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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 246 | Hads: 331
Photo of n00tz
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep red apple cider-like (translucent) body, medium height silver-queen colored head that laces down the glass.

S - Piney with a fruity sweetness that I can only distinguish particularly as apple. Somewhat woody, mossy natural smell seems to peer out.

T/M - Smooth fruity grape, melon, berry onset, followed by a malty punch (almost porter-like) followed with a sharp pine hops that hammers it's way into your palate. The initial mouthful(s) carry the barley through until the hops burn in, though 5 minutes after your last sip you'll be tasting the barley and grain more than the hops - unique! The more it warms the less hops you taste and the more of the fruit, malt, and grain you taste.. the most temperature diversity I've tasted in a brew to date.

D - It really takes an open mind for newbies (those that don't know half of the diversity of brews). But wow, this really kicks up and drives home my desire for a beer cellar. Such a lucky find!

I drank this after much internal debate, this was my first barleywine and I was somewhat scared of it for lack of a better term. It will certainly be where I set the bar for good barleywines from now on.

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Photo of Psilo707
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Excited to hear the new 2009 release of Old Guardian was out, I immediately went down to my liquor store and picked up a 22 oz bottle. Pouring it into a mug, I noticed how orange (not amber... orange!) and opaque this one looked right away. I don't know if I've ever seen a beer this brightly colored in my life. Awesome.

Smells very hoppy, a *slight* citrus tinge, and a very earthy aroma surrounds the entire mug. Taking a big sip, I feel the force of this brew. It starts somewhat subtle when taken into the mouth, but once swallowed and sat upon, a strong hoppy overwhelming feeling rises. Organic tasting yet not being easy on the senses, in a good way. A lot of barley/hops and a good after taste that lingers.

The mouthfeel is one of the best I've ever had. It sits in your mouth almost like a cream, but with a lot of cleanliness and fluidity. The drinkability for me began high and eventually became lower, but still above-average.

Another awesome release from Stone!

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Photo of BostonBrewins
3.67/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy, glowing copper with a white head which dissipated quickly.

S - Floral and citrus hops hit my nose before as I was pouring it. Fragrant and powerful.

T - Earthy and citrus hoppy notes dominate this beer. Biscuity and caramel tones shine in the background. Alcohol is definitely there, but its surprisingly subtle.

M - Mouth feel is full bodied and creamy, perhaps a bit syrupy.

D - A nice brew to sip on. The 11% abv is hidden nicely making this very drinkable. I would have guessed it was 7-8% A good example of the American barley wine style.

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Photo of earthboundagain
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 Old Guardian drank on 9/6/2010

I cracked this baby open after work today as part of my personal Labor Day celebration.

The beer pours a burnt orange and has a nice hazy appearance. The head is minimal put does leave a tiny amount of lacing.

Ok the nose is of caramel covered pine hops, and a touch of straight alcohol.

Ok the taste is loads of caramel malt, some buttery notes, and while the hops have faded they still pack a decent piney punch.

The feel is slick and creamy a bit sticky but has enough carbonation to not be cloying. The alcohol is well hidden and this beer can be dangerous.

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Photo of dannydetox
4.07/5  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.

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Photo of WalrusJockey
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Into DT tulips.

A- cloudy, dark orange, with a decent white head. Very decent on the first glass, but less on the second one.

S- lots of aromatic hops, lots of apricot and citrus, no real bitterness in the nose, and also (shockingly) no real alcho-smells. Deep down there is some malt aroma, and some faint esthers are also buried down there.

T- sweet aromatic hops rapidly give way to a strong, medicinal, alcohol bite, which gradually fades into bitter hops. Some hints of malt are present, but faintly so. Alcohol is fairly dominant flavor throughout, which makes sense, given the ABV, but is still a bit of a disappointment, as it tends to trample down the other flavors, and flatten the palate rapidly.

The more I have, the more I enjoy it, but I can't tell if that is a factor of the beer warming and becoming tastier, or just a factor of my own intoxication. I could buy another bottle and drink it even warmer, but I don't know if I will bother. If I do, I will update this review.

