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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

259 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 259
Hads: 328
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 8.17%
Wants: 6
Gots: 27 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.26% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HimerMan on 01-27-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 259 | Hads: 328
Photo of Pencible
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a hazy bright copper color with fluffy tan head. It smelled like freshly harvested wheat and refined sugar, with some citrus hops. It tasted mostly like orange hops, but also had some floral hops, light caramel malt, wheat, and some waxy flavor. It was watery with almost no carbonation and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a complex sipping beer, but wasn't as bold or delicious as I was hoping. A very good brew, but could have been better. (463 characters)

Photo of TLove
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stone Brewing Co. has released a wonderfully-balanced and delightfully complex barley wine style ale.

Apparently seen by many of my barley wine-drinking bretheren as a weak brou, I must disagree. The color and light tones of fruit and nuts in the smell are certainly indicative of a lighter barley-style ale, however, the light maltiness in the mouth is balanced by the strength and presence in the taste of the malt alcohol. This tastes a lot stronger than it is, but that does not detract from the plum overtones and fantastically-round finish. The beer rolls quite well from the front of the tongue to the throat and presents a good balance between the fruit, the oats, the roasted hops, the 11.25% ABV, and the notable maltiness.

Certainly worth the $7 I paid for it, Stone comes through once again. (806 characters)

Photo of UnknownKoger
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Been waiting three years to try this bad boy. My mouth is drooling. Cracked open and poured into my LA Craft Beer Week glass. Pouring...still carbonated. Awesome. Very little head and quickly dies away. Appearance is hazy copper with golden.

The smell is absolutely delicious. Sweet sweet malt. There are pretty much no hops on the nose. The taste only confirms this. It is a sweet malt extravaganza in your mouth. This is outstanding. The mouthfeel is surprisingly exceptional...very nicely bodied. The hops have pretty much faded away entirely. This is such a nice drink

Cracking it open is kind of sad because it's the only bottle of the 2008 I had, but the three year wait was clearly worth it. Will definitely be saving the other vintages for a few years (761 characters)

Photo of dwilson01
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my arrogant bastard pint glass, amazing find this brew was mistakenly underpriced on the shelf, and a spring 2008 release to boot!

appearance is thick and malty, let me reiterate that, THICK and MALTY, the carbonation bubbles literally move slowly up through the brew to make their way to the top. Nice head, recedes evenly with a thin film on top with a distinct clingy quality on the glass.

The smell is sweet caramel and buttery toffee, grapefruit/citrus hop scents, a hint of that alcohol "hotness" that barleywines have in the end. Gotta give high here again, I keep going back to smell it over and over, it does refresh my nasal passages quite well for being 2 years old

Extreme complexity to the taste, a sweet buttery toffee definitely comes to mind following from the original scent although the caramel not so much. The alcohol esters are hidden from my palate by the immense amount of hops thrown in this bad boy. Tons of hop flavors intermingling; grapefruit, overripe orange, pine, and even some spring floral as well. The end following the hopping is the herb and spice flavors that hit with the carbonation, the fresh kind of herbs, sweet basil, thyme, fresh cut green onion...told you there was a lot

This beer probably has the biggest, thickest, most badass mouthfeel of any brew I have had. Not to say it's my favorite, but for this style of beer there is no competition. I don't taste the alc esters due to the hop+spice abundance, but i feel the alcohol hotness especially in the back of my throat on the swallow.

Drinkability, dude...if this beer were smooth and easy to drink then people would be dead. It's a sipping beer, so thick feeling it's gnarlier than a stout. Huge body, absolutely amazing amount of hops to counterbalance that and come through in the nose and flavor. Spicing to mask the estery flavors of the 11.26% in here...great one, it gets better with age, much better. (1,939 characters)

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This barleywine style ale was released in 2008 and I had the joy of sampling it on-tap at the American Flatbread Stone event. My goblet was delivered to me a deep amber/garnet color with a short lived head. The retention of the collar was good however and the lacing scattered. The aroma was surprisingly light, alcohol esters and heat with a general sweetness of floral hops and ripened fruit. The flavors blew me away. Vanilla, caramel malt, floral and citrus hops, oak, nuts, especially hazelnuts, pears, apples along with hints of cinnamon and brown sugar. As it warmed up the alcohol appeared more prominently but at 11.26% it was astoundingly well-hidden. Dangerous! The mouthfeel was very smooth, the carbonation delicate and the body medium/full. As complex as an aged cognac yet highly drinkable. Wow. (810 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a cellared "2008" bottle into my Arrogant Bastard pint glass
Cloudy, orange/amber in color, with a half-inch head of foam
Aroma-Definite malt presence, faint citrus
Taste-Big malt onrush followed by a steady hop backbone. Incredibly smooth and easy-drinking for the strength. Warning! Take it slow or you will be ambushed by the 11.26ABV!!
If you let it warm,the alchohol asserts itself, leaving a warm afterglow in the finish. (439 characters)

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged just slightly over a year.

