Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
3.2/5 rDev -22%
My least favorite year of Old Guardian. Frankly, an offputting brew in many respects.
Poured a familiar amber with white foam. Smelled like medicinal herbs and pine. None of the rich caramel aroma I recall from years past.
Taste was more muted as well. Where's the rich toffee/brown sugar/roasted caramel? Where's the pine/grapefruit hop undercurrent? This was primarily somewhat weak sweet malt and a bit of resiny pine/herbal hop content.
Just very disappointing. Mouthfeel felt thinner than years past, too.
02-11-2009 11:18:38 | More by Overlord
3.23/5 rDev -21.2%
Chilled bottle into a glass. (2009)
A: Pours a lightly hazy (chill, I'd guess) amber body with ruby and orange inflection to it. Quite inviting. Unlike the 2010, the head dies pretty quickly and leaves only a few trails of bubbles on top of the brew.
S: Hops are fading a bit compared to the fresh 2010 version, as one would expect. The pine is still prominent, even weed-like; it blends well with caramel, toffee, and crystal malt. Some butterscotch too.
T: I'm a little less enthused about this aged version than I was about the 2010. It's very toasty, lots of butterscotch and caramel. These are very dominant, almost making me miss chocolate (which I did not find in the fresh one). The pine hop character is still there, with an undercurrent of citrus flavors. This lacks the hoppy aggressiveness of the fresh version, and it fails to have developed a nice complexity to compensate for the faded hops. On top of that, it's a bit boozy (solventy, not just warm).
M: Chewy; finish is a little harsh and boozy. Low-medium carbonation.
D: In my opinion, one year isn't the sweet spot for this beer. It's still better than average, and I had no trouble putting down a bomber of it, but in the future I'd drink these fresh.
04-03-2010 06:43:29 | More by Arbitrator
3.25/5 rDev -20.7%
Nice looking copper/orange pour with a finger of head that leaves some sticky lacing.
This one is a hoppy monster upon first contact with my nose. Nice, sweet caramel malt underneath.
The hops seem to be quite a bit faded in the taste and there is a mustiness there that isn't really very pleasant. Biscuity malts without a whole lot of a sweetness.
Mouthfeel is medium and sticky. Perhaps this one just needs some time under it, but right now I'm not a huge fan.
10-04-2009 18:37:56 | More by alcstradamus
3.25/5 rDev -20.7%
Pours a clear copper color with one and a half fingers of sticky white head.
Scent of caramel, some hops, a bit of alcohol, and more caramel.
Taste of caramel, sugars, hops and some alcohol. Too much caramel, an unimpressive Barleywine.
Mouthfeel is smooth with good carbonation.
06-26-2009 23:39:04 | More by paco1029384756
3.28/5 rDev -20%
Poured from a bomber into a North Coast snifter. As a note of caution, I don't care for hoppy barley wines, I prefer the taste of sweet malts so my subjective review may be troubling to you hopheads.
This Barley Wine poured a surprisingly light straw color with a high level of translucence. Added to this light color was a nice crown of foam, two to three fingers of aggressively poured head that quickly fled the scene. Moderate lacing as the beverage was drank down.
The nose of this brew didn't scream hops though there were some piney fresh blasts. There is a good deal of sweet notes that show up, some burnt sugars and... maybe... butterscotch?
I'm a little bummed by the mouthfeel. I want a thick chewy barley wine but this guy doesn't deliver. A thin body and an overly aggressive carb bite makes me an unhappy boy. Especially considering the high ABV on the sucker.
The taste, for me, is wayyy hoppy. Like tree sap hoppy, almost utterly overwhelming. I let the beer warm for a time and finally some of the malt character comes out, a bit biscuity and just not prevalent for my taste. I want the sweetness, but I'm not going to get it, the muscular pine tree flavor just obliterates sugar that I crave. I'm definitely going to buy another one of these and age it for a year to see if the hop profile mellows a bit.
The drinkability is a tough sell for me. High hop oils, high ABV, and low chewiness make this a forgettable brew.
11-12-2009 03:09:37 | More by cptierney
3.3/5 rDev -19.5%
22oz bomber poured into an oversized wine glass (the remaining 6 or so ounces will be enjoyed later).
A - toasted brown/ruby/copper color. it's hard to describe. a white 2cm head formed, but disappeared pretty quickly into nothing.
