Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2016) - Dry-Hopped With Pekko
Stone Brewing

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2016) - Dry-Hopped With PekkoOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2016) - Dry-Hopped With Pekko
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American Barleywine
4.18 | pDev: 7.42%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2016) - Dry-Hopped With PekkoOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2016) - Dry-Hopped With Pekko
Notes: From time to time, we like to tweak the recipes of some of our most long-standing beers—like Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine—to create unique variations. This year we’re taking it to the next level by dry-hopping it with Pekko hops—a new varietal from Washington’s Yakima Valley—which in turn add notes of stone fruit, orange, lemon and mint to this bready, toffee-like beast of a beer.

75 IBUs
Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 210 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of janubio
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2010, bought at The Situation about 3 or 4 years ago, served at home in a snifter glass. Pours an amber coppes small head that fades to a thin ring, tiny lacing,
aroma has hops, caramel, chocolate, raisins or plums, a bit of citrics and pine.
Medium body, creamy texture, normal carbonation. Finish is sweet but also hoppy.
Taste of hops, caramel, chocolate, wood, dried fruits. Great.

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janubio from Spain, Apr 25, 2020
Photo of kitch
3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A 22 fl. oz. bomber, 2016 release, bottled on 4th February 2016. Poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: A hazy rusty orange brown colour with a nice one finger orangey beige head that had pretty good retention while leaving lots of nice lacing.

Aroma: Caramel, toffee, citrus zest, orange, pineapple, bread, maltiness, booze.

Taste: Sweet, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, citrus zest, pineapple, grape, plum, herbal and boozy.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: The combination of sweet, citrus and boozy generally doesn’t work well for me, and it could be because of a terrible experience with mandarin vodka way back during my university years, but I can’t change that, and in this case, probably affected my view on this beer. The slight dark fruit notes probably saved it a bit for me, but in the end, not one of my favourite barleywines.

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kitch from Hong Kong, Jan 03, 2020
Photo of Brutaltruth
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Form the growler via Jungle Jim's (a vintage no less which was a shocker!).
This mighty fine barley wine pours a nice murky burnt auburn with a decent
dissipating white head that fades to a thin ring. Nose of peach, pine, apricot,
lush caramel, toffee, dark raisin bread, and herbal hop notes. Flavors surpass
the nose with peaches, white raisin, herbal and pine hop notes, rum, caramel,
apricot, and herbal notes on the rear of light mint and almost a Thai basil note.
Nice mouth feel; full coating body, low carbonation, and a bitter hop and sweet
malt finish that is nicely balanced.

Overall, a real treat!


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Photo of Lucular
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

5 oz pour on tap. Pours a deep amber-brown with a smallish off-white head. Smells like citrus/pine hops and tastes similar, with a rich caramel and toffee flavor that is fairly sweet without being cloying. Full-bodied and complex flavor profile with a creamy mouthfeel. Delicious.

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Lucular from Maryland, Jun 03, 2019
Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a snifter to a nice shade of reddish gold topped by a dense and slightly rocky finger of cream colored head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass
S: Smells of brown sugar sweetness and caramel with some aged hop oils. Slight fruity notes with a hint of herbalness and citrus
T: Taste is brown sugar and caramel up front with some light stone fruits and bitterness, hint of citrus and some herbal mint like notes as well. Citrus and stone fruits are slightly juicy and stand up well to the base beer and age. On the swallow there's a nice herbal kick with a little mint, more stone fruits, and a little more citrus with some lingering caramel sweetness and brown sugar.
M: This beer is full bodied and slightly creamy on the palate. Carbonation is adequate and slightly effervescent while the beer has a drying finish that's just a little oily from all the hops that went into it.
O: Overall this is a really nice beer. It has some great flavors and the complexity from the hop switch is really nice. I'm always amazed at how well Old Guardian ages. It's currently drinking quite well and tastes like it could stand up to some additional aging.

