Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 336 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
4.6/5 rDev +19.8%
pours a lovely ruby, that is somewhat hazy. a finger of even, light almond head with nice retention and minimal spotty lacing.
smell: super fresh. there is a war going on between the hops, malt and alcohol armies. lets say its the year 1969. the malt flavor is the south vietnamese, the hop flavor is the north vietnamese and the alchohol is like america: once a brute force, that is slowly getting defeated and will soon diminish and leave the others to settle it. or is it more like a yummy world war 3 in my mouth?
taste: big fat honking man meat slaps you in the grill with west coast hops. youre getting dp'ed by flavor, you look up, only to be showered in the juices of brewing success!!
but seriously, this blend of light caramel flavored malts, classic west coast citrus hop varieties and subtle alcohol makes my day, and rivals almost all other barleywines i have tried to date.
03-12-2011 02:40:12 | More by northaustin
4.5/5 rDev +17.2%
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!
02-23-2011 04:57:35 | More by BEERchitect
4.47/5 rDev +16.4%
My traveling occupation doesn't lend itself well to cellaring beers. Otherwise, perhaps I would have the patience. Nonetheless, I'm still expecting good things fresh from Escondido.
Poured into a SV balloon slightly chilled: It pours a bold reddish copper. The clarity is pretty good, as is the even finger of head which fades to a ring.
The nose is fresh and full of ripe fruit and earthy hop tones. Bubblegum, wine, plum, banana, cherries, and mandarin oranges make up the complex juicy aroma. The sweet brown sugary malt backbone has an admirable presence, but never cloying, which is a plus IMO. The 12% ABV is well hidden and never distracted me as I panned for new flavors. The finish is bitter with citrus pith and toast.
The warmth from the alcohol emerges in the taste and reminds me not to get to rambunctious with this one. The alcohol is at the perfect level to add an edgy feel to the well-balanced flavor. A juicy fruit hodgepodge, caramel, and red wine flavors are discernible until the dry alcoholic finish steals the show.
The carbonation hits the tongue with a blast at first, keeping it sharp long through the finish. The body isn't too full, but very smooth. It's a bit slick and always crisp. Once the crispness subsides, it leaves a very feel only quenched by another sip.
02-25-2011 03:12:44 | More by climax
4.47/5 rDev +16.4%
22oz bottle poured into my Old Guardian goblet. Been waiting for this to hit Florida since February. Saw this years release on the shelf for the first time today and got excited. This is my favorite American Barleywines and I can't wait to try this years vintage.
A-Pours a hazy garnet/ruby color with a 1/2" beige head that has fair retention and leaves wisps of lace.
S-Theres a lot going on here-Sweet, bready malt; somewhat fruity/citrusy, caramel, toffee, floral and piney hops. Very complex and robust.
T-This is a bruiser of a beer, no doubt. One sip and it'll let you know it. Very rich and malty. Caramel, toffee, citrus coming through as well. And since this is an American Barleywine made by Stone, of course we have a nice representation from the hop party. Nice bitter hop bite slightly resiny/piney/citrusy. And yeah, this is a new vintage so its a tad hot (its 12% and fresh-what did ya expect?) but it is a heavenly balm to my taste buds. I love this beer and the booziness it brings. Sure a bit of age will round out the edges here, but for my money this baby is drinking just fine right now. I think I might even prefer it fresh.
M-Just shy of being full bodied, it is lush and smooth with a perfect carbonation level that suits this beer to a T. A slight burn on the finish from the alcohol may be a detriment to some, but I think it suits this beer well and I like it.
O-I enjoyed each and every sip of this beer. I look forward to OG's release each year, and it never disappoints. A great beer from a great brewery. And for all of you that don't like this beer, please feel free to beermail me if you've got any extra bottles around, I'd be happy to take them off your hands ;)
04-04-2011 00:23:58 | More by Lerxst
4.47/5 rDev +16.4%
Enjoyed on tap at The Brilliant Blind Pig.
