Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
334 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good
Read the review
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
Ratings:
334
Reviews:
202
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
9.71%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
85
For Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 334 |  Reviews: 202
Photo of Alf7247
4.08/5  rDev -1%
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.

 1,289 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear burnt-orange color with a small 1/8" head of off-white bubbles after a pretty aggressive pour. There are quite a few bubbles slowly making their way to the top of this obviously viscous liquid. They don't maintain the head, though there are quite a few rising. Just from swirling and the head falling, there is a decent amount of lace on the glass already. There is some pretty significant lacing left after drinking the beer and the head never completely disappears, so this is nice for a Barley Wine.

Aroma: I initially got a healthy dose of clean and slightly toasty malts to go along with the generous citrusy hops. The hops are the predominant force in the aroma, but the malt and some mild peppery spice from the alcohol are definitely a player. As the beer warms, the alcohol and spice are coming out a bit more, but really the volume is just getting turned up on the overall aroma profile.

Taste: The flavor is full of hops, so much that they are leaving a bit of a chalky impression on the top of my palate all the way to the belly. The alcohol is definitely big in this one, and this is my first beer of the night, so it is quite noticeably warming. Though the hops are such a huge player in the flavor, they don't completely dominate the finish. There is some malt and warming to notice in the finish as well as a substantial bitterness. The balance is definitely toward the bitter, but it isn't tipped so hard that this beer is hard to drink. The mouthfeel is actually quite pleasant for a Barley Wine. It is well carbonated, so this keeps the slightly high TG from saturating your palate. Big surprise, as I am about half-way through the beer, it is getting MUCH easier to drink.

Opinion: I typically like to let a Barley Wine sit for at least two years before drinking it as I am more fond of the malt than the hops and I like to let them settle down a bit...but I didn't do that with this beer so I could try it as Stone intended it. I must say that I am impressed. This is a well-crafted Barley Wine. I don't find that this is the easiest style to drink when you first open it up, but this one never gets too sweet, or bitter, or hot from the alcohol. I would definitely try this beer again and I would recommend it if you are in pursuit of the ultimate Barley Wine (as I know MANY that are)...this just may be the one for you.

 2,379 characters

Photo of champ103
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark garnet color. A two finger beige head forms with excellent retention. The wispy foam gently recedes after several minutes and leaves some sticky lace behind.
S: I don't get much in the nose. At first a light soapy and oily citrus hop aroma. Followed by some toasted caramel malt. Just not big enough.
T: Surprisingly balanced for a Stone Barleywine. Toasted caramel malt up front. Some chocolate and dark fruits. Plenty of citrus and piny hops linger on for a great balance.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Syrupy, sticky, soapy, and oily. There is some hot alcohol, but a great beer to sip on.

This years Old Guardian is much more balance than years past. This is very complex, and I have several bottles to cellar. I can't wait to see how this develops over the next few years. Recommend.

 826 characters

Photo of msimmons32
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

 780 characters

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am not always the biggest fan of Stone's brews but this one was really great.

The appearance of the beer was a beautiful copper that was clean and crisp to look through.

The smell was syrupy sweet with a pungent aroma of hops and alcohol.

A syrupy sweetness hits you in the front, and the taste of alcohol really lingers with this one. Really got to sip this one because those fresh west coast hops extenuates the alcohol even more

The beer has some good body to it , and ends with a crisp hoppy finish

The alcohol really brings down the drinkabilty I have had a lot of beers with higher ABV's that went down a lot easier than this one. If you are planning on sitting back and just enjoy one glass, it is perfect though.

 730 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes taken 6/4/11

Appearance: Hazy orange brown/amber color with an off-white head and some lacing - the head is especially nice considering that this beer is about a year old

Smell: Cooked, caramelized malts - smells kind of sweet, but also smells really hoppy - citrus and pine - kind of spicy, unfortunately kind of has that "old hops" smell

Taste: Somewhat sweet, but mostly just a remarkable amount of balance - caramel malts, some dark fruits, sugar - on the earthy side, with some leafy hop flavors - really good, and it gets better and better as it warms

Mouthfeel: Medium body - not as heavy as I would have anticipated, maybe this is partially due to the great level of carbonation - this really works for me

Overall: Great, I need to get this yearly

This is a solid American Barleywine. I'm curious if the hops would have been over-the-top a year ago. It aged well, but it could definitely be better. Next I will review the 2011 BELGO...

