Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 656 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
4.26/5 rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
I picked up a bottle of Stone's Old Guardian Oak Smoked Barleywine a month and a half ago for $7.05 at Boyne Country Provisions. I had the 2011 Release of Old Guardian a while ago and I thought it was a very good Barleywine, so I was happy to find a bottle of the Oak Smoked version from their odd beers for odd years series, I'm interested to see how the smoked malts work with this beer, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.
A- The bottle is pretty simple looking even for Stone with just a smaller gargoyle on the bottle with the typical lengthy Stone rant on the back, it looks ok. It poured a nice deep amber/orange color that took on a nice and bright ruby hue when held to the light with three fingers worth of fluffy off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left lots of sticky lacing behind. This is a very good looking beer, I really like the color and the head and lacing was really nice especially for the style,
S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a good amount of smokey aromas that have more of a quality smoked meat aroma than a campfire aroma but there's still some nice smokey wood aromas going on. Up next comes the malts that impart a sweet, caramel, toffee, and brown bread like aroma with some nice dark fruits showing up in the background. Towards the end I get some lighter hoppy aromas with a little bit of citrus hop aromas coming through. This beer has a pretty damn good aroma, the smoke aspect is pretty noticeable but it doesn't overpower the Barleywine base and there's some nice balance between the two.
T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a good amount of oaky and smoked flavors that still lean more towards being similar to smoked meats rather than a bonfire. Up next comes the malts that impart a sweet, brown bread, caramel and toffee like flavors with just a slight bit of dark fruits showing up in the background. Up next comes a noticeable alcohol flavor that's a little warming and it followed by some light citrus and earthy hops with the earthy hops seeming to stick out the most imparting a pretty high amount of medium bitterness. This is a pretty good tasting beer, the balance is pretty nice and the smoke seems to work very nicely with the Barleywine base.
M- Pretty smooth, chewy, rich, slightly sticky, pretty dry, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a slightly lower amount of carbonation that's at just the right level for this beer. This beer had a pretty good mouthfeel, I have no complaints.
Overall I thought this was pretty damn good beer and a very good example of the style, it's not quite a full on smoked beer since the smoke isn't completely dominating and the Barleywine base shows up just enough to provide great balance and the two aspects work very well together, even better then I expected. This beer had pretty good drinkability, it was smooth especially for the style and the flavors did a great job at holding my attention, I kept going back for more and I think one bottle is the perfect amount, but if I was really in the mood for it I might consider trying to tackle another one. What I liked the most about this beer was how well the smoke worked with the Barleywine base, the two worked much better then even I thought they would. What I liked the least about this beer was that it's a one time only release, I think they should release this with the regular Old Guardian every year. I would for sure buy this beer again, when I go back up north I'm going to make sure to grab a couple bottles if there's any more left and I think it's priced nicely. I would recommend this to most Barleywine fan's especially the ones who don't mind smoked beers. All in all I was pretty impressed with this beer, I was a big fan of Old Guardian, but I wasn't sure how it would take to some smoke, but it worked out very well and while I still prefer Old Guardian I think the Oak Smoked version is still pretty damn good. Stone did a great job with this beer, this is the second beer I've had from Stones odd beers for odd years series and they have both been very good, keep up the good work guys, I'm digging these creative versions of old classics.
Serving type: bottle
09-20-2013 03:53:32 | More by StoutHunter
3.99/5 rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
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.
Serving type: bottle
09-11-2013 20:14:05 | More by Phyl21ca
4/5 rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
22oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Average brown color with a 1/2-finger head that settles very quickly
S: I can smell this from quite a distance away. Deeply roasted hops, lots of caramel, toffee, molasses, a bit of a blue cheese smell and some woodsmoke
T: Very rich, quite complex- again lots of dark malt and molasses, though the oak & smoke come through heavier on the palate than the nose. The alcohol is noticeable but not overbearing. Pine hops come through towards the finish
M: Full-bodied, fairly viscous, a touch hot... not my ideal mouthfeel but not too far off the norm for a barleywine
O: I really wish Stone used 12oz bottles for this as trying to finish off a whole 22oz bottle solo borders on painful. Overall well made as usual per Stone and it did make an enjoyable pairing with several blue cheeses
Serving type: bottle
09-02-2013 18:58:39 | More by ONUMello
3.69/5 rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
This barleywine is red, about a medium shade but with lighter hues outward and nearly brown hues in the depths of the body. It's perfectly clear as well. It has a strong, frothy and creamy pillow that sits a little taller than one finger and depsoits plenty of patchy lacing as it recedes.
It's almost as much something like a Schwarzbier as it is a barleywine. There's plenty of piney and citrus hops presence with meatiness and strong campfire smoke. There's also an undrlying fruitiness. A bit of toffee and maybe wood round it out with lots of meatiness from the smoke coming through.
I do like this beer, but I'm surprised I don't like it more. I just don't feel the citrus with the smoke and meat, and the char is absolutely tangy underneath. The smoke goes all the way through from front to finish, which I do like. I just wish this was a bigger, maltier beer with much more barleywine character.
Speaking of, I'm looking for more heft in this beer's body. It's about medium, and crisper than it is smooth. It's not bad, but it's not what I'm looking for.
Serving type: bottle
08-31-2013 19:00:16 | More by Brenden
Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 656 ratings.