Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Stoneman78:
4.25/5 rDev +4.2%
Early 2008 version poured into a Stone Old Guardian tulip glass for a perfect union of beer and serving container (finally!), reviewed during the 2008 Super Bowl (woo hoo)
Appearance is super clear bright orange hue, head is a good amount of white, condensed creamy foam, great swaths of lacing on the glass
Smell is fairly muted for a barleyiwine, some subtle caramel malts and a mix of pine/grassy/floral hops, tinges of alcohol
Taste is pure Stone, big pine resin hops and caramel malts mix together initially, transitions to some grassy sweet floral tones, finishes with sweet malt and alcohol warming
Mouthfeel is full-bodied, thick oily texture coats the mouth region, nice ample carbonation
Drinkability is good, this is a surprisingly sweet and mild barleywine and the 11+%abv is very subtle, a good candidate for aging- while it is solid now I can imagine that it may move into the exceptional range with a few years of aging as noted by some of the aged OGs at the most recent Stone Storm
02-04-2008 02:02:20 | More by Stoneman78
More User Reviews:
3.93/5 rDev -3.7%
Nice to finally see this arrive in the Buffalo area before I get outta town in a few weeks I always look forward to this annual brew.Poured into a 22 oz nonic a clear burnt orange color with a very well definedone finger white head that formed a ring at the top of the glass and settled slowly leaving broken lace behind.Big fruity esters in the nose with some jet fuel alcohol,citric hop lingers but is not a huge force in the nose,there is a big malt bill to this beer no doubt caramelly and doughy upfront with some juicy fruit hops give a good punch in the resiny finish along with a s bit of an alcohol sting.As I drink more a citric hop profile shows thru more but its not bitter more fruity with a tinge rind but it is nice,this could be put down to mellow but is a fine beer now I will grab a few and hold them to see how they are a few months from now.
03-24-2008 22:07:57 | More by oberon
5/5 rDev +22.5%
By far my favorite edition of Old Guarding yet! The pour was slightly cloudy but had great carbonation and a beautiful frothy white head. The smell was of tangy sweet malt and spices and a bit of earthiness as well. The flavor blew me away with a perfect mix of dirty malty sweetness and just enough alcohol and hop bite to round it out. Mixed in with a nice buttery, yet perfectly carbonated mouthfeel and you have one of the quintessential Barleywines ever brewed! Will taste great now and will taste great with a bit of aging no doubt. Get your hands on it while it lasts!
02-24-2008 11:29:58 | More by Dmann
3.43/5 rDev -15.9%
Poured a ruddy brown with a nice creamy head. Decent retention. Okay lacing. Smells of doughy malts, grassy hops, slight alcohol fumes. Taste is of a huge doughy malt backbone, sweet, balanced out with a nice hop bitterness. Dark fruits, figs, definite alcohol bite to it. Mouthfeel is heavy but not too syrupy. Decent carbonation. Fairly drinkable.
09-26-2008 14:25:23 | More by Doomcifer
3.95/5 rDev -3.2%
Bomber pours a hazed copper orange body with a small, but lasting, ecru head. Generous lacing adorns the glass. Aroma is surprisingly restrained from what I recall from the earlier vintages. Bready caramel malts and citrusy and spicy hops seem weak by comparison. Mouthfeel is creamy, with a solid medium body and subdued carbonation. Taste is well balanced between the huge bready maltiness and solid bitter hopping. Caramel and citrusy apricot add a pleasant sweetness to offset the bitter grapefruit rind and spicy hops. Alcohol is well hidden. A solid American barleywine, reliable as always.
04-07-2008 17:28:54 | More by merlin48
4.43/5 rDev +8.6%
"Limited early 08 release"...eagerly annually awaited nectar, pours clear medium amber, darker eggshell head, leaves spotty lace, loads of candied fruit, some smoke and devilish alcohol in the nose. Big and bold, yet surprisingly smooth and mellow tasting for such a young barley wine. Super velvety on the tongue, with waves of malt, more fruit, and snappy alcohol clearing the tongue late. Simply outstanding....Will only get better with time...
11-22-2008 02:38:06 | More by Billolick
3.9/5 rDev -4.4%
Apricot colored with a white head sitting atop it; spotty lacing and little head retention. Pine, strawberries, caramel, and even some mint in the aroma. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, some citrus, and some strawberries in the taste. Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden for 11+%. I always look forward to trying this every year, the 2007 was a bit disappointing, but the 2008 was quite enjoyable.
01-03-2009 03:50:55 | More by badbeer
4.1/5 rDev +0.5%
Poured from 22 oz Bomber into Snifter glass.
Color is amber brown, good hue... Head formation is a nice small bubble layer that doesn't hold long. Some lacing on glass.
Smell is of Carmel malts and subtle hoppyness.
