Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tfinn:
4.25/5 rDev +0.7%
purchased 2004-01, consumed 2004-08
deep golden bronze amber with creamy mixed-bubble head. a bit hazy, but that's to be expected.
as usual for stone, nose is massively hoppy. green deep herbal notes, primarily, even a bit floral.
taste is hops all the way down to the solid malt backbone. definitely not a sleeper. even after six months of aging this starts off with a tang and takes a hop tour, finishing with a fight between the malt and hops. it's very vegetative and floral, maybe even a little "catty". (cascade hops maybe?) in malt vs hops, it's definitely in the hops' favor, although this amount of flavor would be impossible without a solid malt foundation. it just never gets a chance to come out all the way...
mouthfeel is syrupy coating barleywine. the hops really cut through it, and somehow I don't see that character changing much over the aging of this beer. carbonation is light and style-appropriate.
barleywines aren't known for their massive quaffability; more their sippability. this is definitely sippable. and ponderable. there's a lot of interesting hop flavors going on, although only the certified hopheads would enjoy it. a full 22oz of this could be dangerous too; be sure to space out your imbibing or share with a friend (or few).
in the stone beer continuum, I'd put this close to double bastard, with a bit more hops. it's not quite as sharp as the normal arrogant bastard, and a bit thicker, but it has a similar hop profile.
thoroughly enjoyable! my only regret is that I didn't buy more bottles when I had the chance.
08-09-2004 02:39:54 | More by tfinn
More User Reviews:
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
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.
02-21-2004 23:51:33 | More by oberon
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
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 doesnt have a lot of dryness. It is very heavy in the mouth with lots of malty sugars.
Drinkability This isnt a session ale by a long shot, but it certainly makes for a terrific nighttime sipper.
01-31-2005 04:05:52 | More by RoyalT
4.83/5 rDev +14.5%
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.
02-14-2004 11:38:26 | More by Dmann
4.47/5 rDev +5.9%
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!
02-26-2005 05:07:50 | More by orbitalr0x
4.83/5 rDev +14.5%
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>
05-07-2004 14:53:04 | More by sponberg
4.6/5 rDev +9%
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.
12-01-2004 11:12:01 | More by merlin48
4.22/5 rDev 0%
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.
04-04-2004 14:17:22 | More by Billolick
3.98/5 rDev -5.7%
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.
12-30-2005 02:12:01 | More by masikon
4.38/5 rDev +3.8%
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.
04-25-2004 16:55:53 | More by WVbeergeek
4.15/5 rDev -1.7%
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.
04-23-2005 21:26:42 | More by OStrungT
4.1/5 rDev -2.8%
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.
03-10-2004 08:33:06 | More by watermelonman
4.13/5 rDev -2.1%
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.
04-16-2004 01:09:31 | More by soper2000
4.4/5 rDev +4.3%
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.
07-05-2004 01:40:33 | More by RockyTopHeel
4.53/5 rDev +7.3%
22oz bomber, obtained a while back in my first BA trade from
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
02-27-2006 01:03:07 | More by dirtylou
2.85/5 rDev -32.5%
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.
05-09-2004 14:17:49 | More by beerluvr
4.22/5 rDev 0%
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
03-29-2004 07:03:24 | More by DESTRO
4/5 rDev -5.2%
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.
09-11-2004 03:36:02 | More by Southernbrew
3.05/5 rDev -27.7%
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? Dont get me wrong I like the nose; it just doesnt 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 hasnt 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 Ive 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 doesnt push any right buttons with me. I wont look for this one again.
09-19-2004 14:47:23 | More by bditty187
3.78/5 rDev -10.4%
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.
05-21-2004 05:00:19 | More by PhantomVodoo
4.53/5 rDev +7.3%
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.
10-21-2005 23:33:49 | More by nortmand
4.22/5 rDev 0%
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!
05-07-2010 23:11:28 | More by alleykatking
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.