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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style AleOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,232 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1232
Reviews: 199
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%


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 Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,232 | Reviews: 199 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very hazy orange amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that gradually died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of caramel and malty sweetness in the nose.
T: The taste shares some similarities with the smell but has a moderate amount of hop bitterness. As the beer warms up, hints of toffee and vanilla begin to emerge in the flavors. A bit of alcohol is also noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied, very crisp and a little sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The aroma of this beer can fool you because you would expect it to be very malty and sweet but lots of hop bitterness seemingly comes out from nowhere in the taste and provides a nice contrast (although I wouldn't call it balanced). The beer is rather drinkable considering its strength.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 04:49:48 | More by metter98
Photo of Teleweizen2
Teleweizen2

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a deep murky amber/bronze color. a bubbly yet thin film of foam rises from a rigorous pour. leaves some spotty lacing with each sip.

S - syrupy sweet notes of caramel, burnt sugar, and toffee. big notes of mandarin orange pulp and grapefruit rind notes along with earthy hints of herbs. sweet cherries and a quick whiff of booze. notes of toasted multi-grain bread lay underneath.

T - toasty bread and sweet toffee notes on the front of the tongue. the center is rife with bitter notes of grapefruit rind and pith play off sweet notes of cherries and orange pulp. backend is herbal and grassy. finish is long, fairly sweet with a bit of booze.

M - rich and thick almost syrupy. full bodied. high carbonation.

O - an intense american barleywine. a bit sweet for my taste but would probably do nicely with an equally rich dessert.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 01:27:16 | More by Teleweizen2
Photo of Herky21
Herky21

Iowa

3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle purchased for $5.99 - 2013 Vintage.

Appearance - caramel and burnt like fall leaves with a finely laced and dense head that dissipated quick.

Smell - banana, caramel, nougat, melon and citrus.

taste - alcohol, sweet caramel, backed up by a good amount of bitterness, kind of a fruity note in the swallow.

mouthfeel - very carbed and perhaps a bit too much for the style - full, thick beer.

Overall - pretty well done, but it doesn't quite hold a candle to Bigfoot. If you have one I'd recommend aging. It isn't super hot, but it would be a lot better in say 2 years.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 01:12:37 | More by Herky21
Photo of SawDog505
SawDog505

New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stella glass aggressively. Pours a clear bright orange red, with a beautiful 3 inch head with a little hint of orange in it. Has some nice lacing and the head takes some time to settle. Smell is hard candy, burnt carmel, pine cones, and alcohol. Taste is better, very aggressive hops on the finish, all the stuff in the nose, but more balanced. Body is on medium large, good a mount of life for its large ABV, a little dry, and fairly drinkable for its large size. This is a nice Barleywine, that prefer with a few years on it for some reason. Its not the aggressive hops, but the beer seems to blend better over time.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2012 00:32:06 | More by SawDog505
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 edition, picked up in Knightly Spirits Orlando, and survived the trip back to Canada.

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Nice deep copper ruby hue, with about a half inch head from the pour. Settles into a thick ring.

Nose is classic barleywine: malt heavy, good sweetness, a bit of bread, fruit and light citric hops.

Good take on the style: sweet malt, bread, fruit, grape a dry boozy finish. This brew felt a bit hot - a few months of cellaring would have done well, but it is certainly quite enjoyable as is. Carbonation is sharp, mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly sticky.

Nice barleywine, though nothing to stop the presses over. Worth holding on to if you can pick up one or two at any rate!

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2012 03:17:29 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of artoolemomo
artoolemomo

Oregon

3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which has decent retention. The head is a very light tan or khaki while the body is a very dark amber that has slight hints of maroon which don't appear in the light. Considerable lacing is left behind.

Nose- Very hop forward with a thick, malty base. Big notes of orange, lemon, and grapefruit. Caramel to burnt caramel and brown bread. Matchstick, some tropical fruits. Light notes of honey and raisins. Some cherries. Swirling rounds out the bitterness of the hop notes a little bit.

