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:
#3,314
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,002 |  Reviews: 284
Photo of puboflyons
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 batch, It has been in my cellar for about six months. Sampled on April 9, 2013.

I like the way it pours with its medium reddish to mahogany amber tone and its short, silky white head. The head becomes a ring. Handsome looking beer.

For a barleywine the aroma is more subtle and mellow. Certainly it is malt forward and sweet with a roasted note but the hops are played down. There is also a bit of a dark fruit character mingling in the background.

The body is medium to bold.

The taste is warming. malty, and sweet with the faintest of alcohol. The hop finish lingers briefly but tends to be low to moderate. This is a pleasant barleywine.

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Photo of sd123
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish brown with solid one-finger offwhite head and lace on top of lots and lots of barely malt, as the label states, but also lots and lots of floral hops to match it seems. Hearty, boozy malts are prevelant and a slightly sticky and medicinal feel. The malts only slightly overpower the hops, so while there is a good sweetness and some hop bite the sweetness doesn't stick out like it should. Thicker, less carbonation leads to a dry, bready finish w/ minimal sweetness as the ABV kicks in here. A good beer, nice sipper, but more hoppy than I prefer for this style so TO ME a tad off balance.

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Photo of Latarnik
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

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 spinrsx
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

12 characters

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Raziel313
2.75/5  rDev -31.4%

Photo of sweemzander
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of epyon396
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes: Aroma – rich intense malt, faint hops, fruit. Appearance: Rich amber, 2”off-white head, quickly dissipates. Palate: big malt, malty, caramelly, sweet, and then the hops come on, the hops are assertive but not harsh. Mouthfeel: Very creamy rich, malt, alcoholic, malty. Above average carbonation, chewy body. Overall: A big bitter, malty beer.

 358 characters

Photo of waddellc2
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev -0.2%

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 Evil_Pidde
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of petermethot
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of DucksFan16
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Stinger80OH
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of mltobin
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Hohnbaum
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of WDJersey
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured dark brown and hazy. Head was minimal. Not much light penetration but this beer was blatantly brown and didn't tiptoe on the realm of blackness.

S-I was expecting more punch from the aroma. There was booze, a bunch of concentrated sweetness and some bitterness which was subtle. Dark fruits. Not very impressed by the nose.

T-The bittering hoppiness comes out more on the tongue. The hops lend much bitterness but are not very complex and do not leave much hop-derived flavor complexity. There is plenty of booze (although shaded in decently enough), and dark fruits laced in rich caramel.

M-Big body. Mellow carbonation. Bitterness lasts. Somewhat slick. A rich feel.

O/D-Full pint glass of this came in at $3.50 so I cannot complain about the price, but I was not satisfied with this beer. Most of Stone's brews are great but this one didn't hit the same spot for me. Still a nice juggernaut beer for a great price-per-fill.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe in Sydney.

Pours a lovely burnished copper-red colour with a fine, slightly overly frothy off-white head. Lacing is patchy, but the body is deep and heavy. It looks very clear and bright, but deep and suspicious as well. Love it.

Nose is heady and boozy, with a barley-sugar character laced with plenty of straight-up and possible straight-down hops. It gives it a slightly medicinal overtone, especially with the wafts of booze coming through. But really, it feels exceptionally sweet, with hops being the afterthought rather than part of the full process.

Taste is similar. There's a chewy, deeply sweet barley-sugar character throughout, that only really gets cut on the edges by the bright hop bitterness, and at the end, where the sharpness comes to a point. It's deeply sweet, however, yet doesn't have a lot of depth or complexity. It's a very odd mixture. I feel like this should be a heady maelstrom of intriguing flavours, when in fact it feels like a barleywine By The Numbers.

I mean, overall, it's good, right? It has to be. It's Stone, it's a barleywine, it's clearly well made and executed. I just really didn't connect with it though. It didn't have anything that got me excited or made me want another bottle right now. But it's solid and worthwhile, at least. That's about as enthusiastic as I can get.

 1,420 characters

Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of JohnParadee
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

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