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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
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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 jdaelhousen
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
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. (696 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on Friday night. First time I've seen this in VT.

Color: Reddish-amber color with a one-finger head.

Aroma: Smooth and malty. Seems lighter than most barleywines as in the alcohol seems hidden.

Taste: Malty and bready with a light alcohol kick to it. Not too much warmth. Nice and hoppy but not in a way that overwhelms. Caramel and toffee show through in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Hops and alcohol warmth. Fairly thin and simple.

Drinkability: Definitely going to pick up a second bottle to age. I like it right now and I believe I'd like it even more after aging a bottle for a few months, etc. It seems nice and drinkable even at this stage. When compared to Vermonster (a local barleywine of the same style), this seems better rounded and if it improves with age, then it's a worthy investment of time and money. I like it.

Then again, Stone has never disappointed me. (892 characters)

Photo of BucBasil
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the Limited Early 2008 Release of the Old Guardian.

Appearance: Poured from the 22oz bomber into a large snifter. The beer is a murky brownish orange. Head grew to two fingers thick, but faded back down to about one finger, where it stayed for a while. Color was off-white/cream.

Smell: Fruit and pine are most noticeable in the aroma. Underneath, a complex malt profile lurks, reavelaing breadiness as well as creamy caramel and toffee. Very inviting.

Taste: Toffee and caramel are the introduction, showing hints of fruits. Citrus was also somewhat noticeable. Finishes very hoppy with big piney character. there's a lot going on in this brew, and with some age it would come together quite nicely I would image. But alas, I am unable to age my beer for a while.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, but breaks up with a nice subtle carbonation. Finishes really nicely. (876 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a beautiful dark amber color with an awesome off-white head that sticks around forever leaving lacing all over the glass. The nose is very aromatic with a lot of malt, dark fruits, a good dose of hops and some alcohol. The taste starts out very smooth with a nice malty base, with the hops providing a nice bitterness in the finish along with some warming from the high alcohol content. The alcohol is definitely there in the taste, but it is pretty well hidden. I really enjoy the smoothness in this one, followed by the well integrated hops. Very nice indeed. Overall, Stone Old Guardian is an excellent barleywine that is highly recommended. I haven't tried this one aged yet, but it seems like it would really be nice in a few years. I have a couple more bottles that I plan on setting aside and allowing them to age for a few years. (878 characters)

Photo of EStreet20
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cracking open my first of this vintage. Forgot I;d been sitting on a few of these for a couple months.

22 Ounce bomber, oversived wine goblet.

A - Pours out a reddish/orange golden color. About a finger of white head forms and sits nicely.

S - Lots of fruits, along with a sugary smell with lots of booze in the background.

T - Alcohol is definitely present (no surprise) but the fruity taste does pull through here quite a bit. Hop bitterness presents itself as well, and really kicks in for the aftertaste. The booze is presnt throughout the whole drink and burns the belly a bit.

M - A nice full, coating mouthfeel.

D - Still quite hot, as I expect from this brew. Enjoyable nonetheless. I pulled it from my "cellar" (read beer fridge) at approximately 50 degrees and I'd say that's def the temp to get the flavors from here. I'm not touching another bottle of this for a year, and I think it'll pull together nicely. (927 characters)

Photo of Lepley
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours thick and deep amber with ample cream colored head which clings to the glass. Its smell is sweet, malty and fruity. Its taste is sweet though its hop bitterness balances well. Its mouthfeel thick but smooth at the same time. As far as drinkability goes this beer is delicious, but I was pretty toasty after one so drinking another was out of the question. (371 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber/ copper color with a small white head. In the aroma, small fruitiness, plumbishand kind of sugary. In the taste, plumbish and a bigger than expected hop presence. A smooth and big bodied mouthfeel, and a semi-dry plum and alcohol aftertaste. Big plum flavor, big hops, smooth and hides alcohol quite well. (326 characters)

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

A- Hazy red-orange amber with cream colored head that dissipates. The color is very pretty though.

A- Sweet malts and citrus hops. Very floral and sweet, slightly fruity.

