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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
92
outstanding

328 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 328
Reviews: 246
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 6
Gots: 46 | 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
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Ratings: 328 | Reviews: 246 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BatDaddy
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a snifter. Pours a slightly cloudy tea-like color with a fluffy cream colored head that settles down to a wispy lace and some nice bubbles around the edges.

S - Hops are present, but the caramel malty sweetness seems to dominate the nose. Maybe just some faint floral notes from the hops.

T - First taste seems very well balanced between the hops and sweet malts. Hop bitterness is more pronounced as I hold it on my tongue. Small alcohol bite on a crisp, dry finish. Some citrus notes from the hops.

M - Medium bodied, slightly sticky.

D - Very good for an abv this high. While the alcohol is definitely present, it's hidden fairly well. Overall is well balanced enough for good drinkability, though the abv might get to you before you pour another glass.

BatDaddy, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours with little head and beer is a light coppery reddish color.

Smell- Faintly bitter due to hops, yet still very malty in character.

Taste- Very bitter, lots of hops here, alcohol is well hidden. Bitterness really lingers a great deal on the palate. Not too bad.

Mouthfeel- Surprisingly light for a barleywine, tasty but not nearly as heavy as I would have suspected.

Drinkabilty- One of the most drinkable barleywines Ive ever had. Very good.

Bowdoinbeerboy, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of atsprings
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a tulip glass a crisp bubbly dark orange with a decent off-white head. Aroma is a bit of burnt caramel and Earthy hops. The taste is a nice balance of burnt caramel and sharp hops with a touch of syrupy alcohol, this one definitely shows that it needs some serious aging. The beer is heavy bodied and is certainly a sipper, its going to need some time to mellow out. This one is somewhat enjoyable, but I'd prefer to wait a year and try it again.

atsprings, May 07, 2009
Photo of bobhits
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Early 2009 release. Odd I just bought this and didn't check. I think this is a better beer fresh, but it holds up well at least the first year. Around 2 years it gets a bit too mellow for my tastes.

A. Thick white head, still doing well a year and a half old. Reddish straw, thick, and cloudy appearance.

S. Deep strong malt and hops. Opens with a sugary sweet beginning then a flowery and finishing piney hops.

T. Wow...I've had this beer 5-6 times at least but every time...wow that's all I can say. Toffee and caramel malt. Piney and strong hop finish. The finish ends with a nice alcohol bite.

M. Thick syrupy, plenty of carbonation, just what you'd expect.

D. Easy to have a nice drink or sip all night. Can't lie, the alcohol is a touch strong at times.

This is the standard I judge all american barley wines by, which is truly unfair to others. I'm not sure what real changes happen year to year with this, but solid stuff.

bobhits, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Surprisingly blurry pumpkin peel orange topped by a thick slice of ecru colored foam that occupies the glass from the nonic bulge to the rim. Is it my imagination or were previous Old Guardians filtered? Foam longevity is impressive and lace is slightly less so.

The aroma is primarily pale with a mid-range malt presence of the toasted-earthy-caramel sort. There's a fair amount of fruitiness and a mere blip of alcohol. Hop(s) in use? Hard to tell... and I got eye strain and a headache reading the miniscule print on the back of the bottle attempting to find out.

2009 Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale tastes pretty similar to every other Old Guardian Barleywine Style Ale. It would be great if Stone changed the recipe from time to time, but if it hasn't happened yet, it probably isn't going to happen. Guess they're happy with the basic blueprint.

Although the hops vary every year, they're always in the citrus zesty (orange especially) and spruce-like vein. The malts taste like they smell, with perhaps a little more caramel this time around. For a beer that is now about 22 months of age, alcohol is still on the aggressive side. Having said that, mellowing is occuring as the beer warms.

As always, the mouthfeel is a large and luscious treat. Still rampant alpha acids and the finely honed steel slice of alcohol aren't quite able to cut through the malt sugar crushed velvety plushness that greets each mouthful.

Buying and reviewing each year's Old Guardian BWSA is a ritual that will continue as long as Stone continues to brew beer in this series. Having said that, this will never be a truly great American barleywine unless Greg and the boys choose different malts and do a better job of alcohol masking. Just one BA's opinion.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of Lunch
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber (10/21/09). Served in a Stone Old Guardian goblet at around 50 degrees.

Appearance: Pours a rich and hazy golden toffee color with a one finger off-white head.

Smell: Sweet malts, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, with a wave of alcohol coming through on the backend. A rich intense smell that leaves no doubt that this is going to be a powerful beer.

Taste: Starts with an intense syrupy caramel malt lightly coated in alcohol, but in a pleasant way, with a hint of toffee followed by a distinct hop flavor seemingly only Stone can produce. An alcohol note resonates after each completed sip and one is never confused as to how big this beer is.

Mouthfeel: Rather heavy and full-bodied with a slight cloying characteristic brought on by the rich malts and higher abv.

Drinkabilty: Moderate based on the richness and alcohol content, but better than average for its style.

Overall I find this to be a welcomed treat when looking for a rich malt-bomb with a nice hop profile to balance out the sweetness. Recommended.

