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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

329 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 329
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: 329 | Reviews: 246 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ROBSTARR
5/5  rDev +22%

ROBSTARR, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep golden-amber color with about an inch of thick tan head. Nice head, retention, and lacing for 10+% ABV.

S- Biting hops up front, followed by strong sweet malt. Hints of caramel, roasty notes, but not as strong as I would like.

T- Nice fruity, citrus hops up front. A nice bite followed by a strong roasted malt character. A little more caramel too. Little or no alcohol taste. Finishes slightly dry, with the hops coming back into play. Some herbal notes at the end too. Very balanced in my opinion. I really like it. Alcohol becomes more evident as it warms.

M- A bit prickly, medium bodied, creamy.

D- Surprisingly drinkable. Like a balanced DIPA. This one's dangerous at 11%.

LordAdmNelson, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of djeucalyptus
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a slightly murky golden copper hue with bright gold highlights. a solid and thick one-finger head sits atop, slowly receding to leave some impressive crumpet-esque lacing.

aroma of bready malt, caramel and honey, grapefruit hops and a hint of pine. more sweet malty raisin, a bit of alcohol, and more honey.

bitterly hoppy potency hits up front, then recedes to a fairly pleasantly complex malt profile with some nice honey, caramel and toffee. A bit of resinous pine sap and spice finish it up. Almost a strong and malty extreme-ipa. A definite alcohol hotness too.

Mouth is full, a bit sticky, carbonation doesn't quite cut through, although if it did, it would probably be overload. A lasting pine bitterness lingers for a seemingly endless amount of time. astringent, resinous, viscous, and fairly hot at this point... I'd imagine it would be perfect with some age.

All in all, deliciously strong and piney. Reminds me, as I said, of a strong IPA, more than in years past. The brown sugar notes and carmelized malt are a bit hidden... maybe with a bit of age they'd develop a bit further. Enjoyable, although a bit hot at the moment, definitely drinkable. Worth trying, and definitely worth grabbing one or two to lay down for a bit.

djeucalyptus, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of seand
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a large red wine glass. Early 2009 release, so it's not had a long time to age.

A: Pours a fairly light translucent amber red, with about a finger of off white head that dissipates quickly leaving some foam on the surface. Some lacing.

S: Caramel malt with hints of fruity hops.

T: Lots of flavor. The sweetness on the front of the tongue gives way to grapefruit flavors and a big hop finish which lingers on the aftertaste. The alcohol is present but mostly covered by the hops.

M: Nice, crisp carbonation. Full bodied, somewhat sticky mouthfeel.

D: Drinks quite easily considering the 11.3% ABV.

seand, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of Elfastball7
5/5  rDev +22%

Elfastball7, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Nickls
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with a thinner, eggshell colored head; cloudy rust orange/brown color

S - Dark fruits, bit of sweeter plums; then straight onto an aggressive hoppiness; the hops are piney; bit of light fruit (grapefruit) come through as well

T - Hops are out front and center with clear juniper and resin flavors; moves onto some grapefruit; great maltiness that imparts a bit of sweetness but nowhere even as sweet as some DIPAs. Great assertive American barleywine here!

M - Viscous, smooth, heavier feel but carries the brew very well.

D - I think this is superbly drinkable against the style. Definitely a sipper, but there are so many layers that bring me back to another sip. Booze is completely hidden as well

Overall, this is an outstanding US barleywine. Stone really just doesn't disappoint. Highly recommended.

Nickls, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint

pours a hazy amber, somewhat burn orange. very thin head, goes away quick leaving little signs.

at first, thought it was a very floral smell, but realized it was sweet pine. citrus and hops, and farm sweets, honey, malt, grapefuit. tastes similar, better as it warmed. sweet up front, then bitter. was enjoyable with a meal. would buy again to go with some food.

Anthony1, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of danielharper
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark orange, slightly red, with a tiny bit of haze, but with a very thick cream-colored head that sticks around and leaves some amazing lacing. Smells strongly of dry American West Coast hops, but with a sweet caramel malt balance underneath. Intriguing, interesting.

Flavor-wise, I was expecting a strong crisp hoppiness up front, and that's basically what you get. What I wasn't necessarily anticipating was the sugary sweetness that follows in the malt, along with a lot more caramel and hints of bready yeastiness. Finishes dry. No alcohol astringency on the nose or in the flavor, amazing for a beer that clocks in above eleven percent. Overall impression is of the strong hops and the residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel is creamier than expected, otherwise predictably hoppy and with a high level of carbonation. Dry aftertaste.

I was expecting to like this beer, but I wasn't necessarily expecting to love it this much. The caramel and sweetness make an almost perfect match for the hops, and the alcohol is so well-hidden it's scary. Is Stone the best brewery in America? Maybe.

danielharper, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of wheatyweiss
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, room temperature.

Pours a medium amber with a nice ample head that laces and sticks quite well.

Aroma is of estery alcohol with an intense bitter, earthy hop aroma. Sweet caramel and light vanilla notes are present. The aromas of alcohol and resinous hops make the aroma overall, quite estery and slightly phenolic.

