Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
3.9/5 rDev -4.4%
2008 vintage poured into my Dogfish Head snifter.
A- This beer pours a slightly hazy orangish-amber color with a nice off-white head that produces some spotty lacing as it settles.
S- Sweet malts and lots of citrusy hops. The alcohol is very prominent in the aroma.
T- Everything that the aroma promised. Malty sweetness gives way to some intense bitterness. Very boozy, yet the alcohol isn't overpowering. You can feel the heat as it goes down.
M- A rich, smooth feel with some light carbonation.
D- At 11.26%, this drinks pretty well. The hop bitterness prevents the alcohol from becoming cloying, but there is still a rather harsh quality to this beer. It's hard to say exactly what it is, but it's just abrasive. This is a beer that is best appreciated with some age on it.
02-07-2008 23:29:44 | More by Tdizzle
4.03/5 rDev -1.2%
Appearance - Murky and cloudy orange with lemon yellow highlights flowing around the edges. What made it impressive was the finger length tight white head that blew up at the end of the pour. A misty froth coats the top just adding to the beauty of this one. Very thick band forms a white halo around the top. Once again a fantastic looking brew.
Smell - Deep bready scent and caramel malt which is matched by a piny hop.
Taste & Mouthfeel - Bitter and biting on first taste. Hops are definitely pronounced, and have a bit of a citrus taste as well. Malt is very sweet and bready, most likely caramel based. The bitterness doesn't really ever go away and really hangs around throughout the entire experience.
Drinkability - This one looked citrusy on the pour due to the color, and it was a lot more hoppy than I like my barleywines. This one just needs some age to blossom more.
08-15-2008 05:00:18 | More by ryrust5301
4.08/5 rDev 0%
Pours a hazy orange color...like the old wit beers I get on tap. Has a 2 finger white foamy head that almost resembles pankcake batter. the head leaves rings of lacing.
The smell is faint to me. Some bready barley smell. Not much elce going on for some reason.
Taste is great. Floral rosey and tropical fruits come through the hop bitterness. WOW!
Intensley bitter but for some reason these other flavors are strong. Some medicinal residue left on the tounge. bitter and alocholic aftertaste linger and linger. ( not a bad thing).
Oily mouthfeel from excessive hopping. Bitter afterbite, and alcoholic burn.
A borderline sipper. Dipa? Lots going on with this exceptional ale. NOt for the weak!
03-21-2008 07:17:08 | More by Trueant1
3.85/5 rDev -5.6%
2008 edition, drank on 9/22/08, aged roughly 9 months (could be more)
This will be my third 2008 Old Guardian. The first two I drank when they were much younger, practically right after it was released.
It pours with a rich copper hue with a pale white head. There is almost no initial aroma, but some hops and a little alcohol make their way to my nose.
The first few sips remind me of Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot. This beer contains similar characteristics to the essential west coast BW, but it lacks the intensity, not to say it's a weak one though.
I'm assuming this beer was modeled after bigfoot because it has the same hop characteristics, perhaps not as much (9 months of aging a bigfoot does not yeild any difference).
You can tell this beer has mellowed out a bit, but it still has some bite to it. There is a slight citrus flavor that I was was balanced out by some sugar flavors, but it works well with the hops. After letting it sit, I could taste the alcohol a little more.
This is a good BW. It covers the basics of the west coast style and I think stone tries to put in a few twists and turns to make it unique. I am curious to see how this beer turns out in another year or so.
09-23-2008 17:39:26 | More by 100floods
3.8/5 rDev -6.9%
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.
12-29-2008 17:08:35 | More by GordonQuid
4.25/5 rDev +4.2%
Appearance - Cloudy orange color with that lightens as it gets higher in the glass. Nice head that settled on the pour and left beautiful lacing around the edges.
Smell - Very bready with some piny hop scents. A pungent malt and alcohol smell as well. Pretty well blended nose overall.
Taste & Mouthfeel - Bitter hops come out first followed by a bit of a citrus hop taste. The bitterness lingers into some sweet caramel malt taste. The alcohol bites a little but the bitter hops is probably the most prevelant.
Drinkability - This was a very hoppy barely wine. It's definitely a sipper. If this aged a little longer the malts and other flavors would be a bit better served. This was still a hell of a beer.
08-15-2008 05:20:50 | More by ShrLSU
4.47/5 rDev +9.6%
Early 2008 release.
Pours a healthy amber chestnut wood color. Thinner head... Aroma is sweet and pleasant, not a tinge of alcohol. Taste is very smooth... hops were used gently. This beer is full of flavor and it a balanced example of a barleywine. Decent clarity. Low to moderate carb.
Nearly a perfect BJCP style match!
