Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by johlendorf:
4.55/5 rDev +11%
This beer is huge. A treat for American barley wine fans. A good introduction brew for hop heads interested in kicking it up a notch.
A = Orange amber. I managed to tease a faint head which quickly disappeared. The orangeness made my mouth water in anticipation of the hoppy goodness ahead.
S = Sweet hops. Not a hint of alcohol, which scares me at 11%.
T = Sort of a hop bomb out of the fridge, but complex flavors come through as it warms and the palate adjusts to the shock. A nice malty finish all the way. Malting takes some edge off the insane hops. Hops rule but don't bite.
M = Clean and slightly bubbly. Some stickiness at the end but less than expected. A warm feeling in the mouth and belly is the only indication of the high ABV.
D = Scary.
Drink it now or cellar it. Past years have aged very well. My experience with aged beers is mixed but my winged friend will never let me down.
03-05-2009 01:22:17 | More by johlendorf
More User Reviews:
3.83/5 rDev -6.6%
Glad to see this annual gem of a beer show up here in NC somewhat early.Poured into a imperial nonic a dull somewhat hazed burnt orange with a tight formed 1/2 finger white head that never really completely subsides, just a creamy mass with broken lace behind.Big pine resin in the nose along with dark fruit and brown sugar.Full on thick mouth coating mouthfeel but not overly so,just lush.Strong flavors on the palate with the alcohol really coming thru,big resiny hop intermingled with sweet alcohol and dark fruit are the big flavor components,as the beer warmed the alcohol became more prevelant.Abeer to hold on to as its big and raw right now,ah but raw is great!
03-18-2009 23:52:53 | More by oberon
4.3/5 rDev +4.9%
A 22oz bottle served in a snifter. The beer was a pretty dark orange color with a medium-sized tan head. There was some fleeting lacing. Sweet, toffee aroma. Alcohol detectable. Taste was toffee, a little bit of fruit, then a big lingering bitterness. Couldn't really taste the alcohol that I smelled. The hops were quite pleasing. I really enjoyed this barleywine.
02-25-2009 14:58:42 | More by lordofthewiens
4.25/5 rDev +3.7%
$7.49 for the bomber at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY, feels like a bargain. "Limited Early 2009 Release" printed on the front label. Does anybody read all that blabbering printed onto the rear of these bottles?!? Pours clear, slightly orange hued medium almond amber. The head is slight and none to memorable. Carries a thin film and a slight collar, with just a tad of tiny bubble lace left on the glass. Minor nose of malt and perhaps a wiff of fruit and alcohol. Dense and packed with malty goodness flowing under a biting layer of citric hops. Additional notes of dark, ripe fruit,and then some alcohol, adds to the complexity. Not a bashful or timid brew. I love it right now, wish I had the patience and facilities to put a few bottles away for 2 or so years.
01-02-2010 02:49:19 | More by Billolick
3.9/5 rDev -4.9%
Poured a ruddy amber with a bubbly white head that dissipated into an oily ring. Spotty lacing. Wooden, hop-syrup aroma blended with boozy caramel malt. Light carbonation gave this a solid mouthfeel that complimented the high ABV. Speaking of which, the high ABV was not completely masked, giving off a sugary alcohol warmth. The caramel was heavy, nearly candy-like. Balanced well with the resiny hops. Some apricot and kumquat flavors versus citrus tastes. Well done.
02-09-2009 23:15:17 | More by magictrokini
3.9/5 rDev -4.9%
Brought over to the apartment by my buddy CharlatanSin. Always love to try a new barleywine and heard good things about this one. The 2009 vintage.
Appearance- Pours a deep amber with pretty lively carbonation and about a finger and a half of off white head that dies back to a ring in short order.
Smell- Actually very hop forward with lots of grapefruit and resin. Almost smells like a DIPA but with a lot of caramel showing through in the background.
Taste- Again a very interesting combination of sweet malt and hops. Very hop forward again wit lots of pine and grapefruit rind but combined with lots and lots of sweet malt. Cuts an interesting mixture and much more hop forward than many barleywines I've tasted.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is thick and slick and very nice but a little too much hot alcohol showing through in the taste to make it overly drinkable at this point. Could use some time to mellow out a bit.
Overall, a good barleywine. Not the best I've had but tasty and an interesting nonetheless. Probably better even with age.
01-22-2010 02:08:05 | More by boatshoes
4.33/5 rDev +5.6%
Hazed and murky deep orangey copper with a thick head of beige foam that rises up to a chunky head.
Big aroma of pine sap, overripe apple, citrus hops, honey, toffee and brown sugar.
