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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
93
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:
Photo of jerz
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of TinusTime
4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My second bite at this apple as I wanted a taste that wasnt on a palate corrupted by Ruination.

Pours a apricot orange amber colour with a one finger dence white head. The aroma will knock you back its so good.. Candied fruit, citrus hops, toffee, in doses so powerful they should be illegal. Taste follows.. Its sweet with out cloying, hoppy without bitter.. Its curacao orange peels soaked in caramel with a splash of rich brandy. Its kinda like a beery Grand Marnier. Absolutely delicious. Hops are there but not as ballsy as other stone brews, this one has understated grace, more English in style than typical West Coast Hopparific Barleywine. Mouthfeel is outstanding, smooth as the silk on a designer skirt. Drinkability is roof high.. This is and the Imperial Stout are the class of Stones efforts. Not that any of them are weak, but this is World Class.

Also went amazing well listening to Johnny Cash's American III- solitary man-- especially during the Nice Cave Cover - the Mercy Seat..

Photo of BlindPig
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- 1/4" light tan head on a clear orange body with some amber in it (mostly orange though). Bir of a whitish collar with a bit of lacing (not much at all). Sticks to side of glass a bit too.
S- Nice citrus hop with some grass in there too. Malt is helping balance it out. Some caramel and toffee. Alcohol cuts through it all too. Not as sweet smelling as the others.
T- Toffee and caramel malt base. That helps even out the big dose of citrus hops. Grapefruit and a bit of orange too. Pretty sweet but not near as sweet as other years. Alcohol comes through too but is pretty well hidden but does have a nice soothing warmth to it. The bitterness lasts a long time and comes through on the first sip. The aftertaste has bitterness some citrus fruit rind and some toffee in there too.
M- Medium body with low carbonation that may be scratching on the medium side.
D- It is very good! Would be interesting to see how it comes out after about 4 or 5 years. Feels like it's totally different than 00-03.

Photo of kmcnair
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing this one poured from a 22oz bomber. Hopefully will get to try this one on cask in a few days... will submit a 2nd review if that is the case =D

Pours a nice light amber into my pint glass. Creates a very thick off white head.

The smell is very spicy, those hops are definitely in there. Thick and floral, estery. I can already tell this one is going to be huge.

Taste is exceptional for this style. The flavor is rich and sweet, spicy and strong. I can't recall a barley wine to date that compares.

Mouthfeel is very thick, syrupy and alcoholic.. the kind that sits in the throat long after you've swallowed. It is warm and welcome.

I could drink a lot of this one, however I think that it would bring me to an early slumber. Ah hell, I'll drink it as long as I can stay awake. This is a great strong brew.

Overall, I think Stone has outdone themselves. I was a bit skeptical after reading that they had changed the recipe for this one since last year's (or at least the malt profile), but this batch is awesome. I really love barley wines and I think this one has to be my favorite to date!

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.

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>

Photo of stewart124
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish color with golden hues and a huge head. Smell is very aromatic with blends of fuits, spices, and delicious hops. The taste is an extreme bombardment of hops and very strong malts. Silky smooth body and fruity esters. Each sip gets better or maybe that's the alcohol getting to me...this is a great beer and it lived up to what I've read about it. Teh aftertaste is a great blend of hops and fruity esters. Stone has done it again!

Photo of FormatKid
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

--04’ edition consumed Sept 04

Traditional Stone 22oz bomber brought to me by a friend on a road trip. There is a long rambling editorial on the back of the bottle, skip it and drink.

The appearance is an orangey amber, and surprisingly translucent. Not much of a head to speak of but that is typical for the style, a thin filmy looking layer on top. Some carbonation is visible in the body and is composed of streams of extremely small bubbles.

The smell is thick and lovely. The malts are definitely thick in the nose, and bitter, bitter earthy hops. A sweet bubblegum type scent also comes through.

The taste is a really intense experience. The beer actually starts out a little lighter on the palette with a slight crisp apple flavor. Then it seems the Malts and Hops begin their knock-down drag-out through your mouth. I do catch a hint of that bubblegum sweetness in the middle suprisingly. Earthen hop bitterness stomps arrogantly on the back of your tongue as the beer goes down. Alcohol is hinted at in the aftertaste but overall eclipsed by the bold, intense flavors of this brew. I do however feel the trail of alcohol down my throat and into my stomach, it is nicely warming as well.

