Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 | Stone Brewing

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007
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 Wildman on 01-25-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
239
Ratings:
290
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.65%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
14
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 239 | Ratings: 290
Photo of gpcollen1
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an intriguing golden dark amber into my Lees Harvest Ale glass. Head barely comes to life and all but disappears. Aroma is caramelly sweet with hops riding in a staying on top. This is obviously young but not as pungent as some young BWs.

Hits my tongue with some mild carbonation and right into a syrupy sweet light hops. Hops intensifies on the tongue as it rolls its way back and makes me feel as if my tongue is swelling a bit. Not quite over the top for a young BW but you can definitely sense that as the hops mellow, the malt profile will dovetail into it and make something nice.

I do not get people killing the ratings on this one. It is fresh and can only be judged as such. If you think it will be good in a few years then it should be judged as such, without killing it now. On the other hand, giving this a 5 would be ridiculous. Waiting for a 1/2 case of this to lay down and will return to review.

Thanks to my buddy Spencer for finally bringing me something I did not have - I am still looking for something I cannot get!!

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Photo of BBM
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a vibrant clear orange color, with a rocky white head, nice lacing and a lot of carbonation action. The aroma is syrupy and heavy on the alcohol; notes of earth and flowers do come through a bit.

This is a hell of a big beer, with a stern malt backbone trying its best to mask a surprisingly noticeable hop profile. The alcohol makes its presence felt as well, especially as the beer warms. Piney hops, earth, and barley are the main themes here. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. It will take a while to finish 22oz of this, and you'll be satisfied with that.

Generally I love when Stone goes overboard with their beers, but this one didn't quite do it for me. Seems big just for the sake of being big. It's still a quality brew, but I've had better Barleywines.

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Photo of velo343
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
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 aerozeppl
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice clear copper color with no head.

S:Malt with some mustiness. Raisins as well.

T:Tons of malt and a faint hop smell in the back.

T: Medium syrupy body. Very smooth though.

D: Fresh this beer "Rips your throat out" but given some time it really mellows out and becomes quite drinkable. Also it ends up being one of the more traditional barley wines we had the other night.

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Photo of spartanfan
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a beautiful orange red color with a small white head, which has since dissipated into a small ring around the outside of the brew.

S: This a a very complex aroma with quite a bit of estery alcohol. Smells of sweet brown sugar and caramel. Also, juicy pears and apples.

T: More of the sweetness from the nose. Caramel and some spicy hops are up front. A lingering bitter aftertaste is quite dry.

M: Very full creamy mouthfeel. Perhaps a bit too much carbonation for my liking, but still very good. Incredibly smooth for the alcohol content.

D: This beer has a very complex flavor, but it is also quite strong, and the alcohol is pretty apparent, so the drinkablity is not what it could be.

This beer is still very good, but I prefer it fresh at the peak of it's hoppiness.

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Photo of peabody
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone Old Guardian Barleywine Glass.
One finger of white suds. Lacing as it warms.
S. Rope and grass. A sweet grape caramel and strong yeast. An alcohol aroma in the back but not a lot.
Taste is all over the place. Bittersweet grain with an alcohol afterburn. Raisin and plum with a dry bitterness that might be from the hops. The alcohol is very strong here. But not overpowering.
Mouthfeel is a bit oily but dry enough to make you want another sip.
Drinkability is low here because of the high abv. Stone could have calmed down the abv here and made a better product.

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Photo of Kendo
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my new Stone Old Guardian glass.

A: Given the high ABV, a surprisingly big, 2-finger tannish, cream-colored head settles over a clear, bright, copper-orange body. A very, VERY slow stream of bubbles rises and the head leaves some rings of lacing.

S: Milder than expected for some reason; usually I drink barleywines out of an oversized wine glass and I thought maybe (1) the narrow glass trapped the nose, thereby diminishing it; or (2) it was too cold . . . . Anyhow, the nose was malty -- sweet and bready -- but with a hint of citrusy hops and a waft of alcohol. Sweet malt nose becomes stronger as it warms.

