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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
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Ratings: 1,232 | Reviews: 199 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Size able head. Leaves ample blanketing lace. Cloudy amber to brown color where light passes in a murky way.

Sweet malt sugar nose. It smells like pre-hopped, pre-fermented batch of home brew. Some alcohol in the background.

Rich, thick and full of caramel. This could probably go well on top of vanilla ice cream. There's enough hop to prevent this from becoming cloyingly sweet. It's surprisingly easy to drink despite the 11% abv. The mouthfeel is chewy.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2014 20:13:16 | More by smcolw
Photo of RyanCave
RyanCave

Oregon

3.95/5  rDev -1%
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

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2014 00:39:38 | More by RyanCave
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Stone Old Guardian glass. This beer is best served at 55F to bring the hops, toffee, and alcohol finish.

The beer poured a tea color with a 1F head. The aroma was evident without holding the glass close: toffee and some alcohol.

The mouth feel, as expected, was very carbonated- the higher serving temp brings out the hoppiness and alcohol.

The taste is similar to other American Barleywines: toffee, big hops, and a strong alcoholic finish.
Comparing this beer to a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot- while similar to the Bigfoot in hops, toffee, and alcoholic finish- the Bigfoot seems more balanced and has more fruit in the taste.

Overall- this is a BIG beer. Best tasted at warmer temps- cellar temp to bring the hops and alcoholic finish. I wanted to taste more fruit- but the hops and alcoholic finish were too prominent.

This is an excellent beer for the style.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2013 03:19:05 | More by brureview
Photo of TastyAdventure
TastyAdventure

Kentucky

3.44/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on tap. (sure glad i didn't buy a bomber just to try it out!

A - nice shining caramel color. nice head.

S - Hops.

T - too much hops for a barleywine in my opinion. But maybe it's not the amount of hops so much as the lack of malty sweetness rich flavor to balance. While I'm sure there are plenty of malts, as the gravity is so high, maybe they should have included more malts that would have contributed more Flavor to balance, keeping in mind they would add a elephant load of hops, as can be expected from Stone. This is just my opinion, as I'm not a hop-head.

I did enjoy Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot, and they are notorious/famous for overusing hops, but I think they had a better handle on how to construct a Barleywine.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2013 01:30:08 | More by TastyAdventure
Photo of Mavigo
Mavigo

Michigan

4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Got this off tap at crunchys in east lansing. served in a snifter.

A: pours a fine clear ruby orange color with a short beige head that dissipates fast leaving a thin remanant that lasts the whole way. medium amounts of lacing too.

S: thick, wafty aroma. barley, yeast, malts, bourbon, caramel, brown sugars, hops, booze

T: woooo. strong flavor. wheat, barley, bourbon, yeast, caramel, woody, very bitter, hoppy, strong kick of booze.

M: rich full body with lower amounts of carbonation, a slow sipper fore sure. bitter, hoppy, booze after taste.

O: sheet. crazy strong. Crazy good.pricey but id recommend it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2013 22:27:50 | More by Mavigo
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From 06/17/13 notes. 2010 vintage on tap at Pony Bar on the UES in NYC. 8 oz. pour, side by side with the oak and smoke version.

a - Pours a hazy amber brown color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Leaves some light lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of caramel malts, toffee, toasted malts, molasses, sugar, dark fruits, and bready malts. Very nice nose, loads of caramel and fruits, but not too sweet. I like it a lot.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, sweet dark fruits, toasted malts, sugar, molasses, bread, burnt malts, earthy notes. Taste has a little more dark fruity malts and is a little bit sweeter. Like the nose a little bit better.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, body is very smooth and creamy. Doesn't feel like 11% ABV at all.

o - Overall I liekd this a lot; I think it has aged really well. I've had it freshed and thought it was fine, but think 3 years on it has definitely improved it. Super smooth and easy to drink and a ton of caramel in the nose. Will probably pick up a bottle and store it away for a while now.

Serving type: on-tap

06-18-2013 14:51:51 | More by mdfb79
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 BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft into snifter at Yard House in San Diego, Calif., on July 28, 2012. Three fingers of head when I got it. Mahogany brown color. Thick white foam/lacing. Good retention all around (sides and top).

Smelled caramel, light chocolate, rye and nuts.