M- rich, strong and creamy mouth.

D- over 11% and 22 ounces of it, the drinkability is near the bottom of the barrel.

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

pours a clear amber with reddish brown hues, crispy off-white head

aromas of candied sugar, piney hops, caramel malt, slight gingerbread, faint raisin notes

caramel malt upfront with a solid piney hop backbone, layers of candied sugars, slight marmalade, molasses, slight lemon hops, faint green notes, almost bourbony notes on the finish

starts medium but then gets bigger with time, solid malty body with good caramel slight sugary notes, leading to a balanced, sturdy finish, with a slight alcohol hotness

a tasty, medium bodied barleywine. not as big on the hops as per usual Stone Brews, but that works well with the malt body for a balanced, layered, tasty barleywine with good layers and a great finish. Yet again, a great stone brew

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Photo of johnnieoz
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A testament to aging quality ales, only to be served in a red wine glass or tulip.

A: Hazy shade of bronze, a smallish off-white head with tears of hops and malts abounding.

S: Wonderful balance as the hops have mellowed out enough to let the malts shine through the forest for all the trees. Aromas of pine, caramel, grapefruit, pineapple and charred walnuts.

T: As it warms up, the flavors suggested by the scents begin to emerge. Another year may merge the two perfectly.

M: Medium to full-bodied, a Old Guardian aged some 1.5 years is viscous and luscious.

D: Some claim to be able to drink more than one of these 22oz bombers. OK, but if you're willing to split the second one among three or four, I'd be happy to savor this night cap. Otherwise...

A case of this is well worth procuring. A few during the infant years, a few right about now and the rest over time. To my mind, a beer cellar needs Old Guardian keeping the treasure safe.

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Photo of atpben
3.6/5  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.

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Photo of sirdrinkwell
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Old Guardian pours a nice golden pumpkin color, with a fair bit of soapy tan head which thins to a nice lace.

Smell: this is Stone, so hops are on top, with a nice tangerine citrus aroma

Taste: the hops immediately hop onto the palate along with citrus notes and well balanced malty sweetness

Mouthfeel: this is a nice mouthful, full bodied but quite smooth

Drinkability: Entirely interesting brew, Old Guardian is a champ in my book. I am relatively new to barley wines but given Stone´s track record i figured this is a good place to start...and this drink suits me just fine. Thumbs up thrice!

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Photo of dhd1491
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lots of different flavors going on and not as over-the-top as some barleywines. Still, a powerful "sippin" brew; not one that you're going to want to pound down. Of the few barleywines I've tried so far, this is one of the better ones.

Lots of ripe fruit and berries in the flavor. Butter and toffee, too. A nicely complex brew. My expectations have been met or exceeded by Stone with every one of their beers that I have sampled.

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Photo of joshstevens87
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a red orange brown kind of color with a half inch light tan head
S-some sweet malt with notes of bread,carmel and molasses and some good dose of citrus hops
T-a sweet bready malt with a hint of caramel and molasses with an assertive citrus hop profile and a very present alcohol
M-a very full body with a dull carbonation making it smooth yet bitter from the hops and alcohol
D-overall a very good beer and one that would do very well with some age on it

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Photo of strengthdoc
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass to reveal a nice reddish copper color. The aroma was not overpowering and consisted of raisin, licorice and pear. The mouthfeel was very nice and not syrupy like some of the style, pretty much perfect. The taste at first is milder than I had expected, there is a touch of raisin at first then the hop character charges in. The mid taste is of grapefruit hop and the finsih is a nice earthy pine hop bitterness. There is a nice alcohol warmth in the bitter aftertaste. This one could really sneak up on you. The 11.3% abv is hidden well.

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Photo of Dalem
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark orange amber in color. Dashes of strawberry, molasses and dints of medicinal alcohol in the aromas. Brown sugar malts are right up front in the flavor along with a bit of with a bit of strawberry jam and plums. The body seems a little lighter than some barley wines I tried in the past but creamy and a little sticky too. An oily pine & peppery hop bite kicks in the end contrasting the sweetness.

