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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
91
outstanding

326 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 326
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 6
Gots: 45 | 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: 326 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of draheim
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

draheim, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of Chico1985
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, so this is a little over a year old now. Opened with a nice little pop and smoke, very reminiscent of my first '08 Double Bastard a while back. Poured this into an oversized wine glass. Pours a very nice translucent red with a small but nice creamy off-white head, leaves nice lacing. Looks great in this glass. Sediment in the 2nd pour makes it a bit hazier. I'm trying hard to pick up scents but they seem quite faded, maybe because of the age. I pick up barleywine characteristics such as dark fruit, caramel and booze but they are slight. The taste, although very good, is quite muted as well. It seems at first that it's turned into a total malt bomb, but about halfway through the hops are just about even with the malts. Underneath a huge blanket of caramel malt lies some nice citrus tastes and sugary dark fruits, and a bit of chocolate and baked goods, which seems to come into play alot with Stone's strong ales, I always enjoy that part especially. Booze is very nicely hidden. It's hard to say whether age has done this beer good or not, I love the malty sweetness and hidden booze, but the flavors themselves aren't as "in your face" as I like in a barleywine. Mouthfeel is nice and very malty. The hops seem to come out of nowhere. As with pretty much any barleywine a bomber is quite sufficient. Paired nicely with some spicy Chinese food. Definitely encouraged me to pick up a fresh 2010 bottle, I may pick up another 2009 if I see one floating around.

Chico1985, May 01, 2010
Photo of cvstrickland
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The double-deuce bomber bottle adorned with the customary gargoyle is presented chilled and served in a snifter. The pouring unleashes a bright, richly copper-colored beer topped with a finger's thickness of creamy, semisolid ivory foam atop. The cap recedes very slowly and scatters a field of speckled lacing onto the sides of my glass.

The smell is loaded with citrusy, grassy hops and spicy, fruity alcohol. Brown sugary notes accent essences of leafy green grass, white grapefruit and orange zest, the dark sugars adding depth, warmth, and stickiness to the profile.

The taste is fruity and richly malty with a savory dark caramel backbone. Oily citrus rind bitterness accents the mellow dark toasted malt-sugariness, only to be rinsed clean by a splash of alcohol masquerading as dilute golden apple juice. A lingering earthy bitterness dawdles around in the aftertaste, wandering about upon an increasingly punch-drunk palate pummeled by Old Guardian's deadly one-two combination of flagrant West Coast-style hopping and blatant high gravity. The finish is grassier and drier as the drink progresses.

The drink is creamy and heavy-medium in body with perfect carbonation, but at 11.3% ABV, I'm not going to pretend that this excellent brew is anything but a sipper.

cvstrickland, Apr 16, 2009
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.

Vonerichs, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of hiphopj5
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

hiphopj5, Jun 19, 2012
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.

FtownThrowDown, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of froghop
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour is a cloudy brown-orange with a medium size beige head, and excellent lacing.

smell of sweet fruit (pear, apple) some roasted nuts, some caramel, spice, and grain in the back.

taste is thick, semi-tart, burnt caramel, roasted nuts, malt, some fruit, and a touch of citrus, ends a little dry and a little bitter, gets sweeter as it warms.

froghop, May 23, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

paco1029384756, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of Docer
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle at The Beer Mongers on 12th and Division in SE Portland the other day... and just now read that it was an early release.. and the bastard is 11.3% Alc. WOW...

- Light caramel hazy brew with luscious lacing and subtle white head... looks like a nice bitter cream ale of sorts...

- Nice roasty caramel malt presence... light, with some brown sugar, maple... zesty spicy bitter hop balance... really nice.

- Zesty and spicy nostral opening liquor barley madness. What a complex and wonderful barleywine.. and yet so strong, and just right! My head shook after I took a small chug from a mug, that like a missing lug, made thee wanna hug! Great spice, hop forward bitter balance, with a perfect malt/burn combination... Stone is fantastic.

- Little sticky and oily... the burn is almost synthetic...

