Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 | Stone Brewing

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by muttyd on 02-14-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
140
Ratings:
349
Avg:
3.73
pDev:
16.09%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
106
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 140 | Ratings: 349
Photo of StoutHunter
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bomber of Stone's Old Guardian Barleywine Style Ale a few weeks ago for $6.49 at The Lager Mill. I have been on a Barleywine kick lately and since I have never had a beer from Stone before I thought I should give this beer a try and see how it goes. 2011 vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label is pretty plain but the colors look good on the bottle and the stone logo always looks good. It poured a nice looking amber/copper color with three fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left some nice rings of lacing.

S- The aroma is pretty on a par for a strong American Barleywine. It starts off with loads of sweet caramel malts that impart some nice caramel and toffee aromas, there is also some dark fruits going on too, with a very slight boozy aroma. I also pick up a little bit of floral hop at the end.

T= The taste follows the nose nicely. It starts off with a lot of caramel malts that have a low amount of medium sweetness, I was expecting this to be much sweeter but I really like the lower level of sweetness in this beer. The caramel malts impart some nice caramel and toffee flavors along with some candied sugar and some dark fruits, mainly raisin. There is a slight amount of booze but not nearly as much as I was expecting out of a 12% Barleywine. The hops seem to be on the lighter side of medium and mainly floral with a little bit of earthiness, the finish has a low amount of medium bitterness, just the right amount of bitterness for a Barleywine.

M- Smooth, creamy, on the light side of being full bodied and it had a nice medium amount of carbonation, the mouthfeel was perfect for this beer, no complaints here.

Overall I thought this was an excellent American Barleywine, that was extremely balanced. It seems with Barleywines there is a fine line between to hoppy and too malty, and this beer falls right in the middle just like it should be. The drinkability was really good for an American Barleywine, usually a bomber of a 12% Barleywine would be hard to take out by myself, but I am pretty sure that I could drink the whole thing by myself, the alcohol is hidden really well for a beer this strong, and the flavors keep me coming back for more. The price point was also really good, for $6.49 I thought this was a pretty damn good deal. What I like most about this beer was the flavor and drinkability. it had no off flavors and all the flavors were spot on for an American Barelywine, the mouthfeel was also really good. There wasn't anything that I didn't like about this beer, everything seemed to be on par for it's style. I would for sure by this beer again, so I will be going back and getting a couple more bottles to cellar. I highly recommend this beer, if you are a Barleywine lover you need to try this. This was my first beer from Stone and I have to say that I was really impressed and it made a good first impression, they did a great job with this Barleywine, and I can't wait to see what else they have to offer. I don't know why I waited to so long to try a beer from Stone, I always thought that they were pretty expensive but this beer was a bargain in my opinion. After reading some reviews when it was first released I see how well this beer aged after about a year, it was no were near the boozy and hoppy mess people thought it was when it wad first released, this is for sure a beer to let sit for a while, I can only imagine it will get better in another year. Great job Stone, I will be trying more of your beers very soon.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bold two finger head of light brown foam, with good clinging lace. Color is a slightly hazy 18 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is a complex aroma of honey, caramel, plums, red wine, grapefruit, roasted wheat, and oak wood. Taste is a little on the sweet side, with flavors of honey, molasses, caramel, red wine, grapefruit, rhubarb, dark roasted malt, and spices. Mouthfeel is rich, thick, and creamy, with lots of carbonation. For the most part this beer starts of great, but it becomes a bit overwhelming after about half a glass. This is a great desert beer to share the bottle with three or four.

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Photo of stephens101
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Always in the mood for a new Barleywine, and Stone rarely goes wrong.

A two-toned, prominent light and dark tan sits commandingly above a reddish brown brew, but retreats in haste, leaving a sparse contingent of lace behind as cover. Deep and musty pine notes to the nose with some caramel malts and cherries underneath. Sweet malts and a bit grainy at the front of the palate with some candy notes, spice and a big shot of woody hops to balance near perfectly. Medium body, leaning to the dry side, and well carbonated with an encompassing alcohol heat that is not boozy which adds to the experience rather than detracts. It's hard to manage alcohol levels like this, but Stone pulls it off well.

