1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

346 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 346
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 14.81%
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:
Beer added by: muttyd on 02-14-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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
Ratings: 346 | Reviews: 140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsprain1
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep deep red, about as dark as one can safely call amber. Thick head retains at a quarter finger's width and leaves lots of sticky lacing.
S- Resinous hops, citric, and actually much maltier than I would have expected out of a Stone Barleywine. Not terrible smelling, just... unexpected.
T- Caramel malts up front, long resinous hop finish. A bit of citric flavor but pine resin is really the big hop presence. Much boozier than I would like as well. Dark fruit, something like I would imagine an unsweet pomegranite would taste like is also in there.
M- Pretty syrupy, definitely needs a bit more carbonation. Good body to it though.
O- (Still used to putting a d there...) A bit boozy and not as hoppy as I was hoping considering both style and brewery. Alas, I would still drink it again, even if it is more boozy, syrupy, and not as hoppy as I would have it.

Photo of litheum94
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Reviewed 6/19/11.

P: Ruddy body, slightly opaque. Brownish head, not very big. It settles to a thin cover.

A: Lots of caramel malts on the nose. Fig sweetness. Spicy hops. Brown sugar. Hops are more-downplayed on the nose than I expected.

T: Semi-sweet at first, with a caramel and brown sugar sweetness. A citric sourness starts to come on, complimented by a burnt orange peel flavor. Very floral mid-palate, and pine hops creep up on the end. The finish has a long lasting bitterness, and a warming alcohol burn.

I actually enjoyed this more than the 2009 OG that I had just a couple of months ago, which is kind of surprising. This had more balance and better drinkability. Very enjoyable.

Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Old Guardian is earthy, thick, and long-lasting.

It poured a very nice dark copper with ruby highlights. It had little-to-no head but left a ton of lace. The smell and flavor had a great deal of complexity, with a dark fruit sweetness, followed by an earthy, grassy middle, and a salty roasted nut finish. A slightly unpleasant metallic aftertaste lingered. The feel was thick, full, and bitter, with a dry finish and very long-lasting.

Old Guardian has a beautiful dark color and a nice balance of sweet and bitter flavor with an extreme bitter feel and an aftertast that begs for a water chaser.

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

I have been fortunate to have tried the Old Guardian for the last five years. 2010 was my favorite year. It seemed to get better or change with a different complexity each year. This year the recipe seems to have gotten somewhat worse.

I think they may have put their greater effort in the Belgo style. I have that on the shelf as a future review, but I recommend that as a purchase over this bottle. That is to say, if it is available any more at your store.

On it's own, this is a classic Barleywine style. The flavors are standard, without much additional fanfare. The alcohol flavors stand out, as well as the strong barley and malts.

I would recommend the Avery version over this one, or if you live in San Diego pick up a growler of the Ballast Point version (my first and favorite). Just be careful, the ABV will set you up for the night.

Photo of Tifore
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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 Ehrnstrom
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance: dark copper with rusted red coloring. moderate amount of creamy head, good head retention. opaque in texture.

smell: creamy malt smell with hints of alcohol and hops.

taste: an old ale taste with strong hop presence, especially in the after taste. roasted malts and hops blend well together. thick, rich, creamy beer.

mouthfeel: the aftertaste has a bit to be desired. the initial mixture fades and the hop bitterness is somewhat unexpected.

notes: for Stone, this is a good pick. frequently, I feel Stone can be inconsistent, but definitely check this one out if you get the chance. not great, but good.

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

22 oz bottle, 2011 Classic release from back in January. I had read that the beer was way too hot fresh, so waited until now in October.

appears a rusty orange copper color. frothy white head, a thin covering stays. aroma is caramel, piney hops, and alcohol. fiarly intense.

taste starts malty, hops in the middle, spicey and boozy in the finish. warms the throat and belly. sticky, coats the mouth. higher carbonation.

it's still hot. I've got another bottle aging and will give it awhile.

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

Picked this up at CBX a couple of weeks ago...

A: Poured into a snifter... tea-like amber with some cloudiness that eventually clears up; no lace or much of a head to speak of

S: Caramel cake; some fruity-slightly estery-booze tinged aroma; earthy hops

T: Brown sugar sweetness; rummy spice cake; a little alcohol and lasting hemp hop aftertaste

M: Medium-light and a touch zingy; nothing too crazy

D/O: Not the most exciting; surprisingly malt forward for Stone... its OK

Photo of abgba121
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours an amber color with about one cm of white head and a good lacing remains, can see the carbonation

S: smells very sweet and malty, almost no alcohol presence

T: also very sweet, like caramel and an alcohol bite at the finish that lingers momentarily. In the middle there is a lip-puckering feel from the alcohol and caramel sweetness coming into one

M: Feels thicker than it looks, good carbonation

O: good beer, I think I would like it more after aging though

Photo of gdrydenc
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
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 StonedTrippin
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of andrewinski1
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. The color is bright red with some haze. There is a small off-white head.

The aroma is full of caramel, toffee and some hops.

The taste is very bitter, with notes of grapefruit. There is some good caramel flavor as well. This is interesting, the malt is very prominent in the aroma, but the flavor seems more hoppy.

This has a nice medium to full body, with a hefty dose of carbonation.

This is really tasty. I wish I had the patience to age this one.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Moo5152
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Seattle_Suds
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of BrittQ
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of avisong
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of awaer
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of TripsRight
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Aexoonge
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of smcolw
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of MordorMongo
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of jealmanzar
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.