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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 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 ColForbinBC
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of supag32
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up as a new arrival at Liquor World, Porter Square, Cambridge, MA for an astonishing low price of 5.45. Very drinkable for a beer of this strength. Tasted a bit of caramel and spice with just a little sweetness in the finish. Well balanced, strong tasty brew.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a bottle of this fresh in February 2008 but I had to re-review it 2 years later because it benefited so well from cellaring.

22oz bomber, served in a snifter.

L - hazy, burnt orange color with a off-white head that thinned to a ring leaving spotty lacing.

S - sweet malts and the citrus hop aroma is still there, I'm impressed.

T - the malty sweetness, hoppy bitterness and light taste of alcohol are so very well balanced, delicious.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel and gentle warming.

D - easy to sip fresh or a couple of years down the road when properly cellared.

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

from notes 12/4/10

A: pours cloudy dark yellow/tan. little to no head, a thin white sheen is present
S: hops have mellowed, barley malt smells very sweet.
T: very sweet, hops are very mellow, alcohol is noticeable. age makes a nice smooth flavor to this.
M: thick and coating, long lingering flavor, low carbonation.
D: very sippable, almost makes me wonder what/how it would taste with two more years on it.

Photo of HimerMan
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.

Photo of srroos
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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

Tap @ Stone Beer Gardens. Clear amber pour with a squatty tan head. Floral aroma with pine resin and malt. Subtle malt and resin hop blend throughout. More grapefruit and pineapple flavors as the earthy malt appears. Kind of a peat character. Chewy, woodys, without being syrupy. A nice brew from Stone.

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

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!

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

22 oz. Thick, near opaque orange pour. Some cream colored bubbles at first, then pretty much nothing. Malt, caramel covered apple and citrus aroma. Some booze and light pine. The taste has a lot going on. Caramel/toffee and malt bases. Some red fruits, yellow raisin, citrus and tea/tobacco. Mouthfeel is solid, but carbonated enough to keep it from being syrupy. A little piney hops middle through the finish give this a nice bitter clean finish. More than this would be too much for me, I think the age did good here by me. Drinkable enough for a large warming beer. Still refreshing enough to drink on a summer night.
I don't know if there is a better way of describing this than saying it's a perfect mix between and English and American(west coast) barleywine. I was really expecting a hop bomb barleywine, boy was I pleased to find different. The year and half probably also helped, but I'm guessing this one was pretty balanced from the beginning.

Photo of GbVDave
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of bosco7
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper color with a decent head. A little haze.

Peach, caramel, toffee, mint, soil, orange, cedar and some dates in the nose. Very pleasant. Oh and some booze.

Starts sugary with biscuit, caramel, toffee, and dried fruit flavors. Hops are really minty/floral with a tad bit of resinous character, very restrained for a Stone beer. Some candy orange and peach flavors in the middle. The finish is a bit rough and full of alcohol, but it's what I expect from a big barleywine.

Full body with perfect amount of carbonation to cleanse the palate for another sip.

The alcohol is a bit high, but I am freezing here in Philly, so the warming quality is welcomed. Maybe if I were back in California I would have a different attitude. One of my favorite Barleywines every year. Highly recommended.

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

2008 Vintage

I managed to pick this brew up for $6. It already has 2years of aging on it and it was definitely a pretty awesome and rare find.

This beer poured a beautiful burnt amber with a finger high off-white head. Thick lacing smothered the glass. The initial smell of the beer was powerful and could be smelt as soon as the bottle was opened. The scent was that of dark fruits, malts and a slightly masked citrus. The initial taste of the beer was that of the dark fruits, as well as an interesting malt presence. The malts were that of a burnt caramel. What followed was the hop presence which seemed in the range of citrus hops, and some pineyness to give it some earthy tones. The finishing flavor is that of spices, as well as a nice kick from the alcohol, which is something very noticeable about this brew. This beer has a medium body with light to medium carbonation.

All I can say is wow, this is a very good beer. It seems that I need to get a 2010 brew of this to get an idea of how this beer initially tastes. Definitely recommend this one to the B arleywine fans out there.