Digging this one full-on. One of my new favorites, and I should have gotten two while I had the chance, because I can imagine this one only gets better with time.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.34/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fresh 2011 bomber. Pours amber with a white, long lasting head. Intoxicating aroma of sweet malt, cherry fruit and herbal hops. Full, very sharp body. Delicious taste of caramel, cherries, herbal hops.
Huge, dry, hoppy finish. I shared this bottle with my friends, who had never heard about Barley wines. They were amazed.

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Photo of Krakistophales
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark copper with a finger of white head that recedes quickly into a halo.

S: Sweet, fruity aethers first hit the nose, followed by honey and caramel, and a bit of candy. Also a big boozy note, akin to a port or sherry.

T: At first, cherries, plums, and other assorted candied fruits, followed by a slight hop touch and bitters at the end.

M: Nice carbonation, oddly refreshing, with a powerful, warming sensation that crawls through you as it goes down.

O: Quite a tasty barleywine. It's probably the hoppiest and most subtle I've ever had, but I reach for this one when the mood strikes me...which happens to be quite often.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

large bottle

Pours a cloudy cidery apple gold color. Bit of off white lacing.

Smells of apple sweetness and piney hops. Bit of tartness as well.

Tastes of rich apple and caramel malts along with piney hops that are potent but not too bitter, a the slightest hint of alcohol.

Feels full and chewy with coarse but mild carbonation.

Delicious beer, good American Barelywine hop flavor balanced by malty flavors more characteristic of the English style. Too potent to drink a lot of but an enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of silentnoiz
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bomber in a pint glass.

A - Deep golden amber with a steady stream of carbonation rising from the bottom. Thin smooth head across the top.

S - Malty, a bit of oak, hops.

T - Vanilla, caramel, raisin, and very bitter (in a good way) from the middle to the very end. Continues to get more bitter further back.

M - Carbonation hits fairly strong up front but then tapers nicely towards the middle and is smoothed out.

O - Great Barleywine. It's pretty bitter, which I like, but if you don't like bitter, you may not appreciate this one. I think the best year I've had from Stone if my memory serves me well. I'd love to A/B this next to Avery's Hog Heaven (a fav BW of mine).

I'll probably go pick up another bomber or two of this, really enjoying it.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful copper color w/ a perfect two finger caramel head. Lots of carbonation as well. Very nice in the looks department. Smell is of alcohol drenched fruit, malt, and hops. Not bad, but I'd like a tad less alcohol in the nose. Taste is along the same lines- fruit, spice, alcohol, malt, hops. I really enjoy the taste of this beer. The alcohol might be on the hot side, but at 12% ABV, that's fine. I'm really surprised this beer doesn't rate higher. Maybe I got a good one. This is the 2011 vintage. Finish is very hop-sided, but smooth. Really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a bomber into a snifter, light red pour with a medium white head. The aroma is hot and sweet. There are notes of pine. The first sip is kinda hot. It mellows out a bit with lots of pine, lingering piney finish. The beer is sticky, creamy, and full bodied. I liked this one, but I like over the top beers, and this is over the top.

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Photo of mryuk
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours unfiltered with a very nice small bubbly head that dissipates quickly.

smell is sweet with piny hops but certainly not overpowering.

the taste slaps you in the face given how subtle the smell is. tons of flavor and excellent bitterness.

mouth is medium bodied with good carbonation.

I enjoyed this beer. definitely going to let a few bottles age in the cellar and see what happens. could be great with age.

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Photo of Snow81
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light orange clean glow

Head: Little tan head that dissipates quickly

Smell: Big dark citric with a nice malty tone and a subtle heat

Taste: Malty rich dark citric with a bit of heat on the backend

Weight: Light to medium body with a medium to low carbonation

Finish: Heavy citric with a little heat and a nice stickiness on the lips

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Photo of CFHMagnet
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. I gave her an easy pour and didn't receive better than half a finger of head. Body looks like a murky apple cider.

S. Sweet and sugary, malty with a hint of caramel.

T. Whoa. Malt and hop fight a fair fight in the beginning. This runs into caramel, back into a bitter hop flavor and ends with some alcohol. Can't fault it.

M. Smooth. Carbonation definitely draws attention. Nice and bitter with a slight burn at the end to remind you of the ABV on this one.

