Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
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
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
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.
03-08-2004 03:09:30 | More by rajendra82
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.
02-20-2004 04:29:29 | More by Wildman
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
4.4/5 rDev +4.3%
On tap at Stone Winter Storm
A: A dull cloudy tangering copperish color with almost no head. A fine ring of beige surrounds the glass adding an amusing contrast. Little agitation to the beer causes the bubbles to come forth from the depths.
S: Orange, toffee, grapefruit rind and raisin.
T: Begins with a healthy mix of caramel, cherry and bubblegum. There is a transition happening with the malt and sugars in this brew...Its in the beginning stages of converting to outrageous toffee flavors...but its not there yet. Marshmallow, apricot and mellon add a nice fruity component. Bitterness remains but its controlled and not too overpowering. Finishes sweet with honey, yellow fruit and a friendly kick of alcohol.
M: Full bodied with a syrupy mouthfeel.
D: This barleywine is getting close the perfect age IMO. Its could still use another 16 months or so to get it perfect. I'm certainly thankful to have had the opportunity to try this on tap.
01-01-2007 20:47:28 | More by Westsidethreat
4.33/5 rDev +2.6%
It pours a glimmering clear copper with flecks of amber. Two fingers of off-white head swell then ebb quickly to islets of fine foam. Curlicues of lacing lie plastered to the side of the glass.
The aroma brings the dense air of toasted malt to the fore, accompanied by a note of toffee. A dry citrus aura partners with an almost minty floral perfume. The estery vapor of alcohol makes itself well known throughout.
In the flavor, a well-developed caramel malt character delivers a restrained sweetness. A mildly fruity strain of currants slips along the tongue, then is trailed into the middle ground by dry grapefruit and floral notes of hops. A gregarious, warming river of alcohol raises its voice well and loudly. A biscuity malt presence steps toward the exit, followed by a hoppy dry bitterness at the finish. It's big and thick, but the basic flavors wraps its beefy arms around you and warms the cockles of your heart.
Medium to heavy bodied, the palate is lubricated and coated by the full components that are in play. A dry hops glow rings the back of the mouth and fades slowly.
This beer is about big heaps of malt, a lot of hops, and has a warm, happy soul. The balance impresses because the elements are so dense and weighty. But as much of it as there is, there doesn't seem to be too much of anything. The ABV is as substantial as the rest of the beer, not only warming the gullet, but also plying its trade on one's head as well, so that certainly bears watching. Yet the flavor makes any reasonable quantity a truly worthwhile pleasure. Once again, Stone steps out larger than life in a big, good way. And another bottle is cellared for a chilly March evening a year from now.
04-01-2004 18:01:53 | More by Foxman
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
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.
11-03-2004 00:44:08 | More by mschofield
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!
11-27-2005 17:42:37 | More by GreenCard
4.78/5 rDev +13.3%
Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. I'd stored this away when I bought it two years ago in the hopes a bit of aging would take the edge off the alcohol bite. I'm happy to say the delayed gratification was justified.
Hitting the glass, the '04 OG had a lustrous apricot hue, vibrant and finely spun out carbonation and a well-formed head that produced ghostly lace.
The nose was thickly sweet with a nice fruitiness and splash of caramel mixed with a good contrasting herbal hops aroma. Alcohol is there but not in the raw, nose-tweaking manner of many a fresh barleywine.
Holy crap, this is one fine b-wine! Thick, full feel coated the tongue in a fruity sugary sweetness imbued with hearty caramel malts. Hops are integrated seamlessly and entwined deeply across the palate. The alcohol content has mellowed and lacks the rawness and harshness I've encountered all too often in a barleywine.
Cellaring Stone's '04 Old Guardian was a 100% success. Lush feel, outstanding nose, and a perfect blending of flavors has made me wish I'd stashed more than one away for the long haul. If you have one lying about, now might be the right time to give it a go. Simply sublime.
02-26-2006 19:28:41 | More by Boilermaker88
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
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
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.
02-23-2004 03:07:29 | More by beergeek279
4.22/5 rDev 0%
I always find myself intrigued by Stone beers, carrying the weight of disappointment at Arrogant Bastard not living up to the hype but knowing that the craftsmanship is top notch, the attitude of the utmost character, and the flavors of the highest intensity.
And I have to say: This is one of my favorites from Stone. Not quite the unexpected love I had for the IPA but not the "above average yet not satisfying" feeling I had from Arrogant Bastard.
The color of 300 degree carmelized sugar ready to be pulled into strings. Moderately sized head. Alcohol weighs heavily on the nose, but the booze can't drown out the caramel and estery aromas. Thick, chewy medium to full body that rolls around on the tongue like squished, melty Jello. Not as overtly hopped as I expected; that is to say, the hops are balancing but not dominant. Robust caramel flavors are the initial treat; and a pleasant wave of grapefruity hops and esters hinting at unripened tropical fruits begin the slide to the pine sap bitterness that leaves a delightful hoppy aftertaste.
04-26-2004 20:18:49 | More by marburg
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
4.28/5 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
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
4.1/5 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
4.15/5 rDev -1.7%
This beer pours a nice golden brown color with a white head with slight orange coloring to it. The head fades very slowly leaving very thick laces. This beer smells fruity. There are hints of molases. The alcohol aroma is very apparent. The hop presence is also very apparent. It has a floral taste to it. A little piney also. The alcohol is also very apparent in the taste. It is very sweet. It is thick and syrup like. It goes down smooth leaving a taste of alcohol on the palate. It warms the throat just a little. This is a full bodied beer with an aggressive flavor and a smooth finish. It is not a good session beer because it is so strong in alcohol. IF you ever come across this beer, you should definately try it. I wonder what it would taste like if I aged it for a few years.
04-23-2005 21:26:42 | More by OStrungT
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
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.