Flavor opens with a perfect melding of sweet and caramel malts with a wonderful bitter hop presence. Hops become more fierce and assertive in the middle completely washing away the sticky sweetness of the malt. Finishes quite dry, with a nice bittering aftertaste to the tongue and throat.

Mouthfeel is lush and sticky. Carbonation is good, attenuation working in the hops favor to cut the sweetness.

A big Barley wine that melds the hop and strong malt characters well. Alcohol is well hidden and only detectable on the exhale. The balance is better than I have had in other Barley wines that are over hopped in my opinion.

Well done Stone!

wheatyweiss, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of atoulouk
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

atoulouk, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of saintwarrick
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt orange with a foamy and constant white head that reminds me a lot of a DIPA. Very hoppy aroma; dark grapefruit and candied sugar, lots of citrusy hops; one of the hoppier barley wines I've come across, even more so than a fresh Bigfoot. Taste is big and bitter like a DIPA, but with enough malt to keep it from being stringent. Harsh on the palate in a good way with a nice but bracing bitter aftertaste. Alcohol is apparent but not distracting.

Another winner from Stone.

saintwarrick, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of Beerbuddha
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- This beer poured a nice reddish amber color with little head which disappated quickly. Lacing present throughout.

Smell- Nice hoppy aroma. Perhaps a grapefruit aroma with a sweet maltiness.

Taste- Interesting taste. Has the hoppiness of most Stone but finishes with an interesting hint of peppermint. Very cool. Nice maltiness as well which gives it a nice balance.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with low carbonation.

Overall- A fantastic barleywine.

Beerbuddha, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of BarrelO
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, the first installment of which was poured into a pint glass and the second into a goblet.

A: The requisite barleywine dark coppery color. A more vigorous pour into the goblet results in a bigger head. Little lacing.

S: A huge rush of piney, citrusy hops. Glad to see that they went back to American hops after the English hops in the 2008. Caramel malty sweetness is just as prominent.

T: An immediate onslaught of hoppy bitterness. Sweet malt keeps the hops from becoming unbearable. As it warms up, the situation reverses itself as the caramel malt takes over and the hops keep it from become cloying. Aftertaste is dominated by hoppy bitterness. Alcohol burn is noticeable but not overwhelming.

M: Thick and syrupy with good carbonation.

D: Hoo-boy. I took on the whole bomber by myself. Bad idea. By the time I finished, I was down for the count. Old Guardian wins. Flawless victory. Overall, I don't have too much experience with OG, but I definitely prefer this to 2008. It's quite impressive for a beer this big to be so drinkable right off the bat.

BarrelO, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of Stunner97
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- cloudy brown to almost orange copper in color, very thin white lacing remains after thinning off the pour, light to little carbonation,

Smell- Beautiful smell thats a mix of caramel malts and sweet yet spicy hops, very powerful and intriguing nose

Taste- a very beautiful mix of both very nice sweet malts and the spicey hops you smell on the nose, caramel and molases flavors hit you hard up front but your left with a beautiful lingering bitter hop finish, a superbly and in my opinion almost perfectly balanced beers, delightful finish, to me a near perfect beer all around

Mouthfeel- Full bodied thick and creamy, it just feels heavy and big in your mouth, enjoyably smooth feel

Drinkability- the only reason I can give it a 5.0 drinkability is because its 11.3% booozeee but watch out because its dangerous and not noticable, this is a beer for the hop heads and the not so crazy hop heads a like, beautiful balance and to me a master piece example of what a barley wine should be, yet another example for why i love stone beers

Stunner97, Jul 17, 2009
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 BoitSansSoif
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured a slightly hazy amber w/creamy off-white head. Respectable retention.
S-Hops are dominant, w/a bouquet of citrus, pine, floral, and fresh vegetal tones. There is also a sweet honey-like fruit character.
T-Attack is harmonious blend of sweet and bitter, and the alcohol emerges right away if you hold it. The malt come out nicely midway, and the finish is of strong hops that cleanse the palate nicely. The first two seconds of aftertaste brings out the alcohol, but this is ephemeral, and the resiny hops come back on, leaving a pleasing bitterness.
M-Medium-bodied w/light carbonation. Good balance.
D-Very good. Picked this up at SeaSide Market in Encinidas. We're hitting the brewery tonight.

BoitSansSoif, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of Jmoore50
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stone is king.

Okay, well this baby poured really nice into a wine glass, now renamed Beer Glass. Either way, I got it to a great two finger caramel head, that lasted for a while. It had a nice dark amber color that was a deep dark brown in the center. Little but sticky lace.

The smell was pungent of alcohol and sweetness. It has a bite to its smell, something like its taste. Just a nice aroma that consists of the Stone hops, the character you can always recognize.

The taste is great. I has that bitterness that comes with most of Stone's brews. It also tasted a bit like dark sugar, pine, and a little like bitter-alcohol.

The mouthfeel, like I said before is nice because the bitterness just gets your tongue and strangles it. The drinkability is so low because this brew got me a little trashed. I don't know what it was but it got me a little BUZZZED.

