Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale | Stone Brewing

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style AleOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale
BA SCORE
85.4%
Liked This Beer
4.01 w/ 2,002 ratings
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style AleOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by smerrell on 02-18-2012

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,339
Reviews:
284
Ratings:
2,002
Liked:
1,709
Avg:
4.01/5
pDev:
11.47%
Alströms:
4.09
 
 
Wants:
89
Gots:
539
Trade:
28
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,002 |  Reviews: 284
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jaydoc
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this is pretty much everything i like in a barleywine. pours clear dark red with a tall off white head that hangs around a bit before fading out. smells like caramel, sweet desserty malts, and an uncommonly hoppy character. flavor is huge, sweet up front like molasses and brown sugar, hoppy like a big ipa on the back end, bitter and resinous. flavors of vanilla, candied orange peel, and alcohol dance in between. feel is great, full bodied and very strong, especially when it warms up. mild carbonation, but not too little. this is a great evening sipper. overall an excellent barleywine, complicated but approachable. i would highly recommend this to any lover of strong ales.

 680 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very hazy orange amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that gradually died down but left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of caramel and malty sweetness in the nose.
T: The taste shares some similarities with the smell but has a moderate amount of hop bitterness. As the beer warms up, hints of toffee and vanilla begin to emerge in the flavors. A bit of alcohol is also noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied, very crisp and a little sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The aroma of this beer can fool you because you would expect it to be very malty and sweet but lots of hop bitterness seemingly comes out from nowhere in the taste and provides a nice contrast (although I wouldn't call it balanced). The beer is rather drinkable considering its strength.

 1,002 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

450ml glass, at Craft Beer Market - this is the 2014 edition, and after looking this one up on here, it was never more apparent to me that some people either just can't read, or are indeed not worthy.

This beer appears a fairly hazy, dark bronzed amber colour, with one flabby finger of densely foamy, slightly bubbly, and generally creamy ecru head, which leaves a broken wall of sagging paint job lace around the glass as it lazily falls away.

It smells of thick, viscous caramel/toffee malt, a subtle treacle sweetness, sharp orange, grapefruit, and aged lemon citrus, plum, prune, dark cherry, and fig fruit, and a further bit of earthy, leafy, and certainly perfumed bitterness. The taste is again quite malty upfront, with a hefty dose of nougaty Mars Bar on top of the 'standard' caramel, toffee, and vanilla players, which all seems overwrought, until the big C hops (and their friends) come bursting onto the scene - pine and citrus detritus everywhere, my oh my. While my palate acclimatizes, some boozed-up black fruit, in a kind of Eastern European cake format, closes things out.

The carbonation is more or less just supportive, barely a whisper of fizz to be found here, the body a solid as a rock medium-heavy weight, and way smoother than anything this heady, hoppy, or boozy should be. It finishes still sweet, of course, as this sort of malt isn't quite that forgiving.

Yeah, this is exactly what I thought my exposure to Old Guardian might be - huge, on every side and vector of the beer spectrum. Stone does not disappoint, providing a tight package of high-test goodness, one which taken in larger doses, will certainly get you tight in your unworthy drawers.

 1,687 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.47/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle (2012 release) with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I remember enjoying the 2011 release.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and average (~one minute) retention for the style. Colour is a clear dark copper-gold. No floating yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Hops - both floral and bittering, but more towards the bittering end. Malts. Barley. Cream. Not a particularly appealing aroma. There's nothing unique or special about it, and it doesn't get me excited to taste it. Moderate in strength. I'm hoping it's not as hoppy as it tastes.

T: It is. Entirely too hoppy for the style, ruining the balance with wretched bitterness that doesn't at all belong. Clean malts are there alongside simple barley, but no yeast comes through. Some alcohol does. Horribly balanced. Poorly built for a barleywine. I'd vastly prefer complex malt layering with some subtle hop notes and maybe biscuity yeast, but none of that is here. The finish is okay, with some vague fruit hints coming through - but the hops still overwhelm everything.

Mf: Too thick. Wet and smooth, with some coarseness from the hops, lending it an awkward texture that feels somehow hazy. Doesn't complement the flavours well. Adequately carbonated. Weak. A touch watery on the finish.

Dr: A barleywine that demands aging to mellow out its harsh hop notes. I wouldn't have this again unless it was free and had a few years on it. I don't understand hoppy barleywines and I don't know that I ever will. A major disappointment from Stone. Age your bottles if you buy this. Hides its ABV decently. Difficult to drink on account of its severely limited quality.

Wouldn't pair well with food. Doesn't even do well on its own.

I don't know how it would age, but it can only get better. Pray for early hop death.

High D+

 2,117 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 release

Appearance: A cascading bubble show produces a massive head that perches above the copper colored liquid; loads of foam clump on the side of the glass

Smell: A beguiling blend of caramel, toasted bread, piney hops and pith

Taste: The toasted bread and caramel create a massive first impression, with the pine, pith and outright bitterness building into the middle; the hops continue to assault the palate through the finish, though the malt bill refuses to retreat and battles to the finish

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: The thing I most dislike in many of the Stone hopped out beers (their assertive stickiness) is quadrupled in Old Guardian yet I find myself quite enjoying this bottle; though I am more a fan of English barleywines than their American counterparts, I have to say that this is a first class interpretation of the latter style

 895 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, amber color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of sweet maltiness, caramel, toffee and some spices.

T - Good blend of maltiness, caramel, toffee, spicy bitterness and some pine.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a pretty good barleywine. I think some of the older versions of Old Guardian have been better, but this is still good.

 488 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of chinchill
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged 2012 bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Look: Dark reddish-amber with short bone-colored head that leaves minimal lacing.

Aroma: Sweet, with lots of toffee and hints of vanilla and dark fruits.

Flavor: Caramel malt sweetness up front is quickly complemented by subtle bitterness and not so subtle alcohol esters.

M: Light carbonation. Rather full body. Smooth. Inevitable impact of high ABV does have a slight negative impact on the mouthfeel.

O: a well crafted, mainstream barleywine.

 501 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle at Idle Hands in New York, NY

A: Pours a clear amber with a thin off-white head that reduces to a ring of bubbles at the edge of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Caramel malts, some light pine hops, and a fair amount of sweetness.

T: Nice caramel malts and toffee sweetness to this one followed by a pine hop bitterness. Some light amounts of heat from the alcohol and a nice amount of complexity.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Great sipping beer though a little sweet for my palate. Nice complexity in both the smell and the flavor. I like the hop bitterness on the finish that helps the beer from being overpowering in sweetness. The high ABV is fairly well hidden.

 739 characters

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 85.4% out of 100 with 2,002 ratings
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