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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.
very good

679 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 679
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.27%
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
Ratings: 679 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of ElSid
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The Beers of California


Freshness Date: None

2013 Odd Year Release

A: Amber with a burgundy edge after a brisk pour. The head is khaki with small, effervescent bubbles which fade to a rim.

S: Breeze of brown sugar, caramel, and jackfruit. Earthy bitterness, wood, and burnt maple leaves in the back. Interesting nose.

T: Thick and syrupy sugar mix with a grainy, woody burnt warmth and a strong earthy, piney and spicy bite. Finish is astringent and dry with whiskey-like alcohol turning a bit phenolic in the end.

M: Syrupy and full with coating linger and faint carbonation.

O: I usually enjoy big beers but the alcohol here comes off somewhat medicinal and heavy throwing off the balance of this brew. I enjoyed the sweetness, smoke and wood complexity but would have liked more agreement of the component flavors. Expected a bit more from this.

ElSid, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours rustic brown with a small head and great lacing.

Smoke dominates the nose. Lots of oak, earthy char, burnt sugar, smoked barley, toffee, alcohol.

Less smoke in the taste but more heat. Toffee comes on stronger with subdued piney hop character, burnt sugar, oak, big residual bitterness.

Big, thick feel on this beer. So chewy I can almost eat it. Slightly dry finish and big bitterness.

Interesting spin on a heavy hitter. Try it if you can.

TheMultiYeast, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of jwat
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

jwat, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of Nugganooch
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 odd year batch

22oz bottle with a Sierra Nevada balloon glass.
*notes from 03/03/13

A: Look is a dark amber with some ruby tones and great clarity for such a big malty brew. Head was minimal in production. Thin khaki color with loose bubbles and low retention. Leaves behind a few light dots of stick with some squeaky runners of lace upon the glass.

S: Campfire smoke dominates the nose and has a nice meaty anchor to it. Like smoked ham with a glazing of sweet caramels. Reminds me more of a wet smoke. There is an earthy wood element as the smoke starts to dissipate and a bit of alcohol presence revealed. Nice overall but pretty smoke laden.

T: Tastes like candied bacon! Yes it’s that delicious...well almost. The smoke malt is much more subtle in flavor than the nose leads on and it really plays well with the other elements. Campfire and meat smoke combine together with the caramel candy sweetness. Hops are a bit understated working with the other flavors here but do offer up some supporting earthy pine and herb notes. The smoke is sharp at times but actual bitterness to the brew seems lower than the base beer. Alcohol disguised incredibly well behind the smoke screen. Vanilla sugar. Oak becomes more prevalent as the beer comes up to room temp. This is pretty nice. Great balance in flavors.

M: Creamy soft texture overall with some moderate to heavy chew there. Carbonation is crisp and frothy with a solid drying effort towards the finish. Touch of tannic smoke derived astringency . Alcohol warmth is pretty minimal. Exits the palate rather clean.

D: I do like the premise of a smoked B-Wine and this one is done pretty well. Really grows on you as you make your way through the smoky start. I thought this is drinking incredibly well fresh and the balance of flavors overall was great for such a big beer. Not hot or boozy in anyway. The sweetness really saves it all for me as it tends to teeter on the smokier side. Recommended and for the price it would be pretty hard to beat.

Nugganooch, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of flayedandskinned
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled on 1/16/13
Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a perfectly clear, deep amber with rich red highlights. A 2 and half finger tall light tan forms quickly with good retention. Lots of thick, meringue-like lacing adheres to the side of the glass. Great looking barleywine.

Aroma: Smoky, caramel laden malt with very light grapefruit and vanilla accents. Astringent alcohol becomes more and more apparent as the beer acclimates to it's room temperature glass. For as big as this beer is, the aroma is quite subdued.

Taste: Juicy caramel, vanilla infused malts right up front with only a mere suggestion of leafy, citrus-y hops before you're hit with a smoky, bitter and astringent off dry finish. As in the nose, the astringent characteristics of the alcohol become more obvious as the brew warms. Luckily, the smokiness grows as well.

