Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style AleOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,832 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,832
Reviews: 267
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.5%
Wants: 65
Gots: 458 | FT: 33
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: smerrell on 02-18-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,832 | Reviews: 267
Photo of PeterIngemi
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a 22oz bottle, poured into duvel glass

A- pours deep ruby with a hint of brown. Aggressive pour leaves a one finger off white head that disapates rather quickly, only slight lacing. Very clean looking, not murky in the least.

S- caramely sweet malts, sticky pine, citrusy

T- bitter, sweet syrupy carmel covered hops, maltyness, the sweetness is deffinatley there but the intense hop flavors hold
It all together well, hint of alcohol and slight toasty breadyness in the finish, citrusy hop notes also weave through the malts. Very complex and enjoyable

M- medium to full bodied with crisp medium carbonation, coats the mouth a bit with sticky pine bitterness, drinks clean and crisp just the same.

O- this is a big boy barleywine that's for sure.... Intense and delicious, viciously hopped up and ready to go. Enjoyed it very much.

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had been anticipating this one for a while. It pours a nice ruddy orange color with a really good head (maybe I poured too fast). The smell is not very strong. The taste is average barleywine and alcohol. This is the first Stone beer that has ever disappointed me. it wasn’t bad but I always expect to be blown away by Stone seasonal beers (I usually am). The alcohol was pretty noticeable but I think in a year or two this one will be awesome. I plan on picking up a case for aging purposes. Update: 06/2007: This tastes much, much better after having six months behind it. I have to adjust my review accordingly because the flavors really made me smile this time.

Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 01-29-2007 23:16:39

Photo of TheMultiYeast
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle ---> DFH signature glass. Dark amber/orange with two finger white head. Some lacing along the glass with a column of rising bubbles.

Decent balance of sweet robust malt, caramel and big bitter hops. Sticky, sappy, pine and mild citrus fade into unique spice notes...cinnamon

Layers of flavor combine pine, citrus, musty earthiness, burnt sugar, and robust malt. Bit of a warming effect from alcohol with enormous wave of prickly bitterness and more booze...still smells hot six months later

..Had again 6 months later with subdued bitterness, less citrus, still very sweet...enjoyable

Big bodied Barley Wine. Thick with mild carbonation.

This one could mellow out a little before cracked. Not bad fresh though.

Photo of brandon911
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a beer chalice

It poured a tan, one-fingered fairly dense head that dissipated quite quickly. The beer itself is reddish amber and quite opaque. On the noise it's got barley, some faint roast malts, some grassiness,cotton candy, hops, a little booze, and some citrus. It tastes fairly similar to the nose, less so on the malts, but with addition of caramel, raisins and bread. The mouth is quite nice, bitter with some bite-y carbonation, just enough to keep one from drinking it too quickly. It's also pretty smooth going down. Overall it's a great beer, not as good as the other barleywines I've had, but still very good. I'd suggest getting it, but not going out of your way for it.

Photo of AlaskanYoung
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer. Great flavor. Try it

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a clear medium amber red, a one and a half finger creamy off white head building. Good retention, good lacing.
The smell is citrusy hops, honey caramel, and some alcohol.
Tasting this beer, the sweet honey caramel flavors hit up front, being checked by fruity and citrusy hops in the middle. At the finish, some more bitter hop flavors as well as some bread flavor.
Nicely balanced beer with some kick, just as a Barley Wine is supposed to be.

Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Rogue pint glass.

A: Dark and very clear amber, a slowly forming half-finger eggshell-colored head dissipates but is easily revived...traces of alcohol feet on the glass.

S: More malt than I was expecting; toffee and buttered toast, butterscotch, grains...yeast esters and light fruity notes, spicy hops with a touch of earthiness, faint citrus zest.

T: Lots of sugary and sweet caramel and toffee malts. Reminds me of an English Strong Ale or English-style Barleywine, though there are some citrus notes and spiced characters from the hops. There is some alcohol heat present on the finish and a slight burn. Finishes like a rum or hard alcohol in a way.

As it warms the spice notes and hop flavors increase, with herb-like zesty citrus fruit flavors.

MF: Medium, chewy and viscous. Dry finish.

O: Didn't dig it as much as I thought I would, thought this offering would be more hop-forward than it was (closer to a Bigfoot). Right now it is a lot like Alaskan's offering, and a bit like Cockeyed Cooper (without the barrel), though I like both of those beers better.

