Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 - Stone Brewing Co.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008

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259 Reviews
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Reviews: 259
Hads: 328
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 10.07%
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 thekevlarkid
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This barleywine style ale was released in 2008 and I had the joy of sampling it on-tap at the American Flatbread Stone event. My goblet was delivered to me a deep amber/garnet color with a short lived head. The retention of the collar was good however and the lacing scattered. The aroma was surprisingly light, alcohol esters and heat with a general sweetness of floral hops and ripened fruit. The flavors blew me away. Vanilla, caramel malt, floral and citrus hops, oak, nuts, especially hazelnuts, pears, apples along with hints of cinnamon and brown sugar. As it warmed up the alcohol appeared more prominently but at 11.26% it was astoundingly well-hidden. Dangerous! The mouthfeel was very smooth, the carbonation delicate and the body medium/full. As complex as an aged cognac yet highly drinkable. Wow.

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Photo of zeff80
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, yellow,orange color with a foamy, small, off-white head. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled very sweet, mostly caramel. Also, a licorice-like aroma.

T - It tasted of licorice, candy sugar, rich caramel malts and warm alcohol. The hop presence is subtle but provides a little bitter kick

M - It was soft and smooth with a warm alcohol presence. A medium-bodied barleywine.

D - This is a pretty good barleywine. A little less hoppy than I expected from Stone.

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Photo of illidurit
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

08 vintage. Bronze-amber color with a light beige head that leaves nice lacing. Aroma is very strong and hoppy, with a backbone of toffee. Flavor is caramel and toffee maltiness with a dose of C hops and a rather over-the-top alcohol note. Definitely needs some age, but not too much lest the hops crap out. Body is a shade under thick, carbonation is perfect. Solid beer.

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Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. The beer pours an amber/orange color with an average white head. The aroma is of dark candied fruit, maybe a hint of orange marmalade. The flavor is of rum soaked dates with a phenolic, lingering finish. The beer is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer is a sipper due to high ABV. I enjoyed this one. I was suprised not to pick up any hops since Stone normally loves hops. I felt this was very balanced.

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Photo of supercolter
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally, finally, finally got to try one of these. Appearance is really good with a nice colr and large head. Also some nice spiderweb lacing to accompany it. Smell and taste are very similar. A nice soothing fruity taste and then a blast of alcoholly hops. Mouthfeel is quite good as well. Nice and heavy and still some carbonation. Drinkability is a bit lower as expected given the style.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle.

Tried Jul 2008.

Pours with a light yellow head. Minimal carbonation. Clear coppery color. Smells of caramel, alcohol, bananas and brown sugar. Starts with a lot of up front alcohol. Quite bitter. Some banana, honey, caramel and resin. Alcohol is noticeable throughout. Medium body. Finish is resin and alcohol.

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Photo of TLove
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stone Brewing Co. has released a wonderfully-balanced and delightfully complex barley wine style ale.

Apparently seen by many of my barley wine-drinking bretheren as a weak brou, I must disagree. The color and light tones of fruit and nuts in the smell are certainly indicative of a lighter barley-style ale, however, the light maltiness in the mouth is balanced by the strength and presence in the taste of the malt alcohol. This tastes a lot stronger than it is, but that does not detract from the plum overtones and fantastically-round finish. The beer rolls quite well from the front of the tongue to the throat and presents a good balance between the fruit, the oats, the roasted hops, the 11.25% ABV, and the notable maltiness.

Certainly worth the $7 I paid for it, Stone comes through once again.

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Photo of BeTheBall
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color with a nice foamy head. Excellent lacing as the glass emptied. Smelled of tofee and vanilla, with a slightly alcohol aroma as well, but in a nice way. I got huge vanilla on the tongue with a nice warming effect from the high ABV, just enough hops to balance things out, but not a hoppy beer per say. Mouthfeel was very staisfying. Drinkability is good due to the smoothness and excellent taste, but the buzz comes quickly, so be careful. One of the best Barleywines in bottle I've ever had.

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Photo of JoeBloe
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

finished a 22oz bomber over the course of 3 hrs -a real tasty barley wine ale - a bit too easy to drink for the style i'm familiar with - pours hazy , i can get a 1 finger head with a vigorous pour-
great aromas, nice flavor , you know the alcohol is present but it's nicely hidden - this bomber went from 40 degrees to room temp throughout the 3 hr drinking process, i think i like the room temp glass better than the first or second - good stuff -next time i'll try the first glass a little warmer - i'm following this with a dfh olde school barley wine (the hard stuff).

