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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

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
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Ratings: 326 | Reviews: 259 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours orange amber with a head that descends to fine, lasting swirls. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel/toffee with some golden raisins and some pine/resin and citrusy orange. There's a whiff of alcohol.

The taste is of caramel/toffee - sweet - with prune and golden raisins. It's backed by some citric/floral bitterness. Alcohol is noticeable, but not raw. Still, it shows its hand. Malty and boozy with supporting bitterness in the finish.

It's full-bodied with a syrupy character in-line with the style.

Alcohol is not masking, but certainly enough to put a dent in the overall drinkability. A slow-sipper - not surprising for an abv of over 11%. It has that "Stone" character. A nice sipping brew.

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 ibbjamin
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Paid $8.99 for a bomber from Monument in Concord, CA. Poured into a snifter.

Inch and 3/4 frothy off white head after an aggressive pour. Burnt orangish brown color. Rather cloudy. Little head retention. Decent lacing. Mild carbonation.

Alcohol, raisins, other various dark fruits and some quality malts to help balance it out. A hefty, quality nose. There are some mild hop notes in there as well which came through more as it warmed.

This one is very alcoholic. I already know after I finish this bomber, I'm going to have a nice little buzz. A great balancing act; dark fruity, malty and hoppy all in great harmony.

The mouth is thick and somewhat grainy leading to a long aftertaste. Mild carbonation. Full body.

I could recommend a handful of Barleywines that I would put in a higher category than this one.

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

This beauty pours a clear copper color with a whispy white cover and solid lacing. The aroma is nutty malt, thick and luscious. It offers one delicious tease with this edible smelling introduction. The taste is at first a powerful alcohol and malt with a peppery highlight. I'm not sure what more to say on the flavor. It mellows beautifully as it warms, a professional quality brew, not to miss. Drinkability is midland due to the heavy alcohol, but it's good enough to give some flow. A midland feel, substantial, a bit "oily". Impressive, a keeper.

Photo of aerozeppl
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with a finger and a half of white head. Good lacing especially for a barley wine. A nice looking amber/copper color.

S: Big malt nose. A little boozy as well. Some figs and raisins in the back.

T: Nice big malt taste. The raisins and figs are right there. A little bit of hops in the back mixed in. Booze throughout.

M: Thick body. Very sticky in your mouth.

D: This is a little bit hot. With a year on it this will blend together nicely. I would say hold on to this a little while longer. Good beer though still.

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 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 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.

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Revisted: 10 Jul 2010
Almost 2 Years Aged

Pours a nice orange golden amber color, nice creamy tan head, nice lacing throughout the drink. Scents of sweet malts, slight citrus, slight hops, caramel, and slight alcohol. The taste is still very nice, sweet malts, hoppy, slight caramel, and slight alcohol, nice dry finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, still very nice, but the ABV was not as present as fresh, and the citrus and hops were also on the downside.

Pours a nice orange golden amber color, nice creamy tan head, nice lacing/puddles throughout the drink. Scents of sweet malts, citrus, hops, spices, caramel, yeast, and slight alcohol. The taste is amazing, sweet malts, hoppy, slight caramel, and slight alcohol, nice dry finish. Medium body, pretty complex barleywine. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Stone to say the least.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally cracked one of these open last night as I had yet to try this years vintage. Sevred this one out of the cellar and shared amongst friends, mine going into a fluted taster glass. Consumed on 10/03/2008.

The pour was nice, although a little less lively then I would have liked to have seen. Nice deep amber color, with a little bit of haze. Not much in the way of carbonation here, and only the slightest bit of an elevated head of white across the top.

The aroma was rich and malty/ Lots of notes of candied sugar, some light piney hop notes in the beginning, but otherwise very sweet and malty barley wine. The flavor was a bit different though, with much more of a hop presence and some light alcohol notes. As it warmed though it got considerably sweet with that nice candied sugar malt profile coming back one more time and reaching out for a nice smooth finish. The feel was nice and thick, medium to full bodied with a good enough carbonation profile to keep it from becoming too thick. A sipper for sure due to the high abv, though the smoothness of it lends it to be a more sessionable high gravity.

