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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 wcintula
3.45/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. ;-)

wcintula, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of Daniellobo
3.45/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Daniellobo, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of divineaudio
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

divineaudio, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Yesac
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Yesac, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of slimntubbs
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

slimntubbs, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of MordorMongo
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

MordorMongo, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

ThreeWiseMen, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

barleywinefiend, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

alleykatking, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Halcyondays, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of yemenmocha
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

yemenmocha, May 03, 2009
Photo of spointon
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

spointon, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of grayburn
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

grayburn, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of nick76
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

nick76, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of Shaw
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Shaw, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of Backer2004
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Backer2004, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of fmccormi
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straight pour from 22oz pry-off bomber bottle to a Duvel apèro tulip; no bottling date evident, though I suppose it’s not overly necessary.

Appearance (4.5): Beautiful light tan, almost custard-colored head, starting at a full three fingers and fading to a one-finger cap; moderate lacing. Body is a deep, glowing reddish amber, and quite hazy.

Smell (3.5): Caramel and booze, with rich, sweet malts dominating here. Bit of a candy scent, like those little Valentine’s Day hearts.

Taste (3.5): Following the nose, starts off with caramel and moves toward a deeper, kind of roasty, husky malt feel, like the barley was only half de-husked before it was malted. If that’s a thing. Bit of a boozy dry red wine finish, with just a hint of grassy-herbal hops coming in at the very end. Think I’m getting the flavor of distinctly British Isles (Scottish?) yeast happening here, which I like! All in all it’s decently balanced. Could use more bombast, but I appreciate the low-key balance here. Smooth.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Thick but not syrupy, a little oily, very little carbonation left in spite of the head. That’s okay, it’s aged two and a half years, shouldn’t expect a ton of carb. Still, has an effervescent feel going down, so mark it up a notch.

Overall (3.5): This is nice. I think I want to try this beer fresh, though. Definite sipper, but that’s okay. I like sippers, especially as it cools down. This beer is good, but it’s not blowing me away. Not the rich beauty I was expecting from Stone. Definitely enjoying it, but I’ll opt for it fresh next time.

fmccormi, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of TheJollyHop
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber brown, a finger's worth of off white head, sticky, scattered lace.

Floral, toast, butterscotch, and bready sweetness prevalent in the aroma.

Sadly, the taste falls short with too aggressive of a burnt toast flavor. Some cocoa flavor in the taste is noticeable along with some grainy sweetness, but then a torrent of hop bitterness dominates and turns into an excessively harsh burnt, bitter after taste.

Medium bodied and medium carbonated; creamy and tongue coating.

While drinkabilty is fine, the flavor is not very palate enticing.

TheJollyHop, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of zoolzoo
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2009 Vintage, consumed 11/17/10

A: Rusty copper center, orange highlights. Incredibly hazy. Thick white head, excellent lacing and retention.

S: Zesty hops still present after over a year of age. Booze ans sugary malt also present.

T: Hops have somewhat faded compared to when fresh, although they are still quite apparent. Sharp, biting, bitter, piney still describe the initial sip. Assertive bitterness up front is actually detrimental to the overall taste of this beer.

Malt soon rolls through, grainy but also sweet. Sweetness is a big player here, in fact. I feel like my lips are sugar coated after each sip. The malt gets a little more expressive as the glass warms but we basically have a one trick pony here. Good American barley wine both fresh and with a year on it, but perhaps lacking some depth.

M: Mouthfeel is creamy, even more so as the glass warms.

D: Not bad, however the 11%+ ABV coupled with a high level of sweetness / bitterness may hold you back. Two of these bombers and you'd probably hit the floor anyway.

zoolzoo, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber, the last of my Stone bombers from my little trip to Indiana and Three Floyds.

A: Stained cherry wood, head settles into a decent sized cap and some lacing, very nice considering the amount of alcohol and the glass used.

