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
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
4.13/5 rDev -2.1%
Had this on tap at the Falling Rock during Barleywine month. They were pouring full pints which was nice but I would have preferred a snifter. The color was a nice ruddy orange with a creamy white head. The smell was a little toffee and a little hops. The taste was citrus-like and still very hoppy. A friend described tasting Captain Crunch in this beer. Yum. The only drawback was that it felt a little syrupy sweet and the ABV is pretty high. Still, this was a nice treat and I wish I had some bottles of it in the cellar. Guess I'll have to wait three years until the 07 gets some age on it.
02-13-2007 17:36:15 | More by ArrogantB
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
4.13/5 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
4.88/5 rDev +15.6%
A- 1/4" light tan head on a clear orange body with some amber in it (mostly orange though). Bir of a whitish collar with a bit of lacing (not much at all). Sticks to side of glass a bit too.
S- Nice citrus hop with some grass in there too. Malt is helping balance it out. Some caramel and toffee. Alcohol cuts through it all too. Not as sweet smelling as the others.
T- Toffee and caramel malt base. That helps even out the big dose of citrus hops. Grapefruit and a bit of orange too. Pretty sweet but not near as sweet as other years. Alcohol comes through too but is pretty well hidden but does have a nice soothing warmth to it. The bitterness lasts a long time and comes through on the first sip. The aftertaste has bitterness some citrus fruit rind and some toffee in there too.
M- Medium body with low carbonation that may be scratching on the medium side.
D- It is very good! Would be interesting to see how it comes out after about 4 or 5 years. Feels like it's totally different than 00-03.
12-08-2006 05:01:43 | More by BlindPig
3.9/5 rDev -7.6%
Cellared for almost 1.5 years. Pours a golden amber to rose-copper with a finger of tight, off-white head. Toffee and butterscotch on the nose, with a resinous, singed hop burn. Madeira notes indicate aging perhaps? A bit astringent overall. Butterscotch malt up front, with aged vinous edges. Toasted notes come through before a wallop of bitterness. Sharp and cleansing, if a bit one-dimensional. I like it though! Piney and warming in the finish, with port-like flashes. Full-bodied with a feel that borders on light syrup. Nice, but I think I prefer this BW fresher. But then again, I prefer most BWs fresher.
07-21-2006 03:03:09 | More by alexgash
4.15/5 rDev -1.7%
Had this draught last night at a tapping of the Old Gaurdian '04 and '06. Had them side by side. The '06 will be reviewed in the '06 listing.
Pours a light shade of a cloudy amber/brown. Very frothy head that dissipates rather quickly. Impressive lacing.
Nose of sweet malt and caramel. Very subdued hop aroma with some fig, clover, ant toffee in the background.
Wow once this beauty got to temp it you realize it was worth the 20 minutes of having too just smell and gaze at this beast. (Hmm beauty and the beast.) An explosion of malt, caramel, toffee, and baked hazlenuts. Good hop complexity albeit somewhat laid back.
Drinkability takes a slight hit because of the alcohol content. Started to get a bit intoxicated toward the end of this tasting (had a couple before it.)
What a well aged brew this was the vintage of choice by all. This brew can cellar many more years and not skip a beat but it's drinking so good right now why not try one.
04-21-2006 11:12:40 | More by mcallister
4.53/5 rDev +7.3%
22oz bomber, obtained a while back in my first BA trade from
appearance: beautiful pour, body is a glorious peach amber, shines like the freaking sun, very nice white foamy head and enough lacing on the snifter to keep me satisfied
smell: very explosive nose, thick sweet malts dominate the nose, strong caramel, inviting alcohol, juicy citrus-grapefruit hops existent but I would assume they have calmed since this one was bottled. aromas are very well balanced and smooth
taste: phenomenaly well balanced and smooth...not as much of a hop monster as i expected from stone, but this sample is aged...the result is one of the finest malt barleywines i have ever taste...smooth caramel, apple, grape, toasted thick malt....slightly bitter grapefruit-apricot hop bite catches up in the aftertaste. alcohol presence is not abrasive at all. outstanding
mouthfeel: medium-full body, extraordinarily smooth for a b-wine, creamy, slight hop bitterness, slight alcohol burn
drinkability: one of those beers you are glad is 22oz and not just 12
02-27-2006 01:03:07 | More by dirtylou
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
4.58/5 rDev +8.5%
I'm giving this beer a 4.5 for appearance despite its complete lack of head, because of the amazing color. It glows as if with an inner light, as though it could fill a dark room with sunset! An unreal color like the skin of a ripe peach. I've never seen anything like it before, and it's extremely inviting.
The smell fills out with the typical barleywine odor that I have a hard time describing - steamed asparagus drizzled with molasses, perhaps? Itr's the kind of smell that makes me go 'yep - barleywine', but I can't quite figure it out.
Ironic that the color reminds me of peaches and apricots, because I get extremely strong hints of those squishy fruits in the flavor of this very finely aged beer. It's got that steamed-grass smell, and a distinct caramel flavor - and in this beer, I can taste the hops, a bittering, floral addition. Wow, this is a really good barleywine, the best I've tried so far. The others I've tried have finished harshly, but this tumbles the alcohol into its flavors, then finishes with caramel and hop bitters, instead of ending up with nothing but alcohol.
The mouthfeel is awesome, it's like melted butter. Creamy, soft, smooth, and it gets into every crevice of the mouth, flowing voluptously.
Wow - so far my experiences with barleywine have been lackluster, but this aged '04 Stone version is outta control. I love it, plain and simple!
