1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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
91
outstanding

327 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 327
Reviews: 259
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.05%
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: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 327 | Reviews: 259
Photo of Manoftyr
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Pours a dark caramel amber into the glass giving rise to some small head which leaves just the slightest dab of a ring of lacing. Much lighter color than I was anticipating.

Aroma-Sticky toffee and caramel aromas followed by some fusel alcohol; it isn't as wowing as I had hoped, it still smells good but it's fairly one dimensional.

Taste-Follows the nose with toffee notes followed by some piney hoppy bitterness and, again, that bite of tongue numbing alcohol on the back end. This tastes to me almost like a watered down version of Double Bastard with the sweet and bitter aspects watering each other down rather than outright competing with one another and with more alcohol to make up for this discrepancy; I was expecting something so much more out of this.

Mouthfeel-They nailed this at least, it's full, rich and syrupy just like a barleywine should be.

Drinkability-Meh, it's by no means undrinkable and in fact I do like it but it's rather sub-par by Stone's standards.

Photo of atsprings
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer as part of a 4 year vertical, '07-'10. Served a crisp orange with a quickly diminishing head. Aroma is a mild blend of caramel malts and subtle citrus hops. The taste is a bit of sweet caramel malts and mild alcohol with a trace of citrus hops. The bee is somewhat on the heavy side, but the alcohol is quite smooth. This one was certainly enjoyable, but clearly shows that it still needs a few more years to really smooth out.

Photo of drseamus
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of mfkr
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle in a tulip glass.

A - Hazy amber colored with a thin head that quickly dissapears and leaves a good lacing.

S - A very faint smell of caramel, alcohol and spices.

T - Lots of hop flavor, alcohol and caramel.

M - Medium body with gentle carbonation.

D - A really nice experience.

Photo of dagubna
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from my cellar at a temp of 65 degrees due to the heat in PA. Thin head. Light amber in color. Smells sweet and fruity. Taste is sweet also with a bit of the etoh which should settle in time. Not much hops in taste which is funny since it comes from Stone. Mouthfeel & drinkability are affected by the booze. A nice barleywine which gets better with age IMO.

Cheers.

Photo of russpowell
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
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

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale Stem Glass. Thanks go out to Sweemzander for this aged beer! Cheers to my #400! 11.26% ABV. "Limited Early 2008 Release."

A - Hazy and dirty orange-ish amber, it's not much to look at. The thin head is a light cream color that pops up right away and sinks to a thin layer and ring. No lacing left on the glass.

S - This barley wine has a funky old basement nose to it on the first sniff that's oddly inviting and nostalgic. The intensely complex aroma has a boozy nose that's heavy with toasted malts. Fruity esters as well that hint at sweet melon but lean more towards plump raisins. Rich and foreboding aroma.

T - The noticeable boozy nose is immediately absent from the flavor which a) worries me and b) is probably due to it's age. The fruity esters mirror the nose are pair well with the abounding malts which have a lot of breadiness to them with a touch of yeast flavor. Deep flavor but maybe just a touch too mellow? Further on in the bottle the alcohol became more evident (just slightly) as a solvent-like smell came out. I also noticed a bit later on that there is a pungent floral hop aroma and flavor that was initially masked by the other things I was picking up. Well balanced for certain.

M - Smooth and rich but not syrup-like. It's well carbonated but doesn't give a feeling of carbonation. Sweet all the way through with a light alcohol warming finish.

D - With the first sip i was incredibly worried there was a lack of booziness in the flavor but it started coming out later on. That could lead to a serious "problem". It's one hell of a drinkable barley wine but that could be attributed to age. Either way it's still very good. A precursor to the many winter warmers to come! :D

Photo of Kallessin
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy orange/apricot color. It almost has a cider appearance. Has a tan head with a slight orange tinge to it, but it goes away very quickly.

Has a very fruity/spicy yeast aroma. The booze is obvious but not overpowering. There's some sweet cotton candy, vanilla and almonds?? in there as well.

A lot of sweetness with fruity esters and spiciness up front. Then plenty of malitness that goes to a moderate amount of hoppy bitterness. The alcohol is very toned down, which was a little surprising from the aroma. Not a very complex tasting beer but very enjoyable.

It's very smooth and full bodied. There's a little carbonation bite with a warming sensation and only a very slight burn on swallow. There's a little lingering dryness.

This beer is dangerously easy to drink. It should be a sipper but it's easy to forget the alcohol content. It's fairly well balanced between the fruity spice, sweetness and bitterness. A nice beer.

Photo of pershan
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of cjgator3
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a beautiful dark amber color with an awesome off-white head that sticks around forever leaving lacing all over the glass. The nose is very aromatic with a lot of malt, dark fruits, a good dose of hops and some alcohol. The taste starts out very smooth with a nice malty base, with the hops providing a nice bitterness in the finish along with some warming from the high alcohol content. The alcohol is definitely there in the taste, but it is pretty well hidden. I really enjoy the smoothness in this one, followed by the well integrated hops. Very nice indeed. Overall, Stone Old Guardian is an excellent barleywine that is highly recommended. I haven't tried this one aged yet, but it seems like it would really be nice in a few years. I have a couple more bottles that I plan on setting aside and allowing them to age for a few years.

Photo of supercolter
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of mnj21655
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours a relatively clear reddish copper in color with a minimal off white head with poor retention. Aroma is chocked full of malty sweetness with some light citrusy hop aroma. Taste is very malty. Relatively high malty sweetness. Some caramel flavors near the finish. Very high bitterness that underlies everything but really shines through in the finish. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming and becomes more noticeable as it warms. Mouthfeel is relatively full bodied, not quite syrupy but darn close with low carbonation. Drinkability is pretty darn good. At first i really didn't enjoy this beer very much but that changed after a few sips. When this brew was colder isn't wasn't nearly as characterful. As this beer warmed new flavors came alive.

