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
83
good

139 Reviews
THE BROS
75
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 139
Hads: 348
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 9
Gots: 109 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 Alström Bros
Reviews: 139 | Hads: 348
Photo of Gehrig
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,252 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured unto a flute.

Appearance: slightly dark, cloudy amber with a full inch off-white head.

Smell: Hint of red wine properties, like seriously smelling dark fruits with a blend of alcohol.

Taste: An amplified description of the smell to the tenth power. Super tasty and very hard not to love and most of all indulge in.

Mouth: Medium carbonation, smooth with a few bumps on the road. Once you sip a few times you tend to appreciate how well crafted it is.

Overall: This is great beer, not for everyone though that's why I can't rate it any higher. Hope you all have enjoyed it as much as I did, Salud! (609 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very brash beer. Sweet simple malts with an over abundance of hops and lots of detectable alcohol. Everything battles for dominance. Earthy, malty, caramel, piney, with citric peel notes. Drinkable but not enough focus, and for a beer with so much strength it's not too complex. I wouldn't buy it again and the simplicity of the malt body seems to me make it not a great candidate for ageing. Drinking this beer with pickles on the side makes the process a lot easier. (468 characters)

Photo of BostonHops
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
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 (963 characters)

Photo of litheum94
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (711 characters)

Photo of FanofHefe
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle labeled 2011 Classic Release. No other dates found.

Pours a hazy light brown body with a big two finger off-white head. Very bubbly and carbonated. Good lacing from the head.

The aroma is a mix of the very strong malt base and a little bit of hops. Reminds me of the DFH 90 Minute IPA aroma, but a little sweeter.

The taste is dominated by the sweet malt. I expected a little more hoppy taste up front from a barley wine, but the hops are definitely in the background. Other flavors include dark fruit, espeically raisin.

The alcohol is a little hot, detracting from the drinkability. Aging would probably help, but may also mute the hops. Solid brew. Not my favorite from Stone, but still good. (708 characters)

Photo of MoreThanWine
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slow to emerge 2" head which dissipated to 1/8". Appears a lovely hazy rustic auburn color. Smells like an IPA with citrus and caramel. Flavor is very strong and sweet, almost bourbon-barrel aged vanilla malt and strength (though it's not a bourbon beer), and it has a definite burn from the 12% alcohol. Luckily I really like that style of beer, but I understand for a few reviewers why it comes across too hot. Personally I thought there was plenty of richness and complexity to the barleywine itself, and my only real complaint is the long bitter finish which whipes the other flavors off the palette after a moment. (628 characters)

Photo of ZorPrime
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this one in a trip to Stone Brewery. Review notes of tasting in May 14th, 2011. Bought on May 10th, 2011.

Amber color with some ruby in there. Nice head. Soapy looks. Foam color is beige. Floral notes in the aroma with some caramel malts notes. Some yeast in the nose too. Pretty nice aroma. Very thick in the mouth. Complex. Yeast with malts (woody). The finish is very bitter and linger in the mouth for a long time. The 12% ABV is well hidden. Dangerous beer since it is so easy to drink. Another nice one from Stone. (528 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (475 characters)

Photo of Agold
3.49/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark caramel brown color with just about no head. Leaves no lacing at all. Aroma is mild citrus with lots of caramel and a bit of toffee. Sort of a dulled orange zest aroma. Taste is well balanced. More toffee, nice caramel a bit of citrusy bitterness, very nice. It is a bit hot, alcohol is not well hidden and is more hot than warm. Mild carb, medium to heavy mouthfel, nice, but it is a bit sharp instead of smooth. Really nice beer, (454 characters)

Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Time to open and review one of the first bottles I put in the cellar after turning 21.

A- Pours a very hazy, opaque, toffee brown color. The color is a mix between brown and amber, but with the hazy aspect to it. Head is 1.5 to 2 fingers in thickness and tan. Retention is great, and so is the lacing.

S- Boozey with big malts right up front on the nose. Fairly sweet caramel is the biggest tone here, with some more, peat-like scents also mixing in. Alcohol in the smell is somewhat stinging in the nostrils.

T- Smooth, fairly one dimensional and stronger. This drink starts with a bang of caramel malts and a fair amount of bitterness. Sweetness and bitterness offset each other to provide some balance to the flavor. Toffee flavor is prominent in the middle of the drink, and towards the end the bitterness is heightened due to an alcohol bite.

M- Smooth, boozey, and heavy with a low level of carbonation. This is on the sipping side of beers, but the alcohol level is fairly restrained for the 12% ABV. Don't get me wrong, it will catch up to you and shouldn't be drank quickly, but hides the alcohol well.

Overall, nothing spectacular, but also not bad at all. Two years in the bottle has mellowed the flavors and melded them into a semi-sweet, yet bitter, boozey beer. (1,280 characters)

Photo of Bfarr
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy deep red amber with tan head and okay retention. Barley and alcohol aroma. nice balance and warming. Mostly just caramel barley sweetness and floral hops. Smooth and light stickiness.

