Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2002 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
4.2/5 rDev -1.4%
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.
08-09-2004 00:25:31 | More by BrewMaster
4.25/5 rDev -0.2%
12 oz bottle served somewhere between cold and cellar temperature in a Trois Pistoles goblet.
Appearance: Glowing reddish orange topped with a slight beige head that quickly evaporates to a layer of film, and then a ring. No lacing worth talking about.
Smell: Orangy citrus, cherry fruits, maple sweetness, caramel and toffee malts, spicy hops. Just a crapload of barleywine goodness.
Taste: Intensely bitter pine flavor at the tip of the tongue. Nice mellow caramel and toasted malt sweetness towards the middle of the tongue. Peppery notes all throughout. Lingering aftertaste with some citric notes.
Mouthfeel: Nicely, and appropriately, viscous with a good solidly heavy body. There's junk in the trunk to be sure.
Drinkability: Well, if I could find another one or two of these guys, $$$ wouldn't be much of an object, let me tell you. A bomber is a bit much for one person, but damn am I willing to indulge a bit. A very American (read: hoppy) take on the style. This must have been hellfire when it was young.
12-04-2003 04:00:44 | More by ManekiNeko
4.65/5 rDev +9.2%
At first I had my doubts about opening this, "I might not be able to get any more of this year's," I thought. When I got it out, got it to the right temperature, then cracked it and poured it, I developed this evil smirk on my face, which grew as the aroma hit me. You know, that psychiatric ward look. That "I'm about to savor a Stone limited release" look. That devil inside of you that pops up on your shoulder and tells you to crack it had taken hold of me. "You don't have to save it, you have to savor it, drink it! Now!" And so I (not so unwillingly) obey its command... The aroma hits HARD. I can't comment on the appearance first, the aroma is first here. Very strong citrus hops with a hint of alcohol, which actually creates a burning sensation in your nostrils. That sounds bad? No, it's GOOD. It tells you that this beer is gigantic, humongous, all-powerful. It has you in its clutches. A sinful dark reddish brown sits under a small, yet persistent cream-colored head. The calm before the storm is over, those clouds are getting darker and the rumble of thunder is getting closer. WHAM! It's here! Devilishly smooth, then the smack of thunderous hops! Huge caramel malt marches on with piney bitter hops by its side. Alcohol presence is very noticeable as well. Comes to a bitter end and then goes down silky smooth. Although hops are big, malt is truly the culprit here. A beer adventure. A dastardly, bastardly demon of a barleywine that is perfectly fit for the job of being the "guardian" of Stone brews. Drink it now! Your inner evil commands you!
10-31-2002 02:32:26 | More by hyuga
4.22/5 rDev -0.9%
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.
05-17-2003 22:54:09 | More by MJR
4.9/5 rDev +15%
What a awesome brew! I found a local liquor store that still has about 4 of these bottles left and I grabbed one just to start out with.
It poured a deep reddish brown color with a good head that settled into a thin foam over the top of the beer. By the smell you can tell right away that it is a Stone brew with its carmel and slightly piney scent. The mouthfeel was great, and the taste was of carmel and malt and an alchohol packed finish. Like their other heavy brews, this one just tasted better and better as it got warmer. It tasted the best right above room temp to me. I'm definantly running down to that store to buy more!
01-17-2003 01:52:02 | More by Dmann
4.22/5 rDev -0.9%
This brew pours a deep dirty orange. A thin but persistent white head formed and faded to a sticky lace. The aroma is warm hints of alcohol, but a bit hop-e. Hints of dark fruit and a small wiff of citrus are present. The taste is great. Waves of alcohol and spice come across the palate. The hops make their way to the front followed by fruity flavors and a great malt background. There is also a slight sweet flavor mixed in.
Overall: this is one fine barley wine. It does have its own distinct taste and may seem harsh at first but as you enjoy more of it and the beer warms, it is one fine brew. Thanks to EyeChartBrew for this fine offering!
12-22-2003 02:05:11 | More by Stubbie1
4.1/5 rDev -3.8%
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.
05-06-2005 02:02:55 | More by beerceller99
4.18/5 rDev -1.9%
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.
03-24-2006 01:52:54 | More by BeerRun13
4.38/5 rDev +2.8%
Ruby brown, with a nice longlasting tan head. The aroma is saturated with heavy malt upfront. But the citrusy hop aroma is boldly present as well. Pretty sweet on the front of the tongue. Followed by a strong bitterness. The finish is extremely bitter. In my opinion, this beer isn't perfectly balanced now, but with a couple years of aging, the hop bitterness should mellow and you will be left with an excellent barleywine. I will report back here, in two years!
03-16-2003 05:12:14 | More by beerinator
4.08/5 rDev -4.2%
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!
04-13-2006 14:24:07 | More by erica
4.5/5 rDev +5.6%
Traded with Swillinbrew who was nice enough to part with this gem.
Beautiful silk screened bottle.
The beer is a translucent amber colored liquid with a finger's width of a soft,wispy head.
Lots of different aromas float past the nose. Vanilla, candied sugar, brown sugar. Slightly alchoholic.
Tastes of sweet brown sugar, vanilla, and raisins. A little bit of butter in the finish. Very nice and very well rounded. I did not have the 2002 fresh but I imagine the last three years helped this brew mellow to the delicious state it is in at the moment.
Velty smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
What a pleasurable beer.
12-29-2005 23:55:32 | More by ggroller
4.38/5 rDev +2.8%
The folks at Stone have a Midas touch. This barley wine is lovely to say the least. Nice dark amber color and off white head. It looks and smells a lot like the Arrogant Bastard but not as piney or citrusy. The tast is unmistakably Stone. Nicely malted but not cloying. A different hop profile than their other ales but delicious nonetheless. A really rich creamy mouthfeel and without that overpowering alcohol taste that you can get from some of the other barleywines. This is a very well crafted brew that should appeal to a wide audience, even those that are not big fans of the barleywine style.
The bottle (always a joy to read) explains that this year's version uses all Warrior hops instead of the previous Tomahawk. Not being familiar with previous vintages I can't say if this is an improvement or not but it's hard to imagine a better brew. I bought one bottle as a taster but I'll be back to the store soon to load up. This big beer is worth laying down in the cellar for a while.
01-31-2003 16:21:30 | More by mickstepp
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2002 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.