Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
District of Columbia
4.28/5 rDev +4.9%
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.
04-13-2008 19:30:17 | More by dreadnatty08
3.85/5 rDev -5.6%
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.
04-11-2008 13:16:17 | More by ndekke39
3.95/5 rDev -3.2%
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.
04-07-2008 17:28:54 | More by merlin48
3.6/5 rDev -11.8%
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.
04-06-2008 04:13:48 | More by ccrida
3.63/5 rDev -11%
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.
04-05-2008 01:13:55 | More by enfield249
3.8/5 rDev -6.9%
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.
04-02-2008 04:21:18 | More by dnichols
3.93/5 rDev -3.7%
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.
04-01-2008 06:37:20 | More by lightindarkness
4.2/5 rDev +2.9%
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.
04-01-2008 06:28:01 | More by BretSikkink
4.47/5 rDev +9.6%
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.
03-31-2008 20:14:40 | More by Pencible
4.18/5 rDev +2.5%
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.
03-29-2008 02:15:00 | More by Wonka
4/5 rDev -2%
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..
03-28-2008 01:36:41 | More by callmemickey
4.53/5 rDev +11%
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.
03-26-2008 13:17:54 | More by TheBierBand
2.3/5 rDev -43.6%
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.
03-26-2008 04:12:20 | More by JDV
3.93/5 rDev -3.7%
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.
03-24-2008 22:07:57 | More by oberon
4.08/5 rDev 0%
Pours a hazy orange color...like the old wit beers I get on tap. Has a 2 finger white foamy head that almost resembles pankcake batter. the head leaves rings of lacing.
The smell is faint to me. Some bready barley smell. Not much elce going on for some reason.
Taste is great. Floral rosey and tropical fruits come through the hop bitterness. WOW!
Intensley bitter but for some reason these other flavors are strong. Some medicinal residue left on the tounge. bitter and alocholic aftertaste linger and linger. ( not a bad thing).
Oily mouthfeel from excessive hopping. Bitter afterbite, and alcoholic burn.
A borderline sipper. Dipa? Lots going on with this exceptional ale. NOt for the weak!
03-21-2008 07:17:08 | More by Trueant1
3.83/5 rDev -6.1%
Like the big bottle really forces you to commit. Dirty beige head with large bubbles just over a fingers length tall and lace that really clings to the glass. Looks the color of ice tea and has a kind of a bready smell to it. At first a roasted malt flavor hits you followed by the alcohol then the bitterness of the hops kicks in and leaves a lingering flavor. I could start to feel the effect of the alcohol by the time I was halfway thru my second glass. Not quite as sweet a barleywine as I would like but still very good.
03-19-2008 05:03:00 | More by kurtissellen
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
3.85/5 rDev -5.6%
Pours out like a cloudy iced tea with one finger of suds that stick to the rim of the Stone Barleywine glass. Nice to have the right glass.
Smell is a little weak but it is a bit cold.
Taste is strong caramel sugar with just a dash of slight bitterness followed by the alcohol which is very strong here. Mabey if it rests for a year or so it might be a little better.
Mouthfeel is really clean here and this is a well made barley wine. The 2007 was just a tad better than this when it was new but both are top notch.
03-17-2008 22:28:17 | More by peabody
4.47/5 rDev +9.6%
Orange with a light haze and thin cap of fine, off-white bubbles. Spotty lacing right off the pour and a few larger bubbles formed a solid collar. Great head retention. Malty aroma, lots of cereal grain and caramel, quite bready. Light fruit character and hops in the nose. Nicely balanced flavour with a solid malt backbone, caramel and grain, plus some citrusy hops that appear part way through and become a little spicy towards the end. Fruit was evident up front. Bitterness was strong without being aggressive and lingered in the finish, along with a bit of pine resin. Alcohol added to the flavour profile in the finish. Full bodied with creamy carbonation, really smooth. This stuff is dangerously drinkable. I really like this year's batch - it's really balanced for being young. I'll definitely be picking more up.
03-17-2008 01:40:20 | More by DrJay
3.85/5 rDev -5.6%
Hmmm, not exactly what I think of when I think of a barley wine.
This is more like an 'Imperial IPA', if there was such a thing. It's pretty dang hoppy and, despite what the other reviewers say, I don't find the alcohol particularly well hidden, reducing the drinkability.
