Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2014)
Stone Brewing

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2014)Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2014)
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Barleywine - American
4.25 | pDev: 5.41%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2014)Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2014)
Notes: This year, the changes were minor; we used Nugget instead of Magnum for the bittering hop, and we replaced the CTZ hops in the whirlpool with Cascade to give the beer a pinier, more citrusy note. It's a well-rounded, complex beer that is ready to drink now, or can be aged at cellar temperature for many years.
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 38 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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hreb from Washington

3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is the 2014 release of Old Guardian, one that clocked in at 11.6%, which has been aging in my cellar for some 3 years before being served in my favorite Chimay chalice. Brilliant garnet in color, almost clear except for the bubbles suspended in the body, with medium chestnut head that falls relatively quickly. Rich, raisiny aroma. Rum cake. Flavor is big and boozy, but outstandingly smooth. Caramel and molasses coat my palate before being chased away by a serious dose of pine tar bitterness -- necessary to combat what must be a considerable amount of sugar left in solution here. The flavor is strong, with grain and prunes and raisins. But it's relatively well balanced, and doesn't betray the last third or so of that 11.6% ABV. Yes, this barleywine is a nice way to get good and toasted.

Dec 08, 2017
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TX-Badger from Texas

4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared from a friend. Pours a darker orangish color with white head. Dark fruits, caramel, bread, and some alcohol on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with dark fruits and caramel.

Nov 04, 2017
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mwilbur from Minnesota

4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bottle into snifter. Bottled on 1/24/14.
A: Pours a clear golden amber hue with 1 inch off white head of thick foam. Good retention.
S: Sweet caramel malt, grain, bourbon, and hints of almonds, molasses, pine resin, and leather. Good aroma from over a foot away...potent stuff.
T: Sweet caramel malt, bourbon, molasses, leather, sweet tobacco, pine resin, and a hint of citrus. With warming, a hint of cinnamon and other warming spices comes forward.
M: Medium-heavy body. Smooth and velvety feel. Coats the tongue and doesn't let go with excellent lingering and maturing on the palate. Still a good alcohol burn and still a good amount of hop bitterness.
D: This one cellared very well and is still going very strong! Perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness...still a solid barley wine but with a nice hop kick. Excellent for style!

Side note and kudos to Stone: I bought two bottles of their beer from their spot in the SD airport a couple years back. Unfortunately one wasn't capped well and spilled out on the plane when I had it on its side tucked under the seat. I contacted Stone to let them know and they not only agreed to replace the bottle, but they also delivered it to a local brewery near me...and threw this gem in for free. This is the definition of going above and beyond! Well done, Stone...fan for life.

Nov 02, 2017
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Wasatch from Colorado

4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bought On-Line
22 oz. Bomber
Bottled On: 04/24/14?

Three years on this brew!

Poured into a goblet a very nice dark copper color, very nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger tan head, which leaves some pretty nice small islands and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice hop notes, slight citrus, and some spiceyness. The taste is very nice hoppy, malty, with some nice citrus going on. Full Body, ABV hidden very well, nice complex brew. Overall, a very tasty brew, always a joy to have this brew on hand. A Classic!

May 06, 2017
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant mahagony amber under a 1” cream colored foam collar that provides thick lace. S: Grassy hops, citrus, caramel. T: Intense malt, hops and alcohol produce flavors that suggest a bourbon drink. F: Very soft palate, chewy, very fine carbonation. O: This has a little more alcohol than the others but is a very fine beer.

Aug 11, 2015
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jancona from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful dark amber color - minimal foam but a lesson in lacing.
The smell has sticky caramel, a touch of sweet bread and resinous hops. The taste has lingering sweet caramel malts and a hint of resinous hops with a sprinkle of orange citrus. There is a touch of booze that disappears as it warms - maybe that's just me getting warmed!
So complex, so enjoyable. Everything I want in a barley wine!

Apr 21, 2015
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Billolick from New York

4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle.

Pours heavily clouded darker amber, under a long lasting cap. Gobs of lace...

Heavy caramel and leafy hops on the nose.

Luscious, delicious, luxurious...

High high quality BW.....A likely option for aging - but drinking wonderfully right now

Dec 17, 2014
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Bierman9 from New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Grabbed a bottle of the 2014 version today.... been a while since I visited this barleywine.... set me back $7.25. Has a "bottled on" date of 02/07/14, and the typical blah-blah-blah (yawn) on the back....

Poured about half into a small tulip glass... Color is a rich, orange/amber, with a bit of haze, and some very scattered carbo. Topping is a thin, creamy, fine layer of off-white foam, with decent lacing. The nose has lots of resiny, piney hoppage, with a subtle bit of caramel. Body is a lovely medium-plus, bordering on being chewy, and it is silky smooth going down. Quite nice!

A suggestion of malty sweetness hits the palate, but it's all hops thereafter. Resiny, rindy, piney west-coast type lupulins get layered on the tongue quite nicely. The hops aren't way over the top, as there is some malt mixed in there for balance. I'm not finding this as harsh or hot as I recall earlier versions, either. Quite nice, all in all. Prosit!!

4.19/5 rDev -1.2%
look: 4.15 | smell: 4.10 | feel: 4.40 | taste: 4.20 | drinkability: 4.15


Dec 06, 2014
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2014) from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 38 ratings