Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine | Stone Brewing

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Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED BarleywineOld Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

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.

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Reviews: 172 | Ratings: 761
Photo of Wasatch
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought On-line
22 oz. Bomber
2013 Odd Year Release
Bottled On: 01.16.13

Over 4 years on this bottle.

Poured into a goblet a very nice clean/clear light amberish color, very nice carbonation, with a pretty nice small creamy light tan head, which leaves a very nice big island and some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some hop notes, oak, nice smokeyness, citrusy. The taste is very nice, malty, oaky, smoky, with some nice hops/citrus. Full Body, ABV hidden very well. Overall, this brew is holding up pretty well.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.44/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

No (relevant) label information. Brewed in the style of an American Barleywine with German oak-smoked wheat malt added, available in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft. This is an "odd year" variant on Stone's Old Guardian Barleywine, brewed as a one-off experimental release.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a smooth, creamy foam head of a butterscotch cream color over a deep red body with ample pulpy sediment in tow and fine streams of carbonation. Retention is very good and lacing is light and patchy. 4.25

(Smell) An evident waft of smokey malts alongside a substantial malt body of bread, caramelized malts and delicate roast, for a very rich malty beer. Some measure of balance is achieved through a slight but acceptable graininess as well as the density of the specialty malt additions. Potency is medium/high. 4

(Taste) A far more exposed graininess and shallow malt body, thin bread malts, slight caramelized sugars, noticeably thin flavor overall. Very sharp grain alcohol and little to no impact from the smoked wheat malts. It doesn't stand very strong as a barleywine either. Overall, not very enjoyable. 3

(Mouthfeel) Smooth, slick, chewy and moderately residual texture with a moderately dry finish. Carbonation is mild, generating a medium frothiness and a lightly crisp finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is grainy and boozy over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate/heavy and there are no off characters. 3.25

(Overall) So, this ale did not hold up nearly as gracefully as I had hoped it would, and all that made it an appealing purchase in the first place was where I was let down the most. There is no remaining smokey character aside from the aroma, the malt profile nears being completely eroded and the graininess and alcohol is more exposed than I find desirable, even for the style. Bummer. 3.5

Stone Brewing's
Old Guardian Oak Smoked Barley Wine Style Ale

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cellar review. 22oz bottle served at cellar temp (about 55-60F) in a balloon snifter.

The body is a beautiful clear ruby mahogany color with a soft, stable tan head on top that has a creamy texture to it.
The aroma is showing a little age to it, slightly musty. Underneath that is a mixture of sweet caramel, vanilla, nougat, oak, smoke.
The taste is sweet, with more notes of caramel, butterscotch, oak, honey, spice, subtle smoke, and the body is effervescent enough that the carbonation lifts this heavy, full-bodied beer right off the palate and makes this a much more quaffable drink.
I love smoked beers and this is right up my alley. Barleywines can be a bit too sweet, and I think that the bitterness of the hops combined with the oak-smoked malt made for an interesting package that took the attention off the sugary malt background. I would definitely drink this again, and I could see this beer pairing incredibly well for food. Sharp cheddar, blue cheese, candied walnuts, duck, rotisserie chicken, or barbeque.

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Photo of Wolberjs
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Out of the bottle after some aging.

Looks delicious like all beer. Dark copper Amber with a dissipating head.

Nose is smokey caramel. When it was cold (fridge temp) it was more caramel/toffee sweet with a hint of smoke and oak. As it warned it was smokey oak with a hint of caramel/toffee. Really good cold, warmed the smoke was more than i like. Taste followed the nose both cold and warm except with bitterness on the finish. The bitterness distracted. Mouthfeel is smooth smooth smooth start to finish. Quite good.

Overall really quite good. Admittedly I'm not much for smoked beers but this one surprised me. If you have one laying around I'd suggest drinking it cold

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Photo of Sabtos
3.64/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2013 Oak Smoked on draft at Hunahpu's Day 2016.

Brown amber with a minimal tan head.

Classic barleywine characteristics of caramel and prune with some spicy booze and a hint of smoke.

Exceedingly smooth and wet.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber, pours thick, light head
S: Sweet, toffee, dark fruit, caramel, marmalade, sweet orange, light pine, brown sugar, oxidized
T: Smoke, very bitter, oak tannin, caramel, alcohol, sweet toffee, dark fruit, rye
M: Medium mouthfeel, nice carbonation
O: Not a fan of the bitterness in the style and I feel that the additional ingredients brought this down from the base beer

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark ruby amber with floaties and sepia film that trails. 3.75
Oak smoked meat nose with cranberry and vanilla. 4.25
Cherry jam, wheat crackers, a big dose of smoky phenols, some toffee, then dried orange rind, pine shavings and resin hops. 4
Glace cherry end and syrupy linger.
Medium, sticky, hot. 3.75

Big, from all angles. Smoke more than oak, hops are there, and plenty of malts - plays as a barley wine. I want more - restraint? Kinda don't know what to do with this one. 3.75

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Photo of emyers
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Firkin. 2013.

