1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2003 - Stone Brewing Co.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2003Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2003

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

98 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%


Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.91% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 01-29-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 89 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BeerManDan
BeerManDan

California

4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It poured a clear, thick reddish-brown with no foam or lace. The smell was of spices and malts, with a hint of fruit. The taste was of spice and malts, with a hint of caramel and you can taste the alcohol, but not over powering. Althought it was well balanced with the spices, malts and alcohol, it was just a touch to bitter. The bitterness in the after taste took away the pleasantness of the spices and malts. Not as good as 2002 or 2001! Maybe with age it will mellow out.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2003 14:32:57 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Did I ever say that I love Stone Brewing Company, well I will right now because as far as I have tasted they are the only ones with the balls to make a beer known for it's malt, a kick you in teeth hoppy beer. She poured an amber copper with a minimal short lived irish cream cappucino toned head. When I went to take a sniff of her I got greeted by a barrage of Tomahawk hops, and somewhere buried inside the aroma came the nice mellowing sweetness of a shitload of barley. Flavor is the great spicy kick of the tomahawks mixed with bite of the alcohol to eventually mellow out in the finish with the wave of barley malt. It was like throwing some water on the flame. But as it warms and settles this beer takes on the attributes off one of the best barley wines I have come into contact with. With two feet of snow outside there is no beer I would rather be enjoying right now then the Old Guardian. Simply put it brings you to the very edge of the style of perimeters only to pull up at the last second and grab you with all the malt you have come to know and love when you're about to fall. A nice syrupy texture carries all of this magnificant brew, and the heavy body is welcome with the style. A bold , big huge representation of a barley wine by one hell of a brewery.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2003 17:11:11 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Viking
Viking

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter '03 edition, all Warrior hops, 9.91% abv.

Clear coppery-amber body. Tons of CO2 apparent. Head initially about 3/8" thick, and quickly fades to lace. Smell is very malty (caramel and molasses, slightly rum-like) and slightly vinous, herbal and spicy, with faint notes of alcohol (especially as it warms a bit more). Malty and surprisingly bitter flavor, considering the maltiness. Finishes oily with a surge of alcohol, hop bitterness, and a lingering flavor of apple-like fruit. Chewey, smooth, and full-bodied beer. Damn good fresh. I'll have to pick up a couple more bottles to try in a year or so - if I have the patience.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2003 06:07:42 | More by Viking
Photo of HopheadEd
HopheadEd

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Limited winter '03 release, this ale pours a usual caramel brown color with a limited head that fades quickly but leaves a lasting, sticky lace. Caramel and spices confront you at the first smell, and a bit of alcohol. Starting with a big malt flavor, this beer changes with temp., as now that it has warmed, the alcohol and hops take over. Short, spicy mouthfeel, with limited carbonation, I now realize this will be unbelievable in a year or two. Too new, but as it warms becomes pretty good. Next review(or update) Feb. 04.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2003 15:55:25 | More by HopheadEd
Photo of PhantomVodoo
PhantomVodoo

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coppery red in color with minimal brown head.
Sweet malt, hops, and some alcohol in the aroma.

Taste is pretty well balanced. Huge malt sweetness followed by an onslaught of hops. Some alcohol as well. Finish is a bit harsh at first, but this improved as the beer (and I) warmed. Barleywine style ales are new to me this year and I liked this one more with each drink I took. It left me eager for more. Big and bold, but well put together.

Good mouthfeel.
Good drinkability for the style.
Overall, a good beer I look forward to sampling again.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2003 10:28:38 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of LarryV
LarryV

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice reddish amber with a thin head that was quick to go the way of the Dodo. Pleasant aroma of hops greets the nose. This is a mellow brew for a barleywine, the hops lend a nice bitterness, but are well balanced by the malt. I thought the alchohol was very present in the taste, it was on the warmer side when I drank it. Quite tasty, but not what I would consider a big beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2003 11:52:45 | More by LarryV
Photo of scottum
scottum

Vermont

4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear red amber with a very thin head head. Not too smooth, not too bitter. This is a nice flavorful barleywine. Although for the price I was expecting the best barleywine on earth. This is not the best barleywine on earth, but it is quite good and worth tasting. I suspect that this brew will grow better with age. Double Bastard is much much better and cheaper, so I'll stick with that as my Stone brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2003 16:26:52 | More by scottum
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Limited Winter '03 Release" enjoyed at just below cellar temperature to start, and up to room temperature (65F) to finish. It pours a surprisingly clear mahogany with an orange cast and beautiful crimson and ruby highlights. (It was so clear that I had to check the bottle for sediment to see that it hadn't been filtered)! Tiny bubbles rise slowly to the surface adding to the appearance. The body is capped by a short lid of creamy light-tan foam that holds fairly well before dropping to a creamy collar and whispy surface covering. A thin head can be brought back up simply by swirling the glass; and it leaves some nice lace throughout the serving. The nose expresses deep caramel, mildly citrusy/piney hops, and just a touch of dark fruit (mainly raisins, some plum). A limited amount of alcohol becomes more apparent as it warms. The body is full and it's remarkably smooth and creamy in the mouth due in part to an exceptionally fine, and moderate carbonation. The flavor is rich with a supple caramel maltiness, a touch of fruitiness, some mild citrusy/piney hop flavor, and an assertive bitterness that's balancing rather than abrasive. I was hoping to find more of the characteristics of the Warrior hops (as I'm unfamiliar with them), but I prefer it the way that it is - well-balanced! The alcohol is extremely well hidden within the aroma and flavor, although it clearly warms in the swallow. It finishes dry, but surprisingly short for a Stone beer, with some lingering malt and a solid bitterness as well as a fair amount of spicy alcohol. It's nicely restrained (can you say that about a Stone beer and not be beaten up?). I was expecting a more assaulting barleywine after tasting the Double Bastard and Ruination, but I'm delighted to say that this is much more refined. Extremely enjoyable, and with a great level of drinkability for a beer of this strength. Very nice! I'm considering buying a case to put away but I'm on the fence about that as it seems to need to be enjoyed fresh. I fear it may lose its vivid character if left for too long. Regardless, I'm highly impressed and sad to be at the end of a 22 oz. bottle. Really enjoyable, although limited in complexity. Well worth seeking out!

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2003 19:05:19 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Wildman
Wildman

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 Edition:
Well, I finally laid my hands on some Stone Barleywine. Thanks to the brewmasters old connection to Columbus, it is one west coast beer we can count on getting. This beer poured a dark amber color and formed a nice light tan bubbly head that disipated quickly and left some circular lace. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, caramel and spice. A flavor of malt and caramel. The finish was a touch astrigent. May need to have this a little warmer, but I couldn't wait to try it.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2003 17:27:37 | More by Wildman
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2003 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.