Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
4.83/5 rDev +14.5%
--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!
09-07-2004 20:52:15 | More by FormatKid
4.28/5 rDev +1.4%
pour was a burnt orange, with a thick orange/white head. Heavy lacing left on the glass.
Initial aromas were predominatly floral, hoppy, with a little maltiness in the background.
as it sat in the glass, the hops toned down a bit to reveal some sweet candied fruit. That weird stuff you put in fruit cake :P.
flavor was much sweeter than I anticipated, almost velvety mouthfeel with a nice lingering, mildly bitter finish.
I plan on buying a few and stting them down for a while
09-05-2004 06:51:52 | More by Padron4KM
4.45/5 rDev +5.5%
Pours a beautiful red color with small off white head that disappears quickly, very few stray bubbles rising. Aroma caramel, malt with light fruity hints and a citrusy, floral hop aroma. Tastes great malt sweet malt caramel with fruit flavors rising here and there along with a good hop flavor and bitter bite. Taste is smooth complex and enjoyable hard to believe its over 10% abv. Drinkability is great finished bomber no problem at all in less then hour wanting to open another I have hiding downstairs, must resist the temptation. Mouthfeel is little light compared to others I have had kind of strange but who really cares just makes it that much more drinkable. Think I will buy few more for safe keeping. Want to thank Stone for finally letting us in Tenn. try this great beer please let our Distributers have all your beers and I will be one happy man!
08-28-2004 00:53:29 | More by mntlover
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
Top notch and potent. Pours a amber orange red with off white head that is excellent, lacing is great. The smell is strong of pine and citrus hops. A semi molasses sweet malt is pleasant as well. The taste is over the top hoppiness witch a west coast BA like myselft loves. A pine citrus taste is great to the tongue. A medium bodied Barley wine that is both smooth and goes down easy, great for this style. Damn good.
08-19-2004 05:47:32 | More by beertaster13
4.78/5 rDev +13.3%
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 doesnt know how to make a bad beer.
08-10-2004 09:02:44 | More by taez555
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
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
4.25/5 rDev +0.7%
Saw a bottle of this at AJ's and it was screaming "Try Me!"
This coppery colored brew poured a nice head that maintained throughout most of the glass that I had. This has the classic Stone smell along with conotations of elements that are sweet in nature. Taste starts off as classic Stone but then one gets hammered by the sweet malt finish. The guys at Stone did a very nice job of disguising the high alcohol content as this brew comes together very well. This brew gives your palate a workout as it is full and lively. Overall this is a very drinkable beer albeit a dangerous one as the ABV sneaks up on you.
07-29-2004 11:58:05 | More by arizcards
4.13/5 rDev -2.1%
Appearance: The body is a clear light copper color, with noticable carbonation and a head of about an inch that fades to a clumpy lace.
Smell: Sweet hops mix nicely with the malted barley to make a full nose. Not much else to say except that this is very nice. Ok; light vanilla, oak, raisin and fermented banana.
Taste: nowhere near as heavy as I would have expected. Super thin; weak malt profile doesn't lend much to the tastebuds. This is light and also deadly. It really doesn't impress very much in the way of extremist flavor like every other Stone beer does. It's actually noicely balanced, haps a bit waek on the hops, and definitely too much on the rambling (apologies, but I've barfed more meaningful sentences than this year's 'description') Anywhooo, it's not bad.. it's definitely the Bud Light of Barleywine. Wimpy malt plays second fiddle to wimpy hops and everyone walks out shaking their head.
Mouthfeeel: Too thin for a real barleywine. There's nothing wrong with this, it just doesn't have the malt profile of something like Old Ho. I try to taste every Stone I come across, and it's not fair to expect them to be the best at every style, just because they make some great brews. I still like this one though.
Drinkability: Perfectly light while still retaining an aspect of richness. Way too easy to drink. Five.
07-21-2004 19:08:22 | More by 99bottles
4.3/5 rDev +1.9%
22oz bottle with the standard stone look and gargoyle to ward off all the impurities. Pours a thick and hazy darker orange color with a good sized off white head that almost flowed out of the glass. The head retention was surprisingly good as it stayed about half an inch high through the consumption of this beer and left a nice lacing that slowly fades as you drink it. The nose had sweet malts mingling with citrus hops to form a well-balanced and appetizing aroma. A touch of alcohol comes out as it warms as well. Malty sweetness starts the taste off before the hops takeover to give it a kick. The finish is dry, with a slight hint of warming alcohol and a nice bitterness as well. Very thick mouthfeel that is rich warming and lasting. For a high alcohol beer this is very drinkable remind me of old horizontal how easy it goes down. Excellent stuff defiantly recommended, another top notch brew from stone.
