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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 ElGrecoVerde
ElGrecoVerde

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper with a giant white head. This is the kind of brew you just want to hold up next to a macro lager and say "See, this is what beer is supposed to look like."

Sweet and sour citrus fruits, crisp tea-like herbs, and clean caramel are apparent in both the taste and aroma. Toasted grains and some light spices round out the complex list of flavors.

The crisp, bubbly mouthfeel and variety of flavors masks the high ABV well. Another great beer from Stone.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 01:45:18 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this puppy from IntriqKen from what I believe was my first trade ever.

Pours a slightly fogy amber with a thicker and nice crème head. Nose is chalky with figs and raisins clearly evident. Barely evident alcohol tones. Smells nice. Flavor is slightly hot and burning it seems. Nice sweet tones are there. Raisins are fairly noticed as well. Feel has a carbonation that strikes me as a bit too full. Liquid is slick and smooth though. Overall I like this barley wine much more than I had anticipated. The detractors are the alcoholic aftertaste and being able to notice it and the carbonation that bites too much. This in 2-3 years would probably be quite good.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 04:55:25 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of bum732
bum732

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 01:39:55 | More by bum732
Photo of MaduroMike
MaduroMike

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Golden/ amber with a frothy off white head. Almost no retention.

S- Aroma of sweet bready malts. Hints of fruit, alcohol and yeast.

T- Sweet caramel malt, non citrus fruits, a bit of alcohol. Nice balance of bitter hops to finish.

M- Medium body, creamy with a touch of bitterness. Good amount of carbonation.

D- Sweet, tangy, and bitter. Not really my style right now. I would need to be in the mood for it.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 05:22:22 | More by MaduroMike
Photo of becktone
becktone

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From notes 12-16-08

Done back to back with Dogfish Head Olde School

Eye: Really nice appearance. This one looks great. For starters the color is orange-amber and is pretty clear. The head is a creamy creature, with real nice retention, excellent formation and nice lacing. It holds a steady head after the pour (after its simmered down a bit) at about a finger's width. Lacing is real nice, thick rings, I mean sticking out form the inside of the glass connected by sheets.

Nose: Strong barley sweet malt presence, unlike DFH Olde School this one smells more like what I expect for the style. Big and malty with some alcohol to balance and support. But hey, you know DFH-"Off centered ales for off centered people." It was good, hell it was great, but I'll have to say this is more to style, not that I'm a style stickler or anything, but when I want a barelywine there are certain characteristics I want to taste, especially since I'm not a big barleywine fanatic. Once in a while I'm in the mood, and now this one is just about doing it for me with its "balanced aroma." Sweet malt is supported by a touch of graininess and some sweet caramel notes. The aroma reminds me of cookies cooking, some vanilla perhaps. I'll bet there's some toasted oats in here. Just a wonderful aroma, alcohol is hidden quite well. Overall this just smells excellent. Also a general aroma that reminds me of grain being mashed, if you're not a homebrewer then you're missing out. It's one of the most wonderful aromas there is. Hops top off the aroma, but are not in your face as most stone brews are when it comes to hops. Just got some bready character as well.

Tongue: First sip: alcohol is there, but not in as much quantity or intensity as the Olde School. After being swallowed an intense finish of toasty flavor lingers in the mouth. When I say intense I don't mean mind blowing, but as far as finishes go, I've never picked up toasty character this strong that lingers. Alcohol plays a role in the flavor, it weaves itself into the flavor of the beer, rather than being a predominant flavor itself. Graininess comes through and is easy to identify as well as toasted malts in the main flavor. Not as sweet as the DFH Olde School, and vastly different. Hops here have more of a floral and grassy flavor. Nice flavor but it pales to the complexity of the DFH Olde School, this may be more "stylisticlly correct" but it isn't as deep in terms of complexity and uniqueness. Its a great barleywine, but it doesn't stand apart from others that are just as good-I mean sure its much better than Mad River's Barleycorn and Bluegrass Bearded Pat, but is there anything that really makes it unique?...not really. This is just a good barleywine. Really hard to compare Stone and DFH, but on the otherhand it shouldn't be...both extreme brewers, but in a different spectrum. DFH going for outside the box, Stone going for breaking the box.

Feel and Drinkablity: Carbonation is low as it should be, everything in check as it should be with feel. Medium body with a dry finish. What I would like from this one is more warmth as it goes down, that really makes a beer like this much better, especially during the winter months when they are meant to be drunk. That's one the Olde School has up on Stone, this isn't warming. However, it isn't over the top alcoholic either. Even though after a few sips the palate became adjusted to the alcohol of the Olde School, it was still alcohol dominated for the first quarter-third of the bottle. This is one that I'll definitely pick up again. When I reach for a barleywine, and am in the mood, this is what I want. Sure DFH is good, but this is what I really want, well actually I think a mix of the two might be an interesting combo. That might be a winner for me. I like the depth and complexity, warmth and odd flavor of the DFH and the rock solid foundation of the Stone.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 22:49:20 | More by becktone
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 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 PintOHops
PintOHops

