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

326 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 326
Reviews: 259
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.05%
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:
Beer added by: HimerMan on 01-27-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 326 | Reviews: 259 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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

1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz.
Limited Early 2008 Release
Sampled at 60 degrees

Appearance - sparse and quickly-ending carbonation rises through the mostly clear amber body; the off-white, two-finger thick head does its best to fight off the strength of the product below; partitioned sheets of lace

Smell - oh yes, this is a big, exciting experience; it draws you in to sip and early in the game, its an experience ahead of the taste; fig, raisin, caramel, citrus rind, flash of pineapple; some spice; steady line of alcohol gave me a sense that this offering is a caged monster

Taste - to open talking about the close of the flavor profile says something - its noteworthy at this stage; hotness comes through late as expected since its so fresh; lively hop profile enters early (orange rind, grapefruit) and remains long after the close; the malts aren't as prominent as desired but they'll be mined with time; fruity; bread and light brown sugar find a way through the hop jungle; if a hop punch is your thing, its very tolerable but age has a track record of doing the big Stone well

Mouthfeel - nice lush layer of carbonation for a barleywine; a light oil is cut by the hot; the alcohol dries the palette a bit (which will mellow with time) and this holds it back from being spot on but as ripe as this sample is, it's a 5; age aside, it's a 4.5; Stone seems to hit my preferred feel on just about every product in their lineup that I've sampled

Drinkability - its the Patterson fist that knocked out Johansson; a certain sipper that took me more than an hour to sample; time is on its side as it will favorably mellow; 1 is certainly enough to give the sampler a full impression

Buy 4 and drink one every year. It'll be a book that gets better as the bookmark advances.

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

Another beer from Uptown from the Stone launch party. Again I left my notes behind from this one so I am going off memory altough it was within a day.

Color was a fairly light amber, some cloudiness. Head was reduced. The lacing around where the head was superb, the further down it went the weaker it got very quickly. After about 1 third there was no lacing.

Smell had a hoppy aroma but not overpowering. There was a sweet alcohol smell that was more dominant.

Some resiny hops. Tasted very much like pineapple. I think this is the sensation I get from Molasses (still a theory right now). Very pleasant and very drinkable. Was definately heavy with the alcohol content. However I could have done another, it was always a pleasure drinking it. Could definately feel it though!

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

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine (Early 2008 Release)
22oz. brown bomber

A: poured into a snifter. Slightly hazy, mostly reddish amber color. Nice light tan head on top, with a decent retention level. Fair lacing at best.

S: sweet citrusy hop aromas. Mostly oranges, almost blood oranges. Sweet malts provide a solid backbone to this barley wine. Some strong alcohol is definitely present as well.

T: holy crap! Great typical Stone beer...big, beefy and potent. The malts hit first with a sweet base, that lets the hops sneak into the palate. Mostly sweet malts, with citrus and floral hop flavors. Solid barley wine flavors. Some vanilla as well.

M: surprisingly smooth mouthfeel for an 11% barley wine. Amazing palate, great malt with a solid, typical hop characteristic from Stone. Perfect carbonation level.

D: 11.26% is definitely extreme. Very good example of a barley wine. Very drinkable, but only for one.

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

Poured from 22oz to standard pint glass, wish i used a snifter or thistle glass. Pours a light golden red color, nice two finger head

smells faint, light malting and alchohol ++ but not much noticable

tasting, oh man hot hot alcohol! wish i wouldn't have cracked this for another year, very much a sipper, creamy spicy, sweet heavy malts, heavy bitter hopping, a lot on the palate (green raisins, lemon peel, honey, etc)

mouthfeel was hot and tangy while thick and creamy - a tounge bruiser at this vintage

overall a fantastic barleywine that demands to be cellared - wouldn't reccomend it to be drunk fresh.

Photo of Gehrig
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first few I've tried from Stone have been so damn good that I was impelled by forces beyond my control to grab this. It did not disappoint. Old Guardian pours a slightly cloudy amber with two fingers of off-white head, leaving plenty of amazingly proportioned lacing on the glass--excellent. The nose emits good aromas, but is too faint. Fruit is first and foremost, followed closely by a decent whiff of hops. I'd like more, please.

The taste brings it all home well. Though this does have a bite, it's a bit sweeter and fruitier than I expected. Lots of citrus, the hops are present and accounted for, and the spice is good also--pepper and perhaps cinnamon. The alcohol warms rapidly but is never overbearing, maintaining some restraint and allowing one to enjoy this high-test barleywine (11.26%). Terrific.

