1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

323 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 323
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 6
Gots: 47 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 02-06-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stunner97
Stunner97

New Jersey

4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2009 03:34:36 | More by Stunner97
Photo of deathklaat
deathklaat

North Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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 .

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 23:32:17 | More by deathklaat
Photo of bundy462
bundy462

Texas

4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 23:01:36 | More by bundy462
Photo of Seanibus
Seanibus

California

4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 17:53:37 | More by Seanibus
Photo of Snow81
Snow81

Minnesota

4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2011 04:53:07 | More by Snow81
Photo of Drew966
Drew966

Florida

4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 01:13:49 | More by Drew966
Photo of patobandito
patobandito

New Mexico

4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2009 00:08:18 | More by patobandito
Photo of lonestar4lunch
lonestar4lunch

Texas

4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 23:00:45 | More by lonestar4lunch
Photo of benetoh
benetoh

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 20:18:56 | More by benetoh
Photo of Duhast500
Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 03:32:36 | More by Duhast500
Photo of AmitC
AmitC

New York

4.59/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 01:25:19 | More by AmitC
Photo of BeanBone
BeanBone

Texas

4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 23:03:00 | More by BeanBone
Photo of johlendorf
johlendorf

New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 01:22:17 | More by johlendorf
Photo of IPAcraig
IPAcraig

Tennessee

4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2009 02:21:20 | More by IPAcraig
Photo of danielharper
danielharper

Michigan

4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark orange, slightly red, with a tiny bit of haze, but with a very thick cream-colored head that sticks around and leaves some amazing lacing. Smells strongly of dry American West Coast hops, but with a sweet caramel malt balance underneath. Intriguing, interesting.

Flavor-wise, I was expecting a strong crisp hoppiness up front, and that's basically what you get. What I wasn't necessarily anticipating was the sugary sweetness that follows in the malt, along with a lot more caramel and hints of bready yeastiness. Finishes dry. No alcohol astringency on the nose or in the flavor, amazing for a beer that clocks in above eleven percent. Overall impression is of the strong hops and the residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel is creamier than expected, otherwise predictably hoppy and with a high level of carbonation. Dry aftertaste.

I was expecting to like this beer, but I wasn't necessarily expecting to love it this much. The caramel and sweetness make an almost perfect match for the hops, and the alcohol is so well-hidden it's scary. Is Stone the best brewery in America? Maybe.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 03:23:49 | More by danielharper
Photo of mjtiernan
mjtiernan

New York

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

06-06-2014 04:18:59 | More by mjtiernan
Photo of freewill35
freewill35

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

12-24-2012 23:00:39 | More by freewill35
Photo of hiphopj5
hiphopj5

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

06-19-2012 21:16:36 | More by hiphopj5
Photo of hyuga
hyuga

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

11-15-2011 05:39:18 | More by hyuga
Photo of Modernrickk
Modernrickk

California

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

02-20-2014 05:32:22 | More by Modernrickk
Photo of JDizzle
JDizzle

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged a few years. Bought a Martha's Vineyard in Grand Rapids for $3.99 a bomber!!!

This one pours a deep bllod orange red that looks unreal. A little head boils up for a second and retreats quickly. Smells like apricot, plum, caramel, leather, and a wee bit of alcohol. Really sweet and inviting! Can't wait to try this one. WOW, this is one of the best barleywines I have tried-aged. The hops are still there, but have faded perfectly from a fresh one. Still bitter on the finish, but not so abrasive. Really sweet with a carmel, earthy flavor that really shines-so smooth for such a heavy beer. Getting a cherry, peach fruit punch, but it's hard to tell there is so much going on here. Mouthfeel is thick with low carbonation. What a fine beer!-sucks it took this long to get this:) Drank the 10' side by side and it's night and day how much better this is.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2012 04:03:54 | More by JDizzle
Photo of DCon
DCon

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

01-08-2012 09:01:28 | More by DCon
Photo of sirdrinkwell
sirdrinkwell

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Old Guardian pours a nice golden pumpkin color, with a fair bit of soapy tan head which thins to a nice lace.

Smell: this is Stone, so hops are on top, with a nice tangerine citrus aroma

Taste: the hops immediately hop onto the palate along with citrus notes and well balanced malty sweetness

Mouthfeel: this is a nice mouthful, full bodied but quite smooth

Drinkability: Entirely interesting brew, Old Guardian is a champ in my book. I am relatively new to barley wines but given Stone´s track record i figured this is a good place to start...and this drink suits me just fine. Thumbs up thrice!

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2009 01:44:20 | More by sirdrinkwell
Photo of buckyp
buckyp

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

12-31-2011 22:08:57 | More by buckyp
Photo of Lerxst
Lerxst

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Stone Imperial Pint Glass

A-Hazy orange/amber with one inch head that fades fast

S-Hoppy with malts clearly evident. They go good together.

T-Hops are very evident but a toasty, malty flavor compliments it well and surprisingly the 11.3% abv is hardly noticable.

M-Medium body. Smooth with a hoppy afterbite, medium carbonation. Not too much carbonation, but just enough.

D-Surprisingly drinkable. I didn't think more than one in a sitting would be do-able, but it would be. The hops/malt combo here is delicious. Well done!

Stone has done it again. This brewery is simply amazing.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 22:16:04 | More by Lerxst
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.