A- Wonderful red amber copper color with very little head.

S- I can smell the glass from 3 feet away. It smells like golden hoppy excellence. Great honey and bubble gum smell. This is very tasty smelling.

T- The taste is nice and herbal, the hops are still there, but have mellowed quite a bit. This has a great taste, with honey, bubble gum and vanilla.

M- The mouthfeel is thick, yet good carbination.

D- Very drinkable, even tough it is potent. (486 characters)

Photo of matt20102
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I opened this bottle, quite unsure of what to expect, but with fairly high hopes. After all, Stone has yet to let me down when it comes to extreme styles (even when a particular variety doesn't make my 'jump at it when I see it in a bar' list, I can appreciate the quality of the brew.

This bottle was stored for about 2 years (even though it is 09/2009 and the bottle is called 'early 2008 release'; perhaps my tag was wrong?). Poured into a glass, it shows an unusually uniform color- about 15 SRM. It's surprisingly uniform in color, actually. (The beer is fairly light in color but has the light-stopping power of a stout. I've never seen anything quite like it).

The bottle opened with a pop and pours with a a thick head for such a strong beer; within a few minutes the head recedes to the edge of the glass and remains indefinitely. The first taste is of malt, pleasantly roasted or burned malt, and a generic hoppy bitterness which quickly changes to Stone's infamous grapefruity cascade hops flavor. Thia is a Stone product, alright. What's surprising is that there is no alcohol taste- at all! For a beer this strong, that's a little surprising and not at all unwelcome. The mouthfeel goes quickly from thick and malty to rather thin; the overwhelming aftertaste is of grapefruit followed by grapefruit & copper.

This beer is not for the faint of heart; about half-way through the bottle I can already feel the effects of it's 11.26% abv. Finishing this bottle off is rather like 4.5 5% beers. That being said, the beer is quite drinkable and I would happily buy another, if I could find it, or Stone's next limited edition Barleywine. (1,650 characters)

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first bottle of OG that I have sampled. Thanks to Joey from South Bay for his online services. Thanks man, I appreciate it.

Poured part of a bomber into an OG glass.

Appearance - This is a good looking beer. It produced a two finger latte foam head that slowly dissipated to a thin crown. It left quite a bit of lacing on the way down. There were constant bubble streams that rose from the side of the glass. It is a hazy transparent honey orange gold color. Yummy.

Smell - The smell was good, but slightly subdued. I could primarily smell caramel and booze. There was a flowery hop scent that was closely tied to the booze - it was very slight, but it had notes of citrus and pine.

Taste - This is a tasty barleywine. Other people have compared other vintages to a barleywine/IPA mix, and this vintage isn't too far off. It was a tasty well-hopped barleywine. There are notes of orange, lemon and mostly grapefruit citrus, with hints of pine and cherry. It is quite boozy, though it suits the flavor nicely. There is a caramel flavor as well which balances nicely with the booze and hop level.

Mouthfeel - I love the mouthfeel on this one. It has a medium/full body, with the perfect level of carbonation, IMO. It isn't quite effervescent, but it is lively enough to cut through the relatively thick body. It is slightly oily and sticky.

Drinkability - This barleywine is extremely drinkable. It took me awhile to finish the bottle by myself, but it's tasty, smells good, and feels great going down, I really just wanted to savor it. I am glad I picked up several bottles. I could see how this would age well, but the hops are so tasty, I am not sure if I would want to cellar it that long. It is a must try.

A great beer from one of my favorite breweries. (1,776 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"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... (447 characters)

Photo of changeup45
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 limited release, 11.26 abv. I have been wanting to try this for a while and was fortunate to find it at Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg, VA. Pours an amber/orange color with a thin head but it sticks around. Aroma is a lot of sweet malt, vanilla, fruity, particularly grapefruit, and a touch of alcohol. This is a wonderful tasting barleywine with many layers adding to it's complexity. The flavors are sweet malts, sherry, tart cherries, oak, a dark fruit note and finishes off with grapefruit hops. Not a lot of bitterness but some mild alcohol burn and although you know the alcohol is in it the 11.26% hides quite well. A nice representation of the style and a beer that makes for a great evening. (703 characters)

Photo of Jmamay22
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rust colored orange. The head quickly dissipates to a cream colored collar. No lacing or carbonation bubbles evident.

