1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

342 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 342
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 15.06%
Wants: 9
Gots: 110 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: muttyd on 02-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 276-300 | 301-325 | 326-350  | next › last »
Ratings: 342 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stephens101
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Always in the mood for a new Barleywine, and Stone rarely goes wrong.

A two-toned, prominent light and dark tan sits commandingly above a reddish brown brew, but retreats in haste, leaving a sparse contingent of lace behind as cover. Deep and musty pine notes to the nose with some caramel malts and cherries underneath. Sweet malts and a bit grainy at the front of the palate with some candy notes, spice and a big shot of woody hops to balance near perfectly. Medium body, leaning to the dry side, and well carbonated with an encompassing alcohol heat that is not boozy which adds to the experience rather than detracts. It's hard to manage alcohol levels like this, but Stone pulls it off well.

Digging this one full-on. One of my new favorites, and I should have gotten two while I had the chance, because I can imagine this one only gets better with time.

Photo of Tifore
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sad to say this but the bottle tipped over and beer started shooting everywhere so I saved what I could and rebottled it in a 750ml swing top I have. Figured I'd try it fresh so I poured a bit into my DFH snifter.

A - Pours a beautiful deep amber color with red and pink cherry notes. Also extremely clear. Looks very nice. Pours alot thinner than I was thinking but it still looks appetizing. A nice 1/2 finger head that is tan to light khaki in color rises and falls quickly.

S - Smell is intense. Lots of bready malty notes, caramel, toffee, some bitterness from the loads of hops are also present. Grapefruit mainly and some just over the top smelling hops, can't pinpoint the kind exactly. Very much an alcohol smell is present as I was expecting. Didn't think I'd be opening this beer right now, was hoping to throw it in the cellar but it didn't make it there.

T - Taste is actually alot mellower than the smell but this beer is definitely far too fresh for drinking now. The flavors need time to meld together and for the alcohol burn to tone down a bit. I get the bready and hoppy notes right away followed by malts after that. Theres something coyingly sweet that hits the tounge but then this bitter bomb sweeps it up and kills it.

M - Mouthfeel is light and oily. Coats the mouth very nice. Some pretty good carbonation makes itself known and is a good player in this one.

D - Alcohol is far too high right now and the flavors all need to mellow out and smooth themselves over. I'll be snagging a few more bottles and throwing them in the cellar without dropping them and watching them explode.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
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!

Photo of Brez07
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 bottle. Poured into a snifter

A: Translucent cherry red color. Roughly 1 finger white head, of which a thin layer is retained. No lacing, but leaves an oily presence

S: Weird hop aroma. Reminds me of Pine-sol spray and orange PEZ. Some caramel malt helps balance this out. Boozy finish

T: Starts with a fairly prominent booze presence. Moves on to some sharp, piney hops before finishing with caramel malt and citrus syrup. Not a smooth transition of flavors at first, but it gets better once it warms up. Has all the characteristics of a barleywine, they are just not put together well

M: Medium bodied. Good carbonation, hopefully some will fade with time though. Dry, piney finish that lasts for a while

D: This is a very fresh barleywine. Some are good at this stage (ex. Bigfoot), but not this one. It definitely needs some time to sit and allow the flavors to develop. Stashing at least one to see if I'm right

Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Stone

A: Pours a dark amber color with a thin layer of off-white/khaki head.

S: Very boozy with a lot of caramel and toffee. Dark fruit notes as well as some bread. Not the big, strong hop aroma that I really remember Old Guardian having.

T: Bread, caramel, and toffee make up the malt profile which is really what you get from this beer. There is a surprising lack of big hop flavor and bitterness which I usually characterize fresh Old Guardian by. Quite boozy with some mild fruits and a touch of pine.

M: The body is medium to full with a moderate carbonation.

D: I usually love Old Guardian fresh but I'm very indifferent about this one.

Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of champ103
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Photo of Wildman
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of djaeon
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a regular pint glass.
$5.99 from Holiday Wine Cellar.