 975 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes, 7-21-2010

A - somewhat clouded deep copper body, medium taupe head.

S - sweet malts, some hop undertones.

T - full and complex malt sweetness, well balanced with some spicy hops

M - full bodied and creamy

O (D) - goes down easy and smooth, but its pretty strong.

 279 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours murky deep orange, almost like a sunset in haze. The white head is rather thin and leaves only some lacings.

S: Molasses; sweet caramell malt. Some floral hops gives it a citric tone. Rather surprising since I've stored this bottle for quite some time. Dark dried fruits.

T: Sweet caramell malt. Still hoppy, both floral and bitter. Lots of dark dried fruits. Syrupy.

M: Full thick body, smooth. Carbonation is moderate. Aftertaste is sweet and stays for a little while, some faint bitterness as well. Warming and alcoholic.

O: Since I waited about a year to drink it, I can't say for sure what it was like when it was fresh, but the hops were surprisingly potent, still. A very nice American Barleywine. I kind of regret that I didn't buy more of it and stored a few bottles even longer...

 804 characters

Photo of Tilley4
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours into my Perfect Pint an auburn reddish color with a quickly growing and persistent off white head... Almost a burgundy color really... Sort of like AB....

Interesting aromas of sweet caramel toffee malts and resiny piney hops... The malts wind out in the end as they seem more assertive but there is definitely some pungency left to the green stuff as well... A touch of booze here and there but nothing like I would expect in a brew of this ABV...

A big dose of sweet toffee and caramel malts mingled with a hint of booze followed quickly by a rough-around-the-edges hoppiness of the piney variety... There's a battle between the two elements of the beer without a clear cut winner... There is a long bitter finish here that leaves me waiting for the next sip so that's a good thing.. No booze to speak of which is scary... This one could down you in a hurry...

I like my barleywines nice and hoppy and although the hops have faded a bit in this, its still a very nice sipper for a cool early autumn evening....

 1,026 characters

Photo of kzoobrew
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Moderately strong pour into Duvel Tulip. Two and a half finger head is produced. White sand colored head recedes quickly only to stop leaving a 1/4 finger cap. Sticky lacing left surrounding the glass. Body is a coppery orange color, clear no cloudiness or haze.

Liquid caramel and citric hops dominate the aroma. Caramel malt comes through strong up front. Sweet liquid candy with an underlying breadiness. The hops, while very apparent, come to the surface a bit after the malt. Big citrus and light floral hop aroma

Flavor is much like the aroma but with a couple key differences. The malt and hops play an interesting back and forth game on the tongue making it difficult to describe what hits first. The hops are a bit more abrasive than the nose would indicate. While the citrus flavors are there a more assertive piny bitterness shines through. The floral component is not lost though is much more subtle than the citrus and pine flavors. The malt delivers the caramel flavors as you may expect. The caramel is not the liquid candy as it was in the nose however. The caramel in a bit darker in flavor, think heavily caramelized sugars. Certainly this is a big and assertive beer, and you can be assured it is down right enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is full and thick as any self respecting Barley wine should be. Viscosity is there but stops short of a syrupy body. Carbonation is low while still managing to hold up this rather large body. Smooth and just shy of creamy. Finish is long as the sweetness and resinous hops dig in.

While one bomber is certainly the limit (possibly too much on certain occasions) Old Guardian is a heck of a beer. For such a big beer the booziness is well masked and drinks quite smoothly. Great beer all around and certainly worth picking up.

 1,777 characters

Photo of xanok
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle into my Stone RIS tulip

A-Body is somewhere between an orangish-amber and a brick red. Unusual and pleasing actually. The just-off white head sticks around for quite a while.

S-Sooo..complex. Dried fruit, hops, citrus fruits. There's also some caramel malt here as well.