Appearance: pours a murky amber brown color with a thin off-white head

Smell: somewhat restrained, caramel malt, oak, smoke.

Taste: much more intensity than the aroma. Tons of toffee and caramel balanced out by quite a bit of oak. The smoked malt is very subtle but gives an extra layer of complexity. There is also a nice fruity hop presence. Finish is fairly bitter between the oak and hops.

Mouthfeel: full-bodied, quite dry between the oak and bittering hops.

Overall: excellent beer. Never had it fresh so I have nothing to compare it to, but seems very balanced and clean so I imagine this aged well.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from draft at Firkin on July 22, 2015. Look is deep Amber with lacing on the glass. Smells of dried fruits and barley. Taste is smokey and malty. Feel is smooth but by no means flat.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Odd year, oak smoked, with two years rest.
This pours a dark caramel color with thin foam.
There's a light char and a touch of toasted coconut under a bit of booze.the beer itself runs hot, with some smoke and an intense bitterness that remains, although the hops faded away.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle dated 01-15-2013.

A: Pours a deep ruddy caramel color with a thick and very greasy and oily looking tan head. Head stuck around for a while and slowly faded into a thick and greasy film. Sheets of sticky lace were left after each sip.
S: Definitely a smoky nose, but I get layers of tobacco, caramel, raisin, leather, and peppery spice as well. The nose is a bit bready and reminds me of rye/wheat toast crust.
T: Smoke is savory and woody with hint of campfire. Base barleywine flavors are full of leather and caramel, with a huge bitter punch of leafy and earthy hops. There’s a huge amount of woody, peppery spice in the finish alongside a balancing amount of sticky candied sugar and bitter and oily hop resin. There is just a hint of powdery dark chocolate mixed in as well, but for the most part the finish and aftertaste are hugely bitter and spicy with the oak giving the beer an almost rye-like spicy quality. The bitterness is akin to orange zest or dried orange peel. Smoke is present throughout, but it definitely takes a backseat to the woody spiciness and crushingly bittersweet hop resin.
M: The alcohol is not hot but there is still a potent boozy presence despite a couple years in the bottle. The bitterness and spiciness is dominate the smoke and the boozy though and create a heavy, greasy, oily and tingly mouthfeel. Low but tingly carbonation that froths up a bit on my palate. Thick and chewy body.
O: There is a lot going on in this one. The flavors are fairly integrated for being so complex, but the combination of everything makes this beer a bit rough around the edges. Glad to have tried it, but I wish I had someone to help me with this bottle.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a vintage 2013 bottle. Amber/brown in color with a decent cap of off-white foam.
Aroma-Sweet malt, caramel
Taste-Oakey spiciness, woodsmoke, caramel, toffee. Way-in-the-background hop presence
that gradually reveals itself sip by sip. This brew is a slow, mellow sipper. Perfect with an after dinner cigar or a beefy meat or BBQ dish. Very smooth despite high ABV.

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Photo of 57md
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 release - consumed with 2 years of age on it.

Dark copper in color with honey edges. The nose is both smokey and sweet. The wood is also noticeable in the nose.

The smokiness blends perfectly with the sweet malt notes and the hop bitterness. The bitterness of the hops still provide a punch on the finish - even after two years.

The alcohol is well in check considering that this baby weighs in at 11.4%

I did not have this offering when it was first released so I cannot compare this aged bottle with the fresh version. That said, it appears that time in the cellar has done wonders for this little number.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in April 2015.

Appearance: Dark red with thin tan head.

Smell: Pleasant, with both a sweet caramel-like aroma as well as hops.

Taste: Interesting taste. There is a strong hop flavor with some sweetness. Also some spice and earthy flavors. But the flavor is dominated by the hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thin bodied.

This is an interesting barleywine ale. It has more hops than others I have tried. It is thinner than expected, but the flavor is not overpowered by the alcohol.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled 2/7/13. opened 4/4/15

A: pours a deep amber with an off white head. good retention and lacing.

S: earthy, piney hops, malt sweetness.

T: malt sweetness, piney /citrusy hops. oak, slight smoke. caramel, toffee. 11.4% abv nicely hidden.

M: slick, and oily. nice carbonation.

O: delicious beer. very interesting. truly, an "odd" beer...unlike the 2015 "extra hoppy"

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Photo of travolta
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A smooth, light khaki head with very nice lacing and great retention. A burned peach/raspberry color.

