Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2010)
Stone Brewing

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2010)Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2010)
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Style:
Barleywine - American
ABV:
11.1%
Score:
92
Avg:
4.14 | pDev: 9.66%
Reviews:
203
Ratings:
338
From:
Stone Brewing
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  11
Gots
  84
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2010)Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2010)
Notes:
Reviews: 203 | Ratings: 338 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by burnerfinger:
Photo of burnerfinger
burnerfinger from Texas

3.13/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

poured from the bonber into my new belgium goblet

I am anticipating a LOT from this one....

A caramel coored, single finger head settles to a very thin film that left very little lacing.
this brew is opaque - oragne/honey colored.

S almost a sweet wine aroma SWEET to the nose, malty with no trace of hops

T: OK here goes: alcohol hits up front. really no hops AZt all.

M really the alcohooll overwhelmes.

dotn liek this

D

Apr 25, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of Mosley1212
Mosley1212 from Florida

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A--Dark, vibrant orange with a cloudy, brown tint. It poured with a 1 1/2 inch white head that stayed around for a while before leaving. It was beautiful.

S--Wonderful. It has a heavy scent of alcohol for sure, but behind that you have fruit, fruit, and more fruit. Dark grape fruits, raisins, maybe cinnamon. This is probably the best barley wine I have ever smelled.

T--First off, it's hard to ignore the alcohol flavor. It's there from the beginning til the end. You also get a lot of the fruit notes with each sip. Tastes like cinnamon, figs, almost a rum flavor. It really tastes like a nice spiced rum. I liked it.

M--Heavy feel in the mouth. Burn from the alcohol exists for sure.

D--Not very high. It's a good sipper beer, but if you try to drink a lot of this, the 11.00% is going to catch up to you quickly.

Dec 09, 2010
Photo of calcnerd
calcnerd from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Feb 04, 2013
Photo of BigV
BigV from California

5/5  rDev +20.8%

Jul 03, 2014
Photo of djrn2
djrn2 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.4%

Jan 10, 2012
Photo of EthersTragic
EthersTragic from California

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber color with a 1/2 head that dissipates quickly, but leaves a nice lacing around the glass.

S - malty & hoppy goodness with a bit of grassy extracts.

T - Piney, woodsy with a nice alcohol bite at the end. Some hoppy bitterness. I was pretty scared because this was my first time trying the style, but it was not at all what I expected.

M - Has a lingering bitter aftertaste, but not too bad. Carbonation is ok, not too much.

D - Not sure I'd drink more than one of these, but at 11% abv, pretty darn drinkable!

Mar 21, 2010
Photo of zestar
zestar from California

4/5  rDev -3.4%

Jul 19, 2014
Photo of pnkRed
pnkRed from Virginia

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this into the Old Guardian Barley Wine Glasss I got from the brewery.

A-This poured a rich deep amber color with a one finger head that stays relatively long.

S- You can smell this bad boy from a mile away. The hops are very apparant. Citrus and pine. Some sweetness on the back end.

T- Sweetness hits you up front quickly followed by some hops with some alcohol on the finish. I can taste some raisins and fig and piney hops.

M- The alcohol lingers and so do the oils from the hops.

D- The alcohol is hidden for an 11% but it's still apparent. Definitely a sipper. As you drink on it actually feels a bit lighter and it seems to mellow out the warmer it gets.

Feb 26, 2010
Photo of Pahn
Pahn from New York

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Obviously, early 2010 release.

Appearance: Rather aggressive pour yields a half inch, fluffy white head that dissipates very slowly leaving little lacing. Pours a hazy reddish amber, has good legs, and leaves occasional swoops of thin lacing that usually disappear after a minute or so.

Smell: From the bottle: piny hops, some sugary malt in the background. In the glass: Citrus, floral, and piny hops, and a really deep caramel note (in general, when I smell or taste an American barleywine, I want some form of a caramel note like this to be there). Lots going on; raisin, cherry, a hint of fig. Hard to pin down sweet notes that could be several different, unexpected fruits, or types of fresh bread or cake.

As the beer warms, a vodka-like alcohol smell swallows up almost everything in the aroma. It still smells decent, but that alcohol note is huge (significantly bigger than in the taste). The pre-vodka nose is pretty much a 5, and the post-vodka nose somewhere between a 3 and a 4.

