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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
93
outstanding

138 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.48%
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: 138 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joecast
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

ok, that back label. what's THAT all about?

deep copper shade with a full creamy beige head leaving a nice lacing on the glass.
aroma of just mashed grains after the sparge, with a hint of honey sweetness. not like any i have smelled before. very distinctive.

after one sip, the alcohol is already making its presence felt. this is not a beer to be taken lightly. at first, the flavor starts like any other strong ale. but the finish deffinitely has a kick to it. bitterness, and the warmness of the alcohol really show through, though not so much that they take over the beer. sorry, barley wine.

as the temp rises, the flavor and mouthfeel smooth remarkably gaining an almost creamy consistency. this just feels great, begging you to gulp it down, but i know better.

well, after meeting my first Stone, i see what all the hype is about. Old Guardian, the pleasure was mine.

joecast, May 25, 2004
Photo of SheepNutz
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber poured into a pint glass. It pours a light orange color with two fingers of head. A lot ligher in color than the 03. There is just a little bit of lace. The smell has lots of juicy hops. Pine and grapefruit really letting their presence be known. The taste has a slightly sweet malt background, but the hops are the stars of the show. A great floral hop finish. The mouthfeel is nice and strong. The drinkability is good too, for being such a strong brew. I <3 Stone.

SheepNutz, Oct 19, 2004
Photo of stewart124
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

stewart124, Feb 28, 2004
Photo of ElGuapo
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

ElGuapo, Apr 20, 2004
Photo of BlindPig
4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

BlindPig, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of watermelonman
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

watermelonman, Mar 10, 2004
Photo of Mark
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Mark, Mar 05, 2004
Photo of mzwolinski
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

mzwolinski, Mar 25, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

GreenWBush, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of mickeymac
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

mickeymac, Mar 29, 2004
Photo of BrewMaster
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle. Pours a rich copper/amber color with a thin and stiff head very similar to the 2002 and 2003 versions. Very tangy and tart with a mellow sweetness. Once the sweetness clears there is a very malty flavor that makes this beer feel thicker than it really is. Very enjoyable but this beer could use some cellaring to make it even better.

BrewMaster, Aug 09, 2004
Photo of BierReise
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

BierReise, Feb 28, 2004
Photo of hpthebull
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

hpthebull, May 21, 2014
Photo of nortmand
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

nortmand, Oct 21, 2005
Photo of beertaster13
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Top notch and potent. Pours a amber orange red with off white head that is excellent, lacing is great. The smell is strong of pine and citrus hops. A semi molasses sweet malt is pleasant as well. The taste is over the top hoppiness witch a west coast BA like myselft loves. A pine citrus taste is great to the tongue. A medium bodied Barley wine that is both smooth and goes down easy, great for this style. Damn good.

beertaster13, Aug 19, 2004
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light tan head sits atop this copper colored brew.
Aroma of rich, sweet malt is fairly earthy.

Taste shows a rich, sweet, toffee malt backbone. Decent balance, but sweet overall. Earthy. Alcohol is well hidden.

Good body to the mouthfeel.
Quite drinkable for the high ABV, but the taste doesn't really do it for me.
Overall, a solid barleywine style ale, but not as good as last years OG version IMO.

PhantomVodoo, May 21, 2004
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.2/5  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.

JohnnyDuvel, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of Padron4KM
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
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

Padron4KM, Sep 05, 2004
Photo of sponberg
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On cask at Mahar's for the Stone release party. Pours a bright cloudy amber with a thinnish yet long lasting head. Aroma of sweet caramelly malt and fruity esters, some complex citric hops, and whiffs of alcohol.

Bang! That sound was Stone hitting the nail on the head. I love the balance of this barleywine - plenty of fruity maltiness, some hints of darker fruits and cocoa, a solid underlying hop bitterness and a persistent citrus hop presence. The carbonation level from the cask was perfect - it gave this brew a body and creaminess that was first rate. It's not the biggest bodied BW in the world, but that just adds to the drinkability. Definitely a must-try for people who love a hoppy barleywine.

Be careful - as my shin scrape ("Who put that road there?") will attest this one can and will sneak up on you. <g>

sponberg, May 07, 2004
Photo of xgrigorix
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

xgrigorix, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of hawkmage
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

hawkmage, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of PSUDREW
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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

PSUDREW, Mar 07, 2004
Photo of jerz
5/5  rDev +18.5%

jerz, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of CBFanWish
4.22/5  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

CBFanWish, Mar 12, 2004
Photo of cwguy5
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

cwguy5, Oct 25, 2010
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.