T-Sweeter than expected, the maltiness takes a front seat to everything. Piney hops come through along with the aforementioned fruit notes.

M-Carbonation borders on heavy with a thick, but smooth body. Aftertaste is strong and lingers. Very small sips needed!

D-Low drinkability, even for the style. Absolute flavor explosion combined with the high ABV make even just the one bomber a lot to tackle.

 688 characters

Photo of dlmccabe1
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This high ABV (11.1%) monster is one of the better barleywines I've come across. A lot of great aromas coming from this with a fragrant sweetness on the nose with pronounced (at least to me) apricot flavors. The head looks like a primary fermenter mid fermentation - dense and rocky, and very alive looking.

The flavor was mellow and smooth. Easy to drink for a barleywine with a nice malty start and a bit of spiciness on the finish.

A new go-to barleywine for me.

 469 characters

Photo of ebrauser
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dull pale amber with lots of creamy tan foam on top. The speed at which the carbonation bubbles are passing through the beer does not reveal the syrupy thickness of this one.

Pineapple dominates the nose with touches of wood as well as other fruit sweetness. The flavor matches the smell perfectly, with lots of intensely sweet pineapple and light, maybe Galaxy, hops. Oak and molasses deaden the fruit sweetness before a very bitter finish drives home.

 463 characters

Photo of ChugginOil
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy golden orange with a fingers worth of white head. Nice lacing holding up well.

Sweet bready malt up front dominating the nose for the most part. Smells very inviting.

Sweet malt with bold bitter hops on the back end. There is some biscuit flavors along with the malt upfront. Pretty balanced.

The mouthfeel is smooth and bitter, very well balanced. Its a great mixture. This is a monster ale that sits heavy.

Overall, one of the better barleywines ive had and will revist this. Glad i have another 2010 in the cellar.

 539 characters

Photo of Lunch
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia, MD into a 12oz.snifter at the appropriate temperature (03/26/10).

A: Pours a brilliant shade of dark copper, with a rich ruby hue capped with one finger of an almost white head. Decent retention and some patchy lace.

S: Strong and powerful aroma of pine, caramel malt, along with quite a bit of alcohol. Notes of citrus and hints of toffee and burnt malt are there as well.

T: The flavor profile mirrors the aroma with layers of pine, caramel malt, alcohol, burnt malt, and some citrus. Not as complex as I remember, but I could be wrong.

M: Medium to full-bodied with smooth carbonation and a pleasant tinge of alcohol.

D: For a 11% American Barleywine, this one has good drinkability.

Overall this was nice American Barleywine, but I was less impressed with this year's version compared to last year's.

 860 characters

Photo of jettjon
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a glass, clear amber with very few tiny bubbles. Pour yields a towering light tan head which fades away slowly leaving heavy clinging lace. Nice looking brew. On the nose is a faint boozy alcohol and sweet floral malt with hints of honey. On the tongue, the honey-sweet flavor asserts itself again, followed by a moderate alcohol burn. Hops are there as well, grapefruit-like sour biting toward the middle and taking over from the sweet malt. It ends on a slightly dry bitter note. Mouthfeel is good; it's slightly thin with low viscosity and quite smooth. Drinkability is good, but of course with all such high ABV brews, moderation is a must. It's deceptively smooth and tasty, and can easily sneak up on you.

Overall: A tasty but not spectacular barley wine. Cellaring would probably help with smoothing out some of the rough edges.

 841 characters

Photo of uhhhaaron
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

consumed on 04-18-2010, 22oz bomber into snifter

Poured into snifter....copper/dark caramel color with a fluffy off white head that stuck around for a while.. settled in at a thin nice looking film..

when i first cracked it open it smelled of sweet dark cherrys. I got this again once it was poured into glass. very sweet boozy smell..piney/hoppy with a malt backbone.. a little caramel, grapefruit..wood, really a lot going on in the nose..

First sip was whoa!..as it enters my mouth I get sweetness right away. I keep sipping because I cant really get any other flavors except for the aftertaste. i let it warm up a bit.. minutes later I retaste and get sharp grapefruit, orange peel, very strong hop presence but yet still get that dark cherry sweetness, almost medicinal...aftertaste is a burn, hoppy tone with wood (cedar? oak?)

mouthfeel is thick and very warm...def a slow sipper..