Smells balanced? Is this Stone? Orange rind and grapefruit smelling hops mix with a sweet syrupy caramel and toffee scent. There may be a touch of raisins as well.

The taste is fairly balanced as well, but favors the hops a bit. Orange and grapefruit meet the caramel tones again. Sounds simple, but plays out in a wonderfully complex manner with a great depth. As it warms to room temperature it becomes slightly sweeter and I must say it is better somewhat chilled around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Alcohol warms and lingers creating an enjoyable finish that is faintly fruity.

Minimal carbonation that seems to come to life as its quaffed. The alcohol content creates a prickly feel. A sure sipper, but much more drinkable than past years.

Sublime with carrot cake! (894 characters)

Photo of dmamiano
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bomber, shared with a friend.
deep copper with a big, off white head and lots of lacing.
smelled of pungent hops, sweet malts. Some mixed fruit, raisen and plum. Some floral notes mixed as well.
taste was very big and bold. Mouthfeel was solid.
tangy bite of citrus hops, deep fruity flavors from the malts all hiding the 11.26% alchohol completely.
Wonderful beer. (379 characters)

Photo of DIPAbrewer
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I snapped up the last bottle of this limited release and was glad that I did.

Beautiful tangerine orange color with a rocky persistent head. Slight chill haze present, a little lighter than your average Barleywine.

Strong sweet aroma with piney citrus floating through the malt. Very nice aroma, much more hop than some other examples of the style.

The bready sweet malt flavor quickly gives way to a rush of fresh tasting grapefruit and piney hops. Strong bitterness brings the darkly sweet malt into balance.

The mouthfeel and drinkability are both exceptional I had no problem polishing off this bottle with one friend. A great pair with spicy indian food, bbq, or a strong bleu cheese. (693 characters)

Photo of burnstar
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky orangish copper with a medium persistant off white head. Lots of lacing. Aroma is very sweet caramel, many fruit notes- pears and plums, a bit of alcohol and a touch of earthy yeastiness. Taste is similar to the smell. A very solid but not overpowering carmelly sweetness again with lots of fruit notes. A nice light bitterness in the finish balances this out well. A bit herbal neer the end as well with some slight alcohol warmth. Lightly carbonated and creamy. Overall very pleasant and pretty drinkable for the style and strength. (548 characters)

Photo of peensteen
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Volo

Pours a hazy deep copper, decent white head, nice light lacing. Smell is of caramel, big malt, biscuit, quite hoppy considering the age, faint citrus and alc. notes. Taste is rich with caramel, good malt, sweet but not cloying and actually quite nice, dark sugar, no alcohol to be found. Slightly syrupy mouthfeel, thick, full body, very light carbonation. Awesome stuff overall, ABV almost undetectable, really good stuff. (439 characters)

Photo of kevinglin
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very good beer. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into two wide-mouth goblets to split the bottle with my great buddy Nat who is about to move away. Copper-orange color with no head to speak of. Somewhat hazy with some legs as it sticks to the sides of the glass.

Aroma of raisins and dark fruit for me - definitely a lot of malt but I'm not getting much in the hops department. Taste backs up the aroma - HUGE on the malt presence. A big beer for sure - dark fruits again but now the hop flavor begins to come through, which of course reminds me that I am, after all, drinking a Stone brew. Sweet malty presence is offset with an earthy/woodsy hop bitterness and flavor. As it warms, the spiciness of the hops begins to shine a bit more and the alcohol warmth really begins to show. Hop bitterness lingers well into the aftertaste.

Body is somewhat slick, yet chewy, but somehow there is a lively carbonation on the tongue.

Overall, definitely recommend. A big beer for sure, and as I've tried a lot of the Stone IPA/DIPA and have enjoyed their hop monsters, this was a bit of a change of pace to enjoy their Malt Monster. Complex, flavorful and certainly enjoyable as a late-night sipper reminiscing with old friends. (1,219 characters)

Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a- light for a barley wine style. almost like a blond. nice carbonation.

s- caramel and alcohol. smells like a classic barley wine.

t- oh, delicious. the hops, the alcohol, and the caramel flavors intermingle beautifully.

m- long, smooth hang.

d- very nice. a splendid beer to share with friends. (300 characters)

Photo of jakon
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased for $6.99

This beer pours a glowing orange/amber color with a sizeable creamy white head.

