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

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

320 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 320
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.76%


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: 320 | Reviews: 247 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dannydetox
dannydetox

California

4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

had the pleasure of tasting this vintage keg at the stone outpost in pasadena. poured into a short stem glass, the ale has a hazy amber tone, with a thin, off white head. smell was less intense than i would have expected; there is a subtle smoked quality accompanying the malt-driven nose, perhaps some toffee as well. taste is excellent; loads of rich caramel and dried fruit flavors lead into a bitter, yet balanced finish. alcohol is present, but not overpowering. this four year old beast held up nicely.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2013 22:15:52 | More by dannydetox
Photo of Snow81
Snow81

Minnesota

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
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 stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Al's of Hampden served in a nonic. Appears a hazed golden copper color with a finger of creamy yellowish stained head that retains quite well for 11%. Faint patches of lace cling to the glassware with each sip. A light swirl revives the cap to a finger's strength and large bubbles of carbonation continually rise through the body.

The aroma of this brew is sweet with a scent of caramelized sugary malt. Fruity indications with hops that are light rind-like somewhat reminiscent of orange skin. A bit of fusel alcohol tingles the nose and finishes out the aroma.

The taste if this offering has a pleasant contrast of sweet caramel malt verse modestly bitter rindy hops and bold alcohol. For coming up on 2 years old or so this brew can certainly hold out much longer. Hops last inside the mouth long after each sip with a mixture of herbal aspect and rind. As this brew warms it picks up some toasted toffee like flavors that are a pleasant mix to the solid abv and hop character.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Very bold and quite a solid strength sipper. A well rounded brew that could be cellared for a few more years and enjoyed. The hop oils seemingly stick and cling inside the mouth. with each sip.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2011 17:09:04 | More by stakem
Photo of ToasterChef
ToasterChef

Maine

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. A year old Keg was tapped as part of Novare Res' strong beer week. I consumed it on 3.20.10. The beer is opaque, with an orange/red coloration. It has a foamy, tan colored head and visible carbonation rising within the glass. It has good, even lacing. it smells of spent grain and citrus hops. I can make out some alcohol as well. There are dry, bitter hops up front in the taste. The hops also linger in the aftertaste. Up until swallowing, I can pick up some alcohol and some sticky sweetness. It has a heavy body and stick mouth coating. It really feels like a 11% ABV beer. There isn't much alcohol burn though. It's pretty drinkable considering the strength. There is a strong hop presence, but that is the only limiting factor that I could detect.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2010 14:42:56 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2010 15:11:37 | More by charlzm
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I guess this beer is about a year old, which is just how I like my barleywines. Sampled on-tap.

Old Guardian has a body that mixes colors of ruby, orange and brown. A small, off-white head doesn't have a ton of retention and doesn't really leave behind a lot of lacing.

The aroma has some bitter grapefruit notes from the hops, still alive after a year. Some candied dates, toffee, caramel.

Stone Old Guardian is pretty good. A good bite of hops comes through in the beginning, bringing the flavor of grapefruit and some bitterness. A sweet, fruity character is barely noticeable, but reminds me of figs or dates. After that the strongest flavor of the beer comes in the form of caramel and toffee malts that are big and juicy. A touch of tobacco in the background.

The mouthfeel is full with adequate carbonation; it coats the mouth a little bit.

Overall this thing drinks ridiculously well for the ABV. After a year it is tasty, and I'm guessing next year it will be even better.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2010 02:20:17 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright amber with a nice white head. The aroma is of sweet amber and caramel malt with pin and citrus hops. A slight whiff of alcohol as well. The taste is overwhelmingly hoppy and slightly sweet. Not what I would call balanced, but the malt definitely makes a contribution here. Medium bodied and dangerously drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2010 21:20:35 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of AChamberlain
AChamberlain

Texas

3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2009 01:42:22 | More by AChamberlain
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2009 22:42:16 | More by atsprings
Photo of atpben
atpben

Texas

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2009 23:35:04 | More by atpben
Photo of lhaqq
lhaqq

California

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber body with a creamy head that retains at about 2mm.
S: Good dose of malts--really grainy and earthy.
T: Similar to the smell. The malts almost remind me of fiber or oats. Spicy alcohol at the end.
M: Somewhat smooth throughout with the alcohol kick at the end.
D: One of the better barleywines I've had in awhile.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2009 21:48:36 | More by lhaqq
Photo of GJ40
GJ40

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2009 14:52:17 | More by GJ40
Photo of boilermakerbrew
boilermakerbrew

Missouri

4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very hazy, medium brown with orange hints in the body. Small, yet very strong and lasting, off-white colored head. Lacing is awesome, especially considering the age of this beer.

S- Strong and bitter, but not so much in the hops bitterness genre on the nose. Starts with strong brown sugar and molasses sweetness that quickly mixes in with a strong, malty bitterness. Tons of caramel malt scents provide the base and strong alcohol presence is also a primary flavor in the smell.

