Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
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
2.98/5 rDev -29.4%
Amber body with a low off-white head. Aroma is mostly resinous hoppy, but has an alcohol extravagance that is hard to tolerate. I find the hops profile to approach soap at times, I wonder if its all amarillow, but I know I dont particularly enjoy that breed. Taste is citric, very bitter, slightly oily, not too pleasant for me and just too alcoholic. Theres a good floral character going on, but its annihilated by the almost fuelic counterpart. Thin-medium bodied with medium carbonation. I prefered the 2003 I must say and I can see why some people like this, but youve got to be in the mood for hoppy alcohol.
06-09-2004 04:31:27 | More by Rastacouere
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
3.28/5 rDev -22.3%
Tasted this side by side with other Old Guardian vintages in taster glasses that were a couple ounces each at Stone Winter Storm for two dollars a piece
Color was a deep amber with a light red tint when held up to the light, small frothy 1/2 inch vanilla colored head, not much retention and a small amount of lacing, there were definitely a few things floating around at the bottom of the glass
Smell had lots of caramel to go along with some grapefruit and piney hops, tons of malt throughout the aroma, sweet boozy scents as well, some flower and resin aromas at times too
Taste was dominated by caramel, needed some more pine hoppiness to balance this out, also some dark fruit tastes like prunes and red apples, too much malt going on here, some grapefruit came to the surface as it warmed in my hand, still not enough hops, expected this one to be a lot more mellow after this long but it was still a little too strong for me, could use another three years of age probably, sweet malty barleywine overall
Body was pretty thick and syrupy, pretty smooth nevertheless, somewhat bitter mouthfeel which was impressive to see after three years, taste lasted a long time
Could not have drank too much of this, even though the ten percent alcohol is hidden well, it would have eventually hit me hard, taste is pretty dimensional, so the taste keeps you coming back for more, pretty heavy on the stomach though
Probably my least favorite year of OG, but still better than a lot of barleywines out there, I think I would prefer this beer with at least five years of age, still keeps the hop character up for that long and does not let the sweet malt overpower everything, still glad I tried it and am sorry I skipped the 2002 and 2003 bottles that were there but I would not have been able to review beers if I had kept drinking,
01-30-2008 04:43:48 | More by Floydster
3.38/5 rDev -19.9%
The beer poured out of the 22oz. bottle and left little head. There was a nice lace around the glass when what little head cleared. I let the beer sit for a little bit as there were small bits of stuff floating in it. The beer is the color of liquid caramel and smells strongly of flowers and fruit aromas. The first sip of this beer really knocked me back. At first it was a little overwhealming, but after a few mouthfulls it was enjoyable. It feels smooth in your mouth but that first sip has quite a bite. You can feel the alcohol in your stomach warming you. Like all Stone brews you can really taste the hops. Overall I liked this beer. I am a fan of Barleywine style beers, and I've had better than this, but it's still quite a tastey beer.
03-18-2005 00:50:27 | More by Buildscharacter
District of Columbia
3.45/5 rDev -18.2%
the aroma is all about it. NW hops play a big role, too. i must say, the nose is really not all that complex. sugary sweet, hoppy, buttery
tastes super butterscotchy, too. the hops flavor is pronounced, so i imagine it were very strong young. some fruits make themselves present. brown sugar, dates
it's hot. i hate to say it...but this stuff is a little overrated
04-14-2007 07:04:45 | More by bruachan
3.58/5 rDev -15.2%
On tap at Churchkey.
Pours a reddish light brown with a tiny off white head and a few whisps of lacing. Nose is fairly one dimensional with some sweet fruity malts, although--believe it or not--there are still some hops present. Taste brings a bit more fruit along with some light caramel. Sweet malt dominates. Medium body with good carbonation and almost mo booze. Drinks fairly well but for somethig this I old I was expectig a bit more depth of flavor.
10-06-2010 11:48:18 | More by Thorpe429
3.58/5 rDev -15.2%
Appearance: Pours a dark, obscured, rich amber body with a thin, beige head.
Smell: A far lighter aroma when compared with earlier vintages ('02, '03). Faint, far off caramel malts and fruit and well, that's about it.
Taste: Vague caramel maltiness with a medium sweetness. Far less fruitiness present than the 2002 and 2003. The hops aren't nearly as citrusy, but they do have a ramped up wooden quality to them. Medium-plus bitterness throughout. Finishes bittersweet with a touch of heat at the very end.
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.
Drinkability: Enjoyed as part of a vertical spanning the vintages between 2002 and 2007. The 2004 really was the letdown of the group, displaying a weak aroma, a far less punchy malt character, even a dead hop profile. It certainly was no 2003!