Taste: First sip: wow, lots going on; more than I can keep track of. At first there's a thick, chewy caramel flavor that quickly (but smoothly) develops into other sweet malty notes, then a big hit of piny hop bitterness, then a very warming finish.

In subsequent sips, a very interesting mix of solvent-like, pine, and sugary pastry flavor pops up in the middle (it tastes like it's high in my mouth, up to my nose). Deeper into the bottle, the flavor really fills up with various fruit notes, and the finish takes on a spiciness along with the alcohol. The malt stays very deep and strong up front, tasting like toffee and other sweet, usually chocolaty flavors.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium bodied. Finishes very hot, but the bitterness is not as influential on the feel as with, say, a strong (D)IPA.

Drinkability: I love barleywines, and I love this barleywine. More than one bomber would surely put me in a place beyond the ability to type beer reviews (or do much besides embarrass myself), but it's a great sipper. I want an American barleywine to be aggressive and full-flavored, with each sip giving me something different than the last. As long as I keep receiving that, its drinkability is high, and Old Guardian doesn't stop delivering.

As expected, another stellar "big beer" from Stone. Old Guardian provides delicious, complex, diverse, but still stylistically consistent American barleywine flavors, in abundance. Further, I'd be shocked if two to three years in the cellar don't bump the smell and taste score of this beer up to 5.

May 21, 2010
Photo of Snow81
Snow81 from Minnesota

4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light orange haze

Head: Small head that dissipates quickly

Smell: Nice caramel malts with a great citric on the nose

Taste: Sweet dark citric with healthy malt sweetness

Weight: Medium body with low to medium carbonation

Finish: Rich full sweet hops with malts on the back end and subtle heat

Apr 06, 2011
Photo of GDBEERMAN
GDBEERMAN from Colorado

4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a globe glass, little by little.
Listening to Grateful Dead, Peggy-O; Attics of My Life; Ramble on Rose, Ripple

A: The appearance of the 2010 is a copperish amber, with a thick haziness. Good head retention with mediocre lacing.

S: The aroma of this barleywine is fresh, bitter hops with a touch of malt sweetness.

T: The taste is one that lingers, a nice warming finish. Bright spice of hops with a smooth malt character. As the ale warms, it shows a blend of caramel sweetness.

M: Creamy with a pepper beer like off taste. Full bodied and brings different flavors to the palate as it releases.

D: Ah. . . a slow sipper, my type of beer to drink on special occasions. A beer that has you coming back for small sips, to savor the flavors, but not only that but the off tastes as well.

Notes: The Stone OG 2010 is a great ale, not only for the stellar style, but the balance of this barleywine is perfect. Great hops, malt and overall craving for more. Great to sit down and give this barleywine the attention it deserves on BA. Because if you are ever wondering to try this brew, go for it . A co-worker at the liquor I work at, and I were talking and he said he felt like beer, but thought he would just go and get a bottle of wine. This is when I recommended the OG 2010. I said thats who I am taking home and he joined another bottle with his wine, we will see how it plays out.

May 01, 2010
Photo of richbrew
richbrew from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.4%

Nov 15, 2011
Photo of MarkFy
MarkFy from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear copper color

S: Really nice, sweet and hoppy

T: nice malt upfront, the sweetness is nicely balanced and lingers throughout, definate hop on the end.

M: a very nice sharp, yet creamy start followed by a dryer finish.

D: A few of these are just perfect for me in a session.

Overall, an excellent beer by Stone, great for the price as well. Will definitely pick up more to keep on hand.

May 06, 2010
Photo of AdamBear
AdamBear from Pennsylvania

2.64/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A-murky dark amber with a light tan head. good lacing.

S-smells very malty with a lot of barley. it smells a lot like syrup. it smells a bit boozy as well. the smell is very strong.

T-comes in with a very malty blast of caramel and barley. its very striking. it then transforms in to a boozy bitterness that i don't find too desirable. the only part of this barley wine that i enjoy is the after-taste. it has good caramelized sugars that slightly remind me of belgian sugars. they're a bit bitter as well. this beer has a lot of heat to it. i'm not sure i'm a fan

M-has a creamy medium carbonation that is also bitter. the finish is bitter and fairly dry.

D-well i wish i would've saved this bomber for a tasting or something. it sure is a lot of beer. i could've split this four ways. its just not the type of beer i can drink a lot of.

Feb 23, 2011
Photo of goldbot
goldbot from District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coppery-red color with medium, off-white head that reduces quickly to a surface haze. Spotty lacing.

