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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

322 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 322
Reviews: 260
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.29%
Wants: 7
Gots: 27 | FT: 2
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: 322 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a 8oz snifter.

Pours a slightly cloudy golden/amber color and a thin white head. Nose is sweet, malty and it has some light hoppiness and almost no booze.

Taste is a bit boozy but not too bad for over 11%, It's crisp and pretty smooth has a light hottness that lingers for a while. One of the first barleywines I've ever had and it's great to come back to it.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 23:27:05 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of bonkers
bonkers

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
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 yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone Old Guardian (Early 2008) is a crystal clear, sparkling, viscous, red-orange-brown ale with a frothy light beige head with oily bubbles. The head has an eggy consistency and leaves great lacing. The aroma holds a deep, round sweetness. There are grassy, herbal, medicinal, cough drop elements in the aroma. It has a smooth full body with a crispy finish. It's a touch gritty and sharp at the end. It has good flavor balance. It's very bitter like lime and orange peel. It is sweet and boozy like candy. It has a hot rumble at the finish. A great barleywine! Age it!
(rated Apr 15, 2008)

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 05:52:36 | More by yesyouam
Photo of mikeincharleston
mikeincharleston

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

05-13-2013 22:30:31 | More by mikeincharleston
Photo of DCon
DCon

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

01-08-2012 09:01:16 | More by DCon
Photo of jvillefan
jvillefan

California

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

04-06-2013 23:50:28 | More by jvillefan
Photo of htomsirveaux
htomsirveaux

Texas

3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
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 Wildman
Wildman

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This year's version poured a clear medium amber color and formed a nice off white foamy head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, pine and caramel. The flavor was of malt, caramel, grapefruit and and pine. The body was medium and creamy. The finish was slightly bitter. I found this year's batch to be less raw than previous years, although I imagine aging would definately refine it.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 03:04:09 | More by Wildman
Photo of DovaliHops
DovaliHops

California

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy amber color with a small white head. When held up to light, it has a beautiful orange hue to it. This beer smells AMAZING! I've only had this beer fresh, so this aging has done great things for the nose. I get amazing malt and dark fruits (figs, dates, prunes, raisins). Strong caramel and a lovely buttery scent. This smells absolutely delicious! Taste is awesome as well! Still contains a bit of hoppiness... Not nearly as much as it does fresh though. The caramel, dark fruits, and malt blend together superbly. Even after this amount of time, there is still a bit of booziness at the end of the taste, followed by more buttery dark fruit flavors. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and not too syrupy. Very full. Drinkability is fairly high for such a big beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 07:22:24 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of callmemickey
callmemickey

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Reddish-orange body with a moderate lasting offwhite foamy head... decent lacing..

S: Real sweet fruity malts.. some slightly peppery notes..

T: Nice bready malt base... almost like like a nice roll with a mixed fruit preserve on it... some hop bitterness for finishing... alcohol is virtually hidden

M: Smooth.. refreshing moderate body..

D: Given the lack of alcohol in the nose and taste this monster is excellent..

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2008 01:36:41 | More by callmemickey
Photo of claytong
claytong

Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

02-22-2012 05:52:09 | More by claytong
Photo of ckeegan04
ckeegan04

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2008 01:11:31 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of Drknight
Drknight

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

06-10-2013 01:44:15 | More by Drknight
Photo of taez555
taez555

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from Notes. Tasted 1/24/09

This beer poured an amber, thick honey, tan, nectar type body with a small white head.

Nose is thick with sweet malt and caramelly with a touch of sweetness.

Taste is pure malt syrup. Thick and very heavy. Carmel, bread malt, dark caramel syrup. Very bitter with lots of muted citrus peel and some soft muted grapefruit. Classic American Barleywine. Big Malt, Big bitterness. The bitterness is a little much even after a year of aging, still... very good. Finishes with a long lingering bitterness.