S - grapefruit, pineapple, citrus hops, caramel malt, fruit. a slightly vinous quality to it. it's not that strong though.
T - caramel malt, more fruitiness and the citrusy hops present in the nose. the hops are pretty weak for a fresh brew and it seems to be pretty balanced compared to other American Barleywines I know of that are hop-heavy.
M - nice, thick and undercarbonated. how i like my barleywines.
D - i didn't find this beer particularly spectacular. i have another bottle that i'm hoping will be better next year.
02-18-2009 08:03:15 | More by bowersdm
3.3/5 rDev -19.5%
Live Review. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my DFH pint glass. $6.99 at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills, Ohio.
A Great looking 3 inch head over a translucent orange brown slightly cloudy body that glows in front of direct light. Lacing is evident even now before I sip this beer. I like the look a lot and I think that it is true to the style.
S Hops predominate (not surprised as most Stone beers feature hops) but there is a nice sweet malt underbelly to this beer that is interesting.
T Hops and barley are in the front. The hops linger longer than I would like but I think that it is true to the style, one that I really do not like due to the predominance of the hops.
M Appropriately acidic like any hops centered beer would be.
D Not that good. I will likely finish the bomber but will not likely buy this again nor would I buy a second pint (if I had bought a pint).
Notes: I suspect that Barleywine lovers would prefer Big Foot. This pales in comparison to my favorite Barleywine, from Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland (had it on tap as a pub exclusive...it was drinkable and interesting).
05-25-2009 04:02:11 | More by adamette
3.4/5 rDev -17.1%
Thin tan head, deep copper color with some sediment.
Raisiny nose with deep complex maltiness.
Warm in the mouth with a hoppy raisin flavor, sugar sweetness and late bitterness. A little sticky in the mouth as well, a bit over bitter and dull. Softly carbonated.
However, still a drinkable beer.
11-24-2010 20:21:05 | More by Naugled
British Columbia (Canada)
3.45/5 rDev -15.9%
Not a bad barley wine from Stone. Orange-copper, very light and clear with a very thin off-white head.
Sweet, slightly vinous scent. Malts, brown sugar, raisins and hints of blackberry.
Somewhat bitter taste - hops, berries and raisin and wine hints. Suggestions of brown sugar, caramel, bread and even bananas. Rich flavour, but sometimes the complexity is lost.
Good carbonation though at times it seems a little too heavy on the fizz. Very enjoyable, but a dessert beer at 11.3%
05-13-2010 04:42:57 | More by BDTyre
3.45/5 rDev -15.9%
Wowo. Strong beer. Strong flavors. Poured into a Duvel glass, the beer is beautiful. Deep dark honey color with a very creamy head of complimentary color, about 1 and a half fingers deep with a high pour. Very well retained, throughout. Smells verrry malty with your trademark Stone hops and a strong alcohol smell. Some fruits involved. The taste matches all of this which is good, you taste what you smell. But it's bad, sometimes that alcohol taste is just too much. Nice barleywine with a viscouse body with enough carbonation to make it not feel like your drinking malt syrup. I can drink about as many of these as I can any other barleywine. Enough to get happy. ;-)
10-07-2010 03:34:55 | More by wcintula
District of Columbia
3.45/5 rDev -15.9%
A decent US barley wine that starts on a stimulating note and ends confusing hoppiness with bitterness and losing its character.
Presentation: 22 Oz bottle. Iconic Stone demon gargoyle holding a glass of beer in their classic design. Long and typical over the top Stone narrative on the back, somewhat tongue in cheek rambling about its illegibility and a variety of recent topics, some distantly related to the brew. Below a one liner gives a generic description of ingredients. Notes bottling date as "Limited Early 2009 Release". Lacks any other info other than Alc. by Vol (11.3%) and cellaring indications. Poured into a snifter.
A - Pale amber color with a head inch that fades relatively quickly leaving some lacing on its way down.
S - An assertive hoppy range emerges from a sweet malt base. Not too complex or memorable, citrusy whiffs within the grain nose.
T - Consistent with the smell, while the hops are aggressive as they typically are in US version they leave room for a sweet malt counterbalance. There is a distinct Stone taste to it but all things considered it offers a short range or complexities in particular in the caramel, malt, spectrum with heavy hops that are a bit monotonous and are always trying to take a front seat.
