Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 | Stone Brewing

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010
BA SCORE
4.14/5
335 Ratings
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by northaustin on 02-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
202
Ratings:
335
pDev:
9.66%
Bros Score:
3.58
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
86
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 335 |  Reviews: 202
Photo of Arbitrator
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Chilled bottle into a glass (2010). I'm working backwards through my Stone stash to kill bottles one by one.

A: Pours a chill-hazed burnt amber body with a beautiful fluffy 1.5 fingers of off-white head. Retention is excellent (2+ minutes) for a beer of this gravity. It maintains a thick collar of large bubbles with some thin, broken film on top.

S: Kind of a mild nose. Citrus hops and some pine. The hop profile immediately made me recall Double Bastard, for some reason. Butterscotch, toffee, almond brittle, caramel, brown sugar.

T: Hoppy up front, but in a flavorful citrus manner, with light wet pine needles. The bitterness is noticed but not fully appreciated, due to the strong malt presence of butterscotch, toffee, and nuts (as in the aroma, I liken it to almond brittle). Caramel is pretty strong, of course, and so is a general brown sugar sweetness. There's a medicinal bitterness in the aftertaste that I find off-putting, but otherwise, I find this is hitting a lot of right notes for me. It's very aggressive, but still enjoyable.

M: Chewy, full-bodied. Swirls in the mouth with a very viscous resistance. Carbonation is spot-on. It's definitely warming, but not hot.

D: It'll get ya drunk! You'll be f***ing fat chicks in no time! This is a surprisingly drinkable big boy. I haven't been able to finish a lot of bombers on my own lately, but I had no trouble with this one. I'm definitely a fan and will buy them again, at least fresh. I have a few vintage bottles to evaluate as to whether aging this one is worth it.

 1,548 characters

Photo of hopsyum
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It is -2 Fahrenheit outside right now and I feel as though this is the right weather mindset to be drinking this beer. High in flavor and alcohol, this beer warms the mouth, stomach, and body creating a sense of appropriateness that few beers can.

a- Poured into a sniffer glass from a bomber bottle (early 2010 release) with a beautiful red hue that turns to a wheaty yellow at the edges of the glass. Looks appropriately thick for a barleywine.

s- Somewhat off-putting smell at first. Strange combination of hoppy overload and alcohol. After a few more whiffs it seems to make more sense.

t- I'm a fan of strong hops, so while this particular barleywine may appeal to me, I understand if someone preferred a more malty, sweet, fruity barleywine. With that being said, the alcohol adds character to the hops, and sweetness lingers throughout.

m- This beer stays around for a while. Syrupy hops linger, while the alcohol and malts fade away relatively quickly.

d- I would be curious to see how this beer tasted after another year or two in the cellar. Although this is an early 2010 release, and it is now early 2011, I think that this beer would benefit from aging. The hops are delicious, but its a barleywine, not an IPA. Where I'm going with this is that this flavor is very strong and (most likely even after aging) this is a beer to be sipped on an enjoyed in front of a fire on a cold night with friends listening to John Coltrane.

 1,446 characters

Photo of TCHopCraver
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.

 1,404 characters

Photo of Mosley1212
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.

 824 characters

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

Early 2010, served in a tulip glass. The beer is a nice clear dark copper reddish color. The head is moderately thick and tan. It thins and leaves some thick lacing.

The aroma is thick and syrupy sweet with carmel and dark fruits. It is backed with bitter pine hop aroma. The flavor follows the nose, starting off sweet and smooth. The carmel and fruit are still there, and the bitter finish is aggressive.

Mouthfeel is thick, but not as syrupy as I expected. Overall I really like this one. I have a second bottle to age. I'm looking forward to seeing how the hops will mellow out over the next year.

