Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
335 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:
335
Reviews:
202
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
9.71%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
86
For Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 335 |  Reviews: 202
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 garuda
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

 618 characters

Photo of bluntedboywonder
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of MaseFace
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of grittybrews
4.12/5  rDev 0%
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.

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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 CoolEthan
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of augustgarage
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. Long-winded blurbs excerpted from a journal entry written during a trip to India on the back - seemingly little to no connection to the contents within.

Glassy raspberry and alizarin body with a large array of tiny bubbles rushing to the surface. Heavy isabelline head recedes to a large collar and a thin peninsula leading to a quarter sized hill of bubbles in the center of the glass. A swirl reactivates the crown while leaving a stippling of lace around the sides. Viscous legs drag down the sandy lacing when you take a sip.

Punishing malt aromatics with an unconcealed dose of alcohol. Stewed nectarines, leather, lanolin, dark cherry, and maple syrup with a hint of blueberries. Hops are grassy and earthy, but can't cut through the rest of the aromatics.

Malt base delivers a tsunami of carmel-dipped bread, which becomes crustier as it approaches the finish. The hops assert themselves mid-palate, with a biting pine bitterness and a touch of grapefruit. The finish shovels on licorice, more earth, and a hint of pepper. Low dried fruit notes throughout as well. Actually has much in common with Arrogant Bastard, though this dials up the malt and alcohol quite a bit.

Medium, almost medium-heavy bodied, with good carbonation. A bit slick, and a little hot.

Distinctively Stone - and a pretty good example of the style. Curious to try an older vintage.

 1,414 characters

Photo of cadaugherty
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of DoctorB2B
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of ocelot2500
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head that leaves enough lacing on the glass.

Smells of pine hops with some caramel sweetness.

Tastes of a big caramel malt flavor up front followed by that west coast hop flavors of pine and citrus. Some fruit makes an appearance to add depth to the sweetness. Alcohol is very well hidden. Compared to the 2009, I would say it is more balanced and less raw. My complaint about 2009 was that there was too much alcohol character, but that has been resolved and this is more to my liking.

Mouthfeel is on the full side of medium with a good creamy amount of carbonation.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy glowing burnt orange color. A bubbly off-white head melts into wispy islands.

S - Rich caramelized brown sugar, fresh cut pine wood, grapefruit, pineapple, cinnamon, strawberries. Notes of oak comes out as it warms.

T - Warm and spicy up front before blankets of malt brings in sweet toasted toffee, and rich caramel. The grapefruit rind hops start invading the castle and turn from citrus to pine resin on the finish diminishing any and all sweetness from the malt. The aftertaste is dry with flavors of malt, herbs, and bittering hops.

M - Full bodied with high carbonation.

I had high hopes for this beer and it didn't let me down. The nose is heavenly. The different stages of this beer from start to finish is like a Willy Wonka beer. With an 11.10ABV the alcohol shows up a bit, but is not off-putting. It's hidden well. An excellent and very complex Barleywine.

 889 characters

Photo of derkfromwi
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Modernrickk
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance: Reddish-caramel with a pretty substantial off white head.
smell: i drank one a year ago and put this one back. Smells promising. Actually some malt in there. Last year i thought i had a DIPA.
taste: Yikes, the hops just slapped the barleywine out of my mouth. Thought a year might tame it. Even for a DIPA, this would be unbalanced for my taste. Fully understand these hop monsters are just what the Doc ordered for some (many from the reviews). Either my palate is not refined enough or Stone just ain't for me.
And yea, it fits the style of American Barleywine. It is indeed "insanely hopped". Am not getting the complexity though, just the "insanely hopped". Still i do love beer and don't get me wrong...still a fine experience

 744 characters

Photo of bbadger
2.5/5  rDev -39.3%

Photo of JDizzle
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was aged for a year.

Looks really nice with a frothy off white head and deep ruby color. Smells OK, with dark fruits but a little too much alcohol bite. Pretty hoppy with a bit of booze in the finish. Some nice dark fruits mix with a malty backbone. Good barleywine that I will continue to try year after year.

 316 characters

Photo of Lantern
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An earlier vintage of this was my first Barleywine. I havent had thins since I started reviewing, but nows the time.

A- A ruddy red color that is moderately clear. The head is a brassy color. I love when the labels on the bottle use colors that match the colors of the beer inside. This one does that nicely. The body is nearly the color of the red ink and the head is very close to the color of the gold ink.

S- Lots of malts and hops. It is pretty strong on hops. Alcohol is also abundant. Lots of fruity ale characteristics. Raisins, toffee, wood, pine, citrus and a hairspray smelling astringency.

T- This is a real hoppy barleywine but that is to be expected. The taste follows the nose but with much much more strength in the hops. The beer starts off nice and malty rich and full of fruits and toffee. The hops break up that party with A LOT of pine and very bitter grapefruit rind and a touch of sweeter pineapple. Alcohol comes around at the end with the hops. This beer finishes very very bitter.

M- Very resinous and palate coating. It will easily ruin your mouth for the day. I need a glass of water with this one.

 1,130 characters

Photo of deadliest
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A foggy copper-amber pour with a nice 2 finger light khaki head leaving a map of lacing down the sides of my Duvel tulip. All Stone products look awesome.
S: Caramel malts, a surprising amount of citrus hops. Brown sugar.
T: Caramel, hops and alcohol battle it out. I'm sure there are other flavors in there somewhere but my palate too busy with these 3 to find out.
M: Full with light carbonation, syrupy more than creamy.
D: It tastes good enough to want to keep drinking, but its a bruiser for sure. Not sure I could handle much more than this bomber.

Wish I could spare the room in my tiny collection to age some.

 623 characters

Photo of DCon
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of jdense
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Early 2010 vintage shared, poured into wine tumblers 10.13.11.

Nary any head, white, quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Nose features a bit of burnt sugar and noticeable alcohol aroma with citrus hops. Taste mirrors nose, caramel up front, decent hop punch but despite the year and a half aging still significant alcohol heat on back end. Mouthfeel is light for style, marginal effervescence, no stickiness. I'm guessing this wasn't the best of vintages, not a lot of depth in the taste department.

 503 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 Eriktheipaman
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Semi opaque orange brown body with nice ring of head along with med. lacing

Smell: Brown sugar and caramel, complex alcohols and esters lending themselves to fruit notes of dried and fresh apricot, raisin and dried cherry.

Taste: Balanced bitterness supports sweet caramel and massive notes of dried cherry. Alcohol warmth with a lingering bitterness on the back leaves you wanting another sip.

Overall: 5 years has always seemed to be the sweet spot for Old Guardian and even at this point there are only faint signs of oxidation.

 548 characters

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2010 from Stone Brewing
4.12 out of 5 based on 335 ratings.
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