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Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED BarleywineOld Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

679 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 679
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.3%
Wants: 6
Gots: 104 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: EgadBananas on 02-18-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine Alström Bros
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Ratings: 679 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

t0rin0, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev -9%

Bottled 1/16/13.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, smoked malt, beef jerky, oak, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with smoke, oak, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of smoke and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the beef jerky aspect I am getting out of this one is a bit off putting.

UCLABrewN84, May 11, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

djrn2, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +2.3%

zestar, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is very dark hazy amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving lots of lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass and lots of lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of smoked oak chips are present in the nose.
T: The taste is mostly dominated by flavors of oak along with notes of smoke.
M: It feels just about full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I wasn't very impressed with this beer as it seemed a little too smoky, and these aromas and flavors didn't mesh with the underlying barleywine.

metter98, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.99/5  rDev +2%

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of caramelized sugar with some toffee with light smoky notes. Taste is also a mix between some caramelized sugar, some notes of toffee and some light smokiness. Oak is more concealed but can provide a more rounded finish. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed though smoked notes are not has apparent as I had expected and hops presence is not as present as in the regular version.

Phyl21ca, Sep 11, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%

"Left field, here we go!" Stone Brewing kicks off their trip through the twilight zone in '13 with a Oak-Smoked version of their Old Guardian Barleywine to add to the portfolio of "Odd Beers for Odd Years" that has been dormant since 2011.

Not unlike the original Old Guardian, this version has no deviation because of its smoky influence. It's a deep amber-stained ale that shows bright clarity with mahogany and crimson highlights. Incredibly frothy, the sandy-yellow head blankets the beer's surface with a dense barrier of cream. Bold speckled lace and broken rings adorn the glass with each draw from its rim.

Smoke trumps the aromas, but do so with a strong rebuttal of true starch malt aromas. Surprisingly, the hoppy and toffee aromas that are so prevalent in the standard Old Guardian takes a serious backseat in the beer's scent. Bold mesquite and teriyaki offer a meat-centric scent that's similar to beef jerky. Lightly piney, these hop notes marry up with the smoke tones effortlessly. Fruit aromatics of orange and grapefruit and mildly jammy and inform the toffee sweetness that lurks close behind.

But in taste, the toffee and caramel malts shine. Just as vibrant and succulent as the original, the efforts of smoked oak are relegated to a reserve role in the beer's taste. The longevity of sweetness lives indefinitely on the palate and is accompanied by starchy breads and spaghetti, but then gives way to a growing and intensifying hop character which starts fruity but ends bitter, resiny, and piney. But there it is- the cloud of campfire smoke that was so dominant in aromas slowly cast its ominous shadow over the taste as well, particularly as echos as the beer finishes.

With the first draw into the mouth gives the impression that the ale can be drank like a standard ale. But it's just then that it swells to a marshmallow-like texture that's chocked full of toffee, pine-like bitterness, and peppery alcohol. It dominates the mouth with no apologies before trailing late with growing warmth, residual toffee malt, and smoked oak.

In closure, the oak-smoked Old Guardian shows more complexity than even the ultra-complex standard Old Guardian but the oddly compelling "oak smoked" character throws the balance and prohibits the balance of the beer from at least equaling that of the base barleywine. But for the lovers of smoke, cigars, or scotch whisky- they may find this example superior.

BEERchitect, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Texasfan549, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2.3%

kjkinsey, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

GRG1313, May 23, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

kylehay2004, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2.3%

jaydoc, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%

Poured into a large tulip glass a rich deep amber with a garnet tinge a large creamy off white head atop that left multiple ringe of broken foamy lace as it settled ever so slowly into a frothy mass.Oak, smoke,dark fruit,and stinging alcohol in the nose,it's big and brash no doubt about it.Big dark fruit over top of light smoke and wood,the alcohol kicks in and really hits hard in the finish,there is some pine resin from a generous amount of hops but the brash alcohol sweetness wins the day.It's got a nice creamy texture and it goes down smooth.It's in your face with the alcohol but it's a work of brewing art in my opinon.

