead84
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pored into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear orangeish-amber color with an inch of off-white head that had good retention and lacing.

The aroma was heavily malt-sweet, with noticeable hop and alcohol notes. The flavors were pretty similar, lots of malt, hops and alcohol.

The body was full, even and smooth, except for the alcohol burn, and was a bit better than average. Drinkability was pretty good for a beer this big.

Overall, a nice example of the style. Try it when you see it.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 04:15:01 | More by beertunes
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear ruby red color. At first a two finger white head with good retention initially. The foam recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Light lace is left behind.
S: Sweet candied malts up front. Light toasted grains. Lots of yeast as well.
T: Surprisingly sweet considering what other years have been like. Sugary and grainy. Lots of candy like sweetness as well. Like boiled hard candy. Some alcohol as well.
M/D: A medium body that is a little thin. The alcohol is not over powering at all. Though it is there, and the sweetness makes this a very slow sipper.

Almost a complete turnaround from some of the previous years. The resiny hop bitterness is way down, but the boiled candy like sweetness is a the other end of the spectrum for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 00:38:25 | More by champ103
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I haven't picked up a bottle of this one yet this year, but seeing it as the beer of the day at the Rackhouse tonight I had to have a glass. Poured a medium reddish brown color with a finger or so of ecru head. Good earthy hops on the nose, along with dark fruits and caramel. On the palate, this one was medium bodied, with flavors of earthy hops, caramel and booze.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2011 03:04:24 | More by emmasdad
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 03:48:15 | More by prototypic
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

2.8/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 18:28:33 | More by harrymel
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

1.35/5  rDev -64.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 07:15:39 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers worth of rich creamy light-to-medium colored tan colored head... Very solid retention... The color is a warm inviting caramely brown... Still with no discernible carbonation... Overall this is a very sophisticated and regal looking offering... Very nicely done...

S - The nose rather subdued which is surprising given both the style and brewery of origin... All the usual suspects are present... Rich caramely malts... Some hints of brown sugar... A subdued hop presence lies beneath the surface...

T - There is nothing timid about the palette... This is much more of what I expect for both the style and the brewery... A big challenging mix of malts and hops start immediately... Brown sugar... Caramel... A very nice hoppy bite... A definite boozy warmth on the finish...

M - A very sturdy medium to full bodied offering... A bit of creamy lushness from the head greats the tongue to start... The finish is bit dry and bit chalky...

D - Overall, a rather solid American Barleywine... Not the best, but better than average... This is my first intro to Old Guardian and I'll gladly pick up a bottle next year to see how it changes year over year... Other than a slightly timid nose, there's no doubt this is an aggressive expected out of Stone...

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 03:35:37 | More by philbe311
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2011 edition, poured from a bomber into a tulip.

Cloudy burnt umber with a late-arriving one-finger head of medium tan that appears foamy, sticky and dense but disappears rather quickly. Some thick streaks of lace remain. 4

In the nose: caramel, toast, oven-roasted oranges. Nicely citrusy, but balanced by a hefty breadiness. It's pretty rich, with some alcohol and fermenting fruits noticeable. 4

Hmm. I can't taste much except alcohol here. There may be some aged citrus, a hint of caramel and bread but mostly it's booze, almost like orange-peel infused vodka. Caramel sweetness emerges more as it warms, but there's still that undeniable ethanol burn.

Redemption in the mouthfeel. The liquid's nicely velvety, smooth as it moves about. Body between medium and medium-heavy. Very light fizziness. Alcohol is mostly in flavor, as I don't feel it much on the way down. Kind of backwards.

Overall, too much booze in the flavor. I would've liked a little more barley and a little less wine. Hopefully a year in a dark corner will tone down my second bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2011 01:56:35 | More by Phelps
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 06:09:32 | More by HalfFull
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber with a thick (two or three finger-width) off-white head. Good lacing and retention.

A deep, rich and very nice smell. Big caramelly malt smell with an accompanying piney hop scent. The alcohol presence is clear, but it does not come across as boozy. A spiciness is present, coming with the pine.

Taste is a bit of a disappointment after the smell, but is still good. It took a little while for the beer to grow on me. At first, I was overwhelmed by pine-flavoured hops in excessive abundance. Whether my tastebuds acclimatized or the beer opened up, I don't know, but the caramel malt began to play a larger role, with the hops taking the backup role. The alcohol is certainly present, but not aggressively so- this is clearly a strong beer and the alcohol tingles the tip of the tongue, but doesn't really impact a boozy flavour. There is a bitter finish, but also a very rich caramel that is quite separate from the bitterness and is very nice. Interesting beer- a lot happening.

Mild carbonation, relatively full bodied. The high alcohol burns a little.

Overall, a pretty complex and powerful beer. I found it hard to review. There were times when I thought that the taste was not particularly good. The first sip, in particular, was a real let down after a really enjoyable aroma. However, there were times when I found it to be very nice. I suppose that is the fun of barleywines!

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 03:48:57 | More by jrenihan
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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 330 ratings.