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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

324 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 324
Reviews: 260
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.29%
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:
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: 324 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biking4beer
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Early 2008 Release.

Pours a hazy deep orange. Minimal whispy, white head. Would have like to seen more head on this one.

Smells super sugary. Orange, floral hops, and a prominent caramel to toffee aroma. You can almost smell the bitterness in this one.

I big fat grapefruit is thrown at you and smacks you across the head. We're not talking a regular old grapefruit, but it's one of those big Texas ones. There is prominent alcohol in this one, but that's not a bad thing. Pretty good actually. The sweetness shines through just a touch between the bitterness and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily. Creamy but yet a good level of carbonation to break everything up.

I wouldn't say that this is drinkable right now. I was glad I wasn't drinking the whole bomber. It's an interesting experience fresh, but when I revisit this one after some aging, I would bet the numbers will rise. It's definitely a super fresh beer right now, so beware.

biking4beer, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of ASymon13
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a reddish amber with a decent amount of white head that retains very nicely for the abv. The initial aromas are of bready malts, caramel and alcohol, but upon further inhaling hop tones of grapefruit and some citrus also play a key role. Alcohol is not overwhelming like some barleywines.

The flavor opens with bittering hops taking a front role, with some solid grapefruit flavor. That quickly gives way to the bready malts, and the caramel that was so prevalent in the nose is more subdued than I expected. The finish is almost entirely alcohol, which is rather disappointing.

The medium-full body and solid carbonation are fine for the style, but I really do not think this barleywine stands up to many of it's peers. It's good, but the flavors are almost a bit subdued, and the malt profile just isn't as complex as some others.

ASymon13, May 29, 2008
Photo of Seattle_Suds
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Seattle_Suds, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

GRG1313, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

djrn2, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of Slynger
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy deep orangey amber with a cap of creamy off-white foam.

Boozy and malty, rich and bittersweet caramel and toffee, with some melon, prune, and stout citrus rind bitterness. Full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation, though it's not particularly smooth or creamy.

Not bad stuff, but not really something I need to try again.

Slynger, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of ibbjamin
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Paid $8.99 for a bomber from Monument in Concord, CA. Poured into a snifter.

Inch and 3/4 frothy off white head after an aggressive pour. Burnt orangish brown color. Rather cloudy. Little head retention. Decent lacing. Mild carbonation.

Alcohol, raisins, other various dark fruits and some quality malts to help balance it out. A hefty, quality nose. There are some mild hop notes in there as well which came through more as it warmed.

This one is very alcoholic. I already know after I finish this bomber, I'm going to have a nice little buzz. A great balancing act; dark fruity, malty and hoppy all in great harmony.

The mouth is thick and somewhat grainy leading to a long aftertaste. Mild carbonation. Full body.

I could recommend a handful of Barleywines that I would put in a higher category than this one.

ibbjamin, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of BlindPig
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pretty clear amber orange body with a nice thick light creamy tan head.
S- Big orange and grapefruit hops with a nice balance of sweet caramel body and a splash of alcohol. Almost a pineapple hint in there also. Seems like it's stronger on the light fruits than previous years.
T- Very different than the previous years of OG (and not to sure if it's for the better). Sweet caramel, booze, citrus hops, fruits, almost a grapefruit banana mixture? Little blend of some darker fruits in there too. Big bitterness left in the aftertaste and a little warming in back of throat.
M-Full chewy body with low smooth carbonation.
D- This is usually one of my favorite releases in the year especially since it's cheap for what it is so I can drink more of them. This seems a lot brighter than previous years and just doesn't have that Old Guardian flavor to it. The aftertaste still stays true to OG though. The thing it reminds me of the most is if you made a really strong OG and mixed it with a little left over VE 07 you get this. Kind of a disappointment this year, but we shall see what time will do to this one.

BlindPig, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of ccrida
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into my Midnight Sun cervoise, the '08 OG is a clear copper with an olive tinged off white head that settles to a thick skim, leaving scattered sheets of foam. Served at cellar temp.

Smell is fruity apricot ale esters, citrus hops and alcohol.

Taste is not as rich as I remembered from last years, semi-sweet malt with a strong, tart citrus hop flavor and lingering bitter finish. Still very smooth and balanced for the size and younger age.

Mouthfeel is sticky, with a lighter body for a big BW.

Drinkability is good, though not the mind blower I recall from last year...perhaps my palate has matured, or maybe it's just a lesser execution.

ccrida, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of Goregazm
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

NOTHING OLD ABOUT IT

Appearance: Pours a thick golden color, like a mixture of apple and orange juice. Has a solid one-finger head which is nicely thick. It's bubbly and foamy, lasts awhile, and leaves some awesome lacing. A+.

