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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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

259 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 259
Hads: 328
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 8.17%
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 Mancer
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (1,094 characters)

Photo of kleffman
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (1,049 characters)

Photo of HimerMan
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (1,055 characters)

Photo of srroos
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (317 characters)

Photo of charlesw
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So there I was... Assembling this swingset... And drinking this beer. And thinking about it, and all. And thinking, hey, this isn't bad! If I were to change it I'd make it a touch less sweet, maybe take down the harsh edge to the bitterness and up the hops in the nose (like, I couldn't smell any). Of course, less time might up the nose and more time might knock down the bitter. Crazy, huh? I still think that for the style it'd be a bit on the sweet side. Still, from memory, a decent enough replacement for Smutty - given the price and availability fo Smutty, eh? Oh, I suppose the color was oddly light, too, but, well, whatever. I can deal. It's a good beer. I'll seek it out again.

2007 bottle:
Pretty good. Interesting and weird! Pretty good. There is a bit of weirdness to the bitterness - some odd citrus twang - but overall it's decent. Mouthfeel is right on. So take the taste down a little and put the mouth up. Good stuff. (937 characters)

Photo of rootbeerman
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (412 characters)

Photo of gpogo
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy red-orange amber with cream colored head that dissipates. The color is very pretty though.

A- Sweet malts and citrus hops. Very floral and sweet, slightly fruity.

T- Amazingly sweet, but so bitter at the same time. The bitterness seems to be contributed to with the high(11.26%) alcohol content. Leaves a slight bitter aftertaste.

M- Full bodied, slick and syrupy all at the same time. Worked out great for this brew.

D- This beer was incredible. I've had barleywines before, but never have experienced anything like this. Such great strength in malt and hoppy bitterness, not to mention the 11.26ABV. This is definitely a sipping beer, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. (677 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

04/25/08- Purchased at Ledger's in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2008 release. Poured into my Old Guardian glass.

Appearance- Brown, cough sytup orange colored pour. 1/4 inch head with light lace traces.

Smell- Fresh hot grapefruit hops, light fusel alcohol nose with a suprising caramel malt nose.

Taste- Stone has officially gone soft! A Old Guardian perfectly fresh that is balanced?!? Hops come through as a sweet and prickly grapefruit flavor, but here comes caramel malt right behind and almost it's equal! Seems like a fair amount of alcohol, but not as much as usual.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation, a touch creamy and nice and smooth.

Drinkability- One of the better vintages for sure. Not hot as most right out of the bottle. (751 characters)

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (560 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (788 characters)

Photo of supag32
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (271 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: cloudy orange/gold body. very creamy off-white head, great retention, beautiful lacing.

s: wonderful aroma of barley and alcohol. you can tell there is a lot of malt in this one.

t: mmmm...NOW THAT IS A BARLEYWINE! a terrific representation of the style. has that wonderful malt/alcohol flavor only sen in barelywines. Hops sneak up on you, but are not overwhelming.

m: very creamy, smooth, and rich. low to medium carbonation.

d: That's some good stuff. I LOVE the maltiness of this beer. Tastes more like a British version than an American one. I will certainly be buying more of this! (594 characters)

Photo of jakon
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased for $6.99

This beer pours a glowing orange/amber color with a sizeable creamy white head.

The aroma on this one reminds me more of the '06 version than last year's.

Huge all the way around, I pick up sweet biscuity malt, marshmallow, caramel, alcohol, and a strong fruity hop presence even after 6 month's time.

The taste is very nice. Not as hot as the past few years, while seemingly more dynamic in the malt department. Tastes like cinnamon rolls without the cinnamon, candied oranges and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. Thick and kinda syrupy. Moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is a great barley wine. My favorite OG vintage I've tried thus far. (700 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am so glad that the local liquor store is carrying the Stone Special Releases. And a $4.50 a bottle? The price is right too, especially for such a wonderful bottle of beer.

Beer pours a dark clear amber color, with a very nice white head on top.

Aromas are potent, but very pleasant to sniff. Fruits stewed in booze, bright, sweet, and tea like, with a citrus hop note as well.

First sip, this definitely tastes different than the 07 fresh. Lots of boozy flavors, not overpowering though. Oak like, with stewed dark fruit flavors, and a crisp caramel malt flavor. Finish is earthy, with sharp pine and citrus like hop bitterness. I really like this now, but I'll be interested to taste this again in a year or so.

Mouthfeel is great. Thick, full, with a nice warmth feel to it.

Drinkability is good. But this is a monster of a beer. Seems a bit more refined than last years, but no less tasty. Well worth a try, I think I will pick up a couple more bottles before this is all gone... (991 characters)

Photo of Terp96
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 edition poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint tumbler. Hazy amber color with small head that dissapates rather quickly.

Aroma is fruity and hoppy but not overpowering. Very subtle hints of dark fruit.

