Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
124 Ratings
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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
Ratings:
124
Reviews:
105
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
8.94%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 124 |  Reviews: 105
Photo of GClarkage
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

09/18/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 22oz bomber with no freshness dates. Limited winter 2005 release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Amber-gold, almost brandy-esque coloring. 1/2 inch super creamy white head. Limited lacing.

Smell- Super sweet caramel scent. Cherries aged in oak as well.

Taste- Has this been aged in oak? Very hoppy background as assumed with all Stone brews. Not really any cherry flavors detected. If any, maybe it's cherry soaked in alcohol and then covered in dark chocolate. Huge, and I mean huge caramel taste. Doesn't have the sweetness as expected though considering.

Mouthfeel- Medium to lower carbonation. Super bitter on the pallete.

Drinkability- Hopefully the '04 will impress me a bit more. Not bad, but it may need a bit more aging. A bit more sweetness would have made it more drinkable.

***Aged bottle consumed February '08.

Has become very very caramely. Flavors of vanilla and cream. Almost english barleywine flavored. Extrememly drinkable. This beer was a "5" on taste...almost 5's across the board to be honest.

 1,102 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Guardian served in an Old Guardian glass, this beer does not really improve with age but it also doesn't get much worse.

Beer is ruby and clear with a thin lazy off white / tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation. Looks good.

Stone biting house yeast with nice MO grain / malt aroma, strong throughout.

Beer is medium in body with a mild bitter and hoppiness on the back end, it is a fine beer with a nice finish but there is this underlying faded, musky hoppiness there. I don't like it as much as the newer ones.

 538 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of tempest
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great beer, but considering this is a Stone brew, I was hoping for a little more. For starters, this is a golden barleywine, peach colored with a slight red tinge. No head unfortunately, but that happens with this much alcohol. The aroma of of sweet, syrupy pineapple and peach juice, like from the canned fruit with grass and fresh ground black pepper. The flavor matches much of the aroma but with more spicy citrus rind and doughy malt for balance. The aftertaste focuses on the spicy hops and reminds me of Italian cooking spices for their earthy taste. The body and weight are reasonably heavy for this type of beer. Finishing a bomber is no trouble, as long as you're sharing. Good beer.

 693 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm and malty scent that is slightly hoppy, but nothing too strong. The taste is great. It has a very smooth, malty flavor that goes down easy for an abv. of 11.26%. It has a bitter hoppy finish; very well balanced. It has a warming effect on the way down. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good barley wine. It is so smooth for a "big beer." It has excellent hop flavor; an awesome drinker.

 573 characters

Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Derek
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Perhaps I should've waited another couple months for it to be 3 years old!

A: Amber-copper, light tan hfead, some retention, nice leg/lacing. Exceptional for its strength & age.

S: Bold, bitter hop aroma is resiny & slightly herbal. Sherry-like alcohol, toffee, cotton-candy fruity esters,

T: With almost 3 years in the cellar, it's still very hop-forward with an assertive bitterness. The piney, resiny hops meld with the fruity ale esters and the toffee, nutty, biscuity malt flavours. Slight vanilla and sherry. The alcohol is very warming, but not at all harsh.

M: Moderate body is smooth & creamy, with a definite hop acidity. Modest carbonation. Very well-attenuated considering it's strength, but it's not too dry.

D: Big & bold.

 742 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Grub for this one!
January 2005 Bomber sampled September 2006. The good year and half under its belt certainly didn't hurt it!
A beautiful (I use that word appropriately) appearence. Head at a decent level but would diminish slowly through the course. Clearly enough to cross out any doubts of oxidization. It glowed a hazed ruby colour. Hoppy West Coast (typical Stone) aroma. So ever satisfying, no one does hops quite like Stone. Heavy mouthfeel, the hops add density. Warming boozy notes on the middle and finish. Really, an ultimate barleywine. Enough malt to keep things grounded, something alot of these hop monsters overlook. Largely filling. Booze, hops and excellent compliment of malt. Pushes to the back of the mouth and warms the throat. Alcohol, otherwise well contained. Increasingly coudy (and tasty) as sediment was poured in from the bottom of the bottle. Such crisp, floral hops. Just incredible. Stone is a brewery that lives up to its reputation. I would love to have a bomber (or 2) and put myself to sleep.