Overall, I'd say it's not exactly a barley wine, and decently enjoyable, but not quite on par with some of Stone's other offerings.
03-15-2008 07:40:55 | More by watchnerd
4.33/5 rDev +6.1%
A- Golden caramel brown. Opaque and head is sticky and lacy.
S- Fruity and hoppy with florals and citrus. The alcohol is not present in the nose. Very well hidden.
T- Total caramel malt with sitrus and same florals from the hops.
M- Oily and just a little bit creamy. The thickness is medium.
D- Alcohol is well hidden and just awesome drinkability for a barleywine.
Overall- I am very impressed with the drinkability of this barleywine. To me, it seems alot like a BIG DIPA. My favorite of the night and an all around great brew. Nice job, guys!
03-11-2008 02:27:24 | More by MMAJYK
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
4.53/5 rDev +11%
Dark 1 pint 6oz glass bottle. Red and gold silk screen showing the classic Stone Gargoyle holding a mug.
Cloudy semi translucent burgandy-orange body with moderate carbonation. Creamy lemon tinted head with lots of small bubbles. The retention and clumpy lace are rather impressive.
The smell is alcohol drenched caramel set on fire. Strong, intense, mouthwatering, sweet and intensely hopped. Nice baker's spices with almonds and nuts.
Very harsh and hoppy. Wild flower honey sweetness and piney hops, intense orange oil and alcohol burn and strong caramel, very complex.
Full body and good coating, finishes very dry. Lots of residual sugars.
Highly drinkable. Some time in the cellar should make this brew even better by smoothing out the alcohol and mellow the hops. Maybe 6 months or so will make this a perfect 5.
03-08-2008 21:57:25 | More by oelergud
4.22/5 rDev +3.4%
Poured into a Gulden Draak chalice with a copper bronze body simply shining when held up to the light a large cream hued head forms thick with fine bubbles and slow pouring head retention. Head retention is great with thick even chunks of lacing between sips. Aroma has huge malt ripened edges that are far removed from the early days of Stone Old Guardian this is a new take on it, not in a subdued way but just different I'm getting strong streams of sweetness including orange and other citrus peel marmalade notes really sweet and viscous at it's best with big herbal and more citrus layers of hops flooding my senses. Flavor is subdued if that makes sense much more unfiltered appearance in past years always looking mahogany brown these year it glows with clarity. At $6.99 a bottle it's amazing but I'm asking myself is the same brew I've come to expect from Stone, not at all but I like the changes it's lighter with more honey biscuit malt less straight abrasive hoppiness the kinda change I expect with growth. BTW this bottle gives a shout out to the crew in Cincinnati that gave me access to this beer thanks George and company at Cavalier thanks for yelling at Greg during GABF while he was writing this label in turn creating a relationship between your distributor and their brewery forever. Mouthfeel is full bodied syrup like in texture one fine ale that I can't give enough approval to carbonation is even with the big waves of malt and hop complexity, damn good. Drinkability is easy enough to wax off a big bottle but if your really serious come and represent with this beer at a tasting in small portions and try to wrap your mind around all of the flavor aspects another complex strong barleywine from the west coast, like we need any more of those.
03-08-2008 18:03:38 | More by WVbeergeek
4.1/5 rDev +0.5%
'Limited early 2008 release'.
22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tulip.
A glowing, faint oak in color beneath a densely creamy white head that barely budges. Thin and patchy lacing with pretty solid strength.
Sweet vanilla with notes of honey. Aged, vinous fruit: peach, pear, apple. Young rum-like alcohol aroma. A lot of ripe, intense hop oils imparting a slick citrus.
Sweet, creamy malt base with caramel and milk chocolate under a wave of vanilla; rich toffee. The alcohol presence is intense and immature, but also quite complex as it works through the sea of filmy, oily hop bite adding nice subtleties to the citrus notes. The slick bite is followed by notes of rum and vanilla.
Full bodied; slick, oily, creamy. Not quite in complete balance, but given how intense the flavor components are, the body is quite impresive.
Unique in its vanmilla-laden malt flavor for the style. Not quite ripe, but very flavorful. A yearly accomplishment from Stone.
03-07-2008 02:11:11 | More by NEhophead
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.