The aroma on this one reminds me more of the '06 version than last year's.

Huge all the way around, I pick up sweet biscuity malt, marshmallow, caramel, alcohol, and a strong fruity hop presence even after 6 month's time.

The taste is very nice. Not as hot as the past few years, while seemingly more dynamic in the malt department. Tastes like cinnamon rolls without the cinnamon, candied oranges and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. Thick and kinda syrupy. Moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is a great barley wine. My favorite OG vintage I've tried thus far. (700 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am so glad that the local liquor store is carrying the Stone Special Releases. And a $4.50 a bottle? The price is right too, especially for such a wonderful bottle of beer.

Beer pours a dark clear amber color, with a very nice white head on top.

Aromas are potent, but very pleasant to sniff. Fruits stewed in booze, bright, sweet, and tea like, with a citrus hop note as well.

First sip, this definitely tastes different than the 07 fresh. Lots of boozy flavors, not overpowering though. Oak like, with stewed dark fruit flavors, and a crisp caramel malt flavor. Finish is earthy, with sharp pine and citrus like hop bitterness. I really like this now, but I'll be interested to taste this again in a year or so.

Mouthfeel is great. Thick, full, with a nice warmth feel to it.

Drinkability is good. But this is a monster of a beer. Seems a bit more refined than last years, but no less tasty. Well worth a try, I think I will pick up a couple more bottles before this is all gone... (991 characters)

Photo of Terp96
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 edition poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint tumbler. Hazy amber color with small head that dissapates rather quickly.

Aroma is fruity and hoppy but not overpowering. Very subtle hints of dark fruit.

Tastes great. Malty sweetness up front and througout. Nice hoppy presence in the end. There is a hoppy bite that gets stronger as you progress and the beer warms a bit. Second half of the bomber gets even better.

Mouthfeel is exceptional. Very smooth and balanced. No alcohol burn and not too sweet.

Drinkability is limited by the alcohol content but this is by far my favorite barleywine and an excellent interpretation of the style. (646 characters)

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: cloudy orange/gold body. very creamy off-white head, great retention, beautiful lacing.

s: wonderful aroma of barley and alcohol. you can tell there is a lot of malt in this one.

t: mmmm...NOW THAT IS A BARLEYWINE! a terrific representation of the style. has that wonderful malt/alcohol flavor only sen in barelywines. Hops sneak up on you, but are not overwhelming.

m: very creamy, smooth, and rich. low to medium carbonation.

d: That's some good stuff. I LOVE the maltiness of this beer. Tastes more like a British version than an American one. I will certainly be buying more of this! (594 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a bottle of this fresh in February 2008 but I had to re-review it 2 years later because it benefited so well from cellaring.

22oz bomber, served in a snifter.

L - hazy, burnt orange color with a off-white head that thinned to a ring leaving spotty lacing.

S - sweet malts and the citrus hop aroma is still there, I'm impressed.

T - the malty sweetness, hoppy bitterness and light taste of alcohol are so very well balanced, delicious.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel and gentle warming.

D - easy to sip fresh or a couple of years down the road when properly cellared. (585 characters)

Photo of charlesw
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So there I was... Assembling this swingset... And drinking this beer. And thinking about it, and all. And thinking, hey, this isn't bad! If I were to change it I'd make it a touch less sweet, maybe take down the harsh edge to the bitterness and up the hops in the nose (like, I couldn't smell any). Of course, less time might up the nose and more time might knock down the bitter. Crazy, huh? I still think that for the style it'd be a bit on the sweet side. Still, from memory, a decent enough replacement for Smutty - given the price and availability fo Smutty, eh? Oh, I suppose the color was oddly light, too, but, well, whatever. I can deal. It's a good beer. I'll seek it out again.

2007 bottle:
Pretty good. Interesting and weird! Pretty good. There is a bit of weirdness to the bitterness - some odd citrus twang - but overall it's decent. Mouthfeel is right on. So take the taste down a little and put the mouth up. Good stuff. (937 characters)

Photo of rootbeerman
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from notes 12/4/10

A: pours cloudy dark yellow/tan. little to no head, a thin white sheen is present
S: hops have mellowed, barley malt smells very sweet.
T: very sweet, hops are very mellow, alcohol is noticeable. age makes a nice smooth flavor to this.
M: thick and coating, long lingering flavor, low carbonation.
D: very sippable, almost makes me wonder what/how it would taste with two more years on it. (412 characters)

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 259 ratings.