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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

140 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 140
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.06% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 02-12-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 140 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BigMcLargeHuge:
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap @ O'Brien's. 2004 vintage. Consumed summer 2006 Clear orange color with chunks of creamy tan head floating along the viscous barrier between air and elixir. Sweet malt and dark fruit aroma punctuated by some hop nose. Full Barleywine malt and fruitiness with thick smooth peanut butter mouthfeel. The hops have really evened out. Delicious. Had this side by side with the 2005 vintage (on tap too).

BigMcLargeHuge, Nov 17, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was lucky enough to try some samples at the Beer Yard today,poured a deep orange with a slight head (but it was in a sample cup),aroma was juicy fruit and a tinge of brown sugar.Taste was malty sweet with some deep fruity tones alcohol came thru alot.I plan on getting a bottle soon after trying this I seemed to like last years better though from the first taste.

oberon, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This is a solid orange in color with some brownish tints and a modest, retentive head.

Smell – This nose has a huge malt backbone with classic Stone hops. The pine especially sticks out. The alcohol is modest but noticeable.

Taste – This malt bomb has some huge flavors. There are a lot of sugars in here along with some good alcohol notes. The wine is classic chardonnay.

Mouthfeel – This full-bodied Barley Wine is hoppy but doesn’t have a lot of dryness. It is very heavy in the mouth with lots of malty sugars.

Drinkability – This isn’t a “session ale” by a long shot, but it certainly makes for a terrific nighttime sipper.

RoyalT, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of Dmann
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The much anticipated OG from Stone...good times are ahead! Anyways this beer poured quite a bit lighter than previous years with a medium copper color and a very thick white head that would not leave till the last drop. This beer smelled wonderful with a great citrus smell and the smell of some kind of tropical friut, maybe mango or pinnaple with a hint of malt thrown in there as well. The flavor was completly different than years past with an increased citrus bite and a great dry hoppy finnish. This one does not hide the alchohol as good as the 02 and 03 did but I think a big reason for that is the early stage that the beer is currently in. In the end this is an exceptional Barleywine and another classic offering from Stone.

Dmann, Feb 14, 2004
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting quite awhile to try this one....pours from the bomber a crystal clear amber with hints of red. A nice creamy, fluffy bubbly off white head arrives on top. Aromas of pine sap hoppiness mix with a big caramel, toffee maltiness. There's a nice fruity aroma in there as well. A delight for the nasal passages...just how I like my barleywines.

First sip is oh so smooth with a opening rush of creamy, fruity caramel sweet maltiness followed by a nice helping of piney resinous hoppiness...the hops are still alive and kicking after a little over a year of aging. Alcohol notes come in and out nicely. There's a bit of a scotch undercurrent here as well. I never had the chance to sample this fresh..but it's doing damn well after a year...incredibly smooth and tasty.

Mouthfeel has a nice, slightly syrupy body with a super smooth malt character that flows over the palate like silk. This is quite simply a wonderfully tasty, easily drinkable brew. Obviously not a session at a bit over 10% abv....but a bomber is no problem. Another great brew from Stone..I'm looking forward to a fresh 2005!

orbitalr0x, Feb 26, 2005
Photo of sponberg
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On cask at Mahar's for the Stone release party. Pours a bright cloudy amber with a thinnish yet long lasting head. Aroma of sweet caramelly malt and fruity esters, some complex citric hops, and whiffs of alcohol.

Bang! That sound was Stone hitting the nail on the head. I love the balance of this barleywine - plenty of fruity maltiness, some hints of darker fruits and cocoa, a solid underlying hop bitterness and a persistent citrus hop presence. The carbonation level from the cask was perfect - it gave this brew a body and creaminess that was first rate. It's not the biggest bodied BW in the world, but that just adds to the drinkability. Definitely a must-try for people who love a hoppy barleywine.

