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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

121 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 121
Hads: 140
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 8.33%
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:
Beer added by: xlperro on 02-12-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 121 | Hads: 140
Photo of xymyl
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (1,026 characters)

Photo of Sephiroth
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (534 characters)

Photo of 99bottles
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: The body is a clear light copper color, with noticable carbonation and a head of about an inch that fades to a clumpy lace.

Smell: Sweet hops mix nicely with the malted barley to make a full nose. Not much else to say except that this is very nice. Ok; light vanilla, oak, raisin and fermented banana.

Taste: nowhere near as heavy as I would have expected. Super thin; weak malt profile doesn't lend much to the tastebuds. This is light and also deadly. It really doesn't impress very much in the way of extremist flavor like every other Stone beer does. It's actually noicely balanced, haps a bit waek on the hops, and definitely too much on the rambling (apologies, but I've barfed more meaningful sentences than this year's 'description') Anywhooo, it's not bad.. it's definitely the Bud Light of Barleywine. Wimpy malt plays second fiddle to wimpy hops and everyone walks out shaking their head.

Mouthfeeel: Too thin for a real barleywine. There's nothing wrong with this, it just doesn't have the malt profile of something like Old Ho. I try to taste every Stone I come across, and it's not fair to expect them to be the best at every style, just because they make some great brews. I still like this one though.

Drinkability: Perfectly light while still retaining an aspect of richness. Way too easy to drink. Five. (1,345 characters)

Photo of soper2000
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking deep dark golden color with a small foamy white head. Though the aroma isn't too strong it has that distinctive "Stone" smell to it. Very pleasant. I get a faint scent of some malt too. First taste was not in the least bit surprising even though this was my first Old Guardian. Loads of hops intially but quickly a truckload of malt took over lending a sweet finish taste. I wouldn't mind cellaring a couple of these to see if that initial hop bite mellows out a little bit. This could be an even better beer a few years down the road from now, although it's quite good right now. Great brewery. (608 characters)

Photo of StonedRugger
4.15/5  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. (1,049 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (1,055 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev 0%
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. (364 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev 0%
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. (323 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
4.2/5  rDev 0%
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! (1,398 characters)

Photo of CBFanWish
4.2/5  rDev 0%
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 (475 characters)

Photo of kennyo
4.2/5  rDev 0%
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. (314 characters)

Photo of marburg
4.2/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,070 characters)

Photo of ElGuapo
4.2/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,094 characters)

Photo of DESTRO
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
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 (723 characters)

Photo of Stimack
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (980 characters)

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (467 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (615 characters)

Photo of Padron4KM
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pour was a burnt orange, with a thick orange/white head. Heavy lacing left on the glass.
Initial aromas were predominatly floral, hoppy, with a little maltiness in the background.
as it sat in the glass, the hops toned down a bit to reveal some sweet candied fruit. That weird stuff you put in fruit cake :P.


flavor was much sweeter than I anticipated, almost velvety mouthfeel with a nice lingering, mildly bitter finish.


I plan on buying a few and stting them down for a while (491 characters)

Photo of cbl2
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:

Crystal clear light brown/gold with an inch of foamy white head that laces nicely as it settles slowly.

Smell:

Ingredients promise a whole buncha barley, and tons 'o hops. The barley is present as a carmelized odor, but the hops overpower this slightly.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

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. (535 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, rich copper is the color of this years version, with a light tan, creamy, fine head topping things off. The head thins rapidly, leaving a ring of foam at the perimeter, with a bit of lacing left behind. Nose is lightly toasty, with a fruity hop essence playing a large role, along with "hot" suggestions of alcohol. Great mouthfeel, with better than medium body followed up by a silky smoothness upon the tongue. This years seems to be a tad more balanced than the older ones, with more malt coming into play. The malt is bready and chewy, with a nice level of caramel sweetness. The hop aspect is a fruity one, with some light grapefruit making itself known. Then a bunch of piney, resiny notes coat the tongue and throat, and will just not go away! The ABV is fairly easily detected, with a distinct warmth hitting the palate and stomach. As always, a solid offering from the gang of Stone. Prosit!!

overall: 4.25
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4

700 (1,001 characters)

Photo of tfinn
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (1,575 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (1,962 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (914 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is warm gold. It is clear though a swarm of yeast particles will emerge from bottle's bottom. The aroma is honeysuckle and dark fruit, complex, tropic, and soothing. Mouthfeel is brighter than I would have expected, but leaves a slightly gritty film on the teeth. This is a concern, but not a problem.

The taste is relaxed and unhurried, sweet but not overpowering. The taste is not nearly as complex or abundant as the smell and alcohol does not feature much part in it. I must admit I had higher expectations from Stone but this is still a mellow and refined barleywine that is easily appreciated. (613 characters)

Photo of BierReise
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep golden with an orange hue and a thick head of foam that slowly developed as I poured. This is one heavy looking brew. Aroma is exploding with hops and sweet malt. Tropical fruit and citrus come to mind also with a bit of doughiness in the background. Hops are really out front here. Body is ultra smooth and full with low carbonation. The flavor here is really fantastic and I wouldn't expect anything less from one of the best breweries anywhere.(God how do they continue to do it?) Lots of fruit in the flavor and bittering hops with a huge malt base that blends everything together. There's also something spicy in there that I can not define yet adds to the enjoyment. Overall one I could drink often as with anything by Stone. Nice going guys! (753 characters)

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.