Taste is nice and hoppy, with subtle fruit hints. Alcohol says "hey" but is not a nuisance. Good taste, expected something much stronger though.
Body is nice and full, and bubbles don't attack making for a nice smooth brew. Very easy to drink, finishes quite well.
02-17-2008 08:43:42 | More by mattster
3.95/5 rDev -3.2%
Poured from my cellar at a temp of 65 degrees due to the heat in PA. Thin head. Light amber in color. Smells sweet and fruity. Taste is sweet also with a bit of the etoh which should settle in time. Not much hops in taste which is funny since it comes from Stone. Mouthfeel & drinkability are affected by the booze. A nice barleywine which gets better with age IMO.
06-12-2008 18:30:26 | More by SkinnyElvis
4.33/5 rDev +6.1%
Tap @ Stone Beer Gardens. Clear amber pour with a squatty tan head. Floral aroma with pine resin and malt. Subtle malt and resin hop blend throughout. More grapefruit and pineapple flavors as the earthy malt appears. Kind of a peat character. Chewy, woodys, without being syrupy. A nice brew from Stone.
12-16-2008 18:40:38 | More by magictrokini
3.88/5 rDev -4.9%
22oz bomber poured into a 8oz snifter.
Pours a slightly cloudy golden/amber color and a thin white head. Nose is sweet, malty and it has some light hoppiness and almost no booze.
Taste is a bit boozy but not too bad for over 11%, It's crisp and pretty smooth has a light hottness that lingers for a while. One of the first barleywines I've ever had and it's great to come back to it.
12-13-2009 23:27:05 | More by kingcrowing
4.22/5 rDev +3.4%
Poured into a Gulden Draak chalice with a copper bronze body simply shining when held up to the light a large cream hued head forms thick with fine bubbles and slow pouring head retention. Head retention is great with thick even chunks of lacing between sips. Aroma has huge malt ripened edges that are far removed from the early days of Stone Old Guardian this is a new take on it, not in a subdued way but just different I'm getting strong streams of sweetness including orange and other citrus peel marmalade notes really sweet and viscous at it's best with big herbal and more citrus layers of hops flooding my senses. Flavor is subdued if that makes sense much more unfiltered appearance in past years always looking mahogany brown these year it glows with clarity. At $6.99 a bottle it's amazing but I'm asking myself is the same brew I've come to expect from Stone, not at all but I like the changes it's lighter with more honey biscuit malt less straight abrasive hoppiness the kinda change I expect with growth. BTW this bottle gives a shout out to the crew in Cincinnati that gave me access to this beer thanks George and company at Cavalier thanks for yelling at Greg during GABF while he was writing this label in turn creating a relationship between your distributor and their brewery forever. Mouthfeel is full bodied syrup like in texture one fine ale that I can't give enough approval to carbonation is even with the big waves of malt and hop complexity, damn good. Drinkability is easy enough to wax off a big bottle but if your really serious come and represent with this beer at a tasting in small portions and try to wrap your mind around all of the flavor aspects another complex strong barleywine from the west coast, like we need any more of those.
03-08-2008 18:03:38 | More by WVbeergeek
3.8/5 rDev -6.9%
A - Pours with minimal head that has pretty good hang time.Nice clear amber color
S -Sweet, nearly molasses smell with mild notes of grapefuit
T - Sweet with undertones of molasses and alcohol yet the bitterness of the hops still comes through in moderate fashion.
M - Nice and thick just as one would expect from the style.
D - Barleywines are quickly becoming my favorite style and this one certainly hits the mark for me.
04-30-2008 01:46:56 | More by FrognutUnl
3.78/5 rDev -7.4%
Poured from a bomber into my Chimay Chalise.
Drink this a cellar temperature, folks! I began a review of this when it was a bit colder and the warmup made all the difference.
A-When chilled, a cloudy Apricot copper with an almost non existant head. When it warms up, it has a marked clarity and a slick looking creamy white head....very pretty.
S-Sweet apricot malts and yeast
T-Extremly sweet and alcoholic. Malt and dark fruits and malts, Slight hop bitterness in the finish. The alcohol bite mellows as this warms, but it always present.
M-Well balanced overall with a slick mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.
D-This is decent and drinkable. The label says early 2008 release, so it has had a year to age. I have another in the cellar and will age that another year to see if it mellows a bit more to allow the alcohol to blossom this into something truly remarkable. Worth checking out if you like the style. Cannot drink more than one of these in a sitting however.
Re-review of the cellared bottle on 1.19.11. Age has definately improved the scores at least a half a point, any booziness has receded and it is all sweetness and good, but I think this could even get better as the years go on. Alas, I have no others. Time to buy the current batch and let it sleep.
04-03-2009 01:32:23 | More by caddybuyer
4/5 rDev -2%
Early 2008 release. 22 oz. bomber > Chimay goblet/snifter
This is a clear, pure amber color with mellow liquid and a single stream of bubbles directly in the middle of the glass that actually creates a rather lively, dense and sticky tan colored head, long dissipation concidering the style.