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Photo of Blitzstyle
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint galsss. Pours a golden toffee color witha good white head.

Smelled caramell notes, brown sugary aramos and some hops with a hint o boozieness.

The alcohol is hidden quite well in this beer, its there but not as overpowering as it is with most barley wines. Hops actually stand out a bit more than the alcohol. There is some good malty sweetness there as well.

Fuller bodied but yet extremly smooth.

Very drinkable the alcohol is not over powering which is surprising considering the abv over over 11%. Really liked the hoppy taste it had.

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Photo of xanok
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle.

A-Pours a orange/amber color that is quite cloudy. The beer is right out of the fridge, so any head that was there was gone quickly. It left some nice lacing.

S-Hints of vanilla and citrus fruit. Grapefruit perhaps? A little bit of hops and malt.

T-Citrus flavor on the palate immediately, and gone almost as fast. Caramel and toasted undertones. There's a bit of booziness to it.

M-Fairly heavy overall with the carb and the body. Could have a bit more chewiness to it.

D- A bit of boosiness like I mentioned, but overall a great brew. Not my favorite of this style, but great nonetheless.

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Photo of MunchkinDrinker
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing after the fact from notes.

A - Hazy amber red with a thick rocky slightly orange-tan head. Plenty of lacing.

S - Like any good stone brew, plenty of malt and hops. Citrusy, grapefruit and lemony, but large sweet malt backbone. A real pleasant punch to the nose.

T/M - Ahh, now this is a barleywine. Good solid malt, slightly chalky quad-like feel. Sweet, but balanced by heavy citrusy hops.

D - Very tasty, but high alcohol. MIGHT have 2 on a night.

I will definately be picking up another one of these to review more thoroughly.

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Photo of KBoudreau66
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 22 oz. bomber after work, and poured it in to my trusty Samuel Adam's pint glass.

Pours a nice copper color with carbonation coming from the middle of the glass. It has two fingers of rough looking off white head that will dissipate into a thin layer over time. I noticed that it left some frothy off white lacing at the top of the glass, but after the first few sips it stopped.

Definitely needs to age for a couple of years because the alcohol smell gets right into your nose. It also has a sweet smell from the malts. Hops in the undertone. A little bit of citrus in there, but it's hard to tell through the alcohol smell.

This brew surprised me. I thought it was going to be all alcohol taste, and although that flavor is strong it is actually alot more balanced then I expected with sweet malts, and a little bit of hops, I wish it was hoppier, but then I remembered I'm drinking a Barleywine not an IPA or a DIPA. Citrusy undertones. There is also an earthy almost dirt like flavor to it, but it is by no means offensive in taste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonated. A little bit rough as well from the high ABV.

This brew will be better with age then it is for the time being, but it's still an excellent Barleywine. I'm going to pick another one up and let it age for a couple of years and re-review this. I have an Old Guardian from 2008 that I can't wait to open up a couple of years down the road.

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Photo of bgreg3
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wish my vocab was as good as the guy who writes the back o the bottle. It took me almost 5 or more minutes to read. Anyway...

App- Amber at the top (a dark amber orange to be more precise) becomes lighter near the bottom. Leaves a nice lace on the top. There is also some unfiltered yeast floating around.

Smell - A lot of barley! I smell a bit of hops to balance and the yeast used comes together nicely.

Taste- Amazing barely wine! The barely is very sweet and tickles the tongue as it ventures through the mouth. The presence of yeast is acknowledged but not too noticeable. Hops balance it throughout. They are complementary and do not dominate at anytime. Again comes together nicely and should be drank in small mouthfulls.

MF - Dripping wet finish. Almost as good as a meal.

Drink - Drink with food or water. The alcohol can bother your throat after awhile and is better off being absorbed by food.

I advise only a 12 oz of this. Share a bomber with a friend.