- Hugely drinkable if you like strong ales... and like trying to pick out all the flavors Stone puts in their brews. Shocked.

Docer, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of Seanibus
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy orangy with a slow rising, lazy burst of carbonation and a modest head that falls quickly. Smell is deep, sweet malt, with rich floral hops. Flavor is sweet and bitter, like a zingy orange rind. Floral hops, sweet, tangy malt and an absorbing bitterness on the end. Mouthfeel is rich and viscous.

The only block to drinkability is its intense alcohol content, which will set you back fairly quickly, particularly given how smooth and well balanced it is.

Seanibus, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of bamadog
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of this at The Main Stree Gourmet in Oxford, OH -- kind of a lucky find so if you're ever in that area, be sure to stop by and check it out. What was even better was that it was a bottle of '09 and kept pretty well in this store. I had a bottle of '09 when it was fresh and it was too big for me to get through too much, so with a year of age on it, it had definitely mellowed out and the hops had mellowed a bit, but were still really potent so I'd love to get a hold of another bottle of the '09 and let it set. Review is from notes taken on 6/1/2010 and poured from the bottle to a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a rich and deep honey color and starts with a 1/2 finger white head that fades immediately to a thin and uneven spotty skim on the surface; body shows tremendous clarity and minimal carbonation -- just one thin strand of bubbles trickling up; only a couple of spots of lacing are left behind on the sides of the glass.

Smell: A lot of honey sweet malts and a faint whiff of grapefruit bitter hop presence; a faint presence of alcohol is detectable in the nose as well -- nose is ultimately quite potent and makes its presence known.

Taste: Tons of the honey sweet malts are up front, but as kind of expected in most anything from Stone, the hops are still very present and are grapefruit bitter -- these hops have not really faded much at all over the extra year in the bottle, but have managed to mellow just a bit and ultimately this has become much more drinkable; the aftertaste is initially like pure honey, but the sticky coating holds some of the bitter hop resins and end up rounding out the palate.

Mouthfeel: Body is a little thick and heavy, even starts a little slick and oily; carbonation is a little more potent than it looks, but really smooth; a thick dry coating is left all over the mouth and as mentioned above, it really holds the bitter aftertaste quite well.

Drinkability: It's big, but I'm digging on the flavors and balance for such a big beer from a real hop-forward brewery; the ABV is high and that decreases the score a bit, and I would love to get ahold of another bottle to give it another year and see where it's at. Perhaps a road trip is in order.

bamadog, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of roadhouse
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter after reading a really lame ass label that I regret wasting 5 minutes of my life on.

Appears a nearly clear red-orange color with a one inch off-white head. It falls to a cap and leaves no lacing.

Aroma is pretty much all hops. Lots of pine, grapefruity citrus, and a somewhat nutty tone. Something about it is almost metallic or medicinal that isn't good.

Taste is again mostly straight up hops. Is there a difference between Imperial IPA and American Barleywine besides a slightly darker color? Lots of pine and grapefruit hops once again. There's actually a small hint at some malt in there, a caramelly sweetness that appears for a split second at the beginning of the finish. Ultimately the hops end up dominating and leaving a bitter aftertaste in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, it has a good creamy consistency. Not exactly the easiest to drink.

Overall I found this to be pretty tasty, but I'm really starting to just get annoyed by American Barleywines. I will take an English style one any day over the American counterpart. At least those have some complexity other than insane hops. Not everything has to have the hops of an Imperial IPA.

roadhouse, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of mjtiernan
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

mjtiernan, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of Duhast500
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

The color is a deep amber/gold with a off white head with a nice amount of lacing.

The smell is a nice hop flavoring in the first few seconds. Is also surprisingly sweet, a small hint of cinnamon.

The taste has a strong hop flavor. Like all Stone beers the first taste has a punch to it. Somewhat bastard in taste there are also some dry flavor and is pretty malty. FULL of flavor.

The mouth feel is quite easy after getting over that first hump of the first sip. This also easy to drink. The next sip seems to lead into the next.