S: Candied peaches, ripe mango, guava, melon type fruits if you understand me, I heavier, sweeter kind of fruit aroma, seperate from the crisper, more bitter orange, apricot, pineapple, etc. an almost cotton candy like sweetness still a piny hop scent lingers strongly. Loads and loads of bready caramel sweetness.

T/MF: A big boozy hammer, burns the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is at first smooth and slick then becomes constricting, almost abbrasive on the back of the tongue and throat. Hot, hot, hot alcohol over powers, peppery, pine is still here, very prevalent. Pine moves into earth, moves into medicinal bitterness. This is a whale of a beer and it just might get the best of me. Candied fruits prevail near the end but really borderlines on cough syrup .

D: This beer is rough, rough in feel and rough around the edges in taste. The aroma is something spectacular, really was enjoying that aspect of the beer, smelled like cake batter and pie filling mixed with hops coming out of the bottle. Time in the cellar would do this beer good I believe, but as it stands it could use some softening.

bluemoonswoon, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of countrocula
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cracked the bottle and decanted into a standard English pint glass. Settled down into a 3/4 inch creme caramel head that fell off in due time. Nothing overly remarkable aside from the inviting color. Body was a deep honey with a tinge of haze.

Immediately got a piney, grapefruit hoppiness. My second whiff hit me with Indian bitter melon pickle.

Taste comes around with pine up front with nice creaminess. Trails off with a hard grapefruit citrus. The alcohol makes its presence known quite well. I get a warming liquor effect from this sucker.

Hits steadily and not too abrasively with a medium body. Thickens up the syrup as I get through about 10 ounces. Once again, the booze opens up the gullet for a warm, open feel.

I like the hop component to this. Sexy complement to the ethanol. Gets thick but never cloying. A few sips are in order for the noninitiated. Downing more than one bottle could prove funny/disasterous. Nice job, Stone.

countrocula, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of charlzm
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed Feb 7th, 2010 at Stone World Bistro.

Cloudy orange-yellow fluid with copious off-white foamy head. Remarkable amount of lacing.

The nose is sweet, slightly woody and spicy. Hops are present as a sappy, resiny note.

Herbal flavor, approaching tea. Within spitting distance of medicinal, though not quite that far. Bready and caramel malt notes are welcome, though not as strong as I would have anticipated. Aspirin-like bitterness on finish. Flavors are still quite strong; I guess a year isn't enough time to round off any of the edges here.

Finish is somewhat dry and a little on the thin side; odd for an Old Guardian. Alcohol heat felt plainly.

I didn't particularly enjoy this one a year into its life; according to previous tasting notes, the bottle I had a year ago was actually more drinkable.

charlzm, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of JamesS
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice thick red-copper color with some very nice head and good lacing. Nice malty scent, although not very deep and with little beyond the malt. Great thick malt flavor, deep and hardy, with a nice hit of (slightly citrus and floral) hops at the end that stay on the tongue and balance it out. Fairly smooth, with just a hint of the alcohol that's in it, if a bit too thick to have much at a time.

JamesS, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of juhl31
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

-orange, auburn, caramel color with a thin white head. thick looking with some sedi up in there

-still has a pretty hoppy nose. solid caramel in there, with maybe some grapefruit and a little nose sting

-wow, still really hoppy. seems the hop flavor died a bit, but there is still a big hop bitterness in the middle that runs through the aftertaste. some definite grapefruit characteristics, while the caramel is in the background

-strong body, but not as thick as it appears. the lingering bitterness on the tongue is crazy

-this is one of the beers in which someone wonders the difference between an american barleywine and a DIPA. this is one hoppy bitch at 2 years old still. needs at least 2 more years for those malty flavors to come out

juhl31, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of atpben
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at the Houston Flying Saucer. Poured into a tulig glass. Appears amber in color with a thick dense head. Lots caramel and some citrus int he aroma. More caramel in the taste with lots of hop bitterness with lots of graperuit and light lemon taste. This beer feels like a maltier version of arrogant bastard, which is not a bad thing by the way. Good beer but not one of my favorite American style barley wines.

atpben, Apr 20, 2009
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 328 ratings.