Tastes great. Malty sweetness up front and througout. Nice hoppy presence in the end. There is a hoppy bite that gets stronger as you progress and the beer warms a bit. Second half of the bomber gets even better.

Mouthfeel is exceptional. Very smooth and balanced. No alcohol burn and not too sweet.

Drinkability is limited by the alcohol content but this is by far my favorite barleywine and an excellent interpretation of the style. (646 characters)

Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a- light for a barley wine style. almost like a blond. nice carbonation.

s- caramel and alcohol. smells like a classic barley wine.

t- oh, delicious. the hops, the alcohol, and the caramel flavors intermingle beautifully.

m- long, smooth hang.

d- very nice. a splendid beer to share with friends. (300 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
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... (447 characters)

Photo of changeup45
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 limited release, 11.26 abv. I have been wanting to try this for a while and was fortunate to find it at Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg, VA. Pours an amber/orange color with a thin head but it sticks around. Aroma is a lot of sweet malt, vanilla, fruity, particularly grapefruit, and a touch of alcohol. This is a wonderful tasting barleywine with many layers adding to it's complexity. The flavors are sweet malts, sherry, tart cherries, oak, a dark fruit note and finishes off with grapefruit hops. Not a lot of bitterness but some mild alcohol burn and although you know the alcohol is in it the 11.26% hides quite well. A nice representation of the style and a beer that makes for a great evening. (703 characters)

Photo of Jmamay22
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rust colored orange. The head quickly dissipates to a cream colored collar. No lacing or carbonation bubbles evident.

Smells balanced? Is this Stone? Orange rind and grapefruit smelling hops mix with a sweet syrupy caramel and toffee scent. There may be a touch of raisins as well.

The taste is fairly balanced as well, but favors the hops a bit. Orange and grapefruit meet the caramel tones again. Sounds simple, but plays out in a wonderfully complex manner with a great depth. As it warms to room temperature it becomes slightly sweeter and I must say it is better somewhat chilled around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Alcohol warms and lingers creating an enjoyable finish that is faintly fruity.

Minimal carbonation that seems to come to life as its quaffed. The alcohol content creates a prickly feel. A sure sipper, but much more drinkable than past years.

Sublime with carrot cake! (894 characters)

Photo of dmamiano
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bomber, shared with a friend.
deep copper with a big, off white head and lots of lacing.
smelled of pungent hops, sweet malts. Some mixed fruit, raisen and plum. Some floral notes mixed as well.
taste was very big and bold. Mouthfeel was solid.
tangy bite of citrus hops, deep fruity flavors from the malts all hiding the 11.26% alchohol completely.
Wonderful beer. (379 characters)

Photo of DIPAbrewer
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I snapped up the last bottle of this limited release and was glad that I did.

Beautiful tangerine orange color with a rocky persistent head. Slight chill haze present, a little lighter than your average Barleywine.

Strong sweet aroma with piney citrus floating through the malt. Very nice aroma, much more hop than some other examples of the style.

The bready sweet malt flavor quickly gives way to a rush of fresh tasting grapefruit and piney hops. Strong bitterness brings the darkly sweet malt into balance.

The mouthfeel and drinkability are both exceptional I had no problem polishing off this bottle with one friend. A great pair with spicy indian food, bbq, or a strong bleu cheese. (693 characters)

Photo of burnstar
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (548 characters)

Photo of peensteen
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Volo

Pours a hazy deep copper, decent white head, nice light lacing. Smell is of caramel, big malt, biscuit, quite hoppy considering the age, faint citrus and alc. notes. Taste is rich with caramel, good malt, sweet but not cloying and actually quite nice, dark sugar, no alcohol to be found. Slightly syrupy mouthfeel, thick, full body, very light carbonation. Awesome stuff overall, ABV almost undetectable, really good stuff. (439 characters)

Photo of kevinglin
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very good beer. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into two wide-mouth goblets to split the bottle with my great buddy Nat who is about to move away. Copper-orange color with no head to speak of. Somewhat hazy with some legs as it sticks to the sides of the glass.

Aroma of raisins and dark fruit for me - definitely a lot of malt but I'm not getting much in the hops department. Taste backs up the aroma - HUGE on the malt presence. A big beer for sure - dark fruits again but now the hop flavor begins to come through, which of course reminds me that I am, after all, drinking a Stone brew. Sweet malty presence is offset with an earthy/woodsy hop bitterness and flavor. As it warms, the spiciness of the hops begins to shine a bit more and the alcohol warmth really begins to show. Hop bitterness lingers well into the aftertaste.

Body is somewhat slick, yet chewy, but somehow there is a lively carbonation on the tongue.

Overall, definitely recommend. A big beer for sure, and as I've tried a lot of the Stone IPA/DIPA and have enjoyed their hop monsters, this was a bit of a change of pace to enjoy their Malt Monster. Complex, flavorful and certainly enjoyable as a late-night sipper reminiscing with old friends. (1,219 characters)

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