So, no surprise Stone repeats a great brew. Will buy again and drink with delight.
J

Jmoore50, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of BeanBone
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A hazy golden-orange body--much lighter than I had expected--featuring a few assorted particles in suspension. Up top, a finger of creamy whitish head that features good lacing and retention.

Aroma: Up front, lots of bright and citrusy hops catch me a little off guard. Underneath, there's a sticky toffee malt backbone and some nice tinges of booze to bring things back towards traditional Barleywine territory. Opens up a lot as it warms.

Flavor: Again, the hops start the party--they are balanced nicely in between citrusy and grassy and nicely bitter. The big rum cake and sticky toffee malt backbone holds everything down nicely, substantial enough to keep everything relatively balanced. There's something a little woody floating around, but I can't quite pin it down. Plenty of alcohol character throughout, but it never feels like double-digits. Great lingering bitterness and toffee in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: Drinks faster than the ABV suggests, but requires caution like any bomber of double-digit brew.

Verdict: Old Guardian ranks right up there with the best American Barleywines--it's complex, hoppy as hell, and satisfying to the last drop. Absolutely terrific fresh, I only wish I had been able to secure a second bottle for aging.

BeanBone, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of cynical1027
4/5  rDev -2.4%

cynical1027, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favs, Old Guardian does not disappoint this year. Pours amber but appears ruby when held to light. Thick and creamy off-white head with good retention and moderate lacing. Smell is strong of pineapple, grapefruit and overall citrus. A caramel hops and hops presence of course. Taste is of caramel malt, some biscuit, sweet fruit, and of course hops. Nice, fresh citrus hops. A warming sensation as it goes down with its silky and full body. Overall a great beer. I cant believe I'm saying this but my only complaint is the high ABV. I wish this was just slightly lower so that it could be enjoyed longer.

bunnyhustle, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of HeyItsChili
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler procured at the Charleston Beer Exchange into a pint glass.

A - Pours reddish amber with a thin, quickly dissipating white head.

S - Floral, piny hops with a sweet tinge. There's a very subtle essence of spices, almost peppery.

T - The frontend is spicy, hoppy, flavorful, with a sweet alcohol finish.

M - Slightly thinner than medium bodied, lots of carbonation, not as viscous as some other hoppy brews.

Notes - I was told by Rich at the CBX that the dry hopped quality of the beer would give it a very interesting, floral, spicy sort of essence, and he was spot on.

HeyItsChili, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of Rothobinide
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Rothobinide, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of SupaCelt
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought off the shelf last week at my favorite haunt.

The colour is a blushing honey tone with minimal carbonation. Head is small and doesn't stay to visit.

The nose is largely hot and alcoholic. Fusels, baby. There is a grand crusty sweetness underneath. Burnt sugar and caramel with some funky old tones.

The taste is heavy on the burnt sugar and a prominent, but appropriate and welcomed alcohol burn and dryness. Tastes are crude and raw.

The mouthfeel is like warm syrup.

The drinkability is good for the style. This one is a sipper. Watch some Survivor and nurse one.

SupaCelt, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of elniko
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from Bomber into snifter. Early 2009 Release marked on bottle.

A: Rich amber coloring with oily head. Nice lacing apparent. Good looking brew.

S: Typical Stone citrus nose with heavy hops apparent but not to the same extent as the IPA or Ruination. The high alcohol does not come across with I found surprising.

T & M: I get a strange musty tone in the taste that I have not encountered in the bottles of Old Guardian that I have had. Pretty well balanced for an American Barleywine, especially from Stone. Finish definitely has some bitter hop qualities.

D: For a barleywine this is quite drinkable but the high ABV would keep me from a drinking more than one bottle.

elniko, May 19, 2009
Photo of PatronWizard
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wantet my 300th review to be something special. Don't know why, guess I'm stupid, since my 300th review matters to no one. Well, screw no one, I'm happy anyway. As Stone is my favorite brewery, I decided on the '09 Barleywine.

Pours completely opaque caramel. Tan creamy head. Sheets of lacing. All as expected.

Smell is of some fresh hops; moderately strong. Did I accidentally grab a Stone IPA? Some underlying scent that reminds me of ... smoking? Not really picking up any other scents, even though I'm expecting caramel.

Taste is big time bitter yum. Hops up front. Actually reminds me of the three bombers of Arrogant Bastard I had Saturday. The '07 and '08 Old Guardians I drank awhile ago had a little age on them (2 and 1 years respectively), and I think the '07 is the best of the three vintages. I'm still much enjoying the '09 right now. It just doesn't seem like barleywine. Seems more like a thick IPA.

This thing is smooth and harsh at the same time. Cool. Thick full, produces fresh lawn hop burps.

A huge advantage to drinking Old Guardian is 11+% bitches!!! Man I love Stone. Not afraid to use some hops, not afraid to pump up the ABV fo real lushes likes I, and not afraid to call you a pussy if you can't handle their brews.

Overall: would have anytime

PatronWizard, Apr 03, 2009
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.