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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

323 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 323
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: 323 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%

Pours a dark amber brown color with thick, foamy white head. Strong alcohol presence in the aroma as well as roasted malts and a bitter hoppiness. The two years of aging really opened this beer up and there is a pleasantly surprising amount of hops balancing out the maltiness and strong alcohol taste. Amazing!

corby112, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -2%

Poured a murky orange with a small white head. Smells of malt and pine. Nice combination.
Taste is unusually grapefruity and pine-y for a Barleywine. Lots of hops, malt and very young. A year or twon this and it would be a beast!! What a good barleywine but it needs some more maturity before I call it Great.

barleywinefiend, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of Billolick
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%

"Limited early 08 release"...eagerly annually awaited nectar, pours clear medium amber, darker eggshell head, leaves spotty lace, loads of candied fruit, some smoke and devilish alcohol in the nose. Big and bold, yet surprisingly smooth and mellow tasting for such a young barley wine. Super velvety on the tongue, with waves of malt, more fruit, and snappy alcohol clearing the tongue late. Simply outstanding....Will only get better with time...

Billolick, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -2%

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange in color with a thin off-white head. The head reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Lots of very sweet malts with caramel and toffee notes. Also, there are some subtle pine hops present as well.

T: Very sweet with a lingering pine bitterness in the finish. Caramel and toffee notes upfront with intense pine hops in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky.

O: This beer tastes great with some age on it. After having both this beer and the 2012 version of it this week, I much prefer the 2008 with the age on it. Very nice sipping beer.

dbrauneis, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%

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 21, 2008
Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%

The odyessy continues. Not too quickly though, I'm too old for this stuff…

A: The barleywine is a golden orange, brighter at the base with a bit of a glow. Still transparent. The ale sports a thick head, over two fingers with plenty of lace.

S: Mellow. Still hoppy but the the aroma isn't a blast of malts and hops. Pepper and citrus are present but it seems like I have to search for them.

T: Plenty of caramel in the first sip, possibly even some smoky rye flavors. The grains are lightly toasted but quite strong. Even the hops, restrained in the nose, stand out with a little more power. They are citrusy, pepper in tow, and still reasonably fresh. A nice wall of malt pops up near the finish but the ale still comes across as young. A lively citrus presence, hops definitely but quite sugary, sees the ale away. I like that the maltiness isn't as intense as the '07 and '06 versions.

M: The hoppiest of the three. Not surprising as it is the youngest. Also the nicest finish, not nearly as intense either.

akorsak, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

afsdan, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%

Revisted: 10 Jul 2010
Almost 2 Years Aged

Pours a nice orange golden amber color, nice creamy tan head, nice lacing throughout the drink. Scents of sweet malts, slight citrus, slight hops, caramel, and slight alcohol. The taste is still very nice, sweet malts, hoppy, slight caramel, and slight alcohol, nice dry finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, still very nice, but the ABV was not as present as fresh, and the citrus and hops were also on the downside.

Pours a nice orange golden amber color, nice creamy tan head, nice lacing/puddles throughout the drink. Scents of sweet malts, citrus, hops, spices, caramel, yeast, and slight alcohol. The taste is amazing, sweet malts, hoppy, slight caramel, and slight alcohol, nice dry finish. Medium body, pretty complex barleywine. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Stone to say the least.

Wasatch, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%

Had this on tap at Mahaffey's last night.

The beer pours a brownish toffee flavor with good head retention and lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just some sweet malt with some underlying hoppy bitterness. I had a hard time with this beer on the palate, and I really think it needs more time to come together. The beer shows a huge marriage of hops and malt, with the hoppy bitterness winning the day. The beer comes across as quite dry for a barley wine, and at present I thought the abv. was entirely too noticeable. I ultimately couldn't finish my 10 ounce glass of beer, as the high abv. finally just wore me out.

This beer reminds of certain wines that are either too tannic or just closed up. That's what I thought of this beer... the flavor profile is a bit closed right now; I'm sure in a couple of years it'll turn into something sublime. For now it just isn't a very enjoyable beer to drink, though I think that will change over time. Oh well...

John_M, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -26.5%

rab53, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%

Orange with a light haze and thin cap of fine, off-white bubbles. Spotty lacing right off the pour and a few larger bubbles formed a solid collar. Great head retention. Malty aroma, lots of cereal grain and caramel, quite bready. Light fruit character and hops in the nose. Nicely balanced flavour with a solid malt backbone, caramel and grain, plus some citrusy hops that appear part way through and become a little spicy towards the end. Fruit was evident up front. Bitterness was strong without being aggressive and lingered in the finish, along with a bit of pine resin. Alcohol added to the flavour profile in the finish. Full bodied with creamy carbonation, really smooth. This stuff is dangerously drinkable. I really like this year's batch - it's really balanced for being young. I'll definitely be picking more up.