Photo of colts9016
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from a BIF, poured into a snifter at 51 degrees.

Appearance: A nice one finger ivory head that is creamy and a little foamy. The head has no retention. The body of the beer is a reddish amber hue with a copper tint. There is some very small bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass. The clarity of the beer is hazy, but light is visible.

Nose: A nice rich maltiness, there is some citrus, wood, and floral esters. There is phenols, a alcohol/solvent aroma, a gentle sweetness, hint of caramel and a little yeasty.

Taste: A very rich malt flavor, with citrus, wood, floral esters, some phenols, alcohol, a gentle sweetness, hint of caramel and a little yeasty.

Overall: The mouth feel of the beer is waming from the alcohol, some carbonation but it is gentle on the tounge and a little astringent. The body of the beer is medium, and the finish is medium full. This is another really good beer from Stone. There is not much to critic, except that I wish that flavor was a little brighter.

Photo of cynical1027
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Frosty80
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: hazy caramel

Smell: slightly hoppy; dark fruit

Taste: slight hoppiness throughout, but a little more prominent in the finish. nice sweetness and dark fruit

Mouthfeel: smooth. low carbonation. low-full body

Notes: one of the first barleywines i had and still one of my favorites. i dont like a lot of hops to my barleywines and this one pushes it, but its still great

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy copper in color. It poured with a ring of beige bubbles around the edge of the glass and lacing covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of citrusy hops in the nose along with notes of caramel malts.
T: The taste has flavors of caramel malts with some malty sweetness and a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer ages well as it develops some complexities in the taste and seems to be a bit smoother. It has an excellent balance between the malts and hops.

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

Pours a nice hazy, burnt orange color with a off-white head that thinned to leave a ring of sticky lacing.

Aromas are mainly sweet malts comprised of rich caramels and toffee. As you revisit you get some extremely light indiscernible earthy hops.

The tastes begin with the malty sweetness, caramels and burnt brown sugar, a little toffee. As you further consume and enjoy you are assaulted with the aggressive bitterness and light taste of alcohol which both continue to emerge and overwhelm your palate as your consume. The bitterness seems to almost become greater with each sip.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth, yet extremely dry yet full finish with a pleasant gentle warming.

Overall this beer has aged to perfection and can definitely still go a few more if necessary. The ample hopping has allowed this to age and have the potential to age for as long as the consumer can stand/wait. While not my favorite style (I prefer Eng Barleywines for their balance), I really enjoy how the age has met this beer with compromise and grace. Look forward to sampling older vintages as the years allow.

Photo of Stoffel
4/5  rDev -2%

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

Early 2008 release, lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: Pours a dark, slightly hazed, amber color with ½" off-white head that quickly dissipates leaving behind think film of foam, a ring of foam, and some speckled lacing on the glass.

Smell: As soon as the bottle is opened the aromas of grapefruit and pine spread into the room. The hops in this one are clearly alive and well. A closer sniff picks up the caramel malt presence and some alcohol in the mix.

Taste: The hops are clearly still here more than a year after bottling with a strong citrus/grapefruit/pine taste that fills the mouth. But the malts also weigh in with some caramel and toffee sweetness. The presence of the alcohol is detectable as well. Overall the balance is quite good with no single flavor damping out the others, and over time the malt backbone stands out more and tastes better and better as the palate adapts to the hops.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly creamy with little carbonation present. The finish is long, dry, and bitter with the hops.

Drinkability: While I'm enjoying sipping this barleywine I'd not try to drink more than this one bomber in an evening and would save another for a special occasion. I'd say with a year more of bottle age the flavors will be even more well integrated and balanced. Beyond that I'd predict the malt backbone takes over and leaving the hops in the dust.

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

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange in color with a thin off-white head. The head reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Lots of very sweet malts with caramel and toffee notes. Also, there are some subtle pine hops present as well.

T: Very sweet with a lingering pine bitterness in the finish. Caramel and toffee notes upfront with intense pine hops in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky.

O: This beer tastes great with some age on it. After having both this beer and the 2012 version of it this week, I much prefer the 2008 with the age on it. Very nice sipping beer.

Photo of bunnyhustle
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.

Photo of PhiloPsych
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The color is just what you'd expect--clear, pretty copper. The light tan head puffs up, but thins and disappears quickly, leaving very little lacing on the glass. The smell is very sweetly alcoholic. More than any beer I've had before, this brew has a second kick after swallowing that is a very different experience from when the beer is in-mouth. (This isn't the same thing as "aftertaste" or even "finish" as I normally use those terms.) The taste is very big--lots of hops up front, lots of sweet malty flavor as the beers sits in your mouth, and very sweet alcohol in the aftertaste.

I should have paired it with a dessert. Last year I had the 2007 brew with bread pudding at the Stone Restaurant. It was great! Something like that would have been nice this time, too, I'm sure. My advice: plan to share a bomber. This isn't a beer to drink in quantity.

Photo of TasteTester
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber/ copper color with a small white head. In the aroma, small fruitiness, plumbishand kind of sugary. In the taste, plumbish and a bigger than expected hop presence. A smooth and big bodied mouthfeel, and a semi-dry plum and alcohol aftertaste. Big plum flavor, big hops, smooth and hides alcohol quite well.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 327 ratings.