Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2002 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2002Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2002

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

35 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 6
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.91% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 04-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MJR
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a reddish-amber with copper edges. A light tan head starts at a fair size, then shrinks to a tiny cap, which is the norm for beers of this strength.

Smell: Rich and warming, with a hint of rawness that was much more pronouced when this brew was released. Time has smoothed this one out, and it has a good balance of aromatic hops and sweet, caramelly malt. Good whiff of alcohol too...

Taste: It's starts out bitter and aggressive, but the malts eventually balance everything out. They're quite sweet, with a touch of fruitiness and lots of caramel. I also taste a bit of roasted malt. The hops don't have the grapefruit and pine notes that Stone brews usually have, as there is more of a bitter citrus, lemony flavor. Finishes dry and bitter with a big swoosh of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The body is heavier than medium, with a syrupy mouthfeel. Dry and crisp from the high amount of alcohol.

Drinkability: Pretty good for what it is. This is a very well-done barley wine and I could relax with a bottle of this any night. I'd like to note that the last year has helped to smooth it out, though the strong alcohol flavor still makes this a very slow sipper.

Photo of BrewMaster
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Overall I very much enjoyed this beer. I had a cellared 22 oz bottle. Very spicy and smooth in taste. Great amber/orange color in the glass. A nice head that stuck together through the whole drink. Very strong aroma of alcohol and wood (oak?). The wood flavor also comes through. I assume this is from the barrels it passed through.

I tasted this along side a 2003 and a 2004 Old Gaurdian and I must say that this 2002 was my favorite of the three.

Photo of BeerRun13
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another good one from Sam at the Stuffed Sandwich.

Poured into a large wine glass. Pours a very nice redish orange color with a small off white head. The head falls pretty quickly leaving a small ring around the glass. No lacing at all.
Citrusy, cherry aromas are strong with some spicy hops. Smells nice.
Caramel flavors are evident as well as sweet malts. The backbone of this beer is definitely the fruity citrus and cherry tones. Spicy hops leave a bit of well balnced bitterness.
Full bodied. The hop spice is just right at the swallow. Maybe a little dry.
This is a nice sipping style beverage. You could drink a couple of these, but you're better off slowly enjoying it. These beer has aged well.
By the way... Be cautious on your pour. You may get a big pile of yeasty sediment in your last pour!
I learned the hard way.

Photo of beerceller99
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 bottling from the cellar. Enjoyed on 20-feb-05.
Beautiful clear garnet hue with a slight off white head.
Caramel-toffee sweet malt and raison smell.
Medium- full bodied with a surprizingly smooth mouthfeel.
Has a raisony, vinous caramel malt flavor with the alcohol stinging my tonsils.
As expected not much hop action here.
An excellent fireside sipper.
The only detraction here was the clumps of sediment in the second and last pour.
Try and filter this out if you drink an aged Guardian, it neutralizes the delicate flavors here.

Photo of erica
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

During my last trip to California, I got to share this bottle with TheLongBeachBum on my last night there, sitting on the sofa watching TV while the rain poured down outside..

This beer was a dark rusty red-brown color, very cloudy at first with bits floating around, with a ring of bubbles around the glass and a thin layer of bubbles dotting the surface. As it settled after some time, the beer was less cloudy overall, and there became what looked kind of like a big 'dust cloud' of sediment at the bottom.

Smelled really sweet. I couldn't get over the sweetness and was worried I wouldn't even want to drink it. Brown sugar, caramel, raisins, and a fairly stong alcohol aroma too. Very characteristic of a barleywine but sweeter than I prefer. Taste was refreshingly more hoppy. Oh thank you Stone for the lasting hops! It tasted much less sweet than it smelled, more fruity without all that brown sugarness, grassy, a bit hot, with fresh bitter hop end, even 4 years after the fact. Like several beers in one sip from beginning to end. This is very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel was very smooth, yet hot. Thick but not syrupy and still nicely carbonated. It's pretty damn drinkable for how strong it is, and the hops definitely add to that, otherwise it'd be a syrupy mess. Thanks for sharing, Bum, I owe you!

