Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
District of Columbia
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
Shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.
The beer is bright orange and pretty clear, with a thin white head that leaves sparse lacing on the glass. The aroma is simple and straightforward, primarily offering a slightly sweet malt. The flavor and feel far exceed the unremarkable aroma. Age has served this beer quite well. Easy drinking and smooth. Not as good as the Stonewall I enjoyed just prior, but still a tasty example of the style. Definitely the best of the Old Guardian series that I have had.
03-31-2012 16:16:55 | More by Huhzubendah
4.78/5 rDev +13.3%
Enjoyed this on-tap at Duckworth's in Charlotte several times after the Stone event. These notes are from 10/7/10.
clear, rich amber color; some lacing and low retension
sweet aroma of honey, maybe some vanilla
you can taste the alcohol up front but it is not hot, very smooth; some mild floral and herbal flavors along with the sweet throughout; honey and toffee
pretty amazing mouthfeel I thought; nice firm, small, smooth carbonation; slight slippery feel with honey linger; a little burnt flavor with the honey linger
very drinkable overall; sweetness is not overpowering allowing subtle herbal and spice notes to be known; great smell, taste, and mouth with a 10% abv; tastes much better than the 08 or 10 vintages imho.
10-25-2010 05:29:01 | More by cwguy5
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.
10-22-2010 01:36:26 | More by stakem
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
How often do you get a 6 year old barleywine on draft. Not too often.
Beer is red and nearly completely clear. Head is tight and thin with tiny off white bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.
Aroma is malty, not much else.
Beer is mildlly bitter, strong, big bodied, creamy smooth, very nice overall. Beer isn't hot, very drinkable for a barleywine, its quite good. My favorite out of the four versions of this beer I tried.
10-08-2010 18:29:39 | More by drabmuh
3.58/5 rDev -15.2%
On tap at Churchkey.
Pours a reddish light brown with a tiny off white head and a few whisps of lacing. Nose is fairly one dimensional with some sweet fruity malts, although--believe it or not--there are still some hops present. Taste brings a bit more fruit along with some light caramel. Sweet malt dominates. Medium body with good carbonation and almost mo booze. Drinks fairly well but for somethig this I old I was expectig a bit more depth of flavor.
10-06-2010 11:48:18 | More by Thorpe429
4.22/5 rDev 0%
Pulled this bottle out of the cellar. Consumed at DLD...review from notes.
A- Poured a light hazy amberish brown color. Half finger off white head comes and goes rather quickly. No lacing as I drink this beer down. Not much of a looker but it's old so I give it the benefit of the doubt.
S- Good strong caramel and toffee malts come through this. The alcohol doesn't burn the nose but is a lot mellow than fresh. Some light darker fruits in this but still a little mellow in the aroma department. Some sweet almost light maple in the ending of this beer makes it all come together.
T- The age of this did tame the beast I thought. It drinks very very smooth and doesn't have a lot of alcohol heat to it. Big caramel malts clash with faded hops and light darker fruits. A sweetness to this makes the beer gently pass through the palate with ease.
M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little flat but I think it's forgiven since it is a older beer. Sweet malts left on the palate with some light alcohol in the aftertaste. Light oxidation which I expected. Flavors blend together very smoothly without a stop and jerk motion with the flavor.
D- This beer was a pleasant surprise. The beer ages wonderfully and I expect this beer could have gone a couple more years before a decline in taste would be apparent. Drinking toward its prime I think. Damn you Stone...you make a good beer like usual!
05-07-2010 23:11:28 | More by alleykatking
3.73/5 rDev -11.6%
Consumed Feb 7th, 2010 at Stone World Bistro.
Cloudy medium yellow with a fine white head.
Not especially aromatic, but there is a sugary maple syrup sort of note.
Still flavorful after all this time. Primary palate note is a sweet, maple syrup sort of character. Faint herbal traces. Significant bitterness on finish.
Still has some alcohol heat, interestingly enough. Mouthfeel unremarkable aside from a slight thickness.
Age has changed it but not really tamed it. Not really very tasty, though unflawed and quite drinkable.
03-03-2010 16:55:52 | More by charlzm
4.33/5 rDev +2.6%
Thanks a ton Matt for the Growler fill of a lifetime. Great trading with you and I hope to do it again soon.
Pours a really nice glowing amber orange haze. Light yellow head that dissipates pretty fast but considering the age and style I didn't expect much in this department of looks. Very still beer but after 4 years I'd hope that be the case.
As I stick my nose into the glass I get a very milky scent with some good smooth caramel and toffee. Wow does this smell great, I can't get over how pronounced these two elements of the smell are. Some light Peach and possibly even apricot come through as well. Not overly sweet, but really pleasant smell that is hard to look past.
WOW, this one really plays with your taste buds. An initially very tangy bite on the tongue sends warning signals that this is going to be an interesting ride. I thought it was going to be a little bit smoother, but nonetheless, this beer glides down your palate, through your throat, and into yo' bellayyyy. Really nice and not over the top oak components. Died down hops add some flair, and tons of caramel. Touches of honey. Slight heat on the tail but my taste buds have been rather sensitive to this lately. Really well done, I can't wait to see how the other years turn out.
02-04-2009 06:57:09 | More by CoolJosh
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
4.38/5 rDev +3.8%
On Tap @ O'Brien's. 2004 vintage. Consumed summer 2006 Clear orange color with chunks of creamy tan head floating along the viscous barrier between air and elixir. Sweet malt and dark fruit aroma punctuated by some hop nose. Full Barleywine malt and fruitiness with thick smooth peanut butter mouthfeel. The hops have really evened out. Delicious. Had this side by side with the 2005 vintage (on tap too).