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Photo of sweetbrew82
3.05/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz. bottle into a snifter; no freshness date

P: Poured out rich gold from the bottle, and sits a hazy deep amber with tangerine highlights. 1 1/2 inch head was off-white, tightly compacted, and frothy. It did disappear pretty quickly to form a halo on top, with not much lacing.

A: Bready malts, citrusy & earthy hops, yeast, toffee, caramel, and alcohol...lots of alcohol!.

T: Starts with sweet caramel malts, a little toasted barley, and a hop kick made up of mostly grapefruit & orange peels. Malts are definitely on the top layer of flavors, but the hops do a commendable job of providing a backdrop to the grain bill. The middle gives rise to some good toffee flavors and an insane alcohol presence that blisters the tongue throughout the rest of the experience. The finish is dry and features a hint of yeast, while being joined by the ever-building creshendo of alcohol that sets a 4 alarm blaze in the chest and throat.

M: Full-bodied and viscious, yet smooth with a bit of graininess. Gently carbonated.

D: The 11.26% ABV, and heavy presence thereof, puts a bit of a damper on things in this department. 22 oz.'s was a struggle.

Notes: This is way too boozy for me to consider it a good example of the style. I mean, I understand that barleywines are supposed to be sippers, but the overwhelming ethanol just ruins this beer when it's this fresh. Had some good flavors and that signature Stone character to it, but it feels really raw right now. I need to buy another to age, as I think that would really help to mellow the alcohol and unwrap some of the more subtle flavors. Not recommended when fresh!

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Photo of dukedevil0
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bomber from Party Source in Newport, KY.

A: Pours a hazy unfiltered orange amber with white frothy head that reduces down to a film and leaves good lacing.

S: Smells old sweet caramel malts and sweet fruits, but not very citrousy. Slight alcohol scent.

T: Similar to smell with more alcohol in the flavor, a bite that almost tastes sour with some of the hop bitterness i'm used to in other Stone beers.

M: Pretty thick considering I didn't expect it. Good amount of carbonation with some warmth.

D: If I enjoyed this style of brew, which I'm starting to think I don't, it'd be higher, but I'm just not feeling this.

It tastes too much like Founder's Red's Rye, or Alpha Kong or Prohibition Ale to me and I didn't like those much. The "sour" type flavor really puts me off.

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Photo of badbeer
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apricot colored with a white head sitting atop it; spotty lacing and little head retention. Pine, strawberries, caramel, and even some mint in the aroma. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, some citrus, and some strawberries in the taste. Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden for 11+%. I always look forward to trying this every year, the 2007 was a bit disappointing, but the 2008 was quite enjoyable.

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Photo of burnstar
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky orangish copper with a medium persistant off white head. Lots of lacing. Aroma is very sweet caramel, many fruit notes- pears and plums, a bit of alcohol and a touch of earthy yeastiness. Taste is similar to the smell. A very solid but not overpowering carmelly sweetness again with lots of fruit notes. A nice light bitterness in the finish balances this out well. A bit herbal neer the end as well with some slight alcohol warmth. Lightly carbonated and creamy. Overall very pleasant and pretty drinkable for the style and strength.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 12/20/08. Bottle, ~Jan 2008. Pours a murky brown with a very small white head. Aroma of raisins, lots of raisins, and sweet caramel malt. Flavor is also quite malty with some brown sugar and iced tea. Tastes pretty much as I would expect from an aged barleywine. A decent beer, although to be honest this is not my favorite style of beer. Interesting though.
6/4/7/4/14 (3.5/5)

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Photo of GordonQuid
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a freshly washed sifter. Hazy bronze/amber, small 1/4 inch head with moderate lacing.

Smells piney, grapefruit with a heavy note of caramel pineapple.

Taste is an overpowering display of conflict (not in a bad way). Strong alpha hop characteristics conflicting with belgian triple malt characteristics. Mind blowing strong in character. Strong alcohol notes in the finish that lingers. FULL bodied beast of a barley wine.

I will let my other two bottles sit for a year, should be interresting.

