Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine | Stone Brewing

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Old Guardian BELGO BarleywineOld Guardian BELGO Barleywine
574 Ratings
Old Guardian BELGO BarleywineOld Guardian BELGO Barleywine

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by srroos on 02-08-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 574 |  Reviews: 303
Photo of SIEVS
1/5  rDev -72.5%

Photo of nlmartin
1.18/5  rDev -67.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Where to start with this beer? I guess the beginning is the proper place. This beer was chilled and served in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: This is the beers shining moment. The body of the beer is a bright shining caramel amber coloration. The head of the beer looks a creamy caramel tinged off white. No real head retention but not expected for the ABV. The beer is wearing a wonder bra. Now you may ask what brings a wonder bra to mind? You think your girl has a great rack and she takes her bra off and you wonder where her tits went. The beer looks like its got a great rack but leave me wondering what the hell happened?

Smell: The aroma of the beer is confusing to say the least. Heavily peppered caramelized apples, wet band aids, grapefruit, pine citrus slamming into a wall of solvents, rubbing alcohol, an odd mint and clove. This beer smells very odd to me.
Taste: This beer taste awful! This is like biting into a band aid used on a chemical wound. Lots of rubbing alcohol and other solvent flavors. Very very astringent flavors. Sure its hopped up but the hops are ramming against a wall of astringent cloves.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is astringently dry. Just bitterness and more bitterness complete with alcohol burn. Drinkability this is a drain pour. This is awful! Is this beer an Arrogant Bastards joke on fanboys? You guys will drink anything and love me! Sorry it aint so. Stones stumbled with Emperial IPA. A very poor offering. This beer is a straight up piss pour effort. Hopefully this beer goes the way of new coke. Yuck!

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Photo of Overlord
1.28/5  rDev -64.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I admit, I was not enthused when I heard about this beer. I think stone should retire their belgian yeast strain and burn all samples, this beer is that bad.

Pours a beautiful orange amber. Great head. The cake is a lie!!!

Smells like cleaning solvent with abrasive citrus, nasty yeast, and alcohol. Wow. This is horrid.

Taste, if anything, is worse. Pine cleaning solvent, harsh awful booze, truly atrocious rotting citrus yeast....one of the worst beers I have ever had. I must, however, praise stone for having their bourbon aged beers at the winter storm. I love stone! But not this beer. Awful bitter earthiness, runaway spicy yeastiness, nothing melds and the entire thing is dry, solventy, and abrasively harsh.

One of the least drinkable beers ever.

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Photo of GoldenChild
1.42/5  rDev -61%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

bomber into a glass

A-Dark amber body very small layer of head that dies down to a ring of foam.

S-Smells of candied bananas, band aid phenols, peppery spice, and some toffee.

T-Tastes of bananas sweet rich malt cotton candy some apples Belgian yeast peppery spice burnt band aids and TONS of alcohol. Bitter hops add to the confusion.

M-Lots of body and light carb.

O-Can you say drain pour? Gross beer i could'nt even finiah half of a glass of it. Ended up pouring it out. Confused awful mess of a beer. Maybe it would get better after a few years of sitting in the cellar? But i would have to say that every mouthful was a struggle. I'm confused by allot of the reviews on here. I would skip this beer at all cost

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Photo of barnzy78
1.5/5  rDev -58.8%

Photo of Comparison_Ford
1.75/5  rDev -51.9%

Photo of MbpBugeye
1.77/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

2011 Odd Year release. Poured into a Duvel tulip.
A- The head will rise to a good 2.5 fingers height but its too shy to hang around long. The color is very nice though. Its a partly hazed red, just a shade lighter than ruby.

S- The Belgian style yeast really changes the aroma around on Old G. Its very peppery with lots of green apple and pear. Caramel lays a base to big piney and grapefruit hops.

T- This is pretty weird. Its nearly all over the place, and its certainly very potent. It starts out very spicy. The Belgian yeast flavors are STRONG. Lots of pepper, apples, pears and lots of earthy, chalkiness. It gets very bitter at the back end. Pretty much pure bitterness without any good flavors to offset it. Indeed there is a flash of grapefruit that acts as a transition between the tripel-like yeast and the bracing bitterness, but its not long lived enough. The bitterness lingers and returns in flashbacks.

M- Fluffy carbonation, dry finish with long lingering bitterness and spices.

D- Bahhh.

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Photo of nrbw23
1.89/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A- Pours a hazy red color with a nice cream colored head. Head has ok retention and leaves some spotty lacing.

S- The first thing I pick up is the Belgian style yeast. Quite a bit of spices, pepper, and green apple. Caramel and toffee here with a piney hops.

T- Like the normal version its a mess, but the yeast puts it over the top. Very spicy, the Beligan yeast is putting the beat down on my tongue. Bitterness is here in full force and nothing keeps it in check. It was bit easier to drink after I let it warm up for quite a bit.

M- Fuller side of medium and carbonation was ok.

D- I'll pass on this one.

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Photo of billshmeinke
1.99/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Dark amber body slim layer of head that dies down to a ring of foam.

Smells of candied bananas, band aid phenols, peppery spice, and some toffee.

Tastes of bananas sweet rich malt cotton candy some apples Belgian yeast peppery spice burnt band aids and alcohol. Bitter hops add to the confusion.

Big full bodied luscious carbonation.

Confused awful mess of a beer.