T- Amazingly sweet, but so bitter at the same time. The bitterness seems to be contributed to with the high(11.26%) alcohol content. Leaves a slight bitter aftertaste.

M- Full bodied, slick and syrupy all at the same time. Worked out great for this brew.

D- This beer was incredible. I've had barleywines before, but never have experienced anything like this. Such great strength in malt and hoppy bitterness, not to mention the 11.26ABV. This is definitely a sipping beer, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. (677 characters)

Photo of Foxman
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours an opaque honey golden orange, looking like it was just squeezed from a bear-shaped bottle. A full finger of fluffy yellow tan head sustains some time, and puffily. Ripply bands of lacing ring the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, the malt is caramel and sugar sweet, then blossoms with strawberry, melon, lemon, orange, and brisk pine. A touch of toffee and spice presage a warm funnel of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the malt is toasted and rich with sweet candy sugar and molten toffee. A fruit note plays a more general berry here, but again with a flash of melon. The hops are heavy with dry grapefruit and spicy crisp pine. Alcohol is hot and hefty. Biscuit, bread, and a tickle of clean esters glide into a long lingering and quite crisp dry bitterness. It's thick, rich, and comfortably good.

Full bodied, it's slick and syrupy, with an oily hop slide that ends up glowing in a clean way.

It's mighty mighty, letting it all hang out, but with some subtlety. It's fairly complex, with adept blending. In sum, it's a brawny batch of bodacious barley and hellacious hops. The ABV is especially muscular, and vascular as well, standing out and keeping a loose but real rein on consumption. It's a toasty tasty beastie, and it will be a task not drinking the other three I've got cellaring before they age very long. But I'll do my best. (1,352 characters)

Photo of KoG
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lively bubbles and a lasting head top the amber brew, keeping its head the whole way.

Smell is light, sweet malts, a little must and alcohol. Doughy at times, almost like fresh cookies.

Taste is great, light sweetness and not overtly bitter. Alcohol makes it presence known as it warms and spends more time on the palate.

The alcohol twinge comes in as you drink it making the finish a bit dryer as you go. Still easy to quaff. (430 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Four-finger, frothy head on an orange-amber liquor. Cloudy. Thick lace on the glass.

Lots of rich caramel and brown sugar aromas. This is a sweet smelling beer with no noticeable hop. Sugary.

Surprisingly dry flavor; not at all like the aroma. Also, there's decent amount of hop bitterness in the swallow that has a lingering effect in the aftertaste. Predictably rich body with a balancing (read: high) level of carbonation. The alcohol creates an oiliness to the feel of the beer. Still, with the big flavor, this could be a deceptive beer.

Potent, but lovable, this is a hoppier version of the typical barleywine although you'd never know it in the smell. (661 characters)

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Cheers. (374 characters)

Photo of hopheadsal
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This the first barley wine I have tried. Loved the color...dark caramel, with a rich look and feel to it. A ton of malt to taste, but it's not too balanced...a lot of alcohol on the finish. I guess a few years in the celler would remedy this. Would defintiley drink again! (272 characters)

Photo of ASymon13
3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a reddish amber with a decent amount of white head that retains very nicely for the abv. The initial aromas are of bready malts, caramel and alcohol, but upon further inhaling hop tones of grapefruit and some citrus also play a key role. Alcohol is not overwhelming like some barleywines.

The flavor opens with bittering hops taking a front role, with some solid grapefruit flavor. That quickly gives way to the bready malts, and the caramel that was so prevalent in the nose is more subdued than I expected. The finish is almost entirely alcohol, which is rather disappointing.

The medium-full body and solid carbonation are fine for the style, but I really do not think this barleywine stands up to many of it's peers. It's good, but the flavors are almost a bit subdued, and the malt profile just isn't as complex as some others. (846 characters)

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Old Guardian Early Spring 2008 release poured a autumn amber, hazy with a good two finger foam head. It has some real nice sea foam lacing.

The aroma was wonderful hoppy smell with slight esters coming up to greet the schnaze. Get some pine smell with a faint brown sugar.