 1,050 characters

Photo of Zorro
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle I have held on too for a long time.

This is now a thick copper colored ale with no head formation

The smell is sweet and fruity and still quite strongly hoppy to the nose. Aromas of alcohol and black pepper, fig, cherry, chocolate and rum.

The taste begins sweet and bitter with a nice toffee after taste. This is still quite a strongly flavored beer mostly fruit, wood and hop bitterness. The main flavor defect here is that the hop bitterness is still strong enough to cover up the more subtle flavors. This can still age some more before hitting its peak flavor.

The mouthfeel is thick.

Drinkability is good but not great. This is a beer that still needs some aging to hit its peak of flavor. At present the hop bitterness is covering up flavors, my guess is in two more years this will be at its peak of flavor.

 839 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a lightly cloudy orangish color with a small white head. Nose is nice and malty, chewy caramel, with some of the floral and ctirus notes still hanging in there. Taste is caramel, deep and malty, mellow and damn tasty with pine/floral notes and it was not near as hot as a nw release OG. Still had good carbonation and this barleywine was down right excellent! OG is one of the best aging bwines I have found to date.

 423 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this one up last winter in San Diego, so I managed to hold on to it for almost 10 months. Bright coppery orange colour with a fine tan head that reduced to a thin layer of bubbles. Plenty of lacing, and this lastest throughout. Fairly mild aroma with lots of malt, caramel, graham crackers and a bit of fruit. The flavour was well balanced between malt and hop bitterness, with a definite caramel character and a hint of pine. Alcohol comes forward at the end, along with a bit of warmth. Carbonation was on the low side of average, the body was on the full side of medium, and there was just a hint of stickiness. I found this to be a well-balanced brew, mellowed somewhat with the alcohol nicely integrated into the character. I'm looking forward to 2006.

 766 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear and bright orange/red, medium but thick white head forms, some very pretty lacing. Smell is nice and malty, carmael, grass, citrus/floral hops, alcohol, vanilla oak, and spice. Taste is caramel, pine/floral hops, vanilla, little bit of alcohol, and a clean rich, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium to high bodied, with low carbonation. This bastard has been aging for almost a year, very smooth and controlled, excellent barleywine. Thanks DrJay!

 460 characters

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

Every year I wait for one of my favorite Stone beers to hit the shelf, of course this one hit while I was under the weather, so it got pushed back in a corner of the DBF. The beer as it emerges from the 22 ounce brown bottle a tralucent deep copper color, the head is mastodonic in size and spumescent in texture, after it slowly fades to nothingness, the lace forms a tight girdle to surround the glass. The aroma of sweet malt, over ripe fruit, hops, cotton candy all occupy the nose, what a treat, start is sweet with a thick grain profile and the top middling to full in its feel to the palate. Finish is delectably acidic and the hop potent in their spiciness, and the 11. 26 percent ABV makes itself know in the tummy warming and the alcohol bitterness in the very dry aftertaste, Another splendid vintage that will age nicely.

"bonum beer laetificat cor hominis"

 872 characters

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of dirtylou
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"limited winter 2005 release"

appearance: served in my great lakes chalice, bright clear amber-orange body, cream white head with light retention

smell: pine sap, thick caramel malts, honey, dark fruits, orange peel

taste; for being almost 6 years old, this beer still has a tight flavor profile. the citrus hops are gone but sticky pine remains, along with lots of honey, bitter orange peel, caramel, booze. I was worried this may have passed its prime, but it's still on point

mouthfeel: rich, creamy medium body, moderate bitterness in the finish

drinkability: good

 573 characters

Photo of jaxon53
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of tavernjef
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very attractive dark orange tinted bronze with a semi-dull clarity. The cap is ivory colored, small, compact, and loosely set, doesn't keep for too long, but leaves a ton of thin glazing sheets of lace.

Aroma is of caramel covered pears and melons soaked in rum. Understated hops to this one with just a hinting of floral resin hop oilyness intwined in an alcoholic heat.

Taste is quite mild. Medium malts with a full fronting caramel and fruityness favoring a bit of tropical flavors. Pineapple, pear, melon, dates, and a mish-mash of rummy/whiskey malt-like malting and warmth. Actually, this is quite a warm belly full. Slight pine and hop heat with a tiny floral edge add some depth to its finish. Warm and long standing finish of heat easing off with touches of the caramel laced with the floral hop tend to keep a solid position on the palate, in the throat, and down into the belly.

