Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale | Stone Brewing

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style AleOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale
BA SCORE
4.01/5
Exceptional
2,005 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:
#3,454
Reviews:
286
Ratings:
2,005
pDev:
11.47%
Bros Score:
4.09
 
 
Wants:
89
Gots:
536
Trade:
28
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,005 |  Reviews: 286
Photo of haggadah
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of joelBfrasier
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of BarleyBeatsGrapes
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of BigV
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of jcomp21
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of tykechandler
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of Babalu614
4.93/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Hopped_head
4.93/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best barely wine I've had all year

35 characters

Photo of Cory_nich
4.93/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured into my trusty pint glass. A strong copper look with little head. Smells of barley of course and taste of strong barley and hops. Goes down fairly easy. Overall a great beer and btw I had the 2014 realease of this beer. so enjoy this delicous treat

 255 characters

Photo of AndreRus
4.91/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 release. Probably sweeter than i normally would drink. At the same time it is normal amount of sweetness for barleywine. Well balanced by its hoppiness. Definitely a great beer!

 182 characters

Photo of americancontrarian
4.9/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Antg8989
4.89/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Thought it was absolutely amazing. Smells sweet and hoppy. A barleywine/hop lover's dream. Rich amber color with an inch thick copper head. No lacing. It tasted sweet and creamy and finishes with just the littlest hop bite. Smooth, yummy. That's all I can say.

 260 characters

Photo of Grateful_Head
4.88/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fantastic barleywine. Great hop flavor and malt balance. Looks great, great head retention. Another great beer from Stone.

126 characters

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.88/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I had the 2013 just last Wed, and came crawling back to,catch a bit of the remaining keg on Saturday. Thought about it those few days and couldn't wait to see if any left. This stuff was absolutely amazing. Taste, smell, mouthfeel is rarely matched. On the level of Bourbon County for me. Would like to compare to fresh now.

 328 characters

Photo of rarigney
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of KFBR392
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage

Appearance : a beautiful dark amber color. The head formed up to about two and a half fingers worth. The head slowly subsided but was present throughout.

Smell: the barley is present here which mixed nicely with the boozy aroma. The aroma was more subtle with the aging which made it very pleasant.

Taste: it is perfect here. Strong caramel sweetness really dominates this brew. The aging of this bottle allowed the boozy flavor to be nicely hidden. 11% abv is noticeable but does not interfere. Alcohol provides a warmth instead of an offensive bite which makes this an elite barley wine.

Mouthfeel: sweet. Smooth. There is a creamy texture to this but a slight sting keeps you on your toes.

Overall: probably my favorite barley wine. Simply awesome, no doubt another amazing product from stone. The sweetness mixed with the alcohol sting sets this one aside for me. I anxiously await the 2013 release

 923 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.84/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured into an Old Guardian glass.
11.6% ABV, 2014 release, bottled 01/24/14, best cellared at or below 55°F

A - Light easily shines through this crystal clear, bright amber brew giving it one hell of an appeal. If that weren't enough, the ivory cap of foam that rests on the beer lingers for quite some time, leaving lacing on the glass for good measure.

S - Melted caramel sweetness coats heaps of cut-off bread crusts and toast with peanut brittle cooling in the background but this barleywine isn't without it's fair share of hops. The green cones impart a balancing piny bitterness that recalls tree sap as well as sharp grapefruit rind before warming alcohol gently tickles the nostrils as it passes through.

T - Like the aroma foreshadows, Old Guardian is hoppy but malt-forward, laying down a nice level of malty sweetness on the tongue. The rich bready characteristics offer toast and bread crust flavors that absorb and retain the hop-driven earthy pine sap notes like being dunked in hop tea.

M - The first few sips of Old Guardian coat the tongue in sweet malt and breadiness but it's not long before the hops catch up and sharpy attack the tongue with bitterness. This balance is key should Old Guardian remain drinkable beyond a few sips, which it sure does. Even fresh, the higher level of alcohol never becomes cloying or boozy but instead warms the throat and stomach upon the swallow - putting the perfect kibash on the brew.

O - Behind Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot, Stone's Old Guardian is one of the most iconic barleywines the States has to offer. Like most of Stone's brews, this beast is big and bold while offering deep malt and hop complexities that mingle wonderfully for a balanced and drinkable brew fresh but one that easily ages with the best of 'em which I've put to the test time and again.

 1,836 characters

Photo of acevenom
4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2012 Release.

Poured into a large brandy snifter. Pours dark caramel brown with a tall, biege head that dissipates very slowly. A moderate quantity of tiny bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom of the glass. Some lacing is left on the side of the glass as the head dissipates. Plenty of lacing is left on the side of the glass during consumption.

The aroma is sweet and malty with some citrus hop aromas. There is a dark fruit smell as well. There smell is mostly sweet and bready. The big, sweet malts are very forward in this beer. The sweetness is akin to caramel. The hops provide a nice balancing bitterness for this malt bomb, also adding to the bitter aftertaste. The alcohol is also detectable in the taste.

The body is medium with adequate carbonation. The beer is smooth with excellent drinkability for a sipper. You definitely want to sip this beer and savor it. This is an excellent barleywine and a fine example of the American take on this style.

 969 characters

Photo of freundianslip
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of wrogers19971
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of Dougwillhike
4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of aleslover
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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 davidtarantino
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 2,005 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.