T: Initial impression is of alcohol -- it's hot in the finish and aftertaste and you can feel the warmth on the way down to the belly and when it settles there. Beyond that, there's the sweet malt -- like the nose, it becomes sweeter as it warms -- and some dark fruit or berries peaking through the alcohol. It does finish, however, with a dry, bitter twang to it. I wrote down "almost lemony bitterness." But the alcohol is noted throughout.

M: Medium-heavy, somewhat oily in texture, but still the most obvious thing is the heat left from the alcohol.

D: Not bad, I suppose, for a beer with an ABV of 11.28%, but that alcohol will definitely slow you down.

Notes: I was warned that this would likely benefit from some aging, and given the dominance of the alcohol, I tend to agree. I'm glad I bought a couple of bottles of this, as I'd like to see if it mellows over time. The underlying flavors were solid, with a decent blend of fruity and sweet malt and hop bitterness for balance, but everything was overshadowed by the alcohol.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have I mentioned lately how glad I am that Stone is available in Michigan, finally? Old Guardian is an interesting brew, it reminds me a lot of a grapefruity counterpart to Arrogant Bastard, which is a damn fine brew in its own right.

The pour on this one is hazy orange, and the smell is a grapefruity, sugary...malts on the edge as well. The flavour of this carries over similar tones: a strong malt backbone with a variety of fruits with grapefruit, apples, and even some dark hints in the background. The flavour is odd though, I have to mark the beer only a 3.5 here because I frankly felt it was subdued for the style.

A similar sort of story on the mouth, it had a great mouth in general, plenty of hop bite, decently thick, but I still think it's only decent relative to the other beers in this style, which often coat like motor oil.

One thing I can't knock this beer on is drinkability though, very easy to put down (just like Bastard).

Overall: This is a good beer, but it happens to be only decent for its style. I can't complain about the price, but I don't think this one stands out enough to be a repurchase for me.

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Photo of Cresant
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a nonic glass. 2007 vintage. One finger of off-white head sat atop a clear, light amber colored body. The second pour created a larger head that left some lace.

Smell was soapy hops. Sweetness was in the background. Earthy and floral. Clean grains. Perfumy and later, leafy. This one opened up significantly as it warmed. Eventually this one smelled like I stuck my nose into a freshly opened plastic wrapper of Roman Meal bread.

Taste was first of rowdy hops, then muted sweetness. Tropical fruit. The flavors became more intense as it warmed. The scorching hops, the sweet malts and the pleasant alcohol flavors formed a trinity of balanced and highly drinkable barleywine. There was a lingering, mild bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was zesty and creamy with an alcohol prickle. Medium to full bodied. Usually barleywines are too sweet and boozy for me, this one was not (I am an admitted hophead). This one was very drinkable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler.

Big thanks to plenum for this vintage gem!

The kettle's a-boilin' now, so what better time to break out a vintage OG? It pours a hazed tawn' topped by a half-finger of tan-ish cream foam. The nose comprises light caramel, lemon zest, light mandarin orange, and buttered biscuits. The taste holds notes of tangerine, lemon, very light buttery caramel, and a strong phenolic bite in the back. The body is a solid medium, with a moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a pretty solid barleywine, though I think age may be starting to get to this guy. Even still, despite that, this is surprisingly pretty good.

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Photo of Foxman
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a very slightly hazy guava orange amber. Three fingers of fluffy light beige head drop gradually to a lunar froth scape. Wings of lacing fly along the inside of the glass.

The aroma is mucho malty, toasted and caramel syrup sweet, with berry and apple accompanying. A draft of citrus and pine signify the hops arrival, and the alcohol is hot and sinus-clearing.