 892 characters

Photo of perrymarcus
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bomber (22oz) served in a snifter glass.

pours a murky amber tone with slightly less than a finger of a creamy beige head; not much retention, lacing in spots - fairly typical for the style.

aroma is great: smacks of heavy, sweet maltiness... brown sugar, caramel, maybe a hint of dark fruits... some hops evident.

the malty introduction of the flavor is quickly overpowered by a surge of hops, much more than i would have guessed judging by the nose. lends the beer a decided bitterness lasting through the finish, which also packs some heat from the booze. solid representation of an american barleywine, if maybe a little too hoppy for my taste.

smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel; drinking pretty well for a north of 11% ABV beer; that said, i'll be all set with the bomber.

 780 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a snifter.

Appearance: Deep amber / burgundy color with a small white head around the edge. No lace.

Smell: A strong malt nose, with caramel, some spices. A hop presence is mostly citrus, with some floral notes as well.

Taste: The toffee and caramel malt barely appears before the hops sink their teeth in. A strong grapefruit and apricot flavor, with a resonating bitterness in the aftertaste. I think I would like this a little better if it aged a bit, fading out some of the hop presence to give it more depth and balance.

Mouthfeel: Slightly coarse in my mouth with a bubbly carbonation.

Drinkability: The ABV is clearly present throughout each sip. Combined with a strong aftertaste, I am less than inclined to really get into these regularly. Still impressive for 11%.

 789 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a pint glass. The beer is a deep amber-brown color with a thin, scant head. The beer has heavy aromas of malt, citrus, and alcohol. The beer has sweet flavors derived from fruit, which is well balanced with undertones of spice and alcohol. The beer is smooth and robust in mouth, and finishes with a slightly sour aftertaste. The sourness is mild, but lingers for a while. The beer is extremely mild and drinkable for a barleywine. The flavors are balanced and blended extremely well, and the alcohol isn't overpowering.

 555 characters

Photo of ykncornelius
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Even with almost a year of aging behind it, this thing is really really big, with a ton of bitter bite and alcohol heat showing through. It's still fantastic right now.

Poured a clear garnet red in the glass, which just glowed with some backlighting. Really good-looking. Thick just-off-white two-finger head left fantastic lacing for such a potent potable. It's like a stained glass window of booze.

The aroma isn't terribly complex, but it smells sweet and warm and inviting.

There isn't a ton of sweetness with each sip, but there is warmth and fantastic hop flavor and some lingering aftertastes of smoke and roasted malt. Basically, this thing is just aching to be aged for a few more years before seriously delivering.

Excellent mouthfeel...savory and sweet, with strong enough carbonation that it's still going strong at the end of the glass.

The drinkability suffers a little because it's so strong, and it's obvious with each sip. I love beers like this, but many would prefer that kick be hidden a bit better. It flows down the hatch like water for me; a definite sipper to be enjoyed.

Need to get my hands on more barleywines...

 1,145 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't drank this one in awhile and decided to crack it pretty fresh. Pours into my glass a lovely deep ruby red with good clarity and a quarter inch of khaki foam on the top. Aromas start off with a dense mix of sweet caramel, molasses, brown sugar and a good dose of fruitiness as well. Hops kick in a resinous piney undertone with some earthy floral accents as well. Great depth in the aroma. A little lighter on the hops than previous years if I recall.

First sip brings sweet dense caramel malts upfront intertwining with an array of fruit, toffee and brown sugar. Piney, slightly floral hops kick in with some nice resinous accents and a solid bitterness that helps to counteract the malt sweetness. Alcohol is there on the finish to let you know it's not playing around.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a great viscosity and carbonation. Quite easy to drink given the fact that this packs quite an ABV punch. On the sweeter side but not overly so and the bitterness does a good job of working out some of the sweetness. Overall, a tasty barleywine and I'll look forward to seeing how it ages.

 1,106 characters

Photo of valkyre65
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of cynical1027
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing
4.12 out of 5 based on 334 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.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More