DrJay, Mar 17, 2008
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%

'08 22oz picked up at the Coop today for about $6.. poured into my New Belgium snifter.

Very long lasting 2 finger light yellow head.. left ribbons of lace above a slightly hazy light amber/dark gold brew.

Nose is bready malts ... whaffs of caramel .. maybe some earthy/spicy hops .. but a bunch of spicy alcohol .. where are the (American) hops???

Flavor is again pale/toasted malts with a very generous bitter backbone.. big fruity yeast esters .... biscuit malt characteristics ... but really the only thing going on here in a big way is the alcohol. As it warms, an oily hop presence makes itself known.. but again .. this is not a prototypical American hopped BW .. Almost no "C" hops .. more of a "Stone" version of an English BW... fairly thick .. but I think if I burped I may be able to light the fumes... I would swear that there was a small but relevant rye component adding to the spicy flavor.

Don't get me wrong .. this is certainly a pretty good barleywine .. but absolutely does not seem "West Coast" ... Body is big .. alcohol is huge .. malts (pale) are big .. but the traditional left coast hop aroma/flavor profile is nonexistent. If the alcohol wasn't so up front, I could easily drink quite a few of these until my knees buckled.. very drinkable for sure.

What is killing me on this one is, "Will it cellar? Or, Should I drink the hell out of the right now?" I am pretty sure the booze will mellow significantly .. but approaching the bottom of the bottle, I am starting to forgive all my above problems with the '08 OG and beginning to appreciate it for something that is completely different than previous years.

JohnGalt1, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of liamt07
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Bottle shared with Chris, Adam and Pino at Volo, split into some wine glasses. 22oz, ABV as stated.

Pours an amber brown, khaki head leaves a big collar with a thin film of head. Unfiltered and big legs on this one. Nose has some caramel and toffee, citrus hops can be sensed but feel muted in the overall spectrum. Taste has big toffee notes, some candied flavour, bitter hops notes come after the fact. Great full and creamy feel, with a significant sweetness that doesn't even come close to cloying. Great feel that lingers immensely, alcohol is felt but not at all tasted. Great drinkability again. Fantastic.

liamt07, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of Brad007
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%

Picked this up on Friday night. First time I've seen this in VT.

Color: Reddish-amber color with a one-finger head.

Aroma: Smooth and malty. Seems lighter than most barleywines as in the alcohol seems hidden.

Taste: Malty and bready with a light alcohol kick to it. Not too much warmth. Nice and hoppy but not in a way that overwhelms. Caramel and toffee show through in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Hops and alcohol warmth. Fairly thin and simple.

Drinkability: Definitely going to pick up a second bottle to age. I like it right now and I believe I'd like it even more after aging a bottle for a few months, etc. It seems nice and drinkable even at this stage. When compared to Vermonster (a local barleywine of the same style), this seems better rounded and if it improves with age, then it's a worthy investment of time and money. I like it.

Then again, Stone has never disappointed me.

Brad007, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of ccrida
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%

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 BeerFMAndy
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%

22 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale Stem Glass. Thanks go out to Sweemzander for this aged beer! Cheers to my #400! 11.26% ABV. "Limited Early 2008 Release."

A - Hazy and dirty orange-ish amber, it's not much to look at. The thin head is a light cream color that pops up right away and sinks to a thin layer and ring. No lacing left on the glass.

S - This barley wine has a funky old basement nose to it on the first sniff that's oddly inviting and nostalgic. The intensely complex aroma has a boozy nose that's heavy with toasted malts. Fruity esters as well that hint at sweet melon but lean more towards plump raisins. Rich and foreboding aroma.

T - The noticeable boozy nose is immediately absent from the flavor which a) worries me and b) is probably due to it's age. The fruity esters mirror the nose are pair well with the abounding malts which have a lot of breadiness to them with a touch of yeast flavor. Deep flavor but maybe just a touch too mellow? Further on in the bottle the alcohol became more evident (just slightly) as a solvent-like smell came out. I also noticed a bit later on that there is a pungent floral hop aroma and flavor that was initially masked by the other things I was picking up. Well balanced for certain.

M - Smooth and rich but not syrup-like. It's well carbonated but doesn't give a feeling of carbonation. Sweet all the way through with a light alcohol warming finish.