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SHODriver from North Carolina, May 31, 2019
Photo of cardfan212
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a goblet.

Look - Pours a hazy honey-like brownish amber color. A mild sand colored head pops up and dies down into some strong lacing.

Smell - Light caramel or brown sugar sweet notes, almost like a bowl of warm oatmeal. Strong notes of raisin, maybe some fresh apple. Surprisingly fruity. Surprisingly, despite the prominent labeling of being dry hopped, the scents I typically associate with hops are rather tame and fall to the back.

Taste - My initial reaction was stunned wordlessness. There was an immediate explosion of flavor that was too dense to describe. On closer examination, I can pull out most of what I was getting on the nose, but also black licorice (not just anise but also the waxy sort of taste I associate with the candy) and a healthy dose of baking spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Some sweet red wine aspects in there too. There's a lot here to unpack.

Feel - Smooth, creamy, thick, and fulfilling. The alcohol isn't in your face and offers up a comforting warming feeling, perfect for this cold winter night.

Overall - Really blown away. Normally I find dry-hopped beers to be too much, but this really doesn't play into the hopiness that much, if at all. Maybe it's the 2 years of aging on the store shelf it had, but this beer is a real winner. I'm very happy I got to experience this, but I'm also pretty sad I'll probably never get to experience it again.

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cardfan212 from Minnesota, Dec 08, 2018
Photo of FFreak
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This was surprisingly good. I bought it over a year ago at Costco for maybe $8.99. Bomber into a teku. Nice copperish color with pink hues and a huge, frothy head that persists. Candy and dried fruit aromas. Great taste in line with the smells. Mouth is medium body, nice carbonation, sweet but nicely balanced. Overall, very impressive for Stone.

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FFreak from Vermont, Jun 05, 2018
Photo of StJamesGate
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cherry with speckles. 4
Cough syrup. 3.75
Speck of chocolate, glace cherry, rum barrel, slight herb, and vague citrus. 4
Hot tingly end.
Chewy, medium, sticky. 4

No sign of Pekko, which is a pretty delicate hop for a barleywine anyway. Playing like a liqueur more than a barleywine; malts are just too candy sweet. This could be in the dead spot of aging where the aroma hops are gone but the heat hasn’t smoothed out - I’ve seen that with year-old Bigfoot. Either way, a tooth-rotter right now. 3.75

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StJamesGate from New York, Oct 09, 2017
Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.71/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L- Pours a deep, garnet red with a thin, off-white head with a little carbonation.
S- Tons of carmel malt and sweet, dark cherry. Maybe a slight dark chocolate smell.
T- Lots of dark cherry and carmel malt up front. All goes together extremely well and another dark fruit bite in the end. Toasted sugar and slight tobacco. Some hops come to the party in the end, but faded due to age.
F- Extremely smooth. Do not taste the alcohol, dangerous at 11%. Slight bitter warming in the end.
O- Awesome Barleywine! Stone keeps on kickin it!

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Photo of bubseymour
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had about 10 months past bottle date so hops had pretty much faded. Still a big malty but well balanced beer between malt and hops. Not too sweet at all.

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bubseymour from Maryland, Jan 01, 2017
Photo of BSiegs
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber red in color, moderate clarity. Light tan head with excellent retention. The aroma is rich and complex. Dark fruit, raisin, sweet malt. Earthy and slightly spicy from the hops. Taste is phenomenal. Raisins and dark fruits are most prominent. Malt, brown sugar, caramel. Moderate-full body with low-moderate carbonation. Balanced finish with almost no alcohol heat. A superb example of an american barleywine.

