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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale | Stone Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
272 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
272
Ratings:
1,962
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
30.6%
 
 
Wants:
81
Gots:
526
For Trade:
32
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style AleOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by smerrell on 02-18-2012

User Reviews
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Reviews: 272 | Ratings: 1,962
Photo of FLima
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 release. I have been cellaring this for almost four years, let’s see how this evolved.
Nice red mahogany color with a thick light caramel head with short to medium retention.
Malty aroma with notes of orange marmalade, caramels, pine, molasses, rum and red fruits.
This has an intense flavor with notes of pine, grapefruit, wood, a bit of charcoal, resin, eucalyptus honey, cherries and raspberries jam, American yeast, nuts, tangerine, biscuit, caramel, and toasted malts, cinnamon, butterscotch, dates, earth and some cocoa. Dry aftertaste with a long though rounded resiny bitterness.
Full body with appropriate carbonation. Somewhat sticky sensation. Alcohol of 11% is very well disguised; it is just complimentary to its flavor and perfectly integrated.
Very good American Barley wine; very complex and intense with no sharp edges. At some point I had to stop looking for flavors, because they would just keep coming. Very drinkable considering the style.
For this, I am glad this winter was colder than in the recent past. I feel that I could have aged this even longer, though.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This barley wine pours a rich, dark brown with a medium tan head, which is fairly well retained and gives a more creamy texture to the beer. The smell is mild, but is sweet like caramel and somewhat citrusy, possibly of lemon. The flavor is complex, like many barley wines. It has definite flavors of caramel, and a strong biscuity malt backbone. It also has some more subtle fruit flavors, maybe lemon or tangerine. The aftertaste is alcoholic and fairly dry, which is typical of barley wines, being high percentage beers, though the malts balance this one nicely and keep it from being overwhelming. There is also a good hop presence that really only surfaces on the aftertaste leaving a little bitterness in your mouth. This beer is not for the faint of heart, but that’s my style.

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Photo of colts9016
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter at 50 degrees. A light tan two finger head that has okay retention. The color of the beer is a medium copper color with some ruby/mahogany highlights. The beer is murky but carbonation bubble are visible. The beer has some legs and the head is leaving some lacing on the glass.

A rich caramel, toasted malt, biscuit, floral, earthy, spicy, and yeast.

The beer is has a nice strong hop flavor, it is floral, earthy, and some perfume. The malt has toast, biscuit, caramel, and bready notes. Yeast is apparent with some apricots.

The mouthfeel is chewy, rich, carbonated, and slightly astringent.

This beer has to be the best barleywine I have ever drank, Although it is 6 years old, it has aged beautifully. The alcohol is present but not hot like a fresh barleywine. The flavors have meld so well together that each sip is bliss. The hops is evident although not fresh, they still pack much flavor. Absolutely amazing.

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Photo of seedyone
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Coopers Chelsea. Very pretty deep golden, treacle color. Fine bubbles leaving a solid sheet of lacing. Always a sign, IMO , of a well made brew.The aroma, while chilled points at oak. Then there`s the flavor & that`s why we`re all here.

First impression is butterscotch, slight but there. Just behind is a rich ale with an assertive presence of hops. IMO, this should satisfyretty much everyone that can appreciate an 11% ABV bevvie.

Very Very good.

Thanks to Dave for finding this gem & making it available.

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Photo of stevoj
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is the good stuff! Potent but extremely drinkable. Gorgeous appearance with a small creamy head, amber/ruby body, sweet fruit and cidery aroma, malt and hops kick in on the taste. Lots of warming action on the way down.

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Photo of CHickman
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 Classic Release (11.2% ABV): Pours cloudy copper to reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger creamy/foamy tan head that was full of tiny bubbles, dissipating very slowly and leaving excellent foamy lacing covering the sides with rings as it went down. The lacing stuck to the glass and did not budge, it was great looking.

Smells of caramel, sweet malt, toffee, light brown sugar, faint cinnamon, dark rum, toasted grains, piney hops, dark fruits, orange peel, grapefruit and fruity candy. Some herbal notes like tea leaf, fresh wet citrus hops and weed mix in with the malty sweetness which comes off lightly boozy and full of toffee and caramel.