07-08-2004 14:07:12 | More by meathookjones
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
4.43/5 rDev +5%
Not quite as good as last years version but I liked it well enough. Pours golden orange with a thick off-white head. Nice lacing through the entire glass. The aroma is big on malt, along with some hops, butter and alcohol. Rich-bodied and smooth despite the bitter hops and borderline harsh alcohol. There are also malt and grapefuit flavors in the mix. Despite being a little rough this is a good Barley Wine.
06-28-2004 16:40:35 | More by Dogbrick
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
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
Ah, the 2004 old guardian in it's normal red and gold 22oz bomber bottle. Let's see what this years has in stall for us.
Appearance: This stuff glugs out of the bottle and into my pint glass with a bloody red colour with a slightly tan head that lasts for quite a bit.
Smell: The aromas on this puppy are very good. I can smell sweet malts, booze, strong hops, and a candy-like sweetness as well.
Taste: The taste here is classic stone. This is very malty up front, with a candy-like sweetness. The hops move in for the kill in the middle and the finish is dry, boozy, and a bit intense.
Mouthfeel: This stuff is thick, rich, and warming, just like a good barleywine should be.
Drinkability: Very good, as always. This is an awesome barleywine that drinks easily.
Notes: Buy some of this now, before it is gone until next year!
06-22-2004 23:51:43 | More by francisweizen
4.28/5 rDev +1.4%
Crystal clear light brown/gold with an inch of foamy white head that laces nicely as it settles slowly.
Ingredients promise a whole buncha barley, and tons 'o hops. The barley is present as a carmelized odor, but the hops overpower this slightly.
Bitter at first due to the hops. At first swallow, the alcohol hits you right in the back of the throat, but if you let it warm in the mouth a sweet feeling takes over (through the finish). Improves as you quaff. Very good for the style.
06-16-2004 20:23:28 | More by cbl2
4.72/5 rDev +11.8%
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.
06-10-2004 15:40:28 | More by kegerator
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
4.43/5 rDev +5%
ok, that back label. what's THAT all about?
deep copper shade with a full creamy beige head leaving a nice lacing on the glass.
aroma of just mashed grains after the sparge, with a hint of honey sweetness. not like any i have smelled before. very distinctive.
after one sip, the alcohol is already making its presence felt. this is not a beer to be taken lightly. at first, the flavor starts like any other strong ale. but the finish deffinitely has a kick to it. bitterness, and the warmness of the alcohol really show through, though not so much that they take over the beer. sorry, barley wine.
as the temp rises, the flavor and mouthfeel smooth remarkably gaining an almost creamy consistency. this just feels great, begging you to gulp it down, but i know better.
well, after meeting my first Stone, i see what all the hype is about. Old Guardian, the pleasure was mine.
05-25-2004 15:00:42 | More by joecast
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
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%
Had this brew on cask at Mahars the other night! The brew poured to a pretty clear amber color with a nice head on top that seemed to stick around for a good time. The aromas of this brew are very pleasant with sweet malt along with a Pine and citrus hop! They seem to go perfectly together in this concoction! Oh yeah, just so you get an idea once you start to enjoy the taste of the brew it also has a bit of a alcohol aroma to it as it seems to be warning you to what is to come! The taste is fantastic! I am not usually a huge fan of Barley Wines as I have stayed away from them but this one has changed my feeling towards them! Must try more! Can definitely notice the maltiness and the citrus hop with hints of other fruit flavors swirling around. This was fantastic, could have enjoyed much more of this brew but did not want to be a babbling idiot on the way home! Wow that brew has some punch! Great experience, will have to try it again in other serving environments.
05-08-2004 12:58:08 | More by Stimack
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
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
4.22/5 rDev 0%
orange/copper color, clear not hazy, nice white soapy head disipates fairly quickly. Pine/citrus/slight alcohol aroma. Nice mouthfeel, just enoogh carbonation. For a 10% beer, flavor not as malty as you would think. Spicy/hops flavor. Very slight alcohol feel on back of mouth This is a very drinkable barley wine.
04-30-2004 01:05:02 | More by kennyo
4.1/5 rDev -2.8%
nice deep orange amber color with a decent sized white head the diminshes quickly. grapefruity hops dominate the smell along with pine, behind that brown sugar, pear, slight breadiness and caramel. good hop presence in the taste, with the pine dominating this time. fruity caramel malts, with a bit of molasses as well. slight cocoa taste towards the end. slight breadiness to the aftertaste along with some resinous, clinging to the back of your mouth, hops. a little alcohol at the end too, but not bad for 10%. this is pretty full bodied, but complex enough to handle it. very good barley wine, but i think stone could do some more with this. drinkability of 4.5 because it doesn't deserve 4's across the board.
04-29-2004 18:57:06 | More by kmo1030
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.