Smell: Sweet, with a bitter tone to it. There is a very fresh and clean scent, heavy on the citrus and sweet alcohol. Has some caramel notes as well.

Taste: Strong with a bitter alcohol kick. Crisp and clean, with an emphasis on bitter hops. Has a slight caramel and fruit sweetness. Overall, the taste reminds me of an IPA.

Mouthfeel: Thick, but a little overcarbonated and it kills the creaminess. Aftertaste is very bitter and has a hefty malt feel.

Drinkability: This is a good, strong barleywine that fans of the style (or of Stone Brewing) should most definately enjoy. It may be a little strong for some, but the majority should find it a very good sipper. Very good.

Goregazm, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of SeanRedd
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark renaissance. An elegant banquet of intellectual pairings. An aristocracy cut from a traditional recipe. Sweet tree bark, caramela sappy burn. A boozey squeeze disquised within a winter fruit basket. An after dinner accompaniment to Victorian after dinner refreshments. Outstanding...though it hurts.

SeanRedd, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of enfield249
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very light and clear orange copper. A little to light for a barley wine I think.

S - Lots of alcohol and some spicy hop aroma.

T - Very spicy, both with the alcohol burn and hop spiciness. Just a little of maltyness you would expect.

M - Medium mouth feel. Not as full as I would expect for a barley wine

D - Meh. Pretty good, but I've had better barley wines.

enfield249, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of illidurit
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

illidurit, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of bobsy
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage picked up in Buffalo, and sat stoppered in my fridge for the past two days as I was in no state to finish it at Saturday's barleywine tasting. I've not used stoppers often, and I'm surprised that this beer doesn't seem to have degraded at all. I will be using them for bigger bottles more often from here on out.

Pours a slightly clouded cider with a brief bubbly cream coloured head, which eventually settles down to a wispy film, and leaves a few spots of lace on the glass. The slight lack of clarity is a little surprising, but I do note some sediment at the bottom of the glass, so it may well be fine yeast particulate in suspension. The aroma is surprisingly subdued for a big barleywine, and while its pleasant, it doesn't leap out of the glass like most Stone products. An earthy caramel base supports some light zesty hops, but there's not much else to be smelled, which is a touch disappointing.

The flavour turns things up a notch, and makes the letdown of the aroma seem like a distant memory. Strong caramel lasts from the moment the liquid hits the taste buds to long after the warming sensation in the throat has subsided. Its grounded (pardon the pun) by a distinct earthiness, and the occasional hint of toasted nuts. Zesty, resiny hops provide a good level of bitterness, and they've not really started to fade too much. Some alcohol is present in the finish, though considering the weight its fairly well. The mouthfeel is great, and considering this bottle has been wine stoppered for almost two days, the carbonation is still at the perfect level. The body is rich and full, without becoming too sticky and cloying, largely thanks to a good stream of CO2 which lightly prickles the taste buds.

This barleywine doesn't wow me, but it's a good enough example of the style. Its just you expect so much more from Stone, and this one doesn't deliver on the usual fronts. I'd say it would be better fresh, when the hops are more aggressive, but I've heard the alcohol is too in your face at that point. With more age they'll drop out all together, and I don't think there's enough interest in the malt base to make this anything more than average at that point. With that in mind, she's probably in her sweet spot right now. I won't be buying another bottle though - Stone have too much great stuff to linger on the ones that are only good.

bobsy, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of JamesS
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper color (lighter than most barley wines I've had), with some very nice head and (rapidly diminishing) lacing. It has a very nice malty aroma, hints of caramel, but not really strong at all for the style. A very well done, deep, earthy taste, huge malt flavors. It goes down fairly well for a high abv brew. A very nice beer!

JamesS, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of Brez07
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed as part of the Blind Beer BIF. Bomber poured into a snifter

Orange brown hue with a fair amount of head on the pour. Given the initial aroma upon opening and color, already thinking double IPA. Or maybe barleywine.

Nose confirms this is a barleywine. And an aged one to boot (although at this point in the game, it's not a reach for me to say that). Caramel, sweet bread, orange marmalade. Has a bit of that faded hop aroma, so I can narrow the style down to American barleywine.

