Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev +6.1%
Copper color with a decent head. A little haze.
Peach, caramel, toffee, mint, soil, orange, cedar and some dates in the nose. Very pleasant. Oh and some booze.
Starts sugary with biscuit, caramel, toffee, and dried fruit flavors. Hops are really minty/floral with a tad bit of resinous character, very restrained for a Stone beer. Some candy orange and peach flavors in the middle. The finish is a bit rough and full of alcohol, but it's what I expect from a big barleywine.
Full body with perfect amount of carbonation to cleanse the palate for another sip.
The alcohol is a bit high, but I am freezing here in Philly, so the warming quality is welcomed. Maybe if I were back in California I would have a different attitude. One of my favorite Barleywines every year. Highly recommended.
03-03-2008 04:27:23 | More by bosco7
United Kingdom (England)
3.9/5 rDev -4.4%
Bought from Beers of Europe (Kings Lynn, UK), and poured from a cellar temperature bottle into an oversized wine glass.
Appearance: Warm amber coloured body, with a fluffy off-white head, which shows good lacing and retention. No visible carbonation whatsoever.
Aroma: There is a dry barley scent, which is strong at first with lots of oats. This makes way for a slight sweet hit before a potent alcohol aroma takes over.
Taste: The first flavours that come through are oats and wheat, with a hint of sweetness. In the middle the taste drys out and becomes very earthy and hoppy. The aftertaste is slightly perfumy, with an enduring punch of alcohol.
Mouthfeel: The feel is light considering the ABV, with an almost greasy texture, which projects a well rounded smoothness.
Drinkability: The alcohol is fairly heavy in the finish, which would normally destroy the drinkability, however, the flavours as a whole work past this making it incredibly moreish. This is my first Old Guardian, and I'm now pretty intrigued as to how the other years match up.
10-26-2009 23:21:23 | More by PartyBear
4.43/5 rDev +8.6%
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.
12-01-2009 07:06:33 | More by olympuszymurgus
District of Columbia
4.47/5 rDev +9.6%
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.
01-17-2009 01:11:21 | More by TLove
District of Columbia
4.28/5 rDev +4.9%
Pours a fairly clear medium amber to dark copper color with tons of off-white to tan head. Aromas of floral and citrusy hops backed by plenty of warm, toasty malts with a touch of chocolate and smoke. Overall sense of a woodsy, floral and herbacious brew. On the palate, a very thickly, syrupy feel to it. Hops are certainly much more in check in flavor with tons of toasty, light biscuity flavors coming through. Sadly, it's not as overly complex as some other great examples out there like my favorite, Old Ruffian. However, this is still a stellar American Barley Wine. I had it on tap a few weeks ago and it was horribly overcarbonated thoroughly drying it out making it nearly undrinkable. This sample is much better.
04-13-2008 19:30:17 | More by dreadnatty08
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
3.9/5 rDev -4.4%
"Limited early 08 release"
A - Orangy rust color. Small white/orangy head that fades.
S - The smell isn't that strong. There alcohol scent is surprisingly subtle, and then I pickup some butterscotch and caramel.
T - Caramel up front, some butterscotch and a strong alcohol overtone.
M - Medium alcohol burn, sticky and a medium body.
D - Would only have one bottle due to the strong ABV, but its a great sipper. I'd rather have some other barleywines over this one though.
11-04-2008 00:33:18 | More by Yesac
3.7/5 rDev -9.3%
I had to review this beer in two sessions because at first sip I found it to be too hot and palate numbingly bitter. I did what I've found works in red wines as well when they are a bit "green." I corked it tight and left it in the fridge overnight. This review comes from the next day after it sat for a while.
Hazy dark copper color with a dense foam head of orange tinged tan bubbles. Little to no lace left, just an oily film.
Caramel malts hit the nose first followed by citris and pine notes.
Candied fruits and caramel up front, followed by a solid wall of citrus rind and grapefruit. Hot alcohol on the finish. This was near undrinkable one day ago, perhaps a slight bit of oxidation helped.
Full bodied, with medium carbonation, each sip leaves an oily film on your lips and in your mouth. Goes down smooth. I had to say it was below average when it came to drinkablility for now. It's too hot at this point in my honest opinion. The combination of over the top hops and alcohol dominated the more complex and subtle notes. I believe this could do with some aging before you are really able to enjoy it.
02-21-2008 18:07:38 | More by Ieatlambfries
4.1/5 rDev +0.5%
I don't get to enjoy Stone's beers as often as I should.. they're a bit pricey, they come all the way from the west coast, and I'm not a rabid hophead like a lot of us out there. But given their prowess with high-alcohol, hop loaded beers, when it came time for me to buy some barleywines I definitely wanted to try this one.
Pours very hazy peach orange colored.. very hazy. Didn't think they bottle conditioned. Maybe they don't and something's wrong. Not getting an outrageous head on my pour, but the small frothy head looks very west coast.. apparently heads can be west coast. Soda like bubbles coming up from the bottom.
When I popped this open I felt like I was opening a liquor bottle that I could smell from a couple feet away. Very heavy on the malt. Reminds me of Christmas for some reason. And Victory's Old Horizontal that I also just had a 6-pack of.
Taste is very sweet and loaded with alcohol. Sounds like a good combination. Very similar to Old Horizontal but with more hints of wood, although I don't think this has gone anywhere near a barrel. A bit of a pucker up candy taste towards the end. Obvious usage of those crazy high alpha acid hops that just make it bitter as hell. I think I was hoping for more of a double IPA for some reason. Has a bit of creaminess to it from age which makes it very drinkable.
