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 FrognutUnl
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with minimal head that has pretty good hang time.Nice clear amber color

S -Sweet, nearly molasses smell with mild notes of grapefuit

T - Sweet with undertones of molasses and alcohol yet the bitterness of the hops still comes through in moderate fashion.

M - Nice and thick just as one would expect from the style.

D - Barleywines are quickly becoming my favorite style and this one certainly hits the mark for me. (430 characters)

Photo of srroos
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (317 characters)

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

Poured from a bottle a clear orange amber with one finger of creamy beige head.

Aroma of sweet malt, grapefruit, orange and a touch of booze.

Taste is a sharp punch of grapefruit, orange, and malt. Bitterness increases at the finish. The alcohol is big and hot.

Medium mouthfeel, dry, palate warming, and sharply carbonated.

A big beer to say the least. But well balanced and enjoyable. (390 characters)

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

04/25/08- Purchased at Ledger's in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2008 release. Poured into my Old Guardian glass.

Appearance- Brown, cough sytup orange colored pour. 1/4 inch head with light lace traces.

Smell- Fresh hot grapefruit hops, light fusel alcohol nose with a suprising caramel malt nose.

Taste- Stone has officially gone soft! A Old Guardian perfectly fresh that is balanced?!? Hops come through as a sweet and prickly grapefruit flavor, but here comes caramel malt right behind and almost it's equal! Seems like a fair amount of alcohol, but not as much as usual.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation, a touch creamy and nice and smooth.

Drinkability- One of the better vintages for sure. Not hot as most right out of the bottle. (751 characters)

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

22oz. bottle

Poured a hazy, orange/brown. Formed a modest, sand colored head. Lots of tiny bubbles which faded fast. Legs, and surprisingly nice lacing.

Scent was caramel and toffee. Citrus (oranges) and herbal notes. Hint of roastiness. Aroma seemed very mild for what this beer is.

Taste was more bitter than sweet initially, grassy and herbal. It gets sweeter with some time, oranges, sugared citrus, caramel/toffee come out more. Alcohol. Finish is quite bitter, back to grassy and herbal.

Medium body, thinner than I expected. Low carbonation. Very dry.

A barleywine that is almost a DIPA. I would say this is very good for hop lovers (I really enjoyed it), but might be tilted too far in that direction for people looking for more of the traditional barleywine experience. (783 characters)

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

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine (Early 2008 Release)
22oz. brown bomber

A: poured into a snifter. Slightly hazy, mostly reddish amber color. Nice light tan head on top, with a decent retention level. Fair lacing at best.

S: sweet citrusy hop aromas. Mostly oranges, almost blood oranges. Sweet malts provide a solid backbone to this barley wine. Some strong alcohol is definitely present as well.

T: holy crap! Great typical Stone beer...big, beefy and potent. The malts hit first with a sweet base, that lets the hops sneak into the palate. Mostly sweet malts, with citrus and floral hop flavors. Solid barley wine flavors. Some vanilla as well.

M: surprisingly smooth mouthfeel for an 11% barley wine. Amazing palate, great malt with a solid, typical hop characteristic from Stone. Perfect carbonation level.

D: 11.26% is definitely extreme. Very good example of a barley wine. Very drinkable, but only for one. (918 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a white head that sticks around as a ring. Starts out hot, both in aroma and taste, but it mellows as it opens up and breathes. Once it calms a bit, there is still some vodka like alcohol and some sweet, sugary malt and some apricot and pear. The taste is still somewhat hot and there is a sustained bitterness and quite a bit of citrus from the hops. Big, and not really sweet, but there is a bit of breadiness in the end. Mouthfeel is bitter, a little bit thin, and not all that smooth. Kinda like dinking a shot of vodka in a double IPA- not all that barleywine like. Eh. (591 characters)

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

A: Dark amber body with a touch of white head.

S: Strong malt aroma. I don't get much on the hop aroma.

T: Nice one-two punch of malt sweetness followed by hop bitterness. Good powerful flavor. I almost don't want to let this one age.

M: Not too thick at all, nice and medium bodied. Admittally, it's on the thicker end of medium, but still not too heavy.