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BSiegs from Illinois, Oct 23, 2016
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss 26th anniversary tulip glass
From: Barons Market in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $8.39
Purchased: Sept. 8, 2016
Consumed: Sept. 8, 2016
Reviewed as: American Barleywine
Misc.: Bottled on Feb. 4, 2016

Not necessarily a huge fan of Old Guardian, giving the original a 4.31, the Oak-Smoked a 3.71 and the Extra Hoppy a 3.87. But saw this in the store and decided to try it. It was partly helped by the Feb. 4 born on date as I was hoping seven months later it would taste a bit better. I have no idea what Pekko Hops are, so this should be interesting.

Poured a reddish brown amber clear color with 2-to-3 fingers of khaki frothy head. Lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Excellent spiderweb foamy lacing. Almost perfect retention. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled toasted rye, iced tea, toffee, caramel, stone fruit, hints of earthy tobacco, orange chocolate candy, graham cracker, hints of toasted brown sugar, licorice, light pine and a touch of some kind of mint. (Smell - 4.00)

Taste was slightly better than the nose. Got toffee, tobacco, caramel, fig, orange chocolate candy, oaky woody Nugget, toasted brown sugar, toasted rye, iced tea, hints of Mosaic (could be stone fruit), honey graham cracker and pine. (Taste - 4.25)

Medium body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, woody finish. (Feel - 4.00)

This was much better than I anticipated. Might have slightly overrated it overall, but did enjoy it. I think the seven months, even if on a store shelf, helped. (Overall - 4.00)

4.12 | 92 | A-

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BucannonXC5 from California, Sep 24, 2016
Photo of Sabtos
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Red amber with a fizzy tan uniform head.

Fruity citrus aromas, quite surprising for a barleywine, especially one not super fresh, with graham, grapefruit, and pine.

Taste is more earthy to me, with wheat, but also some limey, minty Froot Loops.

Medium frothy body.

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Sabtos from Ohio, Aug 28, 2016
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had on-tap @ Alley Katz in Citrus Heights, CA

Appearance - Served up in a tall snifter with a half-finger, sandstone head. The brew itself is hazy and auburn brown in color. Fair head retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of suds.

Smell - An odd, mostly floral aroma with faint citrus and some vague malty sweetness.

Taste - Follows the nose in the floral character being the prominent flavor, though citrus notes are nearly as strong. Lesser malt flavors hit on light caramel and a bit of toast. A touch of raisin comes into play by mid-taste. Finishes with a bit of citrus pith, caramel and a faint, lingering astringency.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with fair carbonation. Slightly sticky texture with a mostly dry finish.

Overall - Good, but feels a bit confused. Frankly, I'd have trouble marking this as a barleywine if the style wasn't known to me before I started drinking it. It's drinkable, but nothing particularly seek-worthy, IMO.

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TheSixthRing from California, Aug 02, 2016
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a murky reddish brown with a one finger off white head. Good amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is toffee, brown sugar, grapefruit and piney hops.

T - The taste is caramel malts, toffee, orange peel, grapefruti and a heavy amount of piney hops in the finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Soft crisp mouthfeel with a dry sticky finish.

O - A definite winner. The flavors are very balanced and the ABV is hardy noticeable.

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TreyIsWilson from Michigan, Jul 31, 2016
Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a lightly hazy ruby brown with a medium creamy head that hangs for a bit. nose; caramel, toffee, fresh mint, dark fruit, citrus hops, & easy pine. taste; caramel malt, rye bread, mango, orange rind, hops, mint, raisin, brown sugar, & light ethanol. strong carbonation & heavy, velvety mouthfeel. the 11% abv is checked very well and is only slightly warming. the pekko hops are supposed to lend a fruity flavor, so i guess that's where the mango & orange comes in - it does a good job of providing some interesting sharp notes against the sweeter dark stuff. a nice mix-up on the style.

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jopezu from Georgia, Jul 28, 2016
Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful Ruby hinted mohagony with a lightly tanned head that settles to a ring with swaths of foam on the top of the beer. Aromas and flavors are incredibly complex: caramel, dark breads, dried fruits, butterscotch, honey, stone fruit, orange marmalade, and a hint of mint. Delicious.

