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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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2002 Alström Bros
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

clvand0, Aug 12, 2003
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.

Boilermaker88, Jul 09, 2003
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.

jcalabre, Jun 05, 2003
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.

MJR, May 17, 2003
Photo of beerinator
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!

beerinator, Mar 16, 2003
Photo of kbub6f
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Limited Spring '02 Release!!", bought online, served 52F, reviewed 52F-65F.

The head is a dense, cream-colored foam that collapses to a thin film with minimal lacing. The color is a slightly opaque red/brown, with orangey highlights. There is little visible carbonation.

The smell is sweet with grapes, alcohol and candy. There are hints of caramel and a slight creaminess. The front is sweet and creamy. The middle is alcohol and grapes with tons of malt. As the beer warms, that creamy flavor kicks in. The finish is generously hoppy with hints of grapefruit. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth.

This is a great tasting beer. It comes off a little sweet, but with such generous hopping, it's probably better that way. The alcohol is well hidden making this a lot more drinkable than I expected. Dangerously drinkable. It reminds me of Bigfoot, but I think it's smoother, rounder and warmer. A delicious, big beer.

kbub6f, Feb 12, 2003
Photo of mickstepp
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

mickstepp, Jan 31, 2003
Photo of Dmann
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Dmann, Jan 17, 2003
Photo of hyuga
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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!

hyuga, Oct 31, 2002
Photo of mzwolinski
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany in color, head starts off about finger thick and fades to a creamy sticky lace that rides the whole way down.

Aroma is really nice, molasses sweet with hints of spices, diacetyl, alcohol, hops and fruit aroma (raisins, I think).

The taste is dominated by a deep malt body, and the warming taste and flavor of alcohol. The finish is heavily hopped enough for a well-balanced, slightly dry finish, but the combination of intense malt and alcohol warmth is what will stick with you. Very pleasant after-effect.

A nice, very full-bodied, viscous beer. Quite similar to their notched-up strong ale, though a bit hoppier, I think, and with a bit different fermentive character.

mzwolinski, Sep 17, 2002
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.

Jason, Jul 07, 2002
Photo of BeerManDan
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The best barley wine beer so far that I've ever tasted. Well balance, with a hint of carmel and a hint of raisn's. Good balance of sweetness, alcohol and bitterness. Also I like the balance of malt and hop's. Love the thickness of this beer. Easy to consume and very enjoyable!

BeerManDan, Jul 02, 2002
Photo of Bierman9
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow!! What a bier to end the work-week and start a vacation with! A good friend of mine came across this and, knowing I love "good" bier, let me have it! Gorgeous auburn color, with a small, fine, thin head and some lace. The good appearance rating is due to the color....I love it....wish my wife's hair was that color!! (But I digress...) Nose was a superb, strong combo of sweet, raisiny notes, alcohol, and hops. Whoa! Mouthfeel? Real good body, almost chewy, and real smooth. Sweet, rich, malty flavor to lead-off, some caramel notes present; almost similar to some Doppelbocks. Follows-up with a kick-ass hop finish, and it makes it's way down the hatch in a real warming fashion. Damn, I love this bier! How can I get another? Prosit!!

overall: 4.75
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | mouthfeel: 5 | drinkability: 4.5

224

Bierman9, Jun 28, 2002
Photo of Bighuge
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Various years of the Old Guardian have become blended in one set of reviews. I couldn't add this to that set since I recently reviewed the 2001 edition. So I added a date to the name and created a new beer category.

This clear mohagany brew throws a nice dense off-white head. The aroma is pretty hoppy with a hint of alcohol (not surprising). The taste is very spicy. By spicy, I mean the spiciness that alcohol and hops impart. But it is pretty refined. I really like this taste. I don't think it is as subdued as the year old Barleywine I recently tried from Stone, but this is very drinkable in my opinion. It has a nicely polished bitterness to it. (Apparantly Tomohak was the hop of choice for this brew.) There are some nice fruity tones present. A melon aspect. The body is about medium. Wow. This is really good.

After trying about 8 different styles from Stone, all of which were excellent, I would say that Stone is now my second favorite brewery after Kalamazoo.

Bighuge, May 13, 2002
Photo of mickeymac
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Spring 2002 release. 9.91 ABV according to the bottle. The head faded rather quickly. With an ingredient list including "tons o' Hops," I was expecting more bitterness. I found it to be a bit lighter on hops than other barley wines and very drinkable now. The malty sweetness is nicely balanced by a bit of spice. All in all, pretty good stuff.

mickeymac, Apr 14, 2002
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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2002 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.