The taste has a solid foundation with the barley malts with a nice bitterness and hop finish then back to a sweetness. The brew is perfectly carbonated for me and is light and very smooth. The over 11% is present but not overwhelming.

Definitely one of my favorite Barley wine's to date. I will have to recommend this to one of my friends that has not embraced the style. (653 characters)

Photo of ckeegan04
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark orange/amber in color. One finger light brown, almost yellowish, head. Little retention and little lacing.

S - Alcohol and a caramel malt sweetness. Hint of earthy hop in the background but the malts and alcohol definitely dominate.

T - Alcohol up front and some malt sweetness. Roasted caramel. Alcohol definitely dominates the flavor though. Might be a good one to cellar for a while and see if it mellows some. This beer improves greatly as it warms. Alcohol becomes less dominate and a sweetness of dark fruits really starts to take over.

M/D - Full bodied and somewhat chewy. A stronng barleywine that is a little rough around the edges. I would definitely like to pick one up and cellar for a year or so. (722 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 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 joezak5
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (761 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A healthy amber color with a tan head that settles to a thin cover. The nose was of quiet bready malts, ripe fruits and some floral hops. Taste also has a nice hop presence that is well balanced by sweet malts. Well carbonated silky body is full on the palate. A good brew, but there are much better. (300 characters)

Photo of Gtreid
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Paul 68 this one! 22 oz bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Very cloudy, dark, orange, amber. About a 1/2 finger of off white, almost tan, cream colored head. Little lace, no retention.

A: Smells of roasted malts and earthy hops. Big alcohol aroma.

T: Hops up front, malts in the back. Again, alcohol dominates. But very nice.

M: Full body and oily. Next to no carbonation.

D: I thought this one was great, but different from other American Barleywines....ie Bigfoot, Old Ruffian, and Gnarleywine. Heavier on the hops, but a little lighter on the palate, and higher ABV. All and all a must try for barleywine lovers. Kudos to Stone for this very tasty concoction. Skal. (682 characters)

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

Poured from 22oz to standard pint glass, wish i used a snifter or thistle glass. Pours a light golden red color, nice two finger head

smells faint, light malting and alchohol ++ but not much noticable

tasting, oh man hot hot alcohol! wish i wouldn't have cracked this for another year, very much a sipper, creamy spicy, sweet heavy malts, heavy bitter hopping, a lot on the palate (green raisins, lemon peel, honey, etc)

mouthfeel was hot and tangy while thick and creamy - a tounge bruiser at this vintage

overall a fantastic barleywine that demands to be cellared - wouldn't reccomend it to be drunk fresh. (612 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two tulip glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Limited Early '08 Release.

A: Pours a hazy reddish-gold color. Light tan/light orange head that recedes to a thick and sticky ring.

S: Big sticky aromas of caramel, grapefruit, alcohol, apple, pear, and tropical fruit.

T: See above. Pretty boozy and hoppy. Thankfully that is slightly mellowed by the sweet caramel and spicy apple/pear. Also noticed a biscuity flavor not unlike something like a caramel apple cobbler.

M: Rather hot and raggedy, fresh out of the fridge. Smooths considerably as it warms.

D: Considering the heft of the abv and obvious alcohol presence this turned out to be one easy drinking barleywine. (714 characters)

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

22oz bomber poured into a nonic

Pours a beautiful slightly cloudy amber with a thick two finger head that stuck around for a long time. Skinny rings of lace were left behind near the top, but nothing from the middle-down.

Smell is of dark fruit, caramel, sweet toasted malt, candied grapefruit and booze. Pretty much right where you want it to be. Balanced and enjoyable.

This is a slick, well-balanced barleywine. A near perfect balance of sweet malt and a bitter grapefruit hop bite. A good layer of dark, ripe fruit and raisins. But lacks that big punch I want from my elite barleywines.

Slick and uber smoothe. Medium bodied with a bitter hop/boozey aftertaste that lingers and lingers.

This is a sipper at 11+%, but getting through this 22 was a breeze.

One of Stone's finest. (788 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)

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