Be careful - as my shin scrape ("Who put that road there?") will attest this one can and will sneak up on you. <g>

sponberg, May 07, 2004
Photo of merlin48
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mtnlover for bringing this bottle my way. I was duly impressed by the 03 vintage, but did not review it for reasons unkown. This Winter 04 Limited Release disembarks from the 22 oz bottle a chill hazed, auburn orange body with a sticky, one finger tall, vanilla hued head. Decent retention and some beautiful patchy lacing on the sides of the imperial pint glass.
Aroma begins with candied mandarin orange marmelade and lots of grapefruit, resinous pinecone, and earthy and grassy hops. Some caramel notes are hidden deep within this layer of fresh hoppiness and a hint of alcohol is picked up as well. Very robust bouquet barely falls short of being harsh with hops.
Mouthfeel is full bodied and chewy smooth, with an ideal level of medium carbonation.
The taste opens with lots of citrusy grapefruit and orangerind hops, and a "slap you in the face" pine resin. Caramel malt sweetness emerges from time to time to round off the edges. Alcohol is somehow disguised by the enormous waves of flavors and hops. Hop and malt flavors become even more pronounced at room temperature, and the finish is bittersweet, mandarin orange marmalade with fresh grapefruit rind, hops bitterness.
This is a truly excellent American Barleywine that needs no aging, though one has to speculate how exceptional this one will be with some time in the cellar. I've never encountered a Stone brew that wasn't topnotch, and the 2004 Old Guardian certainly raises the bar. Very highly recommended.

merlin48, Dec 01, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle. Golden in color with slight orange hues. Leaves a tod o' lacing. Major heavy and rich malt sweetness up front. then resiny and citric hops come solidly foward. Medium to heavy body , warming mouthfeel. High class sipper from Stone. As with all their brews that I've tried, I'd seek em out when ever possible.

Billolick, Apr 04, 2004
Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev -5.4%

mjtiernan, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of masikon
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

picked this up at bottleworks, they had 03, 04, and 05 so i grabbed one of each, cracked this one first. Pours an unusual shade of burnt orange with some ruby notes. Glows nicely in the light but for some reason I was unable to coax much of a head out of this. Nose has an emphasis on caramel malts combined with some fruit and just a little dash of alcohol. Hits the palate in a big way with sweet caramel maltiness up front followed by some intese oily hops which are somewhat tropical in essence, aftertaste is fairly alcoholic but not in a bad way, cleanses the senses. My first barleywine and I am pretty impressed, Definitely not an everyday type of beer but full of interesting flavors and scents, I can't wait to check out the other vintages.

masikon, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper amber hue with an off white frothy cream head lacing is fine and spread evenly. Aroma: Ctrus bursts of hops with a piney hop tone blend caramel and molasses tinged with alcohol with orange peels evident in the nose. Taste: Wonderful blend of hops and malts caramel citrus with a deep malty layer of hops excellent complex big ol' barleywine. Deep alcohol infused fruit notes make each sip more enticing. Mouthfeel: Full to medium bodied sryupy texture, wow. Drinkability: Excellent complex watchout for the abv this one will get you. I definitely look forward to the release of this Stone product every year, damn good barleywine from Stone in your face like most of their beers.

WVbeergeek, Apr 25, 2004
Photo of OStrungT
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice golden brown color with a white head with slight orange coloring to it. The head fades very slowly leaving very thick laces. This beer smells fruity. There are hints of molases. The alcohol aroma is very apparent. The hop presence is also very apparent. It has a floral taste to it. A little piney also. The alcohol is also very apparent in the taste. It is very sweet. It is thick and syrup like. It goes down smooth leaving a taste of alcohol on the palate. It warms the throat just a little. This is a full bodied beer with an aggressive flavor and a smooth finish. It is not a good session beer because it is so strong in alcohol. IF you ever come across this beer, you should definately try it. I wonder what it would taste like if I aged it for a few years.

OStrungT, Apr 23, 2005
Photo of watermelonman
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This sure looks light for a barley wine. That's not to say it doesn't look good though, it still looks very nice. It's a very nice warming tone of light brown. As expeced, there wasn't much head.