Nose: Oak, smoke, some pine citrus, and toffee.

Taste: Very nice malt heaviness, oak, toffee, with nice pine running through. Hides the alcohol perfectly. The malt balance is tremendous in this beer. I do not think it needed the oak. The oak dries out the taste a little bit.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.71/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Truly amazing... The oak really mellow the base beer and the result is a shining star... Smooth yet intense... Silky finish... Notes of chocolate that are blowing my mind... Hops have fades into a floral masterpiece... A sublime experience., I could sip on this until I ended up facedown somewhere...

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.85/5  rDev -3%

A - Pours a dark butterscotch amber color with a light toffee layer of creamy foam that camps out on top and doesn't subside.

S - Toasted oak, smoke, roasted toffee, and some citrus.

T - Initially, the fusel alcohol is overpowering and taints what flavor is there. Roasted toffee base sweetness up front with a touch of smoke and very little oak, and a long, lingering pine/citrus bitterness. The oak surfaces more halfway through the glass but the bitterness remains aggressive with lots of bite.

M - Heavy body, full, chewy, slippery, stickiness on the lips, velvety smooth with gentle carbonation that's almost creamy.

O - This 2013 bottle could stand a little more age on it to mellow things out and let it blend better. I'm wishing I had a few of these bottles on hand to see how they develop with time.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark amber orange, with a half inch head, and big sheets of lacing down the glass. Looks great.

Smells like oak, caramel, smoke, tobacco, pine, and citrus hops.

The taste is much the same. The big flavors hit you like a tree branch to the face, but in a good way. It's strong, but with no real alcohol burn. There's piney and grassy hop flavors, leafy tobacco flavors, oak, a little bit of vanilla, smoke, and caramel. The flavors all combine together really well.

This one is medium bodied, with a very crisp mouthfeel, and a moderate amount of carbonation.

This one has a lot of flavors that could clash badly, but they all come together fairly well.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: poured into a snifter to a deep reddish brown with a finger of dense light tan head that is slow to fade.
S: smells of smoke and caramel. for being barely over a year old the hops are surprisingly absent
T: taste is piney and citrusy hops with an underlying smokyness and caramel sweetness. still fairly resinous. swallow is smoke, oily piney hops and caramel sweetness
M: this beer sits fairly heavy on the palate with soft carbonation and a drying finish
O: It's pretty rad, the smoke is a nice twist on the style and OG is always a pleaser after it has some time to mellow. In another year or two my last bottle will be drinking super smooth and decadently. I dare to say it would probably taste a bit like a Speyside. This beer needs to be remade and placed into barrels.

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Photo of tviz33
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber in to a tulip.

A- Pours a deep amber body with an off-white/ tannish head that rise up quickly to a half inch and settles just as quick.

S- Lots of bourbon and campfire smoke.

T- So rich and drinkable for such a high octane, smoked brew. Just as the nose indicated, campfire smoke engulfs the palate alongside the bourbon notes, but the barleywine flavor pierces through it all and makes this brew very well-rounded.

M- Medium to full-bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very smooth and easy on the way down.

O- Pair this one with an actual campfire and friends, and you'll have a good time.

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Photo of utfiero
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Color- reddish amber. Full head.

Aroma of tempting breakfast including mild smoked ham and sugared grapefruit.

Taste- Smokey, meaty with gentle hoppy reminders. A very complex, heavy brew. Finishes with a lingering sweet hoppiness with hints of maple bacon and pine needs.

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted March 2013.

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Photo of hardy008
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with one finger off white head with good retention and lacing. the aroma has smoked malt, oak, and caramel.

Tastes sweet and smoky with a good amount of bitterness for balance. There is smoked malt, oak, citrus, caramel, and dark fruit. Even though this beer has aged for a while, I can taste the hop bitterness which was used to balance out the sweet and smoky malt taste. The alcohol is well disguised for an 11.40 % abv beer.

Medium to full bodied with average carbonation. There is a smoky bittersweet aftertaste. Very nicely made.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The taste is sugary and malty with a dry smoke and oak profile. The smoke flavor lasts into the aftertaste. Fruit, namely cherry and date, come across well with booze and caramel notes. Real deep flavors from the big malts, oak and smoke. Tempered sweetness and very full and smooth. As expected, this beer really opens up as it warms. Overall, quite fantastic.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz. bottle
Served in a Stone tulip

A - This beer is deep amber. It is topped with three inches of tan, clinging head.

S - I smell lots of smoke and a little salted pork.

T - I get more smoke, but the barley wine parts the smoke and comes through. It almost tastes like Arrogant Bastard trying to get through.

M - Medium

O - I like this beer. This has more of a rauchbier flavor than just smoke, and the base beer is a nice compliment to the smokiness.

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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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