D: Not bad at all. Very nice fresh. (395 characters)

Photo of skibumdc
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a white wine style glass.
Appeared to be Amber color, although it was a dark restaurant.
Nice mouthfeel. Not too thick, not too thin
Taste of plentiful VERY toasted malts with caramel, honey, and tea flavors.
Exceptional
A sipping beer to start off the night. (269 characters)

Photo of aquaderek
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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. (540 characters)

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

Appearance is an orange amber with minimal head. Smell is solfly sweet with malt dark fruits with little alchohol. Taste is rich with dark fruit, caramel, spices with a good hop bite. mouthfeel is syrupy with a lot of body.
Maybe not as rich as other Barleywines I've had, and Considering the ABV. I can sure taste the alchohol, but not as strong as I thought it would be. A very good brew and one I'd like to keep in the cellar awhile. (437 characters)

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (722 characters)

Photo of ndekke39
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got ahold of a bomber from the "Limited Early 2008 Release." Decanted into a pint glass. Pours a cloudy yellow-orange with a small white head. Lots of lacing on the glass.

Aromas of honey and syrup up front. Piny. Toasty grain aroma. Citrus and pine hops.

Flavors start out big, bold, and roasty. Some nice prickly hop flavors. Again, the sweet honey and grain, too.

Medium-bodied. Thicker mouthfeel.

Pretty good barley wine. I'd be curious to get another bottle and let it age a bit. Definitely worth trying a couple times. (528 characters)

Photo of merlin48
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber pours a hazed copper orange body with a small, but lasting, ecru head. Generous lacing adorns the glass. Aroma is surprisingly restrained from what I recall from the earlier vintages. Bready caramel malts and citrusy and spicy hops seem weak by comparison. Mouthfeel is creamy, with a solid medium body and subdued carbonation. Taste is well balanced between the huge bready maltiness and solid bitter hopping. Caramel and citrusy apricot add a pleasant sweetness to offset the bitter grapefruit rind and spicy hops. Alcohol is well hidden. A solid American barleywine, reliable as always. (596 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into my Midnight Sun cervoise, the '08 OG is a clear copper with an olive tinged off white head that settles to a thick skim, leaving scattered sheets of foam. Served at cellar temp.

Smell is fruity apricot ale esters, citrus hops and alcohol.

Taste is not as rich as I remembered from last years, semi-sweet malt with a strong, tart citrus hop flavor and lingering bitter finish. Still very smooth and balanced for the size and younger age.

Mouthfeel is sticky, with a lighter body for a big BW.

Drinkability is good, though not the mind blower I recall from last year...perhaps my palate has matured, or maybe it's just a lesser execution. (669 characters)

Photo of enfield249
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (369 characters)

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

I poured an aggressive 12 ounces of a bomber into a pint glass.

A: It poured a hazy and bubbly amber orange body with a modest half finger light tan head. The head receded to an even cover over the liquid and left a temporary layering of lacing around the collar of the glass.

S: It had an unexpected citrus (tart orange and white grapefruit) hops with a burst of sweet caramel malts.

T: It was a signature Stone produce that constructed a hop and malt profile that was very well balanced. The malts were sweet, syrupy and had a hint of caramel. The hops were citrusy (both sweet and bitter). It had a nice balanced carbonation and finished warm and clean with little residual aftertaste.

M: It was medium to full-bodied with moderate carbonation, and a clean warm finish.

D: I was a bit overwhelmed by the hops that seemed to dominate and distract from the overall experience. It is a unique barleywine that leaves a memorable impression worth experiencing. However, it is not one I will take long into a session. (1,021 characters)

Photo of lightindarkness
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap, served in a tulip. Arrived on the bar a deep coppery orange color with a creamy head and nice full lace. The bartender topped it off once I'd sipped it a bit.

Nose is quite caramely, with a bit of a spicy note. The middle becomes notably grainy, malty with course grainy bread. Some good hoppy brighter scents serve to liven up the overall aroma.

Taste is of rich caramely malt with a lot of sweetness that runs into bitter hops toward the finish. The hops keep the taste higher and sharper on the palate, with very little low end depth, being rather strong and bright. The final bitterness sits very highly on the palate with some heat in the back.

Medium body, puckery and dry. A little sticky at times, but really dries out at the finish. Overall it's okay. Pretty strong and big on the top end for me, without anything really well grounded. Caramel comes across sweet, and without depth or balance. Hops create a sharpness and intensify the grainy character. Maybe it could use some time to mellow, I don't know. (1,031 characters)

Photo of BretSikkink
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thought I better try it out of the bottle too...

Dark orange color, great highlighting. Off-White head looks very nice, jumps up several inches, great stick and lacing. Tight cap.

Malty caramel sweetness backed by citric hopping in the nose. I thought it was a tad weak, as in overall power, but the notes were well struck.

Flavor brings more of the same; the hops are multi faceted with herbs, pine, and citric fruit making an appearance, while the malt brings the caramel backing. Very solid and chewy ale, dry finish.

