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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

1,235 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1235
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,235 | Reviews: 199 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with 2+ fingers of tan head. Much sticky lacing, good lacing

S: Pine & grapefruit & much booze

T: Follows the nose, some pineapple, rich breadyness & dryness up front. Herbal hops, a touch of caramel & much dryness, plus grapefruit by the truckload & pinesap, plus a touch of booze warmth. Finishes piney with some herbal & woody hops

MF: Chewy as all get out, skews hoppy, but there's plenty of malt body there too, subtle moderate carbonation

Full fledged hop assault, this would be a great one to take the winter chill off, but is going down great on a spring evening. The ABV is fairly well hidden. A great American Barleywine for hopheads & the rest of us too!

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 01:41:55 | More by russpowell
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this is pretty much everything i like in a barleywine. pours clear dark red with a tall off white head that hangs around a bit before fading out. smells like caramel, sweet desserty malts, and an uncommonly hoppy character. flavor is huge, sweet up front like molasses and brown sugar, hoppy like a big ipa on the back end, bitter and resinous. flavors of vanilla, candied orange peel, and alcohol dance in between. feel is great, full bodied and very strong, especially when it warms up. mild carbonation, but not too little. this is a great evening sipper. overall an excellent barleywine, complicated but approachable. i would highly recommend this to any lover of strong ales.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 21:41:49 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of mjgarrett2
mjgarrett2

Maryland

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

2012 edition Old Guardian

A-Translucent copper color, delicate head like with most barleywines.

S-Extraordinarily enticing: not sure if it is the spices or the malts but a very elegant aroma.

T-Well spiced and a bit tart. Excellent balance (no bite from the alcohol) if a bit bitter on the back end.

M-Great, nothing to complain about.

O-Nothing in particular jumps out at you but I couldn't be happier sipping and enjoying this. Seems a little unremarkable yet I would judge all other barleywines by how well they compare to this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 00:34:02 | More by mjgarrett2
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 edition, picked up in Knightly Spirits Orlando, and survived the trip back to Canada.

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Nice deep copper ruby hue, with about a half inch head from the pour. Settles into a thick ring.

Nose is classic barleywine: malt heavy, good sweetness, a bit of bread, fruit and light citric hops.

Good take on the style: sweet malt, bread, fruit, grape a dry boozy finish. This brew felt a bit hot - a few months of cellaring would have done well, but it is certainly quite enjoyable as is. Carbonation is sharp, mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly sticky.

Nice barleywine, though nothing to stop the presses over. Worth holding on to if you can pick up one or two at any rate!

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2012 03:17:29 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of davewlfpckfan29
davewlfpckfan29

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Guardian 2012!

This is the second Old Guardian that I have tried. I had an aged 2010 Old Guardian on tap a couple weeks ago.

This seems to be a great example of a barley wine. Stone does it very well (as they do with any beer they make).

Barley wine really has a unique taste that is hard for me to describe. The tastes I can identify are fruits, lots of them:
Raisins, citrus too. And a brown sugar kind of taste.

My cousin and I agree that this is very comparable to Bigfoot.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 17:59:37 | More by davewlfpckfan29
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver

California

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

A: pours a light brown that is slightly red with a dense two finger off white head
S: smells of toffee and caramel along with some herbal and slightly citrusy hops
T: hops on the front with that herbal flavor followed by some caramel and toffee noes. A little back and forth takes place between the two sides. there is the occasional burst of citrus flavor and the swallow brings a bit of alcohol, more resinous earthy hops and a bit of sweetness to finish things off as it all fades away
M: medium bodied with adequate carbonation, a little viscous but not overly so
O: it's good but it needs some time to mellow. Nothing extraordinary but another well crafted beer from Stone. I might have to buy another couple bottles to cellar. I have one put away right now but it seems lonely.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 10:36:30 | More by SHODriver
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crisp copper without a bit of beading. Soft, loose, sticky head. Perfect lacing.

Strong nose - caramel, toffee, raisin, booze, candied sugar, molasses, complex. Translates well to the tongue.

Bitter, boozy start on the tongue which then moves through numerous waves of goodness. Quite nice. Everything in the nose finds a home somewhere in the taste.

Not too easy going down, but it's lovely to sip slowly and savor.

Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 01:14:58 | More by yamar68
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

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

I had been anticipating this one for a while. It pours a nice ruddy orange color with a really good head (maybe I poured too fast). The smell is not very strong. The taste is average barleywine and alcohol. This is the first Stone beer that has ever disappointed me. it wasn’t bad but I always expect to be blown away by Stone seasonal beers (I usually am). The alcohol was pretty noticeable but I think in a year or two this one will be awesome. I plan on picking up a case for aging purposes. Update: 06/2007: This tastes much, much better after having six months behind it. I have to adjust my review accordingly because the flavors really made me smile this time.

Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 01-29-2007 23:16:39

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 00:32:19 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of Hoptometrist
Hoptometrist

Oregon

3.3/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from the bottle into a tulip glass

A- Poured a very clear and dark ruby/mahogany color with a three finger soapy head that left some minimal lace

S- Big sweet sweet caramel, grapefruit, big breadiness, pungent aroma, molasses, and some hay funk

T- Big sweet breadiness, caramel, molasses, and raisin notes. Grapefruit, hay funk, and lots of alcohol

M- Quite sticky, syrupy, low carbonation, big alcohol warming

O- This is a super sweet beer, a little over the top for me. I think 10 oz. of this beer would have been fine, but a bomber of this was too much for me. I don't have a ton of experience with barleywines and it is not a favorite style of mine, I did like this beer more at first but after a while it became cloying sweet.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2012 02:26:44 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

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

Beer Review # 100! Old Guardian 2012 release

Appearance - Pours a deep, semi-clear reddish copper with a thick, creamy light tan 3-finger head. Excellent retention. Leaves behind a thick, sticky lace.

Smell - Dark fruity ester, citrus hop, brown sugar and a bit of alcohol to boot.

Taste - A complex array of flavors... it's gonna take a bit of time to break it all down. Starts off with a bit of citrus hop, then fades into a caramel malt which then turns dark quickly for a coffee / mocha finish, with a lingering bitterness behind this. Heat is subtle throughout. At 11%, that's not so bad.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied. Somewhat syrupy. As a barleywine, it comes with the territory.

Overall - An excellent barleywine. Not my favorite, but certainly up there. A fine choice for beer review # 100!

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2012 02:34:27 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of sommersb
sommersb

Tennessee

3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 04-22-2012
Freshness: 2012 Vintage
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

A: Clear beer, with a dark red-brown color. The head is tan and creamy, but disappears quickly. Very good lace on the glass.

S: Big hop aromas at first, of pine, citrus and woodiness. But there is also malty sweetness with dark fruits, caramels, brown sugar and molasses. Very complex smells, including an alcohol presence.

T: Initially I get a malty and bready richness, which is then followed by spicy, bitter hops. Warming from the alcohol. The flavors open up nicely as it warms to room temperatures.

M: Thick mouthfeel and body and low-to-medium carbonation. The finish is balanced between sweetness and bitterness, although the bitterness edges out ahead. Somewhat harsh in the aftertastes.

O: Overall a very good barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2012 03:48:06 | More by sommersb
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, amber color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of sweet maltiness, caramel, toffee and some spices.

T - Good blend of maltiness, caramel, toffee, spicy bitterness and some pine.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a pretty good barleywine. I think some of the older versions of Old Guardian have been better, but this is still good.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2012 01:56:46 | More by zeff80
Photo of QuantumPint
QuantumPint

Florida

4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Release from a bomber. Poured into CCB snifter.

A: Pours a hazy, deep amber. Thin head which dissipates quickly.

S: Smells like bread pudding. Raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg reign.

T: Again bread pudding and the aforementioned ingredients. Boozy late and on the finish.

M: Still comfortably crisp, with enough carbonation to give it a pleasant feel. Finish is surprisingly dry.

O: Solid brew. I would definitely drink this again. I'd love to try it with a bit less than 4 years on it.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2012 00:35:16 | More by QuantumPint
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2012 release

Pours a clear copper color with a nice two finger head that had good retention. Eventually the head settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

There is something odd about the aroma. Sort of smells like an orange cream soda. A cream soda with a bunch of booze in it. More citrus and grassy hops along with caramel malt.

The flavor just does not feel deep to me. The alcohol comes on too strong, too soon. Just not able to savor the malt and hop flavor. Bitterness is high with citrus, grassy flavors. Some toffee malt as well.