Up front, the nose is citrusy with some planty, herbal hop aromas as well. Notes of grapefruit and orange along with tropical fruit such as mango and pineapple. Some alcohol is detectable towards the end, particulary as it warms. The malt is definitely in the back seat on this one right now.

Fruity flavors of citrus and pineapple with an intense bitter throughout. Malt notes of caramel and dough, but these are again in the background compared with the substantial hoppiness.

Big bodied with a chewy and somewhat viscous mouthfeel. For a barleywine, this is all hops at this point; the malts are very subdued. Intensely bitter, slightly sweet at the finish, with a great hop profile. This could be an interesting beer for aging if the hops fade to reveal a good malt backbone.

Mar 16, 2010
Photo of Anaz
Anaz from California

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

A-Almost looks like honey in the glass, golden, red-orange with a large white head that leaves some sticky lacing.

S-Lots of citrus, very bright with pine, caramel, and some raisiny, brown sugar sweet smells underneath. There is some booziness on the nose.

T- Mandarin and Meyer lemon zest, orange flower water, and pine from the hops with a boozey honey and caramel sweetness that fades into and assertive grassy bitterness with sugar and toasty malts at the finish. A lot of depth that will only become richer with age. I had a 2007 and a 2008 OG a few weeks back, so I know good things will come to those who wait.

M- Boozy, but very nice dry finish, not syrupy or astringent. Nice.

D- Deceptively drinkable, but the alcohol makes itself known, so slow sipping is a must. I hope I can buy a few and keep myself away from them for a few years, but it drinks really nice now with the hops being so prominent.

Nov 23, 2010
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
OBeerMeGreatOne from California

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy reddish brown with a small but fluffy biege head. The lace isn't bad, a few chunks hang onto the side.
Peaty malts and citrus dominate the smell. There is some background pine and caramel with only a hint of alcohol.
Malts and hops cascade into a pretty unique combo, which is both interesting and slightly off-putting. Lots of pine and citrus mix with caramel, pear, smoke, brown sugar... Very complex, might taste more put together with age. Thickness and warmth feels nice going down.
All together I have to say that, though I was appreciative of the complexities of this Barleywine, I wasn't truly sold. Might cellar one since they are changing it up in '11.

Dec 22, 2010
Photo of msimmons32
msimmons32 from California

4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

One of my buddies picked this up for me from stone in a growler about 3 weeks ago. It has been sitting in my fridge waiting to be drank.

The first pour was good but the alcohol was quite overwhelming. I let it sit for about 30 mins and the taste was quite citrusie. Over the couse of an hour or so the hops and barley really came out. The beer really started to shine after this and was quite drinkable.

The mouthfeel was very heavy malt backbone, and biscuit. It also was quite floural and fluffy on the palte. As the beer warmed up and began to breathe I got notes of vanilla, oak, taosted nuts, pine (due to the hops).

This beer is great young but i would recommend this beer several years down the road. I am aging a bomber to compare to this atleat 2 years down the road.

Apr 22, 2010
Photo of Alf7247
Alf7247 from California

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've read many were disappointed with the 2009. The only one I've had of this was back in 2008 with a virgin palate, and I don't remember much from it. I've also been on a barley wine binge this past month and I was quite let down by comparison of others.

Served in a 22oz snifter

A- Reddish/orange, tan and creamy head that left quickly leaving a ring of thick bubble around the edge of the glass. Little lacing.

S- Hoppy at first, well balanced with malts. Very fruity. It became more malty and fruity as it warmed; the hops became faint in the background. It even showed some nuts. Alcohol remained well hidden, even as it warmed.

T- Very hoppy and bitter at first; loved it. Malts were present, providing nice balance. Fruits. Raisins poked through, with very faint molasses. Malty/fruity finish, which was unfortunately short. Alcohol made its presence known as it warmed.

M- I'm coming from a biased love for barley wines with some good viscosity. This was too thin for me; good carbonation though.

D- Very drinkable at 11%.

I love Stone. I guess I was expecting to be blown away. I felt like a teenager again waiting and calling the local bevmo if they had received it yet. I'm sad with the disappointment. Oh well. I hope it gets better with age; got two for the future.

Mar 06, 2010
Photo of TCHopCraver
TCHopCraver from Michigan

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours golden-amber with a 2-finger beige head into a standard pint glass. The beer is see-through and seems to be running pretty low on carbonation. The lacing left behind is pretty sticky and thick.

