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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2012) | Stone Brewing

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2012)Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2012)
BA SCORE
4.01/5
Exceptional
2,041 Ratings
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2012)Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2012)
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
295
Ratings:
2,041
pDev:
11.47%
 
 
Wants:
95
Gots:
539
Trade:
30
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,041 |  Reviews: 295
Reviews by davewlfpckfan29:
Photo of davewlfpckfan29
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Guardian 2012!

This is the second Old Guardian that I have tried. I had an aged 2010 Old Guardian on tap a couple weeks ago.

This seems to be a great example of a barley wine. Stone does it very well (as they do with any beer they make).

Barley wine really has a unique taste that is hard for me to describe. The tastes I can identify are fruits, lots of them:
Raisins, citrus too. And a brown sugar kind of taste.

My cousin and I agree that this is very comparable to Bigfoot.

 487 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of dbl_delta
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Growler into pint glass. 2013 release (and yes, I trust State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD in this regard). Clear, dark amber with a thin, off-white head that dissipates rapidly....
But enough of this visual crap. You want to know what it tastes like, right? OMFG. This is exceptionally good! Maltiness vs hops (a draw); sweetness vs bitterness (another draw); big, thick, chewy mouthfeel that isn't syrupy but is reeeeeeally smooth. ABV is (too?) well hidden - it drinks like an 8 percenter, but it definitely packs a punch.
This is good stuff. Get you some.

 569 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Despite a papaya-like colour, Old Guardian looks as rigid as the marble gargoyle on its label. My LED desk lamp may light up the beer but there's no way it's getting through it; turns out even pale amber beers can be opaque. There's not much head but I suppose that's to be expected.

This 2008 vintage smells every bit as sweet (figuratively, though also a little bit literally) than ever. Nearly 7 years in the cellar has only turned this into more of a honey pot of rich, nutty, buttery fruit. Loads of fresh mango, dried apricot, as well as pine resins abound.

Barleywines are something of an anomaly insofar as they can be ultra-malty and simultaneously rich and resiny with hops. This is full of both sticky and tropical flavours; it tastes like caramel coated pineapple or toffee-laced grapefruit. Neither sweepingly bitter nor sweet, this blends the two in a perfect marriage with an abundance of delicious nuances and just a pinch of spice.

Most seductive as always is the texture of Old Guardian. Dried and honeyed orchard fruits promptly excuse themselves on the finish, parting way for leafy-bitter, herbal notes of pine, spruce, and strongly-steeped chamomile that mingle with lasting impressions of toffee, marmalade, and wildflower honey. It has the components to be a powerhouse but is not.

Old Guardian is seemingly immortal - if not the beer itself then certainly my enjoyment of it (not to mention the fond nostalgia of vintages past). If my cellar consisted of just one brand it'd probably be this one. To my knowledge there is no liquid better suited to moments of quiet reflection. This was an early favourite of mine and one that I continue to return to year after year.

 1,705 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage. Enjoyed as my first beer of 2016.

Comes in a slightly hazy, dark amber color with a finger of beige head.

The aroma is ripe with dark fruits and complex malts. Cherry, vanilla, caramel, pine, molasses, apricot, plum, and raisin.
Up front you get candy sweet malt flavors of caramel, molasses, baked bread, and brown sugar, followed a wallop of brandy-soaked cherries, figs, plums, raisins, and vanilla. It's like a boozy gingerbread cake. On the finish you get earth, grapefruit, orange, lemon, apricot, pineapple, and pine, and then grapefruit and pine linger long after the finish.

This beer is full-bodied, sticky, and yet smooth, with the perfect amount of carbonation.

This beer is freaking delicious. It drinks way too easy for 11.2% abv, and every sip is pleasure and destroys the palate with a medley of flavors. Another winner from Stone and a motivation to drink more barleywine!

 914 characters

Photo of WesMantooth
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle

Bright ruby orange with a tan head.

Smells sort of musty and hoppy with sweet caramel/toffeeand rock candy sugars.

