Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
4.97/5 rDev +21.2%
Appearance: Crystal clear bright mahogany. Moderate head that fades fairly quickly but never completely vanishes. Delicate, resilient lacing.
Aroma: floral, hints of pineapple and dry summer grass, gently piney hops.
Taste: Commanding hop presence with robust malt body to match. Lots of fresh and dried fruit- especially strawberry, apricot, and some citrus. Mayan cocoa (dark chocolate with chili), hot jalapeno, and pipe tobacco, especially as the taste finishes and lingers. Finish also contains grassy/floral/vegetal notes which correspond with the aroma. Herbal suggestions of Benedictine, peat smoke, and heather. There's a bit of alcohol presence, but it's not nearly as boozy-tasting as one would expect for this style.
This ale is robust, bold, complex and articulate without being too heavy handed or lopsided. As the name suggests, it's both mighty and dignified.
In short- AMAZING. I buy as many of these as I can carry whenever I find them.
05-10-2009 19:20:03 | More by benjathelion
4.9/5 rDev +19.5%
This beer pours a cloudy red-orange color. The head is a nice quarter inch cap of foam that lingers around leaving fine lacing around the glass. The aroma of a ton of malt, and a ton of hops. There is a solid caramel, and toffee backbone with vibrant citrus, pine resin, and floral hops. As far as aroma goes this is the best American Barelywine I've had in a long while. The taste is more hop forward than the aroma, which I like due to the interesting hop bill. There is a very nice mix of floral, grapefruit, and pine. There is a nice lingering bitterness, and moderate heat in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with lively carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a great beer that I will search out again.
06-23-2009 20:33:16 | More by KarlHungus
4.8/5 rDev +17.1%
Appearance- cloudy brown to almost orange copper in color, very thin white lacing remains after thinning off the pour, light to little carbonation,
Smell- Beautiful smell thats a mix of caramel malts and sweet yet spicy hops, very powerful and intriguing nose
Taste- a very beautiful mix of both very nice sweet malts and the spicey hops you smell on the nose, caramel and molases flavors hit you hard up front but your left with a beautiful lingering bitter hop finish, a superbly and in my opinion almost perfectly balanced beers, delightful finish, to me a near perfect beer all around
Mouthfeel- Full bodied thick and creamy, it just feels heavy and big in your mouth, enjoyably smooth feel
Drinkability- the only reason I can give it a 5.0 drinkability is because its 11.3% booozeee but watch out because its dangerous and not noticable, this is a beer for the hop heads and the not so crazy hop heads a like, beautiful balance and to me a master piece example of what a barley wine should be, yet another example for why i love stone beers
07-17-2009 03:34:36 | More by Stunner97
4.8/5 rDev +17.1%
first review EVARR, so here we go...
A - Deep amber/honey color, poured thick. small lacing
S - very sweet caramel, distinctive stone's signature hops but only for a breif moment, more on the malt end
T - starts off sweet/cainy, then the hops come in, towards the back of the pallet the hops definition comes through. then a bready character, the alchohol finds its way towards the back, strong but pleasent, actually warming once swallowed, its presence travels back up
my nasal passages thus warming them. the resiny taiste from the hops remains present after swallowed, leaving that distinctive "sour apple" flavor (almost riny citrus) taste on your lips.
M - nice full body, thinner than i was expecting considering the apearence, but none-the-less holesome. same carbonation as most of stones brews (respectfully) which really lets the flavors pop.
D - not so much drinkability considering this is definitely not a session beer. would definitely reccomend to anyone who comes across it. cant wait to see how this brew does with some aging
B(burp) - haha, heres one the kinda makes a difference to me... the burp! lets be honest, we all enjoy them... simular to the taste, the burp gives you that great bready hoppy taste along with a small carbonation presence. i bet this stuff goes very well paired with spicy (hot or flavorful) food and pizza.
i would deinitely reccomend this one to any BA .
06-25-2009 23:32:17 | More by deathklaat
4.78/5 rDev +16.6%
A: Cloudy copper color with a frothy tan head. Head retention was good.
S: Boozy sweet malt base with a somewhat tamed piny hop. Very good balance of malt and hop. Plum, grapefruit, caramel all shine through.
T: Huge hanging pine hop throughout. The sweet dark fruit-like malt barely fights it's way through. Definite earthy flavors also apparent, but this is mostly about the hops.
M: Prickly, alcohol warming, pretty smooth.
O: Nice brew, very drinkable. Would buy their future yearly releases.
08-01-2010 23:01:36 | More by bundy462
4.75/5 rDev +15.9%
Pours hazy orangy with a slow rising, lazy burst of carbonation and a modest head that falls quickly. Smell is deep, sweet malt, with rich floral hops. Flavor is sweet and bitter, like a zingy orange rind. Floral hops, sweet, tangy malt and an absorbing bitterness on the end. Mouthfeel is rich and viscous.
The only block to drinkability is its intense alcohol content, which will set you back fairly quickly, particularly given how smooth and well balanced it is.
04-21-2009 17:53:37 | More by Seanibus
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
4.72/5 rDev +15.1%
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale is a very interesting beer, I can't really say it's not an American Barleywine, but it sure seems like a double IPA on steroids to me. The flavor is intensely hoppy, there is some caramel flavored malt that balances it out and the alcohol is hidden pretty well considering, however it is part of the flavor and I sure as heck could feel it's effects. Absolutely one of the best beers I've ever had. It makes me want to hoard as much as I can find.