Taste- Very reflective of the nose and every bit as hoppy as the aroma indicated. Lots of citrus that ranges from orange to grapefruit with some tropical fruits thrown in. Big middle of caramel with some toffee that mixes with the pine, resin, and matchstick of the hops to give off a burnt caramel note. The hops are definitely very fresh and even tend toward earwax on the finish. A slight indication of heat on the finish but the strong pine of the finish pretty much trounces it. Hints of spice- some pepper, perhaps a little coriander. Some cherry and other stone fruits around the edges. Hop lovers should really appreciate this one but it's a little much for me. This beer is quite representative of why I tend to avoid American barleywines. Some molasses, brown sugar, and brown bread to the malt bill. A good, solid beer that flirts with being really good. And I would consider it to be really good if I appreciated the hop profile as much as I would have in the past. Not as messy as a lot of the American barleywines that I encounter, such that the word almost doesn't apply.

Mouthfeel- A little more than medium bodied with a good amount of syrup to the texture. Appropriate carbonation that has a little bit of a sting which works well with the spice and hop bitterness of the finish.

Drinkability- Fairly accessible for a young American barleywine. A little over the top for me but the alcohol is almost invisible. Another Stone bargain at 7 bucks a bomber but the only reason I would buy this again would be to age it.

Overall- A solid, good beer that has inclinations toward being really good. It is a very good representation of the style and a must try for fans of American barleywines.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 00:45:31 | More by artoolemomo
Photo of jimmah120
jimmah120

Minnesota

3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, 2012 release

cherry amber look with a small ring of foam. smell is melon juice, rubbing alcohol, grassy hops. big and chewy body, some alcohol burn. medicinal hop finish with sweet wine-y (wine-ish?) malt.

very chewy and bitter. I'm likin' it.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2013 05:51:49 | More by jimmah120
Photo of BrownNut
BrownNut

Florida

3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 2012 release drunk in May 2013. Served cool in tulip.

A - 4.5 - Beautiful, crystal clear ruby amber. Loose, creamy off white head that lingers a good while.

S - 3.75 - Pleasantly malty. Hoppy in a familiar flavor I can't put my finger on. Smells like it's going to be a moderate bruiser hopwise and moderately caramel sweet maltwise.

T - 3.75 - Moderate sweet malt partially offsetting notable bitterness. The balance swings bitter. Exhale is all hops and aftertaste is lingering bitterness.

M - 4.0 - Medium heavy body. Immediate hop abrasion on the tongue. Thanks to that, it has a dry astringent end. Gentle waves of boozy warmth wafting up the throat.

O - 4.0 - A nice one, if kind of unbalanced. I've never had one fresh - this one is 15 months old. Next time I think I'll try for 2 or 3 years to see if it'll balance out a bit more. The nose on this is nicely balanced. The body not as much. It's to be expected for the style I suppose.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 14:00:31 | More by BrownNut
Photo of StlHopHead77
StlHopHead77

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours out a slightly hazy,maroon/crimson body that supported one and a half inches of off white
foam that showed moderate dissipation and left full sheets of sudsy lacing on the glass.

S-The nose here is muted with some scents of toffee,tobacco,a slight Kirsch quality and mild, citrusy hops,which along with the Kirsch,gave off something similar to the smell of Cherry-limeade.Some fruity alcohol notes were present as well.

T-More citrus here with dried cherry, caramel,blonde tobacco,toffee glazed almonds and raw,leafy hop bitterness.

M-Medium bodied with a lasting bitterness that helps to downplay the natural baked sugar sweetness of this beer.

O-A good Barleywine that I'm looking forward to trying with some age on it.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2012 12:27:24 | More by StlHopHead77
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, amber color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of sweet maltiness, caramel, toffee and some spices.