Photo of joecast
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

enjoyed on-tap at lucky baldwins

what a beer. never tried this edition before, but i bet its never been this smooth. looked fantastic in a chimay goblet. served at absolutely the right temp.
the aroma had melded together so well it was hard to pick out each constituent, same with the taste. the only one that stuck out was the alcohol. expected in something of this strength, it just managed to poke its obnoxious head out from such a now-refined brew.
as good as it was, it was tough to finish. very potent, and very good.

Photo of hawkmage
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of womencantsail
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of the bottle at Winter Storm

A: The beer pours a hazy amber color with a finger or so of tan colored foam.

S: Starts off with caramel and citrus, mostly oranges, along with a nice sharp pine note. There's a bit of vanilla in there, but also some cardboard, unfortunately. Brown sugar provides some more sweetness.

T: Still quite bitter with a lot of pine and citrus peel. The vanilla is there again, as is a strong flavor of toffee. Grapefruit, pine, and grass add some perception of hop character. The cardboard is here, but it's fairly minimal.

M: The body is medium to full with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Not bad for a nine year old beer. I prefer it fresh or with a year or two on it, but still not bad.

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this 22oz. bottle from a local liquor store. I haven't had many barley wines so a style comparison is difficult. I can share what I've observed.
Appearance: deep cloudy dark amber color with rough tannish head which quickly settled to compact cap with no lace.
Smell: earthy malt aroma with a fruit&caramel undertone. Aggitation brought out an astringent alcohol smell.
Taste: bitter right away but quickly balanced by the caramel malt. Pronounced alcoholic bite at the finish.
Feel: dry and crisp with a tongue-tingling %ABV. Kind of slick.
Drinkability: having minimal exposure to this style, I'd say this is a beer to drink with care. Alcohol content really can ambush you. Probably great for a cold night next to a fire. I'd like to sample the others in the lineage and style and maybe come back to edit this later.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark, obscured, rich amber body with a thin, beige head.

Smell: Sweetish, robust caramel maltiness with a scent of juicy raisins and a distinct Juicy Fruit note present.

Taste: Dry, caramel-laden maltiness and a middling sweetness. Some raisins, some grape skins, and damned if I can't shake that taste of Juicy Fruit. Several years later and there's still a medium-high hop bitterness on-hand. Citrusy, woodsy hop tastes. Finishes bittersweet with a kick of alcohol heat right at the very end.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Enjoyed as part of a vertical spanning the vintages between 2002 and 2007. The 2002, while still plenty tasty and holding up remarkably well, just didn't quite deliver the goods like the 2003 does/did.

Photo of jcalabre
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on draught 2003 in a vertical w/ 99, 00, 01 & 03. It's clear that this is a pretty good barley wine, but Not world class, like the 03 vintage.

ReRate 24 May 2002: I tried another bottle, much more impressed this time. It's not world class, like Stone's IPA or Imperial, but a very good representation of the style. Previous rating: Compared w/ Stone's other brews, I'm disappointed. This is a good barleywine, but I was expecting more, since, from my POV, Stone's track record is excellent. Good but not great. It poured w/ virtually no head, not much aroma, the taste is good. The alcohol sneaks up on you later.

Photo of Bwagner1122
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of Jason
3.38/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber, “Limited Spring 02’ Release” on the label gives you an idea of freshness … not that it matters being that this brew is 9.91% abv.

Appearance: Bright and clear garnet colour, thin lace that draws back to only a ring around the glass. Little head retention.

Smell: Caramel, raisins and a mild solvent alcohol. Sweet and spicy from the malt and alcohol.

Taste: Full creamy body, moderate carbonation that adds a subtle smoothness. Big warming middling solvent alcohol that seems to hold a big portions of the balancing factor being that there is now huge hop presence like most of the other Stone ales. Huge flavours of caramel and raisins, mild astringent flavours kick in during the finish with husk and spicy alcohol.

Notes: This is so English style I’d swear it was an import. But coming from Stone Brewing, where are my damn hops!! A decent brew, cellar it if you want but you are better off drinking it right now IMO. Alcohol seems a bit over the top with the solvent character and a bit too sweet for my liking.

Photo of clvand0
2.93/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured an amber color with a medium head and some lacing on the glass. The aroma was malty with some hints of fruit and possibly caramel underneath. The taste was a little more smooth than most barley wines. It was bitter at first but mellowed out after a couple sips. The alcohol is evident in the flavor, but not overwhealming. Usually, barley wines are too strong for my palate, but I would have this one again.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2002 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.