Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2007)
Stone Brewing

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2007)Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2007)
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American Barleywine
4.14 | pDev: 9.66%
Stone Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2007)Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2007)
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Reviews: 239 | Ratings: 290
Photo of velo343
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - A deep amber/orange with a thick tan head.

Smell - Plenty of pine and citrus hops, not surprisingly. The alcohol is very noticeable through the hops.

Taste - A fruity, grape juice-like sweetness, with a bit of orange and grapefruit, pretty syrupy. Once again, the alcohol is clearly there, this time taking precedence over the hops, which themselves add to the citrus flavors and some grassy notes.

While a decent beer, it really does seem a bit young. The hops and malt seem to be too separate and have not become balanced yet. I'm sure my second bottle will be extremely enjoyable after a few months of cellaring.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Thick light tan head in my Old Guardian tulip. Crystal clear light amber, dark orange body. Almost a copper.
S- Big citrus and pine hops. Grapefruit comes through quite a bit too. Some alcohol is found in there also. Hints of bread and light yeast. Very faint hints of caramel too.
T- Citrus and light pine flavors come out first. Grapefruit is in there with that. Caramel and toffee malt body come in soon after. Alcohol throws itself in there to be tasted with the malt body. It then fades to something I can't quite put my finger on. Almost like a light bread? The alcohol gives a nice harsh warming through the big bitterness that is lingering on the tongue from the very first sip. I don't think the alcohol warming is as bad as everyone has made it out to be. It is there but it isn't a LOT! There are a lot worse beers. There is a grapefruit undertone to all of this also.
M- Full body with low carbonation.
D- It is really good. I do prefer these than bigfoot (both being fresh). I think it has a nice warming to it and just a very good complex beer and great example of the style.

Note: I would want to give it a 4.75 on the taste and a 4.75 on the drainkability, but I can't. I don't think though that it should just get a 4.5 and that is why I chose to round up.

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Photo of Ego
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap during the Stone "welcome to NJ" party @ Andy's.. and truth be told it was god awful, undrinkable really, and all of us agreed... so now it has some time to settle let's see if it has improved.

nice head for a barley, one full finger of slightly off white foam, packed microbubbles layer up nicely, lacing is dead on cling on, kind of a burnt orange/caramel hue, the head retains better than a lot of barley wines. this is very good looking.

fresh out of the laundry west coast hops, the alcohol lurks beneath but the hops dominate.... but not in an over zealous way, you would almost think you were smelling an IPA... an overly hopped IPA

taste etc...
old crustacean anyone ? this isn't as brutally bitter as that actually. I swear you can't even touch an old crusty for about 5 years. This is not as hoppy as I thought it was going to be and is very smooth. The alcohol content says hello as it warms your bum ass up. This is very easy to drink considering the ABV. The depth of flavor is a bit sparce though compared to other barleywines.. maybe it will develop more as it ages. Though right now as a fresh BW it drinks well. Mostly hops here but not over the top (imo). Once they fade with time I wonder what character this beer will develop.

I am going to pick up a couple of more bottles and put some time on them to really judge this offering properly... but the alcohol is well hidden and this beer is well constructed.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice amber color with medium head but some heavy lacing. Some carbonation is present throughout the body.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts and mild hops. Mild alcohol notes present.

Taste: The alcohol notes make themselves known in the finish but mostly the caramel and hops shine through.

Mouthfeel: Nice creamy feel, the mild carbonation is pleasant but not distracting.

Drinkability: If you can get past the minor alcohol notes in the finish this is incredibly drinkable high alcohol content beer. The hops linger nicely on the tongue while the caramel malts provide a strong backbone. I plan on buying a case of this to age. Apparently this beer does great with aging.

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Photo of Daehpoh
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a pint glass

Dark burnt orange color with distinct red hues, nice color
Moderate head which dissipated quickly, not much lacing

Smell is ripe fruit, apricot, some caramel with distinct hop aromas spiking through, alcohol is hidden well

Sweet and sour flavor, candy, apricot, pear sweetness with hoppy bitterness jumping all over it, very hoppy, alcohol again is relatively well hidden by the strong flavors in this brew

Thick, viscous mouthfeel, feels like a substantial beverage

This is a heavy, high alcohol beer that should be savored, thus lowering drinkability overall. The alcohol becomes quite noticable before too long.

Overall, this is a good, young, hoppy barleywine. With time, the flavors with meld together instead of declaring themselves so boldly independent.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish-brown color. Somewhat dark, but subdued. Very little head, which is pretty much gone before you can evaluate it.

Smell: The aroma is very fruity and floral. Malt flavors aren't distinct or very noticable at all.

Taste: Starts a bit sweet with malts (caramel-like), which leads into a grapefruit-like hop bitterness. From start to finish it is rather tart and very direct. The alcohol takes a bit of time to be noticed in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth, yet quite viscous. The carbonation feel seems to be masked by the tartness of the flavor.

