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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,428 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,428
Reviews: 209
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 42
Gots: 306 | FT: 21
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: smerrell on 02-18-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,428 | Reviews: 209 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vbiliyar


2.5/5  rDev -37.3%

04-13-2012 02:42:23 | More by vbiliyar
Photo of Brew33


2.61/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sometimes I like to revisit a beer I didn't love the first time just to see if I may have had a bad experience, hence me revisiting Stone's Old Guardian. 2013 Vintage

It pours a really nice, deep, garnet with a small, light tan head. Looks nice in the glass, perfectly clear. The aroma is subtle. Caramel malts, slight cardboard, alcohol, no hops to speak of. Not very good frankly.

The flavor is the real disappointment here. One dimensional malt profile. Slight hop bitterness but no real hop flavor. A Stone beer that is underhopped for the style? Huh? Really lacking complexity. The alcohol is prominent but the malt flavors are downright bland and the beer seems a little over attenuated for the style. No real sweetness or pronounced flavors at all. Hop flavor is nonexistent and the bitterness is restrained.

The beer leaves a sticky residue on the lips which is perfect for the style IMO but it's a touch overcarbonated and a little thin for my liking.

Overall, it's pretty much what I remember and that is a below average American Barleywine. Stone has really hit a few homeruns lately especially with the Enjoy By series but this is just not a good American Barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 13:00:17 | More by Brew33
Photo of FlemingVSKing


2.65/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had a lot of expectations. I love Stone. And I'd loved my only other Barley Wine experience with Sam Adam's Griffin's Bow.

Old Guardian is probably made well, but it tastes like pure alcohol. I could seriously describe it as tasting like a rather subpar jello shot.

Now at 11% it is one of the very strongest beers I've had, and that's part of the taste, but I just don't pick up anything else of value in the flavor profile. The alcohol taste just sits right on top of what comes off of an amber ale background. Not fruit tones, no hop or spice notes.

Generally I'm not terribly concerned with the pour, but it is worth noting that after dumping this one straight down a pint mug like a Pepsi, it formed no head. A slight head emerged only after sitting for a few moments, and it was about 1/4 inch, fairly thin, and dissipated soon after.

I just don't see anything really special going on here.

Frankly I'd rather have some stock beer than this.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2012 12:27:08 | More by FlemingVSKing
Photo of wrycon


2.68/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ruby-copper in appearance. Pretty transparent. About a finger and a half of off-white head. Lacing is semi-tight with minimal retention. Not the strongest nose. A bit of smoke, some dark fruit. Smelling a sort of candied fruit, not quite caramel. Not much there. Thick apricoty-toffee in front, not overly strong. That shifts to again a smokey sort of bitterness, which is not the best. Tastes like more of a DIPA than a barleywine. I'm getting a lot of pine in the back end and a lot of bitter. That's fine, I guess, but it's not what I want from a barley wine. Probably much better with a few years under its belt.

Like It? Not Really

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 01:45:48 | More by wrycon
Photo of Hearneator


2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

11-28-2013 17:40:25 | More by Hearneator
Photo of bshiban


2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

05-10-2014 20:34:09 | More by bshiban
Photo of Larremor


2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

06-19-2014 16:41:50 | More by Larremor
Photo of chippo33


2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

03-13-2013 23:12:44 | More by chippo33
Photo of thegerm87


2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

06-19-2013 02:44:02 | More by thegerm87
Photo of kluless59


2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

02-17-2013 03:52:07 | More by kluless59
Photo of mfnmbvp


2.88/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle (1 pint 6 fl oz), the 2013 release of this beer. A beer from Stone that I haven't had before, so I'm going in as unbiased as possible. Bottle claims an 11.60% abv, rather than just 11% as BeerAdvocate says.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - First pour yields about a finger of doughy off-white / khaki colored head. Beautiful clear, light ruby red colored body. My final pour, a good hour and a half later, yields some pretty nice sheets of lacing coming down the sides of the glass.

