Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
3.88/5 rDev -8.1%
22 oz bomber imprinted with the stone brewing gargoyle to scare away any impurity.
Pours a red orange with a nice tan head. A little bit of a hard pour was needed to get the small head. While the head subsided quite quickly, a nice lacing was left behind.
Big malty aromas, lots of hops (as is to be expected from the fellows at Stone), and alcohol solvents dominate the nose.
Sweet malt and hops are up front in this one. Very citrusy for a barley wine in my opinion, but very warming nonetheless.
While I enjoy all of the other Stone products I have tried, I must admit, I am a little disappointed with this brew. When I think of a barley wine, I think of a dark ale, not something that for all intents and purposes could be passed off as a darkish IPA on looks alone. This said, I did enjoy this beer, but I think that the coloring and overwhelming hops detracted from the style it is supposed to represent.
04-27-2004 02:41:38 | More by LuckySevens82
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
4.38/5 rDev +3.8%
Appearance: Copper amber hue with an off white frothy cream head lacing is fine and spread evenly. Aroma: Ctrus bursts of hops with a piney hop tone blend caramel and molasses tinged with alcohol with orange peels evident in the nose. Taste: Wonderful blend of hops and malts caramel citrus with a deep malty layer of hops excellent complex big ol' barleywine. Deep alcohol infused fruit notes make each sip more enticing. Mouthfeel: Full to medium bodied sryupy texture, wow. Drinkability: Excellent complex watchout for the abv this one will get you. I definitely look forward to the release of this Stone product every year, damn good barleywine from Stone in your face like most of their beers.
04-25-2004 16:55:53 | More by WVbeergeek
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
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.
04-20-2004 23:16:57 | More by ElGuapo
4.13/5 rDev -2.1%
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.
04-16-2004 01:09:31 | More by soper2000
4/5 rDev -5.2%
Absolutely gorgeous deep orange color with a nice head that leaves some great lace on the top of the glass.Strong aroma-hops/malt.Nice bitterness-not as big as some US barleywines.Slight sweetness-toasted flavor,a trace of smoke.Alcohol burn in the backround.Definately shows its strength.Pleasant mouthfeel-the alcohol bite is there.Could be a tad fuller for my liking.Overall a great barleywine and another great beer from Stone-these guys are rapidly becoming my favorite brewery-how about a Maryland distributor?
04-15-2004 01:08:07 | More by lackenhauser
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
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.
04-05-2004 13:19:13 | More by StonedRugger
4.28/5 rDev +1.4%
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!!
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4
04-04-2004 18:41:28 | More by Bierman9
4.22/5 rDev 0%
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.
04-04-2004 14:17:22 | More by Billolick
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
3.9/5 rDev -7.6%
Pours a clear copper color with a frothy tan head. The aroma is of thick chewy crystal malts and hops, though the malt character seems to surprisingly dominate. The beer itself is thick and chewy, with lots of malt character. There is hop flavor in the finish with notes of orange and a grassiness. A bitterness then kicks in at the very end. This beer is surprisingly malty, though with definite hop character, it is quite subdued for Stone. I much prefer the regular Stone lineup to this one.
04-01-2004 16:30:12 | More by Gueuzedude
4.22/5 rDev 0%
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 lets 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 cant 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.
03-30-2004 04:26:51 | More by blitheringidiot
4.22/5 rDev 0%
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
03-29-2004 07:03:24 | More by DESTRO
4/5 rDev -5.2%
New Year, Old Guardian. This one is noticeably lighter in color than previous vintages. It looks more like an IPA than it does an '03 OG. This is Stone, so hops are expected in the smell, but this OG has a fairly strong candy-like smell: a bit like a fruity jawbreaker. The taste also seems considerably sweeter than it did in previous years. It's nicely drinkable for a freshly brewed barleywine, and I'll look forward to re-sampling this one next year.
