Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,999 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:
1,999
Reviews:
283
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
11.41%
 
 
Wants:
90
Gots:
535
For Trade:
28
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,999 |  Reviews: 283
Photo of Punisher
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of VikingsFan1215
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A two year vertical (and horizontal with the current oak-smoked Guardian)
2013: Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours an orange-copper amber with a thin, patchy off-white head forming an almost perfect clover shape in the glass with a ring around the glass with light lacing. Surprisingly mild aroma of caramel malt, pine hops and grain alcohol. Flavor follows aroma with caramel malt, great piney and citrus hops, a bit of dark fruit. The hops dominate the finish, leaving a pleasant pine bitterness. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. A very nice hoppy American style barley wine.

2009: Also poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours an orange-copper amber with a thin off-white head formed a thin persistent film and ring around the glass with light lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, brown sugar, dark fruit and a hint of sherry oxidation. Flavor follows with caramel malt, dark fruit and mild grassy hops. Nicely integrated and the alcohol noticeable on the fresh Guardian is now well covered. Medium bodied with only a suggestion of creaminess (unusual for a barley wine aged this long). This has held up very well and definitely mellowed with the flavors and alcohol melded very well. Hops are muted, but identifiable. This will absolutely stay in my cellaring cycle, but scores about the same as the fresh one; the fresh shows brighter, spicier hops, but the alcohol is more noticeable. The older one is more muted in flavor, but more balanced and less boozy tasting.
Scores are almost identical, but the 2013 gets a half point off for being rather muted. Total score here is for the aged one.

 1,601 characters

Photo of MrJolly
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Color is slightly hazy copper-gold. The little carbonation in the pour dissipates after a couple minutes. The slightly bronzed head, which is thin and full of small bubbles, pours to two fingers but settles to less than a half.

Smell: It is a sweet and rich smell with definite alcohol in the nose.

Taste: This one starts out a bit tame, actually, with a very sweet kiss at the tip of the tongue and a warming in the middle. At the end, though, you might be swerving homeward with the lingering sensation of citric bitter. It's a good taste, but leaves you a little forlorn. What a lot of emotion in this outwardly-sweet looking beer.

Mouthfeel: It is a thick beer, not super slippery. It is almost edible. You could take a bite, maybe.

Overall: Wowzers. The barley wine-"style" means maybe a lot more hops than a barleywine. It is a good thing Stone Brewery exists in the world.

 896 characters

Photo of troegaarden
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of codynevels
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of wbischof
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of slim2043
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Jave
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Mikecap
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of BrewskiGal
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I need to rate this as fairly as possible. I know this is a good beer. There are two elements it has that I actively dislike. But if you like these two things, this beer does them well.

1. Citrus hops
2. Sweetness

Right from the first whiff of this beer, I could smell sweetness. That made me nervous. I'm not a fan of sweet beers, especially if the sweetness lingers. The color was gorgeous, however. Deep amber, bordering towards a reddish hue. It had a nice head and it's mouthfeel is essentially how I prefer most of my beers. Hearty and full, but not thick.

This beer is quite sweet, which I find to be typical of beers with a high ABV. The sweetness lingers, but it does not cancel out the bitterness of the beer. I have never tasted a beer as sweet as this one that still has noteable bitterness. I appreciate that fact.

It is sweet and caramelly, but its citrus hops (I would specify "lemon") keep it alive in a consistent bitterness as well.

For a sweet beer, this is a good one. For a citrus-hoppy beer, this is a good one. Being that I'm not a fan of citrus hops or of sweet beers, I doubt I will buy this again. Not anytime soon. It far outweighs other beers with the same characteristics and I can tell this is a quality beer. If my two dislikes are things you actively look for, this is your beer. I recommend it to those with this preference. But I will shy away from it in the future, despite its ability to stand as an exemplary model of what its "type" should look like.

 1,496 characters

Photo of AOShabaz
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Seaba
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of BeerMeBrah
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of randysandals
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Brownsfan13
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of spakman
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Bill235
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of chugamugofsud
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Colosdog
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of drummermattie02
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of brewskifan55
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The 2012 edition. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Dark amber with a tan half-finger head that leaves bubbles in its wake. Significant lacing.

S: Bourbon, leather, licorice, brown sugar.

T: Excellent. Smooth; robust hops dominate. Barley malt heavy. Sweet, bourbon-y. A lightly bitter finish that settles well.

M: Medium with medium carbonation. Creamy.

O: Outstanding. Alcohol slides in for a fine buzz. Will buy again. One of the better barleywines available. Go, Stone!

 475 characters

Photo of kluless59
2.75/5  rDev -31.8%

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale from Stone Brewing
4.03 out of 5 based on 1,999 ratings.
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