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Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine | Stone Brewing

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Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED BarleywineOld Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine
Very Good
764 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 764 |  Reviews: 173
Photo of Oakenator
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a darker amber brown - still some light showing through this brew. Clean filtered. Ample head on pour and excellent lacing for a high ABV brew.

S: Alcohol present up front and strong throughout. Malting clearly shows through as well as the smoke aroma.

T: Again alcohol burn present up front and throughout - kind of to be expected but at the same time not masked as well as standard OG. This also hides some of the hop characteristic. Despite that I do enjoy the smoky flavor and the change up on this brew. Ample malting and sweetness.

M: Definite presence on the tongue and could be compared to a sipping liquor.

O: Still a great brew and enjoyed.

 663 characters

Photo of jmm380
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of RegalEagle
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of DMarlinJ
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Joshpu
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of ScottP
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of ThrashMaster
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of AndrewMichael
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of Pahn
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a wide red wine glass.

Appearance: Clear orange red. Fluffy and fizzy light tan head, lots of lacing.

Smell: Wow, a big oaky vanilla note--I thought the malt was smoked with oak wood, not aged in oak barrels. Either way, this smells great. Vanilla, faint smokey barbecue underneath (very subtle), some caramel. Bit of piny hops and booze cutting through.

Taste: And there it is, the taste works even better than the aroma. Toffee-like barleywine malt up front, leading to a much more pronounced rauchmalt flavor. Ends on harsh piny-hop bitterness reminiscent of normal Old Guardian.

You'd really think that sweet malt this bold, plus rauchmalt, plus a lot of hops, would all equal "confused flavor / going too far." However, Stone's "balance all the bold flavors together, perfectly" strength is shining through here. Great flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Very very dry. Pretty hot.

Overall: Interesting style, really well done. Amazing to marry fully-hopped American barleywine with smoked beer without doing some cheap shit like aging it in a bourbon barrel. Impressive and enjoyable beer.

 1,118 characters

Photo of nyrblue2
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of APBTMarcel
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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 Axnjxn
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of moonknight31
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of MrDave
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of Nobcefus
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Sazz9
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of SadMachine
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of arizcards
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a bomber at BevMo in late April for $5.79. Bottled on 02.25.13.

Beer poured deep amber with a nice white head upon the initial pour and is leaving a nice lacing.

Nose is smoked malt dominated with a hint of yeast and citrus hops.

Taste initially was dominated by smoked malts. There are some hints of toffee. Finish is a bit uneven with a bitter citrus rind.

Mouthfeel is thick and smooth from the monstrous amount of caramel and smoked malts.

Overall drinkability is pretty good; the smoothness of this brew definitely makes it worthwhile. Although it was fun to try and would have if offered I do not believe I will track down another bottle.

 661 characters

Photo of RickS95
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Sure looks the part with a slow, rich pour of mahogany brown beer. The head is a finger of offwhite, dingy yellow bubbles. There's good retention as the bubbles never really go away. Sure, they dissipate a bit, but they're always there. Nice lace.

As you'd guess, there's a ridiculous amount of malt that fills the nose. Some charry smoke flavor lightens it a bit and there's some citrus wafting up from somewhere. If you take a big, fast whiff, be prepared for alcohol.

Some advice...make your initial impressions on the first sip or two because after that, your taste buds are destroyed and you can't taste or feel a thing. That said, like in the nose, it's got huge amounts of malt, possibly some caramel malts in there, I can't tell because my throat is on fire. You easily pick up the smoke and again, for just a second, I swear there's citrus in there, possibly Cascade hops.

It's harsh, even for a barleywine. I simply can't score it better than OK because I already can't feel my mouth and my throat aches more with each sip. It's extreme bitter and heat all rolled into one. I don't recall the regular Old Guardian to be so manly. Full bodied and did I mention bitter? Hot.

I wish there was a category for extreme beers, because this wouldn't be a barleywine...it would fall into the extreme category. It's over the top bitter. And the heat from the alcohol, wow. Still trying to decide if I should sip the rest of the bottle or invite some friends over to do shots.

 1,479 characters

Photo of tmaestro
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of smogfood
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of falloutsnow
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: 2013 release
Glass: Tulip

A fairly tasty, good smoked beer; that it's a barleywine implies more about malt usage and less of flavor. I'd take a German rauchbier over this any day for greater depth of flavor and easier drinkability, but this is not a bad beer, though only one I'd seek out again to share with friends.

Pours a 2cm head of light tan to dark beige foam, made up of small to medium-sized bubbles. Retention is excellent, lasting several minutes before falling to a thick ring around the glass and an island of foam atop the body of the beer. Lacing is excellent, the faded foam leaves a honeycomb-like pattern along all sides of the glass. Body is a deep caramel brown color, with light, bringing out amber-brown highlights and tones.

Aroma of caramel malts and smoked beechwood malt, slight Robitussin original cough syrup. Mostly of smoked malt, not leaving much complexity, but not bad either. Actually, when considering the amount of smoked malts that went into this beer, that this is not cloying or overly smoky is a sign of the brewers' skill.

Overall flavor is rich in caramel malt and smoky malt character, with medium-strong hop bitterness without much other hop flavor. Front of palate detects heavy caramel malt with slight campfire-like smokiness. Mid-palate notes smoky, sharp oak-smoked wheat, more campfire than smoked meat. Heavy caramel malt, moderate hop bitterness with little citrus flavor, mild ethanol. Back of palate picks up beechwood smoked malt giving a campfire taste, moderately bitter hops. Aftertaste is of lingering smoked malt, slightly spicy hops, more prominent ethanol, a bit of tanginess, and strong hop bitterness.

Beer is heavy-bodied, with medium-low levels of carbonation, leading to a smooth, somewhat placid mouthfeel. More carbonation could benefit this. Closes semi-dry with a flash of ethanol on throat and in nostrils. Heavy residual stickiness on palate and lips.

 1,964 characters

Photo of sloelco
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of McUbermensch
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Old Guardian OAK - SMOKED Barleywine from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 764 ratings
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