M - It's a medium to high body in part due to a generous carbonation for the style.
D - It's average, tending to be a bit dull as one progresses and hopes that it will pick up its richness a bit, but then it really doesn't.
Notes: Not a great barleywine in this incarnation but not an awful one either. Not sure if I had tried it before a few years back, I may give it a try in future year batches and see if it was a matter of a mediocre year. But for now and form me, surrounded with such great variety this is a pass.
01-13-2010 20:53:04 | More by Daniellobo
3.48/5 rDev -15.1%
bomber split with my gf. snifter.
a - pours a murky copper color with a thin cap of pale yellow head. after calming i get a thin ring and lots of webby lacing.
s - maraschino cherry, brandy, candi sugar, prunes, astringent alcohol.
t - tart fruitiness up front with dank bitterness in back. notes of candi sugar, brandy, dark fruits. herbal hop character, faint alcohol taste in the finish.
m - full bodied with adequate carbonation. medium co2 profile.
o - a solid beer overall, but i've had other vintages (and other examples of the style) that i've enjoyed more. might try this one again though.
01-17-2012 02:56:16 | More by divineaudio
3.5/5 rDev -14.6%
A- Almost solid orange/amber color. Thin layer of off-white head. Head eventually fades to nothing. No lacing etc.
S- Sweet yeast. Green apple florals. Some citrus. The 11.3% is not even noticeable.
T- Boozy sting from the alcohol overall. Along with the smell.. strong malty yeasty taste up front. The boozyness presence just kills the flavor and experience though. Strong bitterness finish.
M/D- Medium bodied. Slightly sticky. Palate is left boozed with the 11.3%. Not the easiest drinker however a good sipper.
04-11-2009 03:26:56 | More by Yesac
3.5/5 rDev -14.6%
Fresh 2009 bottle poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: A slow-forming, foamy, 2-finger, peachy-khaki-colored head sits atop a gritty, copper-colored body. Great retention and tremendous lacing given the ABV. Very inviting.
Smell: Resinous hops, doughy malts, pine, and some alcohol. Surprisingly faint, though it does seem to pick up strength as it warms. Smells sweeter and stickier toward the end of the session.
Taste: Doughy malts, caramel, loads of oily hops, and maybe some berries. Earth, pine, and spicy notes are also detected. Finishes full and dry. This is one MASSIVE beer!
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, creamy, warm, and a little sticky. Carbonation is medium in strength and suits the beer well.
Drinkability: This one needs a little time to mature. I'll lay the next bottle down for a couple years before tasting. It's good fresh, but definitely beasty.
02-17-2009 18:57:11 | More by ThreeWiseMen
3.5/5 rDev -14.6%
Picked up a bomer from Oak Knoll Liquor in SM.
Poured a nice burnt orange color with a foamy dirty white head. Nose was hops, hops and oh..hops with some grapefruit, orange peel. Taste is ok. Mine had an oxidized taste to it. While still good not as good as previos years.
02-09-2009 02:59:06 | More by barleywinefiend
3.53/5 rDev -13.9%
Poured from 22oz bottle. Thanks to SuperNova777 for opening this bottle.
A- Poured a semi-hazy amberish brown color. A half figner of tan head shows up and actually dies down rather quickly. Nice streaky lace on the sides of the glass.
S- Caramel malts in the front of the aroma with hints of brown sugar. Orange skins come in hints from the hops. Darker fruits with a high alcohol tingle the nose in the ending. A simple barleywine aroma to me with hints of alcohol.
T- Caramel malts with darker fruits in the front (raisins mostly). Some light alcohol heat in the front which comes back mostly heavy and very hot in the ending. There is some piney hops that still stand out toward the middle to ending that for 2 years shouldn't be there (I feel like it at least). Caramel malts shine in the middle and stay through till the end.
M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Caramel malts, darker fruits, and higher alcohol left on the palate. Aftertaste is light pine hop, darker fruits, caramel malt lingering, and high medicinal alcohol. Flavors were highly balanced for the style which seems to be a Stone trademark. No off flavors but the alcohol seemed to be a little on the high end at times. High alcohol drying on the palate.