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Photo of patobandito
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice cloudy copper color with a thick off white head. Smells amazing. Very malty with lots of Earthy tones with a great hop scent as well. Taste is indescribable. Malty earth notes with great grain tastes from the start, then the hops bombard my tongue with citrus and grassy notes. The balance is damn near perfect, the only complaint being that it might be a bit hop-sided, but thats not a bad thing at all in my opinion. Very full feeling and easily drinkable. Excellent. Simply excellent.

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Photo of jgap
3.72/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber with more orange than prior years. Little head that fades to a lace. Smell is a strong grassy pine and... What is this... Soap? That's not from other years... What is that? I have no idea. Anyways, taste is grassy with pine hops. More malt than prior years that fades into a strong alcohol. This is different from prior as well. Not that previous years didn't have a strong alcohol, they did... Just not this strong. The taste then fades into a lingering peppery centenial/cascade aftertaste. Not stone's strongest showing but a solid barleywine.

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Photo of jsapunor
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this into an Old Guardian glass. It's a great looking cloudy orange-red with three fingers of tan creamy head that just hangs on and on.

Since this is from Stone, you have to expect hops and that's what you get in the aroma but malt and alcohol are there as well.

I was expecting this to be hop heavy but it wasn't. The hops are there all right but there is a bias toward caramel malt. The taste is mostly sweet malt and alcohol along with the hops. Nicely carbonated.

This is not as smooth as Bigfoot but very enjoyable as a maltier, more muscular barleywine. It's also very drinkable, at least until halfway down the bottle when the gargoyle jumps off and kicks you in the head.

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Photo of BatDaddy
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a snifter. Pours a slightly cloudy tea-like color with a fluffy cream colored head that settles down to a wispy lace and some nice bubbles around the edges.

S - Hops are present, but the caramel malty sweetness seems to dominate the nose. Maybe just some faint floral notes from the hops.

T - First taste seems very well balanced between the hops and sweet malts. Hop bitterness is more pronounced as I hold it on my tongue. Small alcohol bite on a crisp, dry finish. Some citrus notes from the hops.

M - Medium bodied, slightly sticky.

D - Very good for an abv this high. While the alcohol is definitely present, it's hidden fairly well. Overall is well balanced enough for good drinkability, though the abv might get to you before you pour another glass.

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Photo of wampahoofus
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber brown with a small amount of cream colored head. The head recedes quickly with about a 1/4 inch of retention. Some carbonation is present.

The smell is hoppy with carmel and vanilla.

Ah, this barlywine in the real thing! The taste is sweet with a deep smokey carmel-vanilla flavor. The alcohol is not overpowering but is present. This is a nice balanced barlywine!

This beer is a real sipper. It is very drinkable and I will be back for more!

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Photo of cptierney
3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into a North Coast snifter. As a note of caution, I don't care for hoppy barley wines, I prefer the taste of sweet malts so my subjective review may be troubling to you hopheads.

This Barley Wine poured a surprisingly light straw color with a high level of translucence. Added to this light color was a nice crown of foam, two to three fingers of aggressively poured head that quickly fled the scene. Moderate lacing as the beverage was drank down.

The nose of this brew didn't scream hops though there were some piney fresh blasts. There is a good deal of sweet notes that show up, some burnt sugars and... maybe... butterscotch?

I'm a little bummed by the mouthfeel. I want a thick chewy barley wine but this guy doesn't deliver. A thin body and an overly aggressive carb bite makes me an unhappy boy. Especially considering the high ABV on the sucker.

The taste, for me, is wayyy hoppy. Like tree sap hoppy, almost utterly overwhelming. I let the beer warm for a time and finally some of the malt character comes out, a bit biscuity and just not prevalent for my taste. I want the sweetness, but I'm not going to get it, the muscular pine tree flavor just obliterates sugar that I crave. I'm definitely going to buy another one of these and age it for a year to see if the hop profile mellows a bit.

The drinkability is a tough sell for me. High hop oils, high ABV, and low chewiness make this a forgettable brew.

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