T - Good blend of maltiness, caramel, toffee, spicy bitterness and some pine.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a pretty good barleywine. I think some of the older versions of Old Guardian have been better, but this is still good.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2012 01:56:46 | More by zeff80
Photo of gustogasmic
gustogasmic

Michigan

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours straight copper with a large head, 2 inches at least. smells like pruney alchohol blended with bourbon old ale. good stuff, could use more age. comes across boozy and sweet. very nice vsnills/ bourbon to carry the dark prune-rum notes. works well and is perfectly balanced. old hop dryness, alcohol warming.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2012 05:56:47 | More by gustogasmic
Photo of gtermi
gtermi

Texas

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: THe beer pours a dark redish copper body with a thin tan head that quickly fades and leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

S: First thing that hits me is the strong caramel malt, almost smells like syrup with a tiny bit of alcohol thats pretty well hidden.

T: The beer isnt as sweet as I like in a barleywine.. I mean it is very sweet, but it quickly turns into a strong bitterness. I usually pretty sweet flavor all the way through. The beer actually has a little hop flavor as it lingers.

M: The beer is actually very smooth and has a nice fully body. There is also a good amount carbonation on the back of the throat as it goes down.

O: This is a pretty damn good beer from Stone.. for sure not their best, but for 7 bucks I really dig it. I am glad I got a few bottles of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 05:48:28 | More by gtermi
Photo of Smurf2055
Smurf2055

Washington

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed Nov 2011, vintage 2007

2007 vintage enjoyed at Bevridge Place in West Seattle.

Aroma was amazing! Sweet yet balanced, malt and hops, aggressive yet friendly.

Appearance was dark amber with about a finger of foam. Obviously at four years old, there’s very little carbonation on it.

Taste was decent. Warming feeling and a bit of citrus. Lot’s of malt. There was a bit of an alcohol bite, and I sort of expected a bit more complexity at four years old.

Palate was full and strong all over and remains for a while.

Overall, as far as they go, this one was pretty good. It’s very Stone brewing; up front and aggressive, and it knows it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2013 07:23:30 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of Kromes
Kromes

Georgia

3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: A clear copper color with a finger's width tan colored head.

S: Caramel malts, fruit with floral hop.

T: Carmel malt with floral and grassy hop. Finishes with an alcohol flavor and burn and a hop bitterness.

M: Heavy, syrupy feel. Dry and bitter with a burn in the finish.

O: A good Barleywine, this one could use some mellowing before cracking open.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 00:50:34 | More by Kromes
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

Pours an amber, plum color with a thin lacing of white head that fades quickly. The nose is quite fruity with notes of raisins, figs, and ripe cherries. The flavor is a malty, bready, caramel flavor up front that quickly turns to the same fruity notes from the nose, dark fruit, figs, raisins, ripe cherries and maybe plum. The finish showcases a decent, clean, balanced hop bitterness and a warm alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, a bit syrupy, crisp, and just a bit heavily carbonated.

This is a decent beer. It's definitely a bit fruity, but is intriguingly complex. The fruity sweetness and the bitter finish at times seem to clash. As the beer warms, the flavors tend to play a little more nicely with each other. If you're a barley wine person, it's definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 12:53:49 | More by tdm168
Photo of DRyan
DRyan

Texas

3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a Ranger Creek Tulip glass

A: Pours a deep ruby with a heavy white head that dissipates somewhat quickly but leaves serious lacing
S: Sweet malt and toffee, some hop bitterness, hint of vanilla
T: Malty and sweet, but pretty well balanced. Could be a bit more hop-forward, but overall it is sweet but not too sweet, somewhat hoppy but not overly at all. The toffee from the nose carries through, along with a little alcohol bite on the aftertaste.
M: Smooth and silky, with very light carbonation
D: Easily drinakable for 11% abv

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 04:02:39 | More by DRyan
Photo of aquazr1
aquazr1

California

3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. 2014 Classic release.

A - Pours a dark amber, almost brown, with a very small head that dissipates quickly.

S - Mostly malt, I can pick up a hint of the grains in the background. I don't get much from the hops.

T - The toasted malts come through strong, but not in a bad way. Very drinkable.

