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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

329 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 329
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: 329 | Reviews: 246 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vonerichs
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It looks like a glass of honey with a 1/4" of soft and smooth head that's a light caramel tint. There's a good amount of carbonation rising through the translucent body. No lacing.

Having had more than a handful of different Stone brews this is exactly what I expected in both smell and taste. There's a very strong hop profile to this, even for a barleywine. The smell is sweet like syrup and the hops show up as pine trees. It's a very well balanced smell. The taste has a nice bitterness to it and is hop-forward with pine and citrus. There's a strong malt backbone that has a caramel or brown sugar like sweetness to it. The aftertaste is a slight alcholic burn and fruity esters.

It has a nice creamy mouthfeel that is cut with crisp carbonation. Finish is slightly bitter, but not as bitter as I expected with such a nice hop profile.

The alcohol taste and burn is there, but well played with the rest of the beer and contributes to the overall flavor as opposed to detracting from it. For and 11.3% barleywine, no problem.

Stone in general is my personal favorite when it comes to the use of hops in all of their styles and this is what I imagined it'd be. Another very strong offering from a top notch brewer.

Photo of Beerbuddha
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- This beer poured a nice reddish amber color with little head which disappated quickly. Lacing present throughout.

Smell- Nice hoppy aroma. Perhaps a grapefruit aroma with a sweet maltiness.

Taste- Interesting taste. Has the hoppiness of most Stone but finishes with an interesting hint of peppermint. Very cool. Nice maltiness as well which gives it a nice balance.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with low carbonation.

Overall- A fantastic barleywine.

Photo of wampahoofus
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber brown with a small amount of cream colored head. The head recedes quickly with about a 1/4 inch of retention. Some carbonation is present.

The smell is hoppy with carmel and vanilla.

Ah, this barlywine in the real thing! The taste is sweet with a deep smokey carmel-vanilla flavor. The alcohol is not overpowering but is present. This is a nice balanced barlywine!

This beer is a real sipper. It is very drinkable and I will be back for more!

Photo of JamesP123
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an oversized wine glass.

A. Much lighter than I was expceting. Pours a golden/dark orange with a big one inch of off white head. The lacing trickles nicely down the glass as you drink.

S. Citrusy hops dominate with some sweet & bready malts followed by a hint of alcohol as the beer begins to warm up.

T. Wow this is one of the hoppiest barlwywines I've had. Grapefruit, honey with slight caramel notes. Alcohol not very noticable.

M. Medium to thick mouthfeel, a little resiny like an IPA. Medium carbination with a slightly dry finish.

D. Wonderful Barleywine, can win over a hop head for sure. By nature barlywines are intense, but this is a very drinkable.

Photo of superspak
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.

Photo of n00tz
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep red apple cider-like (translucent) body, medium height silver-queen colored head that laces down the glass.

S - Piney with a fruity sweetness that I can only distinguish particularly as apple. Somewhat woody, mossy natural smell seems to peer out.

T/M - Smooth fruity grape, melon, berry onset, followed by a malty punch (almost porter-like) followed with a sharp pine hops that hammers it's way into your palate. The initial mouthful(s) carry the barley through until the hops burn in, though 5 minutes after your last sip you'll be tasting the barley and grain more than the hops - unique! The more it warms the less hops you taste and the more of the fruit, malt, and grain you taste.. the most temperature diversity I've tasted in a brew to date.

D - It really takes an open mind for newbies (those that don't know half of the diversity of brews). But wow, this really kicks up and drives home my desire for a beer cellar. Such a lucky find!

I drank this after much internal debate, this was my first barleywine and I was somewhat scared of it for lack of a better term. It will certainly be where I set the bar for good barleywines from now on.

Photo of mjgarrett2
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep gold with amber tints, quite transparent with a modest beige head.

S-Not agressive, hints of hops and strong barley and a touch of oats.

T-Mellow with sweet malts. Surprising taste of caramel amongst the obvious barley and subtler hops.

M-Maltier and sweeter as the flavor progresses with some bitter tones lingering through the barley.

D-Wasn't sure what to expect from this Barleywine, but it seems to balance well between the more common styles. Great for sipping and enjoying, or pairing with some fine foods.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of johnkale
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - nice deep amber color, meager head left a little lacing

S - more subdued than I expected, lemon and orange, a little bit of caramel, hints of clove, berry, and booze

T - caramel and burnt sugars, orange zest bitterness, hops are very resinous initially. the finish is slightly boozy and this helps to accentuate some spicier notes (clove and anise) along with raisin-like flavors. Lots of bitterness at the end.

M - surprisingly light, just slightly oily. dances across the front of the tongue. Alcohol presence reveals the size of this beer more than body, remarkably quaffable for its style (though still a beer that becomes a chore to get through if served too much).

Excellent beer, aroma and flavor are super inviting. Goes well with pork, would compliment a loaf of limpa perfectly. Best enjoyed with a couple of friends, especially if they've just returned from a long stay in a foreign country.

Photo of BigJim5021
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of akorsak
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009, the freshest of my lot and the last stop (Belgo doesn't count).

A: The barleywine harvesty red-orange color, bright especially when light shines through. Still translucent, the barleywine doesn't have the murky suspiciousness.

S: The nose is rich, malty and thick. The caramel and toffee malts go to the extreme, syrupy in consistency. Lots of hops here, though, balancing and then some with an oily citrusy grapefruit finish.