T- Starts off with a big display of the caramel malts and just a touch of the brown sugar sweetness. A small amount of hops bitterness joins forces with the stronger malt and alcohol bitterness to really pack a punch in the middle of the drink. Sweetness mixes back in to mellow out some of the bitterness before the drink ends.

M- This beer is on the thicker and smoother end with lower carbonation. The alcohol and moderately strong bitterness cuts down on the drinkability, but the alcohol is fairly well hidden.

Overall, I'm really impressed with how well this has held up for 4+ years. I think these Old Guardians are really underrated, but they do take a little development in the bottle to take on a certain level of complexity.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 01:46:21 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 04:12:40 | More by superspak
Photo of AmitC
AmitC

Indiana

4.59/5  rDev +12.2%
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 draheim
draheim

Washington

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Pours a clear honey amber w/ a 1-finger head, a few bubbles rising from the bottom.

Aroma is clean sweet rich caramel malt, toffee, vanilla, fermented dates, dried apricots, brown sugar. Sweet, savory, complex. Gets more nutty and fruity as it warms.

Taste is sharply bitter and sticky sweet. Caramel, toffee, mushy semi-dried fruit. Booze well hidden.

Mouthfeel is sticky, chewy, lingering.

Overall a solid, well-crafted barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 04:04:42 | More by draheim
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle. It poured a murky orange color with a thin white head barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma shows a lot of malty flavors to it with some caramel and toffee notes coming through. It's still got a good amount of residual hoppiness left to it as well with some resiny, citrusy, grapefruit like flavors.

The taste shows more of the resiny, bitter, grapefruit flavors to it. The malty sweetness mixes well with it and helps balance it out some. The finish shows a dry, bitter hoppiness to it that lingers.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall it's a pretty good beer but the bitter, resiny hoppiness is a little overpowering for my tastes in the style. A little more rich, malty, caramel flavors would have gone a long way for me. Still a very enjoyable beer I find myself buying annually.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2012 01:27:24 | More by billab914
Photo of benetoh
benetoh

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
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 dgilks
dgilks

Australia

4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange colour with a smooth, creamy, off-white head. Good head retention.

Big, sweet malt and toffee. Plenty of fruit as well with a mild hop presence.

Big sweet malt again but with a hefty dose of bitterness. The hop character still manages to shine. Lots of fruit. Complex but easy to comprehend.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Good.
A seriously tasty beer. Lots of malt and big bitterness combine with enough fruit to keep it interesting.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2012 09:32:24 | More by dgilks
Photo of JDizzle
JDizzle

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +10%
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 divineaudio
divineaudio

Michigan

3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 02:56:16 | More by divineaudio
Photo of BeerOnTheWall
BeerOnTheWall

California

3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours crystal clear deep copper/orange with very little off-white head that thins out instantly...small co2 bubbles rising slowly in the glass. Seems pretty standard for the style.

Smell is grainy, nectarine and dried apricot frutiness, caramel, leather, damp earth. Very little alcohol noticeable. Slight oxidation (expected with the age of this bottle). Overall the nose on this is great!

Slightly fruity, caramel sweetness, subtle amounts of cedar and tobacco. Finish is a lingering, sharp, piny hop bitterness that dominates. Alcohol is present but does not warm too much. Some nice components here but the bitterness is overpowering.

The mouthfeel is heavy and viscous. Avg. carbonation leaves this feeling a little too syrupy.

I think a little less bitterness may have allowed the flavor complexity to come through better and the body was a little too heavy for me. However, I do think the age did this bottle some good and generally enjoyed the beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 01:09:33 | More by BeerOnTheWall
Photo of ONUMello
ONUMello

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Released as part of the 2011 Cleveland Beer Week.
A: Orangish red color, thin head that quickly dissipates.
S: All sorts of fruit: stone fruit, citrus, dried fruit; caramel & toffee rounds it out.
T: Caramel, toffee, orange peel. Straightforward but intense.
M: A bit thick and the alcohol does come through, but typical of the style.
O: Another solid offering from Stone. Drink this one slowly.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 01:50:26 | More by ONUMello
Photo of kbuzz
kbuzz

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 04:33:55 | More by kbuzz
Photo of eslemarc
eslemarc

Ohio

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber in a medium sized tulip.

Medium amber color, looks very thick, cloudy, and hazier I would have imagined. Nice cloudy cream colored head just a couple millimeters tall, stays pretty strong too. Very full thick lacing begins as the head falls. Half way down the glass the lace is still staying fairly strong.

Smells very fragrant, notes of honey, lemon, mild hints of some sweetness behind the wonderfully floral-esque hop character. Also possibly some darker fruits like cherries.

The taste starts off fairly sweet and fruity with an early onset of hop bitterness, washes over the palate with smooth texture and finishes long and bitter, very quickly warming without over powering.

With age I'd imagine this beer will become amazing as the hop bitterness subsides slightly and allows the fruit complexity to shine through. I have another bottle in the cellar that I will revisit down the road. Wonderful barley wine style ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 21:32:13 | More by eslemarc
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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 320 ratings.