As always, Stone makes a fabulous BW. Year and year it continues to kick ass and be one of the best.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 18:02:24 | More by taez555
Photo of peabody
peabody

Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out like a cloudy iced tea with one finger of suds that stick to the rim of the Stone Barleywine glass. Nice to have the right glass.
Smell is a little weak but it is a bit cold.
Taste is strong caramel sugar with just a dash of slight bitterness followed by the alcohol which is very strong here. Mabey if it rests for a year or so it might be a little better.
Mouthfeel is really clean here and this is a well made barley wine. The 2007 was just a tad better than this when it was new but both are top notch.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2008 22:28:17 | More by peabody
Photo of Foxman
Foxman

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours an opaque honey golden orange, looking like it was just squeezed from a bear-shaped bottle. A full finger of fluffy yellow tan head sustains some time, and puffily. Ripply bands of lacing ring the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, the malt is caramel and sugar sweet, then blossoms with strawberry, melon, lemon, orange, and brisk pine. A touch of toffee and spice presage a warm funnel of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the malt is toasted and rich with sweet candy sugar and molten toffee. A fruit note plays a more general berry here, but again with a flash of melon. The hops are heavy with dry grapefruit and spicy crisp pine. Alcohol is hot and hefty. Biscuit, bread, and a tickle of clean esters glide into a long lingering and quite crisp dry bitterness. It's thick, rich, and comfortably good.

Full bodied, it's slick and syrupy, with an oily hop slide that ends up glowing in a clean way.

It's mighty mighty, letting it all hang out, but with some subtlety. It's fairly complex, with adept blending. In sum, it's a brawny batch of bodacious barley and hellacious hops. The ABV is especially muscular, and vascular as well, standing out and keeping a loose but real rein on consumption. It's a toasty tasty beastie, and it will be a task not drinking the other three I've got cellaring before they age very long. But I'll do my best.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2008 22:11:36 | More by Foxman
Photo of monitorpop
monitorpop

Michigan

3/5  rDev -26.5%

11-17-2011 18:01:31 | More by monitorpop
Photo of nrs207
nrs207

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a tulip. No idea how this was aged. I picked it up from a bottle shop a couple weeks ago.

A - Beatiful cloudy dark orange color. Half a finger of off white head. Doesn't leave a lot of lacing.

S - Dark, sweet fruits. A little bit of hop character remains after 4 years, but if it was there originally it's certainly in the background now. The 11.26% abv is nowhere to be found. Just a touch remains, but for such a high abv, it's basically non-existent.

T - More of the same. There's just a hint of alcohol, but the taste is dominated by sweet and dark fruit. They blend together really well. After 4 years, this is just a big bready, caramel, and fruit dominated beer. I really enjoy what it's like now. I've never had such an old beer, but the alcohol character barely being there amazed me. It stepped aside to let the flavor of this beer come out, and I really loved the flavor.

M - So smooth and absolutely no alcohol. Definitely still a sipper. It's a big beer no doubt.

O - I really enjoyed this beer. It's not my favorite style, but it was a really nice step away from the usual. I have to give credit where it's due, and they really made this to stand up to years on a shelf. I'll be going to grab some more of this soon. If you can find it, I'd recommend doing the same.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2012 01:21:38 | More by nrs207
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a snifter.

Appearance: Different than the '07, it has a hazy amber color with a touch of caramel. A thin head remains and surprisingly leaves nice lacing down the glass.

Smell: Strong citrus hop nose, with lighter toffee malt notes.

Taste: Not a ton of fruit pushing through. Caramel toffee malt front drips of sugar, with grapefruit hops toward the end. A small hop aftertaste. A better balance with aging.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with an average level of carbonation.

Drinkability: Smooth, easy, relaxing. A little bit sweet for my taste, though. And, as always, watch out for the ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2010 17:43:16 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of TasteTester
TasteTester

Ohio

4/5  rDev -2%

12-17-2011 02:15:38 | More by TasteTester
Photo of Stoffel
Stoffel

Texas

4/5  rDev -2%

01-07-2012 04:10:30 | More by Stoffel
Photo of Gehrig
Gehrig

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2008 20:43:01 | More by Gehrig
Photo of mctizzz
mctizzz

California

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

04-15-2013 05:31:24 | More by mctizzz
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
AKBelgianBeast

Alaska

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Guess I oughta review one of these eventually.

Pours a very nice looking amber and orange color with a large fluffy off white head that leaves good lacing. Nose is some big maltiness, hops, some dark fruit or peachiness and a bit of spice. Flavor starts out with a big malt presence, followed by some savage hoppery and a good spice kick. dark fruit, some light caramel and candy sugar. Hops finish it up with a nice bitter kick. Mouthfeel is thinner than I would like in a BW, but nice and viscous, and most certainly tolerable. Drinkability is outstanding for the abv. Overall a solid representation of the american barleywine style. A good one, and a go to for an easy choice in the realm of american BW. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2008 00:55:59 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -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
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 322 ratings.