For this brewery and this style, I honestly expected stronger than this. Still, it's no wimp. Strong caramel malts dominate with a light hint of fruit. It has a solid bitter kick in the finish.

watermelonman, Mar 10, 2004
Photo of soper2000
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking deep dark golden color with a small foamy white head. Though the aroma isn't too strong it has that distinctive "Stone" smell to it. Very pleasant. I get a faint scent of some malt too. First taste was not in the least bit surprising even though this was my first Old Guardian. Loads of hops intially but quickly a truckload of malt took over lending a sweet finish taste. I wouldn't mind cellaring a couple of these to see if that initial hop bite mellows out a little bit. This could be an even better beer a few years down the road from now, although it's quite good right now. Great brewery.

soper2000, Apr 16, 2004
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A cloudy, burnt orange brew with a thin head that quickly dissipates until barely a wisp of white remains.

Overall, this is a very nice, even outstanding blend of hops flavor, malt backbone and subtle but noticeable alcohol kick.

Very well rounded, and one of my favorite barley wines to date.

RockyTopHeel, Jul 05, 2004
Photo of dirtylou
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, obtained a while back in my first BA trade from
Px2GrafX

appearance: beautiful pour, body is a glorious peach amber, shines like the freaking sun, very nice white foamy head and enough lacing on the snifter to keep me satisfied

smell: very explosive nose, thick sweet malts dominate the nose, strong caramel, inviting alcohol, juicy citrus-grapefruit hops existent but I would assume they have calmed since this one was bottled. aromas are very well balanced and smooth

taste: phenomenaly well balanced and smooth...not as much of a hop monster as i expected from stone, but this sample is aged...the result is one of the finest malt barleywines i have ever taste...smooth caramel, apple, grape, toasted thick malt....slightly bitter grapefruit-apricot hop bite catches up in the aftertaste. alcohol presence is not abrasive at all. outstanding

mouthfeel: medium-full body, extraordinarily smooth for a b-wine, creamy, slight hop bitterness, slight alcohol burn

drinkability: one of those beers you are glad is 22oz and not just 12

dirtylou, Feb 27, 2006
Photo of beerluvr
2.85/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cool looking bottle. Micro-bubbled off white head, lightly hazy gold liquid. Alcoholic fumes emanate upwards with some tropical fruitiness and solid maltiness coming thru also. Lots of warming/burning alcohol carries thru in the taste as well. Maltiness is there...just not in great depth as I had expected. Ample bitterness follows. Finishes bitter with malt undertone, but way too "hot" in the alcohol dept. to really enjoy, so it gets knocked down in the marks here. Somewhat overrated (as are all the Stone beers IMO). I'll take a Bigfoot over this anyday!
Thanks to Craig for the bottle.

beerluvr, May 09, 2004
Photo of freewill35
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

freewill35, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of DESTRO
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

with one hell of a rough pour it ends up a hazy deep orange with a small yet nice off white bubbly head that slowly subsides into a patchy, sticky lace. lovely aroma of bready malt, orange cake, sweet bread and a lovely light hop aroma lingering. superb! thick in the mouth, heavy and filling. coates like no other. sweet biscuity/bread like malts, hearty and satisfying. light orange hints (think orange sweet rolls) and pineapple with a balancing hop bite. also as it warms the alcohol fumes become more apparent. well thought out and welcoming, very drinkable for a barley wine. tastey and not overpowering. a hell of a barley wine that flexes its muscles, but in a nice way. (like a bear hug)

paid $3.99 for a bomber

DESTRO, Mar 29, 2004
Photo of Southernbrew
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-brown with a small bubbly head that dissapates quickly.

Strong bitter and floral hops, alcohol, spice and dark fruits all come together in a delicious aroma, with a touch of sweetness.

Full bodied and very smooth. Bitter hops up front blend with caramel sweetness and fruits. The alcohol starts warming you immediately and a brief alcohol flavor flashes. Finishes with a sweet alcohol flavor and leaves a bitter aftertaste.

A fine barley wine, more "English" than others but the bitter hop burps start coming quickly. Very drinkable.