Duhast500, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22oz single from Arctic Liquors in Steamboat, CO. Around $6.

A: Dark copper/orange, with an off white head about half an inch or so, excellent lacing all the way around. Hazy. Dense bubbles, not a lot of carbonation moving around in the glass. Pretty nice looking beer.

S: Piney and citrus hops are really present with some huge caramel and doughy flavors too. Smells very sweet, but has some nice bitter hints as well. Almost honey like, smells pretty darn tasty. Faint hints of booze as it warms up.

T: Wow! Bitter hoppiness! If I didn't have any other knowledge of this beer, I would mistake it for a very potent DIPA. Damn. Hops are very citrus like, almost like biting into a grapefruit rind. As it warms, the hops mellow out a little bit, and the malt starts to shine, quite similar to the nose, caramel, and honey. This is a strong beer. No doubt about it. An interesting barley wine that will age nicely, right now, its a bit overbearing on the hop end of the spectrum.

M: Thick, dry, and slightly spicy from all the hops, alcohol is pretty hot as it goes down, not so much in the mouth, but I can really feel it in my gut.

D: It is very intense, but drinkable if hops are your thing. Honestly, its hard for me to see this as a barleywine right now, give it a few more months and I think things will mellow out, but right now, this is a very malty DIPA. Really a tasty beer, I think the next bottle will be a little more mellow in...October? Good beer though, I'd recommend it to a hop head.

pokesbeerdude, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of ocelot2500
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber and orange color with a small white head. Leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smells of some herbal hops and malt sweetness. Some toffee, caramel, and alcohol notes are in there.

Tastes of the sweet malt up front followed by a herbal hop note that ends in an alcoholic finish. The malt has a caramel and some fruit flavors, which is rounded out by the other flavors. Some pine flavors are also in the hops as well.

The mouthfeel is creamy and full and has an alcoholic finish.

ocelot2500, Aug 30, 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 ShogoKawada
2.7/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz into Newport Storm pint glass. Bought @ Chris Gassbaro's vast wasteland of beer.

A- Pale hazy orange with a bit of amber. Nice cascade in the pint glass.

S- Nose is of a wheatwine, actually. Sweet malts.

T- Taste is cotton candy, sweet sherry and undefined grape sugars and some heat from the alcohol.

M- Hot. Abrasive, not what I was expecting.

D- Moderate. I think this beer may be in a transitional period- I have another bottle and will give it some time and a re-review if needed.

ShogoKawada, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of lovindahops
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this will be neat. A barleywine from Caly besides a bigfoot. Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass

Here we go....

A- hazy orange with that slow receding head. Bulky lacing remains on the side of the brew. Strangely, it almost looks like a blue moon with a lack of a head

S- whoa! Malty alcohol! So sweet with citrus and syrupy hops though. Butterscottch and caramel. Some watery raisins as well

T- sweet barley wine taste with alcohol and dried fruit. A tad crisp hopped flavor with light smoked malt even. Some earthy flavor is twisted with some citrus too. The malt does finish the brew with a sweet tone

M- crabonated and thick with a heck of a mouthfull

D- great west coast barley wine! Stone is wicked. You have to be careful with the alcohol. Sit back and enjoy one

lovindahops, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of stumac
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%

stumac, Sep 15, 2014
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 kbuzz
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

kbuzz, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of ritzkiss
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, Limited Early 2009 Release. Pours a gorgeous burnt caramel with some golden orange highlights, big chunks at the bottom. Two fingers of cascading head which leaves sticky lacing down the glass.

Whoa, after two years this is just reaching drinkable levels. Loads of resiny pine hops, loads of citrus, more leafy in the nose. Caramel base with hints of earth, but still overwhelmed by the hops. Booze in the finish, light burn. Creamy mouthfeel, a little thin in the malt base but otherwise spot on. This will be many years from balanced but damn is it tasty for what it is, a hopped up American barleywine - could drink this a lot, especially for the ABV.

ritzkiss, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of freewill35
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

freewill35, Dec 24, 2012
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.