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Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a rocky head that leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Although the caramel backbone tries to poke its way through, the piney bitterness has won the battle (but not the war, as in a few years, the caramel will dominate)

Taste: Both the piney bitter flavors and the underlying caramel and fig battle it out and reach a draw by mid-palate; after the swallow, the battle continues and I would have to call it a draw again, but there is quite a bit of hops for the malts to overcome

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation and plenty of warmth

Drinkability: In time, things will settle down, but right now, this beer battles it out over the tastebuds

Thanks, DRINKNDRIVE, for the opportunity

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Photo of tadowdaddy
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Very cloudy bronze beer with huge 2.5 inch head that has a ton of retention and a ton of spider like lacing.

S- Delicous. Toffee malt and a ton of hops. Citrus (most especially grapefruit) and piny hops are the complete backend of this beer.

T- Almost like a DIPA, but a ton more balanced. This may be the best beer I've ever had. Starts out with a ton of caramel and toffee malt, followed by a HUGE hop profile like a DIPA. Very bitter, but very balanced. Never tasted anything like it. Love it.. First 5.0 I've ever given.

M- Thick and chewy... May be the thickest BW I've had. Delicious. Leaves a nice bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

D- Not very.. too thick. However, the extreme hops and balanced malt make this "drinkable" from an overall sense. Not session drinkable, but delicious drinkable.

This may move to the top of my list as my favorite beer ever. Very glad I have another bottle in the cellar. Can't wait to have it 2 years from now.

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Photo of seangroves
3.02/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a 6 oz sampling glass.

Dark amber in color, very clear with very little head.

Very hoppy and fruity in smell, seems to be a good balance and the aroma is very inviting.

Taste the hops throughout very strongly, similar to that of an IPA, with little taste of fruit from the yeast nor any maltness at all, strictly hops. Quite bitter. Powerfully hoppy.

Medium to heavy bodied with a good smoothness.

I don't think I would drink another one of these due to the intensity of the hops and powering bitterness that only increases with consumption.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone Old Guardian (Early 2008) is a crystal clear, sparkling, viscous, red-orange-brown ale with a frothy light beige head with oily bubbles. The head has an eggy consistency and leaves great lacing. The aroma holds a deep, round sweetness. There are grassy, herbal, medicinal, cough drop elements in the aroma. It has a smooth full body with a crispy finish. It's a touch gritty and sharp at the end. It has good flavor balance. It's very bitter like lime and orange peel. It is sweet and boozy like candy. It has a hot rumble at the finish. A great barleywine! Age it!
(rated Apr 15, 2008)

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Photo of Brewsmith
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Release from a 22oz bottle purchased locally at original time of release. Aroma is rich and malty with some hop spice. Color is amber with a small beige head, slightly hazy. Flavor is fairly bitter but balances with the malt. Some fruit and some caramel/honey. Not too sweet. Hops are piney. Some alcohol present. Thick but not too viscous. Finish lingers but dries in the end which is nice for a beer this big. I can't wait to try this again in a couple years once it has a little more age on it.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.32/5  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.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep orange/brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, caramelized malts, citrus, brown sugar and some alcohol.

T: The taste hits with a burst of hops bitterness, which I thought would be more toned-down since the beer has been sitting for almost a year. There are sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and citrus. The malt character is very hearty and there's a significant alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, very strong kick, excellent representation of style, the only difference that I see between this beer and the 2007 release is that the hops presence is a little stronger in this release, but that's mostly because of the extra year of aging. Overall, this is an excellent high-powered beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber brown color with thick, foamy white head. Strong alcohol presence in the aroma as well as roasted malts and a bitter hoppiness. The two years of aging really opened this beer up and there is a pleasantly surprising amount of hops balancing out the maltiness and strong alcohol taste. Amazing!

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Photo of jdubjacket
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a bomber of this three ways the day before Thanksgiving. Pours a copper brown color with minimal lacing or head retention. Smell is dried fruit, lots of hops... and alcohol. Taste is dried fruit and much hoppier than I want in a barleywine. Moderate carbonation in the mouthfeel. Drinkability is good, but the alcohol may be too much for some.

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Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Limited early 08 release"...eagerly annually awaited nectar, pours clear medium amber, darker eggshell head, leaves spotty lace, loads of candied fruit, some smoke and devilish alcohol in the nose. Big and bold, yet surprisingly smooth and mellow tasting for such a young barley wine. Super velvety on the tongue, with waves of malt, more fruit, and snappy alcohol clearing the tongue late. Simply outstanding....Will only get better with time...

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