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
86
very good

332 Ratings
THE BROS
74
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 332
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 15.1%
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 Alström Bros
Ratings: 332 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DruC4
DruC4

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

06-18-2012 21:12:33 | More by DruC4
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 trancesk8er
trancesk8er

California

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

06-09-2012 04:21:15 | More by trancesk8er
Photo of ArchitectBrewCo
ArchitectBrewCo

California

4/5  rDev +4.2%

06-05-2012 06:34:57 | More by ArchitectBrewCo
Photo of TimH
TimH


3/5  rDev -21.9%

05-19-2012 19:20:06 | More by TimH
Photo of joewsorenson
joewsorenson


3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

05-13-2012 01:30:56 | More by joewsorenson
Photo of avisong
avisong

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

05-08-2012 02:51:20 | More by avisong
Photo of Snellgg5
Snellgg5

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

04-23-2012 21:57:44 | More by Snellgg5
Photo of Jaldama
Jaldama

California

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

04-23-2012 13:40:18 | More by Jaldama
Photo of jwat
jwat

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

04-21-2012 23:57:05 | More by jwat
Photo of neckbracesub
neckbracesub

Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

04-10-2012 22:27:54 | More by neckbracesub
Photo of depechemode1983
depechemode1983

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

04-09-2012 01:14:35 | More by depechemode1983
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 jriggins6
jriggins6

Colorado

4/5  rDev +4.2%

03-26-2012 12:33:16 | More by jriggins6
Photo of Vasko5m
Vasko5m


4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

03-26-2012 00:49:38 | More by Vasko5m
Photo of saxclar123
saxclar123

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +4.2%

03-19-2012 23:38:17 | More by saxclar123
Photo of Aexoonge
Aexoonge

California

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

03-19-2012 20:32:48 | More by Aexoonge
Photo of PopGun
PopGun

Louisiana

2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

03-19-2012 16:23:28 | More by PopGun
Photo of yokken
yokken

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

03-18-2012 05:21:17 | More by yokken
Photo of ScottyC54
ScottyC54

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +4.2%

03-17-2012 16:54:44 | More by ScottyC54
Photo of MacStinson
MacStinson

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

03-17-2012 04:24:03 | More by MacStinson
Photo of Archemedies
Archemedies

Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

03-15-2012 20:09:17 | More by Archemedies
Photo of JustinQ
JustinQ

California

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

03-15-2012 01:34:47 | More by JustinQ
Photo of SIEVS
SIEVS

Missouri

2/5  rDev -47.9%

03-14-2012 18:10:48 | More by SIEVS
Photo of UltimateLivewire
UltimateLivewire

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.2%

03-12-2012 20:25:36 | More by UltimateLivewire
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 332 ratings.