S: First whiff is of piney and slightly citrus hops. This is overcome by a slightly honeydew melon, pear, and hop blend as the beer sits for a few minutes. The aroma is just a little thin and watery, but otherwise has a good balance between sweet malt and bitter hop smells. The more I bring this into my nostrils, it becomes very similar to a Pinot Grigio scent.

T: Bittering hops are ever-present throughout the sip and lend a nice balance to the abundant sweet malts. This is a pretty well balanced American Barleywine and might be the most hop forward of an A.B. that I've tried. It definitely does not tread into the syrup soup category that some others of the style do. A candied fruit flavor is a dominant taste on my palate, as well, with a creeping taste of alcohol as the beer warms a bit.

M: I am really enjoying the contrast between a creamy feel on the back and sides of my palate and the puckering hop collision with my tongue. It is a bruising hop oil presence, but I commend Stone for juicing this up so heavily with the humulus lupulus.

D: Good for the style. The malt/hop balance makes it more drinkable than other malt syrup bombs that I've encountered in other barleywines.

Apr 20, 2010
Photo of RaulMatisse
RaulMatisse from California

3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up (2) bottles--one for the cellar and one for tonight. Poured slightly chilled into a Chimay goblet. Bottling date is unknown, but assumed to be recent due to "Early 2010 Release" on bottle.

A :: Pours a rich cognac color, with hints of ruby, copper, and tanned leather. A minimal head cascades to a thin collar with swirls of tiny bubbles forming a film across the surface of the brew. The transparency surprises me.

S :: Spiced apples, earthy hops, and oily citrus dance in an alcoholic dream. Deep, rich molasses lurks in the background with occasional herbaceous and medicinal notes. Surprisingly reminiscent of some overly-alcoholic Imperial IPAs, but the fact that this is a Barley Wine overrides any complaints.

T :: Sharp pine, searing alcohol, abundant malt...and I like it. Big, bright hops provide great balance to truckloads of boozy richness. Woody, citrus notes are a bonus, too.

M :: I am pleased with the healthy carbonation that counters the beer's richness. A smoldering burn from the 11.1% ABV and Stone-grade hop bill remind you that this is a brew to be reckoned with.

D :: This beer surprised me. From my limited experience in the Barley Wine genre, I was expecting raisins, syrup, and face-melting alcohol. Instead, I was greeted with subtlety, structure, and nuance. Well, and a solid dose of alcohol, too. But, after all, this is Stone, and the fact that they produced a product that is so distinctly their own is to be appreciated unto itself. I'm excited to see what a couple months of aging does to Old Guardian.

Mar 01, 2010
Photo of berpwillie
berpwillie from Pennsylvania

4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a cloudy copper orange color with spare white head and spare lacing. soft carbonation. very sweet and tart, citrus hints in the flavor, seems to be very sugary. medium body and long flavor duration. tart chalky and bitter finish. absolutley fantatsic brew. stone definitely knows how to make a fine brew. highly recommend.

May 26, 2010
Photo of Rempo
Rempo from Indiana

4/5  rDev -3.4%

Nov 19, 2011
Photo of garuda
garuda from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazed deep amber that gets a one finger thick off white head that recedes to a thin ring of bubbles that cling to the edges of the glass. Little lacing.

S/T - Similar with big sweetness of dark fruits and caramelized malts. Pine hops finish off both the aroma and finish. Lingering mouthfeel is both warm from the alcohol, and bitter from pine resin like hops.

M - Full body, medium carbonation with warming alcohol.

D - Given the abv and style, the alcohol was well hidden and enhanced the drink. Everything seemed nicely balanced, but I would like to compare it against a fresh bottle. I would buy this again.

Nov 14, 2010
Photo of bucklemyshoe
bucklemyshoe from Georgia

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle at 48* into a snifter.

A: This pours somewhere between burnt-orange and brick-red with a finger of long-lasting and great lacing head.

S: It features aromas of chocolate, molasses, a medium-strong hop character, and a strong caramel malt backbone.

T: It tastes like candy sugar, raisins, molasses, chocolate, and a bit of an oak taste.

M: It is a bit sticky and sweet, yet it never gets too thick.

D: This is superb in every way. It is potent but not too noticeable; sweet but in a good way; and boisterous but still balanced and drinkable. Nice.

Oct 25, 2010
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2010) from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 338 ratings