T: Thick and oily, the fullness of the malts wants to clog up my throat; the only thing saving my life is the oiliness of the hops. Hell, the beer is like cheating death. The hops are still hot, burning in each sip. Sweet caramel follows immediately after the hops, filling the void when the bite drops off. Bold richness permeates.

M: The mouthfeel, in all its syrupy glory, is wickedly thick. I think I like this one, the freshest, best of all.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.
Pours a ruby brown in color. No head forms on the pour, but there is a bit of froth that appears. Smell is huge malts, some alcohol and just a hint of hops.
The flavor is big. The hops are more toned down in this years offering than in last years. Last years was too hoppy for me. This one is much more drinkable early on. Huge malts, and just a hint of alcohol. There are some hops in this beer, but they are very balanced and complimentary. I prefer this beer a lot more to last years bottling. Might have to pick up some of these bottles to put down for awhile.

Photo of womencantsail
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark, rich brown color with burnt orange tint. Small head but great lacing.

S: You definitely notice the booze on this one, but very sweet (caramel), and lots of hops (especially when fresh).

T: Quite hoppy for a barleywine, but still tons of malty sweetness. A rum-like taste is present as well.

M: Huge body on this one, kind of syrupy.

D: It's a delicious beer, but one that you can't enjoy too many of in a sitting.

Photo of merryjoulton
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a fantastic deep gold that tiptoes the edge of being red... maybe an orange-red? this beer is exceptional looking. a beautiful 1/4 inch tan head showed no signs of dissipating until the last sip.

S: sticky, piny, lemony hops. a big malt aroma present, along with booze.

T: I can find two components to this: bitter and booze. I'm looking for malt, but its not there. a hop forward taste, seemingly attempting to mask the 11.3%... a tall task.

M: slightly creamy with a pleasant and lingering aftertaste at the back of the tongue.

D: surprisingly high for a brew this enormous! even though I mentioned that the alcohol is evident, it in no way makes it a harsh drinker.

Photo of maskednegator
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper. Off-white head deflates in a minute or so, leaving a thick lace on the glass.
Smell: Alcohol, brown sugar. Toasted malts, pine needles.
Taste: Caramel, brandy, little bit of sweet apples. Big, spicy hop finish.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, medium carbonation.
Drinkability: A lot of alcohol presence. My buddy's Belgian-drinking girlfriend got mad at me after trying it. I think it's ready to go out of the bottle, but holding onto one for a few years will make this one absolutely tremendous.
Verdict: Solid, likely to be totally transcendent in a few years. Peep the abv, and clear your schedule for the evening. This is like drinking a 40.

Photo of Wildman
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear red amber color and formed a small foamy light tan head that left latticed lace as it quickly subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, pine, grapefruit and caramel. The flavor was of malt, hops, caramel and citrus. The body is medium light and slightly creamy and the finish bittersweet.

Photo of MunchkinDrinker
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing after the fact from notes.

A - Hazy amber red with a thick rocky slightly orange-tan head. Plenty of lacing.

S - Like any good stone brew, plenty of malt and hops. Citrusy, grapefruit and lemony, but large sweet malt backbone. A real pleasant punch to the nose.

T/M - Ahh, now this is a barleywine. Good solid malt, slightly chalky quad-like feel. Sweet, but balanced by heavy citrusy hops.

D - Very tasty, but high alcohol. MIGHT have 2 on a night.

I will definately be picking up another one of these to review more thoroughly.

Photo of GJ40
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Tyler's in Apex, NC.

A - Amber with a reddish tinge and good clarity. A small beige head that dissipates quickly.

S - Rich malt and floral hops. Very nice.

T - A firm burst of malt and alcohol followed by a nice hop aroma and flavor. The flavors are all so distinct but work together nicely. A lingering hop bitterness and warming alcohol effect.

M - Thick with an almost oily consistency. Low carbonation.

D - A very big, strong beer that still has plenty of subtlety. I'm not a big barley wine drinker but this one definitely left me ready for more.

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, room temperature.

Pours a medium amber with a nice ample head that laces and sticks quite well.

Aroma is of estery alcohol with an intense bitter, earthy hop aroma. Sweet caramel and light vanilla notes are present. The aromas of alcohol and resinous hops make the aroma overall, quite estery and slightly phenolic.

Flavor opens with a perfect melding of sweet and caramel malts with a wonderful bitter hop presence. Hops become more fierce and assertive in the middle completely washing away the sticky sweetness of the malt. Finishes quite dry, with a nice bittering aftertaste to the tongue and throat.

Mouthfeel is lush and sticky. Carbonation is good, attenuation working in the hops favor to cut the sweetness.

A big Barley wine that melds the hop and strong malt characters well. Alcohol is well hidden and only detectable on the exhale. The balance is better than I have had in other Barley wines that are over hopped in my opinion.

Well done Stone!

Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$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.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of MiamiRedSkins13
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of needMIbeerinMD
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Dirt
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, citrus a good amount of hops and a touch of alcohol.

T: The taste starts out with a strong burst of hops bitterness that is followed by a significant alcohol bite. Then there's some citrus and caramel sweetness that comes in. The malt character is hearty and provides some balance, which improves as the beer warms. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, very good representation of style, even though it doesn't seem as good as previous releases this is still a good beer to sip on for a long time.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.