The nose has a HUGE sweetness, caramel malt, honey-covered pineapple, strawberries and toffee...tangy, leafy hops that smell very herbal. The heat tingle on the nose is on the extreme side.
Unlike the sweet aroma's, the flavor is much more hop forward, infact the first thing you notice is the massive, bitter, leafy hop flavor attacking the palate, now, this was a bit too much for me personally but I'm sure the big-time hop heads out there love it. The malt gives a semi-sweet smoothness that does it's best to mellow and balance the hops. It tries hard but it's not enough in my book.The alcohol heat is HUGE and mixes with the bitter hops to create something that is difficult to even sip at times. The heat must melolow!! I only let this one sit in the cellar for four months before I opened it, I should've waited much longer. i'm sure the hops will ease up after some time goes by. The blalance should be better next year. Still, eventhough the hops are massive the overall flavor's are big and enjoyable.
This one is medium to full bodied, the malt is a bit thin overall and not as hefty and impressive as some other versions of this style, but it's rather hefty compared to about 80% of beers out there.
good stuff, but the hot heat and huge bitter hops keep this one at bay.
11-03-2008 20:42:08 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
4.28/5 rDev +4.9%
a very good beer that pours a nice frothy head in a chalice. the smell is awesome and what is to be expected of a barley wine. The taste is very good with a good kick when swallowing but not too hoppy and bitter. A definite kick ass beer to a conclusion of a long day or any day....gets you feeling buzzed after a glass!
02-29-2008 02:44:50 | More by jcivetz
4.6/5 rDev +12.7%
Ultra-creamy head is big enough for the style, nearly an inch thick. Color is a fiery copper-red, like sunset with bubbles.
Aroma is a wonderful balance of pungent citrus-rind hops, gooey malt sweetness, vanilla extract, and nostril-flaring sherry-like fumes. I know it's 11.26%, but if the alcohol were less prominent in the nose, and the malt and--what the heck--the hops more so, it would be a perfect 5.
Flavor is intense. Alcohol and hops provide some extremity of flavor, challenging the taste buds to "take that" and "take that!" again. Not rough, just a whole lot of each. Luckily there's a truckload of malt thrown into the recipe, making for big, round, cherry-like sweetness and a buttery glide thanks to a hugely creamy texture, like melted warm ice-cream...but just enough carbonation to keep things from getting sluggish. More flavor: vanilla ice-cream with chunks of maraschino cherry, leafy green apple-spiced pipe tobacco, grassy astringency in the finish. It's a battle to the finish between bitter, hot, sweet and creamy. Everybody wins.
As consistently mindblowing as Stone usually is, I had always been somewhat let down with Old Guardian in previous years. This one perfects the balance it had previously been lacking. It's still just a bit on the crazy-alcohol side, with a heat to match, making it anything but an occasional visit to this snifter, but it tastes so damn good that I welcome the next meeting (it's my third 2008 this year, and I have one more--whoo hoo!). California takes over as the U.S. barleywine capital, if you consider Old Guardian, as well as Green Flash and Sierra Nevada's takes on the style.
08-14-2008 22:55:15 | More by Metalmonk
4.13/5 rDev +1.2%
Guess I oughta review one of these eventually.
Pours a very nice looking amber and orange color with a large fluffy off white head that leaves good lacing. Nose is some big maltiness, hops, some dark fruit or peachiness and a bit of spice. Flavor starts out with a big malt presence, followed by some savage hoppery and a good spice kick. dark fruit, some light caramel and candy sugar. Hops finish it up with a nice bitter kick. Mouthfeel is thinner than I would like in a BW, but nice and viscous, and most certainly tolerable. Drinkability is outstanding for the abv. Overall a solid representation of the american barleywine style. A good one, and a go to for an easy choice in the realm of american BW. Good beer.
09-02-2008 00:55:59 | More by AKBelgianBeast
3.78/5 rDev -7.4%
Classic great barleywine. Medium red grapefruit colour, with lasting off-white head. Aroma of barley and malt. Maly-barley aroma. An above average hoppy barleywine with very good mouhfeel. Fruit, caramel taste a and above average mouthfeel.Middle of road in a great roster of barleywines.
05-18-2009 22:04:10 | More by Sammy
4.1/5 rDev +0.5%
Tawny brown with an off white head. Great lacing with sediment on the bottom.
Caramel covered apples with orange rind,honey and alcohol.
Hops are still very present in this fine ale. A slight caramel flavor comes through along with plenty of citrus and citrus rind. Bread and apples make an appearance with a strong alcoholic presence.
Full body with sufficient carbonation.
A good beer that I am sure will improve with age. I would like to try one from my case every 2-3 years.
08-16-2009 05:26:39 | More by alovesupreme
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.