Taste of strong booze soaked grains up front, followed by toffee, caramel, graham cracker, vanilla, orange peel, brown sugar, honey, tea leaf, piney hops, grapefruit, wet leather, tobacco, gummy bears, Belgian candied sugar, coriander or peppery spices and rum or even dark rum. The ABV is well hidden and the dominant malt base allows the hops to add character and nice complexities to the overall profile. There is a constant sweet yet earthy aspect that ties everything together and almost seems like a thick bready yeast acting like glue. Pretty damn tasty.

Mouthfeel is on the smooth side with average, fizzy carbonation, a medium to thick chewy body that feels dense and like leaf particles are floating in it. Aftertastes is slightly bitter, but still unleashes a lot of malty sweetness, caramel and toffee notes. Seems midway between an American Barleywine and a Strong Ale. Either way you classify this to me it was very good. Enough kick for a barleywine and enough flavor to help it go down.

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Photo of mschrei
4.31/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with light orange undertones. Creamy looking with a lasting thick white foam and lacing to go with active carb. Mild hop and malt notes on the smell. Well balanced hop and malt tastes. Very ale like for a barleywine. Alcohol is hidden rather well. Slight back burn. Good beer.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 2/7/2014 Drank 3/29/2016

A - nice copper amber clear beer with a big fluffy off white head that sticks nicely and leaves nice lacing
S - big thick caramel malts, grapefruit/piney hops, caramel, bread, little bit of oxidation
T - big sweet caramel malts, grapefruit and pine from the hops balances it out, some slight lemon peel type flavor in there too, oxidation starting to creep in.
M - big thick beer, alcohol completely covered, no burn at all, aftertaste is sweet caramel malts
O - great beer. Will drink again.

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Photo of gregy55902
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had one that was nearly 3 years old but it was still incredibly hot with a raw alcohol taste. I mean, once you got past that it was a good barleywine, but damn. How long are you supposed to age this stuff?? If 3 years isn't enough, I would hesitate recommending it to others.

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Photo of GStone899
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love barley wines and this one does not dissapoint. The smell is amazing! Very sweet and a sign of thinks to come. Taste is great with a light carbonation. You can definitely taste the caramel and brown sugar. Very malty and sweet so definitely a beer to sip and savor rather than gulp n guzzle. Finishes smooth with a slightly bitter after taste. I still vote for Old Ruffian by Great Divide over this one but it's close. Both great.

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Photo of crismf
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: amber, nice foam, some lacing

S: mild aroma of hops with a hint of citrus

T: starts off sweet with a hint of caramel and finishes with a predictable bitterness, but not overdone

F: effervescent and crisp

O: I enjoyed the OG very much. It had a very nice airiness quality and was very drinkable, it's a shame I was only able to find one at my local spot. Nice work Stone! I will definitely keep in my favorites list.

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Photo of Bluecrow
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap in a snifter: orange color, thin, persistent foam. Aroma suggests an aged ale, but this is a 2016 brew. I very much like the flavor for the style, minimal heat for the ABV. Licorice is noticeable.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber dated 2/12/14 into a goblet (side by side with 2015 Extra Hoppy).

Look: light amber, with a dense head that fades quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell: amazing brandy aromas—jam, alcohol heat, mild dark chocolate.

Taste: much the same. A hint of harsh bitterness keeps this from being phenomenal.

Feel: pretty thick, but good carb keeps it very drinkable.

Overall: this is a really good beer. I'd have no problem believing it was brandy barrel aged. I will definitely be stocking up on this going forward, and drinking with 2 (or more) years on it.

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Photo of gandres
4.49/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From growler to wine glass
Appearance: Brown hazy no head/lacing
Aroma: Strong aroma of toasted grains, not boozy even at 11 ABV
Taste: excellent, Bitter with strong sweetness
Mouthfeel: very good
Overall: Excellent beer, something to look forward to
Drank February 12, 2016

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Photo of the_awesometeer
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2015 Release:

Cloudy dark caramel coloring with a thick rocky head that laces the glass. Sweet aroma of honey, malts, and hops. Thicker mouth feel with a ting of alcohol at the end. The taste is starts of sweet malts and fades in to a small bite of hops and alcohol.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage. Enjoyed as my first beer of 2016.

