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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 | Stone Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
105 Reviews
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.26%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 01-26-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
105
Ratings:
123
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
9.62%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 123
Photo of quasimoto
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pouerd nice copper color with a little tan head. It didnt stick around long, and didn't lace. The aromas are of a bananaish caramel. Also it reminds me if General mills made a peanut butter version of it's grape nuts cereal. It also has hops of a sort of citusly nature. They are not strong at all, they are hidden by thre malt mask.
The taste starts off with The hops that are apparant right up front and quickly surround the caramel malts with a high bitterness. There is a background of smoke and some paper in there.
The mouthfeel is kinda sharp and bitey due to the hops. It might also be because this is cold. There is a follow up of high alcohol. It leaves the mouth dry, but after a second it gets real gummy.
Overall Drinkability of this barley wine is middle of the road. It just doesn't seem balanced to me. Then again I havent drank a lot of barleywines.

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Photo of tjd25
3.33/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A soft mattress of foam stands on a very pure mahogany color body. Quiet and silent. The smell I found a little less powerful than expected. The initial sweetness got more nutty and woody as the brew warmed. The taste was way more bitter than expected; martini was the closest thing to this brew. The finish was more like sucking on a tree, with light hints of liquorice. I also got a round malty feeling at this point, making circles in my mouth.
The mouthfeel, although extremely smooth, was a bit weak in my opinion, lacking some more robustness and consistency. Drinkability is kind of low. I'm not entirely convinced by this Stone interpretation of the style. Maybe it needs to age a little bit. Will put one in the cellar for in a few years.

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Photo of Shiredave
3.12/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

It's rare that I write a review of a beer I didnt enjoy, and even rarer I dislike a beer from Stone, but this years Old Guardian resulted in both. On tap at Mahars in Albany, I tried OG after an Old Engine Oil and before a Bigfoot 2005, which I enjoyed far more.

The color was a deep, murky amber with a thin whisp of tawny head. Carbonation, if any, was not visable thru the protien haze.

Aroma was Hot with higher alcohols and a snootfull of gooey, malty stewed fruit. Spicey hop notes are in the mix but overshadowed by the massive caramel malt blast. The intense nose made me dive in, fully expecting the same intensity in flavor.

Flavor is certainly intense, but WAY over the top. If there is balance here, it was lost on me due to the huge alcohol presence from first sip to the long slow burn after swallowing. Very tasty, thick, fruity malt flavors coat the mouth as super strong boil hops just pummel the palate with bitterness that was too strong to be pleasent for me- and I Love hoppy beers- and west coast Barley wines in particular. I havent tried a bottle yet, and maybe they are a bit mellower, but the keg beer was too "over done" for my liking. Why do these brewers release these beers before they are ready? This, to me, is just way too raw and green.

Mouth feel was slick and heavy, full bodied and rockingly alcoholic. I am more impressed with strong beers that manage to hide the alcohol till the finish. Alcohol is most certainly there at the finish in this one and loong aftewards.
This is a good ( bad?) example of US brewers pushing the envelope too far. Its relatively easy to keep throwing stuff in the brew kettle and comming up with a massive beer. Its not so easy to make a fine, warming, balanced BW that doesnt wreck both palate and brain cells. I hope my OG 2005 bottle ages into something better. I may have to save it for 5+ years tho.

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Photo of Wadsey
3.1/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Stone Old Guardian, Winter 2005

Served in DFH signature glass. 

A: Pours clear amber with the faintest skim of a head. A light but steady stream of bubble course through beer, which is unexpected. 

S: Caramel and golden raisin notes dominate, indicating a hefty bill of crystal malts. Additional aromas include cherries, alcohol, light oxidation, and honey. Smell is more subdued than I'm describing. 

T: Taste does not follow particularly well. Malty sweetness, alcohol and medium bitterness comprise lion's share of taste. The alcohol and bitterness have undoubtedly diminished over years, but the other flavors have worn away more rapidly; therefore, alcohol and bitterness have no opposition. The alcohol has a solvent-like edge. However, caramel presence increases a notch when beer hits room temperature. 

M: Medium-heavy body an light carbonation. Warming and a little numbing. 

O: This bottle of Old Guardian was cellared properly and would certainly be "drinkable" for many years to come. It has not, however, improved and seems to be well past its peak. Too bad. 

 1,085 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.03/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of drabmuh at last weekend's Stone tasting. Served in a Stone goblet.

Pours a semi-hazy golden-caramel color with a bit of an orange hue. Short head without much in the way of retention or lacing.

The nose brings some caramel and brown sugar, as well as some older hops. Faint fruits in the background. The flavor has a good deal of sweetness and still just a touch of lingering bitterness. Medium body with low carbonation and a mixture of sugar and alcohol.

This was okay, but it's not something I'd really plan to age all that much of in the future.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.
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