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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

693 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 693
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.3%
Wants: 7
Gots: 106 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: EgadBananas on 02-18-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 693 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of admonster00
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

admonster00, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +27.9%

CEDAMA, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of laminam
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

laminam, Mar 01, 2013
Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

JamesShoemaker, Mar 01, 2013
Photo of tut2528
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: pours dark ruby in color, with a solid 2 fingers worth of foamy looking, off-white head formation. lacing is phenomenal. just slightly transparent.

S: big smokiness and oak notes right up front, and they rather dominate this aspect of the brew. there is a slight peppery aspect to this as well.

T: interesting blend going on here. the "oak-smoked" character is still very much alive, but there is a nice molasses and sugar sweetness that comes into the scene. I also pick up on some pepper, slight citrus and theres a bitter hop finish. alcohol is nearly undetectable

M: full bodied brew, and just a tinge of heat is felt along the gums. it leaves the palate with a nice subtle smokey character and a bitterness from the hops

O: high drinkability, nicely balance brew (taste), and it brings a uniqueness to this style. for the price its worth the purchase, but its nothing to go crazy about (IMO)

tut2528, Mar 01, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a super dark amber to brown with a frothy off-white head leaving lots of lace, great head retention.

S: Mesquite smoke, notes of orange and toffee, smells like BBQ ribs in a way.

T: Lots of dark bready malt, with a secondary undercurrent of smoke which carries the beer. Some minor notes of molasses and treacle with a still heavy grapefruit hop component.

M: Medium to full-bodied, rich, frothy, soft for its size.

O: A good beer, I think it suffers a bit from the oak aging/smoke malt like OA Arrogant Bastard is not as good as the regular. It rounds the beer out for sure, but takes out some of its character. Still a nice brew, and the price ($5.99/bomber) is very nice, but in the end I prefer the original.

Halcyondays, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

"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 Craigory
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Craigory, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of Merkur
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Merkur, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of RandyBoBandy
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

RandyBoBandy, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of MaineBrewing
4.58/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Purveyed from the Bier Cellar in Portland ME, 22 oz bomber 6.99.

A- poured into imperial pint glass (why not?) a little over aggressively, seemed to not want to produce head at first but then resulted in an immense 3 finger off white head. Body is a beautiful amber to redish. Head takes a long time to reduce, leaving both apparent legs and copious amounts of lacing. Looks amazing headwise, body seems a little light in color for the style. But I guess I can't knock this for the hue, the head retention and lacing is amazing despite the high abv. Probably the best looking barleywine I've had.

S-Intense aroma of malt, alcohol, piney resinous hops. Nice toasted notes, almost roasted barley-ish. Strong smoke comes through more pronounced as it warms, coupled with the sweet malt notes, it is almost reminiscent of barbecue sauce, or even bacon.

T- Taste is very complex, and very smooth. Big malt flavor with burnt sugar, smoke, roasted, and sweet character. Malt profile extends through the finish. Hops are present with definite flavoring hops, with a floral and pine flavor up front and a nice bitter finish, certainly enough to quell the sweetness that is ever present. With a few less IBUs this would be too sweet. ABV is well masked.

M- one of those brews where I skip to mouthfeel before even touching taste, it stands out. So smooth, great balance of carbonation, Heavey body but by no means thick. Finishes very balanced and I was afraid it would be too sweet.

O- I love the idea of a smoked oak barleywine. I love this style in general, but it's good to have something unique like this to break the monotony when all you drink is barleywines in the winter and they start tasting very similar. It's a shame this is only a limited release, this is just an absolutely enjoyable beer.

MaineBrewing, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of wattershed
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

wattershed, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of ShemRahBoo
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

ShemRahBoo, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of injuredreserve
4/5  rDev +2.3%

injuredreserve, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of lionoa7x
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

lionoa7x, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of beerguy36
5/5  rDev +27.9%

beerguy36, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of Deigea
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into stone Imperial Russian Stout snifter. Beer was allowed to warm for 20 minutes after pulling out of fridge, but still below 55 degrees F.

Appearance: Low, slightly brown head, fading to white. After settling, a light head is present.

Aroma: Definite barley smell, with a hint of oak. Taste overpowers smell after first few sips. After warming a hint of berries or similar fruit seem to come through.

Taste: Very spicy at first, very overpowering, but settles after a few seconds. Initially, fruit flavors come in after the spice fades, but the spice lingers in back of throat long after the first sip. After the initial taste has taken over taste buds and the beer has been allowed to warm up, the wood notes become present. The high alcohol content is noticeable at first, but fades away as the other flavors become more prevalent.

Mouth-feel: Beer carbonates in mouth, medium viscosity for a beer, but that feeling might be from the lingering of the carbonation. Spice lingers in back of throat long after sips. As drinking continues, carbonation is still present although fading. Throat still has some spice after sips, although numbing has mostly taken it's place, most likely from the high alcohol levels.

Overall Impression: Beginning tastings were quite potent with spice and carbonation. As this began to fade after the first quarter of the bottle, the taste was very pleasant for a barley wine. I think with aging the carbonation will die down a bit which will help with my main problems with it. I plan to purchase another few bottles to try 6 months from now, and depending on taste, a few years down the road. Overall, very pleasant, definitely a sipper. One bomber will get you pretty buzzed.

Deigea, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of EgadBananas
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 "Odd Beers for Odd Years" Release

APPEARANCE: tawny red, translucent, ruby, soft yellowish head, finger, foamy lacing.
AROMA: burnt wood, smoke, meat, citrus hops, caramel, toffee, light roast, faint booze, earth, grain.
TASTE: caramel, smoked meat, woody char, medium bitterness, toffee, sweet malts, candied sugar, light dark fruits, citrus fruit hop notes.

***Question: How the hell do you make OG better? Answer: F*cking Oak - Smoke that Ish!

EgadBananas, Feb 18, 2013
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Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine from Stone Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 693 ratings.