Upon sipping, there rushes in a dense malt sweetness, lofty with brown sugar and caramel, and fruity with cherry and juicy, crisp apple. Dry grapefruit and pine presage a marked turn toward a glowing bitterness. The alcohol is searing and almost raw. The finish is an extended bitter but clean assault. It's big, brash, and seemingly full of potential, but before its time as well.

Full bodied, the coating and glowing is actually one of the more impressive points.

In time, with good age, this will likely develop a pleasing measure of dimension and complexity, but right now it's too shallow for its size and too hot for its own good. The ABV is a slap and a jab, with the result a thin case for drinking very much more. Age, maturity, seasoning- a Jedi may crave not these things, but this beer does, because the potential's there. Let's revisit this one in six months, or maybe a year.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in an Old Guardian glass, because I can.

Beer is ruby in color and clear with an off white head of small bubbles with low retention, some lacing and moderate carbonation.

Aroma is bready, yeasty, nice esters, a little fruity with plums or other stone fruits.

Beer is medium in body and sweet, very sweet, mildly bitter from the grains in the back and the midpalate is estery with some nice fruits or grape skins. Not my favorite series of beers from Stone but this one is pretty decent.

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Photo of Onibubba
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Damn my arrogance. I broke into this baby too early. Just testing the waters...An attractive amber pour with a short lived cream colored head. Hops assail the nose with a potent alcohol backup. Taste has some of the malt presence, but it is out of balance with the aggressivness of the hops and the heat of the alcohol. Mouthfeel reaasures me that all is well, this just needs more time in the bottle to balance out. Drinkability takes a hit as this is just too hot and hoppy to be really enjoyed right now.

The 2006 bottles I've held on to taste mighty fine right now. I imagine about this time next year, the 2007 will too.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fills a tulip glass with clear, reddish copper, some carbonation and a thin, frothy almond head that puts a film on the glass and modest legs.

Well balanced caramel and pine -- almost pine tar. Some raisins and honey are detectible in the background.

Opens with a strong punch of alcohol, immediately followed by a jab of hop bitterness assaulting the tongue before the more subtle flavors can be appreciated. Raisins do come through along with caramel, but the long bitter finish overwhelms the flavor nuances.

A medium to full body beer with slick texture and abrasive carbonation. While some sweetness is present on entry, none remains for the dry finish and alcohol is assertive.

A difficult beer to drink as warmth brings out more alcohol, preventing the flavors from truly developing, especially after aging three years in the cellar. If this is intended to be overly aggressive, then, well done. However, I think Stone has pushed the envelope a bit too far and may have lost the beer in the process. For those who are seeking alcohol and assertive bitterness, Old Guardian is for you.

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Photo of Daehpoh
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
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 HugoGrim
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bomber into a standard pint. Look is standard for the style. An aggressive pour produced little head. Golden amber body.

Aroma is sweet and malty. Very little hops in the nose, which is unexpected.

Flavor begins with subtle citrus elements mixing with the bold hops. Pine hops, toasted oats, creamy honey. Finishes with an intense hop and fresh wood flavor. Alcohol is subtle for being as high as it is. Very warming.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had a bottle of Old Guardian since January. I had nothing to do last night, so I thought why not break it out? Let's see what nearly 10 months has done to this beer:

I'm a proud owner of an Old Guardian serving glass, and that's what this beer goes into. Deep ruby red appearance with orange hues, topped by the perfect two-fingers thick head. This barleywine has an herbal smell and a spray of veggies. When it warms up, a fruity aroma takes that down. The taste is quite different from anything I was expecting, bittersweet tasting. Extremely thick like syrup. Surprisingly floral and piney tastining, but warming it up brings in fructose and cough drops. Either way, the alcohol is big.

This way my first attempt to age a beer. Not as good as I was hoping for, perhaps this needed more time. You'll want pair this up with food, as the flavor can become quite cloying.

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Photo of Vancer
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent BW, sent courtesy of Secret Bunny rayjay.

