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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 smcolw
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

smcolw, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

SkinnyElvis, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of hopheadsal
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This the first barley wine I have tried. Loved the color...dark caramel, with a rich look and feel to it. A ton of malt to taste, but it's not too balanced...a lot of alcohol on the finish. I guess a few years in the celler would remedy this. Would defintiley drink again!

hopheadsal, May 31, 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 cswhitehorse
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Old Guardian Early Spring 2008 release poured a autumn amber, hazy with a good two finger foam head. It has some real nice sea foam lacing.

The aroma was wonderful hoppy smell with slight esters coming up to greet the schnaze. Get some pine smell with a faint brown sugar.

The taste has a solid foundation with the barley malts with a nice bitterness and hop finish then back to a sweetness. The brew is perfectly carbonated for me and is light and very smooth. The over 11% is present but not overwhelming.

Definitely one of my favorite Barley wine's to date. I will have to recommend this to one of my friends that has not embraced the style.

cswhitehorse, May 28, 2008
Photo of ckeegan04
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark orange/amber in color. One finger light brown, almost yellowish, head. Little retention and little lacing.

S - Alcohol and a caramel malt sweetness. Hint of earthy hop in the background but the malts and alcohol definitely dominate.

T - Alcohol up front and some malt sweetness. Roasted caramel. Alcohol definitely dominates the flavor though. Might be a good one to cellar for a while and see if it mellows some. This beer improves greatly as it warms. Alcohol becomes less dominate and a sweetness of dark fruits really starts to take over.

M/D - Full bodied and somewhat chewy. A stronng barleywine that is a little rough around the edges. I would definitely like to pick one up and cellar for a year or so.

ckeegan04, May 28, 2008
Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
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!

BradLikesBrew, May 25, 2008
Photo of DIPAbrewer
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

DIPAbrewer, May 20, 2008
Photo of joezak5
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; clear and clean orangey copper with the most delicate tiny bubbles in the center. Little retention, good lacing.

Smell: Peppery and spicy sugary sweet malt. Deep syrupy with strong alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Hugely syrupy and sweet, muted carbonation, warmly alcohol.

Taste: Sweet, alcoholic, peppery spicy a little citrusy malt. The alcohol is a bit much, Peppery and cidery malt explosion. Womp you over the head warmth from the alcohol on the finish.

Drinkability: I bought six bottles based on the quality of the RIS, really think this will age nicely. It could use a little mellowing and blending. I think this is a great dessert beer...I just made my kid a molten fudge cake and it goes beautifully with it.

joezak5, May 20, 2008
Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A healthy amber color with a tan head that settles to a thin cover. The nose was of quiet bready malts, ripe fruits and some floral hops. Taste also has a nice hop presence that is well balanced by sweet malts. Well carbonated silky body is full on the palate. A good brew, but there are much better.

rye726, May 14, 2008
Photo of Gtreid
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Paul 68 this one! 22 oz bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Very cloudy, dark, orange, amber. About a 1/2 finger of off white, almost tan, cream colored head. Little lace, no retention.

A: Smells of roasted malts and earthy hops. Big alcohol aroma.

T: Hops up front, malts in the back. Again, alcohol dominates. But very nice.

M: Full body and oily. Next to no carbonation.

D: I thought this one was great, but different from other American Barleywines....ie Bigfoot, Old Ruffian, and Gnarleywine. Heavier on the hops, but a little lighter on the palate, and higher ABV. All and all a must try for barleywine lovers. Kudos to Stone for this very tasty concoction. Skal.

Gtreid, May 11, 2008
Photo of drxandy
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

drxandy, May 10, 2008
Photo of GbVDave
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two tulip glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Limited Early '08 Release.

A: Pours a hazy reddish-gold color. Light tan/light orange head that recedes to a thick and sticky ring.

S: Big sticky aromas of caramel, grapefruit, alcohol, apple, pear, and tropical fruit.

T: See above. Pretty boozy and hoppy. Thankfully that is slightly mellowed by the sweet caramel and spicy apple/pear. Also noticed a biscuity flavor not unlike something like a caramel apple cobbler.

M: Rather hot and raggedy, fresh out of the fridge. Smooths considerably as it warms.

D: Considering the heft of the abv and obvious alcohol presence this turned out to be one easy drinking barleywine.

GbVDave, May 10, 2008
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

ColForbinBC, May 08, 2008
Photo of Jmamay22
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
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!

Jmamay22, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of FrognutUnl
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with minimal head that has pretty good hang time.Nice clear amber color

S -Sweet, nearly molasses smell with mild notes of grapefuit

T - Sweet with undertones of molasses and alcohol yet the bitterness of the hops still comes through in moderate fashion.

M - Nice and thick just as one would expect from the style.

D - Barleywines are quickly becoming my favorite style and this one certainly hits the mark for me.

FrognutUnl, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of srroos
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

srroos, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a clear orange amber with one finger of creamy beige head.

Aroma of sweet malt, grapefruit, orange and a touch of booze.

Taste is a sharp punch of grapefruit, orange, and malt. Bitterness increases at the finish. The alcohol is big and hot.

Medium mouthfeel, dry, palate warming, and sharply carbonated.

A big beer to say the least. But well balanced and enjoyable.

Monkeyknife, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

GClarkage, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle

Poured a hazy, orange/brown. Formed a modest, sand colored head. Lots of tiny bubbles which faded fast. Legs, and surprisingly nice lacing.

Scent was caramel and toffee. Citrus (oranges) and herbal notes. Hint of roastiness. Aroma seemed very mild for what this beer is.

Taste was more bitter than sweet initially, grassy and herbal. It gets sweeter with some time, oranges, sugared citrus, caramel/toffee come out more. Alcohol. Finish is quite bitter, back to grassy and herbal.

Medium body, thinner than I expected. Low carbonation. Very dry.

A barleywine that is almost a DIPA. I would say this is very good for hop lovers (I really enjoyed it), but might be tilted too far in that direction for people looking for more of the traditional barleywine experience.

, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

paulthebeerguru, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a white head that sticks around as a ring. Starts out hot, both in aroma and taste, but it mellows as it opens up and breathes. Once it calms a bit, there is still some vodka like alcohol and some sweet, sugary malt and some apricot and pear. The taste is still somewhat hot and there is a sustained bitterness and quite a bit of citrus from the hops. Big, and not really sweet, but there is a bit of breadiness in the end. Mouthfeel is bitter, a little bit thin, and not all that smooth. Kinda like dinking a shot of vodka in a double IPA- not all that barleywine like. Eh.

Georgiabeer, Apr 22, 2008
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.

drseamus, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of skibumdc
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a white wine style glass.
Appeared to be Amber color, although it was a dark restaurant.
Nice mouthfeel. Not too thick, not too thin
Taste of plentiful VERY toasted malts with caramel, honey, and tea flavors.
Exceptional
A sipping beer to start off the night.

skibumdc, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of aquaderek
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this beast of a beer into my beer snifter. A very nice looking beer a very vivid orange color and a head that clings to the side of the glass but dissipates quickly, but when agitated reappears. The nose is robust, sweet, caramel, ripe fruit (dates and pears), spiciness (nutmeg), very complex. The taste is bold sweet hot with alcohol, a bitter hop finish. There is a slippery hop finish with the bite of alcohol. As far as drinkability if you have more than one, better hope there is no work tomorrow because you are gonna feel it.

aquaderek, Apr 16, 2008
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.