Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale - Red Wine Barrel-Aged | Stone Brewing

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Very Good
74 Ratings

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-27-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 |  Reviews: 36
Reviews by NickMunford:
Photo of NickMunford
3/5  rDev -23.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On Tap

Stone Brewing Co.
Escondido, CA

Dark ruby red with dark orange edges and a thin, light khaki colored head that leaves dots of lacing down the glass.

The aroma is a combination of sweet, freshly baked bread, a slight hint of wood, a bit of grape, and some cardboard/oxidation, though it's not too distracting or at all off-putting.

The flavor too is sweet, moderately bitter, a bit of maple and wood character, and grape skin. Pleasant, and very little alcohol presence.

Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation, though a bit oily.

Decent, and certainly tasty, but I think the base beer is better.

 615 characters

Photo of rwilde
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of hooliganlife
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at dark lord day 2010

pour was light copper with orange. nice white head that retained very well

very citrus hop oriented on the nose with light hints of sweet bread and floral hops.

lots of hops on this, they still dominated but there was a light red wine sweetness that lingered through out. light bitterness. light caramel and bread in the malts. this was good but different.

moderate carbonation, full body, but not too heavy.

this was good, but it was very different. i enjoyed this but it was not something i wanted a lot of. there just was not the balance or something.

 588 characters

Photo of Hobbit
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of thagr81us
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the Stone Tap Takeover in Charlotte. 2008 Vintage. Served from tap into a tumbler. Poured a hazy red-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt, wine spices, and subtle hop. The flavor was of malt, subtle chocolate, and a hint of red wine spices. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was one was very nice. I actually enjoyed the '06 in Bourbon Barrels better than this one. Not sure if it was the extra age on the other or if it was the barrel-type they were aged in. However, this was quite nice and definitely worth a try for sure as the chocolate was another surprise for me that I quite enjoyed.

 705 characters

Photo of bonbini26
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of u2carew
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. Serve on tap at Cambridge Brewing Co. collaboration night. Serve in a wine stem glass.
A) Hazy. Ruby to amber in color. Thin, sticky and creamy head / lacing.
S) Sweet fruity notes. Light caramel hangs in the mix.
T) Rich up front. Caramel. The hops are somewhat hidden and eventually break through after a few swigs.
M) Crisp. Full bodied. Slightly syrupy. Alcohol effervescence.
D) Yes. Pour me another to nurse to the last sip.

 444 characters

Photo of mikedashg
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Old Guardian Aged in Red Wine Barrels. Poured from a fresh 1L growler into a pint glass.

A - Golden amber yellow with a good size light light tan head

S - Red wine, orange, citrus, carmel

T - Red wine, sweet carmel and toffee, very sweet even (especially after it warms up) orange citrus, malted barley and bitter hop finish

M - Full body, modere to moderately high carbonated.

D - Pretty drinkable in my book. Very tasty. Very complex. Awesome release

 462 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of TripsRight
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of pathman
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of quantumcipher
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Dark Lord Day 2009.

Poured a beautiful ruby red with a nice head and plenty of lacing. The aroma is dominated by malt sweetness, caramel/toffee, and a bunch of red wine notes; slightly vinous. The taste is quite similar, with a lot of complex malty sweetness as well as the red wine, which really complements the barleywine style--I'd love to see more brewers going in this direction with barrel-aged beers. Overall, a very solid offering. Big props to FFF for bringing this one in.

 514 characters

Photo of Piddmeista
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of AgentZero
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of AVDeuph
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing after the fact; this was on tap at the Uptown Grille, I was told this is the wine-aged edition.

Beer came to the table as a sparkling and rich golden goblet. Smell was not overwhelming, and a little hard to place. There was a definite hop assertiveness in the brew that I wasn't expecting.

Taste is excellent. To be honest I really don't enjoy barleywines that often and despite having some of the "best" in the style, I've been disappointed. That said, this beer by Stone was hands down the best I've tried (keep in mind that this is to my taste, which doesn't really like barleywines to begin with). A strong hop profile that is balanced well with the sweet and strongly present malt bill.

Mouthfeel is nice. Well carbonated, especially as it is coming from the tap. Not super-thick like some of this style that I've had. I think the drinkability is very good for a high ABV ale (alcohol was masked very very well by the way), but I was happy with just the one with my dessert.

Very nice beer by Stone, I'm now interested to try the standard bottled Old Guardian to see how it compares.

 1,108 characters

Photo of charlzm
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed Feb 7th, 2010 at Stone World Bistro.

2008 vintage.

Presents a cloudy orange-yellow (as most Old Guardians do, apparently). Fine off-white head provides good lacing.

Aroma is a little sweet, slightly herbal and fruity; I got more of an apricot aroma, though the wine scent is there in a supporting role.

Flavor is a different story; red wine pops right out with the first sip. Flavor is otherwise weighted towards sweet, bready and caramel malts. Some alcohol flavor towards the end. Low bitterness.

Some of the "flavor experiment" beers I have tried fail because the featured flavor overwhelms rather than complements the standard flavor profile of the beer. This one works due to its relatively subtle addition which works with rather than buries the usual flavors.

Dry, fairly clean finish marked by alcohol heat.

Interesting experiment I would gladly try again. And again.

 892 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A rich copper color with about one finger of head that quickly dissipates.

S: Like you would expect from Old Guardian, very malty and sweet. The red wine barrel aging has definitely imparted some fruitier characteristics to this beer.

T: The taste is very much like "regular" Old Guardian, but a slight fruity sweetness is present here (on top of the malty sweetness). A slight bitter hoppiness is present as well.

M: Enormous body, no carbonation.

D: Not a beer you drink very quickly, but incredibly tasty.

 516 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of FosterJM
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1093rd Review on BA
Draft to 4oz Taster

WinterStorm 2012

App- A deep creamy orange with some intermixed yellows and bruleed sugar notes. Maybe a 1/4" of bubbles that falls to a pond layer of head.

Smell- A very tannic nose. Grape skins and a little oak. A bit malty with some more citrus from the base beer coming through.

Taste- Much more malty than the base version than I remember. A lot of citrus and tannin flavors. The oak comes through quite well and the grape notes are very forward.

Mouth- A light-medium body with a medium full carbonation level and a lot of residual tannin and citrus.

Drink- A very good beer with a lot of layers and a striking fruit presence. Very tasty and would like to have again.

 719 characters

Photo of cadaugherty
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

Photo of Nightrain87
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hopswagger
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale - Red Wine Barrel-Aged from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 74 ratings