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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

138 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.48%
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: 138 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ommegangpbr
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.

ommegangpbr, May 07, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
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.

Gueuzedude, Apr 01, 2004
Photo of alexgash
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.

alexgash, Jul 21, 2006
Photo of Mark
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.

Mark, Mar 05, 2004
Photo of bigbubba
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!

bigbubba, Mar 16, 2004
Photo of Crosling
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%

Stone's annual "different recipe" barley wine. I envy Stone, thinking of how much fun they have developing a different barley wine year after year.

I hate to reiterate but this beer is pretty light for the style and much lighter in color than last years version. The head: white and creamy and the lace: intricate in its falling. Quite the handsome beer for sure.

The nose is quite alcoholic but also quite tropical. Dripping juicy hops, caramel, melon and pineapple are all over the nose.

This tastes odd. It is quite tasty but this doesn't taste even close to any other barley wines I have had before. The so called "tropical notes" that I experienced in the nose appear old in the flavor and smashed with a hammer. Strong and very pleasant citrus notes in the mid-palate with mandarin oranges, caramel and lemons. The finish is long, quite alcoholic and very bitter.

Crosling, Feb 19, 2004
Photo of BeerFink
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%

Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a nice crisp off-white head. The bottom of the glass is a light golden color, transistioning to a dark orange color near the top. A constant flow of tiny bubbles from the bottom of the glass can be seen, keeping the head from disappearing altogether. The smell is a pleasant estery bouquet. A citrous aroma is present, I'm thinking oranges. Very crisp taste up front tingling the tongue. A good malt taste follows, a full bodied mouthfeel. Here is the citrous the smell hinted at. The malty taste is quickly followed by a pronounced alcohol presence. The alcohol produces a nice warming effect, although it hampers the drinkability. A pretty tasty beer, very good for sipping and enjoying slowly.

BeerFink, Jan 25, 2005
Photo of winomark
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%

Beautiful medium copper with a substantial light tan head. Very inviting.

Wow, a myriad of aromas. Lots of hops and generous malt, with a mild sweetness.

Quite young and rough. Good hop bitterness, some malt richness and sweetness, with a slight medicinal character. Needs some time to smooth out.

Rich flavorful, and coating. Not too heavy. Long, lingering bitter finish.

Much different than the 03, with the recipe change. The balance isn't there yet. Good for being young and rough around the edges. Can't wait to see how this one ages. Grab some of this one while it is still available.

winomark, Feb 19, 2004
Photo of rajendra82
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%

The body was pale golden to amber colored with some copper tones. The head was about an inch thick and was fed by medium carbonation from beneath. This is my first barley wine, so I could be wrong, but I was anticipating a darker colored and thicker brew. The aroma was floral, perfumey hops with medicinal alcohol. The first sips also revealed an insane level of hops. This comes across as flirting pretty close to being a double/imperial IPA. The underlying malts are really sweet, with notes of toffee, pear, bubble gum, and banana being quite pronounced, along with a fair bit of grain.

Being very young, this brew had a bit of a harsh mouthfeel with flavors flying rapidly past each other and having not quite melded together. The tender age also made the alcohol too much up front with a warm burning sensation detracting from drinkability, and making this quite difficult to quaff. As I finish the 22 oz bomber, this beer is kicking my ass. I like my beers to have a more subtle punch than this. I will be cellaring my second bottle at least for an year, for it to come together better. I can see that the ingredients for an exceptional brew are all in here; they just need some more time.

For those of you stuck in 6% ABV Georgia (for now at least), Liquid Solutions ships here, and that's how I got this one.

rajendra82, Mar 08, 2004
Photo of masikon
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.

masikon, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of GreenCard
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%

A generous gift from a fellow BA. I cellared it for as long as I could, but had to bust it open today because it has been a crappy weekend and I'm dog-tired of English ales. Anyway...