Rich and complex flavor that fairly matches the nose, a little sharper on the tongue, probably from the ABV. Good balance of hops and malt, grapefruit pith and pine lingers.
Rich and full mouthfeel, tingly carbonation, definite warming on the tip of the tongue and the cheeks.
Very tasty and drinkable beer, but I'm gonna sip this one slowly for sure.
10-01-2009 20:58:49 | More by far333
4.25/5 rDev +3.7%
My first review...here it goes.
A: Old Guardian pours a reddish orange with more orange than red. Upon close examination you can see a little yeast sediment when held to the light. The head is a little disappointing, would have liked to see a little thicker head with better lacing.
S: You know the nose on a beer is spectacular when you crack open the bottle and you're salivating before the beer hits the glass. The nose is defiantly well balanced. Malt is present more then hops, and the alcohol is there to tingle the nose when inhaling deep.
T: With the first sip comes the malty background. More caramel then anything, sweet at first, then the hoppy bitterness stings the tongue. The alcohol is well hidden, but it is ever present to remind you that this is a big beer.
MF: Lightly carbonated full mouth without being too full.
D: Considering the ABV and the hoppyness of this beer the drinkability is great. I can more then sip this beer and not feel like I'm overwhelming my pallet.
Overall Old Guardian will not disappoint. The barley wine style IMO covers a wide range of beers. Old Gaurdian is somewhere between great and a definitive beer of this style. I personally would have liked to have a little more flavor complexity, but there is no doubt that OG is a MONSTER of a barley wine.
09-23-2009 01:39:06 | More by TKEbeerman
3.73/5 rDev -9%
Great looking Stone, oozes out the bottle, its a thick syrupy one. Minimal head, big alcohol notes come out the nose, surprisingly little hops.
Taste wise again, was expecting something comparable to Bigfoot or the signature Stone hopping, but this one is immensely sweet. Still a big beer. Mouthfeel remained consistent, yet unadventurous yielding no nuances. Decent price for a Stone bomber of something so big, but many better Stone options for my $.
04-30-2010 23:43:12 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.18/5 rDev +2%
2009 Early Release been in the fridge for the past year.
Poured into a Westmalle chalice a transparent amber with a very thin white head. Good lacing. Not much noticable carbonation. The scent is rather light. Maybe this is from the aging. But I can find hints of grapefruit and maybe a little banana. The taste is really smooth. None of the harshness that fresh barleywines give, which means my other bottle of '09 is going to age very well. The carmal flavor isn't over powering, and the hop bitterness has died off. There is still the sweet flavor with that same flavor that is kind of banana like. The mouthfeel is low on carbonation, but just perfect in body. There is no evident alcohol burn despite the 11% abv.
These definatly age well.
02-27-2010 01:19:45 | More by whoneeds8
4/5 rDev -2.4%
Brown bomber into a snifter.
A: Beautiful copper with touches of amber edges that just glows. The head is hearty and off white that dissipates with time to a thin layer that clings to the glass. On initial pour this is one of the finest looking brews I've ever laid eyes on.
S: Lots of alcohol on up front, this is extremely tight and could use some cellar time. Continuing on, there is a nice crisp dose of hops, faintly reminiscent of a citrusy IPA. Sweet malts come out with a hint of dark berries.
T: A lot of hops on the palate. In my opinion, they are a bit much for the style. The hops have that nice balance of citrus and pine. The alcohol does not come through nearly as strong as it did on the nose and it actually is a pleasant surprise after the mouth puckering doled out from the hops. Only the faintest hint of sweet malts come through during that split second the hops give way to the alcohol. A nice taste that should age well.
M: Chewy and substantial with a nice balance of carbonation. Nothing wrong here.
D: Another great offering from Stone. I may pick up a few of these and cellar.
02-27-2009 00:23:59 | More by FleeVT
4.03/5 rDev -1.7%
A - This is a rich golden copper color that looks like gold bars melted into a viscous liquid. The beer is a deeper copper tone in the glass, and quite cloudy. The head stands at a respectable two fingers of completely solid foam. Gigantic sheets of caramel hued foam slide slowly down the edges of my snifter, melding seamlessly back into that solid, dense pillow of beautiful foam. The beer starts to clear up after a few seconds of settling in the glass, and head retention is outstanding for a beer of this stature.
S - Sweet vanilla bean, banana Laffy Taffy, gooey caramel ice cream topping, Belgian waffles, and if this is starting to sound too malty... its topped of with a glorious west coast hop note redolent of fresh flowers and citrus fruit. Nice!
T - Hoppy as all hell. This is WAY hoppier than it smells... should have expected that from Stone! This wonderfully hoppy brew is like caramelized sugar poured over bushel of fresh hops. Pine and grapefruit are the major components here, along with flourishes of gin and tonic "botanical" bitterness. This is outstanding, but I gotta say that its more of a double IPA than a barleywine isn't it?
