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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

324 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 324
Reviews: 260
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.29%
Wants: 7
Gots: 26 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HimerMan on 01-27-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

olympuszymurgus, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of dmamiano
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

dmamiano, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of DIPAbrewer
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

DIPAbrewer, May 20, 2008
Photo of burnstar
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

burnstar, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of peensteen
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

peensteen, May 19, 2011
Photo of kevinglin
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

kevinglin, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

MiguelMandingo, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of UnknownKoger
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
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

UnknownKoger, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of becktone
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From notes 12-16-08

Done back to back with Dogfish Head Olde School

Eye: Really nice appearance. This one looks great. For starters the color is orange-amber and is pretty clear. The head is a creamy creature, with real nice retention, excellent formation and nice lacing. It holds a steady head after the pour (after its simmered down a bit) at about a finger's width. Lacing is real nice, thick rings, I mean sticking out form the inside of the glass connected by sheets.

Nose: Strong barley sweet malt presence, unlike DFH Olde School this one smells more like what I expect for the style. Big and malty with some alcohol to balance and support. But hey, you know DFH-"Off centered ales for off centered people." It was good, hell it was great, but I'll have to say this is more to style, not that I'm a style stickler or anything, but when I want a barelywine there are certain characteristics I want to taste, especially since I'm not a big barleywine fanatic. Once in a while I'm in the mood, and now this one is just about doing it for me with its "balanced aroma." Sweet malt is supported by a touch of graininess and some sweet caramel notes. The aroma reminds me of cookies cooking, some vanilla perhaps. I'll bet there's some toasted oats in here. Just a wonderful aroma, alcohol is hidden quite well. Overall this just smells excellent. Also a general aroma that reminds me of grain being mashed, if you're not a homebrewer then you're missing out. It's one of the most wonderful aromas there is. Hops top off the aroma, but are not in your face as most stone brews are when it comes to hops. Just got some bready character as well.

Tongue: First sip: alcohol is there, but not in as much quantity or intensity as the Olde School. After being swallowed an intense finish of toasty flavor lingers in the mouth. When I say intense I don't mean mind blowing, but as far as finishes go, I've never picked up toasty character this strong that lingers. Alcohol plays a role in the flavor, it weaves itself into the flavor of the beer, rather than being a predominant flavor itself. Graininess comes through and is easy to identify as well as toasted malts in the main flavor. Not as sweet as the DFH Olde School, and vastly different. Hops here have more of a floral and grassy flavor. Nice flavor but it pales to the complexity of the DFH Olde School, this may be more "stylisticlly correct" but it isn't as deep in terms of complexity and uniqueness. Its a great barleywine, but it doesn't stand apart from others that are just as good-I mean sure its much better than Mad River's Barleycorn and Bluegrass Bearded Pat, but is there anything that really makes it unique?...not really. This is just a good barleywine. Really hard to compare Stone and DFH, but on the otherhand it shouldn't be...both extreme brewers, but in a different spectrum. DFH going for outside the box, Stone going for breaking the box.

Feel and Drinkablity: Carbonation is low as it should be, everything in check as it should be with feel. Medium body with a dry finish. What I would like from this one is more warmth as it goes down, that really makes a beer like this much better, especially during the winter months when they are meant to be drunk. That's one the Olde School has up on Stone, this isn't warming. However, it isn't over the top alcoholic either. Even though after a few sips the palate became adjusted to the alcohol of the Olde School, it was still alcohol dominated for the first quarter-third of the bottle. This is one that I'll definitely pick up again. When I reach for a barleywine, and am in the mood, this is what I want. Sure DFH is good, but this is what I really want, well actually I think a mix of the two might be an interesting combo. That might be a winner for me. I like the depth and complexity, warmth and odd flavor of the DFH and the rock solid foundation of the Stone.

becktone, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of dwilson01
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

dwilson01, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Early 2008 release.

Pours a healthy amber chestnut wood color. Thinner head... Aroma is sweet and pleasant, not a tinge of alcohol. Taste is very smooth... hops were used gently. This beer is full of flavor and it a balanced example of a barleywine. Decent clarity. Low to moderate carb.

Nearly a perfect BJCP style match!

