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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

323 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 323
Reviews: 260
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: 323 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mattster
mattster

Texas

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 22 oz Bomber into Snifter glass.

Color is amber brown, good hue... Head formation is a nice small bubble layer that doesn't hold long. Some lacing on glass.

Smell is of Carmel malts and subtle hoppyness.

Taste is nice and hoppy, with subtle fruit hints. Alcohol says "hey" but is not a nuisance. Good taste, expected something much stronger though.

Body is nice and full, and bubbles don't attack making for a nice smooth brew. Very easy to drink, finishes quite well.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 08:43:42 | More by mattster
Photo of Murchmac
Murchmac

California

3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Much like Buster Pointdexter this beer is hot, hot, hot.

Pours like it's walking on sunshine, not katrina, but the waves of honey orange with little lacing but a nice head that stays.

You get some of that classic barleywine malty sugar smell right now, alcohol. not much else for me.

Tastes vary from good to mediocre. It's too hot for the hot tub right now.

Lingering alcohol aftertaste. decent mouthfeel for a barleywine

Not too impressed, i usually love everything stone does, this is a letdown. Hope it ages well.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2008 06:06:37 | More by Murchmac
Photo of xgabe
xgabe

California

4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours thick, very viscous, very inviting. Hazy bright orange amber.

S: caramel sweetness comes through from the malt. Not too much of a presence from the hops, which being a DIPA fan, is something I'm used to expecting from most beers (especially Stone brews), but given the style, it is within the definitions. They still make their presence known, though nowhere near in the levels of Ruination.

T: Wow. First time with Old Guardian. Full repertoire of malt sweetness. It fits the description on the bottle of "tons and tons of barley". You've got to try this one yourself and muse through the intricacies.

M: Oh so gloriously full bodied.

D: Very much so. The kind of sipper I would really enjoy with a great book. Oh man... I've got to go out and age a couple of these.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2008 07:30:02 | More by xgabe
Photo of jeffmonarch
jeffmonarch

Maryland

3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

1 pt. 6 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Nice orange/red color with a thick beige head that stays for a while.

S - Sweet, apple smell. Not much other than fruit.

T - Strong alcohol flavor, a little sweet.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - The alcohol flavor is way too much.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2008 04:01:36 | More by jeffmonarch
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

'08 22oz picked up at the Coop today for about $6.. poured into my New Belgium snifter.

Very long lasting 2 finger light yellow head.. left ribbons of lace above a slightly hazy light amber/dark gold brew.

Nose is bready malts ... whaffs of caramel .. maybe some earthy/spicy hops .. but a bunch of spicy alcohol .. where are the (American) hops???

Flavor is again pale/toasted malts with a very generous bitter backbone.. big fruity yeast esters .... biscuit malt characteristics ... but really the only thing going on here in a big way is the alcohol. As it warms, an oily hop presence makes itself known.. but again .. this is not a prototypical American hopped BW .. Almost no "C" hops .. more of a "Stone" version of an English BW... fairly thick .. but I think if I burped I may be able to light the fumes... I would swear that there was a small but relevant rye component adding to the spicy flavor.

Don't get me wrong .. this is certainly a pretty good barleywine .. but absolutely does not seem "West Coast" ... Body is big .. alcohol is huge .. malts (pale) are big .. but the traditional left coast hop aroma/flavor profile is nonexistent. If the alcohol wasn't so up front, I could easily drink quite a few of these until my knees buckled.. very drinkable for sure.

What is killing me on this one is, "Will it cellar? Or, Should I drink the hell out of the right now?" I am pretty sure the booze will mellow significantly .. but approaching the bottom of the bottle, I am starting to forgive all my above problems with the '08 OG and beginning to appreciate it for something that is completely different than previous years.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2008 10:48:50 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of GoreStorm
GoreStorm

California

3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poors a copperish red with a two finger head that slowly shrinks to a nice lace. pretty good looking brew, stone also has awesome presentation with their artwork and i'm very fond of reading the stories on the back of the bottles. smells malty and bready with a hint of spicyness and alcohol. pretty smooth for a barleywine at this ABV, nice grainy and malty flavor with a bit of alcohol in the finish, not too much hops come through for me and i kind of like that. not as aggressive of a mouthfeel as i'm used to with barleywines, sparkly, nice though. high alcohol, but smooth and tasty, i could do a few of these. i'm pretty sure these would age allright, i doubt one would sit in my fridge for more than a week though.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2008 18:54:21 | More by GoreStorm
Photo of pershan
pershan

