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

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

321 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 321
Reviews: 260
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.27%


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: 321 | Reviews: 260 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Rezzin
Rezzin

California

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I gave this beer 4's across the board. I may have to come back and re-grade this as I shared this with a brewing buddy and of course, we drank from plastic red cups again. He really needs to start doing dishes :)

A - No comment on the appearance other than it seemed to be a light copper color.

S - The aroma was really nice. Really sweet with a nice spicy hop aroma, caramel and toast notes.

T- This beer could use some aging but was actually really good even when this young. The flavor was malty, caramel, with just the right amount of hop bitterness. I would have actually preferred it to be a little more as I thought the hop bitterness balanced well with the malt at this age.

M - The mouthfeel was typical of a barleywine - full bodied with some alcohol warmth.

D - I personally feel this is great while young. I think it would age well but I'm so sure if the hops would carry through in a couple of years. I plan on picking up a few more bottles to find out :)

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2008 18:25:01 | More by Rezzin
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky orange with a small white head. Smells of malt and pine. Nice combination.
Taste is unusually grapefruity and pine-y for a Barleywine. Lots of hops, malt and very young. A year or twon this and it would be a beast!! What a good barleywine but it needs some more maturity before I call it Great.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2008 01:45:18 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of callmemickey
callmemickey

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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..

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2008 01:36:41 | More by callmemickey
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2008 22:22:36 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of mnj21655
mnj21655

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2008 00:20:03 | More by mnj21655
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

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

Early 2008 release. 22 oz. bomber > Chimay goblet/snifter

This is a clear, pure amber color with mellow liquid and a single stream of bubbles directly in the middle of the glass that actually creates a rather lively, dense and sticky tan colored head, long dissipation concidering the style.

The nose has a HUGE sweetness, caramel malt, honey-covered pineapple, strawberries and toffee...tangy, leafy hops that smell very herbal. The heat tingle on the nose is on the extreme side.

Unlike the sweet aroma's, the flavor is much more hop forward, infact the first thing you notice is the massive, bitter, leafy hop flavor attacking the palate, now, this was a bit too much for me personally but I'm sure the big-time hop heads out there love it. The malt gives a semi-sweet smoothness that does it's best to mellow and balance the hops. It tries hard but it's not enough in my book.The alcohol heat is HUGE and mixes with the bitter hops to create something that is difficult to even sip at times. The heat must melolow!! I only let this one sit in the cellar for four months before I opened it, I should've waited much longer. i'm sure the hops will ease up after some time goes by. The blalance should be better next year. Still, eventhough the hops are massive the overall flavor's are big and enjoyable.

This one is medium to full bodied, the malt is a bit thin overall and not as hefty and impressive as some other versions of this style, but it's rather hefty compared to about 80% of beers out there.

good stuff, but the hot heat and huge bitter hops keep this one at bay.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 20:42:08 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 01:52:33 | More by drtth
Photo of Frosty80
Frosty80

Michigan

4/5  rDev -2.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2009 05:58:16 | More by Frosty80
Photo of colts9016
colts9016

Idaho

4/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 03:43:21 | More by colts9016
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 00:19:28 | More by claspada
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2012 02:11:33 | More by metter98
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2012 02:34:19 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of PhiloPsych
PhiloPsych

California

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2008 19:26:31 | More by PhiloPsych
Photo of Bookseeb
Bookseeb

Washington

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is an orange amber with minimal head. Smell is solfly sweet with malt dark fruits with little alchohol. Taste is rich with dark fruit, caramel, spices with a good hop bite. mouthfeel is syrupy with a lot of body.
Maybe not as rich as other Barleywines I've had, and Considering the ABV. I can sure taste the alchohol, but not as strong as I thought it would be. A very good brew and one I'd like to keep in the cellar awhile.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2008 02:38:31 | More by Bookseeb
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Four-finger, frothy head on an orange-amber liquor. Cloudy. Thick lace on the glass.

Lots of rich caramel and brown sugar aromas. This is a sweet smelling beer with no noticeable hop. Sugary.

Surprisingly dry flavor; not at all like the aroma. Also, there's decent amount of hop bitterness in the swallow that has a lingering effect in the aftertaste. Predictably rich body with a balancing (read: high) level of carbonation. The alcohol creates an oiliness to the feel of the beer. Still, with the big flavor, this could be a deceptive beer.

Potent, but lovable, this is a hoppier version of the typical barleywine although you'd never know it in the smell.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2008 23:30:16 | More by smcolw
Photo of ryrust5301
ryrust5301

Louisiana

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Murky and cloudy orange with lemon yellow highlights flowing around the edges. What made it impressive was the finger length tight white head that blew up at the end of the pour. A misty froth coats the top just adding to the beauty of this one. Very thick band forms a white halo around the top. Once again a fantastic looking brew.

Smell - Deep bready scent and caramel malt which is matched by a piny hop.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Bitter and biting on first taste. Hops are definitely pronounced, and have a bit of a citrus taste as well. Malt is very sweet and bready, most likely caramel based. The bitterness doesn't really ever go away and really hangs around throughout the entire experience.

Drinkability - This one looked citrusy on the pour due to the color, and it was a lot more hoppy than I like my barleywines. This one just needs some age to blossom more.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2008 05:00:18 | More by ryrust5301
Photo of tronester
tronester

Oklahoma

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber with a medium tan head. Smells of perfumy malt. Taste is citrus hops up front followed by a solid malt backbone. There is an impressive bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is rich, carbonation slightly high. Quite drinkable, this beer drinks very well for over 11 percent ABV. I personally like the extreme hoppiness in the beer, but others may prefer this beer aged. Either way, this is another great beer from Stone IMO.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2008 01:29:12 | More by tronester
Photo of brantadid
brantadid

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color into a snifter. A one inch white head formed and diminished quickly. Excellent lacing left behind.