Photo of Beerswag
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz 2013 bottle aged 6 months. Pored a brandy color with yellow undertones.. off white- tannish head pours a 1/4" head that stays around for a few.not too much stickiness, lacing on the glass. Lots of malt and yeast on the nose.. Smell is malt heavy followed by candied "stone-fruit", peach and plum on the nose, caramel, toffee, and a little orange zest. Taste is mellow and balanced: white grape, plum, pear, yeasty hop profile in the finish. Carbonation is slightly crisp which is mildly dry and approachable. Mouthfeel is medium body with the ever slightest bight from the hops. Mildly acidic for the style, but that is to my liking. Overall a memorable beer from a respected brewery..would order on tap to compare.. Age has proved well on this 1. Would like to see this one aged for 2 years and the paired with goat cheese, cinammon and spiced desserts, or any fowl.

Photo of sommersb
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 04-22-2012
Freshness: 2012 Vintage
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

A: Clear beer, with a dark red-brown color. The head is tan and creamy, but disappears quickly. Very good lace on the glass.

S: Big hop aromas at first, of pine, citrus and woodiness. But there is also malty sweetness with dark fruits, caramels, brown sugar and molasses. Very complex smells, including an alcohol presence.

T: Initially I get a malty and bready richness, which is then followed by spicy, bitter hops. Warming from the alcohol. The flavors open up nicely as it warms to room temperatures.

M: Thick mouthfeel and body and low-to-medium carbonation. The finish is balanced between sweetness and bitterness, although the bitterness edges out ahead. Somewhat harsh in the aftertastes.

O: Overall a very good barleywine.

Photo of katan
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2009 vintage.

A - Copper color body, lots of mocha colored head formation. Well retained, little bit of lacing. Fairly opaque.

S - Super strong malty body - caramel, some toffee. Hopping is restrained, but i can't complain based on the aging of this beer. As it warms I get a little bit of resinous hops.

T - Starts off lightly malty, sweet some some background of the lightly toasted malts. Mid-stream does bring in some hopping, citrus first and then pine. Bitterness grows strongly in the finish, tongue grabbing. Finishes clean with toasted flavors.

M - Full bodied, light carbonation. Some alcohol warmth. Very big and sticky overall.

O/D - A good barleywine that I should try fresh. It obviously is a HUGE beer even after several years of aging. A bit filling, very slow sipper.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Release.
A finger of head on a deep amber colored body.
The aroma is nice with caramel and lemon coming through; and touch of bread.
The taste is good with a hidden boldness: lemon bitterness, caramel and bready sweetness; great balance and drinkability.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
One of the most drinkable barleywines that hides its high ABV well.

Photo of Nugganooch
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OG 2012 – 22oz bomber to snifter
*Notes from 12/27/12

A: Pours a deep caramel amber color with nice clarity at first and a bit of particle haze towards the second glass. Thick khaki cream pillow on top with superior stay power. Cascading sheets of stick upon the glass. Visually pleasing as it glows in the snifter.

S: Smells of big plummy esters with some raisin and spiced bread. Lots of stone fruit aromas and pine with an ever present gooey caramel maltiness. Some light alcohol spice noted. Smells very appropriate and still fairly hoppy at this point.

T: Taste brings on English toffee and more of those plum-like fruity esters detected in the nose. On the sweeter side with a tart orchard fruit bite. Bready biscuit likeness with a real nice deep caramelization to it. There is a moderate level of hop bitterness that comes with flavors of dried herbs, pine, and a dash of citrus peel. Alcohol asserts itself in the finish and as the beer warms. Spicy and stinging at times but not overly so. Real nice flavors you can sink into and very appropriate to the style.

M: Smooth and creamy texture with a bit of hefty chew on it and a nice dry crisp through the finish. Some warming alcohol with a touch of lingering pucker from the bitterness. Sticky after feel.

D: Exemplary to the American style and a very nice adaptation to the English standard Barley Wine. Rich with a dark toffee sweetness and loads of fruity esters with ample American hop additions. Well constructed brew overall as Stone can deliver. Very little that I can fault. Makes snifters happy.

I think I might prefer this one fresher but have never done a vertical so hard to say. The hops have faded a touch while the alcohol remains firm.

Photo of Andrew61923
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage poured into my Tree House tulip. Have been obviously holding onto this for a while and hoping to start the night off on the right foot.