Tasted nutty, toffee, caramel. Very malty. So smooth.

Full body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long lasting smooth finish.

Absolutely loved this beer. Very malty, but it worked. So smooth and a great aftertaste.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2012 22:01:42 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of kemoarps
kemoarps

Missouri

4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So the bar im at has a tap labelled as the verticle epic 11.11.11, but in reality it was old guardian. Initially i was disappointed by this fact. Then i had a pint.

Pours a beautiful deep amber. Nice off white head leaving plenty of lacing down the glass.

The nose shows off a rich sweetness, almost a deep apiaryfresh- honey backbone with a hint of citrusy hops somewhere in the body.

The taste follows the blueprint laid ojt by the nose fairly closely, presenting a honey sweetness up front balanced with citrus and finish featuring some hop bitterness and the warming presence of the eleven percent.

Quite drinkable for the glass-of-wine level alcohol. Appropriately carbonated and smoothe and arming otherwise. If i had to use a childhood book to describe my beers, this one would be, 'the velveteen rabbit' (man i love that book). Definitely worth trying if you are lucky enough to find it in your town.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2012 02:58:16 | More by kemoarps
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured dark brown and hazy. Head was minimal. Not much light penetration but this beer was blatantly brown and didn't tiptoe on the realm of blackness.

S-I was expecting more punch from the aroma. There was booze, a bunch of concentrated sweetness and some bitterness which was subtle. Dark fruits. Not very impressed by the nose.

T-The bittering hoppiness comes out more on the tongue. The hops lend much bitterness but are not very complex and do not leave much hop-derived flavor complexity. There is plenty of booze (although shaded in decently enough), and dark fruits laced in rich caramel.

M-Big body. Mellow carbonation. Bitterness lasts. Somewhat slick. A rich feel.

O/D-Full pint glass of this came in at $3.50 so I cannot complain about the price, but I was not satisfied with this beer. Most of Stone's brews are great but this one didn't hit the same spot for me. Still a nice juggernaut beer for a great price-per-fill.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2012 04:14:42 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of JTSbeerislife
JTSbeerislife

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at the Fridge

Poured into a small flared mouth snifter. An acceptable glass.

Pours a rather thin head which rapidly reduces to nothing. A swirl of the glass brings everything back to life.
Beautiful reddish amber color.

Big aroma of malt and yeast, followed by citrus and pine hops. Quite fine and extremely enjoyable.

Very full, crisp, bitter hop dominated entry on the palate. There is a lot of delicious rich malt.
Very full mouth feel with perfect light carbonation.
Slightly sweet but not overdone considering the amount of hops and malt present. Balanced.

Very, very long finish of hop dominated malt. The hop oils last forever. Trademark Stone’s.

An exceptionally delicious Barleywine. In the top tier along with Sierra Nevada Bigfoot and Troegs Flying Mouflan. Lots of distinct hops and balanced malt make for a highly drinkable brew.

Highly recommended!

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2012 01:29:57 | More by JTSbeerislife
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 StoneTSR
StoneTSR

Colorado

3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: Poured into an oversize snifter at Freshcraft in Denver. The head was huge on my 8 oz. pour and it stuck around for a while. The color was a little on the lighter side than the typical Barleywine, but it was still mahogany. Some spotty lacing clung to the backside of the glass.

SMELL: Tons of banana and some sweet maltiness. A little sugar cane and some breadiness come through as well.

TASTE: Bread, banana and dark fruit up front with a warming estery heat at the finish. A little pine and some lemon and grassy bitterness tie everything together.

MOUTHFEEL: Rich and bold up front, but thinning towards the end. Creamy and without much sparkle.

OVERALL: The Old Guardian is a solid beer fresh, but it seems designed to age. The bitterness and heat is a bit strong, but in two, three years this is going to be spectacular.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2012 07:40:19 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-03-08 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge

A - Pretty clear mahogany with 1/4-finger off-white head and light lacing.

S - Mild dark fruit, brown bread and hop floral. Not very strong.

T - Rich malt body with some caramel, raisin, earthy spice, touch of pepper, pine, grapefruit juice and rind. Fairly sweet but the alcohol helps to balance this. Aftertaste remains sweet, peppery, very spicy with lots of rind bitterness. I like the flavor.