oberon, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

westcoastbeerlvr, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
2.76/5  rDev -29.4%

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Oh, you brewers just know how to romance me, don't you? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear ruby-copper topped by a finger of off-tan foam. The nose comprises caramel apple, light grapefruit zest, oak smoke, light sweet biscuit, and the lightest kiss of mild ash. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a sharp, bludgeoning twang of pine resin. (Yes, it's possible to be both sharp and bludgeoning: imagine smashing someone's skull with a large, double-bladed war-axe.) Making matters worse, the resin cooperates with the smoke, creating a harshly abrasive bitterness that malingers for quite some time. Hints of the waxy coating on a lemon's peel slide in for occasional visits. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, I'd venture to say that the smoke did not do anything positive here, as the normally strong and lightly abrasive hop flavors characteristic of Old Guardian haven't abated, but have instead been twistedly enhanced by the hand of some diabolical malevolent force. This stuff hurt to drink, both physically (my tongue is pissed at me right now) and mentally, as I had high hopes for a strong, smoked barleywine. Oh well.

TMoney2591, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of largadeer
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

largadeer, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of zeff80
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

zeff80, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

SocalKicks, Apr 19, 2013
Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Jason, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%

On-tap 3/15/2013 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright coppery red color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, dark fruit, bourbon and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty malt character followed by mild flavors of dark fruit, caramel and bourbon. The hops presence is a bit subdued but brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a good beer but I prefer the regular versions because of the more pronounced hops bitterness.

TheManiacalOne, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%

I don't see the point of this beer. Besides just doing it to be contrary, since it's an odd year and all.

Robust, sure. Thick body. Yeah. But the smoked element to it just clogs up the works. There is nothing really shining here. It's just a wad of barleywine-ness. But the nose is all rauchbier. I would hope that this one will get more interesting over time.

RblWthACoz, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

nickfl, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of russpowell
4/5  rDev +2.3%

russpowell, Aug 07, 2013
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%

Clear, rich, ruby-red coloration, short-lived, film-leaving, off-white head.

Aroma: Deep, rich, immense malt aromatics, swiftly subsumed by oaky overtones. Inevitably, smoke seeps up from below and covers it all. Rearing into the region of "hot."

Taste: First sip, hotness hits hard, blistering the palate just a bit. Fullness of malt flavor makes a magnificent mark. It stays big and bold, with the smoke creeping onto the tongue, and the oak taking over. The flavors are remarkable, almost irresistible, and can feel my brain cells about to lose a bout with insobriety. Satisfying, if not for the high alcohol; delicious, in any event. Alcohol heat never quite becomes a problem, bitterness matches the mighty malt.

A really unique brew, with the intense maltiness of the Old Guardian barley-wine remaining intact and integral, with the oak and the smoke making significant additions from time to time. This is just fantastic on tap, and I'll get some bottles for cellaring, to see how this improves with age.

feloniousmonk, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of Slatetank
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%

I had this at Hunger N Thirst served chilled in a snifter during the Christmas event.

The color is deep amber bordering on red with hazed look and thick tan cream with fine bead, a very attractive ale in the glass. The smell is great with subtle sweet and smoky nose with slight pine hop esters and subtle alcohol. The feel is great moderately bitter with medium carbonation and slight sweetness to balance out the intensity of hops smoke and alcohol, the feel is pretty light for the abv with lingering bitterness.

The taste is very good with malt gentle in relation to the smoke which is noticeable up front with a more fruity alcohol and hoppy taste coming in second. The flavor is pretty well blended since it tastes slightly piney as it warms with more warming alcohol in the finish. Overall I like this west coast style barleywine fresh so the hops are bright, but this could be a good candidate for a little age to mellow the alcohol. I like the level of smoke which doesn't detract from the drinkability at all.

Slatetank, Dec 15, 2013
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Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 679 ratings.