A: Pours a nice, clear ruby red with a frothy off-white head that leaves behind some nice lacing as it fades. A really good start here.

S: I'm picking up mostly on caramel and toffee sweetness from the high ABV and dosage of malts. I do get some hints of piney hops, but these are dominated by the aforementioned.

T: A lot of the same caramel notes from the nose are on the front of my tongue, but then are washed away by some pretty intense hop bitterness. I'm surprised that these have hung around as much as they have given the age of this beer, but I shouldn't be shocked since this is a Stone beer.

M: Solid carbonation and a smooth coating of the tongue. The ABV is hidden well, but this is most definitely a sipping beer.

O: Barleywines are not my favorite style of beer, but I enjoyed this. I should have probably closed the night with this instead of starting it (or split the bottle a few ways with friends), but I'm happy to have tried it aged.

Photo of harrymel
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2012

Copper with a straight etching of cream foam. Smells of hops, rich malts with some tea and caramel and some nicely woven in toffee and sweetness. Flavor is sweet with a good bitterness on the backside with some caramel and a gobs of malt syrup. I like the flavor. Medium bodied with sharp carb and a semi dry finish. I like this beer quite a lot.

Photo of ONUMello
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 edition, poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass
A: Reddish brown with a 1/2-finger head that settles very quickly
S: Nice, fairly typical barleywine nose full of roasted malts along with some caramel, toffee and a touch of hops
T: Fruit esters, rich malt, toffee and caramel. Like the nose, typical for the style but well done
M: Full-bodied, a bit sweet/viscous but again that's the norm for this type of brew
O: Solid as are most Stone brews. Nothing extraordinary here but a nice beer try if you're looking for a good example of the barleywine style. I have to give a nod in that respect to the SN Bigfoot though, mostly because it comes in a 12oz bottle which given the high abv is much easier to consume solo than the 22oz here

Photo of IronLover
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep weathered copper orange in color with a deep haze. Poured with a short off-white foam that reduced to a wispy cap that left sticky lacings on the glass. Sweet caramel malt and pungent tropical grapefruit and orange hop aromas with a hint of booze in the background. Medium bodied with a resinous feel and light, subdued carbonation. Sweet caramel malt flavors up front that are slowly washed away by tangy citrus hoppiness. Finishes with a rush of grapefruit hop flavor, followed by alcoholic heat and a sticky pine hop aftertaste.

Photo of CHADMC3
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a walnut colored body beneath the thin, light tan head which quickly dissolves to leave only traces of lacing around the glass.

Generous fruit and vinous aromas float from the glass with abundant earthy and pine hops as well as some a touchdown nuttiness.

The favor is fruity and sweet up front with hints of nuts and a generous hoppy finish tat features grass, wood, and spice notes.

Fuller in body with generous carbonation and a big biting finish.

A tasty American Barleywine with the traditional sweet fruit character of the English style, yet Packing a west coast hops punch. Well done.

Photo of thedoubler55
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This brew is a dark amber in color, a bit transparent and a dark redish almost, a tiny off white head at the top that leaves a bit of lacing around the glass.

S: Very hoppy nose, lots of caramel and brown sugar with slight hints of dark fruit.

T: Up front is almost all of the nose, lots of brown sugar sweetness with caramel and dark fruits present, the hops are all over the tail end with the bitterness.

M: Medium bodied, mid carbonation, nice and smooth.

O: Not a bad barley wine but I have had better, this was pretty subtle nothing crazy, but a good beer.

Photo of yamar68
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crisp copper without a bit of beading. Soft, loose, sticky head. Perfect lacing.

Strong nose - caramel, toffee, raisin, booze, candied sugar, molasses, complex. Translates well to the tongue.

Bitter, boozy start on the tongue which then moves through numerous waves of goodness. Quite nice. Everything in the nose finds a home somewhere in the taste.

Not too easy going down, but it's lovely to sip slowly and savor.

Good stuff.

Photo of JamesMN
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 release.

Appearance: Super hazy orange amber color with a resilient off-white one finger head.

Aroma: Sweet barley and an orangey hoppy character. A tinge of alcohol. Not all that aromatic.