M - Medium-heavy body and light-medium carbonation. Prickly and lightly oily.

O - Very good. Plenty of interesting flavors. Reminds me of a triple IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2012 18:19:09 | More by Tucquan
Photo of 44Stone
44Stone

Missouri

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 9oz Brandy Snifter. Pours Dark Copper with a light tan foamy head. Excellent lacing and body.

Smells of softened dry fruit and honey with a nice earthy hop aroma. Very inviting.

Tastes like it smells; beautiful malty sweetness, more than I remember from last year's version (although we just tried last year's bottle from the cellar and the hops of course mellowed a bit). The hops are defintely present but not as forward as past versions, in a good way. It takes a little warmth to develop but worth the wait. Excellent balance and dangerously drinkable.

Overall, probably my favorite Un-aged version of Old Guardian. I lean towards the English style for Barleywines, and this one satisfies until the end. A must-try.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2012 02:20:08 | More by 44Stone
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured into an Old Guardian glass.
11.6% ABV, 2014 release, bottled 01/24/14, best cellared at or below 55°F

A - Light easily shines through this crystal clear, bright amber brew giving it one hell of an appeal. If that weren't enough, the ivory cap of foam that rests on the beer lingers for quite some time, leaving lacing on the glass for good measure.

S - Melted caramel sweetness coats heaps of cut-off bread crusts and toast with peanut brittle cooling in the background but this barleywine isn't without it's fair share of hops. The green cones impart a balancing piny bitterness that recalls tree sap as well as sharp grapefruit rind before warming alcohol gently tickles the nostrils as it passes through.

T - Like the aroma foreshadows, Old Guardian is hoppy but malt-forward, laying down a nice level of malty sweetness on the tongue. The rich bready characteristics offer toast and bread crust flavors that absorb and retain the hop-driven earthy pine sap notes like being dunked in hop tea.

M - The first few sips of Old Guardian coat the tongue in sweet malt and breadiness but it's not long before the hops catch up and sharpy attack the tongue with bitterness. This balance is key should Old Guardian remain drinkable beyond a few sips, which it sure does. Even fresh, the higher level of alcohol never becomes cloying or boozy but instead warms the throat and stomach upon the swallow - putting the perfect kibash on the brew.

O - Behind Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot, Stone's Old Guardian is one of the most iconic barleywines the States has to offer. Like most of Stone's brews, this beast is big and bold while offering deep malt and hop complexities that mingle wonderfully for a balanced and drinkable brew fresh but one that easily ages with the best of 'em which I've put to the test time and again.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 23:36:41 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of Dave1999
Dave1999

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle.

The appearance is a dark amber with a nice white head.

The smell is sweet, caramel, toffee and peppery spices. There's a little bit of alcohol as well.

The taste is sweet up, caramel and toffee like the smell, it finishes very bitter, with some pine and some citrus.

The mouthfeel is smooth and sticky with medium carbonation.

A very nice barley wine, very bitter for the style but still delicious as expected from stone.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 00:54:10 | More by Dave1999
Photo of Bosoxfan20
Bosoxfan20

Missouri

3.54/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Clean ruby with red and brown accents. An off-white head that seems to never go away. Great staying power at this abv. Impressive looking

S- Not nearly as hoppy as expected. Expected Stone to get after it in that department. Earthy, chocolaty, and malty. Some toffee and caramel.

T- Hops rear their head here. Some fruity esters also blend with the rich malty profile in the nose. Toasted bread. Harsh, bitter finish. Runs a little hot as you can tell its pretty green. Somewhat medicinal. Could be a touch of mint I'm getting too.

F- Rich, lighter side of full body, creamy, low carbonation. Alcohol quite present.

O- Certainly one to set in the back of the cellar for a while. Difficult to rate at this point, but I will give it another go in a year or so. It has a chance to be special, but bold flavors just haven't come together quite yet.

$6 for a 22oz bottle.
Bottled 1/21/14

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 03:51:58 | More by Bosoxfan20
Photo of ONovoMexicano
ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 version poured from the bomber into a snifter.

I like the healthy glug-glug sound as this pours into the snifter. I'm impressed by the heavy carbonation this beer shows and the finger-thick, fluffy white head that forms. The beer's got a light amber color and some transparency to it. As I take the time to write some notes, the head shows some excellent persistence.