Drinkability: This is a beer that is probably difficult for most people to drink, and even those people (like me) who enjoy barley wines will find this a bit less drinkable than others (since it's so powerful).

Quite a beast! Both the flavor and the alcohol are at times nearly overbearing. Seems to be a bit of a novelty, but it's still fun and enjoyable. Not for the weak of heart, but if you enjoy barley-wines or generally strong, unique beers, give it a try.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gives off aromas of toasty malt and a little sour milk aroma. Nothing is too evident in the smell department.

This pours with a moderate amount of CO2 and a slightly hazy dark amber body. The head produced is light tan, but doesn't last too long.

This has a syrupy molasses taste and feel. Definetly warm going down. It has a spicy warmness and a slightly bitter finish.

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Photo of zuggy9
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This barley wine pours a copper-reddish with a nice creamy head that retains quite well and laces well. It has a prominent smell a malts and some citrus. The alcohol content is also quite noticeable. The taste starts sweet with strong malts and heavy citrus and hops. A bit of a harsh aftertaste due to the level of malt. Very good body and mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation. It's not very drinkable, as to be expected, but a good choice.

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Photo of gonzo138
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a clear ruby amber color, vigourous carbonation rising up from the bottom of my manchester united pint glass with a big creamy head that both retains well and laces nicely

S- smells of sweet malts and big grapefruit citrusy hop aroma

T- complements the smell, sweet rich malt at first, followed by a big tasty grapefruit ish hop bitterness at the finish

M- full thick body with good carbonation

D- said it before and ill say it again, a good barley wine should not be that drinkable, definitely worth picking up though

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Photo of JasonA
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber, not much head, some lacing. Virtually no carbonation in glass.

Gotta take a big whiff to get the citrusii wine smell. Good once you get it.

Stone hops, barley wine. Can taste the alcohol. Not bad ABV, strong and tasty.

Kinda syrupy. Smooth, but maybe a little thick.

Overall a very nice brew. Maybe not something I would have a lot of due to ABV, but a good changeup. I think this BW is defined by the Stone Hops.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update: 06/2007: This tastes much, much better after having six months behind it. I have to adjust my review accordingly because the flavors really made me smile this time.

I had been anticipating this one for a while. It pours a nice ruddy orange color with a really good head (maybe I poured too fast). The smell is not very strong. The taste is average barleywine and alcohol. This is the first Stone beer that has ever disappointed me. it wasn't bad but I always expect to be blown away by Stone seasonal beers (I usually am). The alcohol was pretty noticeable but I think in a year or two this one will be awesome. I plan on picking up a case for aging purposes.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. This beer pours a clear, medium amber golden/copper color. It turns a deep but bright red when held up to light. Head is anout an inch thick upon pouring that settles to a a nice film layer on the beer's surface. Also has some very nice lacing too. Has a very floral, malty aroma along with some caramel or butter scotch, followed by a hint of hops. The taste is malty and sweet upfront followed by some hop bitterness. The sweet flavors remind me of caramel popcorn and butter scotch. The taste of alcohol is also somewhat present. This beer has a sort of buttery texture/mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is also crisp and creamy with moderate carbonation. Fairly easy to drink, but I hope drinkability improves with age. This is a good beer but I am confident it will become even better as it ages. I will have to pick up a few more bottles for cellaring. In my opinion Stone released this beer about 2 months too early this year.


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Photo of scottoale
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh yeah, an early release of a fine, young barley wine that just gets better...year after year!

From the 22oz. brown bomber with silk-screened label, pours a deep coppery orange with a stiff and creamy beige head with a slight orange tint. Good head retension with ample carbonation and plenty of lace left as consumed...nice.

Sweet, floral and fruity in the nose, very much the scent of honeysuckle. The maltyness dominates with sweet and fusel alcohols running down deep and a grassy hop note past that. The smell is sweet and tantilizing with lots going on in it's young stages...fairly complex, yet well balanced.

Sweet, malty intro with a fruity and alcoholic punch, fusel and billowy through the middle and ending cleanly sahweet. Light bitter aftermath.

Plenty viscous in body, loads of alcohol ta-boot...take it easy on this one if your not used to the big beers exceeding 11% ABV. Very enjoyable now, but will age beautifully like a fine wine, no doubt! Cheers to a brew of my favorite style!

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Photo of Wildman
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a cleared auburn color and formed a small off white bubbly head that left latticed lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, hops, pine and a perfume aspect I can't place. The flavor is of malt, hops, pine and a touch of carmel. The body is medium light and the finish was a touch astrigent and bitter. This early in the vintage, still rather raw and will have to try another one after aging.

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2007) from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 290 ratings