Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
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!
02-17-2004 07:01:23 | More by kmcnair
4.72/5 rDev +11.8%
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.
12-21-2005 04:21:39 | More by hustlemuscle
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
4.83/5 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
4.72/5 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
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
I jumped at the opportunity to fill my growler with this retired beer this weekend at Stone Brewing Co. Offered as their Saturday Night Special, I couldn't help but speed up the 15 in hopes that some of this brew would be left for me. I was about 15th in line when I got there, but was still able to grab some.
A: Poured an amber/orange color barely penetrable to light, with plenty of carbonation (surprising). A nice, cream-colored 1.5 finger head layer tops my glass and fades slowly, leaving patchy lace down my glass.
S: Strong, sweet malty goodness abounds into my nostrils as I barely lift the glass to better observe the aroma. Classic Stone hop characteristic is still noticeable.
T: Very smooth! The taste is similar, but still quite departed from the way this beer smells. On nose, there is heavy alcohol and sweet malt notes. At taste, the malt sweetness continues, but the beer is very smooth and creamy. The body has a smooth, but strong alcohol (brandy-like) quality.
M: Rich, creamy and complex. Delicious from sip to swallow. A slight alcohol warming affect is noted.
D: I can't believe how good this beer is. I wish I had a fresh one to compare side by side, but from what I can remember this is still quite similar in some aspects. The taste has smoothed out substantially, but the nose reminds me of the fresh version.
12-28-2008 01:20:16 | More by d0ggnate
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
4.13/5 rDev -2.1%
(Couldn't make it to Stone for the winter storm so I have been making my own.)
Appears bright and intense orange/copper in the glass with a small but fluffy cream-colored head with good lacing.
Smells so unified and balanced now, with hops and malt finally able to settle all differences. Well, almost. Resins take center stage and every now and then the hops take a halfhearted swing at the nose. Alcohol shows up a bit too.
Taste still showcases the hops with somewhat surprising bitterness and citric notes, but it smooths out quickly, getting into, a soft vanilla-like malt, followed by very toasty caramel & honey (also a taste/feel verging on a smooth grape skin tannin/nut husk quality). Bitterness comes up again at finish, ending with a spicey hop and alcohol warmth.
Mouthfeel is medium/full feels richer to me (today) than any other time I've had it. Perhaps due to the the hops shyness and malt getting a bit more gregarious.
Still quite drinkable, but if you are on a tight schedule, drink it soon.
12-31-2006 01:53:41 | More by xymyl
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.
12-30-2005 02:12:01 | More by masikon
4.63/5 rDev +9.7%
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!
12-16-2005 02:31:13 | More by sockeye101
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
3.38/5 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
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
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
Pours a ruby-orange color with a healthy white head. Has a muted aroma of sweet malt with some spices and subtle hops, as well as a noticable presence of alcohol. The taste is smooth with the malt backbone dominating the initial flavor and giving way to the bitterness of the hops and a finish that is dominated by spicy alcohol. A wonderful, tingly mouthfeel fits the style perfectly, and it goes down smooth and delicious, especially considering the massive 10% abv.
Six months has done this beer immeasurable good. The alcohol has settled down and now blends wonderfully with the other flavors, not dominant as it was fresh. Near perfection now, but I didn't really enjoy it when it was fresh.
09-28-2004 01:36:24 | More by altctrlsdelete
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
Again I am lucky to go to school at Denison University where Brews Cafe is a mere half-mile away. The current most Arrogant Bar has had This year's old Guardian on tap for almost 2 months now and I made it a point to get down their and have a pint. The brew looked great as always with a copper body and a small tannish head. I got the impression from Stone's press release that it would be meatier than it was, but that just means my recollection of last year's edition is not so good. Becoming a theme in these reviews is that my nose is garbage and even all the hops and alcohol character could not penetrate the usual congestion. My nose however is not so worthless that taste was affected. The malt/hop balance provided for sweetness on the nose with the hops gradually taking over. It was a very dry finish overall with little aftertaste...Or it was just that the alcohol had done a number on my tongue like the burning sensation told me it did to my stomach. I'm not complaining, but I also didn't try GLBC's Black Stout as a "chaser" either.
04-05-2004 13:19:13 | More by StonedRugger
4.38/5 rDev +3.8%
This beer pours a deep carmel (almost burnt orange) with half finger head and little lacing. Smell is a bouquet of ripe fruits and spiciness a real thick and rich smell. The tast simply reaffirms the smell of ripe citrus fruits along with spices balanced by a smooth maltiness and great aftertaste. This is a special beer that should be cherished.
05-05-2005 02:56:51 | More by guinness9880
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.