09-22-2009 01:02:18 | More by wiseguy142
3.03/5 rDev -25.7%
1 pt. 6 oz. bottle in a pint glass.
A - Nice orange/red color with a thick beige head that stays for a while.
S - Sweet, apple smell. Not much other than fruit.
T - Strong alcohol flavor, a little sweet.
M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.
D - The alcohol flavor is way too much.
02-15-2008 04:01:36 | More by jeffmonarch
3.25/5 rDev -20.3%
Picked this up on a whim, Stone usually runs pretty good.
Poured a deep orange with a slight reddish hue, thin white head, more or less nonexistant. Retention is not so great, what head there is lasts only minutes.
Smells of oak, sweet malt, very spicey.
Taste is very sharp, sweetness of malt is overpowering. Oak and spice comes across pretty stong, and hop is a bit milder than I expected.
Mouthfeel is sticky sweet and sharp. Carbonation is where it should be, pretty light.
Drinkability here is average. I've had better barley's but this isn't terrible, just not my style.
09-06-2008 04:01:42 | More by LumpyGuitar
4/5 rDev -2%
22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass.
Pours a relatively clear reddish copper in color with a minimal off white head with poor retention. Aroma is chocked full of malty sweetness with some light citrusy hop aroma. Taste is very malty. Relatively high malty sweetness. Some caramel flavors near the finish. Very high bitterness that underlies everything but really shines through in the finish. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming and becomes more noticeable as it warms. Mouthfeel is relatively full bodied, not quite syrupy but darn close with low carbonation. Drinkability is pretty darn good. At first i really didn't enjoy this beer very much but that changed after a few sips. When this brew was colder isn't wasn't nearly as characterful. As this beer warmed new flavors came alive.
07-27-2008 00:20:03 | More by mnj21655
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
4.1/5 rDev +0.5%
Pours a cloudy copper with a giant white head. This is the kind of brew you just want to hold up next to a macro lager and say "See, this is what beer is supposed to look like."
Sweet and sour citrus fruits, crisp tea-like herbs, and clean caramel are apparent in both the taste and aroma. Toasted grains and some light spices round out the complex list of flavors.
The crisp, bubbly mouthfeel and variety of flavors masks the high ABV well. Another great beer from Stone.
03-11-2009 01:45:18 | More by ElGrecoVerde
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
3.63/5 rDev -11%
A - Very light and clear orange copper. A little to light for a barley wine I think.
S - Lots of alcohol and some spicy hop aroma.
T - Very spicy, both with the alcohol burn and hop spiciness. Just a little of maltyness you would expect.
M - Medium mouth feel. Not as full as I would expect for a barley wine
D - Meh. Pretty good, but I've had better barley wines.
04-05-2008 01:13:55 | More by enfield249
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
3.3/5 rDev -19.1%
Picked up a bomber from Party Source in Newport, KY.
A: Pours a hazy unfiltered orange amber with white frothy head that reduces down to a film and leaves good lacing.
S: Smells old sweet caramel malts and sweet fruits, but not very citrousy. Slight alcohol scent.
T: Similar to smell with more alcohol in the flavor, a bite that almost tastes sour with some of the hop bitterness i'm used to in other Stone beers.
M: Pretty thick considering I didn't expect it. Good amount of carbonation with some warmth.
D: If I enjoyed this style of brew, which I'm starting to think I don't, it'd be higher, but I'm just not feeling this.
It tastes too much like Founder's Red's Rye, or Alpha Kong or Prohibition Ale to me and I didn't like those much. The "sour" type flavor really puts me off.
01-04-2009 01:14:41 | More by dukedevil0
4/5 rDev -2%
Color: hazy caramel
Smell: slightly hoppy; dark fruit
Taste: slight hoppiness throughout, but a little more prominent in the finish. nice sweetness and dark fruit
Mouthfeel: smooth. low carbonation. low-full body
Notes: one of the first barleywines i had and still one of my favorites. i dont like a lot of hops to my barleywines and this one pushes it, but its still great
02-18-2009 05:58:16 | More by Frosty80
3.03/5 rDev -25.7%
22 oz. bottle into a snifter; no freshness date
P: Poured out rich gold from the bottle, and sits a hazy deep amber with tangerine highlights. 1 1/2 inch head was off-white, tightly compacted, and frothy. It did disappear pretty quickly to form a halo on top, with not much lacing.
A: Bready malts, citrusy & earthy hops, yeast, toffee, caramel, and alcohol...lots of alcohol!.
T: Starts with sweet caramel malts, a little toasted barley, and a hop kick made up of mostly grapefruit & orange peels. Malts are definitely on the top layer of flavors, but the hops do a commendable job of providing a backdrop to the grain bill. The middle gives rise to some good toffee flavors and an insane alcohol presence that blisters the tongue throughout the rest of the experience. The finish is dry and features a hint of yeast, while being joined by the ever-building creshendo of alcohol that sets a 4 alarm blaze in the chest and throat.
M: Full-bodied and viscious, yet smooth with a bit of graininess. Gently carbonated.
D: The 11.26% ABV, and heavy presence thereof, puts a bit of a damper on things in this department. 22 oz.'s was a struggle.
Notes: This is way too boozy for me to consider it a good example of the style. I mean, I understand that barleywines are supposed to be sippers, but the overwhelming ethanol just ruins this beer when it's this fresh. Had some good flavors and that signature Stone character to it, but it feels really raw right now. I need to buy another to age, as I think that would really help to mellow the alcohol and unwrap some of the more subtle flavors. Not recommended when fresh!
01-04-2009 15:46:08 | More by sweetbrew82
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.