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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

1,521 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,521
Reviews: 214
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 42
Gots: 334 | FT: 26
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,521 | Reviews: 214 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JustinQ
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from 22 oz bottle into Snifter Glass

Appearence: Clear, Burgundy color, Nice head, Beautiful Beer

Aroma: Grapefruit, Some citrus, Hops, Good yeast character

Taste: Hops, Good bitterness, Bitter grapefruit, long hop dryness, No alcohol. Residual Sweetness +1

Mouthfeel: Good co2, Dry, Crisp, Warming

Overall: Great Beer, Should grab another one for the cellar.

JustinQ, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of WritersBlock
4/5  rDev +0.3%

WritersBlock, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of SIEVS
2/5  rDev -49.9%

SIEVS, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of BEERMILER12
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle

A: Pours a light brownish/amber color with about a half inch of head

S: Lots of malts and hops, some alcohol. Pretty standard fare for the American barleywine, aside from the big dose of hops that Stone is known for

T: Follows the nose with a big dose of hops at first and then a transition to the malts and alcohol. The alcohol isn't too hot and leaves some nice peppery and fruity notes on the tongue that work well with the bitterness of the hops that return for the finish

M: Medium-full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Slick from the hops

O: Still one of my top 5 American barleywines, although I still feel this is best with at least a year on it. Even though this isn't too hot or overbearing right now, the smoothness and complexity take a turn for the better after aging. Get a few bottles, drink one now and lay the others down. You'll be glad you did

BEERMILER12, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of JTSbeerislife
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!

JTSbeerislife, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of bona2vada
4/5  rDev +0.3%

bona2vada, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of vic21234
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. Pulled from the fridge and left at room temperature for about fifteen minutes. 2012 Release

A- Pours a cloudy dark amber color. Initially a finger's worth of an off-white head dissipates to about a half fingers worth. Lots of lacing along the sides of the glass.

S- Smells sweet and of light fruits. A slight caramel smell is apparent as well. The alcohol is noticeable in the aroma.

T- Initial taste is rather sweet, with caramel malt notes. It then moves to the hop character, with a nice bitter, dry finish.

M- Medium bodied, dry. The alcohol is noticeable but not as much as one would think with 11%ABV.

I now have the 2008-2012 Old Guardian Vertical in my cellar. A great example of an American Barleywine, and the new hop characters are great.

vic21234, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of BWED
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.

BWED, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Rogue pint glass.

A: Dark and very clear amber, a slowly forming half-finger eggshell-colored head dissipates but is easily revived...traces of alcohol feet on the glass.

S: More malt than I was expecting; toffee and buttered toast, butterscotch, grains...yeast esters and light fruity notes, spicy hops with a touch of earthiness, faint citrus zest.

T: Lots of sugary and sweet caramel and toffee malts. Reminds me of an English Strong Ale or English-style Barleywine, though there are some citrus notes and spiced characters from the hops. There is some alcohol heat present on the finish and a slight burn. Finishes like a rum or hard alcohol in a way.

As it warms the spice notes and hop flavors increase, with herb-like zesty citrus fruit flavors.

MF: Medium, chewy and viscous. Dry finish.

O: Didn't dig it as much as I thought I would, thought this offering would be more hop-forward than it was (closer to a Bigfoot). Right now it is a lot like Alaskan's offering, and a bit like Cockeyed Cooper (without the barrel), though I like both of those beers better.

Scotchboy, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of HoistinBrews
4/5  rDev +0.3%

HoistinBrews, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of sukwonee
4/5  rDev +0.3%

sukwonee, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of Ironcityhooligan
1/5  rDev -74.9%

Ironcityhooligan, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of Murrhey
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Thin khaki head with decent retention. Light caramel brown color with awesome clarity.

S- Barley and some booziness to it. A light sweetness with some caramel notes.

T- Strongly bitter in the first sip, the barley and grains are very present. Some bourbon sort of booziness.

M- Winey body, light and smooth.

O- Good overall. Not my favorite, but tasty and drinkable. Also boozy.

Murrhey, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of StoneTSR
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.

StoneTSR, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of Farky87
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Farky87, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of SawDog505
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.

SawDog505, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of Ajlvt
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Ajlvt, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of Tucquan
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.

Tucquan, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of jaidenjb
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

jaidenjb, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of herman77
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark clear amber/dark copper with a fairly large off white head that dies down after a bit. Awesome lacing.

S: Lots of bready malt. Toffee and a bit of carmel malt too. Pine hops and a bit of grapefruit in the mix as well.

T: Tons and tons of deep carmel malt and toffee. Caramelized sugar. There is a good dose of pine hops. It's got that classic stone hop profile taste that's intense and in your face, but the malt is stronger than the hops in this one. Some lingering hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium body. Smooth and moderate carbonation.

O: Nice. I thought it would be a lot hoppier having had a decent amount of Stone's stuff, but the malt is center stage here. I like it, but if remember, it seems a lot like Double Bastard.

herman77, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of kennylopez
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 22oz bottle into a mini snifter

Appearance: a clear reddish amber color with a fine white head and slight retention and a spot or two of lacing

Smells: there is a sweet dark fruit that blends with the big hops and barley notes.

Tastes: a cherry and plum come through the bitter pine hops that merge and balance wonderfully with a generous barley bill I truly adore.

Mouthfeel: at 11% this is a lightly carbonated ale with and sweet aftertaste after the bitter floral hops bite.

Overall: Every year Stone lets this out around Feb. by me and I always enjoy it. this year I picked up six and after cracking the first one I remember why for the past three years I go back out grabbing as much as I can before its gone.

kennylopez, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of redfacedshooter
3.75/5  rDev -6%

redfacedshooter, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of eawolff99
4/5  rDev +0.3%

eawolff99, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
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.

dbrauneis, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of AJD1201
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

AJD1201, Mar 08, 2012
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,521 ratings.