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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

140 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 140
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.06% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 02-12-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 140 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ArrogantB
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of xymyl
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(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.

Photo of OStrungT
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Gavage
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy and deep dark copper in color. A short 1/4" head quickly falls to surface foam. The aroma is sweet caramels and mild piney hops. The flavor is a blast of thick sweet malts with fruity tones of plums, prunes, and raisins. Bitterness is quite strong but rounds out the flavors nicely. Alcohol tones are soft and take a back seat.

Mouthfeel is smooth, thick, and syrupy. The sweet malt rides the tongue long after swallowing. Mildly crisp finish. This is a superbly flavorful barley wine. Seek it out.

Photo of mcallister
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was lucky enough to try some samples at the Beer Yard today,poured a deep orange with a slight head (but it was in a sample cup),aroma was juicy fruit and a tinge of brown sugar.Taste was malty sweet with some deep fruity tones alcohol came thru alot.I plan on getting a bottle soon after trying this I seemed to like last years better though from the first taste.

Photo of mzwolinski
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ya gotta love it when the folks at Stone start tweaking with their recipes. I've enjoyed this beer quite a lot in the past, but let's see what they've got in store for us this year!

Seems lighter in color than in the past. This is a bit disconcerting, actually. It looks more like an IPA than a barley wine, though the thinner head and slow carbonation indicate the higher ABV.

The aroma has many of the common malty characteristics of barley wines, but the hops are much more pronounced this time around. Never a bad thing, I suppose!

Flavor starts off with a sugary, caramely malt sweetness, with a noticeable alcohol flavor following quickly behind. Citric hop flavor is present almost throughout the entire sip, but the finish is balanced. Long, tingly bitter aftertaste. Not the standard barley wine flavor profile, but a belly-warmer nonetheless, and tasty.

Still a bit raw this fresh out of the bottle, but this year's version should take much less time to age, IMO. And it's certainly drinkable right away, should you choose to do so.

Photo of drabmuh
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of StonedRugger
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of ElGuapo
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice little blurb on the back. Pours to a clear amber bronze topped in a massive pillow of off-white head. The aroma of citrusy floral hops burst out of the bottle, and exploded into the air as I poured. Sweet fruits are in there as well as a big whiff of alcohol. A large presence of pine makes it even more spicy and intense.

The flavor follows right along. It is huge with spices coming from all directions. The Old Guardian wants to beat you up with raw intensity. It is big bodied and very bold. The smooth mouthfeel is very complimenting. There is a massive blast of citrus and floral flavors at the start. A big piney rush comes next and sits with you the rest of the way. The alcohol is pretty big, but it blends in with the rest of the spicy intensity. This is an in your face barley wine made just the way it should be. I think the alcohol can get a bit big, and maybe a little aging could do it some good, but hopefully I will be able to grab another one to determine that later. This is undoubtedly a Stone product, and it seems to be the leader of their crew of intense beers.

Photo of Sephiroth
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I was expecting this to be overwhelming, but it was actually quite drinkable. Nice, full body (as expected) with an excellent malt profile. I was pleasantly suprised not to experience an out-and-out hops assault. There were plenty of hops, for sure, but not overly so (as if ususally the case with the big micros). Not much head, but I wouldn't expect it here. This is one I would drink on occasion if I can get it. I've yet to have a Stone beer that isn't excellent.

Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle. Golden in color with slight orange hues. Leaves a tod o' lacing. Major heavy and rich malt sweetness up front. then resiny and citric hops come solidly foward. Medium to heavy body , warming mouthfeel. High class sipper from Stone. As with all their brews that I've tried, I'd seek em out when ever possible.

Photo of DESTRO
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

with one hell of a rough pour it ends up a hazy deep orange with a small yet nice off white bubbly head that slowly subsides into a patchy, sticky lace. lovely aroma of bready malt, orange cake, sweet bread and a lovely light hop aroma lingering. superb! thick in the mouth, heavy and filling. coates like no other. sweet biscuity/bread like malts, hearty and satisfying. light orange hints (think orange sweet rolls) and pineapple with a balancing hop bite. also as it warms the alcohol fumes become more apparent. well thought out and welcoming, very drinkable for a barley wine. tastey and not overpowering. a hell of a barley wine that flexes its muscles, but in a nice way. (like a bear hug)

paid $3.99 for a bomber

Photo of alleykatking
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of Stimack
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of CBFanWish
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone is among the worlds great breweries. Time and time again they prove their worthiness to us in every way possible. With Old Guardian they do it yet again. Though it's not the best barley wine out there, it does make a very strong case for itself as a contender.
The strong hoppy bitterness is almost perfectly balanced by a huge dose of malts. It's a pleasant beer that could someday be the best. It's only behind Old Crustation right now. Keep up the great work, Stone

Photo of kennyo
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of marburg
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Anyhow...

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.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first STONE BWSA that I have ever tasted; big ole’ 36 degree chilled bomber poured into my Flying Fish tulip glass. This gargoyle lept from the 22 oz.er & poured out with a beauteous peach & orange sunset glow topped off with two finger sticky antique white shade head making little shapes as it oozes and sticks down the glass.

Shut-eyed inhalation of Old Guard 2004 introduces me to Barleywine aroma announcing mixed fruitiness and hops. No big surprise there. Mostly 'Del Monte Peaches in syrup fresh from a good can' sniffs meet spicy cinnamon characteristics.

The first telltale sip: Mixed chewy tropical fruit cornucopia. Now let’s break down this mingling of flavor. To be specific, there is a tangy presence of rich hops, ripe peaches, green melon and bubble gum. Wow! The 10.06% ABV is scary. Yikes! This whacks back like 7 & 8 percent. Before I replenish my glass with fresh Old Guard troops, I am letting this nectar warm to experience full flavor spectrum: Bananas, oily hops, more salt & pepper rise to the nose and palate. I can’t really say what other Barleys this harkens me to, flavor-wise. It is NOT SN Bigfoot or ANCHOR Old Fog; maybe a nod towards VICTORY Old Ho’ for hop notes.

The feel is a mild zing of acidic fizz and rather gentle yet present tiny carbonation bubbles. A heavily buttered Oatmeal bread, maybe banana bread or 7-Grain bread body finishes off the awl-kee-hawl dry aftertaste.

Scary, high Drinkability marks if served at proper temp and size. This is an all night sipper along side Scotch or Cognac any night IMHO. Give credit where credit is due. Wonder what previous years were like. ***Trade Alert***

Last swigs: Mixed fruit, notably peach & sweet melon, oily hop Barley Wine. Add a notch to my BWSA taster belt. Purchased as 4 x 3 22oz. sampler with IPA & A.B. for $51. Beer Bargain! Wait 6 & 12 months for updates from this BlitheringIdiot.

Beer is (strong and) good. Happy beering.

Photo of freewill35
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of tfinn
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of arizcards
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.