Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
3.9/5 rDev -4.4%
Poured this beast of a beer into my beer snifter. A very nice looking beer a very vivid orange color and a head that clings to the side of the glass but dissipates quickly, but when agitated reappears. The nose is robust, sweet, caramel, ripe fruit (dates and pears), spiciness (nutmeg), very complex. The taste is bold sweet hot with alcohol, a bitter hop finish. There is a slippery hop finish with the bite of alcohol. As far as drinkability if you have more than one, better hope there is no work tomorrow because you are gonna feel it.
04-16-2008 04:40:06 | More by aquaderek
4.35/5 rDev +6.6%
Just picked this up at Oak Tree in NJ and tried it that night at a great temperature, never in the fridge.
Very nice amber/red/golden hue with a generous head that is a sticky off-white cappuccino-esque froth.
The aroma is immediately a nice blend of hops and a sweet malt, which was very refreshing to smell. This is the first time I had one of these so fresh, so I would imagine that this would dramatically change as the beer ages.
Great flavors. A rich barleywine that is beyond an IPA with its huge malt backbone and a caramel flavor that can't be missed.
This feels a bit thinner than the ones I've had in the past, however, I note that this was fresh and I typically prefer these to be aged for a few years.
I look forward to trying these over the next several years, and I would suggest buying 6-12 of them to add to the cellar. They age phenomenally well and will become mellowed as they get 3-5 years on them.
Definitely enjoy these out of a snifter, a nice red wine glass, or if you have them - the Old Guardian glass from Stone!
01-27-2008 16:32:10 | More by HimerMan
3.95/5 rDev -3.2%
Appearance-Pours a dark caramel amber into the glass giving rise to some small head which leaves just the slightest dab of a ring of lacing. Much lighter color than I was anticipating.
Aroma-Sticky toffee and caramel aromas followed by some fusel alcohol; it isn't as wowing as I had hoped, it still smells good but it's fairly one dimensional.
Taste-Follows the nose with toffee notes followed by some piney hoppy bitterness and, again, that bite of tongue numbing alcohol on the back end. This tastes to me almost like a watered down version of Double Bastard with the sweet and bitter aspects watering each other down rather than outright competing with one another and with more alcohol to make up for this discrepancy; I was expecting something so much more out of this.
Mouthfeel-They nailed this at least, it's full, rich and syrupy just like a barleywine should be.
Drinkability-Meh, it's by no means undrinkable and in fact I do like it but it's rather sub-par by Stone's standards.
08-15-2010 20:18:40 | More by Manoftyr
3.8/5 rDev -6.9%
Me and my friend were a bit sceptical about drinking this beer so early at first. And it proved that this one probably would be a lot better in a couple of years, luckily enough we have one more bottle left.
The beer pours a amber color with a big beige head, it looks really nice! And the bottle is classy as always from Stone Brewing.
Aroma has notes of those typical American hops and some fruit-candy-thingy going on. Notes of caramel and rosted malts aswell. Really nice smell actually!
The taste is not as hoppy as one might think at first. It's rather more malt dominated with lots of caramel and fruit candy notes. The only problem is that it doesn't feel mature enough to drink.
A good beer anyway, not the best I've had from Stone, but I think this one would be great in a couple of years.
01-31-2009 12:17:47 | More by Bananaman
4.4/5 rDev +7.8%
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.
07-29-2008 03:51:23 | More by jakon
4.22/5 rDev +3.4%
Another beer from Uptown from the Stone launch party. Again I left my notes behind from this one so I am going off memory altough it was within a day.
Color was a fairly light amber, some cloudiness. Head was reduced. The lacing around where the head was superb, the further down it went the weaker it got very quickly. After about 1 third there was no lacing.
Smell had a hoppy aroma but not overpowering. There was a sweet alcohol smell that was more dominant.
Some resiny hops. Tasted very much like pineapple. I think this is the sensation I get from Molasses (still a theory right now). Very pleasant and very drinkable. Was definately heavy with the alcohol content. However I could have done another, it was always a pleasure drinking it. Could definately feel it though!
11-09-2008 03:17:49 | More by Baileyuk
4.33/5 rDev +6.1%
I managed to pick this brew up for $6. It already has 2years of aging on it and it was definitely a pretty awesome and rare find.
This beer poured a beautiful burnt amber with a finger high off-white head. Thick lacing smothered the glass. The initial smell of the beer was powerful and could be smelt as soon as the bottle was opened. The scent was that of dark fruits, malts and a slightly masked citrus. The initial taste of the beer was that of the dark fruits, as well as an interesting malt presence. The malts were that of a burnt caramel. What followed was the hop presence which seemed in the range of citrus hops, and some pineyness to give it some earthy tones. The finishing flavor is that of spices, as well as a nice kick from the alcohol, which is something very noticeable about this brew. This beer has a medium body with light to medium carbonation.