 603 characters

Photo of BostonJustin
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early 2010 vintage

A: Pours a nice cloudy copper color with a nice head that leaves good lacing

S: Fruity malts and some hops in the background. Some bready yeast also comes through. Surprisingly no alcohol in the smell, which is impressive for an 11.1% brew

T: Some nice dark fruits up front with definite malts, followed by a pleasant hop bitterness and some alcohol burn

M: Medium body with light carbonation. Fairly prickly from the alcohol despite the low carbonation

D: This one is a sipper for sure, and a pretty damn good one at that. More and more complexities come out when it warms up, which is very nice. I'd say it could use some more age, but it is still drinking well after almost a year

 707 characters

Photo of jt31914
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a very good barleywine, perhaps not quite as good as last years or as my other favorite barleywines (ie behemoth and gnarlywine). The color is a very nice amber with a small amount of nice head and great lacing. Smell is wonderful barley sweetness and some hop balance. taste was also good barley sweetness, the main problem i have is the funky aftertaste and that i thought there was a little more heat than i would've liked on the finish (i prefer my barleywines more smooth i suppose). Very good brew though.

 519 characters

Photo of larryi86
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- A clear deep ruby red with a two finger off-white head.

S- Dark fruits, cherries, figs, syrup, caramel malts, some alcohol, faded hops, sweet.

T- Piney hops are big and bitter, brunt aftertaste, syrup and dark fruits up front, very little alcohol. The burnt aftertaste is less off putting the more I drink this.

M- Medium body, little syrupy.

O- I did not try this fresh, but I still feel this is a solid beer at two years old. I am surprised how much hop bitterness is still in this beer. 11.1% ABV is not noticeable.

 561 characters

Photo of hoplover82
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color with a medium off white creamy head that has very good retention and lacing.

The aroma is strong with caramel and toffee at the forfront and some resinus hops in the back. Slightly on the dark fruits side as well.

The flavor is much like the smell with lots of caramel and toffee and some resinous piney hops in the back with some alcohol bite.

The mouthfeel is huge and sliky on this one. Sweet but not cloying due to the huge hop bitterness. Finishes very smooth.

Drinks very well with a nice hoppy aftertaste that lingers forever. I would buy this again.

 590 characters

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

2010 beer. Beer is amber, dark, with a haze and a medium head of small and medium bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The bubbles are yellowing and fluffy. The carbonation is moderate and steady.

Mild pine hops with a thick malt aroma.

Beer is medium bodied and has a definite sweetness in the front with a strong bitterness in the back. It finishes slightly dry. The overall connectivity is pretty good, its a little hot on the front end but not too bad. I wish it wasn't so dry but I understand that's what they want. I've had a lot of these over the years and mostly haven't bothered to review them, this one is about like the rest. A vertical (with probably 4 other people) would be fun to do to see how they change from year to year or over time, but that will have to wait.

 795 characters

Photo of hdofu
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not at all what I expected from barleywine... maltier... hoppy as all heck... but very very enjoyable. Smell is somewhat piney. Sweet with an intense bitter finish. color purple reddish with a thin pillowy head. It tastes quite drinkable though the alcohol burn is quite noticeble

 280 characters

Photo of WildTurkey
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber to snifter.

A: Dark bronze w/ amber color. Thin head.

S: Big bready malts. Maybe some dark fruit. Noticeable hops.

T: Malt tastes like bread, some carmel, some raisins. Big hop kick for a barley wine - it kind of overpowers any sweetness coming through on the malts. Tart, bitter, a little piney. Some alcohol is also coming through.

M: Fuller body. Pretty dry.

D: Big flavor. Strong alcohol flavor. I couldn't slug this one back, I needed to take my time with this one.

 482 characters

Photo of Arenbeer
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle Into a Snifter Glass

Pours a hazy dark orange with a nice 2 finger yellowish off white head.

S- Sweet barley and malts hit you up front with a great citrus earthy hop background. Also getting hints of yeast and caramel or toffee.

T- Pretty harsh up front, the alcohol is alittle overpowering. Probably should let this one age a bit. After the sting fades your greeted by a sweet malt base and a nice strong hop finish.

M- Full bodied with moderate carbonation and a strong bitter finish.

Overall I think they could have blended this brew alot better. The flavors there but I think it needs some maturing to bring out the real life of this beer.

SkÅl!

 673 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky honey orange with a 2 inch puffy orange-white head that settles to a thin cap. Chunky rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and lots of citrus zest hops. Taste is of malt, caramel, brown sugar, grapefruit, citrus zest, and an herbal and almost medicinal hop flavor. Very alcohol forward too even after 1.5 years or so of age on it. Mild hop bitterness after each sip that lingers on the palate. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barleywine but this one has a better smell than taste. The alcohol seems to be pretty potent in this year's vintage as well which takes a bit away from the enjoyability of this one.