Still considerably hoppy. Pretty herbal/green and sharp. Balanced pretty well by the sweet malt base that has quite a bit of carmalized sugars. Tastes like a fig newton and the toffee flavors are so strong that it comes across like chocolate a little bit.

A tad astringent, but a very nice American Barleywine overall. I think that I like this one more than a 2 year old Bigfoot.

 514 characters

Photo of bgold86
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage, poured into a 12 ounce snifter. Pours a dark orange, slight oxidation, tons of apricot and peach on the nose. Taste is amazing rich and full, tons of mid-range color fruit, thick mouth-feel, wish I had more than one bottle...

 239 characters

Photo of ER527
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Release aged 2 years, absolutely amazing with age.

55 characters

Photo of LAp
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Returned to this beer (the first barleywine I ever tasted) at a barleywine tasting with friends. A vertical with 2011 and 2015 present. Served in a Kuhnhenn XV tasting glass. The 2015 was far fizzier and hoppier than I expected from a beer branding itself as a barleywine, though definitely notes of big malt, raisins, and figs were lurking under the surface. The 2011 mellowed the hop of the 2015 dramatically, and brought it much more inline with the style, though interesting notes of now-more-savory-than-astringent hops came through. There was also a unique, almost raspberry or strawberry jam profile to the 2011 which was an interesting departure from the typically-darker-fruits present in the style. Overall, excellent - a beer that truly benefits from cellaring.

 778 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.44/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Giving those deep copper and amber appearance feels, this one has a thin 1/2" head that dissipates quickly. Aroma was lots of crystal malt, lots of c hops, lots of alcohol.

Taste is much like Ruination, but even bigger. Waves of crystal malt and hop bitterness with the stinging bite of a double digit abv. So much malt it doesn't seem as hoppy as it is, but I'm confident this clocks in around the 100 ibu range. So if you're up for something huge, check it out. Not an every day drinker, decent in small quantities, but no way am I doming an entire 22oz of this to myself.

 580 characters

Photo of razorsdescent
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an almost clear amber-orange with a thin layer of frothy off-white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel, biscuit, and caramelized malts with grapefruit, citrus, and pine hops and some booze.

T - Starts off with some sweet caramel and biscuit malts with lots of grapefruit and citrus hops and some bitterness. Through the middle, pine hop flavors comes through with more bitterness alongside some caramelized sugars and some more biscuit malt. The finish is a mix of sweet caramelized malts with lots of tropical, citrus, and resiny pine hops, bitterness, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a resiny, bitter, dry, and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice hoppy American Barleywine. The hop profile is really great and helps to balance out the hotness and body. Enough malt flavor to keep up as well.

 933 characters

Photo of Bobheed
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: light caramel color with a pasty off-white head, about 1 finger. Pretty fair amount of alcohol lacing

S: Hops right up front, huge rotten grapefruit kind of hops. I get lots and lots of sweetness to it, almost like a caramel sugary sweetness.

T: Get lots of caramel malts and fruitiness. The flavor has shifted from a citrusy kind of fruitiness though, to a more dark fruit taste, like raisins and dates. Hops really hit you at the end and stick with you for quite a bit

M: Nice and creamy with medium carbonation. Leaves the mouth tingling and wanting more.

Overall I thought this was very good. This is, by all accounts, what an American style barleywine should taste like

 682 characters

Photo of JoeLacy
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of ckobes
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of JMS1512
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of MattyIce21
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of JeffONeal
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of gleemonger
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Budinetz
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of facundoCNB
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A copper%2Famber pour with a finger of white head%2C great retention. Smells fantastic - tons of caramel%2C honey%2C brown sugar%2C barley%2C and a touch of grassy hops.%0AThe flavor is a sweet barley %22juice%22 with brown sugar%2C roasted notes%2C burnt caramel. Just delicious.%0A%0AFull body with modest carbonation. Thick and creamy on the lips.%0A%0AThis is a fantastic beer at a ridiculously low price. Don't pass on it.

 428 characters

Photo of carlitos92
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of capnamerica
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BarleyBeatsGrapes
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of mig100
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2012) from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 2,041 ratings