Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 336 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
3.23/5 rDev -15.9%
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.
03-06-2011 02:37:47 | More by Jason
3.68/5 rDev -4.2%
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.
08-18-2011 17:04:17 | More by Kegatron
3.6/5 rDev -6.3%
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.
12-27-2011 15:00:20 | More by drabmuh
3.73/5 rDev -2.9%
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.
06-10-2013 19:13:27 | More by StonedTrippin
3.78/5 rDev -1.6%
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.
07-04-2011 22:52:51 | More by smcolw
3.63/5 rDev -5.5%
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.
10-08-2011 03:56:23 | More by kojevergas
3.78/5 rDev -1.6%
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.
05-09-2011 01:51:05 | More by Billolick
3.23/5 rDev -15.9%
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.
03-08-2011 01:35:22 | More by smakawhat
3.6/5 rDev -6.3%
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.
02-27-2011 02:58:38 | More by DrJay
3.75/5 rDev -2.3%
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.
02-17-2011 04:15:01 | More by beertunes
4.1/5 rDev +6.8%
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.
02-20-2011 03:34:43 | More by HopHead84
3.2/5 rDev -16.7%
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.
02-22-2011 00:38:25 | More by champ103
3.9/5 rDev +1.6%
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.
06-11-2011 03:48:15 | More by prototypic
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.