Southernbrew, Sep 11, 2004
Photo of bditty187
3.05/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear, beautiful amber in hue with significant influences of tawny-copper and a bit of gold. Sporadic animation lazily dances towards the modest head. At the apex the foam reached one finger in height, the beige head quickly faded to a foamy cap. Subsequent lacing was thick but it clung poorly. The beer still looks mighty nice in my glass. The nose is malty, vaguely sweet, kind of caramely and the distinct piney qualities are obvious at the back. There is even some vague, nondescript fruitiness underneath, this is found from start to finish. The potency is moderate. However I am a bit surprised at the lack of depth and complexity in the nose. This is a barleywine, right? Don’t get me wrong I like the nose; it just doesn’t “wow” me. I found it inviting, to a point. The palate has the same qualities as the nose, just not in the same proportions. It is much more piney… it hasn’t grown on me yet. Behind the hops are some harsh alcohol notes, very raw and not pleasant. There is little malt depth, for a barleywine it is pathetic. It only offers suggestions of toasty caramel and slight sweetness. The malt fails to escape the shadows of the alcohol heat. Lousy. Frankly this is one of the thinnest tasting barleywines I’ve ever had. The finish is hot and fairly bitter but this bitterness needs malt support. There is none. The mouthfeel is thin too, smaller than medium, yet another flaw with this beer. Moderate but appropriate levels of carbonation. Is this beer drinkable? No. Do I like it? No. Will I bother finishing the bomber I bought in Fort Collins, CO? Maybe. Really, this is not that good. In a blind taste test I would have never guessed this was from Stone. Avery? Maybe. Leinenkugel? Sure. The bottom line is this; Old Guardian is a poorly crafted beer that doesn’t push any right buttons with me. I won’t look for this one again.

bditty187, Sep 19, 2004
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light tan head sits atop this copper colored brew.
Aroma of rich, sweet malt is fairly earthy.

Taste shows a rich, sweet, toffee malt backbone. Decent balance, but sweet overall. Earthy. Alcohol is well hidden.

Good body to the mouthfeel.
Quite drinkable for the high ABV, but the taste doesn't really do it for me.
Overall, a solid barleywine style ale, but not as good as last years OG version IMO.

PhantomVodoo, May 21, 2004
Photo of nortmand
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge, fluffy white head atop a copper-amber body. Lacing occurs as head subsides.
Huge alcohol pine resin smell. Some nice, fruity notes as well. Mango, other tropical type fruits.
Sweet taste, with a citrusy pine resin that follows all the way through. Ends with an extremely bitter hoppiness that is supported by some sweet caramel malt.
Huge, round thick body with a huge alcohol presence. A winter beer if I ever had one.

nortmand, Oct 22, 2005
Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -29.1%

GRG1313, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of alleykatking
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled this bottle out of the cellar. Consumed at DLD...review from notes.

A- Poured a light hazy amberish brown color. Half finger off white head comes and goes rather quickly. No lacing as I drink this beer down. Not much of a looker but it's old so I give it the benefit of the doubt.

S- Good strong caramel and toffee malts come through this. The alcohol doesn't burn the nose but is a lot mellow than fresh. Some light darker fruits in this but still a little mellow in the aroma department. Some sweet almost light maple in the ending of this beer makes it all come together.

T- The age of this did tame the beast I thought. It drinks very very smooth and doesn't have a lot of alcohol heat to it. Big caramel malts clash with faded hops and light darker fruits. A sweetness to this makes the beer gently pass through the palate with ease.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little flat but I think it's forgiven since it is a older beer. Sweet malts left on the palate with some light alcohol in the aftertaste. Light oxidation which I expected. Flavors blend together very smoothly without a stop and jerk motion with the flavor.

D- This beer was a pleasant surprise. The beer ages wonderfully and I expect this beer could have gone a couple more years before a decline in taste would be apparent. Drinking toward its prime I think. Damn you Stone...you make a good beer like usual!

alleykatking, May 08, 2010
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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.