D- This could have laid down in the cellar a little longer I think. A overall above average barleywine that could be tweaked a little. Maybe a little less on the alcohol flavor and a little more indepth fruit flavors could give this one a little more justice.
03-11-2011 18:28:38 | More by alleykatking
3.55/5 rDev -13.4%
From a 22 oz. bottle, an interesting beer to try a year out,
A: Pours a hazy amber, light white head, some lace.
S: Still has a good hop character, malt is light, good toffee notes, but not particularly aromatic.
T: Good slightly aged malt character, grapefruit and light pine and other citrus. Good tasting beer, but I was expecting a little more at this point.
M: Smooth feel, easy drinking for its style, light ethanol character.
D: After having a great '06 at 4 years out, I was surprised the '09 wasn't showing me really anything that's going to make it stand out in a few years. Solid, but I think it's reached its peak already.
03-21-2010 02:23:57 | More by Halcyondays
3.55/5 rDev -13.4%
Pours slightly hazed off-amber color with off-white head. Nose is rich with peach pit, overripe grapefruit, and caramel. Palate offers more caramel and toffee, with soft "chalky" hop bitterness towards the end. Slow drinking, and perhaps could benefit enormously with more age.
05-03-2009 02:23:52 | More by yemenmocha
3.58/5 rDev -12.7%
I poured this one from a 22oz brown bomber into a stemmed globe glass.
A= This ale poured a hazed reddish orange color with a 1/4" white head that disappeared super fast. A few streaks of lace down my glass.
S= All of the expected Stone hop character in the aroma (big citrus and pine). Also some light caramel and a boozy alcohol note.
T= About what I would expect from the smell. Light caramel sweetness up front, followed by a fruity, estery, almost syrupy sweet middle. The hops were big and bitter and easily overpowered the sweetness. Probably a bit more piney than I like, but still within reason. Alcohol was all over this beer adding spicy and at times sweet notes. There was unfortunately a fair bit of oxidation in this beer. Finished dry and boozy.
MF= Medium bodied with a feel that leaned toward slick. Carbonation was on the lighter side of medium.
D= A good but not great barleywine. Stone needs to rework this a bit and get that oxidation out of the beer.
02-04-2010 06:10:53 | More by spointon
3.58/5 rDev -12.7%
22oz bomber poured into my snifter at around 50 degrees.
A dark amber, toward the darker end of the Barley Wine spectrum, light head with nice lacing.
A hop and alcohol assault on the nose. This beer will age beautifully, it's way too fresh. At this age it's more like a HUGE ipa.
Taste is strong barley and alcohol with a huge hoppy bite. Extemely strong flavors that will surely blend well over time, but are even enjoyable now.
Good overall mouth feel, very chewy beer.
Due to the premature trial of this brew I cannot score it's drinkability too high. Not to say it isn't great young, it's just a sipper.
02-23-2009 23:55:27 | More by grayburn
3.58/5 rDev -12.7%
The aroma is very hoppy with pine and citrus as well as butter and caramel malt. The appearance is deep amber with a large head. The flavor is like the aroma with a very bitter finish. The palate is thick and smooth. Overall a very well made beer that is just too bitter.
03-02-2009 11:52:02 | More by nick76
3.58/5 rDev -12.7%
An orange-amber in color with a short, off-white head that's not much more than a ring and a thin layer in my glass.
It has that trademark barleywine aroma of alcohol, hops and tons of malt.
The trademark aroma leads to the trademark taste. Lots of malt and big hop bitterness, but not in an over-the-top way. This is a more nuanced barleywine. Big warming notes at the end.
The body is super slick and creamy. Quite nice.
Overall this is a good barleywine. It's a little too strong for me to be packaged in a 22-ounce bottle: I'd prefer a 12-ounce version. But that's because I'm a serious lightweight. I just ate a huge meal and will drink this bottle over several hours. Here's hoping I don't get a hangover.
03-17-2009 01:48:45 | More by Shaw
3.6/5 rDev -12.2%
Surprised after 6+ years, I have yet to have an Old Guardian. Maybe it needs a few months or couple of years on it, but this one was just too hardsh for my palate. Nice aroma and right on with appearance for the style, just not as impressed as I thought I'd be. Oh well, Stone is still one of the tops.
01-23-2010 23:31:27 | More by Backer2004
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.