Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by pmcadamis:
4.03/5 rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
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.
Serving type: bottle
06-30-2009 04:50:57 | More by pmcadamis
More User Reviews:
4.45/5 rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A- Pours a very hazy, medium brown with orange hints in the body. Small, yet very strong and lasting, off-white colored head. Lacing is awesome, especially considering the age of this beer.
S- Strong and bitter, but not so much in the hops bitterness genre on the nose. Starts with strong brown sugar and molasses sweetness that quickly mixes in with a strong, malty bitterness. Tons of caramel malt scents provide the base and strong alcohol presence is also a primary flavor in the smell.
T- Starts off with a big display of the caramel malts and just a touch of the brown sugar sweetness. A small amount of hops bitterness joins forces with the stronger malt and alcohol bitterness to really pack a punch in the middle of the drink. Sweetness mixes back in to mellow out some of the bitterness before the drink ends.
M- This beer is on the thicker and smoother end with lower carbonation. The alcohol and moderately strong bitterness cuts down on the drinkability, but the alcohol is fairly well hidden.
Overall, I'm really impressed with how well this has held up for 4+ years. I think these Old Guardians are really underrated, but they do take a little development in the bottle to take on a certain level of complexity.
Serving type: bottle
03-21-2014 01:46:21 | More by boilermakerbrew
4.33/5 rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
22 ounce bottle into snifter; bottled in 2/2009, 5 years old. Pours very hazy ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of huge caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown bread, brown sugar, raisin, prune, pear, apple, floral, grass, herbal, light pine, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity of dark/bready malt and light-moderate hop notes; with big strength. Taste of big caramel, raisin, prune, pear, apple, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, toast, toffee, floral, grass, herbal, light pine, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light earthy herbal/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, raisin, prune, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, toffee, floral, grass, herbal, light pine, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and light-moderate earthy/fruity hop/yeast flavors; with an awesome hop/malt balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a smooth, and moderately slick/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with a minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding barleywine at 5 years old. All around awesome complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.
Serving type: bottle
02-23-2014 04:12:40 | More by superspak
4.09/5 rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
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.
Serving type: on-tap
09-10-2013 22:15:52 | More by dannydetox
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.