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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

246 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 246
Hads: 331
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 6
Gots: 46 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: scottoale on 02-06-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 246 | Hads: 331
Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled in August 2011

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a small, head of bubbly, off-white foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very malty and sweet. Lots of caramel and toffee with some floral notes.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel and toffee. Nice spicy bitterness with a slight citrus kick.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A dry finishing beer that is medium to full bodied.

O - This is a very good barleywine, but I still enjoy the '08 better. I think aging these is a very good thing.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
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!

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Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark copper-amber body with a two finger white head. The foam settles quickly and leaves decent lace.

S - Perfumey hop aroma with some tobacco, raisins, and slight grapefruit. Lots of malt with dark caramel and bread notes and a hint of mustard seed.

T - Rich and bready malt character with toasted notes and some spicy hops. Dark caramel and raisin flavors in the middle. The finish is bitter with notes of tobacco and a slight astringent charred flavor.

M - A thick, slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A nice, robust barleywine. Well balanced with a distinct spiciness and a great, mustard quality that reminds me of Brooklyn Monster.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
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!

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Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer sereved side by side with a 2004, wine and bourbon barrel aged versions. This was a close second behind the 2004.

Beer is reddish and clear with a tight head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low.

Beer smells malty but unlike the 2004, this one is pretty hoppy too. Nice.

Beer is strong and big. Mildly hot but its hoppy bitter with good hop character that matches the malt sweetness in the front mouth quite well. Its a very drinkable and nice beer. Stone makes good barleywines, that's for sure.

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of billab914
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

04/06/09- Purchased at Mollie Stones in Burlingame, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle poured into my Old Guardian glass.

Appearance- Brandy-like colored pour. Slight 1/4 inch head upon pour. Fades quickly and leaves behind some various spots and very light lines of lace.

Smell- Strong bitter grapefruit pith nose with a caramel malted sugary nose. A slight detection of alcohol as well.

Taste- Hops are bitter and extreme as always. However, there is a really nice toasty and roasty sweet caramel malt flavor as the background. A bit earthy and leathery as well. Alcohol is hidden well.

Mouthfeel- Slight hop burn in the finish. Pretty damn smooth with a mid to lower carbonation level. Lasting hoppy bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Seems as if they are getting more and more drinkable right off the bat. I think it will age very nicely, but it is drinkable now.

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Photo of Billolick
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to pokesbeerdude for this one.

Poured into a tulip a slightly hazy golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, hoppy, with some honey notes, caramel. The taste is hoppy, with some malts, sweet, slight spice. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, maybe more hoppy that past years, recommended.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage... 22 from the Coop .. great 2 finger head.. nice cap and alot of leopard spot lacing.. the brew is crystal clear orange/lite amber...

alot of pithy grapefruit in the nose.. lite pine with some warm caramel notes.. the hops are more than citric as it warms... sorta tropical fruits.. with a good slam of pale malts..

Flavor is great american BW .. triple C hops are abundant from front to back.. as it warms the bitterness is a great push with the pale malt.. a little bit of vanilla sugar cookie.. caramel essence ... The body is great and the carbonation pushes lite/medium with a less than plush mouthfeel..

I am not too sure what to make about this years Guardian... much better than last years.. This American barleywine is very very American.. I would have preferred a bit more maltiness .. right now the hops are first fiddle.. and I am wishing for some complexity other than hops...

It is still a pretty remarkable BW....


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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -14%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
4.25/5  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.

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Photo of DrJay
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on 6/10/2011 in a Stone Old Guardian glass.
This beer certainly isn't fresh, but it's held up wonderfully.
The top part of my bomber poured a bit hazy, but had a nice orange hue and a darker reddish cast through the middle of the glass. A modest cap of fine, whitish bubbles lingered for quite a while and formed a bit of transient, spotty lacing. Tons of caramel and toasted malts in the aroma, some cereal grains as well. The hops have mellowed, but there are still notes of earthy, citrusy hops mingling with the alcohol. Bitterness was still powerful, softer up front while the caramel was present, but sharper in the finish. Cereal husks and toasted malts, mild citrusy and fruity flavours, plus alcohol flavour and warmth in the finish rounded things out. Really nice texture at this point in its maturation. Full bodied with lowish carbonation, just enough to keep it lively, that was integrated nicely with the malty mouthfeel. I'm glad I have more in the cellar and look forward to how they'll continue to change.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great looking Stone, oozes out the bottle, its a thick syrupy one. Minimal head, big alcohol notes come out the nose, surprisingly little hops.

Taste wise again, was expecting something comparable to Bigfoot or the signature Stone hopping, but this one is immensely sweet. Still a big beer. Mouthfeel remained consistent, yet unadventurous yielding no nuances. Decent price for a Stone bomber of something so big, but many better Stone options for my $.

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Photo of dgilks
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.09/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into a Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a ligth cloudy brown tea color with a medium tan head that rises about 1 finger but falls quickly. The lacing is pretty good.

The aroma starts off with mostly bourbon, banana, and a little wood. Its sweet, balanced and complex, pretty nice.

The taste is way to strong and not good. Its all woody alcohol with any sweetness to balance its out. Its grain alcohol in a wood barrel.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Poured an opaque amber color with a tight off-white head - good lacing on the glass and excellent head retention. Aromas were sweet brown sugary malt, caramel, toffee, some hops and rather boozy. Tastes were very similar to aromas with a pleasantly sweet maltiness up front followed by the familiar finish of bitter Stone hops - all their beers have a very distinctive hop character. Good representation of the style with a nice west coast hop flare.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 246 ratings.