03-29-2004 06:20:43 | More by mickeymac
3.83/5 rDev -9.2%
A nice golden pale ale color, thin foam, little or no lacing. Aroma of malt and caramel, good hopping. Slightly sweet, but not at all an unpleasant experience. Alcohol is present, but not over the top. As with most Stone offerings, plenty of hop flavor! But neatly balanced with the malt. Dry, prickly aftertaste. Might improve with aging - but goood now!
03-29-2004 03:27:57 | More by palliko
4.18/5 rDev -0.9%
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.
03-25-2004 23:05:17 | More by mzwolinski
3.93/5 rDev -6.9%
This beer was a medium copper color with an off-white head that dissipated quickly. The color seemed too light. Lacing continued for a while but eventually stopped.
The taste was very good, lots of sweet maltiness and all the hops necessary to balance it out. It should be great after 6 months in the hole. After that I'm not sure things will get better. This definitely doesn't taste like the 2003.
The mouthfeel is excellent, very thick and alcoholic. The carbonition is a little low, but overall it is very pleasant.
I started drinking this by itself, but it really shined when paired with a nice spicy, garlicky plate of Toledo style chili-mac!
03-16-2004 05:00:14 | More by bigbubba
4.25/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
03-13-2004 00:12:04 | More by RedDiamond
4.22/5 rDev 0%
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
03-12-2004 05:25:37 | More by CBFanWish
4.1/5 rDev -2.8%
This sure looks light for a barley wine. That's not to say it doesn't look good though, it still looks very nice. It's a very nice warming tone of light brown. As expeced, there wasn't much head.
For this brewery and this style, I honestly expected stronger than this. Still, it's no wimp. Strong caramel malts dominate with a light hint of fruit. It has a solid bitter kick in the finish.
03-10-2004 08:33:06 | More by watermelonman
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
4.13/5 rDev -2.1%
22ozer bottle from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.
Poured into an imperial pint glass, a bubbling frenzy that concluded with an inch tall slightly off-white colored head on top of a honey amber colored brew. Not much jumps out at me from the nose, nothing bad, but nothing terribly outstanding either. However, the taste is where it's at: All sorts of stuff going on! We've got the initial hop bite for such a young barleywine, then the malt kicks in and runs around on your tongue, and then the alcohol kick just moseys up on up and starts kicking butt everywhere. Interesting doesn't begin to describe what the Old Guardian got happening. Definitely a cellarable offering, maybe smooth out the alcohol profile just a bit.
03-07-2004 23:35:04 | More by ppoitras
4.05/5 rDev -4%
Wow, while not a huge fan of barelywine, this is a nice standout. Yes, dfh, and, victory reviews are worth merit, these, are still something more.
It pours, a dark amber color, with a thick, rich head and a nice, solid, citrusy smell
Hmmmm, as for the taste, well, it has a definate malty profile, and an afterthough of hop. The hopos do show up in force, but, the malts are definately the centerpeice fo this show. Yes, there are hints of hops, spices, and a nice mix of esters, but, the malt is the centerpeice definately.
Stone, once, again, hasproven to em their diverse flavors and abilitis, they can go the distance with any brewer, well played boys, well played
03-07-2004 05:33:38 | More by PSUDREW
3.93/5 rDev -6.9%
This potent beer pours a deep golden almost orange like color. Head on my sample was thick and left nice lace. Smell of sweet malt, hops, and fruit. Powerful on the taste buds, with hops leading the way. very fruity but balanced my malt base. Thick motor oil like mouthfeel. Drinkability is tough to gauge for me, I liked the taste, in some ways it might be my favorite barleywine, however it's very potent. Excellent though overall, I might prefer the smoother milder Old Nick from Young's. As far as domestics, this is right there.
03-05-2004 20:29:58 | More by Mark
4.83/5 rDev +14.5%
Reddish color with golden hues and a huge head. Smell is very aromatic with blends of fuits, spices, and delicious hops. The taste is an extreme bombardment of hops and very strong malts. Silky smooth body and fruity esters. Each sip gets better or maybe that's the alcohol getting to me...this is a great beer and it lived up to what I've read about it. Teh aftertaste is a great blend of hops and fruity esters. Stone has done it again!
02-28-2004 22:50:39 | More by stewart124
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.