Carbonation is low, alcohol high, let this one warm up and start hitting on all 8 cylinders..or should I say all 11.26. Recommended. (660 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a hazy bright copper color with fluffy tan head. It smelled like freshly harvested wheat and refined sugar, with some citrus hops. It tasted mostly like orange hops, but also had some floral hops, light caramel malt, wheat, and some waxy flavor. It was watery with almost no carbonation and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a complex sipping beer, but wasn't as bold or delicious as I was hoping. A very good brew, but could have been better. (463 characters)

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

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz.
Limited Early 2008 Release
Sampled at 60 degrees

Appearance - sparse and quickly-ending carbonation rises through the mostly clear amber body; the off-white, two-finger thick head does its best to fight off the strength of the product below; partitioned sheets of lace

Smell - oh yes, this is a big, exciting experience; it draws you in to sip and early in the game, its an experience ahead of the taste; fig, raisin, caramel, citrus rind, flash of pineapple; some spice; steady line of alcohol gave me a sense that this offering is a caged monster

Taste - to open talking about the close of the flavor profile says something - its noteworthy at this stage; hotness comes through late as expected since its so fresh; lively hop profile enters early (orange rind, grapefruit) and remains long after the close; the malts aren't as prominent as desired but they'll be mined with time; fruity; bread and light brown sugar find a way through the hop jungle; if a hop punch is your thing, its very tolerable but age has a track record of doing the big Stone well

Mouthfeel - nice lush layer of carbonation for a barleywine; a light oil is cut by the hot; the alcohol dries the palette a bit (which will mellow with time) and this holds it back from being spot on but as ripe as this sample is, it's a 5; age aside, it's a 4.5; Stone seems to hit my preferred feel on just about every product in their lineup that I've sampled

Drinkability - its the Patterson fist that knocked out Johansson; a certain sipper that took me more than an hour to sample; time is on its side as it will favorably mellow; 1 is certainly enough to give the sampler a full impression

Buy 4 and drink one every year. It'll be a book that gets better as the bookmark advances. (1,766 characters)

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

A: Reddish-orange body with a moderate lasting offwhite foamy head... decent lacing..

S: Real sweet fruity malts.. some slightly peppery notes..

T: Nice bready malt base... almost like like a nice roll with a mixed fruit preserve on it... some hop bitterness for finishing... alcohol is virtually hidden

M: Smooth.. refreshing moderate body..

D: Given the lack of alcohol in the nose and taste this monster is excellent.. (425 characters)

Photo of TheBierBand
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 22 oz bomber at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, OH. I poured the contents into a pint glass to form a 1-1/2" head of dense, off-white foam. The head lasted and lasted and left thick, sticky lace down the sides of the glass as I drank. The beer itself was clear, iced tea colored and had tiny, micron sized floaties hanging in suspension (I LOVE FLOATIES!) Gotta give this a "5" for appearance!

The nose is nice. Typical for most barleywines I've tasted. Big sweet malt smell. This one even has a hint of spice... maybe a little cinnamon.

Taste: Bready, malty but with a nice hoppy balance. There is a bit of a smokey flavor too. Alcohol is well-hidden at 11.26% abv. The lingering taste is hops (at the end).

Mouthfeel: Really nice! Creamy, smooth, robust....everything you could ask for in a barleywine. I would say.... just a step down from INSANITY by Weyerbacher (which is an ENGLISH style Barleywine).

Drinkability: Very good for a barleywine with 11.26% abv. This is a sipper.... but it's not going to knock you out. (1,033 characters)

Photo of JDV
2.34/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle generously shared by MiguelMandingo. Thanks!

Pours dark amber to copper with a fair amount of transluscency. Smell is very mildly malty with a hint of alcohol and almost what I would expect an oxidized beer to be like. Taste is equally mild flavorwise with a hint of maltiness, balancing hops, but a subdued flavor overall with good bitterness on the finish and a noticeable alcohol presence. I found this to be very lackluster, and bland on the whole, unfortunately. (476 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice to finally see this arrive in the Buffalo area before I get outta town in a few weeks I always look forward to this annual brew.Poured into a 22 oz nonic a clear burnt orange color with a very well definedone finger white head that formed a ring at the top of the glass and settled slowly leaving broken lace behind.Big fruity esters in the nose with some jet fuel alcohol,citric hop lingers but is not a huge force in the nose,there is a big malt bill to this beer no doubt caramelly and doughy upfront with some juicy fruit hops give a good punch in the resiny finish along with a s bit of an alcohol sting.As I drink more a citric hop profile shows thru more but its not bitter more fruity with a tinge rind but it is nice,this could be put down to mellow but is a fine beer now I will grab a few and hold them to see how they are a few months from now. (861 characters)

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