S - Smell is strongly of malted barley, and some fermented dark fruits like plum or cranberry. Faint citrus hops creeping out in the background.

T - Bleh. Not my preferred barleywine, that's for sure. Some hop bitterness is present, but this beer is overwhelmed by a sickening medicinal cherry cough syrup flavor. Thick and heavy. Bit of alcohol warmth. As hard as I'm trying, I am not digging this one at all. Admittedly, as the beer warms to room temperature, the artificial cherry medicine seems to disappear and opens up to more dry bitter spicy hop presence. Body has a sleek creamy feel to it. This is a beer you definitely want to let warm up before consuming it.

M - Feel is dry and chalky. Bitter hop aftertaste.

Overall, I enjoyed the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale, and was expecting similar results here, but it took me a long time to warm up to this beer. When cold, it is on par with drinking a 22 oz. bottle of Robitussin. Following a warming period, the beer opens up and becomes more lively, with a more pronounced hop presence, and the sickly medicinal flavors disappear.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale ---3/5.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 05:16:47 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of yankeepride

New Jersey

2.88/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured a beautiful copper color into a snifter, with a quickly-dissolving head. Didn't have a really potent nose like I was expecting, but what I could pick out had some caramel elements. As for the taste, there was such a big hop presence that I couldn't get much from the grain profile. The hops felt like they were getting in the way, and what I could taste seemed ... stale. It was easy-to-drink, especially in terms of being high ABV, but only because it was thin and watery. While I recognize that American BW's are hoppier than their English counterparts, I didn't feel that the hops and grains played well together in this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 16:35:58 | More by yankeepride
Photo of Bottlebomber


2.98/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a bomber of this from the liquor store, poured into a wine glass.

A: A dark burnished copper. Pours a nice head, then BAM! Gone. Left spotty lacing. Unfortunately this is probably the highlight of this beer.

S: Bread, buttered biscuits, caramel, and some citrusy hops. With the amount of malt and hops that can potentially go into this style, I was underwhelmed.

T: Tasted quite like the smell - biscuity malt, some caramel, some citrusy hops. One thing I will have to give it was the bitterness was just right. Some people go really nuts bittering these ABW's, and I think a Barleywine should be more about the malt. Still, not enough going on to impress.

M: Semi-full. Really not as voluptuous as a Barleywine should be. This is supposed to be a sipper, I wasn't planning on finishing the bomber but it is drinking like an IIPA.

O: Meh!! An unexpected meh! I am really surprised that with all of Stone's over the top offering that they put so little into this beer. I should have listened to the other reviews :(

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2012 04:39:06 | More by Bottlebomber
Photo of user785335


3/5  rDev -24.8%

12-31-2012 19:59:37 | More by user785335
Photo of graz34

3/5  rDev -24.8%

09-08-2012 02:37:01 | More by graz34
Photo of 100200300


3/5  rDev -24.8%

07-22-2013 22:59:11 | More by 100200300
Photo of Duwey


3/5  rDev -24.8%

08-02-2013 01:34:13 | More by Duwey
Photo of JuanAlberto


3/5  rDev -24.8%

06-22-2014 18:41:10 | More by JuanAlberto
Photo of nathanjohnson


3/5  rDev -24.8%

03-29-2012 14:39:42 | More by nathanjohnson
Photo of MidtowneMarket


3/5  rDev -24.8%

08-23-2012 02:31:10 | More by MidtowneMarket
Photo of bernat1971


3/5  rDev -24.8%

01-16-2014 23:53:23 | More by bernat1971
Photo of JJChrist


3/5  rDev -24.8%

06-14-2014 17:59:09 | More by JJChrist
Photo of davidwhatshisnam

New York

3/5  rDev -24.8%

05-08-2014 20:32:55 | More by davidwhatshisnam
Photo of litheum94


3/5  rDev -24.8%

03-15-2013 03:01:54 | More by litheum94
Photo of Orion1

3/5  rDev -24.8%

08-03-2012 19:37:18 | More by Orion1
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,428 ratings.