Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2015) - Extra Hoppy
Stone Brewing

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2015) - Extra HoppyOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2015) - Extra Hoppy
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American Barleywine
4.14 | pDev: 6.76%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2015) - Extra HoppyOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2015) - Extra Hoppy
Notes: 2015 Odd Year Release
First Release: February 2015

This one-time-only release, part of our “Odd Beers for Odd Years” series, takes a downright excessive brew into uncharted, extra-hoppy territory. We did this by dry-hopping it with Azacca hops, essentially turning an American barley wine into a triple IPA. Azacca adds big candied-fruit character plus pineapple and citrus aromatics to the base beer’s onslaught of toffee, tropical fruit and vanilla flavors and robust bitterness. Like its Classic counterpart, this delicious oddity will evolve into an even more glorious beer with age, challenging your ability to wait any longer to drink it.
Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 427 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep golden beer with a slight reddish tint which is topped by a finger and a half of rocky cream colored head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of candied tropical fruit, resin, and some caramel sweetness
T: Taste is candied fruit with some notes of juicy pineapple, pine resin, and some earthy notes with more candied fruit along with some caramel sweetness and hints of toasted malts. On the swallow there's more candied fruit and tropical fruits with a strong pineapple note with a hint of resin and some lingering caramel sweetness.
M: This beer is on the heavier side of medium with a slightly creamy feel on the palate. Carbonation is light but adequate for the style while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this is a very well done barleywine. The extra hops added some really nice flavor elements that aren't found in the usual Old Guardian. It still has a really nice amount of hop flavor after almost four years in the bottle as well which was really surprising. Worth a try if they make it again and worth drinking now if you're sitting on one.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into snifter. Bottled 1/23/15.

A: Pours a deep, dark, iced-tea mahogany with a large, very dense, and very greasy, khaki colored head that took forever to slowly fade into a fuzzy film leaving rocky, sticky, lace down the glass.
S: Light oxidization pleasantly mixes with fragment perfumey notes of fruity hops, and tons of bitter, leafy, scents. Fruity, slightly candy-like notes as well. Hints of caramel and booze.
T: Cardboard, tons of caramel, toast, burnt caramel, chocolate fudge, toffee, leather and tobacco. Aggressive hop presence with tons of leafy aged hop, pine resin, and sticky greasy hop oil. Chocolate and leafy bitterness linger in the aftertaste along with notes of tobacco, leather and cardboard.
M: Very frothy and soft carbonation really foams up in my mouth. Full thick body, chewy mouthfeel that's greasy, sticky, bitter, and slick from the hop oils. Alcohol gives a sharp bite but overall is smooth and compliments the other flavors.
O: An awesome barleywine with a solid bitter punch that's complementary and not rough. Interesting how much chocolate I'm getting out of this. Delicious and strong.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2015 Odd year release, with a bottled on date of 2.11.15 - making it 21 months old

L - Dark amber, with 1 full finger of head, lots of lace left on top of the brew and all over the glass. This is as pretty as a beer can get. Just gorgeous

S - Grain malts, bitter hops, toffee, caramel.

T - The hops have definitely faded, so straight up barleywine with a bitter aftertaste. The high abv packs some heat, but very well balanced and an enjoyable slow sipper. Still fairly boozy.

F - Medium body, well carbonated

O - A very tasty slow sipper packing some heat. I like it better than the normal Old Guardian. The extra, albeit faded, hops add some very nice bitterness that really balances the beer even better

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Photo of Coffeematt
4.54/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't know why this beer isn't rated more highly. The myriad disappointing or disgusting malt/hop bomb DIPAs tht litter our beer landscape currently shouldn't have the same score as this gem.

Come to think of it, this beer exhibits what those shitty imperials do not.

It's delicious, and balanced, even though it's a pretty big and boozy beer. Tasty sweet biscuit and stewed fruits, but the cool thing is the hops add a layer of bitterness in the finish that keep the former from being too cloying. This, coupled with carbonation and a body that is not super thick, make it incredibly drinkable. I'm having to pace myself, because I want to keep going back to it.

I wish I bought a bunch of these last year.

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Photo of planker101
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am not an expert taster. I just know what tastes good to me. I had this 20 months after the bottling date. To me the hop flavor/ aroma was minimal, however, the original Ruination (so mad about 2.0) was one of my favorite beers. After 20 months how much hop can one expect though? The smell was enjoyable, pleasantly sweet. The taste, to me, was smooth and balanced. Mouthfeel was good. If it wasn't a one off I would buy more. Good stuff :)

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.64/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

No relevant label information. Old Guardian 2015 Extra Hoppy is brewed in the style of an American Barleywine, available in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft. Odd year experiment variation on an annual release.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foam head of a biscuit caramel tan color over a densely hazy caramel body with moderate carbonation. Retention is very good and lacing is light and spotty. 4