Great nose. Nice balance in the nose. Big and malty with a ton of hops. Nice citrus profile. Some alcohol in the nose.

Big malty front palate that quickly turns to citrus rind, grass, and a drying bitterness. Nice layers of flavor. Alcohol also is present in the palate.

Mouthfeel is heavy but not syrupy. Moderate to low carbonate. Hop profile and bitterness gives that "want to take another sip" quality.

This beer has mellowed a bit since its release making it very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2008 01:51:58 | More by brantadid
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally cracked one of these open last night as I had yet to try this years vintage. Sevred this one out of the cellar and shared amongst friends, mine going into a fluted taster glass. Consumed on 10/03/2008.

The pour was nice, although a little less lively then I would have liked to have seen. Nice deep amber color, with a little bit of haze. Not much in the way of carbonation here, and only the slightest bit of an elevated head of white across the top.

The aroma was rich and malty/ Lots of notes of candied sugar, some light piney hop notes in the beginning, but otherwise very sweet and malty barley wine. The flavor was a bit different though, with much more of a hop presence and some light alcohol notes. As it warmed though it got considerably sweet with that nice candied sugar malt profile coming back one more time and reaching out for a nice smooth finish. The feel was nice and thick, medium to full bodied with a good enough carbonation profile to keep it from becoming too thick. A sipper for sure due to the high abv, though the smoothness of it lends it to be a more sessionable high gravity.

Overall this was not bad at all. No where near as harsh as it could have been, this was about as solid as they come. I would have no issue with having this one anyday, and would love to see how it holds up.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2008 15:30:55 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of everetends
everetends

Alabama

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber I got at Pearl Street Beverage in Burlington, VT. Poured in a snifter glass.

A: Pours a somewhat hazy but mostly clear dark amberish orange. Head is rather subdued with just a quarter inch coming from a rather vigorous pour. What little is there does have some nice retention. Lacing is soapy and somewhat clingy. Not a bad brew to look at.

S: Lots of malt in this nose. Very nice. Carmel and toffee coming through pretty nicely. Plenty of booze coming through as well. There are some notes of prune and raisin in there as well.

T: Taste is also of some big time sweet, candy malt. Toffee is so creamy in the taste and call me crazy, but I taste a touch of chocolate. Like crunching on a Skor bar as a kid. Very nice. The booze is there but it is just enough. A touch of apple, prune and raisin in there as well. Very damned tasty.

M: Medium to full in body and this is seriously creamy. This is what I want when someone tells me a beer is creamy. Coats and lets you know what it has to offer. Carbonation is a bit up there but it works here, allowing you to deal with the alcohol presence and making it easy to drink.

D: Fairly easy to drink thanks to all of its high marks in aroma, feel and taste. This beer is pretty damned good and I see why so many talk it up so much. Once I am able to, I will keep a few of these on hand. Strong and solid brew. Lovin it.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2008 05:28:51 | More by everetends
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 01:40:39 | More by zeff80
Photo of mfkr
mfkr

Sweden

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2009 11:06:36 | More by mfkr
Photo of FreshHawk
FreshHawk

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Burnt orange/amber with a red-orange color. Small bubbly white head that disappears fast and leaves almost no lacing behind.

S - Strong caramel and malt aroma with touches of pine and citrus hops coming through. Vague hint of alcohol. Pretty sweet and a bit of a sugary aroma as well, although there is some bitterness that cuts that a bit.

T - Initial caramel sweetness. This quickly gives way to a piny (and a bit of citrus) bitterness. Mid-sip to finish there is some spiciness, alcohol, and a touch of malt flavor. Some floral/herbal hop flavors also start to come out a bit. Very slight apple fruitiness. Fairly sweet finish. Strong mixing and contrast of hops (particularly pine but some citrus, floral and herbal) and a sweet caramel/toffee malt.

M - On the fuller side of medium body and on the lower side of carbonation (however given the style, it is about average carbonation). Has a nice velvety, full, texture in the mouth.

D - Between the strong hops (even after a couple of years), sweet, sticky malt, and the ABV and noticeable alcohol taste, this isn't the most drinkable beer. Very strong on the palate. I didn't struggle to finish the bottle, but after I did, I was done for the night. That said, given the style and what the beer is meant to be, it is fairly drinkable.

Notes: Early 2008 Vintage. Overall I enjoyed this beer, but I wasn't wowed by it. Still had a pretty strong hop and alcohol presence after a couple of years aging. This is a strong barleywine. Like I said, I enjoyed it, and it is a good barleywine, but given the price, I probably won't get it again (although maybe another vintage to compare).

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 13:17:04 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

40th review on BA
Bottle to Stone Pint

App- Hazy amber with a thin 1/2 inch head that was a bit beige and was quickly gone.

Smell-The 1st first smell takes me to oranges caramel and butterscotch candies.

Taste- So it's almost 3 years old and its drinking very well. It has a very mild malt sweetness as well as a a hoppy bitterness and just a touch of a light taste of alcohol.

Mouth- Carbonation is very clean and it's very clean. The flavors stay on the back of the mouth for a long time.

Drink- It's very good and drinking well for being 2 years old.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 04:36:39 | More by FosterJM
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.05/5  rDev -1%
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
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.