California

3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a thick clouded orange/amber with lite carbonation and a quarter of an inch frothy head. Pretty decent retention that leaves a bubble or soapy like ring and no lacing. Smells of loads of pungent alcohol mixed in with some pleasant fruity dates. Sweet cake like malt is present, as well as some aromatic hopy notes. Sweeter malty notes & more pungent alcohol is present as it warms.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of some nice grape and raisiny flavors, along with sweet malty undertones. Finishes with lots of alcohol and alcohol burn, and a nice burnt like bitterness that lingers. Allot more alcohol burn in the throat as it warms. Mouthfeel is sorta silky, smooth, definitely thick and full bodied.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - This beer is a little rough in the drinkability, because of the very high ABV. I would enjoy about one of these in a great while. These things have to be carefully sipped and savored for sure! I didn't really enjoy all the alcoholic flavors, and of course the burn of it going down the throat.

Still I'm happy to of tried it, very good, you should definitely grab a sample of this if you can. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2009 23:53:40 | More by PintOHops
Photo of Bananaman
Bananaman

Sweden

3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Me and my friend were a bit sceptical about drinking this beer so early at first. And it proved that this one probably would be a lot better in a couple of years, luckily enough we have one more bottle left.

The beer pours a amber color with a big beige head, it looks really nice! And the bottle is classy as always from Stone Brewing.

Aroma has notes of those typical American hops and some fruit-candy-thingy going on. Notes of caramel and rosted malts aswell. Really nice smell actually!

The taste is not as hoppy as one might think at first. It's rather more malt dominated with lots of caramel and fruit candy notes. The only problem is that it doesn't feel mature enough to drink.

A good beer anyway, not the best I've had from Stone, but I think this one would be great in a couple of years.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 12:17:47 | More by Bananaman
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 illidurit
illidurit

California

3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2009 07:49:21 | More by illidurit
Photo of bonkers
bonkers

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 23:04:51 | More by bonkers
Photo of supercolter
supercolter

Wisconsin

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally, finally, finally got to try one of these. Appearance is really good with a nice colr and large head. Also some nice spiderweb lacing to accompany it. Smell and taste are very similar. A nice soothing fruity taste and then a blast of alcoholly hops. Mouthfeel is quite good as well. Nice and heavy and still some carbonation. Drinkability is a bit lower as expected given the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 06:55:36 | More by supercolter
Photo of htomsirveaux
htomsirveaux

Texas

3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle.

Tried Jul 2008.

Pours with a light yellow head. Minimal carbonation. Clear coppery color. Smells of caramel, alcohol, bananas and brown sugar. Starts with a lot of up front alcohol. Quite bitter. Some banana, honey, caramel and resin. Alcohol is noticeable throughout. Medium body. Finish is resin and alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 01:39:19 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of TLove
TLove

District of Columbia

4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stone Brewing Co. has released a wonderfully-balanced and delightfully complex barley wine style ale.

Apparently seen by many of my barley wine-drinking bretheren as a weak brou, I must disagree. The color and light tones of fruit and nuts in the smell are certainly indicative of a lighter barley-style ale, however, the light maltiness in the mouth is balanced by the strength and presence in the taste of the malt alcohol. This tastes a lot stronger than it is, but that does not detract from the plum overtones and fantastically-round finish. The beer rolls quite well from the front of the tongue to the throat and presents a good balance between the fruit, the oats, the roasted hops, the 11.25% ABV, and the notable maltiness.

Certainly worth the $7 I paid for it, Stone comes through once again.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 01:11:21 | More by TLove
Photo of BeTheBall
BeTheBall

Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color with a nice foamy head. Excellent lacing as the glass emptied. Smelled of tofee and vanilla, with a slightly alcohol aroma as well, but in a nice way. I got huge vanilla on the tongue with a nice warming effect from the high ABV, just enough hops to balance things out, but not a hoppy beer per say. Mouthfeel was very staisfying. Drinkability is good due to the smoothness and excellent taste, but the buzz comes quickly, so be careful. One of the best Barleywines in bottle I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2009 12:41:43 | More by BeTheBall
Photo of JoeBloe
JoeBloe

New York

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

finished a 22oz bomber over the course of 3 hrs -a real tasty barley wine ale - a bit too easy to drink for the style i'm familiar with - pours hazy , i can get a 1 finger head with a vigorous pour-
great aromas, nice flavor , you know the alcohol is present but it's nicely hidden - this bomber went from 40 degrees to room temp throughout the 3 hr drinking process, i think i like the room temp glass better than the first or second - good stuff -next time i'll try the first glass a little warmer - i'm following this with a dfh olde school barley wine (the hard stuff).

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 03:53:14 | More by JoeBloe
Photo of sweetbrew82
sweetbrew82

California

3.03/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz. bottle into a snifter; no freshness date

P: Poured out rich gold from the bottle, and sits a hazy deep amber with tangerine highlights. 1 1/2 inch head was off-white, tightly compacted, and frothy. It did disappear pretty quickly to form a halo on top, with not much lacing.

