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

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2015) - Extra HoppyOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2015) - Extra Hoppy
424 Ratings
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2015) - Extra HoppyOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2015) - Extra Hoppy

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Patches826 on 12-29-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 424 |  Reviews: 114
Reviews by mattsdenney:
Photo of mattsdenney
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Malty, boozy, hoppy...excellent all around. Dried fruit, toasted caramel, earthiness. Really good.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of kaufmaal
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
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 neenerzig
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I do enjoy these odd year variations of this yearly seasonal and Stone's RIS. poured from a 22 oz. bomber into my snifter. This beer pours a slightly cloudy/hazy deep amber color with a bit of an orange, reddish hue. Has a slightly off-white head that is about 1/2 to 2/3 of an inch thick when poured before settling to a thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with a nice big cluster swirl of surface foam and some pretty good lacing. Aromas of caramel malts and toffee, pine and citrusy hops, dark fruit notes, and a hint of butterscotch. Has a slightly toasted, bready, caramel and toffee malt sweet notes upfront tastewise along with some dark fruit and butterscotch flavors that are rounded out with resinous, herbal, pine and citrus hop notes. Nice bitterness, but not overly bitter, and to my palate really not noticeably more hoppy than the regular version of this beer is when it is fresh. The flavors really balance and gel quite nicely after the beer has warmed up a bit. Has a crisp, slightly prickly, slightly smooth and frothy, somewhat sticky and resinous, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Very easy to drink, especially for a beer that is 11% ABV. Another very tasty effort from Stone. They continue to impress me time and time again! Certainly worth the time to go out of your way to drink.


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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
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 Kuaff
4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In my snifter at cellar temperature.

A delicate sheet of tan froth sits above a clear, glowing garnet barleywine. Just beautiful!

Smells quite similar to a DIPA, but sweeter. Juicy lemon, lime, and grapefruit are abundant, with some grassy pine, strong mango and melon, and a mix of honey and brown sugar. Overall, a very bright and fruity aroma!

Very smooth flavor profile. Delivers potent pine bitterness and dank, spicy hops but sweetened by tropical fruits and some caramel. The finish is both nutty and leathery, adding just the kind of weathered character I like in a barleywine.

The feel is viscous, and more slick than sticky. Kinda oily, heehee.

One could argue that it's kind of redundant for Stone to release an "extra hoppy" version of anything since just about everything they brew (including standard OG) is pretty fookin' hoppy. I, however, like hops. I like barleywines, and I like DIPAs. This specimen bridges the two styles in a harmonious union of hops and malt, bitter and sweet, astringent and fruity. Call it a hoppy barleywine, or a malty DIPA if you like. Either way... this is indeed an extra hoppy beer. And a well-brewed one at that.

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Photo of Lukass
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Im a sucker for beers like this - sweet malt, backed by a huge hop flavor and aroma. The caramel like flavors, pineapple, and fruity hops blend together into a hefty, fruity resinous brew that gathers some heat as it warms, but damned if I would guess it's 11% abv! Stone does it again with this one. Even better than the original OG, IMO.

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Photo of oberon
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my all-time favorites going "Extra Hoppy",had to get it.Pours into a small tulip glass a rich deep amber with a tight sticky off white crown,just great clarity of color and an awesome head.Caramel,brown sugar and resiny hops in the nose,some sweet alcohol is there as well.A full lush feel,it's almost silky.Flavors of brown sugar with some English-style leather,the hops come in a late flurry giving off some pine resin.Iam a huge fan of the American Barleywine/Strong Ale style and this cements it,just a great beer,one of the best of 2015 so far for me.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beaver13
3.62/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours hazy copper orange with a big creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is surprisingly subdued - sweet caramel malts, some fruit and some ashy metallic hops and medicinal alcohol.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts, fruit and piney resiny hops with a bit of hot alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied - slightly light and watery.

Overall, nice balance of sweet caramel malt and hops. It's a bit hot and a bit thin.

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Photo of Dbrulet
3.74/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beerswag
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of petewheeler
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
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 aquazr1
3.79/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sculls65
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A little more earthy or dank than the regular.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big three finger off white head that slowly settles into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell: An earthy, spicy, and bready aroma with big hints of earthy hops, caramel, and dark fruit. Earthy, spicy, and citrus hop presence with some upfront hints of pine resin, grass, and citrus grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Toasted barley malt with hints of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, and yeast. Sweet hints of brown sugar. Dark fruit hints of fig, raisin, dates, and prune. A really nice dank aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, an earthy, spicy, and bready barleywine taste with big notes of hops, caramel, and dark fruit. Upfront mix of earthy, spicy, and fruity hops with notes of dank pine resin, grass, and citrus notes of orange, grapefruit, and lemon zest. Toasted barley malt with bready notes of biscuit, caramel, toffee, grains, and yeast. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Dark fruit undertones of raisin, fig, prune, and dates. A really good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Thick, chewy, and oily with a drying finish. Some alcohol heat is felt as expected but it’s not overly hot.

Overall: A really good twist on an already great Barleywine. The extra hops add a nice dank kick.

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Photo of BraveMountie
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of samtrillo
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of InfernoBoss
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle - an even hoppier American-style barleywine? Don't mind if I do!

This beer pours a mostly clear, bright medium orange-brick amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some sudsy dissolving cloud lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of fresh, peppy orange and white grapefruit pith, further zesty stonefruit, a relatively tame piney, leafy, and somewhat dank bitterness, biscuity, grainy, and lightly doughy caramel malt, a hint of mint, and some wafting cold alcohol notes. The taste is bready, grainy caramel malt, further hard rock toffee, still sassy apricot, grapefruit, lemon, and orange rind, a bit of musty raisin, raw brown sugar, a prickly earthy, minty leafiness, and a suggestion of hovering booze.

The bubbles are quite soft and lilting in their low-key frothiness, the body a solid medium-full weight, and pretty smooth, an airy creaminess contending with a few stray alcohol interlopers. It finishes well off-dry, but moderated from all sides, as if by benevolent committee.

I'd have to examine this beside the 'normal' Old Guardian, in order to really determine the effects of the extra hopping - but, yeah, those are two cap pops that I shall not be making concurrently - maybe I need more friends. Anyways, on its own, this verily rocks, with its hoppy cock right out, letting the malt and booze ply their wares in a secondary role (s'cool, there's awards for that), and making my pleasure centers wonder WTF just hit them.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours slightly hazy and rusted orange in color with a light sandstone head that peaks at just over a finger's width. Fair retention, dying to a thin, consistent layer of suds across the top. Lacing is small and spotty, with god stick.

Smell - Caramel and candied citrus hit the nose first. Light spice and pith bitterness sit beneath.

Taste - Follows the nose. Sweet with hoppy undertones. Caramel and sweet citrus upfront, then a bit of grapefruit pith come in to balance it out. Light notes of black pepper spice peak through head mid-taste and flatten out.
The finish is bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with low carbonation. Lightly sticky and syrupy in texture. A bit of a challenge to get through, actually.

Overall - About expected from a hopped up version of Old Guardian; really rides that BW/DIPA line. Really good, but not exactly drinker friendly. Sweetness can get a tad cloying if drank quickly. Other than that, I would definitely recommend.

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2015) - Extra Hoppy from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 424 ratings