TheSupremeAJ, May 02, 2011
Photo of TLove
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

TLove, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of BierFan
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tumbler glass.

Appearance: Dark orange, with an off-white head. Left decent lacing.

Smell: Lots of barley malt. Smooth and strong, almost creamy alcohol aroma.

Taste: Alcohol is upfront but doesn't get in the way of enjoyment of this barley wine.

The most drinkable barley wine that I've ever had.

BierFan, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of jdaelhousen
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an orange/amber color producing little carbonation and a solid white head.

Aroma consists of a boozy, fruit aspect of cherry, apricot, rye, and wheat. There is also a distinct candy-sugar essence in the trailing nose.

Taste has a very sugary sweet flavor initially all the way into the center where a grainy rye flavor presents itself. From start to finish, this beer is noticeably boozy, and the finish produces a waft of warmth on the palate from the high ABV.

Aftertaste produces a tart bitterness to counter the sweetness, and the 2 mingle on the palate with the alcohol, for several seconds after the swallow. Smooth and surprisingly palate refreshing, this beer is a true winner.

jdaelhousen, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange with a light haze and thin cap of fine, off-white bubbles. Spotty lacing right off the pour and a few larger bubbles formed a solid collar. Great head retention. Malty aroma, lots of cereal grain and caramel, quite bready. Light fruit character and hops in the nose. Nicely balanced flavour with a solid malt backbone, caramel and grain, plus some citrusy hops that appear part way through and become a little spicy towards the end. Fruit was evident up front. Bitterness was strong without being aggressive and lingered in the finish, along with a bit of pine resin. Alcohol added to the flavour profile in the finish. Full bodied with creamy carbonation, really smooth. This stuff is dangerously drinkable. I really like this year's batch - it's really balanced for being young. I'll definitely be picking more up.

DrJay, Mar 17, 2008
Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber brown color with thick, foamy white head. Strong alcohol presence in the aroma as well as roasted malts and a bitter hoppiness. The two years of aging really opened this beer up and there is a pleasantly surprising amount of hops balancing out the maltiness and strong alcohol taste. Amazing!

corby112, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of hosehead83
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

hosehead83, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of Pencible
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Pencible, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of mikeale
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Orange body with a thin white head

S: Candy fruits, citrus faint hops

T: Sweet malty, alcohol, hops in the finish

M: Smooth creamy, balanced, warming alcohol, mmm

D: For a barley wine at 11.26% I'd say it's highly drinkable. The alcohol is not over powering, very balanced, but I've only got one left... I think this beer might go well with a cigar.

mikeale, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of BrunEngr
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

BrunEngr, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of Silenus89
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber to my Stone pint glass. Reddish hazy copper looking appearance with an off white head with superb lacing.

Smelled lots of malts, fruits, hops and a bit sugary.

The taste is bitter but sweet that was amazing. Thick and warming with alcohol.

This was my first barley wine ive had and it left a very good impression on me. I love this beer! i need to have it again. Highly recommended

Silenus89, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of liamt07
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared with Chris, Adam and Pino at Volo, split into some wine glasses. 22oz, ABV as stated.

Pours an amber brown, khaki head leaves a big collar with a thin film of head. Unfiltered and big legs on this one. Nose has some caramel and toffee, citrus hops can be sensed but feel muted in the overall spectrum. Taste has big toffee notes, some candied flavour, bitter hops notes come after the fact. Great full and creamy feel, with a significant sweetness that doesn't even come close to cloying. Great feel that lingers immensely, alcohol is felt but not at all tasted. Great drinkability again. Fantastic.

liamt07, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep orange/brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, caramelized malts, citrus, brown sugar and some alcohol.

T: The taste hits with a burst of hops bitterness, which I thought would be more toned-down since the beer has been sitting for almost a year. There are sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and citrus. The malt character is very hearty and there's a significant alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, very strong kick, excellent representation of style, the only difference that I see between this beer and the 2007 release is that the hops presence is a little stronger in this release, but that's mostly because of the extra year of aging. Overall, this is an excellent high-powered beer to drink for a long time.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of krabriter
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

krabriter, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of josssmith
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

josssmith, Jan 05, 2012
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.