Overall this was not bad at all. No where near as harsh as it could have been, this was about as solid as they come. I would have no issue with having this one anyday, and would love to see how it holds up.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle. I preferred this beer with six months on it last year so I waited until now to drink my first 2008. Thick orange color and smells like the best hoppy rubbing alcohol ever. It is a bitter barleywine and it is good. If you like barleywines this is a good west coast example.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Bottle - Pours a bright orange/red that is rather cloudy. Smells of fruits, malts and hops. First sip is surprisingly light, creamy, and fruity. The hops are huge, even borderline sticky but not biting or overpowering. Finishes with a strong alcohol presence and a sharp bitterness. Great mouthfeel and a great Barley Wine.

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

I have a working vertical of Old Guardian in the cellar, but I figured I'd better try it when it's somewhat fresh.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Duvel tulip a very hazy medium amber with some reddish highlights. The head starts at about a finger's height and shrinks down to nearly a full covering on the surface.

SMELL: The aromas aren't particularly intense but the malt and hops seem to be in nice balance. The hops are west coast style (of course) and fairly resinous. The malt base is clean with a few caramel notes. Alcohol factors in quite a bit and is fairly conspicuous in the background.

TASTE: A really sweet, caramelly malt base kicks you in the face initially. But the hops are right behind it providing a much-needed bitterness to balance the beer out. The finish gets back to the malty side of things along with a little alcohol heat.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full bodied and a little sticky and slick. The carbonation is on the lower end.

DRINKABILITY: Not too bad for such a big beer. It will only improve with time, and as it is the alcohol is decently hidden though some still stands out.

It's ok now, but I can't wait to get my vertical going. Who knows how many years this will stand up to.

Photo of rgb2807
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful caramel, burnt orange color. A subtle, but sweet smell. You can definitely smell the alcohol but when you take a sip the alcohol is much less noticeable. I can't describe a specific taste, at first it's very sweet, but then finishes with some bitterness. The mouthfeel is very thick, almost syrupy. Drinkability is good, considering the alcohol content. I enjoy this barely wine a lot, would buy again.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a ruddy brown with a nice creamy head. Decent retention. Okay lacing. Smells of doughy malts, grassy hops, slight alcohol fumes. Taste is of a huge doughy malt backbone, sweet, balanced out with a nice hop bitterness. Dark fruits, figs, definite alcohol bite to it. Mouthfeel is heavy but not too syrupy. Decent carbonation. Fairly drinkable.

Photo of brantadid
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color into a snifter. A one inch white head formed and diminished quickly. Excellent lacing left behind.

Great nose. Nice balance in the nose. Big and malty with a ton of hops. Nice citrus profile. Some alcohol in the nose.

Big malty front palate that quickly turns to citrus rind, grass, and a drying bitterness. Nice layers of flavor. Alcohol also is present in the palate.

Mouthfeel is heavy but not syrupy. Moderate to low carbonate. Hop profile and bitterness gives that "want to take another sip" quality.

This beer has mellowed a bit since its release making it very drinkable.

Photo of 100floods
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 edition, drank on 9/22/08, aged roughly 9 months (could be more)

This will be my third 2008 Old Guardian. The first two I drank when they were much younger, practically right after it was released.
It pours with a rich copper hue with a pale white head. There is almost no initial aroma, but some hops and a little alcohol make their way to my nose.
The first few sips remind me of Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot. This beer contains similar characteristics to the essential west coast BW, but it lacks the intensity, not to say it's a weak one though.
I'm assuming this beer was modeled after bigfoot because it has the same hop characteristics, perhaps not as much (9 months of aging a bigfoot does not yeild any difference).
You can tell this beer has mellowed out a bit, but it still has some bite to it. There is a slight citrus flavor that I was was balanced out by some sugar flavors, but it works well with the hops. After letting it sit, I could taste the alcohol a little more.

This is a good BW. It covers the basics of the west coast style and I think stone tries to put in a few twists and turns to make it unique. I am curious to see how this beer turns out in another year or so.

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.

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

Me first barleywine. Poured for lunch....

Looks like caramel. Not caramel colored. It looks like caramel in a glass. With a thin white head. Bubbles are moving oh so slow. As you would expect them to in pure caramel.

Smell is all malts to me. Caramel malts. Did I accidentally buy a bottle of caramel?

Taste is ... caramel. Maybe it's me. Actually caramel flavor isn't too strong but it's there. Very sweet up front. Nice, moderate, and welcomed bitterness at the end, then the alcohol warms you up a degree or three.