Taste: A big beer by any account. There is a lot of subtle malt flavors that sort of blend and come across as an amber and caramel flavor. No toffee or toasted qualities just unaltered malt flavor. Counteracting the sweet blend of barley is an understated bitterness. It's understated because it never feels more intense than moderate but definitely sticks with you long after the finish. The hop character is mostly orange with a touch of pine. As with most Barleywines, Old Guardian has a serious amount of hops and malt to it but a definite balance between the two extremes. At 11% ABV it's shocking how very little alcohol is present. In fact, there is really only a slight alcohol flavor right at the start that is quickly hidden by the robustness of the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thick like a milkshake. Average carbonation but I'd recommend an aggressive pour. A full bodied as it is, Old Guardian has good drinkability. Although perhaps not when paired with a meal.

Final Thoughts: I'm a huge fan of Stone Brewing and for the most part Old Guardian completely met my expectations. However, I'm not a fan of orange hop flavor especially in Barleywines as it tends to accentuate the malt sweetness in a bit of a cloying manner. Personal preference that only affected my scoring very slightly. Aside from that note, another excellent beer from one of my favorite and most respected breweries. Would I drink it again? Yes, I expect on-tap would be fantastic.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 release.

Depp ruby and copper colored brew. Decent, slow tan head for a barleywine . Pretty good bubbling too.

Rich, warm, caramelized fruity aroma. Sweet, toasty biscuits overwhelmed by syrupy fruit marmalade and alcoholic warmth. A little mustiness in there too.

Caramel meets with marmalade, heavily toasted biscuits, caramelized plums and apples. Add to that ,a sometimes bitter, alcoholic twang and palate. An obvious slow sipper best shared with family and friends, or selfishly by yourself.

;)

Photo of Bowers-Brew
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%

A - Nice brown / amber malt, clean white porous head.

S - Sweet malt, caramel, slight vanilla / oak, light grassy notes.

T/M - A sweet creamy malt body with a hoppy/bitter finish.

O - I wanted to try one fresh so I can compare it to one that ages. This was a bit hot and hoppy, which I hope will smooth out. I'm still trying to decide how I feel about some of the extra hoppy American barleywines. Some people will read the label, because why not? Prost!

Photo of RyanCave
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Red with a carmel haze..

N: Sounds weird but I get tomato on the nose. It's like smelling a V8 juice..no shit

T: Very bitter, a bit overpowering..I like a good amount of bitterness in my BW's (Old Ruffian is one of my favorites) but this is a bit too much. Just a bit of malt sweetness, a little vegetable too, a lot of earthy notes

M: what you'd expect from a BW

O: I wouldn't say this is my favorite BW, but its pretty good. It's definitely a stone brew for sure with all the bitterness and bold flavors..I'd drink this again for sure but wouldn't seek it out

Photo of Thickfreakness
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours a beautiful, clear copper orange into my Ithaca Excelsior tulip. Two fingers of creamy off white head that floats and sticks around for a while. Tons of sticky lacing left all over the glass even after 10 minutes.

S- Really nice sweet caramel right up front! Decent punch of pineapple and CA citrus! HUGE alcohol presence. Some dark dried fruits... raisins, plums, figs. Some nice spicy notes of caraway and black pepper that blend seemlessly with the fresh caramel notes.

T- Burnt brown sugar, sweet cream caramel, ALCOHOL! Wow! The booze is huge this year! I hope it settles down with some time. I do like the way the alcohol brings out the dried fruit and sweet citrus nuances though. Picking up some spicy basil, peppercorns, rye bread w/ caraway, and mission figs.

M- Really hot! Huge alcohol presence that hopefully will die down with some time and cellaring. It enhances some flavors, covering and detering others. Not as sticky as past OG's.

O- Definately think this one has some potential after 6months-1yr in the cellar. Right now its really boozey. Has really nice sweet caramel and dried fruit notes that will get much bigger as the alcohol fades.

Photo of Gushue3
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Stone IRS snifter. Lets hope its better the the Belgo IRS I had earlier

A 2 finger white-ish head with a tint of red and the body is clear amber/red. After the head recedes some lacing is left in a ring above the beer.

S Gigantic sweet bready dough malts and sweetness. A little bit of dark fruits and a little yeast in the nose. Doesnt smell too American

T lots of big malty tastes here. Doughy bread yeast and some sweet malts take over in the front. Slight hint of booze in the middle along with the tiny bitterness toward the end.

M Thicker mouthfeel is accompanied by lighter carbonation. My mouth is left feeling slightly syrupy after a sip. Big beer with big presence

O

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,832 ratings.