09-09-2008 03:40:37 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.6/5 rDev -14.7%
Make no mistake, this beer is HEAVY. Pours a cider golden orange, with little lacy head. Smell is powerful with aromas of alcohol and sweetness. Almost hard to swallow, this beer is big and bold. Heavy on the alcohol flavor, this is also big on malt profile. Drinkability is low because of the punch this beer carries. Enjoy!
06-27-2004 01:47:58 | More by RocketWidget
3.68/5 rDev -12.8%
Pours a hazy copper colored brew, light color for the beer style.
Smell is sweet and malty with a pleasant fruity smell and a trace of hops.
Taste is sweet and fruity but still raw in taste. Very hoppy and bitter, needs cellaring.
Mouthfeel is strangely light for the beer style.
This was drank much to young, needs some time to mellow. As it is it is tasty but harsh in taste.
Will re-review the other bottle in about 2 years.
05-05-2004 04:31:41 | More by Zorro
3.73/5 rDev -11.6%
Consumed Feb 7th, 2010 at Stone World Bistro.
Cloudy medium yellow with a fine white head.
Not especially aromatic, but there is a sugary maple syrup sort of note.
Still flavorful after all this time. Primary palate note is a sweet, maple syrup sort of character. Faint herbal traces. Significant bitterness on finish.
Still has some alcohol heat, interestingly enough. Mouthfeel unremarkable aside from a slight thickness.
Age has changed it but not really tamed it. Not really very tasty, though unflawed and quite drinkable.
03-03-2010 16:55:52 | More by charlzm
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
3.83/5 rDev -9.2%
Again, this bottle was brought over by sheepnutz for a side-by-side comparison with the 2003 version. As he said, the color is much lighter than the '03, but still has a good amber color. Has a decent size head that leaves just a tiny bit of lacing. Aroma is alcohol and bread, and caramel, and pine and citrus hops. The flavor is much the same as the aroma: caramel, alcohol and a citrus character. Drinkability is good, but not for the faint of heart. Full body and nice mouthfeel. I enjoyed the 2003 version slightly more. This one possibly needs a little age. I also believe this one was the killer for my sobriety on said tasting night.
10-20-2004 15:24:46 | More by clvand0
3.83/5 rDev -9.2%
A nice golden pale ale color, thin foam, little or no lacing. Aroma of malt and caramel, good hopping. Slightly sweet, but not at all an unpleasant experience. Alcohol is present, but not over the top. As with most Stone offerings, plenty of hop flavor! But neatly balanced with the malt. Dry, prickly aftertaste. Might improve with aging - but goood now!
03-29-2004 03:27:57 | More by palliko
3.85/5 rDev -8.8%
Unfortunately served in a pint glass at Monk Cafe's "Everybody Must Drink Stone" Tasting on 5/22/07.
A - with, for obvious reasons, virtually no head, this barleywine carried a little less depth of color than expeted, but altogether, pleasing to the eye. Slight bubles collected around the rim, but no lacing whatsoever. The body on this is on the hazy side, but I cannot tell if this is from aging, or simplt that the brew is to be.
S - less than to be expected out of an aged barleywine, maybe it was just sensory overload here. It was served at the perfect temperature, so it wasn't overly frigid, locking in aroma. It carried a moderate to heavy hoppy nose, some flowers behind it, following with a spruce resin liner. A step of soap was present as well.
T - moderately sweet brew with a slight acetic hint to it. Here is where you can translate alot of the corresponding aromas into taste. Nothing stood out beyond what I described in the aromas. The alcohol shone through with a warming, non harsh demeanor, just to let you know this isn't for lightweights.
M - a medium to full body accompanied this with an appropriately oily texture and flat carbonation.
D - not for too long...too quickly. A great brew, while not a classic, a worthy addition to anyone's cellar.
This brew makes you sit up, wake up, then, it kick's you in the face, leaving a warm burn behind. But then, you go back for more...
05-24-2007 19:00:50 | More by boelker62
3.88/5 rDev -8.1%
22 oz. bottle pours an amber color with a white head that quickly fades to a sheen. Has a strong alcohol smell with breads, caramels, and a whiff of floral hops. The smell of this brew alone is intoxicating.
Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Strong, bittersweet taste of sweet plums and caramels folowed by a bitter hop and warming, raw alcohol finish.
A great west coast Barleywine that should only get better with time.
10-17-2004 18:15:28 | More by beerceller99
3.88/5 rDev -8.1%
22 oz bomber imprinted with the stone brewing gargoyle to scare away any impurity.