 741 characters

Photo of grittybrews
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottled, opened 02/2011.

Poured a murky cider-amber color with a finger of quick-receding eggshell head. Aroma of toffee, boozy heat, biscuit, and orange-dominated citrus.

Carbonation just shy of average and a creamy mouthfeel with just a touch of thinness on the finish. Flavor isn't overly sweet up front with lots of citrusy hops balanced by toast, brown sugar, mild spice. Agressive, hot finish with lots of bitter pine hop presence.

Enjoyable, but I thought this brew was a little two-dimensional compared with some of the other fresher barleywines I've sampled lately. Very malty, very hoppy, but not too much complexity emerging beyond that.

 656 characters

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a large bottle into a snifter style glass.

I'm barleywine fan and was happy to see my local store had this brew as I was unsuccessful in locating it last year.

It pours a golden amber hue, a bit lighter in color than I expected, but it looks very good. Mostly clear with a head of not quite 2 fingers - again, a bit surprised by this but still very nice. There was good lacing all the way down the glass.

Aromas were complex, but with more hops than anticipated. I should expect this from Stone - I love their hopped up brews and that's why I buy them so frequently. There is plenty of that typical barleywine related aroma: carmel, dark fruit, and some estery scents, but the additions that blended nicely included some pine and citrus. Very cool.

Flavors were a rush on the first long pull; a rather balanced blend of heavier caramel malts and dark fruit esters with some interesting grapefruit and pine characteristics. Everything works great together and it really comes together as one full-on flavor rush. It's a touch sweet, as you would expect, but the hops tend to mute that a bit. The finish is cleaner than many barleywines I've had, perhaps do to the hops and heavier carbonation, but it certainly lets it go down easier.

Great brew! Stone Brewing scores another win in my book. If you want to try a slightly new twist on the same old barleywine, check out Old Guardian.

 1,401 characters

Photo of begforme4484
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light brown with an amber hue. About a finger's width of an off white head which subdued quickly. Spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

The malt scent is the most standout. But the yeast and the hops are fairly subdued and even. No real hint of the 11.1% monster I'm about to consume.

Wow, I'm going to have to take a second sip just to realize what I'm drinking. What a flavor explosion, very surprising based on the nose. A very warm beer. There's a wall of flavor that hits you instantaneously. The flavors then begin to unfold, the is a nice sweet fruity/bready malt flavor. An overall spiciness from the yeast and an astringent bitterness from the hops all throughout. The 11.1% percent IMO, is hidden fairly well, although, you can definitely tell it's there. That just adds to the experience of the flavor profile for me. The warm and slight sting definitely go hand in hand with the flavor.

This beer is smooth and thick. A well placed amount of carbonation, and a very slight lingering bitterness.

It's very drinkable for 11.1%. I've had barley wines that are just sickeningly sweet and overboard. But this beer was balanced very well, and is very enjoyable.

 1,186 characters

Photo of Kmiller565
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a nonic pint glass. 2010 edition

A: poured a nice orange-ish amber color with a slight haziness to it. Head is one index finger thick with a nice off-white color. This barleywine leaves solid lacing on the glass as you drink. This brew looks awesome.

S: the first aroma i am getting is of sweet malts and some nice dried fruit along with a mild grapefruit and pine hop nose. Nothing about the aromatics stunned me, but the aromas did open up a bit more once this brew warmed up some in the glass.

T: wow, this barleywine is the real deal. The first taste matches the nose, with a good amount of sweet malts and breads coming through. The second wave of flavor is all hops baby. A really nice combination of citrus and pine gives this barleywine a nice complexity and balance that is needed to combat the sweetness. At just over 11% abv, the last taste is a little warm, but nothing overpowering. I also taste a little smoke in the finish.

M: overall very smooth with medium carbonation. A bit of creaminess makes this brew feel great on the palate.

D: i love this barleywine. Many times barleywines can over do certain aspects whether it be hops or sweetness, but this is great with its complexity and balance. This is a strong brew, but also very drinkable. It would be a shame to pound a couple of these, you want to taste and savor this one.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking to get into barleywines or anyone who enjoys them. You will not be disappointed this one is a beast with great taste and complexity

 1,544 characters

Photo of KomodoDragon
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a hazy copper with a one inch light tan head with terrific lacing.