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Photo of cisteve
2/5  rDev -45.1%

Photo of chrispoint
2/5  rDev -45.1%

Photo of HopsintheSack
2/5  rDev -45.1%

Photo of seeswo
2/5  rDev -45.1%

Photo of ejw127
2/5  rDev -45.1%

Photo of nanobrew
2/5  rDev -45.1%

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
2/5  rDev -45.1%

Photo of AWL
2/5  rDev -45.1%

Photo of Murchmac
2.15/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Say what you want about Stone but they create buzz. I didnt want to try this beer but had to. Not expecting much and didn't get much.

The best parts of the beer are the look and the smell. It looks beautiful and smells delicious. Thats where it ends.

Every other sip with this beer is different. But only 1 of 2 tastes. Either good syrupy sweet sipper to harsh unbearable drain pour awfulness.

Overall its way too laborious and misses the mark entirely. I guess with three years of age on this it would balance out. I dont know if im going to finish the bottle, and mos def would not try again.


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Photo of bierguru
2.17/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

a - body is a clean orange amber pours a thin creamy off white head what i did not like was it laced out rather quick

s - pungent overripe orange peel with a spicy booze backbone

t - tart orange peel with a spicy overly sweet malt finishes with a firey booziness

m - overly tart sticky body dries the mouth out and leaves it kind of flemy leaves a flavor of a really really bad cigar

o - usually enjoy barleywines and stone products but this may be the worst to date however i am happy to see they have moved away from grapefruit in that sense this beer is refreshing

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Photo of beerhan
2.25/5  rDev -38.2%

Photo of Ryan011235
2.44/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 12/2/11 while listening to Wesley Willis Greatest Hits

2011 Vintage (duh)

This is a nice looking beer; can't lie there. Toasty amber brown hue; looks very much like a fluid spectrum of autumn leaves. Two finger head has almost a soft yellow hue. The head thins but leaves an impressive enough amount of lace.

Maybe I should have popped this critter sooner because it doesn't smell nearly as bad as I've been told or subsequently feared. Orange peel, tangy apple, random fruit juiciness, toasted bread, some caramel-ish type sugars. Hey Seth, where's the band-aid? I mean, there are some musty, off-aromas going on and it smells disjointed and over-ripe but it could be way worse. No booze.

Eh, this tastes like an perpetual back and forth of "kind of ok" and "unpleasant bull jive." Caramelized sugars, toasted bread, earthy hops and some decaying citric tones seem fairly standard for Old Guardian; however, the belgo yeast imparts a musty (almost vegetal) notion and annoyingly spicy finish.

Medium-full body with appropriately moderate carbonation. Booziness is kept in check, considering the abv (at least for the abv). Still, it's more than warming. It finishes rather dry with some residual hops, too.

This could be so much worse, but I haven't exactly enjoyed it. Thankfully I was able to pawn half of it off on one of my friends. he happened to enjoy it. We'll be cracking the Belgo Anise shortly. It's even less pleasant as it warms.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.47/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep orange honey color with a 2 inch beige head. Good rings of lace on the drink down. Smells solely of Belgian yeast. That's it. I get no other smells. Taste is of Belgian yeast up front followed by bitter citrus zest hops and a faint sweet malt finish. Decent carbonation with a bubbly but somewhat full bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a Belgian yeast bomb. The other flavors are drowned out in the long run. I am disappointed by this beer.

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Photo of Pahn
2.48/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz bomber into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch offwhite head that dissipates steadily leaving no lacing. Pours a translucent red and leaves spots of lacing.

Smell: Belgian yeast and citrusy, piny west coast hops. Smells like Houblon Chouffe only a bit sweeter. Very airy and inviting. With warmth it gets very boozy.

Taste: Spicy Belgian yeast up front with piny hops, leading to a confusing finish that's mainly dry and astringent. Some roasted flavors and maybe some malt sweetness are in the background, but they're overtaken by harsh bitterness and dryness.

Once I start to get used to the strange, flavor-draining bitterness mixed with dryness, the overwhelming solvent burn comes out to take its place as the other dominant flavor in the beer. After the first sip, there's no sweetness to the flavor whatsoever (this is a barleywine??). Some interesting things happen occasionally, like Belgian yeast playing off of, I guess, some of Old Guardian's big maltiness, but they're so fleeting and so kill-flies-with-sledgehammers annihilated by the alcohol, dryness, and astringency that they may as well not have happened at all.

This beer tastes over-attenuated, abrasive, yet bland. Rating to style, it probably deserves a 1 for taste, but at least it didn't taste like garbage.

Mouthfeel: Extremely dry. Medium bodied, very carbonated, and bitter, but hard to get anything from it besides aggressive dryness.

Drinkability: The best thing I can say is that I finished the bottle. I would have happily given it away and drank something else.

I was excited for this beer, because Stone is my favorite brewery and Old Guardian is a great barleywine. This beer was a hot, dry, bland mess. I can't even see years in the cellar doing anything to improve it. I don't understand why this beer is so dry, and so bad.

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Photo of DrJay
2.49/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Looks great. Clear reddish colour with some orange highlights topped by a large, dense beige cap. Great head retention, especially for a barleywine at this abv, clumpy lacing. The aroma was heavy on the "Belgo" - peppery and phenolic, heading into band-aid territory, bready, alcohol, pears and apples. Fruity and sugary up front, slowly faded into bitterness and booze. A bit peppery on the finish, slightly phenolic, lots of alcohol warmth. Hop character was herbal and bitterness somewhat harsh. It left a bitter, medicinal aftertaste lingering long after each sip. The texture was alright, until the booze and spice kicked in and obliterated all other flavours. I'm not sold on this Belgo thing, it seems to just muddy the beer's character. And be warned, this one is a palate shredder. Maybe some time in the cellar would do it some good.

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Photo of leodarko
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

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Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 574 ratings