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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,648 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,648
Reviews: 226
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 44
Gots: 363 | FT: 31
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: smerrell on 02-18-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,648 | Reviews: 226 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Piddmeista
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of tommy5
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of sudsy2drunk
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of JMBSH
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of jaybrough
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Kuaff
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A 2012 bottle of Old Guardian, served to myself at cellar temperature in a snifter.

A pour of this stuff creates a beautiful, beige, two-finger frothy head that sticks around stubbornly. Also beautiful is the clarity and color of the deep-ruby, sort of mahogany body. Good lacing, too. An astounding appearance.

It smells sublime. It's an aroma of caramel, spicy hops, leather, ripe red apples, grape juice, and dark fruits. POWERFUL dark fruits. Prunes and raisins are pretty apparent. Maybe a hint of vanilla or bourbon, but not in a boozy way.

The taste is... phenominal. It's like potent hops soaked in caramel and dark fruit extracts. As it should be with a Stone beer, this has astringent, bitter and piny hoppiness, but not immediately. At the beginning of a sip, a sweet, luscious brandy character mixes with those awesome dark fruits. This sweetness then fades fantastically into a finish full of the deliciously dry, bitter hops. No alcohol in the taste. This barleywine is mellow and smooth.

Great feel. Somewhat thick with mild carbonation. It lets all the flavor complexities come through wonderfully.

This barleywine rules, dudes.

Photo of damienblack
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of cjgiant
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Had to go a little strange on the rating in this case due to the fact I agree with the odd review here that this is not a barleywine style of beer. Given the ABV, it's and Imperial IPA.

Given that, I enjoyed the beer a lot, it had classic Stone high-hop dryness in the mouthfeel with a touch of maltiness. However, I don't think it fits the style, as the hops overwhelms the flavor, and I don't believe that should be.

A: cloudy red with nothing special in head or lacing (normal)
S: earthy with some plum notes
T/M: caramel or butterscotch on the malts, helped by the hops and carbonation, the hops draw present throughout, and as the beer warms a little, the malt seems to hang around a little longer
O: as stated above, am not sure it fits the style (and rated down due to that), but if you enjoy Stone beers, don't skip thjs one and ignore the overall score.

Photo of lockewoodfin
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of TastyAdventure
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Photo of Yeti1979
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of jimmyjazzercise
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Svendozen
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of DustinSWB
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of damndirtyape
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Review #500! 22oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 release.

Appearance: Hazy dark amber. Light tan thin head. Lots and lots of persistent fine strand lacing all over the glass.

Smell: Orange citrus, alcohol notes, fruity esters, roasted malts, caramel.

Taste: Citrus hops right up front, the moving into a wide range of flavors: toffee, roasted malts, pine. Some alcohol heat noted. Lingering bitter finish with some malt sweetness thrown in. The finish had notes of pine and lemon, with the lemon being sharp as the beer warmed up.

Mouthfeel: Pleasantly thick, sticky, with just right carbonation under it all.

Overall / Drinkability: Overall, I think this needs to be paired with the right meal, which I didn't hit tonight, which was a barley, potato, and ditilini + vegetable broth soup. But, it's pretty damn good sipping slowly all by itself. I think this would pair better with beef and roasted vegetables. Despite the food mismatch this was quite tasty and dangerously drinkable. I knew it was 11.2% ABV going in, but one large snifter later I'm feeling the effects, and yet I want some more sips. The hoppiness of this Barleywine is just right - it's strong enough for a hophead, but not overpowering; it allows the malt to shine and compliment all the hop flavors. The lemon note was a nice touch with this one. This beer sat and aged for about ~8 months (or whenever it was bottled at the start of 2013), and I wonder how it would be with another 9-12 months but maybe the hop flavors would get too muted. In any case, I very good choice for my 500th beer review and I may pick up another version of this and let it sit longer next time.

Photo of oldsailor
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of mj81
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of DaswizDavid
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Amberluvsbeer
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of myuncle
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of kaneel
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of LPSteve
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of anhigdon
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of KVNBGRY
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,648 ratings.