1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

341 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 341
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 15.06%
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:
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:  Usefulness | 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
Ratings: 341 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lantern
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Lantern, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of kvgomps
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

kvgomps, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of MacStinson
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

MacStinson, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of jrohrbacher
4/5  rDev +3.9%

jrohrbacher, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of codynevels
4/5  rDev +3.9%

codynevels, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of bonkers
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a bomber into a snifter, light red pour with a medium white head. The aroma is hot and sweet. There are notes of pine. The first sip is kinda hot. It mellows out a bit with lots of pine, lingering piney finish. The beer is sticky, creamy, and full bodied. I liked this one, but I like over the top beers, and this is over the top.

bonkers, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of PhatAtUT
4/5  rDev +3.9%

PhatAtUT, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of jwinship83
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

first vintage with the new label and slightly higher ABV. drank from my duvel tulip.

A- the pour yields a ruby red body with great clarity. a finger or so of light tan colored head forms on top and has pretty good retention. a thin wall of lacing gets left behind.

S- the first thing i pick out of the nose are hops. lots of grapefruit and pine. after that i notice a massive amount of malts backing the hops up. tons of sweet caramel and toffee with some lightly fruity malts as well. the amount of alcohol coming out of my glass reminds me that this is a massive beer.

T- the taste starts out with an explosion of sweet malts. caramel and toffee are the boldest, but there are also fruity notes of cherries and plums. the hops are also quite bold. plenty of pine and grapefruit. nice and bitter. lots of alcohol throughout.

M- the body is pretty thick and syrupy. definitely on the upper side of medium. the carbonation seems average. plenty of alcohol warming.

O- i look forward to the release of this beer every year. im glad that they didnt kill the original (this one) when they decided to do the belgio thing. this bottle is almost too big to tackle on your own.

jwinship83, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of Cylinsier
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

large bottle

Pours a cloudy cidery apple gold color. Bit of off white lacing.

Smells of apple sweetness and piney hops. Bit of tartness as well.

Tastes of rich apple and caramel malts along with piney hops that are potent but not too bitter, a the slightest hint of alcohol.

Feels full and chewy with coarse but mild carbonation.

Delicious beer, good American Barelywine hop flavor balanced by malty flavors more characteristic of the English style. Too potent to drink a lot of but an enjoyable sipper.

Cylinsier, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of savagepm
4/5  rDev +3.9%

savagepm, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of neckbracesub
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

neckbracesub, Apr 10, 2012
Photo of Brabander
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Brabander, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of jwat
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

jwat, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of kawilliams81
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Hazy orange with light tan 1 finger head. Some lacing that resides immediately.

S- Caramel and amber malts, toffee, alcohol.

T- Amber and toasted malts. Slightly astringent flavor with big hop bitterness at finish.

M- Full body with alcohol very present. Finish is on the dry side.

O- Remembered this as being better. Actually a fairly middle of the row barleywine. Needs some more sweetness and more complexity in flavor and aromas.

kawilliams81, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of jaswilson2
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

jaswilson2, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of mctizzz
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

mctizzz, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I just picked this beer up tonight, so I don't have too terribly high hopes that this is ready to drink right now, but let's give a fresh Guardian a shot for a change.

Appearance: There was a solid off-gas when the top was popped, so this beer must be pretty well carbonated. It pours a somewhat cloudy burnt orange color with a very small <1/8" head after a pretty quick pour...surprising after the off-gas. There really isn't any lace left, and the beer doesn't really do that much else visually

Aroma: Surprisingly enough, through the rich malt and somewhat bold hops, I am getting a Bretanomyces presence that is unmistakeable. As the beer warms up some, this Brett character is fading quickly and the alcohol, hops, and malts are making an appearance...in that order.

Taste: The flavor is much more bold and driven by the hops than I thought it would be from the aroma. Overall the beer is full bodied with ample carbonation, but it still comes across the palate as a bit heavy. I don't get the Brett in the flavor at all, and it is fading in the nose...so maybe I was mistaken? Anyway, the hops are becoming a MUCH bigger player in the flavor as the beer warms up. Overall the beer is balanced toward the hops in the finish, but it isn't so much that the beer is hard to drink. The alcohol is contributing as much balance in the finish as the hops are.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer right now, but I really think that it would be a WHOLE LOT better in a couple years. Right now, it has a lot of flavor, but they are a bit out of balance. I think once the hops start to fade, mixed with the nice bitterness balance, this beer will age really well. One thing said is that this beer isn't as boldly bitter as a lot of Barley Wines are, so I think that it may lean more toward Old Ale as it matures than a Barley Wine.

SkeeterHawk, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of katan
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a goblet

A - Pours an almost blood red color - deep dark amber for sure. Head formation is strong, 1/4" down to a film. Very clear, very filtered.

S - Potent nose - lots of caramel malts and a backdrop of hops and associated bitterness.

T - Starts off lightly sweet, some caramel malts. Mid-stream gets very strong very quickly - edgy - lots of bitterness. Alcohol warmth comes in heavily. Finishes with a grainy bite along with a big bomb of bitterness.

M - Moderate body, at times clingy and sugary. Carbonation is moderate - doesn't do enough to lighten the body. Aftertaste is boatloads of alcohol warmth and bitterness.

D - somewhat harsh to the palette - west coast american barleywine for sure. abv is pretty strong.

This beer probably would have registered as an "in your face" barleywine and I probably would have liked it - but the belgo version comparison really has shown me an interesting balance to the style. I guess I probably prefer one that isn't so potent. I should age one of these for comparison.

katan, Mar 06, 2011
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.

Wildman, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost-clear, ruby-amber color with a very small, off-white head. Scent is malty wit tons of dark fruits and a hint of booze. Taste is very dark fruit forward with some nice caramel malt flavors and hoppy characteristics. Very sweet with a bitter finish. Some warming booze at the end as well. Mouthfeel is syrupy and full-bodied. Drinkability is far...couldn't drink too much of this. Overall, this is a decent beer, but it turns into an awesome beer after a couple years.

DovaliHops, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of vkv822
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours a clear amber orange with a thick light-toffee colored head.

The aroma seems a bit a subdued, but I did pick up caramel malts followed quickly by citric hop notes.

It has a bready malt base taste, though the only other real flavors are a quite strong bitter hop bite followed by heat from the alcohol.

The mouthfeel has a medium to full body, with light carbonation.

A decent barleywine, but I just couldn't find anything that stood out to me besides the alcohol and bitterness becoming a bit over whelming.

vkv822, Apr 17, 2011
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.

PicoPapa, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of sharpski
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

sharpski, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of hiphopj5
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

hiphopj5, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +29.9%

CEDAMA, Feb 01, 2012
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 341 ratings.