02-10-2006 02:01:20 | More by Tupperwolf
4.58/5 rDev +8.5%
Brown 22 ounce silk screened bottle. Two years old.
Glowing sunset amber. Thin beige coloured head, no lace.
Notes of hoppy pine & grapefruit. Apples, solvent, malty goodness. A very well balanced & inviting nose.
Rich & powerful. At 2 years a great balance between malt & hops. Some port-like flavours, along with toffee, apples, & plums. Medium-full bodied, lush, with slight carbonation. Ageing quite nicely, and I still love Amarillo hops.
02-05-2006 04:25:54 | More by xgrigorix
4.78/5 rDev +13.3%
I've reviewed this beer twice already? Hmm...
This one is the last OG '04 in my cellar. How i'll miss this particular vintage with its abstract blending of Munich malts and Amarillo hops...
Spectacular in appearance for style this beer has a chainlink fence of lace following close behind each emptying sip. Gold with reddened tints.
The nose has a little age on it now...the caramel malt character has a bit of paper to it now, but the twangy amarillos are still there, lurking in the background.
Noticably less fruity than when fresh, this beer is the epitomy of well-integrated but still full of character.
I have never had twenty-two ounces of high-gravity alcohol dissappear so easily into my stomach. Absolutely the most fantastic beer experience i've had in quite awhile.
The syrupy slickness of this beer, hand in hand with its well integrated flavor components and the mellowing of age make the most sublime cellared beer experience i've had yet. Just wickedly drinkable. And gone for just one day, i'm already wishing I had more.
If you've got OG '04...drink 'em now. I think they are at the perfect stage right this moment.
01-11-2006 16:44:17 | More by GreenWBush
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
4.72/5 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
4.63/5 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
3.98/5 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
4.53/5 rDev +7.3%
Huge, fluffy white head atop a copper-amber body. Lacing occurs as head subsides.
Huge alcohol pine resin smell. Some nice, fruity notes as well. Mango, other tropical type fruits.
Sweet taste, with a citrusy pine resin that follows all the way through. Ends with an extremely bitter hoppiness that is supported by some sweet caramel malt.
Huge, round thick body with a huge alcohol presence. A winter beer if I ever had one.
10-21-2005 23:33:49 | More by nortmand
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
I pour this into a tulip, as usual. It is lighter than the 05 that I had last night. This one is orange with a beige head. The nose is pretty much all alcohol. I detect faint malt beneath it.
The taste is good. The hops are still juicy, but not bitter. There are ripe fruits and a long caramel malty finish. The taste is very smooth. Mouthfeel is good. It has probably thinned a little bit, but is still thick and chewy. The drinkability is good, but I am starting to realize that I could drink anything that I like for a session.
07-13-2005 00:17:03 | More by Sephiroth
4.58/5 rDev +8.5%
Dull orangy rusted murk. Slimming medium yellowed beige top of slippery smooth soft foam. Gets thin drippy rings of tiny stringy lace along with some slight clear glazed residue.
Aroma has a nice blend of caramel, pine sap, and floral hops. Fairly sweet overall and resinous with some tender orange slices, pear, and pineapple.
Simple, rich, lasting, and blended flavors of soft candyish caramel, well rounded piney hops, dullishly deep tropical fruits of pineapple, orange, and nectarine keep a sweeter complexion along with high ended resinous floral perks and light heat underneath on the finish.
Fantastic barleywine feel with a bold medium body taking on a sweet smoothness wrapped in delicate carbonation, creamyness, ruggedness, and alcoholic warmth. Nice finish of soft caramel mixed with leftover floral pine hops mixed in with the warmth.
Super swift on the drinkable scale. Goes down far too fast and easy to be 10%. A fine tasten', easy drinkin' barleywine that no doubt a bit of age has suited it well.
07-08-2005 02:27:22 | More by tavernjef
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
4.38/5 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
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
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
4.55/5 rDev +7.8%
This beer pours a golden bronze orange color with a medium light tan head that rises and fades quickly. The aroma is really piney and sharp in hops along with some sweet fruit characteristics. The taste is better than the aroma here. The thick syruppy body holds a multitude of hops and malts and alcohols together amazingly. Intense, aggressive bitterness is held up by a strong but not really sweet maltiness. Floral and piney notes are prominent along with some deep dark fruits underneath. Alcohol is hidden really well and I can only really feel it on the way down. Amazingly drinkable. Obviously not sessionable but this goes down very nice for as strong and intense as this beer is. Excellent!
03-01-2005 17:42:26 | More by granger10
4.47/5 rDev +5.9%
I've been waiting quite awhile to try this one....pours from the bomber a crystal clear amber with hints of red. A nice creamy, fluffy bubbly off white head arrives on top. Aromas of pine sap hoppiness mix with a big caramel, toffee maltiness. There's a nice fruity aroma in there as well. A delight for the nasal passages...just how I like my barleywines.
First sip is oh so smooth with a opening rush of creamy, fruity caramel sweet maltiness followed by a nice helping of piney resinous hoppiness...the hops are still alive and kicking after a little over a year of aging. Alcohol notes come in and out nicely. There's a bit of a scotch undercurrent here as well. I never had the chance to sample this fresh..but it's doing damn well after a year...incredibly smooth and tasty.
Mouthfeel has a nice, slightly syrupy body with a super smooth malt character that flows over the palate like silk. This is quite simply a wonderfully tasty, easily drinkable brew. Obviously not a session at a bit over 10% abv....but a bomber is no problem. Another great brew from Stone..I'm looking forward to a fresh 2005!
02-26-2005 05:07:50 | More by orbitalr0x
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.