S - The smell hints at what is in store. Floral wine, fruity, sugar.

T - Malty caramel sweetness. Alcohol warmth is balanced by the bitter taste of american hops.
This is one to sip (and enjoy)

M - In a word, chewy. I would add spicy and malty.

This is a barleywine that changes as you age it. Not quite sure how I'll come up with the patience to test that theory. Delicious!

 461 characters

Photo of pnkRed
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.

 676 characters

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

A: Poured into a Chimay glass; dark brown with a hint of red, less than 1 cm of head fizzling out to bareley any, very faint lacing.

S: Fresh and crisp piney hops with a relatively faint sweet raisiny malt, especially for a barleywine.

T: Bitterness from Stone's signature hop profile, mixed with the barleywine sweetness of caramel and woody notes. Definitely more bitter than I usually like my barleywines, but the hops give way to more sweetness as the beer warms.

M: Lightly carbonated, but adequately for the style. Clean finish, with a slight hoppiness pushing aside the threat of an alcoholic sting.

D: Although this beer is not as sweet as I usually enjoy in a barleywine, it strikes me as a very accurate representation of stone's beer esthetic: cascade hops are stone's duct tape (in the best way, the ultimate tool), layered over the classic deep sweetness and high alcohol of the beer style. The crisp finish makes this beer taste more like their usual offerings, which are not quite as high in alcohol, but, having finished too much of a 22oz too fast, I can tell you that the alcohol sneaks up on you in a way that usualy barleywines are more obvious.

 1,169 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours murky reddish amber orange with a 2 finger off white head that had good retention and coated the glass with lacing

smells of sweet caramel malt and a good amount of citrus hops

taste is just like the nose but the malts are a bit too sugary sweet - the hops do save it and give it the bitter juicy fruity hop flavors

mouthfeel is great - just what i want in a 11% Bwine - full body with ample carbonation and gives it a little zip but still very creamy

overall this is another solid hoppy malty brew from stone

 520 characters

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

Poured from 22oz bottle into a tulip. This is the "limited early 2010 release" according to the bottle.

Appearance: rich, cloudy, tawny-orange hue with one thick finger of frothy tan foam. A superb looking beer, indeed.

Smell: rich, sweet malt aroma. It's not bursting with fruit or yeast character or even hops; it's simply a strong but even-handed aroma. It's balanced and I like it.

Taste: big, in-your-face malt hits you right up front; there's a big sweetness with some piney hop characteristics. It is only at the end that a huge bitterness hits you. Stone really knows their strong ales, and this beer is no exception; though, I will say this beer lacks a lot of complexity (at least at this age). It's good, it's smooth and it's strong, but I feel like it could be a whole lot more.

Mouthfeel: thick, roamy body with plenty of well-integrated carbonation. This bad boy is silky, creamy and ambrosial when it comes to texture. Love it.

Drinkability: a tasty beer which is quite drinkable at the 11.1% ABV level. The alcohol is definitely there, but with the flavor and body to back it up. Good stuff.

 1,112 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a clear ruby red color with hints of orange shinning through. The head is off white, almost a light yellow, thick and tight. An aggressive pour produces ample head that has very good retention. A thick lacing sticks to the side of the glass.

S-the nose is quite hoppy, not big, but balanced. The citrussy hops really hit you up front with notes of grapefruit. Oily piney hops set in with an underlying caramel malt backbone that adds some balance.

T-much maltier than the nose but still hoppy. Oily pine resign and caramel malts combine in the front. Grapefruit taste and bitterness compliment the onslaught of bitter malts up front to balance this out. Notes of rum soaked plums seem to be present at the very back with hints of alcohol warming

M-this is extremely smooth and slightly dry at the finish. It brings a medium to full body and is somewhat syrupy. Enough carbonation to finish somewhat crisp and hold the body throughout

D-this is somewhat boozy and brings a good bit of hops. Definitely a tasty brew, even fresh. Looks like this could really change with age and I can't wait to crack an 07! Much like Sierra Bigfoot with the big hop presence, not quite as hoppy as bigfoot but definitely a solid hop presence

 1,234 characters

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 335 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.