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Photo of generalnotsew
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Very fat thick off white 2 finger head. Color is dark woody burnt orange color. Visually this beer is flawless. Sticky cement lacing. Smell is caramel and sugar with a stinging bitter hop tint. Also picking up a nice sweet plum as well. Overall smell is a tad too sweet for me but it is definitive American Barleywine smell. Very sugary but also very bitter. Taste is initially very woody slick candy sweetness. Earthy and dirty with a sharp bitterness on the end. The taste takes after the smell in the same order. But it isn't overly bitter. I love bitterness as much as anyone but this years Bigfoot was almost too much for me. This seems to be way more balanced than my beloved Bigfoot this year. Carbonation is perhaps a bit too aggressive. It is pretty sharp. Maybe more Pepsi sharp than Coke. Very high alcohol heat on the throat. It is far too warming. Great beer if not for the carbonation and heat. Smell and taste is out of this world though.

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Photo of jgurley
4.14/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick opaque amber color. Thin head and not much lace. Smell of caramel, honey and hops. Maybe a hint of butterscotch. Sweet forward honey, malt, caramel. Apple/ pineapple toward the middle and delicious hop balance on the finish. Typical well rounded hop character of Stone brews. Mouthfeel is pretty thick and sticky. Fairly low carbonation. Surprisingly clean finish for such a complex taste. Alcohol is present but not overpowering, yet is hot in the belly. Not your every day brew, but very good nonetheless.

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Photo of notyourdadsbeer
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into snifter at Euclid Hall.

A: Burnt Amber to Sienna with haziness brown hue. Unfiltered with a very nice thick head. Solid lacing but fades moderately fast.

S: Really complex off the bat. Hints of sweetness and sugar mixed with high california piney hops. I would have liked more sweetness off the nose being a barley but this is Stone so understandable that hops are the key ingredient. Thick malt back up the hops.

T: Minor sweetness up front but clean. I would have prefered more sweetness, not cloying, but just a touch more being a barley. Mid palate is clean and the beer finishes dry. The hops aren't a torpedo on this one, instead they creep into your senses from the back of your palate. Very hoppy but not a hop bomb; this one is a sneeker.

M: This is a very heavy beer. They used a lot of malt to really back up the hop profile so it weighs heavy on the palate. Almost a meal in fact. Entire palate is coated cleanly and the hops on the finish completely take over the palate with a bittering affect.

D: Overall I think it's a pretty good barley wine. I would have prefered a lot more sweetness up front and perhaps even more hop aroma as well as bittering in the beer. It seemed pretty mellow for Stone. I know they didn't dry hop this years batch (2011) but maybe they should have.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2/19/2011

On tap at Stone juxtaposed next to the 2006 vintage.

A: Appears a darker color than the 2006 vintage, more of a murky reddish brown. The head is beige and mountainous, receding in a cavernous fashion and leaving sheets of lacing.

S: Big resin and grapefruit notes overshadow a faint sugary caramel base. The hops are dominant and very aromatic, with increasing pine needle and sap notes with warming. 

T: Upper moderate aggressive bitterness, with ample grapefruit rind notes. Pine is pervasive and deeply resinous. Caramel is subtle compared to the 2006 vintage, and it's mildly sweet and sugary, though quickly obliterated by the dry bitter presence. Booze is also aggressive.

M: Upper medium in body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth with some astringency and warming.

Overall: This beer is a much different beast when fresh, but it's damn tasty. I think I prefer it slightly less fresh as the booze is pretty strong at this point.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky copper-brown with a thin white head.

Aroma of mostly alcohol, hops and sweet fruity malts.

I sense a vast array of different tastes. Mostly sweet fruits and a mouthful of hops. Alcohol is definitely noticeable. Lots of interesting spices, some cinnamon, cloves. Nice and bitter balanced by the sweet malts. Very medicinal and pretty smooth considering the alcohol content.

Overall a very good beer, a bit overwhelming with the alcohol, could probably do better with age.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured unto a flute.

Appearance: slightly dark, cloudy amber with a full inch off-white head.

Smell: Hint of red wine properties, like seriously smelling dark fruits with a blend of alcohol.

Taste: An amplified description of the smell to the tenth power. Super tasty and very hard not to love and most of all indulge in.

Mouth: Medium carbonation, smooth with a few bumps on the road. Once you sip a few times you tend to appreciate how well crafted it is.

