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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

1,428 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,428
Reviews: 209
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 42
Gots: 306 | FT: 21
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 Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,428 | Reviews: 209 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

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

A deep, mostly clear beer, this Barleywine flares out from the middle, flaming orange-red in the middle with molten copper-gold further out from the center. It has a tan-grey head, pretty dense, that reaches one finger. Retention is good, and lacing is patchy while being deposited plentifully on the glass.
Being a Barleywine, if it's well done it's bound to have depth and a complexity of smells and flavors, not to mention strength. It does have all those things. It's a mix of sweet, boozy, malty and hoppy. Brown sugar and notes of something like molasses combine with a bit more sweetness from caramel malts and bread. There's some citrus likely attributable to the hops, which mostly add a floral note at the back of the tongue. There's a bit of spiciness all the way through, and an unusual element added by something not quite briny. Esters and yeast, contributing some hay-like earth and lots of dark fruits, ride it out from front to back.
The body is medium-full with a certain richness to it, crispness up front continuing into a nippy sort of smoothness as the beer takes enough dryness for a semi-dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 19:27:17 | More by Brenden
Photo of laituegonflable
laituegonflable

Australia

3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a toffee-coloured ESB kind of hue. Head is off-white, loose threads, not much left. Lace is alright. Looks OK.

Smell is lovely, caramelly toffee and sweet. Buckwheat, a touch of port and salted caramel above all else. Bit of solvent is a slight glitch, but otherwise very pleasant indeed.

Taste gets more of that caramel than all other flavours, but lots more as well. Bit of figgy richness, buckwheat again, some slight herbal hopping and some metallic notes. Bit on the heavy/sweet side, so not for every day, but it was always going to be. Still lots to like here.

A little flat and very syrupy texture. Could use something maybe to dry it up at the back, or more hops to cleanse.

Big, sweet beer. Nice, but could use a bit more on the balance side perhaps.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2013 03:39:34 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of pathman
pathman

Ohio

4/5  rDev +0.3%

07-06-2013 02:20:34 | More by pathman
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 Lare453
Lare453

Florida

4/5  rDev +0.3%

03-13-2013 02:49:01 | More by Lare453
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 atrocity
atrocity

Virginia

4/5  rDev +0.3%

04-23-2014 20:07:27 | More by atrocity
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
TheBeerAlmanac

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

04-29-2013 01:27:16 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of IPAchris
IPAchris

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

08-26-2013 18:09:37 | More by IPAchris
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -6%

03-03-2013 21:33:48 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of KevinGordon
KevinGordon

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +0.3%

04-09-2013 13:41:37 | More by KevinGordon
Photo of eawolff99
eawolff99

Colorado

4/5  rDev +0.3%

03-08-2012 17:18:27 | More by eawolff99
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +0.3%

08-16-2013 15:05:50 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of ADZA
ADZA

Australia

3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2012 edtion and thanks to my favourite bottleshop for this and it pours a hazy light amber hue which leaves a two finger creamy head and lacing everywhere,the smell is very barley and malt orientated with aromas of obviously barley,caramel fudge,toffee treacle,butterscotch and also Xmas cake,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and could be thicker for my liking of the style and the taste is nice but doesnt leave you gobsmacked like other big American Barleywines and the taste is very sweet with hints of marzipan,toffee treacle,butterscotch candy,raisins soaked in brandy,fruit cake and finished with a touch of bitter herbal hops to take a little edge off the sweetness first encountered and overall its not bad and could age a little bit but not too long as the malt profile is dominant and if left for a while could be even more sweeter and theres definately better Barleywines out there cheers.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2012 13:26:48 | More by ADZA
Photo of Griffith
Griffith

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +0.3%

02-26-2014 14:28:00 | More by Griffith
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 Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter

Appearance – Pours a deep reddish-amber color with a one finger yellow tinted off white head. The head has great retention and fades slowly over time to give decent lacing.

Smell – The aroma is of a big bready biscuit smell. Mixed with this aroma there is an alcohol smell and with some fruit aromas of citrus and banana. There is a very light pine aroma that mixes with the others overall creating a nice complex aroma.

Taste – A big bready and slightly hoppy flavor greet the tongue. The breadiness is initially mixed with a sweeter orange citrus and the banana that was in the nose. The orange taste also is present initially as a light hop like flavor. As the taste advances on, some nice pine hoppiness begins to develop with the sweeter citrus lightening. While the sweeter fruit flavors diminish in the middle of the taste, some caramel sweetness takes its place. The pine hop gets more intense as the taste advances until just before the end, where it levels out. While the hop flavors level out at the end, an alcohol taste comes into the flavor, leaving a nice warming aftertaste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of this brew is on the creamier side with a lower level of carbonation. While creamy, it is not as thick as would have been expected from its abv. and bready taste and smell. The lower carbonation suits the beer well although the body would be better a little chewier.

Overall – This is a barleywine with a nice taste and great smell. Its mouthfeel is a little on the thin side, but overall it is a good brew to sit back and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2012 23:40:13 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of smartassboiler
smartassboiler

Illinois

4/5  rDev +0.3%

07-04-2013 22:46:02 | More by smartassboiler
Photo of jaxon53
jaxon53

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

06-23-2013 20:10:42 | More by jaxon53
Photo of strongaf
strongaf

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -6%

05-05-2012 05:16:55 | More by strongaf
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 outoffocus
outoffocus

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.3%

03-18-2014 02:40:20 | More by outoffocus
Photo of cdwil
cdwil

Texas

4/5  rDev +0.3%

04-14-2012 16:37:36 | More by cdwil
Photo of ShemRahBoo
ShemRahBoo

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

07-04-2012 16:22:43 | More by ShemRahBoo
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Old Guardian 2012

Poured a share into a brandy snifter. Oh boy, I can already start to smell this one.

Two-and-half fingers of cream-colored head that looks dense. Dark amber in color with some murk, but otherwise, great clarity.

Papery scents mixed with muted citrus hops, toffee, buckwheat, pine, booze sweetness, and dark fruits. Lots of malty vs hoppy, where malty wins.

Hops are in the front row, getting tackled by the alcohol in the middle. There's a rye spice character that works in tandem with the pine/citrus hops. An earthy, bread crust-y malt is big and enveloping, working in media of burnt sugars and musty fruits. Gotta love that spicy prickle, almost like there's a bit of cayenne in the mix. Stings in the finish amidst the bubbles. Hey, it's hot, but I kind of like it like that. I have another one to bury in a dark place for awhile, but I like to experience the fresh example. Medium-heavy bodied with great fresh barleywine carb presence. A little sticky on my upper lip, but far from cloying. Knock a few points for the big stomach-sinking booze, but the mouthfeel is otherwise top-of-the-line.

I can't believe this is the first time trying Old Guardian. Gotta look into scoring some older vintages. Highly recommended, and at $6.99 a bottle, a huge win! I'll buy mo', fo' sho!

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2012 03:31:46 | More by thecheapies
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,428 ratings.