Some bite emerges with the mouthfeel, a pleasant mix of hops and spice coating the tongue. Surprisingly drinkable for its potency, but not given the sweet flavor relative to the several barleywines I've had. Another hit from Stone, which has quickly emerged as one of my favorite American breweries.

Photo of JBuff41413
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was my first ever Barley Wine and I didn't know what to expect.

A- Pours a hazy but deep amber color, with 1 inch of beautiful off white creamy head. Retention is decent and the lacing just clings to the glass.

S- This is an amazing smelling beer. Fresh baked bread, caramel, hoppy, warm spicy alcohol, and slight amount of citrus as the beer warms. Perfect!!

T- It does not disappoint. Sweet caramel malts up front, a little spicy and some dried fruits poke through. It finishes a little bitter and then the alcohol slowly warms your chest.

M- Full body mouthfeel, nice and creamy

D- It is a very intense beer and because of that i could probably drink 2 and that would be pushing it. It is 11.26% ABV and it hides it extremely well...so this one will sneak up on you.

This is my first ever Barley Wine and won't be my last. GREAT beer. I'm going to get a couple more drink one and age the other one for a few years.

Photo of mdagnew
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle bought online from BeerofEurope.co.uk...

Poured a deep coppery russet colour. Creamy head with some coppery tinges poured quite thick and rocky then faded to nice light ring around the edge of the glass. Barely any carbonation... some light frothy lacing...

Aroma - Lots of spicy piney hops, peppery, herbal notes, caramel / toffee sweetness, some burnt sugar notes, spicy fruits (raisins, oranges, some light figs, grapefruit), strong resinous notes, some saltiness, toasted bread, biscuity malts, woody, some faint leathery traces, grassy, quite a lot of alcoholic esters when the glass is given a light swirl...

Taste - Very strong peppery / spicy / piney hops to the fore followed by lots of toffee and caramel malt sweetness, earthy notes, spicy fruits (bitter oranges (strong marmalade hints), tart apples, some figs, raisins), dark muscovado sugar traces, burnt sugar, yeasty traces, herbal, some anise, toasted bread, alcohol is noticeable..

M&D - Quite sharp initially then mellows to quite a syrupy smoothness. Medium bodied... At 11% certainly not the most drinkable beer and one bomber is more than enough...

Overall - An excellent and very American barleywine and another top notch brew from Stone... recommended...

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark deep copper with a nice creme head. Smell is structured on a nice backbone of mineral and earth. You get hints of fruit, alcohol, and hops off of that backbone. I like it. The taste continues the trends set in the smell. AT first it is a bit simple tasting but the flavor starts to deconstruct quickly as you continue drinking it and you can appreciate the different fruit, malt, and hop notes that combine to the seemingly simple first impression. The beer was a little hot and a bit fizzy for my liking, but overall I thought the 11% was hidden pretty well and I would certainly look forward to this beer in the future. Stone continues to impress.

Photo of ShrLSU
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Cloudy orange color with that lightens as it gets higher in the glass. Nice head that settled on the pour and left beautiful lacing around the edges.

Smell - Very bready with some piny hop scents. A pungent malt and alcohol smell as well. Pretty well blended nose overall.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Bitter hops come out first followed by a bit of a citrus hop taste. The bitterness lingers into some sweet caramel malt taste. The alcohol bites a little but the bitter hops is probably the most prevelant.

Drinkability - This was a very hoppy barely wine. It's definitely a sipper. If this aged a little longer the malts and other flavors would be a bit better served. This was still a hell of a beer.

Photo of KoG
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lively bubbles and a lasting head top the amber brew, keeping its head the whole way.

Smell is light, sweet malts, a little must and alcohol. Doughy at times, almost like fresh cookies.

Taste is great, light sweetness and not overtly bitter. Alcohol makes it presence known as it warms and spends more time on the palate.

The alcohol twinge comes in as you drink it making the finish a bit dryer as you go. Still easy to quaff.

Photo of Stoneman78
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
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

Photo of mctizzz
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Lofreqwave
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of richj1970
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Amalak
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of shroompod
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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 trancesk8er
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Drknight
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of jaxon53
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of cadaugherty
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of mikeincharleston
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of kegger22
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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