A: Bready malts, citrusy & earthy hops, yeast, toffee, caramel, and alcohol...lots of alcohol!.

T: Starts with sweet caramel malts, a little toasted barley, and a hop kick made up of mostly grapefruit & orange peels. Malts are definitely on the top layer of flavors, but the hops do a commendable job of providing a backdrop to the grain bill. The middle gives rise to some good toffee flavors and an insane alcohol presence that blisters the tongue throughout the rest of the experience. The finish is dry and features a hint of yeast, while being joined by the ever-building creshendo of alcohol that sets a 4 alarm blaze in the chest and throat.

M: Full-bodied and viscious, yet smooth with a bit of graininess. Gently carbonated.

D: The 11.26% ABV, and heavy presence thereof, puts a bit of a damper on things in this department. 22 oz.'s was a struggle.

Notes: This is way too boozy for me to consider it a good example of the style. I mean, I understand that barleywines are supposed to be sippers, but the overwhelming ethanol just ruins this beer when it's this fresh. Had some good flavors and that signature Stone character to it, but it feels really raw right now. I need to buy another to age, as I think that would really help to mellow the alcohol and unwrap some of the more subtle flavors. Not recommended when fresh!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 15:46:08 | More by sweetbrew82
Photo of dukedevil0
dukedevil0

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bomber from Party Source in Newport, KY.

A: Pours a hazy unfiltered orange amber with white frothy head that reduces down to a film and leaves good lacing.

S: Smells old sweet caramel malts and sweet fruits, but not very citrousy. Slight alcohol scent.

T: Similar to smell with more alcohol in the flavor, a bite that almost tastes sour with some of the hop bitterness i'm used to in other Stone beers.

M: Pretty thick considering I didn't expect it. Good amount of carbonation with some warmth.

D: If I enjoyed this style of brew, which I'm starting to think I don't, it'd be higher, but I'm just not feeling this.

It tastes too much like Founder's Red's Rye, or Alpha Kong or Prohibition Ale to me and I didn't like those much. The "sour" type flavor really puts me off.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 01:14:41 | More by dukedevil0
Photo of badbeer
badbeer

Iowa

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apricot colored with a white head sitting atop it; spotty lacing and little head retention. Pine, strawberries, caramel, and even some mint in the aroma. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, some citrus, and some strawberries in the taste. Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden for 11+%. I always look forward to trying this every year, the 2007 was a bit disappointing, but the 2008 was quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 03:50:55 | More by badbeer
Photo of burnstar
burnstar

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 02:50:32 | More by burnstar
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 12/20/08. Bottle, ~Jan 2008. Pours a murky brown with a very small white head. Aroma of raisins, lots of raisins, and sweet caramel malt. Flavor is also quite malty with some brown sugar and iced tea. Tastes pretty much as I would expect from an aged barleywine. A decent beer, although to be honest this is not my favorite style of beer. Interesting though.
6/4/7/4/14 (3.5/5)

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 18:20:38 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of GordonQuid
GordonQuid

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a freshly washed sifter. Hazy bronze/amber, small 1/4 inch head with moderate lacing.

Smells piney, grapefruit with a heavy note of caramel pineapple.

Taste is an overpowering display of conflict (not in a bad way). Strong alpha hop characteristics conflicting with belgian triple malt characteristics. Mind blowing strong in character. Strong alcohol notes in the finish that lingers. FULL bodied beast of a barley wine.

I will let my other two bottles sit for a year, should be interresting.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 17:08:35 | More by GordonQuid
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a rocky head that leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Although the caramel backbone tries to poke its way through, the piney bitterness has won the battle (but not the war, as in a few years, the caramel will dominate)

Taste: Both the piney bitter flavors and the underlying caramel and fig battle it out and reach a draw by mid-palate; after the swallow, the battle continues and I would have to call it a draw again, but there is quite a bit of hops for the malts to overcome

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation and plenty of warmth

Drinkability: In time, things will settle down, but right now, this beer battles it out over the tastebuds

Thanks, DRINKNDRIVE, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 01:20:28 | More by brentk56
Photo of tadowdaddy
tadowdaddy

Michigan

4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Very cloudy bronze beer with huge 2.5 inch head that has a ton of retention and a ton of spider like lacing.

S- Delicous. Toffee malt and a ton of hops. Citrus (most especially grapefruit) and piny hops are the complete backend of this beer.

T- Almost like a DIPA, but a ton more balanced. This may be the best beer I've ever had. Starts out with a ton of caramel and toffee malt, followed by a HUGE hop profile like a DIPA. Very bitter, but very balanced. Never tasted anything like it. Love it.. First 5.0 I've ever given.

M- Thick and chewy... May be the thickest BW I've had. Delicious. Leaves a nice bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

D- Not very.. too thick. However, the extreme hops and balanced malt make this "drinkable" from an overall sense. Not session drinkable, but delicious drinkable.

This may move to the top of my list as my favorite beer ever. Very glad I have another bottle in the cellar. Can't wait to have it 2 years from now.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 04:00:52 | More by tadowdaddy
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.