Thick, full bodied.

At 11.26% (thanks to God) this is incredibly drinkable. Alcohol is noticeable but not debilitating. Of course, I'm about to put down this whole bomber by myself so let's see.

Overall: barleywines are cool

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

Photo of JBuff41413
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was my first ever Barley Wine and I didn't know what to expect.

A- Pours a hazy but deep amber color, with 1 inch of beautiful off white creamy head. Retention is decent and the lacing just clings to the glass.

S- This is an amazing smelling beer. Fresh baked bread, caramel, hoppy, warm spicy alcohol, and slight amount of citrus as the beer warms. Perfect!!

T- It does not disappoint. Sweet caramel malts up front, a little spicy and some dried fruits poke through. It finishes a little bitter and then the alcohol slowly warms your chest.

M- Full body mouthfeel, nice and creamy

D- It is a very intense beer and because of that i could probably drink 2 and that would be pushing it. It is 11.26% ABV and it hides it extremely well...so this one will sneak up on you.

This is my first ever Barley Wine and won't be my last. GREAT beer. I'm going to get a couple more drink one and age the other one for a few years.

Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

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

Bottle from Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a 22 oz. Terrapin snifter.

Appearance: A hazy and dull looking reddish-brown beer with a foamy, tan, creamy one-finger head with average retention and some nice sheets of lacing, if a little runny. Gets definite points for head, but loses a little in the color department.

Aroma: Surprisingly mild (despite many reviews to the contrary - perhaps it's my glass, or an old bottle), but pleasant. Spicy, leafy, herbal, earthy hop notes and caramel malts. Hop notes come out a little more as it warms, with grapefruit slowly emerging.

Taste: Not nearly as hoppy as I was expecting, actually - at least, not for a Stone brew! But maybe that's the age of the bottle. A pretty sweet roasted malt backbone - lots of caramel, sweet pale bready notes - and some solid but not overly hoppy or bitter notes participate in a great balancing act here. The bitterness is mild but persistent, and the hop notes - mainly herbal and earthy notes, though there are some light citrus overtones - are pleasant. A surprisingly well-hidden alcohol presence (11.26% - both high and calculated to a surprisingly precise number of decimal places). Improves drastically as it warms, though I'm beginning to wonder how much of the "warmth" improvement of a beer is really improvement and really "I've consumed more of this beer by the time it's warmed and am slightly more intoxicated by this point." Interesting.

Mouthfeel: Fine-bubbled, creamy, milky, a little oily from the hops, full-bodied, and fairly thick and syrupy but not as thick as it could be given its malt content.

Drinkability: A good barleywine, though not my absolute favorite. I've heard this one was better in years past, but since they do change the recipe every year, who knows what's in store in the future. Alcohol's definitely up there, but largely well hidden - aging this one for a year might mellow out the alcohol a little, but given it's not as highly-hopped as many American barleywines, it might mellow out a little too much. Who knows. I'll buy one and give it a shot. Recommended, though - definitely not bad.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Guess I oughta review one of these eventually.

Pours a very nice looking amber and orange color with a large fluffy off white head that leaves good lacing. Nose is some big maltiness, hops, some dark fruit or peachiness and a bit of spice. Flavor starts out with a big malt presence, followed by some savage hoppery and a good spice kick. dark fruit, some light caramel and candy sugar. Hops finish it up with a nice bitter kick. Mouthfeel is thinner than I would like in a BW, but nice and viscous, and most certainly tolerable. Drinkability is outstanding for the abv. Overall a solid representation of the american barleywine style. A good one, and a go to for an easy choice in the realm of american BW. Good beer.

Photo of changeup45
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 limited release, 11.26 abv. I have been wanting to try this for a while and was fortunate to find it at Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg, VA. Pours an amber/orange color with a thin head but it sticks around. Aroma is a lot of sweet malt, vanilla, fruity, particularly grapefruit, and a touch of alcohol. This is a wonderful tasting barleywine with many layers adding to it's complexity. The flavors are sweet malts, sherry, tart cherries, oak, a dark fruit note and finishes off with grapefruit hops. Not a lot of bitterness but some mild alcohol burn and although you know the alcohol is in it the 11.26% hides quite well. A nice representation of the style and a beer that makes for a great evening.

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