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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,386 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,386
Reviews: 207
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 40
Gots: 298 | 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: 1,386 | Reviews: 207 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shelby415
shelby415

Oregon

3.75/5  rDev -6%

09-12-2013 06:00:49 | More by shelby415
Photo of david18
david18

New York

3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

12-29-2013 18:00:57 | More by david18
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. I don't buy a lot of Stone products anymore besides the 3 main seasonals (Double Bastard, Old Guardian, and IRS). Last year's Old Guardian was not very tasty, so I was hoping this year would have a return to form.

A: This is a rose-tinged maroon body capped with a fluffy, off-white head that leaves streaky lace webbing around the sides of the snifter. It's nice to look at.

S: Caramel malt, rose petals, grass, plum, toffee, and grapefruit. This is a welcome change from the over-malted recipe that 2011 presented; the hops are bright and hint at both flavor and bitterness in the taste.

T: Yep, I was right. This is incredibly, powerfully bitter; grassy hops lead the way, packed with tons of IBUs. Thankfully, the beer also uses some hop flavor instead of just bitterness. It has a floral presence of rose petals that works very well with Stone's signature citrus-driven profile. The malt backbone is firm, giving the beer plenty of caramel and toffee character throughout the taste.

M: The mouthfeel is quite hefty, as you'd expect from a beer of this gravity. It suppresses the booze and provides a firm grounding point for the bitterness and hoppy flavors to do their work. The booze is lightly noticeable, but pretty restrained overall.

O: This is substantially better than last year's recipe, which I found oddly malty. But it is also bruisingly bitter, so the pendulum has swung too far in the corrective direction. The price point in my area ($6) is very reasonable, so I'll probably buy one or two more, calorie budget permitting, before the hops drop off.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 22:48:13 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle

Appearance. Pours a murky burnt orange with almost two fingers of thick orange/off-white head.

Smell. Oranges, grapefruit, booze caramel and lemon with a little lightly toasted grains.

Taste. Burnt caramel, bitter oily pine sap, orange and grapefruit rinds, booze. Lots of lingering bitterness. Fairly sweet.

Mouthfeel. Full body with medium+ carbonation.

Overall. Crazy amount of hops in this one. I'll bet that in around 5 or so more years, when the bitterness and booze mellows a bit, this would be really nice. I'll have to grab another bottle to stash away and collect some serious dust.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2012 00:16:08 | More by Rutager
Photo of Chugs13
Chugs13

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +0.3%

09-18-2012 00:17:32 | More by Chugs13
Photo of aztraz
aztraz

Sweden

4/5  rDev +0.3%

03-21-2013 15:34:25 | More by aztraz
Photo of threedaggers
threedaggers

Kentucky

4/5  rDev +0.3%

01-21-2014 22:15:35 | More by threedaggers
Photo of kaelingirl
kaelingirl

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

04-16-2012 12:46:22 | More by kaelingirl
Photo of Brew33
Brew33

Ohio

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 BeerLover99
BeerLover99

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

04-30-2013 20:33:28 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of Falcone
Falcone

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

04-04-2012 01:31:47 | More by Falcone
Photo of Sparky44
Sparky44

Illinois

4/5  rDev +0.3%

03-23-2013 23:59:44 | More by Sparky44
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine in early March for $5.99. Bottled on 2/7/14.

Beer poured chestnut with a nice white head.

Nose is citrus booze with a big malt base.

Taste is zesty hops up front, big malt base, a bit uneven but tasty.

Mouthfeel is huge, full and smooth.

Overall this is quite a booze bomb, lively hops make things interesting. Looking back at prior Guardian reviews i can tell my palate has change as has the offerings out there. This is a good beer, worthy of a shot for the price. Give it a try if you like big hoppy beers.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2014 01:21:15 | More by arizcards
Photo of egrace84
egrace84

Illinois

4/5  rDev +0.3%

06-24-2013 03:55:01 | More by egrace84
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

09-22-2013 06:18:34 | More by jegross2
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

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

Poured from 750ml 2012 vintage bomber into a heavy chalice glass. Pours amber/orange appearance with a froth off-white head that slowly thins out into nice lacing throughout. Aroma portrays a clean hop bitterness with pine followed by raisin, a bit of toffee, and light sweet malt. Taste is clean hop bitterness and spots of pine followed by a strong bitterness with raisin, plum, and a bit of heat in the back finish. Mouthfeel is thin-bodied and crisp up front. A nice example of a barleywine, but a bit too hoppy (which exemplifies what Stone truly stands for in their beers).

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2012 19:11:43 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of JohneHoodlum
JohneHoodlum

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.3%

05-20-2012 03:22:31 | More by JohneHoodlum
Photo of GrindFatherBob
GrindFatherBob

New York

3/5  rDev -24.8%

06-13-2013 08:38:50 | More by GrindFatherBob
Photo of Durandal_777
Durandal_777

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

05-12-2014 22:23:19 | More by Durandal_777
Photo of Stinger80OH
Stinger80OH

Ohio

4/5  rDev +0.3%

07-10-2012 04:16:46 | More by Stinger80OH
Photo of Kopfschuss
Kopfschuss

Oregon

4/5  rDev +0.3%

08-16-2013 23:50:25 | More by Kopfschuss
Photo of hollywood_15063
hollywood_15063

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -6%

05-20-2013 04:30:15 | More by hollywood_15063
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with a friend this weekend. Poured into a wine glass.

Pours a hazy dark orange/amber, with a half inch fizzy head, and not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells like brown sugar, raisins, pine, citrus, booze, and brown sugar.

The taste is similar. A big hop blast up front, sticky pine resin and some citrusy grapefruit zest, followed by a big wave of sweet malt flavor- some brown sugar, caramel, toffee, raisin, and a spicy alcohol burn that is integrated into the flavor profile fairly well. The flavor combinations in the malt profile bring to mind candied plums and cinnamon raisin bread, it's awesome.

Medium bodied, sticky, boozy mouthfeel, drinkable despite the ABV. Low carbonation.

This was awesome, glad I finally got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2014 13:22:36 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of Adamostella
Adamostella

Washington

4/5  rDev +0.3%

10-25-2013 22:39:54 | More by Adamostella
Photo of SadMachine
SadMachine

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +0.3%

11-10-2012 17:40:29 | More by SadMachine
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,386 ratings.