Feel is about medium and less substantial then most other Stone brews I've encountered. Not quite as beefy or big. A little more loose and free in this one. Still has that inevitable creamy smoothness and low carbonation that can be found in most other Old Gaurdians'. The somewhat lack of body is more then made up for in its beautifully enhanced warmth. Its very soothing and warm. A definate worthy sipper in that regards. The bigger ABV is evident enough in its warming character but still yields that quick and slick drinkability, even when sipped, the palate still yearns for more, making this another dangerously fine drinker from Stone.

 1,543 characters

Photo of arizcards
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Received a bottle as a gift last spring.

Poured a deep cloudy copper with a nice tan head that is sustaining fairly well. Nose is a complex medley of sweet spicy malts and dark fruits. Taste is malty and sweet, bready, and finishes with a nice compliment of bittering hops. The alcohol is very warming. Interestingly enough, the taste changes with each sip. Mouthfeel is nice and full, creamy and smooth. Drinkability is pretty good as the high abv is masked fairly well for awhile but eventually rears it's warming head. This is a very interesting beer, very complex and well put together. One must try it!

 611 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The liquid is a translucent brownish-orange in color and almost seems to glow in the dark. The head was negligible, which is typical of the style.

Smell – The malts and sugars here are huge, as is the alcohol. The hops are a little more subdued than in previous years, although I can pick up some traditional citrus.

Taste – The piney hops come out much bigger in the taste, although this one is all about the malts and booze. The sugars are very strong as well. They are like refined sugar that you pour on your Cheerios in the morning. There are also some nice fruity flavors like watermelon and pears.

Mouthfeel – This is full-bodied with a sharp alcohol sting and a serious dry finish.

Drinkability – This is more like Barleybooze than Barleywine. It is large and in charge but begs to be kept from the cellar, unlike previous years.

Update – I cellared a case of this and popped one at year two (2007). The alcohol sting has sunk into the background making this one of the most pleasurable ABWs on the planet.

 1,038 characters

Photo of gford217
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 bottle courtesy of crosling poured into a snifter.

Pours a light, crystal clear amber with a small creamy beige head that recedes to a small collar and leaves some legs after each sip.

The aroma is wonderfully sweet. It's got caramelized dark fruits, toffee, brown sugar. There's not much left of the hops, maybe some orange peel and musty grasses, but the aroma has taken on a brandy-like aroma that's extremely appetizing.

The taste is just as sweet. It's got tons of caramelized sugar, oranges, and toffee. There is a much more prevalent spiciness in the taste, maybe from the remaining hops.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and sticky sweet with a low, tight carbonation that keeps things from getting too cloying.

This one has held up exceptionally well and I think I may prefer this to the fresher bottles I've had. It's really mellowed and turned into a sugary sweet after-dinner sipper. Excellent.

 922 characters

Photo of Bierman9
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had another bottle of this last night (26JUL06), to see how it has stood the test of time.... Nothing different in appearance... still a beautifully rich chestnut hue...nice head and lacing... Aroma on the mild side, exhibiting mostly malty notes... toffee... Found the mouthfeel to have improved. Was a medium-plus, and velvety smooth on the tongue. Hell yeah! Flavor? Wow... lots and lots of malt... the hops have mellowed big time! Caramel and toffee sweetness abounds... great malt... Some heat becomes evident... Very late in the game it gets real piney and resiny, and this flavor lingers long in the after-taste... Malt really takes over after a year+, though... Quite nice!
Prosit!!

overall: 4.3
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5

*** ***

I found a couple of bottles of the latest edition this morn (26FEB05) at my local, and I just HAD to score them. Front has "Limited Winter 2005 Release!!" painted on, with an interesting Turkish diatribe from Greg gracing the back.
Poured a gorgeous, deep chestnut color into the goblet, with crystal clarity and a small amount of bubbles slowly rising within. Head was initially 1/4", but faded rapidly to a fine, thin layer of beige bubbles, most of which congregated at the perimeter. Smell had a toasty malt aspect, along with a "hot" alcohol kick, and some sharp citrussy hops. Body bordered on medium, and it passed fairly smoothly across the tongue, interrupted only by a bit of bubbly carbonation. Taste has a crisp, caramel maltiness along with a noticeable alcohol warmth. Hops are fruity, with a sort of pineapple lean to them, and linger well on the palate and in the mouth. They also possess a super piney, resiny quality. Hell yeah! A real nice bier, though it doesn't seem as complex as past years. Perhaps a bit of aging my help, and I can revisit this review later.
In general, though, I enjoy the Smuttynose Barleywine more at this point. Throw in the fact that Smutty is $2.49 per bomber as opposed to $7.95, well...there you go... (4.5/3.5/4.5/4.0/4.5 = 4.25)

Prosit!!