A fat finger of off-white foam rests atop a murky, burgundy and mahogany body. Good duration and lacing in the tulip. Beautiful nose, packed with malty, sweet aromas--butterscotch, berry, caramel, and some milk chocolate.
The taste certainly confirms the sweet aromas. Old Guardian is surprisingly sweet for a barleywine. Loaded with fruity malt, Old Guardian is a dangerous, seductive concoction. Bold, smooth, sweet, and potent, this is a distinct, innovative beer. Ample berry, sweet apple, grape, and chocolate adorn Old Guardian. Special stuff. Good effervescence, smooth, and sneaky in its strength despite the 12% ABV, this is one beer to beware of.
Stone was a brewery that was certainly on my radar, having enjoyed several of their wares a few years ago in Michigan. Yet, as it arrived with much advanced fanfare in Illinois, I wondered if I would enjoy their vast selection as much as I originally did. This proved to be no worry, for Stone has a magic touch, proving particularly creative and adept at myriad styles such as this, a tremendous barleywine. Old Guardian is simply, and truly, outstanding, and I am thoroughly impressed with it and the brewery, easily one of the ten best in the US.
05-27-2011 01:00:27 | More by Gehrig
4.45/5 rDev +15.9%
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.
11-20-2011 05:08:34 | More by StoutHunter
4.43/5 rDev +15.4%
Poured into a New Belgium snifter
A - Blood orange, bit cloudy, one finger head and a bit of lacing
S - Toasted, lots of sweet hop, huge barley and grain, floral, citrus and sweet hops. Sweet and bitter malt. You can almost smell the carbonation in it
T - Very sweet citrus up front, bitter bomb, the bitter hop and malt are crazy. The taste is beginning to end. Mango, pineapple and a bit of cherry and some oak
M - full bodied (beady/fluffy), medium acidity, well balanced, very nice complexity and huge beautiful finish
D/O - Intense, super bitter, really toasty and malty. Pretty much insane, may want to let sit for at least a year
Final thought - Stone does it again and at only $5.99, why not give this sucker a try. But, be careful, this one punches you in the face
Edit: 2010 offering
This beast gets amazing a year or so later! Wow, the citrus is lovely, the bitter calmed down and because amazing and still tastes so crisp and refreshing!
02-24-2011 04:47:07 | More by whatthehull
4.4/5 rDev +14.6%
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.
02-24-2011 01:29:58 | More by stephens101
4.38/5 rDev +14.1%
Bold two finger head of light brown foam, with good clinging lace. Color is a slightly hazy 18 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is a complex aroma of honey, caramel, plums, red wine, grapefruit, roasted wheat, and oak wood. Taste is a little on the sweet side, with flavors of honey, molasses, caramel, red wine, grapefruit, rhubarb, dark roasted malt, and spices. Mouthfeel is rich, thick, and creamy, with lots of carbonation. For the most part this beer starts of great, but it becomes a bit overwhelming after about half a glass. This is a great desert beer to share the bottle with three or four.
06-16-2011 21:32:53 | More by beerprovedwright
4.33/5 rDev +12.8%
A: Pours a dark copper with a finger of white head that recedes quickly into a halo.
S: Sweet, fruity aethers first hit the nose, followed by honey and caramel, and a bit of candy. Also a big boozy note, akin to a port or sherry.
T: At first, cherries, plums, and other assorted candied fruits, followed by a slight hop touch and bitters at the end.
M: Nice carbonation, oddly refreshing, with a powerful, warming sensation that crawls through you as it goes down.
O: Quite a tasty barleywine. It's probably the hoppiest and most subtle I've ever had, but I reach for this one when the mood strikes me...which happens to be quite often.
06-20-2011 06:06:13 | More by Krakistophales
4.3/5 rDev +12%
A fresh 2011 bomber. Pours amber with a white, long lasting head. Intoxicating aroma of sweet malt, cherry fruit and herbal hops. Full, very sharp body. Delicious taste of caramel, cherries, herbal hops.
Huge, dry, hoppy finish. I shared this bottle with my friends, who had never heard about Barley wines. They were amazed.
05-23-2011 15:54:26 | More by mikeg67
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.