1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
very good

1,498 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,498
Reviews: 213
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 42
Gots: 331 | FT: 24
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: 1,498 | Reviews: 213 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of arizcards
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

arizcards, May 24, 2014
Photo of vonnegut21
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

vonnegut21, May 02, 2012
Photo of barczar
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

Pours a hazy deep copper with a billowing, frothy dark cream head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of thick lacing.

Sweet, brown sugary caramel malt, toffee, muted grapefruit, resin, and caramel form the initial aroma. Raisins, dates, and prunes add complexity.

Flavor reveals underpinnings of grapefruit pith, tart tangerine, and lime, with a fairly sweet, toffee malt backbone, finishing resiny and fairly bitter. Rum-soaked dates, raisins, and figs add complexity.

Body is full, smooth, and luscious, with modest carbonation and noted alcohol warmth.

Great contrast of sweet malt and bitter hops, with tart, fruity hop notes countering dark fruit nicely. It's a little hot and a bit bitter for my liking, but the other notes redeem it very well.

barczar, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of BeerLover99
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

BeerLover99, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of whatname
3.75/5  rDev -6%

whatname, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of Fettpopps
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Fettpopps, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of Satchboogie
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Satchboogie, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of mltobin
3.75/5  rDev -6%

mltobin, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%

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).

CuriousMonk, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of jegross2
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

jegross2, Sep 22, 2013
Photo of Durandal_777
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Durandal_777, May 12, 2014
Photo of JohneHoodlum
4/5  rDev +0.3%

JohneHoodlum, May 20, 2012
Photo of Tucquan
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%

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 2beerdogs
3.75/5  rDev -6%

2beerdogs, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of Burt
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Burt, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of Adamostella
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Adamostella, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of Jame515
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Jame515, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of GrindFatherBob
3/5  rDev -24.8%

GrindFatherBob, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of Kopfschuss
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Kopfschuss, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of Fatehunter
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%

2013 Release.
A finger of head on a deep amber colored body.
The aroma is nice with caramel and lemon coming through; and touch of bread.
The taste is good with a hidden boldness: lemon bitterness, caramel and bready sweetness; great balance and drinkability.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
One of the most drinkable barleywines that hides its high ABV well.

Fatehunter, Mar 29, 2013
Photo of MinorThreat
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

MinorThreat, Sep 03, 2013
Photo of dfhhead25
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

dfhhead25, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of Herky21
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%

22 oz bottle purchased for $5.99 - 2013 Vintage.

Appearance - caramel and burnt like fall leaves with a finely laced and dense head that dissipated quick.

Smell - banana, caramel, nougat, melon and citrus.

taste - alcohol, sweet caramel, backed up by a good amount of bitterness, kind of a fruity note in the swallow.

mouthfeel - very carbed and perhaps a bit too much for the style - full, thick beer.

Overall - pretty well done, but it doesn't quite hold a candle to Bigfoot. If you have one I'd recommend aging. It isn't super hot, but it would be a lot better in say 2 years.

Herky21, May 11, 2013
Photo of mklisz
4/5  rDev +0.3%

mklisz, May 21, 2014
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%

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.

ThisWangsChung, Mar 31, 2012
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,498 ratings.