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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Barleywine - American
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: 68 | Ratings: 213 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by travolta:
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travolta from California

4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Feb 14, 2016
More User Reviews:
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whatthehull from California

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

Poured into a pint glass(all I had) from a 22oz bottle

A - lovely deep reddish copper, one finger off-white head and little to no lacing/legs

S - as an old guardian fan since day one, this has all the classic notes except a very sweet-citrus and in every awesome way over the top hop on the nose. Really nice. Very floral, citrusy and lots of island notes

T - old guardian with the same nose notes as taste. Impressive in every way. How in the world the nose and taste meet for a like minded handshake is beyond me. Very well done.

M - medium body (the hops give the body a lesser tone), well balanced, nice complexity, medium acidity, medium carbonation and a very nice sweet to hoppy finish

D/O - very refreshing, huge flavors and just nice all around. Really one of the better off-old-gaurdians there has been. Really like when they stick to a age old barley wine as they do but this one is absolutely perfect and close to over the top with out going outside the lines. Age-able, ready to drink and just plain awesome. Stone does it again!

Final thoughts - at $8 a pop and a nice 11% abv this one is ready to go and also ready to age. I would say that the fresh hops in the nose and taste may die out but none-the-less ready for both. Worth every penny and drop

Feb 12, 2016
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear burnt orange with an impressive three fingers of ecru foam on top; excellent retention and a nice pattern of Belgian lace; leggy, too

Smell: Powerful aromatics of apricot, pineapple, mango, lemon, mint and pine tones, underpinned by caramel and boozy aromatics

Taste: The mint is powerful, up front, and complements the apricot, pineapple, mango and pine tones; a big malt base, brimming with caramel buttresses the flavors, with lemon and orange flavors building, after the swallow; boozy and hoppy, through the finish, as only a Stone beer can be

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and full bodied; some warmth builds in the gullet

Overall: While I am not a fan of many of the Stone beers, I am a fan of Old Guardian as well as this variant; while I might be inclined to cellar the original, this version should be consumed fresh as I fear the minty element will fade

Apr 08, 2016
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oriolesfan4 from Maryland

3.99/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oct 04, 2016
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billab914 from Virginia

4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

May 15, 2016
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ocelot2500 from Maryland

4.74/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a clear garnet color with a tight, off-white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of herbal and citrus hops with some toasted malt.

Tastes of the sweet malts layered with fruity hops. Malts lead off with notes of caramel, toffee, toasted bread, and some . Fruits add in with notes of cherry and apricot. This gives way to hop notes with citrus zest, minty herbs, and a little earthiness. Some bitterness, but overall quite balanced. Ends with a slight lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel is full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a well done barleywine, and I would say it is the best version of Old Guardian yet. A more balanced approach to a beer that can be seen as too hoppy.

Feb 14, 2016
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sparx1100 from Minnesota

4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dec 09, 2017
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TheSixthRing from California

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.

Aug 02, 2016
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jaydoc from Kansas

3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sep 28, 2016
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Jimmys from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber. bottled 2/4/2016.

A: pours a clear deep amber hue. head is frothy and slightly off white. good lacing and retention. good looking beer.

S: aroma is piney, resinous, and loads of alcohol/malty caramel.

T: flavor is very rich. lots of caramel malt and dark fruit. getting loads of hops bitterness and flavor as well, but it is non-distinct.

M: good mouth on a very full bodied brew.

D: overall a classically delicious American barleywine and good Old Gaurdian. Only problem is I am not getting any aromatics I can pin to these Pekko hops. Usually not a problem, but it is when it is advertised like this.

Mar 08, 2016
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CHickman from New York

4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear blood red to dark copper color with a thick foamy 2 finger tan head that was full of tiny bubbles, dissipating very, very slowly and leaving wonderful foamy lacing coating the sides where the brew swirled in the glass. The lacing clings to the sides and does not slide down, looking more like an imperial stout with a nice layer on top. Way to kick start the 2016 Release, even before getting involved with these Pekko Hops.

Smells very fruity up front, like mango, guava and stonefruit, then the citrus, piney hops and fruit flavors burst through your nostrils before the malts, caramel and light booze kick in. Very dynamic, the toffee, caramel and brown sugar add sweetness that is countered by the citrus hop presence that seems fresh and then loses ground to Belgian candied sugar, gummy bears, Razzles and piney hops. Add in maple syrup, French toast, dark rum, cherries and dark rotting fruit and that about sums up how complex this nose is; a lot going on that expands more as it warms up.