Comes in a slightly hazy, dark amber color with a finger of beige head.

The aroma is ripe with dark fruits and complex malts. Cherry, vanilla, caramel, pine, molasses, apricot, plum, and raisin.
Up front you get candy sweet malt flavors of caramel, molasses, baked bread, and brown sugar, followed a wallop of brandy-soaked cherries, figs, plums, raisins, and vanilla. It's like a boozy gingerbread cake. On the finish you get earth, grapefruit, orange, lemon, apricot, pineapple, and pine, and then grapefruit and pine linger long after the finish.

This beer is full-bodied, sticky, and yet smooth, with the perfect amount of carbonation.

This beer is freaking delicious. It drinks way too easy for 11.2% abv, and every sip is pleasure and destroys the palate with a medley of flavors. Another winner from Stone and a motivation to drink more barleywine!

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Photo of scotorum
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

STONE OLD GUARDIAN BARLEYWINE 12/15/15

2014 issue cellared for a few days over one year.

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip

a: Nearly clear copper with a finger thick offwhite head which receded to thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Light ripe fruit and caramel malt.

t; Rich caramel malt followed by a moderate bite of hops and alcohol. Somewhat bitter finish and light throat burn.

m: Full, great body and good carbonation tingle.

o: A powerfully fine brew especially for fall and winter. Mainly smooth, tasty and satisfying.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a snifter.
The appearance was a dark amber color with a little cap of a white head that dissipates at a nice pace. Lacing was mostly messy and sliding into the beer.
The smell starts off with a classic sweet caramel goodness sliding into mellow citrus and earthy hops. Barely a touch of "tobacco" slyly moves in underneath.
The taste was moderately sweet yet drawing on the subtle dry to earthy tobacco flavor to balance. There's a semi-sticky light little caramel aftertaste leading into a nice finish.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied. Its a great sipper on a chilly Autumn night with a slight dry bitter harshness hitting my tongue nicely.
Overall, English Barleywine or American Barleywine, well, let's just say, it's a damn good barleywine and call it even. Sure glad I have another bottle for Winter.

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Photo of DuffDaddy
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bomber from ABC - man, this was a mouthful. It's a 2014 vintage so it's been cellared for a while, but nonetheless had tons of flavor and tons of alcohol.

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Photo of bgold86
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage, poured into a 12 ounce snifter. Pours a dark orange, slight oxidation, tons of apricot and peach on the nose. Taste is amazing rich and full, tons of mid-range color fruit, thick mouth-feel, wish I had more than one bottle...

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours copper with a large head.
Nose shows golden syrup, spicy and resinous hops, honey and caramel.
Similar flavours: honey, resinous and spicy hops and a massive aggressive bitterness.

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Photo of Ellis1701
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I usually hate barley wines...but this one is really excellent. I think what makes it so tasty is that Stone tends to heavily hop their beers, and the hop bite in Old Guardian that offsets the sweetness that usually makes barley wine style beers among my least favorites. I go back to this one again and again...something I've not done with ANY other barley wine.

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Photo of entenduintransit
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2015 classic release. 11.2% ABV. Really tasty stuff. Hoppy and easy drinking for a barleywine. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a good sipping beer.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Growler into pint glass. 2013 release (and yes, I trust State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD in this regard). Clear, dark amber with a thin, off-white head that dissipates rapidly....
But enough of this visual crap. You want to know what it tastes like, right? OMFG. This is exceptionally good! Maltiness vs hops (a draw); sweetness vs bitterness (another draw); big, thick, chewy mouthfeel that isn't syrupy but is reeeeeeally smooth. ABV is (too?) well hidden - it drinks like an 8 percenter, but it definitely packs a punch.
This is good stuff. Get you some.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle

Bright ruby orange with a tan head.

Smells sort of musty and hoppy with sweet caramel/toffeeand rock candy sugars.

Still considerably hoppy. Pretty herbal/green and sharp. Balanced pretty well by the sweet malt base that has quite a bit of carmalized sugars. Tastes like a fig newton and the toffee flavors are so strong that it comes across like chocolate a little bit.

A tad astringent, but a very nice American Barleywine overall. I think that I like this one more than a 2 year old Bigfoot.

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.