Appearance: deep amber, slight haze, sudsy layer of yellowy foam that dissipates to a thin dusting of fine bubbles

Aroma: huge bouquet of pine sap, dark brown sugar, bitter almonds, alcohol, chocolate, rich caramelly malts, and sherry

Flavor: starts off with a big, chewy dose of malt that tries desperately to get sweet but it is kept deftly at bay by burly hop bitterness in riot gear; hop flavor is sappy and quite earthy; the bitterness akin to unripe persimmons or peach pits, but it's not overwhelming; also notes of sherry and fresh hop leaves; plumes of alcohol; finishes semi-sweet with an aftertaste of the aforementioned hop flavor/bitterness and dark caramel

Mouthfeel: full body, big hits of alcohol warmth, fine carbonation

Other comments: I've often been disappointed in Stone Brewing; the feeling of the beer not living up to the hype, usually. However, this beer is exceedingly good and a fantastic pick-me-up on this cold English winter day. The guys across the street at the Hyde Tavern can keep their Greene King ales, I'm happy right where I am, drinking this luscious barleywine!

GreenCard, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev -5.2%

mjtiernan, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Southernbrew
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.

Southernbrew, Sep 11, 2004
Photo of lackenhauser
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Absolutely gorgeous deep orange color with a nice head that leaves some great lace on the top of the glass.Strong aroma-hops/malt.Nice bitterness-not as big as some US barleywines.Slight sweetness-toasted flavor,a trace of smoke.Alcohol burn in the backround.Definately shows its strength.Pleasant mouthfeel-the alcohol bite is there.Could be a tad fuller for my liking.Overall a great barleywine and another great beer from Stone-these guys are rapidly becoming my favorite brewery-how about a Maryland distributor?

lackenhauser, Apr 15, 2004
Photo of beerpadawan
4/5  rDev -5.2%

beerpadawan, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of Wildman
4/5  rDev -5.2%

This year's version of Stone's barleywine is more potent at 10%. It pours lighter than last year's though, a nice copper color forming a foamy off white head that vanished leaving lacticed lace on the sides. Very little visible carbonation, even with the nice head. An aroma of hops and malt that gets overpowered by the alcohol present. The taste was of hops and malt, but the alcohol once again seemed to cancel out other factors. A bitter finish to it. Not as good as last years, and seams more like an old ale. Is definately one that could use some cellaring to bring out some better qualities.

Wildman, Feb 20, 2004
Photo of SheepNutz
4/5  rDev -5.2%

22oz. bomber poured into a pint glass. It pours a light orange color with two fingers of head. A lot ligher in color than the 03. There is just a little bit of lace. The smell has lots of juicy hops. Pine and grapefruit really letting their presence be known. The taste has a slightly sweet malt background, but the hops are the stars of the show. A great floral hop finish. The mouthfeel is nice and strong. The drinkability is good too, for being such a strong brew. I <3 Stone.

SheepNutz, Oct 19, 2004
Photo of mickeymac
4/5  rDev -5.2%

New Year, Old Guardian. This one is noticeably lighter in color than previous vintages. It looks more like an IPA than it does an '03 OG. This is Stone, so hops are expected in the smell, but this OG has a fairly strong candy-like smell: a bit like a fruity jawbreaker. The taste also seems considerably sweeter than it did in previous years. It's nicely drinkable for a freshly brewed barleywine, and I'll look forward to re-sampling this one next year.

mickeymac, Mar 29, 2004
Photo of 2beerdogs
4/5  rDev -5.2%

2beerdogs, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of mschofield
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Pours either a hazy or just really dark and opaque peach amber-brown, topped with a three finger pillowy khaki head, leaves puffy bits of lacing.
Citrus, tea and floral aroma, biscuit base, dark fruit.
Distincitve Stone taste, peppery and warming, rum soaked apples, wood, tannic note, citrus.
Like Arrogant Bastard on steroids and beer growth hormone.
Full bodied.

mschofield, Nov 03, 2004
Photo of kmpitz2
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

Had this along side the 03. This beer was a nice tea color with 2 fingers of head that falls to cover over the beer. The nose is all about hops. The earthy hops are just all up in my face. I got a hint of a cherry in the nose too. The flavor follows the nose down a trail of hoppy intrigue where I found some good earthy and piney flavors. Yum. As expected, this was a thick, full-bodied beer. The drinkability is just a shade low on this one. I can see where another year or two will mellow out the hop and make it really good. Overall a very good beer. Thankd to brother Sheep again for this one.

kmpitz2, Oct 20, 2004
Photo of PSUDREW
4.05/5  rDev -4%

Wow, while not a huge fan of barelywine, this is a nice standout. Yes, dfh, and, victory reviews are worth merit, these, are still something more.