Still a good amount of hops in the flavor, although basically all bitterness now with a little citrus juice to it. Good malt backbone along with caramel. Dry, fusel alcohol. Medium bodied, appropriate carb for the style

Another solid beer, but somewhat one dimensional at this stage of its life. Since the last beer was Stone, I'll take a stab in the dark and guess Old Guardian. Maybe 4-5 years old?

Reveal: Stone Old Guardian 2008. 5 years it is. Talk about a lucky guess with the age haha. Solid, solid beer

Brez07, Jul 10, 2013
Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle. I preferred this beer with six months on it last year so I waited until now to drink my first 2008. Thick orange color and smells like the best hoppy rubbing alcohol ever. It is a bitter barleywine and it is good. If you like barleywines this is a good west coast example.

ArrogantB, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of Ieatlambfries
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I had to review this beer in two sessions because at first sip I found it to be too hot and palate numbingly bitter. I did what I've found works in red wines as well when they are a bit "green." I corked it tight and left it in the fridge overnight. This review comes from the next day after it sat for a while.

Hazy dark copper color with a dense foam head of orange tinged tan bubbles. Little to no lace left, just an oily film.

Caramel malts hit the nose first followed by citris and pine notes.

Candied fruits and caramel up front, followed by a solid wall of citrus rind and grapefruit. Hot alcohol on the finish. This was near undrinkable one day ago, perhaps a slight bit of oxidation helped.

Full bodied, with medium carbonation, each sip leaves an oily film on your lips and in your mouth. Goes down smooth. I had to say it was below average when it came to drinkablility for now. It's too hot at this point in my honest opinion. The combination of over the top hops and alcohol dominated the more complex and subtle notes. I believe this could do with some aging before you are really able to enjoy it.

Ieatlambfries, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of BeerCon5
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy, light amber color with not much head.

Fruity scent with very pronounced alcohol.

The taste is most notably strong alcohol, citrus, and fruit.

This beer is medium bodied, kind of thick and smooth in texture, with moderate carbonation.

Average drinker. Very flavorful and interesting, though tough to drink more than a bomber.

BeerCon5, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of bum732
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy orange amber, decent head that dissipates quickly leaving nice lacing. Smells predominately of caramal and toffee, some brown sugar, anise, very faint hops, Tastes of rich toffee malt followed by a very pronounced bitterness. Lots of layers going on, some dried fruits, earthy hops, notable alcohol. Finishes quite sweet leaving a pronounced hop bitterness.

A very good barleywine. The hops weren't really present in the aroma, but came through in the taste. A nice bitterness cuts through the rich toffee malt. Still, this is a huge beer and the toffee flavor is a bit much.

bum732, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of Oisin
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Color like that of gem quality amber. Agressive pour produced a creamy head that left lacing all the way to the last mouthful.

Rich, sweet notes with wafts of hop florals. Not nealry as hoppy as a couple years back--two, three years maybe. It seems that starting from '07 OG has become very refined--not to my liking. What happened to that big green flavor and aroma of years past?

Mouthfeel is active and lively, almost makes this high octane ale quaffable--in fact, it is. Very drinkable for the ABV.

This beer is beautiful, but I feel that it has changed. But still great.

Oisin, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of 2beerdogs
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

2beerdogs, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of caddybuyer
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into my Chimay Chalise.

Drink this a cellar temperature, folks! I began a review of this when it was a bit colder and the warmup made all the difference.

A-When chilled, a cloudy Apricot copper with an almost non existant head. When it warms up, it has a marked clarity and a slick looking creamy white head....very pretty.

S-Sweet apricot malts and yeast

T-Extremly sweet and alcoholic. Malt and dark fruits and malts, Slight hop bitterness in the finish. The alcohol bite mellows as this warms, but it always present.

M-Well balanced overall with a slick mouthfeel and moderate carbonation.

D-This is decent and drinkable. The label says early 2008 release, so it has had a year to age. I have another in the cellar and will age that another year to see if it mellows a bit more to allow the alcohol to blossom this into something truly remarkable. Worth checking out if you like the style. Cannot drink more than one of these in a sitting however.

Re-review of the cellared bottle on 1.19.11. Age has definately improved the scores at least a half a point, any booziness has receded and it is all sweetness and good, but I think this could even get better as the years go on. Alas, I have no others. Time to buy the current batch and let it sleep.

caddybuyer, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic great barleywine. Medium red grapefruit colour, with lasting off-white head. Aroma of barley and malt. Maly-barley aroma. An above average hoppy barleywine with very good mouhfeel. Fruit, caramel taste a and above average mouthfeel.Middle of road in a great roster of barleywines.

Sammy, May 18, 2009
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.