795

 2,091 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yee-haw, the new version of a favorite on tap at the Stone 6.6.6 event at Anam Cara this past Friday. Dark glowing orange copper with a nice head of off-white foam. Good sheets of lace from this one as well. Aromas are all booze, alcoholic malts, lovely sticky citric, and floral hops in a great unison. Taste is awesome. Super hoppy, hoppier than any other vintage in fact. So smooth and ready to drink right now. Mouthfeel is creamy and so warming. Thick, syrupy, and enveloping. Drinkability is damn good as well. 11.2%!? Crazy talk! This stuff is nuts.

 556 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22 ounce screen printed bottle that retains the overall Stone Old Guardian screen printed design, yet those Stone fans with a keen eye will notice that the “Limited Winter 2005 Release!!” has some minor changes, the Gargoyle has been placed in a circle, are they clipping his wings?? And the word Stone is set inside a red box, rather than the words Old Guardian on the past designs. I also note that unlike any other Stone Bottles that I have had, this one seems to have the following words ‘Old Guardian Barleywine Style Ale 2005 Edition Bottle-Conditioned’ etched into bulge on the neck of the bottle. Oh yeah, and this years offerings is 11.26%, crazy shit.

Appearance: Lovely looking dark orange amber burnished copper color, perfectly clear with a large fizzing tan head at first, but that soon settles to reveal a broken covering that retains a halo ring and some smattered single layer bubbles in a broken scum like covering. Low carbonation.

Nose: Lots of malts as expected. Strong alcoholic Barleywine feel throughout. Oily pine needles and some sharp caramel. Lighter than previous years I think.

Taste: Malts and lots of alcohol. The sappy bitterness is oily and pine like and it’s all in the beginning. Huge malt bill swims in an Ethanol filled Olympic sized swimming pool. Big sweetish finish that combines all these traits but the malts get it. Warm finish rapidly rises to a hot swallow. Terminates with a dry feel and lots of Aniseed lingers on the tongue long after the heat dies out.

Mouthfeel: Oh its huge, the alcohol is not well hidden, it doesn’t need to be. Powerful licks and strong back kicks add to the devastating warmth in the back end. Massively Full-Bodied.

Drinkability: Took a while to sink this one, even late at night it’s a monster to sink. The heat in the swallow and the kick-ass alcohol makes this one a sipper for sure. Drinkability would improve with some nice aged Cheddar and snacks I feel.

Overall: Had this for a few months before tackling it, seems rather high octane and seriously “big”. I think that this does need some time to develop a little, but the hardcore Stone fans will disagree and I have heard it said that this is good to go right now. I fall somewhere in between, I think a little aging may help, I’ll return to the rest of my stash in another 6 months time.

 2,361 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of sulldaddy
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I bought this beer a while ago and am sampling at room temp in a snifter/tulip glass.
The beer pours a clear chestnut color with some ruby tints as well. A fluffy tightly packed off white head of 1 cm, floats easily on the surface.
Aroma is appealing, with caramel and toffee, some citrusy hops, a bit of raisin and some dark fruit (plums) as well. A bit of alcohol says hello too.
First sip reveals a very smooth textured and even beer. Very fine gentle rolling carbonation.
Liter body than I expected as well.
Flavor is malty sweet with caramel and toffee mixing and some baker's chocolate in the middle of my tongue. I think some red grape are in there towards the end as well.
I get just a hint of piney hops and then onto my belly. Definitely some warming going on there. The alcohol is not harsh but actually increases the pleasure of drinking this beer. I cant believe how easy each sip goes down at 11.2% this is dangerously smooth.
This beer is very nice and I wish I had another bottle to cellar.

 1,015 characters

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2005 from Stone Brewing
4.25 out of 5 based on 124 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.