Taking a whiff, I was expecting a blast of hop, being that it's Stone, but I instead got a pungent sweetness. Caramel and toffee notes are very pronounced. There is a hint of some piney hops, but they're playing second fiddle here.

Sweetness continues on the tongue. I get a lot of caramel up front, followed by a piney hop finish. There's a good malt presence and it gives the beer a creamy quality that helps dumb down the mild heat of the booze. At the finish, the beer is remarkably bitter and dry.

I'm pretty impressed by how this is drinking fresh. Most folks cite Bigfoot as a drink fresh barleywine and I agree, but this one deserves more mention. I'll have to buy another to age and see how it changes from this review. Looking forward to it.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 03:49:04 | More by ONovoMexicano
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 goochpunch
goochpunch

Texas

4.56/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Version.

Pours out a rusty, orangey red with a thin, almost not there head. Smells of caramel, dates, toasty malts, and citrus/pine sap from the hops. I pick up some booze as well. Taste is maltier than some versions from other years. Sticky dates and golden raisins. Citrus and earthy hops towards the finish. Aftertaste is like citrus peel candy. Not too much bitterness or alcohol burn compared to last year's. Mouthfeel is sticky, mouth-coating, and has low carbonation. They did a great job with Old Guardian this year, which has always been a hit-or-miss barleywine, depending on the year. I might have to get a few more bottles than I'd planned to drink more of it fresh, instead of putting it away to age.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 01:30:00 | More by goochpunch
Photo of titty_mcbitty
titty_mcbitty

Texas

4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

A: Burgundy red and brown with a slight tan-reddish head. A bit foggy.

S: Hops definitely, barley, sweetness, and malt.

T: Hops, brown sugar and cherry oak. Burnt molasses, some nuts, orange peel, old dates/raisins, caramel, syrup, sour dough, and a big malt bill. Very very nice.

M: So perfect. Thick and creamy. Some of that rough velvet feel.

O: An excellent brew. Next up is the oaked version! The complexity of this beer astounds me. The flavor takes you on an adventure from bitter hoppiness to sweet candy to thick malt. It's an awesome barley wine.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 01:52:11 | More by titty_mcbitty
Photo of yuenglingfan101
yuenglingfan101

Indiana

4.93/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured into my trusty pint glass. A strong copper look with little head. Smells of barley of course and taste of strong barley and hops. Goes down fairly easy. Overall a great beer and btw I had the 2014 realease of this beer. so enjoy this delicous treat

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 20:37:04 | More by yuenglingfan101
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep, mostly clear beer, this Barleywine flares out from the middle, flaming orange-red in the middle with molten copper-gold further out from the center. It has a tan-grey head, pretty dense, that reaches one finger. Retention is good, and lacing is patchy while being deposited plentifully on the glass.
Being a Barleywine, if it's well done it's bound to have depth and a complexity of smells and flavors, not to mention strength. It does have all those things. It's a mix of sweet, boozy, malty and hoppy. Brown sugar and notes of something like molasses combine with a bit more sweetness from caramel malts and bread. There's some citrus likely attributable to the hops, which mostly add a floral note at the back of the tongue. There's a bit of spiciness all the way through, and an unusual element added by something not quite briny. Esters and yeast, contributing some hay-like earth and lots of dark fruits, ride it out from front to back.
The body is medium-full with a certain richness to it, crispness up front continuing into a nippy sort of smoothness as the beer takes enough dryness for a semi-dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 19:27:17 | More by Brenden
Photo of santomark
santomark

California

4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Poured this caramel, orange, redish, colored body. Less than 1" finger head. Nice lacing though.

S - Upfront there's this smell of molasses, caramel sugar sweetness, malty, big malt presence, bready, little to no hops, a bit of a pine.

T - A bit of bit from the abv which is the malt, there's no hiding this. Followed with this sweet spiciness. It is very unique, can't really describe.

M - Very heavy body, I stay away from using syrupy or thick, this is just a heavy body. Carbonation is up there, to the point of spiciness.

O - I like this, but I prefer the Oaked Smoked version of this. The oak mellows it out, this is it's out of control sister. It's still a great beer, and I will have it again. This beer is Beer Gone Wild.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 10:06:22 | More by santomark
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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,232 ratings.