Maryland

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

The beer poured a cloudy, medium amber into a 12-oz pilsner glass. The smell was of fruity malt, with just a whiff of yeast. The beer had a huge alcoholic component (no attempt to mask the 11.26% ABV), which, by the way, seems incredibly accurate for an ABV label on a bottle - I don't think I've ever seen it taken out to 2 decimal places, but I digress. There IS a lot of hop bitterness in the finish, but this beer still seems pretty raw. A few years in the cellar, and the alcohol and hops will have time to blend and mellow and then this ale will be truly awesome.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2008 15:30:23 | More by pershan
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent caramel with 3 fingers of fluffed up sand colored head. Good lacing & very good head retention

S: Slight breadyness & that's it

T: A bit of caramel, some fruityness & herbal, leafy & piney hops up front. Boozey warmth, plus grapefruitty hops come through as this warms. Finishes dry, with grapefruitty & leafy hops & a bit of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, breadyness, plus a bit of apricots, figs, & apples

MF: Very chewy with low carbonation & good balance, with a nice warming sensation

Drinks very easy for the abv, a pretty good Barley Wine, especially for the money, let this one warm way up

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2008 05:36:59 | More by russpowell
Photo of Tdizzle
Tdizzle

California

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

2008 vintage poured into my Dogfish Head snifter.

A- This beer pours a slightly hazy orangish-amber color with a nice off-white head that produces some spotty lacing as it settles.

S- Sweet malts and lots of citrusy hops. The alcohol is very prominent in the aroma.

T- Everything that the aroma promised. Malty sweetness gives way to some intense bitterness. Very boozy, yet the alcohol isn't overpowering. You can feel the heat as it goes down.

M- A rich, smooth feel with some light carbonation.

D- At 11.26%, this drinks pretty well. The hop bitterness prevents the alcohol from becoming cloying, but there is still a rather harsh quality to this beer. It's hard to say exactly what it is, but it's just abrasive. This is a beer that is best appreciated with some age on it.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 23:29:44 | More by Tdizzle
Photo of Oisin
Oisin

California

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Color like that of gem quality amber. Agressive pour produced a creamy head that left lacing all the way to the last mouthful.

Rich, sweet notes with wafts of hop florals. Not nealry as hoppy as a couple years back--two, three years maybe. It seems that starting from '07 OG has become very refined--not to my liking. What happened to that big green flavor and aroma of years past?

Mouthfeel is active and lively, almost makes this high octane ale quaffable--in fact, it is. Very drinkable for the ABV.

This beer is beautiful, but I feel that it has changed. But still great.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 00:51:33 | More by Oisin
Photo of kleffman
kleffman

California

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

First pouring of the 2008 batch for me. Recently had some 2004 as well as 2007 so I've got a lot to compare it to. Poured into my Old Guardian glass, obviously.

Nice clear golden amber pour with a heavenly head that lingered with plenty of lacing. Is it weird if I get a little horny looking at it?

Sweet caramel, hops and some bready malt aromas blending with a pretty generous alcohol aroma.

Taste quickly overwhelms the tastebuds with a citrus hop and sweet malt base, some fruity flavors I can't place and definite alcohol presence. Not hot though, like some years tend to be a little.

Divine mouthfeel as always from a big creamy beer like this. I always love this offering and look forward to having some fresh and aging a few bottles for the next year. This year is no exception and it seems to be even better fresh than usual. Same with Double Bastard this time around...something is going on over at Stone that is cleaning up their beers. Pre aging before release? I'm probably just a drunk that doesn't think a beer is "boozy" anymore.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 06:50:13 | More by kleffman
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

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

Appearance: It pours a cloudy golden brown color (slightly orange tint to it) with a thick two finger, off-white head. Excellent retention and lacing.

Smell: Initially, dark fruit and citrus aromas provide a very sweet smell. Hops are certainly piney and very notable. Caramel and toffee malts creep in and permeate the nose from there on out.

Taste: Caramel malt flavors arrive first and provide a sweet, malty flavor. Citrus and dark fruit flavors blend well and add more sweetness. Hops kick in a bitter factor and balance it out pretty well. Slight yeasty taste on the tail.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium to thick. Definitely a sipping beer. Very well carbonated. It's strong, but relatively drinkable for a beer of its stature. Definitely wouldn't drink more than one bomber in a sitting though. Overall, it's very, very good. It actually does seem a little better than least year's release, if memory serves correct.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 03:21:11 | More by prototypic
Photo of Stoneman78
Stoneman78

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early 2008 version poured into a Stone Old Guardian tulip glass for a perfect union of beer and serving container (finally!), reviewed during the 2008 Super Bowl (woo hoo)