It pours, a dark amber color, with a thick, rich head and a nice, solid, citrusy smell

Hmmmm, as for the taste, well, it has a definate malty profile, and an afterthough of hop. The hopos do show up in force, but, the malts are definately the centerpeice fo this show. Yes, there are hints of hops, spices, and a nice mix of esters, but, the malt is the centerpeice definately.

Stone, once, again, hasproven to em their diverse flavors and abilitis, they can go the distance with any brewer, well played boys, well played

PSUDREW, Mar 07, 2004
Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%

Thanks to Habmike for the generous extra and chance to try this 6 year old barleywine again after just having it about 3 weeks ago on tap. This time it comes to me in the form of a small swingtop growler.

Poured into a stone pint glass, this brew appears a perfectly clear golden orange color with less than a finger of creamy lightly yellowish stained head. It dissipates fast to just a collection of bubbles around the perimeter of the glass. A swirl agitates some bubbles out of solution that again forms a thin film across the top of the brew that dissolves fast. Faint spotty lacing is left on the glass.

The aroma is sweet and floral with hops that also give off the impression of some herbal quality. The sweetness of the nose is a mixture of caramel like malt blended with some candy scents that flirt with vanilla character. A light indication of alcohol esters are also noted but they come across very subtle and really accent the other qualities of this brew's smell. After this brew is warm, iip your nose a little too close and this brew brings out quite a solvent quality.

The taste is toasty caramel malt with a candy like sweetness that has a flavor of orange rind meets vanilla. The alcohol is more evident in the flavor than in the nose, but yet again it is subtle and accents the other flavors except for the warming finish it produces. The hops are more evident than in the nose with a bitter herbal aspect that clings in the mouth blended with the toasted grain flavor. Once this brew really warms up, the alcohol has a bit of a solvent kick to it.

This is a full bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. A pleasure to drink and is completely deceiving in the way the alcohol initially has little to no impact and then brings out a numbing power to the tongue and warmth straight through the back of the throat and into the stomach. Despite the initial big sweetness, there was plenty of herbal hops left over to balance it out.

stakem, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%

Resplendent reddish orange, like sparkling amaretto. Superfine bubbles slowly wander up to a creamy, orange mousse-like head that is surprisingly large given the ABV. Not only that, but the cap persists remarkably well and is gracing the snifter with a fair amount of lace. Another beauty from the boys at Stone.

There are no surprises in the nose. I smell the typical oranges and cherries macerated in their respective fruit brandies, along with a toasted, caramel maltiness. According to Greg's stream of consciousness blurb on the back of the bottle, the malt is pale and Munich and the hops are Amarillo. I wish I was able to identify the distinctive characteristics of that particular hop, but I can't.

If the truth were known, I plum forgot that this '04 Old Guardian was in my cellar. I reviewed the '03 OG after two years of rest and it looks like this one will have one more year on it than that. My first mouthful tells me that the alcohol is still prominent. It isn't a snarling, slavering beast by any means, but another year or two would allow it to become better behaved.

There's no doubt that Stone brews a good American barleywine. The Munich malt provides an earthy, toasted flavor that's a bit different. I might have used caramel malt instead, but that's just me. As the beer approaches room temperature, orange peel soaked in Cointreau comes to the fore. That has to be the Amarillo talking. How can a three year old beer still be this gloriously bitter? The label says that 'tons o' hops' were used. Believe it.

I may have spoken too soon about the upfront alcohol. Maybe it's the fact that the beer is now barely cool, maybe it's the fact that my tongue is beginning to numb, who knows? At this point (mid-bomber), I'm inclined to bump the drinkablity score one notch. This stuff is damn near as warming as three fingers of good Scotch.

Was there ever any doubt that the mouthfeel would be luxurious? When a beer is this chock full of malt, it has no choice but to be pure pleasure in the mouth. Here is where age has been a boon. Each mouthful is pure, heavily silky, barely bubbled pleasure.

I'll try not to wait three years to review the '06 and '07 Old Guardians that are currently hibernating in my cellar. On the other hand, I've never been a fan of unintegrated alcohol. Maybe the fresh, buzzsaw nature of the hops will make up for it and I'll prefer this beast fresh. If you're sitting on an '04 OG, drink it now or wait until '08... or '09... or '10... or...

BuckeyeNation, Sep 28, 2007
Photo of watermelonman
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.

watermelonman, Mar 10, 2004
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.