Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2011) | Stone Brewing

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2011)Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2011)
BA SCORE
3.85/5
Very Good
351 Ratings
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2011)Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2011)
BEER INFO

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

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
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
141
Ratings:
351
pDev:
15.06%
Bros Score:
3.28
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
105
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 351 |  Reviews: 141
Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of DaPan
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of avisong
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of ummswimmin
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been fortunate to have tried the Old Guardian for the last five years. 2010 was my favorite year. It seemed to get better or change with a different complexity each year. This year the recipe seems to have gotten somewhat worse.

I think they may have put their greater effort in the Belgo style. I have that on the shelf as a future review, but I recommend that as a purchase over this bottle. That is to say, if it is available any more at your store.

On it's own, this is a classic Barleywine style. The flavors are standard, without much additional fanfare. The alcohol flavors stand out, as well as the strong barley and malts.

I would recommend the Avery version over this one, or if you live in San Diego pick up a growler of the Ballast Point version (my first and favorite). Just be careful, the ABV will set you up for the night.

 850 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of shoegueuze
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

Photo of buckyp
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of richj1970
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of mhaugo
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of ONovoMexicano
1.32/5  rDev -65.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured into a mini-snifter.

Deep caramel color with a light frothy head. Starts off promising.

But all downhill from there. I took one sip of this and poured out the rest of the bomber (probably 18 ounces). Even after 5 years, this thing is still overrun by hops. It's barleywines like this that turn me off to the American versions. Too much hops fresh and their presence is even more offensive with age. At least fresh you'll get some of the pleasurable flavors of whatever the hop, but aged you just get this stiff, spicy aroma and taste that lack any dimension or real contribution. Well, there is one contribution, just as with fresh, they successfully overshadow the malt flavors and otherwise undermine all that is good about a barleywine. This beer is essentially an egregious example of that.

Interestingly enough, I had a 2014 Double Bastard today and that beer is a much better barleywine than this is, even if not labeled as such. It aged better, tasted better, and had much more of a well-rounded offering of flavors and sensations.

 1,051 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark ruby red/brown, no head, some lacing

SMell - Strong malts, carmeal, some hops and plenty of alcohol and sugars, smells a little over the top

Taste - Really alcoholish and maltly. Not as complex as last year. Carmeal mixes well along with molasses to add some sweetness. Has a spice dark fruit flavor also.

MOuthfeel - Really warms mouth up. Actually the aftertaste is dry and bitter. Tounge is numbed from the first sip all the way til the end.

Drinkability - Totally a sipper beer. Alcohol is too much. I split the 22oz with a friend and that was more then enough. I prefer last years version better, but i wonder how good this will be aged for a few years. Not bad, not as good as '10 version.

 745 characters

Photo of david18
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought a bottle of this, along with the Belgo version, at my local beer store. In the case of both, they were a little hot and unbalanced.

The appearance was a dark yellow to brown, very cloudy with a good amount of carbonation that stuck around for a long time.

Aroma was strong, there was a lot of malt but not a lot of anything else. No hops to speak of and a lot of alcohol.

Flavor was also very strong and the mouthfeel was thick.

Overall this is not my favorite barleywine although I will give it another chance and revise my review if it changes.

 561 characters

Photo of jwat
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Oakenator
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JRod1969
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of philbe311
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
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...

 1,270 characters

Photo of mikeincharleston
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of jvillefan
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of PicoPapa
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 477 characters

Photo of nrbw23
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a clear red color with a nice tan colored head. Head has pretty good retention and leaves some nice layered lacing.

S- Smell is bready malts, caramel, toffee, some bitterness from the loads of hops. Also can pick up some alcohol here.

T- Taste seems like a mess. Quite a bit of hops here, tea like, piney, and a medicine like taste. Quite a bit of alcohol here too.

M- Fuller side of medium in body and carbonation was ok.

O- Not really impressed just a mess and nothing really goes well. Struggled with this one.

 530 characters

Photo of jaswilson2
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of sharpski
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby colored and clear, with a light tan fluffy head sitting a full 2 fingers above the brew.

S: Dark bread, raisons, and a touch of yeast.

T: Starts sweet and bready. Notes of raisons. dark bread, darker fruits, and a bit of a earthy flavor. There is a touch of licorice, and the bitterness all comes in the finish. You can definitely feel the booze in this thing. This is almost more of a cross between an American, and English Style BarleyWine. The beginning is a strong malty smack in the face, that is quickly shooed out the door by bitter hops. Interesting, and I think it is going to go quite well with this dark chocolate I have.

M: Medium in body, carbonation feels low and slow. It's nice, and leaves your mouth oily with hop resin.

D: Tasty for sure, definitely not the hop explosion I was expecting from stone, but solid.

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2011) from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 351 ratings