Lunch, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

magictrokini, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of boatshoes
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

boatshoes, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of kbuzz
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my trusty snifter..."Early 2009 Release".

A: Surprised to see a decent bit of carbonation for a 2009 vintage. Poured a murky orange/rusted red color with a thin slightly off-white head. Color somewhat matches the color of the graphics of the bottle. Alcohol legs everywhere.

S: Confectionary sweetness. Raisins, plums, figs. Brown sugar, molasses, slight cinnamon and vanilla...caramel, toffee and some faint roasted malts...sweet smelling beer overall. A hint of the booze, stinging the nostrils...

T: A wee trace of oxidation. Still get a lot of the nose, but muted. Rum-soaked raisins, caramel, burnt brown sugar. Cotton candy sweetness. The booziness is not nearly as apparent in the taste as in the aroma. Palate finishes slightly bitter, with a bit of the oxidation...but not terrible.

M: This is pretty perfect for a Barleywine. Chewy, thick . There's a lingering stickiness. Finishes dry. Carbonation is solid considering...

O: The alcohol here has dissipated gracefully and left a solid beer behind. Still get a good bit of carbonation...along with some oxidation. The nose is slightly misleading - better than the taste, but overall, a well blended Barleywine. Not the most prefectly aged example, but a good 2 year old Barleywine. I would trade for this again.

kbuzz, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazed orange-amber with a well-formed, lasting tan head. Spotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel, orange, with herbal and citrus bitterness. It has a solid "American Barleywine" aroma.

The taste is of caramel/toffee with some rum-like booze. Citric/herbal bitterness grows as it progresses.

As with previous years, I think it a very good barleywine, certainly with a house "Stone" character that I like...It is balanced, and drinks well for the high abv. It lacks that certain "something" to push it into greatness, but still is something to look forward to each year!

jwc215, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of Strix
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange with good head and good lacing.

Citrus hops forward in the smell, along with barley.

Barley, malt, caramel, tea, anise, and hops in the flavor. Strong flavors, and hops dominate, but alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel viscous.

A solid American Barleywine. Nothing about it really grabbed me, but it was pretty good.

Strix, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours orange/amber with a fairly nice initial head, particularly considering the abv of this one. Lots of sweet malt, boozy aromas, and big citrusy/piney hops in the nose. The taste is similar. Boozy and sweet with some nice hop bitterness with the pine being more evident this time, and quite a alcohol heat in the finish. For all its burn and hops, this is actually quite smooth. It needs some time to tame the heat, and there should still be enough hops left to add something. Pretty solid.

Georgiabeer, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of swizzlenuts
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The nose on the beer is quite caramelly with a few hints of citrus; the citrus is probably more of the esters or something coming through though. Overall it's kind of bland on the nose, but it has just enough to make it pleasing. When pouring the beer you can see it's thickness and it's brilliantly clear ruby/dark copper colour with a nice centimeter of thick white head. Pretty good looking head, but it leaves a bit too quickly for my licking. When drinking Old Guardian, I feel that I'm sipping on a barley wine that is so balanced, that I drink it way too fast. Usually with a barley wine, I sip it every once in a while, but this one makes me drink it quite frequently. It reminds me of Bigfoot and Old Ruffian, but less hop flavour. All around this is a might tasty barley wine.

The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, which is exactly how I want it, and I could have a few of these, over a long period of time obviously, because of its great balance.

There is something about the beer that make me not want to rate any higher than I am now. I think it's that it doesn't do anything spectacular in my taste buds or nose buds. It's just an overall solid barley wine with a great balance. I kind of expect something creative to happen in a barley wine; for example Old Horizontal has a huge chocolate nose mixed with a fair amount of hops or even Hog Heaven with its huge citrus notes that dominate the malts. These qualities make the beers unique, and I'd probably choose them over this beer, even though this one is easier to drink.

I love Stone's beers, but I find this one good, but it just falls into the pack of all the barley wines I've had.

swizzlenuts, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of jdense
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle 'early 2009' release from Whole Foods Hollywood PDX poured into Delirium Tremens tulip.

One finger white head, relatively quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Amber semi-opaque body, a bit cloudy (not chill haze, served at 50-55 degrees). Nose is sweet and very boozy, molasses, hops hard to decipher. Taste is very, very boozy, sweet, a pretty good bitter hop kick on back end. Mouthfeel is fairly effervescent, not sticky. Not very drinkable at this high ABV, need to find a buddy to share a bottle with, but this was a good bargain at $5.99, will head back for another bottle and cellar, hope that will mellow out the overt booziness of this otherwise fine barleywine.

jdense, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of babaracas
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange copper with fluffy but fast fading eggshell colored head. Smell: toffee, golden raisin, caramel, floral hops. Taste: toasted, caramel, golden raisin, sugary sweetness met head on by a massive raw floral hop and heady alcohol. This is certainly the least DIPA-like of the American barleywines I've had, but it definitely possesses that west coast Stone character. A behemoth of a beer that I'll cheaply take some points from for needing some age before it becomes more approachable... then again as an "early 2009" release, it's had a half year already...

babaracas, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of TheKingsOfHop
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into tulip shaped glasses:

A: Honey amber in color with a nice white fluffy head that clings to the side of the glass. Impressive for having such a high ABV.