All I can say is wow, this is a very good beer. It seems that I need to get a 2010 brew of this to get an idea of how this beer initially tastes. Definitely recommend this one to the B arleywine fans out there.
10-02-2010 01:47:00 | More by Mancer
2.9/5 rDev -28.9%
I think the beer I had was fresh, and I'm pretty sure this could use some cellaring. The nose is cereal and band-aid, and that ain't good. The color is nice and coppery, with a fair head. First sips are some caramel and earthiness, but then you're hit with some fairly intense brackish bitterness. This latter soon dominates the palate. I like bitterness, but not this bitterness. I got some alcohol-y brandied fruit on the finish, which is definitely good, but it struggled to break through that brackish taste. As I got through the bottle it seemed that big mouthfuls brought out more of the good flavors, but really, who wouldn't rather sip a barleywine? So I can't recommend this, but again, maybe with age...
02-29-2008 19:04:53 | More by Flyer
3.98/5 rDev -2.5%
Pours a very hazy orange/apricot color. It almost has a cider appearance. Has a tan head with a slight orange tinge to it, but it goes away very quickly.
Has a very fruity/spicy yeast aroma. The booze is obvious but not overpowering. There's some sweet cotton candy, vanilla and almonds?? in there as well.
A lot of sweetness with fruity esters and spiciness up front. Then plenty of malitness that goes to a moderate amount of hoppy bitterness. The alcohol is very toned down, which was a little surprising from the aroma. Not a very complex tasting beer but very enjoyable.
It's very smooth and full bodied. There's a little carbonation bite with a warming sensation and only a very slight burn on swallow. There's a little lingering dryness.
This beer is dangerously easy to drink. It should be a sipper but it's easy to forget the alcohol content. It's fairly well balanced between the fruity spice, sweetness and bitterness. A nice beer.
10-18-2009 14:38:28 | More by Kallessin
4.05/5 rDev -0.7%
A- Golden in color with some amber undertones and a small light tan head that matched the body quite well.
S - Barley, malt with piney hops and alcohol to a lesser degree.
T - Taste is of barley and malt. It has a very well balanced sweet vs bitter flavor. Alcohol is warming but not very prevalent. Somewhat unremarkable, but certainly enjoyable.
M - Medium to full bodied.
D - The balance is there to make this one very drinkable. By drinkable I mean slow sipper.
10-14-2008 01:00:19 | More by bifrostguard
3.88/5 rDev -4.9%
08 release obtained from Tom's Farm in Corona on my way home from work.
Poured this into a pint glass, cloudy with a deep orange/amber hue. Gave me a nice cream colored, two finger head that left beautiful lace rings down the sides of the glass as it was drunk.
Initial smell is an intense bready malt with hoppy grapefruit and alcohol close behind.
Taste of hard hitting caramel malt and citrus hop bitterness. Warmth of the alcohol content is there as well.
Another wonderful brew from Stone. My first plunge into the barleywine world and it didn't disappoint. Drinkability is a bit limited due to the alcohol but I could still definitely throw back a couple of these. Good stuff.
08-21-2008 01:11:10 | More by RodBurg
4.1/5 rDev +0.5%
I don't drink a whole lot of Barley Wines, but I do enjoy them. These Stone products are new to my area and I am liking.
A- Cloudy pumpkiny color with nice head, about a fingers worth.
S- Malty/Hoppy aroma, but in a good way
T- The hops are more present than the malts.
M- Super carbonated with a bittersweet aftertaste.
D- I think this Barley Wine is very easy drinking. Tasting this beer without knowing the alcohol content, I would guess lower than it is.
I will buy more and age for about a year.
05-08-2009 23:36:01 | More by jbone78
3.93/5 rDev -3.7%
Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; clear and clean orangey copper with the most delicate tiny bubbles in the center. Little retention, good lacing.
Smell: Peppery and spicy sugary sweet malt. Deep syrupy with strong alcohol presence.
Mouthfeel: Hugely syrupy and sweet, muted carbonation, warmly alcohol.
Taste: Sweet, alcoholic, peppery spicy a little citrusy malt. The alcohol is a bit much, Peppery and cidery malt explosion. Womp you over the head warmth from the alcohol on the finish.
Drinkability: I bought six bottles based on the quality of the RIS, really think this will age nicely. It could use a little mellowing and blending. I think this is a great dessert beer...I just made my kid a molten fudge cake and it goes beautifully with it.
05-19-2008 23:55:17 | More by joezak5
4.4/5 rDev +7.8%
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.
02-25-2008 14:54:37 | More by Terp96
3.95/5 rDev -3.2%
Poured from a bomber into a snifter
A-Pours a copper color with a nice white/brown head.
