Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,997 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
Ratings:
1,997
Reviews:
280
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
11.41%
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
535
For Trade:
28
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,997 |  Reviews: 280
Photo of vbiliyar
2.5/5  rDev -38%

Photo of merock1402
2.57/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

I am just not a fan of Barleywine. Sorry

41 characters

Photo of Brew33
2.64/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sometimes I like to revisit a beer I didn't love the first time just to see if I may have had a bad experience, hence me revisiting Stone's Old Guardian. 2013 Vintage

It pours a really nice, deep, garnet with a small, light tan head. Looks nice in the glass, perfectly clear. The aroma is subtle. Caramel malts, slight cardboard, alcohol, no hops to speak of. Not very good frankly.

The flavor is the real disappointment here. One dimensional malt profile. Slight hop bitterness but no real hop flavor. A Stone beer that is underhopped for the style? Huh? Really lacking complexity. The alcohol is prominent but the malt flavors are downright bland and the beer seems a little over attenuated for the style. No real sweetness or pronounced flavors at all. Hop flavor is nonexistent and the bitterness is restrained.

The beer leaves a sticky residue on the lips which is perfect for the style IMO but it's a touch overcarbonated and a little thin for my liking.

Overall, it's pretty much what I remember and that is a below average American Barleywine. Stone has really hit a few homeruns lately especially with the Enjoy By series but this is just not a good American Barleywine.

 1,186 characters

Photo of FlemingVSKing
2.68/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had a lot of expectations. I love Stone. And I'd loved my only other Barley Wine experience with Sam Adam's Griffin's Bow.

Old Guardian is probably made well, but it tastes like pure alcohol. I could seriously describe it as tasting like a rather subpar jello shot.

Now at 11% it is one of the very strongest beers I've had, and that's part of the taste, but I just don't pick up anything else of value in the flavor profile. The alcohol taste just sits right on top of what comes off of an amber ale background. Not fruit tones, no hop or spice notes.

Generally I'm not terribly concerned with the pour, but it is worth noting that after dumping this one straight down a pint mug like a Pepsi, it formed no head. A slight head emerged only after sitting for a few moments, and it was about 1/4 inch, fairly thin, and dissipated soon after.

I just don't see anything really special going on here.

Frankly I'd rather have some stock beer than this.

 954 characters

Photo of wrycon
2.71/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ruby-copper in appearance. Pretty transparent. About a finger and a half of off-white head. Lacing is semi-tight with minimal retention. Not the strongest nose. A bit of smoke, some dark fruit. Smelling a sort of candied fruit, not quite caramel. Not much there. Thick apricoty-toffee in front, not overly strong. That shifts to again a smokey sort of bitterness, which is not the best. Tastes like more of a DIPA than a barleywine. I'm getting a lot of pine in the back end and a lot of bitter. That's fine, I guess, but it's not what I want from a barley wine. Probably much better with a few years under its belt.

Like It? Not Really

 637 characters

Photo of Hearneator
2.75/5  rDev -31.8%

Photo of bshiban
2.75/5  rDev -31.8%

Photo of Larremor
2.75/5  rDev -31.8%

Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -31.8%

Photo of Raziel313
2.75/5  rDev -31.8%

Photo of thegerm87
2.75/5  rDev -31.8%

Photo of dheldman
2.75/5  rDev -31.8%

Photo of kluless59
2.75/5  rDev -31.8%

Photo of IAmLegend1623
2.81/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer doesn't kid around. As always, there's an intense flavor and great body.

82 characters

Photo of BeerEsquire
2.83/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

No intensity or strength in character, does not drink like a barley wine. Lack of hop distinction and strong alcohol palate typical of the brew - average brew.

 160 characters

Photo of rderedin
2.85/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of mfnmbvp
2.91/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle (1 pint 6 fl oz), the 2013 release of this beer. A beer from Stone that I haven't had before, so I'm going in as unbiased as possible. Bottle claims an 11.60% abv, rather than just 11% as BeerAdvocate says.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - First pour yields about a finger of doughy off-white / khaki colored head. Beautiful clear, light ruby red colored body. My final pour, a good hour and a half later, yields some pretty nice sheets of lacing coming down the sides of the glass.

S - Smell is strongly of malted barley, and some fermented dark fruits like plum or cranberry. Faint citrus hops creeping out in the background.

T - Bleh. Not my preferred barleywine, that's for sure. Some hop bitterness is present, but this beer is overwhelmed by a sickening medicinal cherry cough syrup flavor. Thick and heavy. Bit of alcohol warmth. As hard as I'm trying, I am not digging this one at all. Admittedly, as the beer warms to room temperature, the artificial cherry medicine seems to disappear and opens up to more dry bitter spicy hop presence. Body has a sleek creamy feel to it. This is a beer you definitely want to let warm up before consuming it.

M - Feel is dry and chalky. Bitter hop aftertaste.

Overall, I enjoyed the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale, and was expecting similar results here, but it took me a long time to warm up to this beer. When cold, it is on par with drinking a 22 oz. bottle of Robitussin. Following a warming period, the beer opens up and becomes more lively, with a more pronounced hop presence, and the sickly medicinal flavors disappear.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale ---3/5.

 1,668 characters

Photo of yankeepride
2.93/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured a beautiful copper color into a snifter, with a quickly-dissolving head. Didn't have a really potent nose like I was expecting, but what I could pick out had some caramel elements. As for the taste, there was such a big hop presence that I couldn't get much from the grain profile. The hops felt like they were getting in the way, and what I could taste seemed ... stale. It was easy-to-drink, especially in terms of being high ABV, but only because it was thin and watery. While I recognize that American BW's are hoppier than their English counterparts, I didn't feel that the hops and grains played well together in this one.

 635 characters

Photo of Bottlebomber
2.98/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a bomber of this from the liquor store, poured into a wine glass.

A: A dark burnished copper. Pours a nice head, then BAM! Gone. Left spotty lacing. Unfortunately this is probably the highlight of this beer.

S: Bread, buttered biscuits, caramel, and some citrusy hops. With the amount of malt and hops that can potentially go into this style, I was underwhelmed.

T: Tasted quite like the smell - biscuity malt, some caramel, some citrusy hops. One thing I will have to give it was the bitterness was just right. Some people go really nuts bittering these ABW's, and I think a Barleywine should be more about the malt. Still, not enough going on to impress.

M: Semi-full. Really not as voluptuous as a Barleywine should be. This is supposed to be a sipper, I wasn't planning on finishing the bomber but it is drinking like an IIPA.

O: Meh!! An unexpected meh! I am really surprised that with all of Stone's over the top offering that they put so little into this beer. I should have listened to the other reviews :(

 1,033 characters

Photo of Rempeba
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of logicalparadox
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of user785335
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of graz34
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of 100200300
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of RuinDees
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing
4.03 out of 5 based on 1,997 ratings.
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