S: Fruity citrus with a side of bitter hops, and towards the end burnt caramel.

T: A splash of grapefruit then...gone the center of your palate gets hit with a wave of caramel, and hazelnuts. It then proceeds to leave your mouth with a bitter long lasting hop finish. With the alcohol not showing its self until the warming begins in your chest.

M: Medium in body, well carbonated, yet fairly smooth.

D: One bomber does the trick, but we can't wait to try the "08" in the cellar.

Cheers,
The Kings Of Hop

TheKingsOfHop, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of SpecialK088
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

Nice golden/burnt orange color with a low head and no lace

Notes of floral hops and very tosted malt also a figgy or sugary sweet note

Flavor is very complex the malt,hops and barley come together in an amazing balance to create a very unique flavor alcohol burns a little in the finish with some nutty/wood notes

Mouthfeel is near perfect for this beer not overly carbonated slightly oily and incredibly complex flavors. Medium body

Split is at the very least between 2 this is one big bastard but very good.

SpecialK088, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of RunDWP
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this last night, and it's a bit young, but this looks likes it might be a great barleywine some day. It's good now.

It poured a burnt orange color into my tulip glass, with think, light orange foam floating on the brew. The head never completely went away, and lots of heavy sheeting action on the glass. A pugent piney, resin-like smell greated me when I opened the bottle, and I detected it standing three or four feet away from it. I have a weak nose, so that's one powerful aroma.

Surprise, surprise, something from Stone Brewing is hops dominated. Lots of piney, resin hops dominating the fresh, chewey malt. The malt had a little sweetness to it, a little toffee like character. Wasn't really getting a lot of fruity-like character, here, but that's OK. Mouth feel a little astringent, and a little harshness to the brew hurt the overall drinkability. There's a lot of alcohol in there, and I could taste some of it. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it hurts the drinkability department too, at least for me.

I enjoyed this fresh tasting, unique barleywine, and the good news is that I have another bottle in my fridge. I'm going to give it a few months before I open it, to let it mellow out some. I expect that this one will improve with age.

RunDWP, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of AChamberlain
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All around solid American barleywine. Poured into a snifter at the Ginger Man in Austin. Amber, honey color. Thin head, that left some sticky lacing on the glass. Hop, hop, hoppy aroma. Sticky flavor and aroma. A nice sweet tea flavor in the middle of the tongue, really tasty. Bitter finish. A tad thin. Boozy. I have enjoyed other barleywines much more. This may need some time, actually, I am prety sure this needs some time to chill and age.

AChamberlain, May 13, 2009
Photo of Jtschupp04
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Poured into a trappist glass, amber colour with off white head that settles to a remnant lingering on the surface. Smells like a sour bitter grapefruit left in the fruit bowl for some time. Sourness and bitterness reigns in this brew. Grapefruit again comes to mind on taste. Very creamy and smooth. It bites and feel its journey stomping down the throat into the stomach.

Jtschupp04, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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!

oberon, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big three finger head if you pour too aggressively, very slow to simmer down, more microscopic foam than bigger bubbles, semi-sticky lacing. Murky glow deepens the orange-brown color, fully opaque through to the slightly more orange rims. More hop presence in this than any other barleywine beer consumed before, the nose full of grapefruit, tangerine citrus, pine sap and green grass, sharply angular in texture, the tropicality in the pineapple, nectarine, guava, kumquat fruit scents contributes mightily, little cushioning from the rye bread, mocha, carob or scone notes. Full-bodied unto thick in the mouth, even the foaminess seems to add to its density. Not substantially different from the nose in that pink grapefruit, lemon citrus, pine and herbaceousness dominate. Around the mid-palate you might get some malty biscuit or bread but the malt presence drops a notch here, any chocolate comes only when you breathe out. The pineapple, guava, nectarine, peach fruit met by raisin and fig flavors which keep their distance. Keeps rubbing your palate until it starts to get raw. Selfish steamroller, doesn't consider your feelings at all.

farrago, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of superdedooperboy
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Pours a bright, hazy orangish-amber hue with a small off-white head that fades quickly and shows hardly any cling.

Nose is rather floral and fruity with citrusy hop notes playing a huge role in combination with some light, sweet malt notes. A hint of alcohol hides in the background.

Full-bodied and rather slick on the tongue, with very little carbonation present. Big, bold hop flavors dominate the palate, with citrus notes of grapefruit, orange, and orange peel, with an underlying body of sweet caramel malt and a touch of alcohol, both of which are mostly hidden by the hop character. Finishes mostly dry with a lingering hop bitterness.

Tasty and rather drinkable for such a hefty brew, but way over-the-top for a barleywine, with more of the hop-forward character of an imperial IPA than the malt-centric character of most barleywines. This one needs to be put down for at least a year to allow the hops to mellow; as it is, fresh, it is too much of a hop bomb and not a good representation of the style.

superdedooperboy, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

olradetbalder, Friday at 07:19 AM
Photo of atoulouk
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

atoulouk, Apr 15, 2013
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 328 ratings.