(Smell) Aromas of bread malts, caramel grain, light toffee and potent fruit and pine hop resins with a moderate bitterness. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Biscuit and spicy grain malts with a lightly sweetened caramel syrup body. Strong, but faded hoppy finish with notes of pine resins and bitter fruit, moderately bitter teams up with the caramel grain to form a sharp, biting finish. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, slick, lightly residual, grainy and medium dry. Carbonation is mild, generating a mild frothiness and a modestly crisp finish. Body is short of medium for the style, medium/heavy overall. Alcohol presence is moderate/high with a sharp graininess, and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) My second foray into the Odd-Year variant in the Old Guardian series was fortunately not as awful as the first, however this was still not a spectacular brew, with lots of harsh graininess and too light a body to be redeemable as an aged ale. I'm not finding that Stone's savored Barleywine has the chops to hold up to the cellar over the years, and while this is a touch better than the 2013 variant, perhaps only is that so in the fact that it is 2 years younger. Not an ideal candidate for holding out on, but I suspected as much before giving into the label suggestion. I'll have to keep this thought in mind with my upcoming 8 year vertical of the Barleywine standard (yikes). As far as this version goes, drink 'em if you've got 'em. 3.75

Stone Brewing's
Old Guardian Extra Hoppy

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light coppery brown color with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, brown sugar, floral hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out sweet with brown sugar, caramel and some citrus. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence is strong for the style and slightly stronger than the regular version but not over-powering and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

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

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid barleywine to drink for a long time.

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Photo of stevoj
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Taphouse. Exceptionally smooth for the posted ABV and IBU. Soft fruity aroma, full malty taste, mild hop bitterness at the finish followed by burn all the way down. Excellent all around.

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Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber bottle - Bottled on 2/7/15. (no idea what this has been doing for the last 13 months or so, but it just turned up in one of my local bottle shops )

Pours clouded darker amber, medium khaki cap hanging around and then leaving a nice looking film and splotchy low sheeting and then world class fine sheeting, all over the glass.

on the nose its grapefruit...and more grapefruit

Notes of more tropical/citric fruits, oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, hot sauce...super delicious....go get some

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Photo of seantelecine
3.71/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

foggy amber look with a nice 2 inch foam on pour.Im new to this style so first taste was strong wine like vibe.does have hints of bourbon and a strong fruity thing. Love stone beers and this one is pretty great..

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Guardian has always been a hoppy beer so I was curious where they could take this. It is exactly what the label states, extra hoppy. Almost double IPA territory, definitely worth the money.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours hazy amber with a tight head of off-white. Moderate lacing and a partial skim coat for the duration.

Chipped toffee, caramel malt, and earthy hops in the nose.

On the fuller side of medium bodied. Sticky and syrupy.

Sweet malt with plenty of toffee and rich caramel on the palate. Solidly bitter with some pine following through.

Finishes with a lingering sweetness, bitter pine, and warming alcohol. Would like to try a fresh sample of this one.

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Photo of JohnL9013
3.15/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've had the old guardian a few times before and really enjoyed it, but this one for some reason really doesn't sit well with me. There's a noticeable "funkiness" to this beer, similar to what you'd find in a lambic that really overpowers all of the otherwise really nice flavors and smells in the beer. It's possible that I got a bad, skunked, or otherwise old bottle, but it does say 2015 right on it and the high ABV should have preserved the brew. I have a feeling it's just that the extra hops don't play well with this style of beer...and this is coming from a hophead that regularly drinks double and triple IPA's... mouthfeel doesn't help the situation, the beer is rather carbonated and just seems to emphasize the funk. I would give this another shot if I found it on tap somewhere, but can't see myself drinking it in a bottle again.

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Photo of JamesBondGA
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice dark red in color with a 2 inch head and nice lacing on the glass. Caramel notes and fruit on the nose. Taste is the caramel, maple and somewhat bourbon. Goes down smooth, alcohol content hits you later.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Convincing, deep dark red color. Barely off white head.

Smell is fine, mild.

Taste is sweet, rich, hoppy. Maple. Bourbon. Peach pits.

Mouthfeel is super-rich. Nice. If anything, too much!

Finish is deep, long, well-integrated - good balance of sweetness and bitterness.

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Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2015 odd year release served in a tulip. Bottled on 1/23/2015. Pours a lovely amber hue with a translucent clarity and a tight, one inch, tan-colored head that gradually dissipates into a frothy, broken cap leaving behind delicate textured bands of lacing as it recedes. Nose expresses figs, prunes and a spicy/medicinal/earthy hop character. Taste consistent with nose; however, there's a slightly more candied character in the flavor profile as well as a slight breadiness. Finishes with a medicinal bite. Mouthfeel is medium in body with a mild carbonation, a slight oiliness to the texture and a kiss of residual heat that lingers between quaffs. Overall, a very solid American barleywine. Not a style I generally gravitate towards; however, this is quite pleasant with a well-hidden abv. Not sure how much time I would cellar this beer - I think the one to two year mark is probably best. I'd be concerned about it developing metallic notes anything past that.

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Photo of gman1602
4.94/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Only aged for a few months, just couldn't wait to try this one. Pours a murky amber, smells of a nice pineyness with some tropical fruits, like a pineapple plant and a pine tree had a baby. Taste is that great OG barleywine backbone with a little extra pine hoppiness but it really is subdued and well blended. Kettle cooked toffee-caramel flavors hold everything together as usual. I would like to try this side by side with the regular OG. I love this take on it but they showed their artistry in making this a terrific nuanced version of the original.