05-09-2009 01:13:49 | More by Drew966
4.72/5 rDev +15.1%
Pours a very nice cloudy copper color with a thick off white head. Smells amazing. Very malty with lots of Earthy tones with a great hop scent as well. Taste is indescribable. Malty earth notes with great grain tastes from the start, then the hops bombard my tongue with citrus and grassy notes. The balance is damn near perfect, the only complaint being that it might be a bit hop-sided, but thats not a bad thing at all in my opinion. Very full feeling and easily drinkable. Excellent. Simply excellent.
03-16-2009 00:08:18 | More by patobandito
4.7/5 rDev +14.6%
Been wanting to try this one for a long time and was stoked to see it on the shelf at Grapevine. Poured this one into my Maudite snifter. I love a good Barleywine and this one doesn't dissapoint. The aroma is faint but is sour and hoppy. I love the reddish hue to this beer, looks yummy. Nice lacing in the glass and there is a constant foamy top to this beer. Taste, this is good. The hops smack you right in the face and you can feel them coming out of the glass. There is a little sweetness in the beginning and then the hops punch back. You get just a tiny bit of sweetness then comes the 180 into a bitternes that is hard to descripe. Did I just lick a pine cone? Did my mouth just go completely dry? Why can't I stop taking sips of this? All valid question about this great barleywine. It finishes dry and is way to easy to drink for 11.3. There is a nice little alcohol heat esp. once it warms up. Thank you Stone.
04-17-2009 23:00:45 | More by lonestar4lunch
4.68/5 rDev +14.1%
Enjoyed on 4/28/12
Absolutely no alcohol taste. Rich caramel and toffee, hops are almost gone which is understandable after 3 years. Slight raisin aftertaste, where hops come through a little more.
If you have one of these, you should drink it soon; I don't know how much better this will get
04-28-2012 20:18:56 | More by benetoh
4.68/5 rDev +14.1%
Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass.
The color is a deep amber/gold with a off white head with a nice amount of lacing.
The smell is a nice hop flavoring in the first few seconds. Is also surprisingly sweet, a small hint of cinnamon.
The taste has a strong hop flavor. Like all Stone beers the first taste has a punch to it. Somewhat bastard in taste there are also some dry flavor and is pretty malty. FULL of flavor.
The mouth feel is quite easy after getting over that first hump of the first sip. This also easy to drink. The next sip seems to lead into the next.
04-17-2009 03:32:36 | More by Duhast500
4.59/5 rDev +12%
A pure bliss of a bottle.
Got this in lieu of 3-12 fl oz Hopslams.
Poured from 22 oz bomber into large snifter glass. Very clear, deep amber color with great ruby hues. Still has a lot of carbonation for a 2009. Some bubbles are seen rising up slowly. Very less, thin layered head from the first half pour. Tan colored and does not stay. Excellent stickiness shown by the side laces with each sip.
Aroma is huge. Smells a lot like old ale. Some very obvious malt-hop presence upfront. A little bit boozy as well. Smells fills the nose from a feet away once you open the bottle. Hops shine along with a lot of malt but do not have a distinct presence of their own.
Taste is all malt and boozy. This one is heck of drink, Alcohol has not mellowed down much i would suppose or it would have been hell boozy when fresh. Bitterness is still there. In fact a lot of it. A little bit of toffee flavor and a lot of caramel flavor dominate the taste. An excellent blend of malts and hops is what barley wines are all about. I like it very much. Finish is bitter to very bitter.
Mouth feel is medium to slightly full. A lot of oily and resiny touch. A very good warmth when drinking this. A lot of booze and might appear astringent to some.
Strong and drinking nice.
I love it.
02-09-2013 01:25:19 | More by AmitC
4.55/5 rDev +11%
Appearance: A hazy golden-orange body--much lighter than I had expected--featuring a few assorted particles in suspension. Up top, a finger of creamy whitish head that features good lacing and retention.
Aroma: Up front, lots of bright and citrusy hops catch me a little off guard. Underneath, there's a sticky toffee malt backbone and some nice tinges of booze to bring things back towards traditional Barleywine territory. Opens up a lot as it warms.
Flavor: Again, the hops start the party--they are balanced nicely in between citrusy and grassy and nicely bitter. The big rum cake and sticky toffee malt backbone holds everything down nicely, substantial enough to keep everything relatively balanced. There's something a little woody floating around, but I can't quite pin it down. Plenty of alcohol character throughout, but it never feels like double-digits. Great lingering bitterness and toffee in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation and a dry finish.
Drinkability: Drinks faster than the ABV suggests, but requires caution like any bomber of double-digit brew.
Verdict: Old Guardian ranks right up there with the best American Barleywines--it's complex, hoppy as hell, and satisfying to the last drop. Absolutely terrific fresh, I only wish I had been able to secure a second bottle for aging.
12-13-2009 23:03:00 | More by BeanBone
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
4.53/5 rDev +10.5%
Nice reddish orange body with a one finger eggshell white head. Slightly cloudy.
Piney hops, caramel, and bit of alcohol in the nose.
An all around big barleywine. Taste similar to the aroma with a wee bit of leather.
Perfect mouthfeel for a barelywine. Lightly carbonated with a big body that is not too viscous.
Very drinkable for such a big beer. very nice.
06-21-2009 02:21:20 | More by IPAcraig
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.