Seems to have more alcohol and less complexities than past years. It is however much smoother and more balanced and easier to drink. Myself, I always like a bit of a challenge in my barley wine. (393 characters)

Photo of jayhawk73
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful copper color w/ a perfect two finger caramel head. Lots of carbonation as well. Very nice in the looks department. Smell is of alcohol drenched fruit, malt, and hops. Not bad, but I'd like a tad less alcohol in the nose. Taste is along the same lines- fruit, spice, alcohol, malt, hops. I really enjoy the taste of this beer. The alcohol might be on the hot side, but at 12% ABV, that's fine. I'm really surprised this beer doesn't rate higher. Maybe I got a good one. This is the 2011 vintage. Finish is very hop-sided, but smooth. Really enjoyed this beer. (576 characters)

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looking forward to this beer every year. Scored two bottles for 5.99 each, great price too.

A- Red amber in color, one finger of fluffy chunky head.

S- The smell is great, caramel, dark candy sugars, molasses, honey, dark fruits, honey and a nice crisp piny/gin/citrus hop smell. There is an alcohol note to this too.

T- The taste is a bit flat compared to other years. There is a hop taste, but it doesn't seem to have a specific hop direction. I get some caramel taste, and some maltyness, but this one needs to sit down and take a few years snooze. I'm a bit bummed at the moment, but I know this one is going to kick ass in 3-5.

M- Good, the alcohol and hops wreck the palate.

D- It isn't something I'm going to drink too quickly. (741 characters)

Photo of jpro
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
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 (477 characters)

Photo of EricCioe
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a particulate-laden ruby red with a small tan head rising and falling down to nothing with no lace. On the nose there are rum-soaked raisins, a mixture of dark fruits and a boozy note that I seem to tolerate and like more than others. In the mouth the dark fruits are the foundation for the rest of the taste, where a caramel malt emerges. If there is a complaint, it's that in the finish the booze stands out too much. There is also a hop note that for me didn't come out until the finish that didn't really integrate well with the rest of the beer. The body is a bit sticky but still fine.

Overall, this is a decent barleywine with a few demerits. One wonders what happens with this with some age. Maybe it would smooth out the somewhat harsh booze and the slightly disjointed hops. (796 characters)

Photo of climax
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,301 characters)

Photo of megahurts4
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 Classic Release

Appearance: red, medium head, and some good lacing.

Smell: yeast and flowery hops.

Taste: banana peel, flowery hops, malts, and a faint yeast.

Mouthfeel: medium and smooth.

Overall:
This is very smooth and malty. The flavors are interesting. (312 characters)

Photo of perrymarcus
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | 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. (931 characters)

Photo of obrike
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Liked the look...a nice dark amber. Some lace, but not too sticky.

I could get a few traces of sweet malt...some hops...not very much of anything else.

Wow...the first sip was strange...a weird, almost tinny aftertaste...certainly not like any good american barlewine i've had recently. Very hot, boozy finish as well...of course, it tasted better when i got to the end, after i was buzzed. Hard to discern the hops/malt as it was mostly boozy.

Good mouthfeel though...moderately carbonated. Again, as this beast warmed, I really seemed to like it a bit more.

I can't give this a good overall rating strictly based on how hot it was and how the initial taste threw me off. However, it's one of those beers that certainly gets a bit better as it warms and you become more buzzed by the brew. A strange, intriguing release by Stone to say the least. (851 characters)

Photo of zachary80
1.91/5  rDev -48.2%
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 (723 characters)

Photo of rootbeerman
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: thin sheet of head, body is brown, yet ruby when held to a light.
S: ton of sweet malt, floral and lightly piny hops.
T: sweet and malty up front, a mix between caramel and dark bread. Hops are a mix between pine grapefruit and a touch of grass. Hop bitterness lasts a long time. Alcohol has a light amount of burn as the brew warms up
M: a little thick, hops give a coating feeling, carbonation is a little low due to my dropping half the bottle.
O: needs a year to mellow out, but I think I prefere past years. (517 characters)

Photo of Snow81
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light orange clean glow

Head: Little tan head that dissipates quickly

Smell: Big dark citric with a nice malty tone and a subtle heat

Taste: Malty rich dark citric with a bit of heat on the backend

Weight: Light to medium body with a medium to low carbonation

Finish: Heavy citric with a little heat and a nice stickiness on the lips (350 characters)

Photo of Blueribbon666
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Bomber poured slowly into tall beer stein pours a honey caramel orange color with a quarter inch head that dissipates quickly. A fresh smell of hoppy pine mixed with the scent of alcohol, a little apprehensive as I know that American Barleywine is much more of a hoppy affair then the English versions, which I find to be more pleasing to MY palate. Wow very surprised as the assertive hops in the front are soon smothered by the thick velvety alcohol back end that coats the tongue as it goes down. Definitely a sipper but I am pleasantly surprised at this decent drinking bomber I thought might be shared with the drain, heaven forbid. (658 characters)

Photo of obywan59
4.85/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured brom a 650ml into my Old Guardian glass.

Pours a clear reddish amber with a light tan 3 1/2 finger head that leaves plenty of attractive lacing.

I get over-ripe citrus, sweet caramelly malt and alcohol in the nose. A hint of honey. A bit of Belgian-like barnyard scent.

Very sweet caramel malts, a taste of alcohol and long lasting bitter hops.

Rather thin mouthfeel for the style. A plus in my book. Lightly syrupy with a nice bite from the alcohol.

I didn't realize it at first, but this was a fortuitous pick for my 100th review.

The relatively light body combined with the excellent balance between the rather sweet malts and the bitter hops, along with the unsurpassed buzz, makes the Old Guardian series my all-time favorite brew, along with Firestone 13. (775 characters)

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.