Good body and carbonation. Enjoyable, smooth texture.

This beer, like a few other Stone brews, would benefit greatly from some age. A couple of years from now, this beer could be excellant. As it is now, just too hot.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2012 22:07:24 | More by morimech
Photo of steelerguy
steelerguy

New York

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

A - Dark amber, large off white head, a good bit of carbonation for a barley wine keep the head tall for awhile.

S - Lots of malt in this bad boy, you get hints of toffee, but the aroma is about the hops...earthy and citrus.

T - Starts off with a lot of malt, sweet toffee and some slightly toasted malts. The resinous hop character then comes on with citrus quickly followed by a good bit of alcohol flavor. This barelywine is young and does not come close to hiding the fact that it is 11%...some more age would help smooth it out. End with a bitter bang of hops.

M - Full bodied beer, the alcohol and carbonation help keep it from being overbearing, but this is a sipper regardless. Ends with quite a bit of alcohol warmth.

O - This is good American Barleywine that would certainly improve with some aging. Lots of good flavors and qualities that would meld together and round out over time.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 21:50:45 | More by steelerguy
Photo of 9InchNails
9InchNails

New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light copper body color with a lot of noticeable carbonation. Off white head that leaves some lacing on the snifter glass.

Dark fruits, smells very sweet, candy sugar, caramel and some hints of alcohol.

The taste is where its at! Dark fruits, toasted bread, caramel, some bitterness and alcohol at the very end.

Medium body, smooth, light but slightly noticeable carbonation, dry, it doesn't leave the lips feeling sticky surprisingly. Some alcohol warmth going down.

Not quite pungent as the aroma but very smooth and to the point with the taste - the balance of flavors are near perfection.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 07:28:15 | More by 9InchNails
Photo of Bobheed
Bobheed

Texas

4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: light caramel color with a pasty off-white head, about 1 finger. Pretty fair amount of alcohol lacing

S: Hops right up front, huge rotten grapefruit kind of hops. I get lots and lots of sweetness to it, almost like a caramel sugary sweetness.

T: Get lots of caramel malts and fruitiness. The flavor has shifted from a citrusy kind of fruitiness though, to a more dark fruit taste, like raisins and dates. Hops really hit you at the end and stick with you for quite a bit

M: Nice and creamy with medium carbonation. Leaves the mouth tingling and wanting more.

Overall I thought this was very good. This is, by all accounts, what an American style barleywine should taste like

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 04:03:26 | More by Bobheed
Photo of BigDRS
BigDRS

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 Release bomber. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a deep copper color with a pillowy light tan colored head that sticks around forever. All sorts of lace clings to the glass.

S - Complex. I get cherry/fruit cake notes along with some tangerine. Malty ... not a lot of hop character.

T - Front end is dominated by malts. Followed up by a blend of fruit, dark cherry, and dark chocolate. Hops finally come through in the end.

M - It's definitely full bodied. Not as thick and syrupy as some other barleywines I've had, and considering that there's 22oz of this for me to finish that probably is a good thing. Lighter mouthfeel (in comparison to others in the style) brings the hops forward a bit more, which I enjoy.

O - A solid barleywine. Would definitely drink another ... next year.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 03:38:15 | More by BigDRS
Photo of 4thmedbn
4thmedbn

Maine

4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 out of an Old Guardian specialty glass. Picked up at Tully's Beer and Wine in Wells, ME

A - Beautiful deep red amber color with a hint of an almost strawberry blush. Really gorgeous stuff in the glass, head dissipates fairly quickly, little retention and no lacing.

S - Despite the high hopping of this beer, mostly the nose says malt. Nice chocolate, some dark fruit, leading into some nice fruity hop aroma. Not as huge of a nose as you might expect with this beer, but what is there is all good.

T - Huge malt character up front. Lots of nutty and mild chocolate notes. By mild chocolate I just mean not an overly sweet chocolate character, but also not wicked dark and bitter. Just like a toasty, nutty chocolate. Finishes with a pretty solid bitterness. Mostly piney and resiny hop character. I don't get a huge amount of citrus, but that may be due to the fact that it's sitting next to such a strong malt body. A long, lingering hop finish.

M - Full bodied, no way around it. Carbonation is fairly smooth, but definitely present. Doesn't seem to be as much residual sugar as you would find with some of the Barley Wine out there. That contributes to how dry this beer is, but also it's not wicked thick or syrupy, and that works to accentuate the hop character.