Tastes of sweet malts, caramel, toffee and light booze or very oaky merlot up front, followed by piney hops, tobacco, tea leaf, mango, guava, stonefruit, lemon zest, oily citrus hops, cherries, Belgian candied sugar, gummy bears, Razzles and brown sugar or cinnamon. The next wave is a mix of dark rum, rotting fruit like plum or pears, raisins, mild vanilla and maple syrup or a grappa-like sweetness. The hops seems very fresh, the malt comes off as sturdy, and this complex brew gets better as it warms up. It flip flops from American style to English style barleywine, and kept my interest with every sip.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very smooth, with a slick feel that slides down easier than it should at 11% ABV. The body is thick, chewy and almost like a stew, with the alcohol definitely part of the entire experience. It's fruity with a slight bitterness, a sweetness that's not cloying but definitely a combo of malt and fresh oily hop cones, almost to the point of resiny in the hop presence. Tangy, mildly boozy and generally interesting.

Overall this was very tasty and quite enjoyable, keeping the 11% ABV in check. I may age one, but I almost feel with these Pekko hops that it's better fresh as the hops are very nice at this point. Highly recommended.

Feb 27, 2016
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GRG1313 from California

4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 10, 2016
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Bulabeers from California

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.

Jul 03, 2016
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours medium to dark red-orange with a half finger off-white head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, citrus hops, tropical fruit, lemon and orange family citrus, raisins. Flavor is caramel malt, piney and citrus hops, orange, lemon citrus, light tropical and light stone fruit, hints of dates and figs. Finishes with moderately aggressive hops with nice residual lemon and orange hop bitterness. Medium to heavy bodied with moderate creaminess. A hop forward barleywine with the classic Old Guardian malt body. Except for the lemon notes, this tastes a lot like the regular Old Guardian, with maybe a little more hop flavor. And that is a very good thing. This is a stellar barleywine in all of its variants. If a new version comes out with a hop variant, I'm happy to revisit it. Just got back from California and a visit to Stone to find this in my local grocery. Life is good.

Mar 03, 2016
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mactrail from Washington

3.21/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Always happy to try an interesting hop. Here the powerful flavor is licorice. Then there is the sugary sweetness. And even a taste of onions. Aroma is grapey. Juicy and frothy in the mouth. Dark red amber with plenty of foam in the Piraat tulip.

Hugely acidic and hot with alcohol. Tongue-numbing. Bitter yet sweet. Not often a good combination. I can't say this will be a welcome tipple when I slip into the old smoking jacket. From the 2016 Release, 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft for $8.39.

Mar 03, 2016
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IronLover from Pennsylvania

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.

May 25, 2016
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justintcoons from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Ruby red with 1 finger of off-white head. Excellent clarity with light carbonation.

Musky melon, damp and floral, candy sugar, booze, caramel, toffee, and bread.

Copious amounts of candy sugar. Sugar coated lemon wedges, musky honeydew melon, mint, and damp florals. Caramel, toffee, and bread. The booze is apparent.

Medium-plus bodied, sticky, warming, and moderately bitter.

The Pekko dry-hop is a nice additional to Old Guardian. Adds some musky fruit and mint flavors. A step up from last years "Extra Hoppy."

Mar 04, 2016
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thinwhiteduke from Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 20, 2016
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Daniellobo from District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 25, 2016
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BHansen214 from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jun 07, 2016
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BeardedWalrus from North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Feb 23, 2020
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a nice creamy tan head that dissipates very quickly and leaves a nice foam ring around the inside of the glass. The beer itself is a clear brown that has a very nice dark copper hue that borders on ruby.

The smell is very interesting and fairly different from regular Old Guardian. The smell still has a nice caramel note to it but the hop note is stronger and much more fruitier. The hop note seems to resemble strawberry after it mixes with the caramel note. There is also a moderate orange note supplementing the strawberry. While there is a caramel note, it seems to be extremely light.

The taste contains the same notes but is a bit different from the smell. The fruity hop notes are still there but they aren't as strong and the caramel sweetness comes out much stronger and blends well with the hops. The alcohol comes out a little bit as well.

The feel is a bit thin for the style but it's still pretty good. The beer is clearly heavy bodied but scarily drinkable. The carbonation is on the lighter side but still pretty nice.

Overall, a pretty good beer with an interesting hop strain. The experience is very good and definitely recommended to get if you can.

Apr 18, 2016
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zachary80 from Indiana

4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Mar 09, 2016
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Apr 02, 2016
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TBoneJones from Texas

4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red/ light brown, with off-white head and fine lacing.
Smells delicious with citrusy hops, malt and a good number of other notes: pine, orange, lemon, mint, light brown sugar.
Taste is a resinous bomb of piney hops, and still plenty of citrus. This comes off to me like an experimental imperial ipa or something other than what I expect a barley wine to taste like, but this is tasty good in the best kind of pithy-dank-resinous and pine-like way possible (the mint note claimed by the description seems like pine to me, but to each his own impression). Somewhat herbal finish, yet remains sweet enough without getting lopsided.
Thick and full, somewhat syrupy. Lingering bitterness like a minty-pine burn.
I've tried Victory beers for awhile now, just never this. Pretty impressive stuff.

Feb 28, 2016
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2016) - Dry-Hopped With Pekko from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 213 ratings