D - With the first sip i was incredibly worried there was a lack of booziness in the flavor but it started coming out later on. That could lead to a serious "problem". It's one hell of a drinkable barley wine but that could be attributed to age. Either way it's still very good. A precursor to the many winter warmers to come! :D

BeerFMAndy, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -2%

Pours a cloudy amber/ copper color with a small white head. In the aroma, small fruitiness, plumbishand kind of sugary. In the taste, plumbish and a bigger than expected hop presence. A smooth and big bodied mouthfeel, and a semi-dry plum and alcohol aftertaste. Big plum flavor, big hops, smooth and hides alcohol quite well.

OWSLEY069, Jul 05, 2008
Photo of DefenCorps
3.31/5  rDev -18.9%

Bottle from the cellar. 2008 vintage, purchased at the Village Pump the first year Stone made it to MD.

A mildly hazy ruby red with a dense, beige head that falls off to a ring leaving little lacing, this looks decent. The nose is still Hoppy with plenty of bitterness and some stale grapefruit juice. A moderate crystal malt character is present with toffee and caramel. Some honey and cotton candy are present. That almond like nuttiness that the better barleywines have is missing here.

The palate opens with a blend of mild bitterness and moderate sweetness. Toffee, oxidized honey, a little paper, and a little bit of sherry are present. Caramel, brown sugar with a touch of stale crystal malt is also present. Sticky sweet and full in body, this beer is mildly carbonated. Alcohol is pretty well hidden, though it does have a pleasing warmth. Carbonation is moderate. The bitterness and sweetness do clash, especially on fresh pours. As it breathes, the bitterness does fade, bringing out the honey, toffee and mildly nougat flavors out front. Decent.

DefenCorps, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev -2%

Pours a nice hazy, burnt orange color with a off-white head that thinned to leave a ring of sticky lacing.

Aromas are mainly sweet malts comprised of rich caramels and toffee. As you revisit you get some extremely light indiscernible earthy hops.

The tastes begin with the malty sweetness, caramels and burnt brown sugar, a little toffee. As you further consume and enjoy you are assaulted with the aggressive bitterness and light taste of alcohol which both continue to emerge and overwhelm your palate as your consume. The bitterness seems to almost become greater with each sip.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth, yet extremely dry yet full finish with a pleasant gentle warming.

Overall this beer has aged to perfection and can definitely still go a few more if necessary. The ample hopping has allowed this to age and have the potential to age for as long as the consumer can stand/wait. While not my favorite style (I prefer Eng Barleywines for their balance), I really enjoy how the age has met this beer with compromise and grace. Look forward to sampling older vintages as the years allow.

claspada, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of WOLFGANG
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

WOLFGANG, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of Durge
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%

This beauty pours a clear copper color with a whispy white cover and solid lacing. The aroma is nutty malt, thick and luscious. It offers one delicious tease with this edible smelling introduction. The taste is at first a powerful alcohol and malt with a peppery highlight. I'm not sure what more to say on the flavor. It mellows beautifully as it warms, a professional quality brew, not to miss. Drinkability is midland due to the heavy alcohol, but it's good enough to give some flow. A midland feel, substantial, a bit "oily". Impressive, a keeper.

Durge, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a beautiful dark amber color with an awesome off-white head that sticks around forever leaving lacing all over the glass. The nose is very aromatic with a lot of malt, dark fruits, a good dose of hops and some alcohol. The taste starts out very smooth with a nice malty base, with the hops providing a nice bitterness in the finish along with some warming from the high alcohol content. The alcohol is definitely there in the taste, but it is pretty well hidden. I really enjoy the smoothness in this one, followed by the well integrated hops. Very nice indeed. Overall, Stone Old Guardian is an excellent barleywine that is highly recommended. I haven't tried this one aged yet, but it seems like it would really be nice in a few years. I have a couple more bottles that I plan on setting aside and allowing them to age for a few years.

cjgator3, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of illidurit
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%

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 sweemzander
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. No bottled date, except for mentioning it to be an early 2008 release. . .

(A)- Pours a murky reddish amber color with a decent off-white to light orange head formation with some good lacing. This beer actually cascaded for a good ten seconds after initial pour!

(S)- Caramelized brown sugar with woody pine. Assorted flowery apples as well.

(T)- Piney hop bite that is really really dry, in fact, its massive! Light citrus of grapefruit but otherwise has just massive hop flavors with the beginnings of the malt poking through. Some interesting cider components within the malt character.

(M)- Seriously dry and hoppy. Rather thick in its texture. Good carbonation level. Mouthcoating hops. A tad hot and boozy on the finish. Pretty sweet as well.

(D)- Perhaps one of the hoppiest beers I have had to date, which is saying something since this is about 18 months old! This could age for years and years considering how strong it still is. I would probably give it another couple to sit before I would revisit it again. Definitely a great barleywine, but it really hit me hard in the alcohol level; share with a friend!

sweemzander, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%

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
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.