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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

1,238 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1238
Reviews: 200
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: 1,238 | Reviews: 200 | Show All Ratings:
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
Photo of kemoarps
kemoarps

Missouri

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

So the bar im at has a tap labelled as the verticle epic 11.11.11, but in reality it was old guardian. Initially i was disappointed by this fact. Then i had a pint.

Pours a beautiful deep amber. Nice off white head leaving plenty of lacing down the glass.

The nose shows off a rich sweetness, almost a deep apiaryfresh- honey backbone with a hint of citrusy hops somewhere in the body.

The taste follows the blueprint laid ojt by the nose fairly closely, presenting a honey sweetness up front balanced with citrus and finish featuring some hop bitterness and the warming presence of the eleven percent.

Quite drinkable for the glass-of-wine level alcohol. Appropriately carbonated and smoothe and arming otherwise. If i had to use a childhood book to describe my beers, this one would be, 'the velveteen rabbit' (man i love that book). Definitely worth trying if you are lucky enough to find it in your town.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2012 02:58:16 | More by kemoarps
Photo of williamjbauer
williamjbauer

West Virginia

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

22 oz bomber served in a pint glass

A - Clear caramel amber with 1.5 khaki head with good retention and moderate lacing.

S - Barley, clove, malt, caramel, dark fruits,

T - Follows the nose, quite sweet with abundance of malt and caramel with barley notes and nice grassy, herbal, and floral hops. Well balanced.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation. Smooth.

O - A little sweet but fits the style and very well balanced with some nice touches.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 20:24:33 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a rusty copper color with decent, but not perfect, clarity. The head is a one finger light mocha color. Retention and lacing are average for the gravity.

S: The caramel/toffee backbone is very evident from the smell, along with some candy-coated hops. I'm not getting a huge hop scent otherwise, though there are some floral notes peeking through.

T: At first taste, I'm immediately reminded of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, only with a stronger malt backbone. Plenty of floral, herbal, slightly citric hoppiness hit the tongue initially, which ultimately mellows out allowing its sweet, fruity character to shine through some. The "jammy" quality is there on the finish, but so is a strong alcohol bite (the two flavors go hand in hand, really). Balance isn't superb, but it has decent complexity. All told, this is still really good, even great.

M: Wow, this is dry and astringent as all get out, helped out (or hindered?) by its heavier body. In typical Stone fashion, there's plenty of lingering piny stickiness left on the tongue. Not an easy drink at all, due to the perceivable alcohol and other qualities, but this isn't something that should be drank quickly. Decently carbonated.

O: Though I enjoyed it quite a bit, I can see why others wouldn't like this one at all (the rest of the family universally disliked this). Finishing off a bomber solo requires time and patience, lots of it. If you're gonna get this, then either drink it now, or age it a year, because the hop profile is going to become unpleasant with just 3-4 months on it. Still very much recommended for hopheads.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 22:27:14 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

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

A-Poured dark brown and hazy. Head was minimal. Not much light penetration but this beer was blatantly brown and didn't tiptoe on the realm of blackness.

S-I was expecting more punch from the aroma. There was booze, a bunch of concentrated sweetness and some bitterness which was subtle. Dark fruits. Not very impressed by the nose.

T-The bittering hoppiness comes out more on the tongue. The hops lend much bitterness but are not very complex and do not leave much hop-derived flavor complexity. There is plenty of booze (although shaded in decently enough), and dark fruits laced in rich caramel.

M-Big body. Mellow carbonation. Bitterness lasts. Somewhat slick. A rich feel.

O/D-Full pint glass of this came in at $3.50 so I cannot complain about the price, but I was not satisfied with this beer. Most of Stone's brews are great but this one didn't hit the same spot for me. Still a nice juggernaut beer for a great price-per-fill.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2012 04:14:42 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of Lemke10
Lemke10

Wisconsin

4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought a single 22oz bottle (2012 Release) from Woodman’s in Rockford, IL in early 2012 for $6.49

Pours a cloudy, medium brown color with a fluffy, cream colored head. Scent reminds me of an IPA with strong scent of hops, some grains and hints of citrus. Taste is strong and bold. Lots of barley taste mixed with hops and yeast. Smooth and so delicate almost as if it was aged in an oak barrel. A bold and yet dry finish. Delicious and well worth purchasing.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 03:12:57 | More by Lemke10
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.45/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle (2012 release) with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I remember enjoying the 2011 release.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and average (~one minute) retention for the style. Colour is a clear dark copper-gold. No floating yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Hops - both floral and bittering, but more towards the bittering end. Malts. Barley. Cream. Not a particularly appealing aroma. There's nothing unique or special about it, and it doesn't get me excited to taste it. Moderate in strength. I'm hoping it's not as hoppy as it tastes.

T: It is. Entirely too hoppy for the style, ruining the balance with wretched bitterness that doesn't at all belong. Clean malts are there alongside simple barley, but no yeast comes through. Some alcohol does. Horribly balanced. Poorly built for a barleywine. I'd vastly prefer complex malt layering with some subtle hop notes and maybe biscuity yeast, but none of that is here. The finish is okay, with some vague fruit hints coming through - but the hops still overwhelm everything.

Mf: Too thick. Wet and smooth, with some coarseness from the hops, lending it an awkward texture that feels somehow hazy. Doesn't complement the flavours well. Adequately carbonated. Weak. A touch watery on the finish.

Dr: A barleywine that demands aging to mellow out its harsh hop notes. I wouldn't have this again unless it was free and had a few years on it. I don't understand hoppy barleywines and I don't know that I ever will. A major disappointment from Stone. Age your bottles if you buy this. Hides its ABV decently. Difficult to drink on account of its severely limited quality.

Wouldn't pair well with food. Doesn't even do well on its own.

I don't know how it would age, but it can only get better. Pray for early hop death.

High D+

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 00:30:24 | More by kojevergas
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

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

Poured into my Stone Old Guardian glass because that's how you are suppose to drink beer? Got it? Now do it.

Beer is dark amber / red and clear with a nice tan head of small bubbles, some lacing on the glass, moderate to low carbonation, nice retention.

Aroma is sweet, a little boozy, some hops too. A nice maltiness with a mild yeasty / biscuity finish.

Beer is big in body and nice on the finish. It is strong and not too boozy but the alcohol is present. The finish is quite bitter, nice yeast breadiness in the mid-palate, strong beer with a nice finish, a little dryer than I expected. These beers are better fresh in case anyone was wondering.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2012 02:49:26 | More by drabmuh
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 KomodoDragon
KomodoDragon

Virginia

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

A - Copper with thin tan head. Quiet and clear.

S - dark fruits, barley, can sugar.

T - intense sweet malt, grassy hops and a looong finish with citrus tone and a bit of a warming feel

M - Tremendous. Smooth, full, and lightly carbonated.

Solid entry and perfect to style. Dangerously delicious.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 03:45:17 | More by KomodoDragon
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,238 ratings.