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

326 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 326
Reviews: 259
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 326 | Reviews: 259 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mancer
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

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.

Photo of Flyer
2.9/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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...

Photo of Kallessin
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of bifrostguard
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of RodBurg
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of joezak5
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of jbone78
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

-Bye

Photo of BrunEngr
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of choyhosoi
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Terp96
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of Lofreqwave
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of srroos
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of unclederby
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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
soon.

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.

Photo of HopEnthusiast
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | 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.

Photo of Nutleybeer
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Brewsmith
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of trancesk8er
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of jordoo
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of biking4beer
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good beer - shared a bomber with a friend and some of her input is here to. Pours a really nice dark amber, not much head and not much retention. Taste is Stone for sure - but a little different. Hops, but not as crazy as some stones - and the barley and malts are really evident - I like it. Some fruitiness to the taste and smell, too. Smell isn't as robust as others, and the taste is incredibly smooth considering the alcohol content. Feel is thicker than expected for the style - I really like it. Try this out if you can find it. Highly recommended.

Photo of Rezzin
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I gave this beer 4's across the board. I may have to come back and re-grade this as I shared this with a brewing buddy and of course, we drank from plastic red cups again. He really needs to start doing dishes :)

A - No comment on the appearance other than it seemed to be a light copper color.

S - The aroma was really nice. Really sweet with a nice spicy hop aroma, caramel and toast notes.

T- This beer could use some aging but was actually really good even when this young. The flavor was malty, caramel, with just the right amount of hop bitterness. I would have actually preferred it to be a little more as I thought the hop bitterness balanced well with the malt at this age.

M - The mouthfeel was typical of a barleywine - full bodied with some alcohol warmth.

D - I personally feel this is great while young. I think it would age well but I'm so sure if the hops would carry through in a couple of years. I plan on picking up a few more bottles to find out :)

Photo of humanawho
3.28/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - nice amber/gold color and great head retention and lacing

S - a little candylike sweetness and very faint hoppy flower aroma

T - nothing stands out in the taste, it has nice sweet taste and still has a slight bitter finish, kind of a peachy taste in the background

M - nothing to complain about with the body just what you would expect from this type of beer which is good

D - no alcohol taste and nothing else is too out of the park so it is pretty drinkable and pretty good balance

sampled after some aging

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark deep copper with a nice creme head. Smell is structured on a nice backbone of mineral and earth. You get hints of fruit, alcohol, and hops off of that backbone. I like it. The taste continues the trends set in the smell. AT first it is a bit simple tasting but the flavor starts to deconstruct quickly as you continue drinking it and you can appreciate the different fruit, malt, and hop notes that combine to the seemingly simple first impression. The beer was a little hot and a bit fizzy for my liking, but overall I thought the 11% was hidden pretty well and I would certainly look forward to this beer in the future. Stone continues to impress.

Photo of vonburgey
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of Lothar666
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- An aggressive pour yielded a light, translucent orange-ruby-red body with a two finger thick, creamy off white head. Small traces of sediment were barely visible, and this one was much lighter and more carbonated than I expect in a barleywine. Lacing was thick and sticky, coating the sides of my snifter.

S- Very fruity- Apples, raisins, pears, grapes, with strong alcohol and very sweet malts thrown in for good measure.

T- Flavors are extremely subtle, complex and very well blended, producing a flavor profile full of dry grapes, other fruits, sweet malts and toffee. Hops round this out to finish off with an extremely well balanced flavor profile that hides the alcohol content very well.

M- Smooth- almost too smooth to be a barleywine. Very well carbonated, dry and sticky at the same time with just enough tingle in the finish.

D- Watch out, this Old Guardian is a sneaky bastard. He disguises his alcohol content so well that you don't know what hit you until you stand up. This is an absolutely fabulous and highly drinkable beer.

NOV 2013 UPDATE-
Had another one of these tonight after aging it for several years. 100% worth the wait, but a very different experience. A slightly weaker head over a darker and significantly more opaque body. Dry grapes have been reduced to only a slight tartness, replaced almost entirely by the toffee and brown sugar flavor and mouthfeel complete with a delicious powdery feeling on the roof of the mouth. As smooth as this one was before it only improved with age.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.