A: Pours an enticing hazy amber with a thin head. Little retention and leaves average lacing.

S: Emits a grainy, bready (like rising bread dough) aroma with some light hops present.

T: Rich caramel, moderately bitter grain and hops held together with a good booziness.

M: Feels smooth and goes down leaving a little bitterness and stickiness as an aftertaste.

D: In my opinion, this is one of the more drinkable barleywines out there. It has some bitter hoppiness, but not overly so. It's a bit boozy, but not hot. But still very strong, so it wouldn't be a good idea to have more than one.

Photo of GilGarp
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber served cold into a pint glass.

Old Guardian is a hazy copper color with thin white head on top. It settles pretty fast but there is some good lacing.

Aroma is strong in both alcohol and hops. The hops aren't the super-fresh citrusy types but more earthy and grassy.

Flavor is also very strong but more balanced than I was expecting. Huge hop bitterness and enormous malt bill colide.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and lower carbonation, which is good. The alcohol is very strong but at least it's not hot.

Drinkability is not very good. Usually I would be able to finish a bottle of barleywine but not tonight.

Overall solid but not exceptional. Old Ruffian and Hog Heaven are far better.

Photo of HopHead84
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of rdilauro
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden sherry color with little creamy head. Hints of tropical flavors, orange, pineapple.
The taste was clean and bright, the mouthful was semi-big, but the aftertaste still was very light.
Surprising for a barley wine style of beer.
Would go very well with smoked trout or other smoked lighter foods.
Still not a barley type of person

Photo of zachary80
1.93/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

2011 bottle, bought the day of release. Split the bomber with a friend side-by-side with the Belgo. Poured into a tulip glass

L: Dark amber body, nice light head. Left good lacing down the glass

S: Lots of sweetness, sharp alcohol aroma. Underlying the expected aromas is something horrid that I've never smelled or tasted before, and it completely ruined the aroma and most of the flavor as well.

T: Decent until the atrocious foul flavor came through. Alcohol is too hot as well

M: Pretty good for a big barleywine. Moderate carbonation

D: This was almost drinkable.

What a waste. This was easily one of the worst beers I've ever had. Considering how much I enjoyed the Belgo, I wonder whether this was a bad bottle

Photo of beertunes
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of PicoPapa
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Pours a dark, murky mahogany color with a nice frothy head. Minimal lacing. Aromas of dark fruits, malts, bread, booze and hops. A lot going on here. Taste has that nice warming alcohol zip to it. Malty flavor along with a big amount of dark fruits and a bit of a caramel taste. Bitter aftertaste is where I pick up on some of the hops. Boozey. All things considered this is pretty drinkable. Old Guardian continues to be one of the best barleywines on the market.

Photo of gdrydenc
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber that looks almost brown if you don't look through light. Pours with finger solid fingers of middle brown head that is quite resilient. The head sticks around in volume for a while, but remains as a thin layer throughout. Gorgeous beer overall.

S - After the head dies down, I can smell this beer from a ways away. It smells like dark fruits, plums, maybe apricots. Additionally, I'm getting some caramel from it.

T - I think this must be my first ever barleywine, which I find shocking. This baby is a doozy though. At the front, it's fruits and bitterness that stand out. The malt backbone is very present. Pretty boozy in the finish, but the fruitiness remains. Frankly, this seems like it needs some time on it to fully develop.

M - Syrupy, but the taste leaves my mouth surprisingly quickly, which is nice. I don't like it when a beer clings to my palate for too long. Overall, the carbonation seems appropriate, at very minimal.

D - Well, I suppose if I'm reviewing within the style, this is probably about average. However, if I was reviewing for me personally, I would have a hard time finishing a bomber alone and walking after. Not that that's stopping me, though.

Photo of muttyd
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

« first ‹ prev | 276-300 | 301-325 | 326-350  | next › last »
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 342 ratings.