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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 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 ppoitras
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%

22ozer bottle from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, a bubbling frenzy that concluded with an inch tall slightly off-white colored head on top of a honey amber colored brew. Not much jumps out at me from the nose, nothing bad, but nothing terribly outstanding either. However, the taste is where it's at: All sorts of stuff going on! We've got the initial hop bite for such a young barleywine, then the malt kicks in and runs around on your tongue, and then the alcohol kick just moseys up on up and starts kicking butt everywhere. Interesting doesn't begin to describe what the Old Guardian got happening. Definitely a cellarable offering, maybe smooth out the alcohol profile just a bit.

ppoitras, Mar 07, 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 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 stewart124
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%

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!

stewart124, Feb 28, 2004
Photo of BierReise
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Deep golden with an orange hue and a thick head of foam that slowly developed as I poured. This is one heavy looking brew. Aroma is exploding with hops and sweet malt. Tropical fruit and citrus come to mind also with a bit of doughiness in the background. Hops are really out front here. Body is ultra smooth and full with low carbonation. The flavor here is really fantastic and I wouldn't expect anything less from one of the best breweries anywhere.(God how do they continue to do it?) Lots of fruit in the flavor and bittering hops with a huge malt base that blends everything together. There's also something spicy in there that I can not define yet adds to the enjoyment. Overall one I could drink often as with anything by Stone. Nice going guys!

BierReise, Feb 28, 2004
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%

I was expecting this to be overwhelming, but it was actually quite drinkable. Nice, full body (as expected) with an excellent malt profile. I was pleasantly suprised not to experience an out-and-out hops assault. There were plenty of hops, for sure, but not overly so (as if ususally the case with the big micros). Not much head, but I wouldn't expect it here. This is one I would drink on occasion if I can get it. I've yet to have a Stone beer that isn't excellent.

JohnnyDuvel, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of Gusler
4.43/5  rDev +5%

One of my favorite beers that I look for each year, and one I get by the case. The beer as it renounces the 22 ounce bottle in favor of my beer glass is a tralucent deep copper color, the head is behemothic in size and spumous in texture, after it dissolves, the lace forms a thick blanket to cover the glass. The aroma of hops, fusel alcohol, fresh pineapple also sweet cotton candy like tones, a real treat for the schnozzle and the peepers, start is ambrosial, rich in malt, the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is controlled in its acidity, the hops unyielding in their spiciness with the aftertaste bone-dry, and long lasting, the 10.6% ABV produces a nice touch of alcohol bitterness and a definite belly warming sensation, a “Hoot” as it is every year, and it only gets better with age just like “Old Gusler”?

"bonum beer laetificat cor hominis"

Gusler, Feb 25, 2004
Photo of beergeek279
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%

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.

beergeek279, Feb 23, 2004
Photo of RootedFool
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%

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!

RootedFool, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of oberon
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.

oberon, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of Ellbert
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%

This was my first ever taste of Sone Old Guardian Barley Wine. I have not had the other years. I was looking forward to trying it.

Served around 55 Degrees

Appearance: A very rocky head made it look beautiful to me. This was a head like no other with many peaks and vallies. The beer itself was clean as a whistle, very clear as is with most Stone beers.

Smell: Very big aroma with sweetness being first then hops coming up quick with just a short but sharp hop aroma and alcohol even warms you at the end of the smell.

Taste: A huge beer. Huge malt presence, not sweet but huge and malty. Hops are there but are mellow compared to what I expected from this beer. Alcohol is very spicy at the end which really warmed me. MMmmmm

Mouthfeel: Excellent full bodied chewy meaty eat it with a fork and knife beer. Just the kind of body I look for in a barley wine.

Not very drinkable only because of the alcohol. I would want to drink this one till I die though.... so good.

Ellbert, Feb 21, 2004
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 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 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 TheLongBeachBum
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%

Presentation: No surprises for Stone Fans, this comes in the usual gold and red screen printed Stone Old Guardian Bottle that has been around for several years now. The only changes to the presentation, are little alterations here and there. It reveals its heritage with a ‘Limited Winter ’04 Release’ date in a starburst at the top left corner on the front of the bottle. Stronger than previous years I note, the strength is listed at 10.06% in the bottom left of the obverse label. I see that Greg has still not lost his knack for the entertaining diatribes that decorate the reverse of the label. I read it twice and still had no fucking idea what the hell was going on. Apart from the fact that a lot of “screwing around” appears to take place at Stone, I always love the way that they poke fun at themselves, and the serious amongst us, as well enforcing my hatred for the trend towards beer with no carbs, no sugar, no calories, and erm….no taste. “Guarding against all things lifeless, lackluster and lo-carb”. Gotta love the Stone ethos!!!

Appearance: The first surprise was the color, unless I am very much mistaken, I think that this is much lighter than previous years. Without previous years to compare to that’s hard to qualify right now though. Perfectly lucid, it pours with a dark copper color, the head is off-white and it is supported by immense levels of dissolved carbonation, yet it is released in a controlled manner and helps to maintain a nice thick looking ¼” head when swirled. Minimal lacing is easily removed when I swirl the beer.

Nose: Strong alcohol acts like a solvent and dissolves malts and some light sugary caramel together with a strong whiff of freshly harvested hops mixed with some tropical fruits. Juicy and fresh, the hops really come through in the nose when deeply inhaled.

Taste: This has some tastes that I find I cannot explain. I will do my best. Suffice to say there is a “strong ale” flavor, rather than a Barleywine feel to this youngster. It reminds me of a few strong bitters that I drank in the UK around winter time, in particular it reminded me of Burton Bridge Old Expensive Ale that I tried on Cask many years ago in the UK. A strong bitter-sweet taste that is neither overwhelmingly bitter, nor sweet, if that makes sense. Big Malts and Hops, yet it’s almost as if the bitterness cuts right through the heavy malts and edges it at this moment in time. Some fruitiness mingles here and there. Time may well alter the balance. Lingering bitterness on the cheeks does not come through on the tongue until long after the beer is swallowed. Powerful.

Mouthfeel: Finishes with a very light alcoholic kick at the end that really does feel as though it will get warmer, but somehow never does, well not until it hits the stomach at least. I had a strong home made Curry tonight, but even so, the burps this induces (no doubt from the carbonation) really take the edge off of my Beef Madras with their juicy hop oils. Quite something.

Drinkability: It went down with no struggles whatsoever! I even considered cracking open a second but it’s getting late. Very drinkable. But I’m biased, I love Stone and I love Old Guardian.

Overall: Still a little raw, but no surprises there. I’m lucky, I managed to get a case of this, and I feel that the journey though the Box at 2 to 3 monthly intervals will certainly be a fascinating one. Maybe it needs time to reach its Zenith. Still, I can’t wait to update this Review!

Buy a Case of this and take the journey with me!

No disappointments, not your usual Barleywine, just another quality offering from Stone.

TheLongBeachBum, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of kmcnair
4.88/5  rDev +15.6%

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!

kmcnair, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of Dmann
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.

Dmann, Feb 14, 2004
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.