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Photo of Wasted_Youth
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Aged for 6 months. Reminds me of pears and caramel, this beer is intense. It's got a salty bitter sweet bite to it along with the hops. The alcohol is well hidden. Stone always does an outstanding job.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bomber with my Stone IRS snifter glass
Notes taken on 04/03/2015

A: Looks as the same part of Old Guardian with that ruddy dark caramel amber body. Thick khaki whip of cream over top with some favorable hang time. A few streamers of creamy lace left hanging to the glass after every sip.

S: Smells of citrus peel and pine resins with an abundance of kettled malt candy. Has that familiar gooey caramel, biscuit, and toasted bread note with some brown sugar sprinkled in. I get a light tropic floral twist to this one however. Finishes out with the usual alcohol spice kick I am familiar with.

T: Signature Old Guardian with a dash more hop flavor although not really more actual perceived bitterness. I get orange marmalade with floral pine, fresh greens, and white peach or apricot. Still keeps that big kettled malt sugar presence with toasted biscuit and warming alcohol spices. Syrupy sweet overall but still in good balance with some budding raisin and dried fruit notes. Finishes with more toasty malts and hoppy flavors of floral orange, tangerine, and apricot jam. Tasty as always and not really a huge deviation from the standard OG to me.

M: Full bodied with a creamy smooth texture. Moderate amount of hop bitterness and some warming alcohol strength. Light drying in the finish and a slight syrupy stick afterwards.

D: While I enjoyed this quite a bit, I was really hoping for something over the top with the label of “Extra Hoppy”. I got some nice additional hop flavors here but all in all I found this a little too parallel to the original. Not sure I could pick them apart side by side to be honest.

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Photo of kaufmaal
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours the color of caramel with a slight orange glow to it. There's a solid one-finger, toasted marshmallow head that reduces to a quarter of an inch. Some nice lacing. Smells like a barley wine with lots of dried fruit: oranges, plums especially. Not too much alcohol on the nose, but it is a sweet-smelling beer. Initially, there's a good deal of brown sugar and booze on the taste, and then the hops kick in - all told, it's a very nice combination, and it's balanced so very well. Sometimes with Stone, the hops, the pine, the grassyness over-powers, but not so here. It's a good tasting barleywine, with a minimum amount of carbonation, just enough to keep a small head on it. The hops are not overpowering, but they lend themselves nicely to toffee sweetness.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a hazy burnt orange with a one-finger white head. The head recedes quickly leaving some spotty lacing.

S - Aroma is orange, pineapple, grapefruit, caramel malts, and piney hops.

T - The taste is caramel malts upfront with brown sugar, toffee, orange peel, and grapefruit. There is a huge amount of piney hops in the finish along with a low alcohol burn.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with a dry sticky finish.

O - Just as good as the classic Old Guardian. The flavors are definetly on point. Definetly recommended especially for hop heads.

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Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an effervescent orange/tea color with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Turns slightly hazed, good lacing & stellar head retention

S: Cakey, boozey figs in abundance

T: Cakey, toffee, dryness, woody hops & a touch of pine up front. Cakeyness with herbal hops as this warms, some dark cherry & figs as well, some oaky booze notes. Finishes dry, figgy, with herbal & woody hops. Finishes cakey, with herbal & piney hops, a little mango sneaks around the edges, along with oaky dryness & booze

MF: Medium/chewy body, fairly subdued carbonation, slight booze burn

Fairly complex, good, but not seeing a ton of difference between this & the great "basic" version of this beer. Well worth picking up

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Photo of hman43
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

It pours cloudy brownish orange color with a slightly off white head. It has an strong orange aroma with hints of molasses and bread. It has a strong orange and citrus flavor with caramel flavorings. The maltiness comes through after the initial hop blast. It is moderately bitter on the way down. It is unique in taste, but it may not be for all barley wine lovers since it drinks more like an imperial ipa than a barley wine.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely crystal clear deep tan/red leather with a very fast fading white head.

Nose is wonderful and full of carmel and full barleywine tones.

Mouthfeel is rich, full, big and bold.

Flavor profile is all barleywine. A bit too sweet for my taste but a well made true to style barleywine with a bit more hop tones and flavors.

Finish is a bit bitter toffee.

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Photo of EMV
4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep opaque mahogany color. Ample head with nice lacing.

S: Alcohol and sweet malts. Oily hops.

T/F: This is one complex beer. Strong malt backbone. Sweet brown sugar and molasses followed by a nice hop wallop... although not as hopped up as you'd expect from a Stone brew that says 'extra hoppy'. Gets better as the temperature goes up. Nice alcoholic warmth.

O: Complex and delicious. .. everything I want in a barleywine. Similar flavor profile to the Lagunitas 'Old Gnarly Wine'. Will have to grab another bottle or two to cellar.

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2015) - Extra Hoppy from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 427 ratings