Appearance is super clear bright orange hue, head is a good amount of white, condensed creamy foam, great swaths of lacing on the glass

Smell is fairly muted for a barleyiwine, some subtle caramel malts and a mix of pine/grassy/floral hops, tinges of alcohol

Taste is pure Stone, big pine resin hops and caramel malts mix together initially, transitions to some grassy sweet floral tones, finishes with sweet malt and alcohol warming

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, thick oily texture coats the mouth region, nice ample carbonation

Drinkability is good, this is a surprisingly sweet and mild barleywine and the 11+%abv is very subtle, a good candidate for aging- while it is solid now I can imagine that it may move into the exceptional range with a few years of aging as noted by some of the aged OGs at the most recent Stone Storm

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2008 02:02:20 | More by Stoneman78
Photo of bunnyhustle
bunnyhustle

Illinois

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

This one just seemed to need a tulip glass to best enjoy it. Pours a mostly clear amber with somewhat thick off-white head with mediocre retention, some lacing. Smell is of grapefruit, pineapple, and citrus, a bit of alcohol as well. Taste is interesting, a little more complex than I personally expected. At first there is a citric, grapefruit bite to it with a touch of malty sweetness. As it hits the back of your tounge there is a somewhat strong hop presence and the warming taste of alcohol. A somewhat oily and bitter feeling is left behind in the mouth. Overall the taste is pleasant and the alcohol is not a pronounced as I expected. Mouthfeel is medium and for the style this is very drinkable. As everyone else mentioned, I'm curious to see how this ages, but for now it was an enjoyable brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2008 01:50:59 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of biking4beer
biking4beer

Colorado

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 19:39:48 | More by biking4beer
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

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

Had this on tap at Mahaffey's last night.

The beer pours a brownish toffee flavor with good head retention and lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just some sweet malt with some underlying hoppy bitterness. I had a hard time with this beer on the palate, and I really think it needs more time to come together. The beer shows a huge marriage of hops and malt, with the hoppy bitterness winning the day. The beer comes across as quite dry for a barley wine, and at present I thought the abv. was entirely too noticeable. I ultimately couldn't finish my 10 ounce glass of beer, as the high abv. finally just wore me out.

This beer reminds of certain wines that are either too tannic or just closed up. That's what I thought of this beer... the flavor profile is a bit closed right now; I'm sure in a couple of years it'll turn into something sublime. For now it just isn't a very enjoyable beer to drink, though I think that will change over time. Oh well...

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2008 18:38:56 | More by John_M
Photo of BlindPig
BlindPig

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pretty clear amber orange body with a nice thick light creamy tan head.
S- Big orange and grapefruit hops with a nice balance of sweet caramel body and a splash of alcohol. Almost a pineapple hint in there also. Seems like it's stronger on the light fruits than previous years.
T- Very different than the previous years of OG (and not to sure if it's for the better). Sweet caramel, booze, citrus hops, fruits, almost a grapefruit banana mixture? Little blend of some darker fruits in there too. Big bitterness left in the aftertaste and a little warming in back of throat.
M-Full chewy body with low smooth carbonation.
D- This is usually one of my favorite releases in the year especially since it's cheap for what it is so I can drink more of them. This seems a lot brighter than previous years and just doesn't have that Old Guardian flavor to it. The aftertaste still stays true to OG though. The thing it reminds me of the most is if you made a really strong OG and mixed it with a little left over VE 07 you get this. Kind of a disappointment this year, but we shall see what time will do to this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 07:24:50 | More by BlindPig
Photo of Wildman
Wildman

Ohio

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

This year's version poured a clear medium amber color and formed a nice off white foamy head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, pine and caramel. The flavor was of malt, caramel, grapefruit and and pine. The body was medium and creamy. The finish was slightly bitter. I found this year's batch to be less raw than previous years, although I imagine aging would definately refine it.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 03:04:09 | More by Wildman
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am so glad that the local liquor store is carrying the Stone Special Releases. And a $4.50 a bottle? The price is right too, especially for such a wonderful bottle of beer.

Beer pours a dark clear amber color, with a very nice white head on top.

Aromas are potent, but very pleasant to sniff. Fruits stewed in booze, bright, sweet, and tea like, with a citrus hop note as well.

First sip, this definitely tastes different than the 07 fresh. Lots of boozy flavors, not overpowering though. Oak like, with stewed dark fruit flavors, and a crisp caramel malt flavor. Finish is earthy, with sharp pine and citrus like hop bitterness. I really like this now, but I'll be interested to taste this again in a year or so.