M - Medium bodied and muscular. This has some apparent alcohol burn that comes across in a bitter and refined way.... like good gin. Starts with the tiniest hint of sweetness and finishes super-bitter and dry.
D - What is the IBU rating for this one? Its honestly one of the hoppiest and most bitter bees that I've ever had... ever. This is a well made and memorable beer, and it smells outstanding. However, at the risk of sounding like a weenie, its honestly just too bitter to really quaff with any enthusiasm or regularity. This is a beer that could stand up to the spiciest fare.... Indian, Thai, or Cajun this would give a super-spicy or peppery dish a run for its money.
06-30-2009 04:50:57 | More by pmcadamis
4.72/5 rDev +15.1%
Appearance: Reddish haze
Head: Very little head that dissipates quickly
Smell: Big citric with a rich heavy sweet malt
Taste: Big dark malty citric that has a little heat on the back of the palate
Weight: Heavy to medium body with medium to low carbonation
Finish: Sweet, hops, and a nice stickiness on the lips
04-06-2011 04:53:07 | More by Snow81
4/5 rDev -2.4%
Appearance: It's a very attractive amber color with strong orange highlights. There's a good bit of haze clouding the view. On top is a vanilla colored head that reaches maybe a finger deep. It dissipated very quickly and left only light lace on the glass. Not too surprising given the high abv.
Smell: The nose is a little weak. It's very brown sugary and sweet smelling up front. Smells like there's a good malt presence. Mostly caramel. There's some citrus grapefruit and pineapple lingering throughout. Light plum and raisin complement the citrus scents very well. Hops are pretty strong and smell mostly piney with some citrus characteristics blended in. All in all, nice smelling beer, but just a tad weak.
Taste: The nose is very representative of the flavor profile. It's very sweet and sugary. Brown sugar is noted. Caramel malts are noted, but they're not quite as prevalent as they should be. Hops are very aggressive and bitter. They mostly taste like pine sap, but do have some good citric qualities. There's grapefruit and pineapple in the mix. Light plum and perhaps some other dark fruit flavors are noted. They're clearly secondary, but add a nice flavor to it. Surprisingly, very little alcohol is noted for such a strong beer. It finishes piney and bitter.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It has body on the lighter side of thick and a pretty smooth feel. Carbonation isn't too invasive, but it doesn't really help the cause much either. It's still smooth and goes down easy. Drinkability is pretty limited. It's very strong at 11.3% and is definitely a sipping beer. I'll handle the bomber, but it will take a while.
This year's Old Guardian is overall a good beer. I can't say that it's materially different from last year's. Surpisingly, it seems like it could use a little more malt to add some flavor and assistance with the feel. Small gripe. Otherwise, it's very solid and still worth picking up.
02-15-2009 02:17:58 | More by prototypic
4.09/5 rDev -0.2%
had the pleasure of tasting this vintage keg at the stone outpost in pasadena. poured into a short stem glass, the ale has a hazy amber tone, with a thin, off white head. smell was less intense than i would have expected; there is a subtle smoked quality accompanying the malt-driven nose, perhaps some toffee as well. taste is excellent; loads of rich caramel and dried fruit flavors lead into a bitter, yet balanced finish. alcohol is present, but not overpowering. this four year old beast held up nicely.
09-10-2013 22:15:52 | More by dannydetox
4.28/5 rDev +4.4%
Figured I would grab something good for my 100th review. This fits the bill.
Pours a deep amber with a light haze and a beige head. Lacing is out of control.
The smell is slightly sweet (caramel) and very hoppy. It's also slightly vinous.
The flavor is light fruitiness, caramel sweetness and huge hops. Just massively hoppy. The hops linger for a long-ass time. Alcohol only rears its head what seems like every other sip.
Mouthfeel is ridiculously creamy and thick without being chewy. Fantastic.
Abv keeps the drinkability low -- because this stuff seriously kicked my ass -- but goddamn this is one tasty beer. Stone has me wanting to try more American barleywines. I also want to pick up a bottle and sit on it for a while. I think it would be interesting to try once the hops have mellowed out a little.
07-04-2009 05:46:18 | More by BigJim5021
3.6/5 rDev -12.2%
Surprised after 6+ years, I have yet to have an Old Guardian. Maybe it needs a few months or couple of years on it, but this one was just too hardsh for my palate. Nice aroma and right on with appearance for the style, just not as impressed as I thought I'd be. Oh well, Stone is still one of the tops.
01-23-2010 23:31:27 | More by Backer2004
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.