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crob3888 from California, Jul 28, 2016
Photo of craftbeersweden
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light hazy beer with a two finger high beige, creamy head. A lot of lacing on the glass.

Nose: Caramel malt, butterscotch, honey, hops and brown sugar.
Taste: Dried fruit, caramel malt, orange marmalade, brown sugar and grapefruit.
Mouth: Full body with light carbonation. Thick and creamy. Complex and rich texture. Dry and bitter finish.

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Photo of Bulabeers
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L: hazy dark amber brew with a finger and a half of sudsy off white head that sticks to the side of the glass as you drink
S: bready malts, mint, toffee, peach, brown sugar
T: toffee, brown sugar, and lemon, with a slight minty hop bitterness. Little tiny bit of alcohol present.
F&O: Easy drinking for a barley wine. Not super heavy. Big abv and a lot of flavor but balanced and complex.

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Bulabeers from California, Jul 03, 2016
Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This barley wine pours a beautiful dark brown and that is mostly clear with a very rich, long lived tan head that eventually settles.

The nose is crisp alcohol and hops. that has a subtle malt bed that is donated by the grass and pine of the intense hopping. There are hints of butter, wet hay,

The taste is a powerful blend of hops. that dominates the palate with a buttery texture and crisp finish. There are notes of strong black pepper, camphor, nutmeg and unbelievably great hop flavor.

The mouthfeel is rich and buttery. A great match for the barley wine style.

Overall this is one exceptional barley wine. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of IronLover
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Weathered copper orange in color with a deep haze. Poured with a thick, dense, light beige foam with good retention. Medium high, yet mellow ripe tropical and earthy, resinous hop aromas. Medium malt and toffee aromas with sweet, boozy notes at the finish. Medium heavy bodied with a rich creamy feel and medium light carbonation. Pleasant boozy warmth from the middle to the end. Medium high malt and dark fruit flavors up front with toffee notes. Medium high minty hop flavors followed by overipe tropical fruit, pineapple. Medium hop bitterness through the middle followed by earthy minty notes and pleasant booziness at the end. Finished semi-dryly with toffee sweetness followed by earthy hop bitterness. Well balanced across the board. Malt and hop complexities are deep. Dangerously drinkable. Pleasant boozy warmth without any harshness.

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IronLover from Pennsylvania, May 25, 2016
Photo of arizcards
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a bomber from the Craft Beer Hop Stop in mid-February for $6.99. Bottled on 1/31/2016.

Beer poured amber brown with a nice off white head upon the initial pour.

Nose has some citrus and some vegetal going on.

Taste is citrus, pine, and light vegetal over a huge malt base that is lacking that caramelized toffee i enjoy in this style.

Mouthfeel is awesome as it is full, creamy, and smooth.

Overall this is a pretty decent brew but nothing special. It has potential to improve with age. Glad i had the opportunity to try.

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arizcards from Arizona, May 08, 2016
Photo of BeerManDan
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

When poured in a tulip glass the color was a clear amber, with a fair amount of very light tan foam and a fair amount of lace on the side of the glass. The smell was a pleasant herbal aromoa with a touch of spices. The flavor, for a Barley Wine was very soft and not acidic or had an alcohol bite. Very pleasing.

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BeerManDan from California, May 04, 2016
Photo of starclimber
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pretty much how I always wanted a barley wine to taste, and formerly been disappointed. Probably not the best pre-bike ride beverage choice, but I sure had a grin on my face as I threw a leg over. Don't try this at home, kids.

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starclimber from British Columbia (Canada), May 03, 2016
Photo of AndrewMichael
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into tulip style stemmed glasses. Brownish color with a nice head on the beer. You definitely get the strong barleywine booze aromas mixed with malts and hops. It was a bit more hop forward, which I like in barleywines, and pleasant to drink with all the complexities.

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2016) - Dry-Hopped With Pekko from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 210 ratings