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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
BA SCORE
3.85/5
Very Good
351 Ratings
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2011Stone 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
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Ratings: 351 |  Reviews: 141
Photo of prototypic
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Guardian pours a copper color. Looks a tad hazy. Backlighting gives it a slight orange look. Not bad. The head is a very light tan color. It rises to nearly a finger, then falls to a surface covering quickly. I suspect the 12% abv might be a little much. Lacing was light and spotty.

The nose is pretty good. It’s a tad weak in the strength department. It kicks off with a nice caramel malt scent. Definitely smells a little sweet. Hops are easily noted, but may have diminished a little. They smell mostly like pine with a touch of citrus grapefruit and pineapple. There’s a little dark fruit in the mix, mostly raisin. It’s secondary, but adds nice depth. Alcohol is there, but isn’t as strong as it usually is fresh. That’s a positive.

The flavor is good. A nice caramel malt base anchors things down. It’s a little sweet, but isn’t too much. Hops are definitely more vibrant in flavor. They are piney and a little citric. Grapefruit and pineapple flavors are strong. It does have a bit of a bitter kick, despite the wealth of malt present. I like it. Raisin and a little fig are in the mix. They’re subtle and a little tangy, but add nice depth. Alcohol is there in flavor, but isn’t warm or hot. At 12% abv, that’s performing pretty well. Finishes malty, hoppy, and bitter.

Old Guardian has a medium body that feels a bit chewy. Carbonation is light and restrained. It is nice and smooth. For a beer of its size, it really does go down easy. A bomber really isn’t that much of a problem.

The 2011 release of Old Guardian is a good one. I don’t if or how much the recipe changes from year to year. The quality seems pretty consistent, if you ask me. Yeah, the nose could use a little more strength, but it performs well otherwise. I do believe the alcohol in Old Guardian is a little better integrated after 6 months or so. I recall it being very strong early on. If you’re a fan, you should like the 2011 release. If not…you probably never will be.

 1,991 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of shoegueuze
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

Photo of DaPan
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of buckyp
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

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 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 richj1970
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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 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 mikeincharleston
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 jaswilson2
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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 sharpski
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +3.9%

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 jwat
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of harrymel
2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured to NB globe.

A: Pours a hazel brown ale with single finger of head which dissipates in a couple minutes leaving a fine, medium sheet of creamy tan foam. Excellent clarity. Visible ribbons from the bottom.

S: So, um, there's barely any nose here. Unusual for Stone...Really unusual. Nose is of bittering hops, slight pine, alcohol. Moderate malt nose, but poorly exhibited. Hints of Apple skins, astringency. Just the slightest, slightest hint of vanilla.

T: Malts, caramels. Both sweet and bitter. Finish is still a bit sweet, hints of tea. Bitter sticks around on the hind-tongue. The beer breathes back hot.

M: Medium body and lower to moderate carbonation. Dries my palate.

D: Too hot. Although if I already had a few in me, this beer would be easier to drink, the beer as is struggles to meet the quality Stone strives for with every beer.

 856 characters

Photo of jvillefan
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

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