M - Medium bodied that feels good going down.

A very drinkable barley wine ale. The high alcohol content is hidden well. Another well done beer by Stone.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2013 02:07:45 | More by aquazr1
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle at Idle Hands in New York, NY

A: Pours a clear amber with a thin off-white head that reduces to a ring of bubbles at the edge of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Caramel malts, some light pine hops, and a fair amount of sweetness.

T: Nice caramel malts and toffee sweetness to this one followed by a pine hop bitterness. Some light amounts of heat from the alcohol and a nice amount of complexity.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Great sipping beer though a little sweet for my palate. Nice complexity in both the smell and the flavor. I like the hop bitterness on the finish that helps the beer from being overpowering in sweetness. The high ABV is fairly well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 14:33:21 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of BWED
BWED

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler pint at Savage's Ale House, Muncie IN.

Appearance - 3.5

Hazy amber with a creamy off-white head, 1/4" fizzles out after a couple minutes. Tiny bit of lacing at top of glass from the previous head.

Smell - 4.0

Citrusy, piney hoppiness with a sweet tangy sting finish.

Taste - 4.0

Rich pine, resin taste. Not so much of any maltiness. A little less balanced than a lot of barleywines.

Mouthfeel - 3.5

Thick, heavy. Not a very drinkable beer, but that's how an 11% Barleywine should be.

Overall - 4.0

Great flavorful barleywine. A little less balanced than a normal, but still a very impressive beer. You can definitely feel the effects at the end of this drink. Two or three of these babies would knock me down. Can't wait to taste next year's batch.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2012 22:51:43 | More by BWED
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a rusty copper color with decent, but not perfect, clarity. The head is a one finger light mocha color. Retention and lacing are average for the gravity.

S: The caramel/toffee backbone is very evident from the smell, along with some candy-coated hops. I'm not getting a huge hop scent otherwise, though there are some floral notes peeking through.

T: At first taste, I'm immediately reminded of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, only with a stronger malt backbone. Plenty of floral, herbal, slightly citric hoppiness hit the tongue initially, which ultimately mellows out allowing its sweet, fruity character to shine through some. The "jammy" quality is there on the finish, but so is a strong alcohol bite (the two flavors go hand in hand, really). Balance isn't superb, but it has decent complexity. All told, this is still really good, even great.

M: Wow, this is dry and astringent as all get out, helped out (or hindered?) by its heavier body. In typical Stone fashion, there's plenty of lingering piny stickiness left on the tongue. Not an easy drink at all, due to the perceivable alcohol and other qualities, but this isn't something that should be drank quickly. Decently carbonated.

O: Though I enjoyed it quite a bit, I can see why others wouldn't like this one at all (the rest of the family universally disliked this). Finishing off a bomber solo requires time and patience, lots of it. If you're gonna get this, then either drink it now, or age it a year, because the hop profile is going to become unpleasant with just 3-4 months on it. Still very much recommended for hopheads.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 22:27:14 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of Thickfreakness
Thickfreakness

New York

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2012 00:53:19 | More by Thickfreakness
Photo of Roman5150
Roman5150

Spain

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle into duvel glass

appearance: dark red mahogany with 2 finger slightly off white head, intricate lacing

smell: herbal earthy hops, floral notes, sweet grapefruit, clementines

taste: sweet earthy bitterness, you can feel the warmth from the alcohol, but it's not too forward. Very sweet aftertaste that coats the tongue with a warm bitterness.

mouthfeel: average carbonation with a thick syrupy feel

overall: A great brew from Stone, this is a very hoppy sweet beer that is superbly balanced. A regular buy from them, if you're a fan of any of their IPA's you will love this.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2013 23:06:42 | More by Roman5150
Photo of Gushue3
Gushue3

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -1%
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

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 03:38:47 | More by Gushue3
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 01:14:58 | More by yamar68
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -1%
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.

;)

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 01:42:23 | More by scruffwhor
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,232 ratings.