Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
89
very good
761 Ratings
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Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED BarleywineOld Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by EgadBananas on 02-18-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
761
Reviews:
172
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
12.85%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
111
For Trade:
9
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 761 |  Reviews: 172
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1/16/13.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, smoked malt, beef jerky, oak, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with smoke, oak, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of smoke and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the beef jerky aspect I am getting out of this one is a bit off putting.

 614 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a lot better than the regular old guardian, with a major new level of complexity. the pour is red tinted with some whiskey colors of gold and brass, and a small foam tan head. the nose is peaty, with notes of smoking wet wood, too green to burn clean. I smell candy sugar and a warming vanilla element from the oak. the flavor is very complex, all the fruity sweetness of the regular version, but its more relaxed, more mature, more wise and profound. molasses and scotch, a nice combination, round out the finish. the alcohol is also hidden much better in this one, the smoke tempers it out quite a lot, and im happy to drink a taller glass of this. full bodied and sweet, but not diabetic like some big barleywines. carbonation is adequate, but could be a little stronger to make this all the more drinkable. overall a beer im glad I got to try, it makes me think much more highly of the old guardian, a beer that lends itself brilliantly to the oak and smoke treatment.

 980 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is very dark hazy amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving lots of lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass and lots of lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of smoked oak chips are present in the nose.
T: The taste is mostly dominated by flavors of oak along with notes of smoke.
M: It feels just about full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I wasn't very impressed with this beer as it seemed a little too smoky, and these aromas and flavors didn't mesh with the underlying barleywine.

 648 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

"Left field, here we go!" Stone Brewing kicks off their trip through the twilight zone in '13 with a Oak-Smoked version of their Old Guardian Barleywine to add to the portfolio of "Odd Beers for Odd Years" that has been dormant since 2011.

Not unlike the original Old Guardian, this version has no deviation because of its smoky influence. It's a deep amber-stained ale that shows bright clarity with mahogany and crimson highlights. Incredibly frothy, the sandy-yellow head blankets the beer's surface with a dense barrier of cream. Bold speckled lace and broken rings adorn the glass with each draw from its rim.

Smoke trumps the aromas, but do so with a strong rebuttal of true starch malt aromas. Surprisingly, the hoppy and toffee aromas that are so prevalent in the standard Old Guardian takes a serious backseat in the beer's scent. Bold mesquite and teriyaki offer a meat-centric scent that's similar to beef jerky. Lightly piney, these hop notes marry up with the smoke tones effortlessly. Fruit aromatics of orange and grapefruit and mildly jammy and inform the toffee sweetness that lurks close behind.

But in taste, the toffee and caramel malts shine. Just as vibrant and succulent as the original, the efforts of smoked oak are relegated to a reserve role in the beer's taste. The longevity of sweetness lives indefinitely on the palate and is accompanied by starchy breads and spaghetti, but then gives way to a growing and intensifying hop character which starts fruity but ends bitter, resiny, and piney. But there it is- the cloud of campfire smoke that was so dominant in aromas slowly cast its ominous shadow over the taste as well, particularly as echos as the beer finishes.

With the first draw into the mouth gives the impression that the ale can be drank like a standard ale. But it's just then that it swells to a marshmallow-like texture that's chocked full of toffee, pine-like bitterness, and peppery alcohol. It dominates the mouth with no apologies before trailing late with growing warmth, residual toffee malt, and smoked oak.

In closure, the oak-smoked Old Guardian shows more complexity than even the ultra-complex standard Old Guardian but the oddly compelling "oak smoked" character throws the balance and prohibits the balance of the beer from at least equaling that of the base barleywine. But for the lovers of smoke, cigars, or scotch whisky- they may find this example superior.

 2,423 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2013 Odd Year Release. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with pretentious label and branded (also pretentious) pressure cap served into a Mitchell's of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are actually fairly high; I'm in a barleywine mood and even though I'm usually underwhelmed by Stone's solo beers I'm strangely optimistic. Cost was $6.00 at a local SoCal beer store.

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

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of okay cream, pretty decent thickness, and pretty good (~4 minute) retention. Body color is a quasitransparent translucent copper-amber with orange hues. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Generally appealing for the style, but there's nothing unique or special here. Light lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Sm: Bright fruity esters. Nectar. Floral hops. Light timid rauchbier-esque smokiness; it doesn't add a whole lot but it's there. Not picking up any oaky notes. Light apple. My broken nose can't pick up anything beyond that. It's a pretty light aroma - damned light for a smoked barleywine. I'm worried about the depth of flavour already. No yeast character is detectable. Maybe some alcohol.

T: Oh boy. That's an imbalanced mess. Stale malts mix with smoky character in the third act. Bleh. Murky fruit and floral notes in the body - also tinged by that crappily executed smoke character. No oak comes through. There's no subtlety here at all. No yeast character comes through. Maybe some bland floral hops. Yeah, this isn't good at all. Really poorly done. It's like no care was put into the beer.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but irritating from the smoke - especially in the third act. It's kind of scratchy, actually. Not at all a pleasant or refreshing texture. Poorly executed. Quite bad for the style.

Dr: Stone screwed this one up big time. I definitely wouldn't get this again. The worst barleywine I've had in recent memory. Poorly executed in general - and made even worse at its unfairly high price point relative to the low quality. Messy, bland, and irritating all at the same time. Difficult to drink. Another crap beer from Stone.

High C-

Got considerably better as it warmed.

 2,399 characters

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of caramelized sugar with some toffee with light smoky notes. Taste is also a mix between some caramelized sugar, some notes of toffee and some light smokiness. Oak is more concealed but can provide a more rounded finish. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed though smoked notes are not has apparent as I had expected and hops presence is not as present as in the regular version.

 550 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%

Photo of zeff80
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled in January 2013. Pours moderately cloudy deep ruby red color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, raisin, toast, toffee, oak, smoke, ham, biscuit, pine, floral, grapefruit, and toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/smoked malt, oak, and moderate hop notes; with big strength. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, raisin, toast, toffee, smoke, oak, ham, floral, pine resin, grapefruit, biscuit, and floral earthiness. Good amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, raisin, toast, toffee, oak, smoke, ham, pine, floral, grapefruit, biscuit, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome balance and complexity of dark/smoked malt and hop flavors; with a well balanced oak presence and minimal cloying bitterness after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a slick, very sticky, and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Barleywine! All around great complexity and balance of malt, hop, and oak flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the gravity. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,410 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a large tulip glass a rich deep amber with a garnet tinge a large creamy off white head atop that left multiple ringe of broken foamy lace as it settled ever so slowly into a frothy mass.Oak, smoke,dark fruit,and stinging alcohol in the nose,it's big and brash no doubt about it.Big dark fruit over top of light smoke and wood,the alcohol kicks in and really hits hard in the finish,there is some pine resin from a generous amount of hops but the brash alcohol sweetness wins the day.It's got a nice creamy texture and it goes down smooth.It's in your face with the alcohol but it's a work of brewing art in my opinon.

 630 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 3/15/2013 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright coppery red color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, dark fruit, bourbon and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty malt character followed by mild flavors of dark fruit, caramel and bourbon. The hops presence is a bit subdued but brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a good beer but I prefer the regular versions because of the more pronounced hops bitterness.

 785 characters

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Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine from Stone Brewing
3.97 out of 5 based on 761 ratings.
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