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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,625 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,625
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 44
Gots: 356 | FT: 30
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: 1,625 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rudabegga9
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of DC_Brah
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of rwilde
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Buckeyes1
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of richj1970
4.36/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Today I was able to compare a 2012 release bottle. No date, but by definition should be at least one year older than my previous review. The main difference in this bottle is that the alcohol heat has dissipated quite nicely, and perhaps the sweetness is a bit more prominent. Both bottles are amount my favorite barley wines.

Original review:

Poured from 22 oz bottle into tulip glass. 2013 classic release bottled on 1/16/2013.

A: Pours a golden orange almost brown color with nice 2 finger off white head with nice lacing.

S: Sweet caramel and malts mixed with some citrus and dark fruits.

T: Big on malts and caramels. Nice sweetness mixed with some spiciness. Nice roasty flavors. Oak and other earthy tones present. A little bit boozy, but I suspect this will tame some with time.

M: Nicely carbonated for an 11% brew. Nice body. Not overly thick.

O: A very nice barley wine. Surprisingly easy to drink and the alcohol sneaks up on you. I need to pick up another bottle and let it age some...

Photo of david18
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of BayouBengal1537
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Denzo
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of moarmare
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of magnusdave
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of rrski198
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of BastardKing24
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My 50th review, and on Christmas! woot! one of my all time joys of a beer, very first barleywine I ever had. This beer was my gatewqay to stronger beers. I can still remember the day I had it, drinking it out of the bottle (many years ago I did this) and thinking how bitter it was and how complex I thought it tasted.

A - a lovely deep red color with a small head that falls to a ring and lacing. Sticks around for a bit. Looks rather sticky. Bubbles are present ascending in the body.

S - I get big caramel malt smells and hops. Citrus, leather, biscuit, pine, although not as big a nose as some other barleywines I've had.

T - Big sweetness hits you in the face, then an assault of bitter hops glides through the profile and ends with a slightly sweet yet bitter aftertaste. Orange zest, ripe fruits, candied mango, dates, and brown sugar. The flavor changes through the taste, and is a little in your face, this being 2013 and 6 months old. Its balanced yet has sufficient polarized flavors to keep you interested at this age of the beer. I have had this aged for 2 years and its much more mellow and rounded out in terms of the sweetness and bitterness.

M - Great feel to this one, its medium carbonation keeps your taste buds tickling, and leaves a long finish of hops and malt.

O - I like this beer alot for the price and wish I could find it more often here in Oregon. It's around but have to seek it out.

Photo of jaemeno3
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Nordbier
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of crowbar540
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Weimaraner
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Stone Old Guardian Barleywine Style Ale, 2013 classic release.

Glass: 18 oz working man's glass. Works well with porters, stouts, and when goblets or steins are needed and missing.

Appearance: Dark Amber with a small 1/4 inch head reflecting a slightly lighter color. Nice lacing evident and sticking to the glass 30 minutes after. I appreciate that. Low carbonation.

Smell: Maltiness and hops to the front. Some toffee and a little citrus. Subdued alcohol. Complex nose to sort through after the malt and hops. Pleasant overall making you curious enough that you want to repeat the process.

Taste: A grand malt entrance that is escorted by a strong hoppiness. Hops are nearly over the top at this age. Mind you, the hops are NOT over the top, but close. Some bitterness though not unpleasant. The alcohol is not omnipresent. Overall taste is very good.

Mouthfeel: Thick, smooth, slightly dry but not astringent in the least. Fills and coats but doesn't linger. Swish again, same result with some lip smacking. Why the lip smacking? Because I like to do so on the second taste.

Overall Opinion: Barley wines are one of my favored styles. This one is a young barley wine ale. Impetuous due to youth and an abundance of hops. Lacks the smooth grace and characteristics that come with age. I would hope for the hops to diminish somewhat being tamed in company of the malts and rendered obedient over a time. Maybe it does happen that way...maybe it doesn't. The alcohol reminds you that it is present for duty during the course of sipping. No need to yell, "WHOA!" as it is just warms the cheeks after a while. This is not an unpleasant ale at this time. However, I don't believe that is will reach its prime for a while. Must your pair it with a meal or appetizer for it to be a suitable quaff? No. It is good enough by itself, right now. Most importantly, is this an ale that I would do again....Yes.

Photo of Beerswag
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
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 KennethPowers
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of WVUbrew
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of StevenLaValley
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of muskiesman
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of maltlikker
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Grinky
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of brureview
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.

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,625 ratings.