I have really grown fond of this style, and I would never expect Stone to let me down. This beer is a bit more “consumable” compared to other barleywines I have had, and dropping these 22oz should be no problem at all.

Thanks again John!

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. I'd stored this away when I bought it two years ago in the hopes a bit of aging would take the edge off the alcohol bite. I'm happy to say the delayed gratification was justified.
Hitting the glass, the '04 OG had a lustrous apricot hue, vibrant and finely spun out carbonation and a well-formed head that produced ghostly lace.
The nose was thickly sweet with a nice fruitiness and splash of caramel mixed with a good contrasting herbal hops aroma. Alcohol is there but not in the raw, nose-tweaking manner of many a fresh barleywine.
Holy crap, this is one fine b-wine! Thick, full feel coated the tongue in a fruity sugary sweetness imbued with hearty caramel malts. Hops are integrated seamlessly and entwined deeply across the palate. The alcohol content has mellowed and lacks the rawness and harshness I've encountered all too often in a barleywine.
Cellaring Stone's '04 Old Guardian was a 100% success. Lush feel, outstanding nose, and a perfect blending of flavors has made me wish I'd stashed more than one away for the long haul. If you have one lying about, now might be the right time to give it a go. Simply sublime.

Photo of cwguy5
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on-tap at Duckworth's in Charlotte several times after the Stone event. These notes are from 10/7/10.

clear, rich amber color; some lacing and low retension

sweet aroma of honey, maybe some vanilla

you can taste the alcohol up front but it is not hot, very smooth; some mild floral and herbal flavors along with the sweet throughout; honey and toffee

pretty amazing mouthfeel I thought; nice firm, small, smooth carbonation; slight slippery feel with honey linger; a little burnt flavor with the honey linger

very drinkable overall; sweetness is not overpowering allowing subtle herbal and spice notes to be known; great smell, taste, and mouth with a 10% abv; tastes much better than the 08 or 10 vintages imho.

Photo of GreenWBush
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've reviewed this beer twice already? Hmm...

This one is the last OG '04 in my cellar. How i'll miss this particular vintage with its abstract blending of Munich malts and Amarillo hops...

Spectacular in appearance for style this beer has a chainlink fence of lace following close behind each emptying sip. Gold with reddened tints.

The nose has a little age on it now...the caramel malt character has a bit of paper to it now, but the twangy amarillos are still there, lurking in the background.

Noticably less fruity than when fresh, this beer is the epitomy of well-integrated but still full of character.

I have never had twenty-two ounces of high-gravity alcohol dissappear so easily into my stomach. Absolutely the most fantastic beer experience i've had in quite awhile.

The syrupy slickness of this beer, hand in hand with its well integrated flavor components and the mellowing of age make the most sublime cellared beer experience i've had yet. Just wickedly drinkable. And gone for just one day, i'm already wishing I had more.

If you've got OG '04...drink 'em now. I think they are at the perfect stage right this moment.

Photo of taez555
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured an offwhite head with a clear orange/amber body.

HUGE, sharp, tight, citrus peel, black pepper hop smell. Some nice fruit tones as well as some caramel malt. Really an amazingly present and inviting nose.

The taste was medium to full bodied. A beautiful gingerbread spice taste. Surprisingly mellow bitterness at first. The bitterness is there but I was surprised how balanced it was. Rich pepper and citrus peel hop taste. A firm full malt with alcohol and caramel. Seriously very yummy. It ends with a soft lingering bitterness.

This is really one fantastic beer. Big, malty, hoppy and bitter. If you like those things, this is the beer for you. I swear stone doesn’t know how to make a bad beer.

Photo of RootedFool
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a bomber at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California. Lucky to snag one before they were all gone.

Pours bright orange-edged amber with a buttery head that quickly dissipates and leaves a few thin blankets of lace on the glass.

The nose makes itself evident immediately upon evacuation from the bottle. Sharply sweet malts and a peppery fruitiness, like cherries and orange peels that have been soaked in brown sugar and rum, fills my nose.

The taste opens with a distinct jolt of hop bitterness, sweet fruity malts follow and rapidly lead into alcohol heat and an even more pronounced hop bitterness. The aftertaste lingers long -- burnt lemony and peppery hops encrusted with a fragile malt sweetness. Alcohol warmth floats around my nose, throat, and stomach; and would be over-powering if not for the intensity of the other flavors.