11-17-2008 02:54:28 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
3.58/5 rDev -15.2%
Appearance: Pours a dark, obscured, rich amber body with a thin, beige head.
Smell: A far lighter aroma when compared with earlier vintages ('02, '03). Faint, far off caramel malts and fruit and well, that's about it.
Taste: Vague caramel maltiness with a medium sweetness. Far less fruitiness present than the 2002 and 2003. The hops aren't nearly as citrusy, but they do have a ramped up wooden quality to them. Medium-plus bitterness throughout. Finishes bittersweet with a touch of heat at the very end.
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.
Drinkability: Enjoyed as part of a vertical spanning the vintages between 2002 and 2007. The 2004 really was the letdown of the group, displaying a weak aroma, a far less punchy malt character, even a dead hop profile. It certainly was no 2003!
09-09-2008 03:40:37 | More by ChainGangGuy
4.47/5 rDev +5.9%
a = Great hazy amber color. Thin head with average retension. Little lacing.
s = Very aromatic, slightly citrusy smell.
t = Tastes great. Lots of subtle citrus flavors. Still has a bit of an alcohol taste after aging for 4 years, but it's not overwhelming by any means.
m = Very smooth mouthfeel. Goes down with ease and makes you want to take another sip.
d = This one seems to be easier to drink if it's served on the cooler side. As it warms up, the alcohol taste come out a bit more.
I went to the Stone Brewery last night and they had a special tap of 2004 Old Guardian for growler fills. After aging for 4 years, I was very excited to try this one, and it doesn't dissapoint.
This is an excelent example of how a barleywine should taste, and how they get better with age. All the subtle citrus and spice flavors (orange zest, anise, etc.) are more evident when drinking this on the cooler side. It's very smooth with a bit of tangyness to it. As it warms up to room tempature, the alcohol flavor starts coming out more, and makes it a bit harder to drink.
05-11-2008 16:21:55 | More by djaeon
3.28/5 rDev -22.3%
Tasted this side by side with other Old Guardian vintages in taster glasses that were a couple ounces each at Stone Winter Storm for two dollars a piece
Color was a deep amber with a light red tint when held up to the light, small frothy 1/2 inch vanilla colored head, not much retention and a small amount of lacing, there were definitely a few things floating around at the bottom of the glass
Smell had lots of caramel to go along with some grapefruit and piney hops, tons of malt throughout the aroma, sweet boozy scents as well, some flower and resin aromas at times too
Taste was dominated by caramel, needed some more pine hoppiness to balance this out, also some dark fruit tastes like prunes and red apples, too much malt going on here, some grapefruit came to the surface as it warmed in my hand, still not enough hops, expected this one to be a lot more mellow after this long but it was still a little too strong for me, could use another three years of age probably, sweet malty barleywine overall
Body was pretty thick and syrupy, pretty smooth nevertheless, somewhat bitter mouthfeel which was impressive to see after three years, taste lasted a long time
Could not have drank too much of this, even though the ten percent alcohol is hidden well, it would have eventually hit me hard, taste is pretty dimensional, so the taste keeps you coming back for more, pretty heavy on the stomach though
Probably my least favorite year of OG, but still better than a lot of barleywines out there, I think I would prefer this beer with at least five years of age, still keeps the hop character up for that long and does not let the sweet malt overpower everything, still glad I tried it and am sorry I skipped the 2002 and 2003 bottles that were there but I would not have been able to review beers if I had kept drinking,
01-30-2008 04:43:48 | More by Floydster
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
Old bottle of well aged BW, yum. Clear and clean amber, frothy tan head. Juicy aroma of citrus and caramel, then a smooth classic BW quaff. Gooey caramel, but finishing with a nice dose of hop pop. More citrus bubblegum than in a normal BW.
A nice Sunday afternoon sipper, no hint of a double digit alcohol dragon lurking underneath. Quite a treat.
01-06-2008 20:09:44 | More by Vancer
4.1/5 rDev -2.8%
Orangeish, vibrant colored pour. No real head (to be expected at this point. Surprisingly, retained some carbonation.
Taste of huge pine, grapefruit, and citrus. Some malt/sweetness, but surprisingly bitter for a beer of this style. Pleasant and enjoyable, but I wouldn't want this every day (and I won't be getting it that often, either).
11-26-2007 06:32:01 | More by Overlord
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
11/15/07- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.
Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2004 release. Poured into my Stone Old Gaurdian tulip/snifter style glass.
Appearance- Very lovely color. Almost liquor like. A soft light brown-orangish color. Lively 3/4 inch clean white head upon pour. Leaves the slightest rim as consumption begins. Very sticky cobweb style lacing remains.
Smell- Score again! Boquet of fresh grapefruit and pine hops plus the added behifit of a sweet caramely nose as well. Alcohol is also noted in the aroma.
Taste- You can definitely taste the booze in this one. Well, 3 1/2 years in the cellar has done this beer wonders. The hops still remain fresh, strong, ultra bitter and flavorful with ripe grapefruit and fresh pine needles and the malt has become very carmelized. Almost like a liquid caramello bar.
Mouthfeel- Smooth, even with a mid range fiesty carbonation level. Bitter aftertaste, but not as lasting as expected.
Drinkability- Guess I know how long to cellar this brew for. I can barely stomach it when it's fresh, but now it's quite outstanding. Drink now....
11-16-2007 22:12:52 | More by GClarkage
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...
09-28-2007 15:37:33 | More by BuckeyeNation
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
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.