Pours a red orange with a nice tan head. A little bit of a hard pour was needed to get the small head. While the head subsided quite quickly, a nice lacing was left behind.
Big malty aromas, lots of hops (as is to be expected from the fellows at Stone), and alcohol solvents dominate the nose.
Sweet malt and hops are up front in this one. Very citrusy for a barley wine in my opinion, but very warming nonetheless.
While I enjoy all of the other Stone products I have tried, I must admit, I am a little disappointed with this brew. When I think of a barley wine, I think of a dark ale, not something that for all intents and purposes could be passed off as a darkish IPA on looks alone. This said, I did enjoy this beer, but I think that the coloring and overwhelming hops detracted from the style it is supposed to represent.
04-27-2004 02:41:38 | More by LuckySevens82
3.9/5 rDev -7.6%
An attractive, slightly hazed medium reddish amber body catches the light nicely so that it seems to glow a little. The head is reserved and fades relatively quickly. Raisins and dried apricots meld with firewood and creosote on the nose. The body is full and a bit cake-like. The bitterness isnt overblown, but balances the sweetness of the beer nicely. Nice barleywine.
10-09-2004 00:58:41 | More by aracauna
3.9/5 rDev -7.6%
Poured from a 22 oz bottle. Pours a rich copper/amber color with a thin and stiff head very similar to the 2002 and 2003 versions. Very tangy and tart with a mellow sweetness. Once the sweetness clears there is a very malty flavor that makes this beer feel thicker than it really is. Very enjoyable but this beer could use some cellaring to make it even better.
08-09-2004 00:32:36 | More by BrewMaster
3.9/5 rDev -7.6%
I'm rating this one on an average. I've had a few bottles of this over time and have gotten quite varying results. It has ranged from sweet and cloying to bitter hoppy nonsense.
But hoppy nonsense is a mark of pride for the Stone people, it seems, and it eventually grows on you.
The last bottle I had reminded me very much of Double Bastard.
The smell is striking, very floral and fruity.
It's usually a little too... something... to make it highly drinkable, but it has always been interesting.
I can't wait to get my hands on other vintages of Old Guardian.
05-07-2005 01:37:53 | More by ommegangpbr
3.9/5 rDev -7.6%
Pours a clear copper color with a frothy tan head. The aroma is of thick chewy crystal malts and hops, though the malt character seems to surprisingly dominate. The beer itself is thick and chewy, with lots of malt character. There is hop flavor in the finish with notes of orange and a grassiness. A bitterness then kicks in at the very end. This beer is surprisingly malty, though with definite hop character, it is quite subdued for Stone. I much prefer the regular Stone lineup to this one.
04-01-2004 16:30:12 | More by Gueuzedude
3.9/5 rDev -7.6%
Cellared for almost 1.5 years. Pours a golden amber to rose-copper with a finger of tight, off-white head. Toffee and butterscotch on the nose, with a resinous, singed hop burn. Madeira notes indicate aging perhaps? A bit astringent overall. Butterscotch malt up front, with aged vinous edges. Toasted notes come through before a wallop of bitterness. Sharp and cleansing, if a bit one-dimensional. I like it though! Piney and warming in the finish, with port-like flashes. Full-bodied with a feel that borders on light syrup. Nice, but I think I prefer this BW fresher. But then again, I prefer most BWs fresher.
07-21-2006 03:03:09 | More by alexgash
3.93/5 rDev -6.9%
This potent beer pours a deep golden almost orange like color. Head on my sample was thick and left nice lace. Smell of sweet malt, hops, and fruit. Powerful on the taste buds, with hops leading the way. very fruity but balanced my malt base. Thick motor oil like mouthfeel. Drinkability is tough to gauge for me, I liked the taste, in some ways it might be my favorite barleywine, however it's very potent. Excellent though overall, I might prefer the smoother milder Old Nick from Young's. As far as domestics, this is right there.
03-05-2004 20:29:58 | More by Mark
3.93/5 rDev -6.9%
This beer was a medium copper color with an off-white head that dissipated quickly. The color seemed too light. Lacing continued for a while but eventually stopped.
The taste was very good, lots of sweet maltiness and all the hops necessary to balance it out. It should be great after 6 months in the hole. After that I'm not sure things will get better. This definitely doesn't taste like the 2003.
The mouthfeel is excellent, very thick and alcoholic. The carbonition is a little low, but overall it is very pleasant.
I started drinking this by itself, but it really shined when paired with a nice spicy, garlicky plate of Toledo style chili-mac!
03-16-2004 05:00:14 | More by bigbubba
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.