Mouthfeel is great. Thick, full, with a nice warmth feel to it.

Drinkability is good. But this is a monster of a beer. Seems a bit more refined than last years, but no less tasty. Well worth a try, I think I will pick up a couple more bottles before this is all gone...

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 01:36:47 | More by flexabull
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

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

In a recent forum thread someone mentioned that Stone wasn't mixing up the Old Guardian recipes from year to year. Really? I've had an 08, 07, 06, and an 04 in the last few months, and I could swear they were more different than mere age could account for

Pours a burnished orange with a gorgeous cascading pour and an inch or two of white head that vanishes pretty quickly. Smells of malt and pine. Nice combination.

Taste is unusually grapefruity and pine-y for a Barleywine. If you gave this to me blindfolded my first guess would be this would be a fairly raw DIPA. I found the grapefruit hops delicious and quite balancing for the sweet malty base. Is that tropical fruit in here? I swear that hasn't been in the previous editions.

I'm enjoying this beer much more than the other vintages. Whether because it's fresh, or because it's a different recipe, I'm not sure. I might have to do a vertical tasting at some point.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 07:41:53 | More by Overlord
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

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

22 oz. bottle, bought today - 1/27/08, at the BevMo in Cypress, CA,

A: Pours a dark orange, with a full white head, which has good retention and leaves excellent sticky lacing.

S: The nose is kind of lacking, but I do get a nice brush of pine if I really stick my nose into it.

T: Very flavourful. Malty at first, a toasted biscuit quality, the hop attack starts, though it is not as forceful and raw as I remember it being last year. Full pine, pink grapefruit, and pineapple/tropical fruit are the main hop flavours in this barleywine.

M: Thick and rich, resiny and oily, highly alcoholic, but hidden fairly well, but it definitely has a bite, very crisp at the end.

D: This is a barleywine that I certainly enjoy both fresh and raw and aged, it'll be interesting to see how this beer changes over time, though it is very good right now.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 07:55:51 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of MiguelMandingo
MiguelMandingo

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first bottle of OG that I have sampled. Thanks to Joey from South Bay for his online services. Thanks man, I appreciate it.

Poured part of a bomber into an OG glass.

Appearance - This is a good looking beer. It produced a two finger latte foam head that slowly dissipated to a thin crown. It left quite a bit of lacing on the way down. There were constant bubble streams that rose from the side of the glass. It is a hazy transparent honey orange gold color. Yummy.

Smell - The smell was good, but slightly subdued. I could primarily smell caramel and booze. There was a flowery hop scent that was closely tied to the booze - it was very slight, but it had notes of citrus and pine.

Taste - This is a tasty barleywine. Other people have compared other vintages to a barleywine/IPA mix, and this vintage isn't too far off. It was a tasty well-hopped barleywine. There are notes of orange, lemon and mostly grapefruit citrus, with hints of pine and cherry. It is quite boozy, though it suits the flavor nicely. There is a caramel flavor as well which balances nicely with the booze and hop level.

Mouthfeel - I love the mouthfeel on this one. It has a medium/full body, with the perfect level of carbonation, IMO. It isn't quite effervescent, but it is lively enough to cut through the relatively thick body. It is slightly oily and sticky.

Drinkability - This barleywine is extremely drinkable. It took me awhile to finish the bottle by myself, but it's tasty, smells good, and feels great going down, I really just wanted to savor it. I am glad I picked up several bottles. I could see how this would age well, but the hops are so tasty, I am not sure if I would want to cellar it that long. It is a must try.

A great beer from one of my favorite breweries.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 23:24:38 | More by MiguelMandingo
Photo of HimerMan
HimerMan

New Jersey

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

Just picked this up at Oak Tree in NJ and tried it that night at a great temperature, never in the fridge.

Very nice amber/red/golden hue with a generous head that is a sticky off-white cappuccino-esque froth.

The aroma is immediately a nice blend of hops and a sweet malt, which was very refreshing to smell. This is the first time I had one of these so fresh, so I would imagine that this would dramatically change as the beer ages.

Great flavors. A rich barleywine that is beyond an IPA with its huge malt backbone and a caramel flavor that can't be missed.

This feels a bit thinner than the ones I've had in the past, however, I note that this was fresh and I typically prefer these to be aged for a few years.

I look forward to trying these over the next several years, and I would suggest buying 6-12 of them to add to the cellar. They age phenomenally well and will become mellowed as they get 3-5 years on them.

Definitely enjoy these out of a snifter, a nice red wine glass, or if you have them - the Old Guardian glass from Stone!

Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 16:32:10 | More by HimerMan
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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.