05-01-2011 23:13:43 | More by TheSupremeAJ
4.45/5 rDev +9.1%
Poured from a bomber into my arrogant bastard pint glass, amazing find this brew was mistakenly underpriced on the shelf, and a spring 2008 release to boot!
appearance is thick and malty, let me reiterate that, THICK and MALTY, the carbonation bubbles literally move slowly up through the brew to make their way to the top. Nice head, recedes evenly with a thin film on top with a distinct clingy quality on the glass.
The smell is sweet caramel and buttery toffee, grapefruit/citrus hop scents, a hint of that alcohol "hotness" that barleywines have in the end. Gotta give high here again, I keep going back to smell it over and over, it does refresh my nasal passages quite well for being 2 years old
Extreme complexity to the taste, a sweet buttery toffee definitely comes to mind following from the original scent although the caramel not so much. The alcohol esters are hidden from my palate by the immense amount of hops thrown in this bad boy. Tons of hop flavors intermingling; grapefruit, overripe orange, pine, and even some spring floral as well. The end following the hopping is the herb and spice flavors that hit with the carbonation, the fresh kind of herbs, sweet basil, thyme, fresh cut green onion...told you there was a lot
This beer probably has the biggest, thickest, most badass mouthfeel of any brew I have had. Not to say it's my favorite, but for this style of beer there is no competition. I don't taste the alc esters due to the hop+spice abundance, but i feel the alcohol hotness especially in the back of my throat on the swallow.
Drinkability, dude...if this beer were smooth and easy to drink then people would be dead. It's a sipping beer, so thick feeling it's gnarlier than a stout. Huge body, absolutely amazing amount of hops to counterbalance that and come through in the nose and flavor. Spicing to mask the estery flavors of the 11.26% in here...great one, it gets better with age, much better.
04-27-2010 07:07:43 | More by dwilson01
4.45/5 rDev +9.1%
Been waiting three years to try this bad boy. My mouth is drooling. Cracked open and poured into my LA Craft Beer Week glass. Pouring...still carbonated. Awesome. Very little head and quickly dies away. Appearance is hazy copper with golden.
The smell is absolutely delicious. Sweet sweet malt. There are pretty much no hops on the nose. The taste only confirms this. It is a sweet malt extravaganza in your mouth. This is outstanding. The mouthfeel is surprisingly exceptional...very nicely bodied. The hops have pretty much faded away entirely. This is such a nice drink
Cracking it open is kind of sad because it's the only bottle of the 2008 I had, but the three year wait was clearly worth it. Will definitely be saving the other vintages for a few years
03-16-2011 01:36:49 | More by UnknownKoger
3.83/5 rDev -6.1%
Stone old guardian 2008 vintage
Poured from 22 oz bottle into mad elf tulip
Appearence hazy copper/orange
Smell lots of sweet malt and raisins
Taste sweet malt, raisins, caramel, bitter orange peel, pepper
Mouthfeel thick and syrupy, high carbonation helps balance
Overall nice barley wine aged well, would have like to try it fresh but can't travel back in time.
01-28-2012 00:27:46 | More by Fermenticusrex
3.63/5 rDev -11%
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.
07-23-2008 00:51:30 | More by SeanRedd
3.8/5 rDev -6.9%
22 oz bottle, 2008 edition. Pours a clear copper with 2 cm off-white head. Aroma of malt, apples, grapes, and alcohol. Flavor is spiked apple juice with a slight hint of hops on the backend. Finishes hoppy and alcoholic. Light lacing, light carbonation, medium body, strong alcohol presence. Drinkable, more so to say you have tried it than anything else.
02-21-2008 02:48:10 | More by joekfsu
4.18/5 rDev +2.5%
1 Pt. 6 Fl. Oz.
Limited Early 2008 Release
Sampled at 60 degrees
Appearance - sparse and quickly-ending carbonation rises through the mostly clear amber body; the off-white, two-finger thick head does its best to fight off the strength of the product below; partitioned sheets of lace
Smell - oh yes, this is a big, exciting experience; it draws you in to sip and early in the game, its an experience ahead of the taste; fig, raisin, caramel, citrus rind, flash of pineapple; some spice; steady line of alcohol gave me a sense that this offering is a caged monster
Taste - to open talking about the close of the flavor profile says something - its noteworthy at this stage; hotness comes through late as expected since its so fresh; lively hop profile enters early (orange rind, grapefruit) and remains long after the close; the malts aren't as prominent as desired but they'll be mined with time; fruity; bread and light brown sugar find a way through the hop jungle; if a hop punch is your thing, its very tolerable but age has a track record of doing the big Stone well
Mouthfeel - nice lush layer of carbonation for a barleywine; a light oil is cut by the hot; the alcohol dries the palette a bit (which will mellow with time) and this holds it back from being spot on but as ripe as this sample is, it's a 5; age aside, it's a 4.5; Stone seems to hit my preferred feel on just about every product in their lineup that I've sampled
Drinkability - its the Patterson fist that knocked out Johansson; a certain sipper that took me more than an hour to sample; time is on its side as it will favorably mellow; 1 is certainly enough to give the sampler a full impression
Buy 4 and drink one every year. It'll be a book that gets better as the bookmark advances.