Mouthfeel: Viscous and chewy with soft carbonation.

Overall: A decent barleywine that is not overly sweet and is somewhat complex. I truly enjoyed the smoke character of this barleywine, but other than that this beer is rather pedestrian. The strong alcohol flavor component does it no favors in regards to opening it's flavor profile.

flayedandskinned, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of mjtiernan
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pretty standard. Head disappeared quickly. Reddish-brown body. Noticeable alcohol legs.

S: Oh man. The smoked part of this smells pretty good. Honestly, it's mostly smoke, lightly charred oak and alcohol on the nose. Maybe a little dark brown sugar. Where is the usual malty sweetness and hop goodness? Weird.

T: Pretty darn good actually. Some hops up front, then deep wood, smoky-sweet dark sugar and caramel followed by sharp alcohol and pronounced hop bitterness.

M: Full bodied, oily and moderate carbonation. Finishes pretty dry.

O: It's bold, but I like the level of wood and smoke on this. It's a definite departure from the OG that I'm accustomed to, but it's a really nice trip.

mjtiernan, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of Mangstarr
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Mangstarr, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of wtkphoto
4/5  rDev +2%

wtkphoto, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of Herky21
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Herky21, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked one of these up at the COOP tonight for $6ish... clear deep amber brew with a long lasting tannish head... good lacing with a firm cap.

The nose is Old Guardian with a little bit of campfire thrown in.... caramel and lesser toasty malt with plenty of pungent hops with the smoke sorta complimenting the sweetness in the aroma.

The flavors mirror the nose with a more pervasive smokiness... standard big bitterness that lingers mid palate through the finish... caramel malts are also very present, a bit of nuttiness also shows up.

Thick and coating on the palate allows the finish to linger forever..

Not sure that I dig this one... I think the bitterness and heavy hop hand clash with the smoked malt.


JohnGalt1, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of random846
2/5  rDev -49%

random846, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of mt24turner
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this was a well made barleywine, smell was nice but not imperessive,taste i liked the hoppiness and the malt character, alcohol was still a tiny bit hot, i dont typically like smoked beers much but the smoke character blended with the oak and was just right. id buy this again

mt24turner, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of ngeunit1
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy copper-brown color with a finger of frothy tan-khaki head. Fades at a normal pace.

S - Sweet caramel malts, oak,vanilla, smoke, grapefruit, citrus, pine hops, some booze.

T - Sweet caramel malts, vanilla, oak, smoke, grapefruit, citrus, pine, grassy hops, good resiny bitterness, some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, smokey, bitter, and warming finish,

D - Great smoked barleywine. The overall balance is really great.

ngeunit1, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
2.76/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

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 TheHopBuddha
4/5  rDev +2%

TheHopBuddha, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of Dwtucker90
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Dwtucker90, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of RelentlessLefty
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

RelentlessLefty, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of NEO68710
4/5  rDev +2%

NEO68710, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of Chevelle66
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Chevelle66, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of djaeon
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

djaeon, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of jdougherty
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

jdougherty, Mar 05, 2013
Photo of jvillefan
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

jvillefan, Mar 05, 2013
Photo of FlussigkeitMut
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

FlussigkeitMut, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of justintcoons
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Red with 1 finger of off-white head that dissipates quickly. Extremely low carbonation and excellent clarity.

Caramel smoke and oak. Pretty straight forward.

Good amounts of beechwood smoked malts and oaky wood. The body is filled out with caramel and pale candy sugar. Lighter note of earth, leather, cherry and oats. Hints of piney hops and grapefruit zest in the finish.

Full bodied, velvety, creamy and smooth.

This is pretty much everything that it claims to be and is surprisingly drinkable at 11.4%. An oaky, smokey American Barleywine. It's worth checking out for $8/22oz bottle, you know, if this is your thing.

justintcoons, Mar 04, 2013
Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 679 ratings.