Overall: This is great beer, not for everyone though that's why I can't rate it any higher. Hope you all have enjoyed it as much as I did, Salud!

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Photo of mattsegall
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a orange/amber brown with 3/4" egg shell head. Minimal lacing, but its definitely still there. Head is gone after about 3-5 minutes.

Smell - Sweet, definitely candy sugar, and dried fruits: rasins, prunes. Decently strong alcohol scent as well, as its 12%.

Taste - This beer's is really pretty consistent with his smell. Sweet, with raisiny barley taste. Slight alcohol burn and aftertaste.

Mouth - Surprisingly creamy for a beer of this nature. Taste doesnt not linger for that long.

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this one in a trip to Stone Brewery. Review notes of tasting in May 14th, 2011. Bought on May 10th, 2011.

Amber color with some ruby in there. Nice head. Soapy looks. Foam color is beige. Floral notes in the aroma with some caramel malts notes. Some yeast in the nose too. Pretty nice aroma. Very thick in the mouth. Complex. Yeast with malts (woody). The finish is very bitter and linger in the mouth for a long time. The 12% ABV is well hidden. Dangerous beer since it is so easy to drink. Another nice one from Stone.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Pours a dark, murky mahogany color with a nice frothy head. Minimal lacing. Aromas of dark fruits, malts, bread, booze and hops. A lot going on here. Taste has that nice warming alcohol zip to it. Malty flavor along with a big amount of dark fruits and a bit of a caramel taste. Bitter aftertaste is where I pick up on some of the hops. Boozey. All things considered this is pretty drinkable. Old Guardian continues to be one of the best barleywines on the market.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I haven't picked up a bottle of this one yet this year, but seeing it as the beer of the day at the Rackhouse tonight I had to have a glass. Poured a medium reddish brown color with a finger or so of ecru head. Good earthy hops on the nose, along with dark fruits and caramel. On the palate, this one was medium bodied, with flavors of earthy hops, caramel and booze.

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Photo of philbe311
4.04/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers worth of rich creamy light-to-medium colored tan colored head... Very solid retention... The color is a warm inviting caramely brown... Still with no discernible carbonation... Overall this is a very sophisticated and regal looking offering... Very nicely done...

S - The nose rather subdued which is surprising given both the style and brewery of origin... All the usual suspects are present... Rich caramely malts... Some hints of brown sugar... A subdued hop presence lies beneath the surface...

T - There is nothing timid about the palette... This is much more of what I expect for both the style and the brewery... A big challenging mix of malts and hops start immediately... Brown sugar... Caramel... A very nice hoppy bite... A definite boozy warmth on the finish...

M - A very sturdy medium to full bodied offering... A bit of creamy lushness from the head greats the tongue to start... The finish is bit dry and bit chalky...

D - Overall, a rather solid American Barleywine... Not the best, but better than average... This is my first intro to Old Guardian and I'll gladly pick up a bottle next year to see how it changes year over year... Other than a slightly timid nose, there's no doubt this is an aggressive expected out of Stone...

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautiful red/amber into my snifter with about one finger of head that dissipates rather quick into a nice ring around the glass that leaves sticky lace.

S - Big caramel malts, candy sugar, molasses, resinous hops, and a bit more alcohol than I would prefer.

T - Nice hop bitterness that lasts through the whole experience, sweet caramel malts, caramelized sugars, molasses, honey and dark fruit, but it's all masked by the booziness right now, hopefully this one will mellow out with a little age.

M - Still rather smooth and creamy, nice body, sticky.

D - This was a tough one to rate. I love and respect stone, but not nearly as good as some Old Guardians of the past, once again I hope age brings this beer justice.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice reddish-copper color with a nice 2 finger head

S: Malted barley and slightly hoppy nose, some bready notes in the back

T: Big on the malt, with a nice hop presence that brings a decent amount of bitterness in the finish. Bready notes mix in well with the alcohol, which is surprisingly well hidden for a 12% brew

M: Fairly heavy with very little carbonation

D: Pretty tasty even with the new release. The hop bitterness could be toned down a bit, but the alcohol is working very well even right now

This one remains a sipper, especially with the boost in abv. I also picked up the belgo version which I'll be reviewing soon, it'll be interesting to see how it compares

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011 from Stone Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.
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