Another classic Stone, this BW has all the right ingredients, but they just up not mixed quite properly; amber orange pour, topped by a sweet ivory head that just sticks to the glass sides. Orangy caramel in the aroma and taste. A bit tangy and piney, slightly off-style. Guess the ol’ Bastard wanted to lend a hand to this brew too, as it ends up a bit on the IPA side. Alcohol is well-hidden, but I know it’s there by the sharp path it cuts across the tongue.

I have the 2006 version too, can’t wait to see how it mellows after a year, or if that year was more BW than IPA.

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Photo of nd5282
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A richly malty beer with a golden light brown coloring. A smooth and sweet flavor initially followed by a well-balanced bitterness towards the end of the palate. As far as barley wines go, this beer is an exceptional example. After cellering for one year this beer became a bit sweeter and easier to drink, definitely worth the wait.

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Photo of Ego
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

eyes...
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.

nose...
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.

verdict?
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 mt5000
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance is brown/amber. Aromas and flavors of sweet cherry, candied pineapple, apricot, caramel, citrus and a bit of pine from the hops. Quite bitter on the mid-palate and finish. This beer is big on both the malts and the hops. In fact, the hops is really my only complaint about this beer. I know that Stone's trademark is hoppy beers, but in my opinion this beer tastes like somebody combined a recipe for a barleywine and an IPA, which is not what I wanted. If you are a hop-head and you also like strong, malty beers than this beer is for you. To me it makes the beer taste a bit out of balance and not terribly drinkable. The beauty of barleywine is the intense maltiness, so by upping the hops quotient this beer in effect subdues the malts. That being said, the beer had many interesting flavors and I believe it is worth a try.

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Photo of mcallister
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks like Old Gaurdian. Nice and burnt orange with ruby red hints abound. Big off white head lasted fairly long considering the ABV. Nice fluffy lacing slides down the glass.

Dried fruity, with big toffee and caramel malt components. A lovely floral hop brings it all together. Raisin, fig, brown sugar, hints of maple, sweetly complex, and very enticing. Now too wait for this beast too warm up.

A little hot and slightly out of whack. May need a little more time too mature. Hops are bitter and in your face. Very floral with hints of pine. Hop actually drowns out the sweet toffee, and caramel notes. Dried viognier grapes seem too be hidden in the back. Fig is delicate and somewhat lost, brown sugar does add a little depth too the mid-palate.

Mouth is medium and bruatally bitter. A year in bottle (or keg for this matter) should help bring those unto themselves and tame this beast.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.54/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out an orangey dark honey color with a thin head that quickly settles to a fine layer on top. Scant bubbles slowly climb up the viscous body. Aroma is caramel, orange marmalade, and warm alcohol. As I find most, if not all, American barleywines to be slightly darker DIPAs, this beer does a decent job of being just that. Flavor starts off with caramel sweetness and maltiness. The hops come in, giving off grapefruit and bitter orange with underlying pine resin and a big, aspirin-like finish of bitterness. Alcohol is too hot and the aspirin flavor is too much. Mouthfeel is viscous, but not too heavy, oddly, with a carbonation that tingles a tad on the tongue, but doesn't hurt the smoothness. This is OK as far as drinkability, but it needs some age.

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Photo of Floydster
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 ounce bottle from Hollymain Liquor in El Segundo

Poured into a Stone pint glass

Very, very strong tasting barleywine with a fairly thick head

Least favorite beer from Stone Brewing

Too sweet for my liking, probably would not drink this again, being that I could barley get through 16 ounces of the bottle

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Damian and Lona. Thanks!

This beer is hazy light brown with crimson hues. The head is rather small and leaves subtle lacing. The aroma is of sweet malt and alcohol. The taste follows suit, with additional notes of toffee and butterscotch. Alcohol remains prevalent despite a few years of aging. The feel is medium bodied, with moderate sweetness. A decent beer, but only an average example of the style. A small serving is plenty.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2007 from Stone Brewing
92 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.
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