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 Brad007
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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

Poured from a 22oz brown bottle into an oversized wine glass. No freshness date but etched front label reads "Limited Early Sping 2008 Release." Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $6.49.

A: Pink grapfruit hue with 1/2 finger off white head with avergae retention for style and no lacing.

S: A multitude of caramel and pale malt are coupled with floral, spicy, and spicy hops. Alcohol is perceptible but not strongly present.

T: A delicious hoppy American barleywine with superb citrus and spicy, earthy hops flavor matched with big time maltload. Not really remarkable but enjoyable all the same. The alcohol is there but pretty well hidden for < 11% ABV.

M: Smooth, low carbonation barleywine which is easy to drink.

D: A very nice but not a standout barleywine. If you are a hoppy barleywine lover, then this is a good pick for you, but probably a year too late at this point.

Photo of kleffman
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.

Photo of mdwalsh
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wife brought this back from PA just before Christmas, planned to cellar it longer, but my brother happened to get me the matching glassware (unknowlingly), and I'm anal about the first thing I drink from branded glassware is that beer. So, here goes.

A: Orange-brown coloring with a one finger, almost yellow/tannish head and good laing. It's rather cloudy though and the head has no dexterity.

S: It smell's like Caramel dipped hops. I'm really amazed at how strong the hops still are. As I think further, it reminds me of cooking honey, in particular a honey-cream sauce I make for vegetables.

T: Still, a lot of honey, my wife compares it to the smell of extracting honey from the comb. The hops from the nose are gone and it is just super smooth, nothing biting at all, not even alcohol. Really smooth.

M: Light, but not BMC light, just very nice.

D: Remarkable, particularly at the ABV. This is why you cellar beers.

Photo of xgabe
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.

Photo of jcivetz
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a very good beer that pours a nice frothy head in a chalice. the smell is awesome and what is to be expected of a barley wine. The taste is very good with a good kick when swallowing but not too hoppy and bitter. A definite kick ass beer to a conclusion of a long day or any day....gets you feeling buzzed after a glass!

Photo of shroompod
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange , small head , some lacing.

Aroma is subtle , piny , some sweet malt coming through.

This beer surprised me with a heavy grapefruity bitterness, Malt backbone comes through ,although slight.

Mouthfeel is thick , sweetness is cut by the generous hopping rate.

One bomber is enough for the night , but I will be drinking this again.

Photo of JackWeizen
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a six dollar deuce deuce of this stuff seems like a bargain. Some reading material on the side will occupy my time after the review. It pours a brilliant cherry red with a smooth white head about half an inch thick. Its Laces so thickly that I don't even see "sip lines" at first.

The smell and taste are fantastic. Dry hop aromas come though like walking through a blooming citrus grove. Sweet juice box aromas highlight the malt. I taste sugary cherry malt first, with a citrus and floral hop flavor, and then pleasant bitterness. This is like a cross between what I have tasted of English and American Barley wines. Its hoppy, but the malt character is still very defining.

The mouthfeel is superb. A medium body for the style, it goes down smooth, but you never forget you are drinking a barley wine. The alcohol is very sneaky in this drink. A great example of a style I am really starting to love.

Photo of dsa7783
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 Pint, 6 fl oz bottle copped for $6.99 from Gary's in Madison...
An aggressive pour yields a dark-brown, ruby-red, mahogany colored-hue with a moderate-sized frothy head that soon receded, leaving a copious amount of lacing...
Sweet smell, bursting with caramel, malts, honey, and candied sugars...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma, with a strong suggestion of sweet, roasted malts, rich caramel, sweet sugars, yeast, vanilla, and a spicy hint of alcohol...
Very rich, thick, sweet, creamy taste bursting with flavor and style...
Extremely thick, full-flavored, big-bodied mouthfeel...
Drinkability took a hit due to the rich conglomeration of flavors and the very hefty ABV which was certainly noticeable both in the nose and mouth...
Good, aggressive stuff from Stone... Recommended...
A real sipper...

Photo of kegger22
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy, reddish brown with a one finger head that faded to a thick skin. The aroma was largely malt. The taste was sweet with very little hop presence, maybe just a little pine needle aftertaste. The feel was medium bodied with mild carbonation. Drinkability was good for a high ABV.

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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