03-29-2008 02:15:00 | More by Wonka
4.03/5 rDev -1.2%
The color is just what you'd expect--clear, pretty copper. The light tan head puffs up, but thins and disappears quickly, leaving very little lacing on the glass. The smell is very sweetly alcoholic. More than any beer I've had before, this brew has a second kick after swallowing that is a very different experience from when the beer is in-mouth. (This isn't the same thing as "aftertaste" or even "finish" as I normally use those terms.) The taste is very big--lots of hops up front, lots of sweet malty flavor as the beers sits in your mouth, and very sweet alcohol in the aftertaste.
I should have paired it with a dessert. Last year I had the 2007 brew with bread pudding at the Stone Restaurant. It was great! Something like that would have been nice this time, too, I'm sure. My advice: plan to share a bomber. This isn't a beer to drink in quantity.
02-18-2008 19:26:31 | More by PhiloPsych
4.25/5 rDev +4.2%
This beer has been in my "cellar" for at least 12 months. I am comparing it directly to a 10 month old sierra nevada bigfoot. Fairly light in color compared to most barleywines. Almost tan like a natural leather belt. The smell is not that present but does give me an idea of caramel. The taste is fantastic. Some citrus, lots of caramel, maybe some nut and a little chocolate/coffee. The aftertaste has a nice hops balance. The beer is drinkable, but only in the sense that all barleywines are drinkable. The taste is nice and smooth, so I could probably handle a couple of these but would probably want to switch flavors.
11-22-2009 21:37:05 | More by bheilman
4.03/5 rDev -1.2%
Poured a copper color into a snifter. A one inch white head formed and diminished quickly. Excellent lacing left behind.
Great nose. Nice balance in the nose. Big and malty with a ton of hops. Nice citrus profile. Some alcohol in the nose.
Big malty front palate that quickly turns to citrus rind, grass, and a drying bitterness. Nice layers of flavor. Alcohol also is present in the palate.
Mouthfeel is heavy but not syrupy. Moderate to low carbonate. Hop profile and bitterness gives that "want to take another sip" quality.
This beer has mellowed a bit since its release making it very drinkable.
09-26-2008 01:51:58 | More by brantadid
3.98/5 rDev -2.5%
The beer poured a cloudy, medium amber into a 12-oz pilsner glass. The smell was of fruity malt, with just a whiff of yeast. The beer had a huge alcoholic component (no attempt to mask the 11.26% ABV), which, by the way, seems incredibly accurate for an ABV label on a bottle - I don't think I've ever seen it taken out to 2 decimal places, but I digress. There IS a lot of hop bitterness in the finish, but this beer still seems pretty raw. A few years in the cellar, and the alcohol and hops will have time to blend and mellow and then this ale will be truly awesome.
02-11-2008 15:30:23 | More by pershan
4.58/5 rDev +12.3%
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.
01-11-2009 12:41:43 | More by BeTheBall
3.9/5 rDev -4.4%
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.
04-16-2008 04:40:06 | More by aquaderek
4.35/5 rDev +6.6%
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!
01-27-2008 16:32:10 | More by HimerMan
3.95/5 rDev -3.2%
Appearance-Pours a dark caramel amber into the glass giving rise to some small head which leaves just the slightest dab of a ring of lacing. Much lighter color than I was anticipating.
Aroma-Sticky toffee and caramel aromas followed by some fusel alcohol; it isn't as wowing as I had hoped, it still smells good but it's fairly one dimensional.
Taste-Follows the nose with toffee notes followed by some piney hoppy bitterness and, again, that bite of tongue numbing alcohol on the back end. This tastes to me almost like a watered down version of Double Bastard with the sweet and bitter aspects watering each other down rather than outright competing with one another and with more alcohol to make up for this discrepancy; I was expecting something so much more out of this.
Mouthfeel-They nailed this at least, it's full, rich and syrupy just like a barleywine should be.
Drinkability-Meh, it's by no means undrinkable and in fact I do like it but it's rather sub-par by Stone's standards.
08-15-2010 20:18:40 | More by Manoftyr
3.8/5 rDev -6.9%
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.
01-31-2009 12:17:47 | More by Bananaman
4.4/5 rDev +7.8%
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.
07-29-2008 03:51:23 | More by jakon
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.