Mouthfeel is mildly creamy.

This beer is a big clash of big flavors that come very close to finding synchronicity. It's like three bulls (hops, malt, and alcohol) attempting to break dance in a China closet -- they almost pull it off, but beware the damage!

Photo of LakerLeith
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of trancesk8er
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of hpthebull
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of TheyCallMeYukon
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of hustlemuscle
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up my local store's last pair of 2004s this summer, and tried them this fall, after a few months in the cellar.

Holy. Freaking. Crap. Magic.

Pours a cloudy amber with deep golden highlights, thick bubbly head. Very clear. Almost a ruby color.

Fruity hoppy bready intrigue greet the nose.

Fruity hoppy smooth, almost creamy, a touch of alchohol warms. My notes start to ramble, this is so good. The hops and fruit and alchohol create a smooth, tart, and yet somehow creamy mouthfeel.

God, I can't wait to get some 2005 and let it sit. Just super stuff.

Photo of kegerator
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this Barley Wine very much.
Poured out a nice amber color with a small off-white head that goes away moderately.
smelled of malt maybe some honey in there and there was a definite west coast hoppiness
taste was surprisingly smooth based off the hop i smelled. Very nice blend of the sweet and hop on this one This one was an almost perfect blend and not overpowering with hops. Quite smooth and very pleasant beer to drink.

Photo of beergeek279
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 22 oz. bomber, into a pint glass. The color was copper, with a nice foamy white head. The smell was a strong citrus hop over the thick, light malt base. The taste was an excellent citrus hop with the strong lighter malt backing. Mouthfeel was nice and syrupy thick. As for drinkability, could have these all day long.

A simply fantastic beer, which is business as usual at Stone Brewing. A great citrusy-hopped barleywine that's worth drinking over and over again, and now that it's just starting to hit Western PA, I'll hopefully I'll have it again.

Photo of sockeye101
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I grabbed this '04 behemoth at Bottleworks the other day and thought I'd give a good barley wine ale a try. This is an amazing brew. I'm not sure how it compares with the '05s or the '03s they had on hand but I may just have to find out the next time I stop by.

The color is an orangeish copper very cloudy with light carbonation and a decent head that left a nice lace. The smell was sweet and flowery with a nice hop. Then came the taste....oh yeah. No idea how they make a 10.06abv so damn smooth but they do. Sweet at first, citris, some grain notes, then a slam of hops and a good bitter aftertaste. And a very creamy mouthfeel that lets you know you're enjoying an extremely substantial beer. You can defintely taste the alcohol, but it's not as noticable as I was anticipating. Wonderful beer!!! Stone rocks!

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.

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm giving this beer a 4.5 for appearance despite its complete lack of head, because of the amazing color. It glows as if with an inner light, as though it could fill a dark room with sunset! An unreal color like the skin of a ripe peach. I've never seen anything like it before, and it's extremely inviting.

The smell fills out with the typical barleywine odor that I have a hard time describing - steamed asparagus drizzled with molasses, perhaps? Itr's the kind of smell that makes me go 'yep - barleywine', but I can't quite figure it out.

Ironic that the color reminds me of peaches and apricots, because I get extremely strong hints of those squishy fruits in the flavor of this very finely aged beer. It's got that steamed-grass smell, and a distinct caramel flavor - and in this beer, I can taste the hops, a bittering, floral addition. Wow, this is a really good barleywine, the best I've tried so far. The others I've tried have finished harshly, but this tumbles the alcohol into its flavors, then finishes with caramel and hop bitters, instead of ending up with nothing but alcohol.

The mouthfeel is awesome, it's like melted butter. Creamy, soft, smooth, and it gets into every crevice of the mouth, flowing voluptously.

Wow - so far my experiences with barleywine have been lackluster, but this aged '04 Stone version is outta control. I love it, plain and simple!

Photo of xgrigorix
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brown 22 ounce silk screened bottle. Two years old.

Glowing sunset amber. Thin beige coloured head, no lace.

Notes of hoppy pine & grapefruit. Apples, solvent, malty goodness. A very well balanced & inviting nose.

Rich & powerful. At 2 years a great balance between malt & hops. Some port-like flavours, along with toffee, apples, & plums. Medium-full bodied, lush, with slight carbonation. Ageing quite nicely, and I still love Amarillo hops.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.