S-First thing that hits you is the hopps. After awhile you can get caramel and other sugary scents.
T-This a nice taste with a bite of alcohol at the end. Its a nice balance just not a ale you can taste with a sip.
M/D-Overall I think this is great ale. I really liked the taste but the mouthfeel had a little too much of a bite for my taste.
03-19-2008 04:23:36 | More by choyhosoi
4.35/5 rDev +6.6%
Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. Clear orange with one finger of tan head. Sweet yet hoppy smell with lots of citrus. Malty and sweet throughout, but definitely hoppy and bitter. Medium bodied and slightly syrupy, but very drinkable for the high ABV.
Great fresh, can't wait to see how it turns out in time.
04-29-2008 04:56:03 | More by srroos
4.2/5 rDev +2.9%
Had my first 2008 last night, poured into a Piraat tulip.
This was a beauty of a beer in the looks department: deep orange in color and with a healthy two finger head that wouldn't quit. Lots of sticky lacing. Incredible really given such a high gravity beer.
Save for a bit of crystal malt, I got absolutely nothing on the nose. I swirled vigorously; still, nothing. What's up with that?
It tasted great however, much like a 2IPA only mildly hoppy by Stone's standards. Well balanced and exceptionally drinkable: where's the alcohol?
Mouthfeel was near perfection to my tastes: oily, somewhat viscous, and with vivacious carbonation.
I still can't believe this beer is over 11%, as it went down so easy... nice and smooth. The high ABV precludes me from giving it a 4.5 in drinkability.
Well, i am a little hungover today, but the Stone wasn't my only beverage of choice last night.
I'll be drinkin' me a bunch more of these, and
edit: i had another of these tonight (03/01/08) and have to say my palate is picking up much more on the citrusy hoppiness of the beer.
02-29-2008 19:03:29 | More by unclederby
4.1/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
03-06-2009 17:02:42 | More by HopEnthusiast
3.03/5 rDev -25.7%
Poured with a mild head, a little foam lingers on top of the glass as the head evens itself out. A cloudy/foggy dull orange color, minimal carbonation.
Thick lacing clings to the side of the glass as you take a sip.
You need to expect extremeness when drinking anything from Stone. This barleywine certainly packs a punch. You taste the 11+ ABV for sure. Not for the faint of heart (or less experienced beer drinker)! Much more hoppy than I would imagined, relatively strong...very reminscent of their IPA.
A strong smell. A combination of hops and candy-like overtones. A very intense flavor, but I think I would have preferred a bit less hoppiness/floraliness. This seems to dominate the taste a bit too much.
03-09-2008 19:58:29 | More by Nutleybeer
4.08/5 rDev 0%
2008 Release from a 22oz bottle purchased locally at original time of release. Aroma is rich and malty with some hop spice. Color is amber with a small beige head, slightly hazy. Flavor is fairly bitter but balances with the malt. Some fruit and some caramel/honey. Not too sweet. Hops are piney. Some alcohol present. Thick but not too viscous. Finish lingers but dries in the end which is nice for a beer this big. I can't wait to try this again in a couple years once it has a little more age on it.
12-19-2008 06:58:02 | More by Brewsmith
3.93/5 rDev -3.7%
22oz bottle poored into a pint glass.
It comes off a hazey red timted deep orange with an off white stack of thick sticky bubbles that leave some serious lace. Smell is carmal malt with some serious bready smells as well. I also get some fruity citrus and herbal hops. Taste is very carmal malted up front with a good buiscet malt throughout and some grapefruity citrus and herbal notes that linger on well in th dry finish. There is also a very boozey alcohol flavor that strengthens as it warms. Very thick coating like mouth feel that is nice.
08-18-2008 17:35:01 | More by jordoo
3.48/5 rDev -14.7%
Early 2008 Release.
Pours a hazy deep orange. Minimal whispy, white head. Would have like to seen more head on this one.
Smells super sugary. Orange, floral hops, and a prominent caramel to toffee aroma. You can almost smell the bitterness in this one.
I big fat grapefruit is thrown at you and smacks you across the head. We're not talking a regular old grapefruit, but it's one of those big Texas ones. There is prominent alcohol in this one, but that's not a bad thing. Pretty good actually. The sweetness shines through just a touch between the bitterness and alcohol.
Mouthfeel is thick and oily. Creamy but yet a good level of carbonation to break everything up.
I wouldn't say that this is drinkable right now. I was glad I wasn't drinking the whole bomber. It's an interesting experience fresh, but when I revisit this one after some aging, I would bet the numbers will rise. It's definitely a super fresh beer right now, so beware.
02-02-2008 19:39:48 | More by biking4beer
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.