O - A great beer. Definitely going to be laying some of this down. A nice dry, well attenuated example of the style. As much as I love big boozey and sweet barley wine, this makes me excited that there is so much diversity within the style. Another absolutely fantastic beer from Stone.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 02:57:12 | More by 4thmedbn
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 Thickfreakness
Thickfreakness

New York

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours a beautiful, clear copper orange into my Ithaca Excelsior tulip. Two fingers of creamy off white head that floats and sticks around for a while. Tons of sticky lacing left all over the glass even after 10 minutes.

S- Really nice sweet caramel right up front! Decent punch of pineapple and CA citrus! HUGE alcohol presence. Some dark dried fruits... raisins, plums, figs. Some nice spicy notes of caraway and black pepper that blend seemlessly with the fresh caramel notes.

T- Burnt brown sugar, sweet cream caramel, ALCOHOL! Wow! The booze is huge this year! I hope it settles down with some time. I do like the way the alcohol brings out the dried fruit and sweet citrus nuances though. Picking up some spicy basil, peppercorns, rye bread w/ caraway, and mission figs.

M- Really hot! Huge alcohol presence that hopefully will die down with some time and cellaring. It enhances some flavors, covering and detering others. Not as sticky as past OG's.

O- Definately think this one has some potential after 6months-1yr in the cellar. Right now its really boozey. Has really nice sweet caramel and dried fruit notes that will get much bigger as the alcohol fades.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2012 00:53:19 | More by Thickfreakness
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish brown with solid one-finger offwhite head and lace on top of lots and lots of barely malt, as the label states, but also lots and lots of floral hops to match it seems. Hearty, boozy malts are prevelant and a slightly sticky and medicinal feel. The malts only slightly overpower the hops, so while there is a good sweetness and some hop bite the sweetness doesn't stick out like it should. Thicker, less carbonation leads to a dry, bready finish w/ minimal sweetness as the ABV kicks in here. A good beer, nice sipper, but more hoppy than I prefer for this style so TO ME a tad off balance.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 17:44:33 | More by clayrock81
Photo of hardy008
hardy008

Minnesota

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

Pours a copper color with a two finger off white head with very good retention and lacing. The aroma has grapefruit, caramel malt, and pine. I am very happy that Stone chose to use Cascade hops for this year's Old Guardian.

The taste has grapefruit, pine, and caramel malt. Has a nice balance of sweetness and bitterness. The alcohol is not noticeable, which is surprising for an 11.00 % abv beer.

Full bodied with average carbonation. Has a bitter sweet aftertaste with a bit of a sticky feeling, and finishes somewhat dry. A nice beer to sip and enjoy. This would be a nice beer to age for a while.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 20:19:05 | More by hardy008
Photo of Swim424
Swim424

Florida

3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into sweetwater snifter.

A-nice clear amber color. Fat fluffy creamy white head.

S-smells great but a bit weak. Very malty. A bit of hoppy floral scent as well.

T-Very malty upfront with a nice bitterness at the finish. A bit boozy. Hops help balance it out a bit. Its like getting hit in the face but getting kicked in the nuts at the same time so it makes the hit to the face not as bad.

MF-very thick and a bit creamy. Carbonation isn't really noticable.

O-This is pretty good. Had it on tap and went to buy it right after. Very thick and gotta drink it slow, but nice to sip on. Nothing I would go out of my way for but definitely a good choice for a higher ABV beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 04:35:32 | More by Swim424
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

Pours an amber, plum color with a thin lacing of white head that fades quickly. The nose is quite fruity with notes of raisins, figs, and ripe cherries. The flavor is a malty, bready, caramel flavor up front that quickly turns to the same fruity notes from the nose, dark fruit, figs, raisins, ripe cherries and maybe plum. The finish showcases a decent, clean, balanced hop bitterness and a warm alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, a bit syrupy, crisp, and just a bit heavily carbonated.

This is a decent beer. It's definitely a bit fruity, but is intriguingly complex. The fruity sweetness and the bitter finish at times seem to clash. As the beer warms, the flavors tend to play a little more nicely with each other. If you're a barley wine person, it's definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 12:53:49 | More by tdm168
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,235 ratings.