1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

327 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 327
Reviews: 247
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 327 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RichBeer
5/5  rDev +22%

RichBeer, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of Voonder
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber color with big off-white head which stayed for a while. Great looking beer. Lots of lacing. Smell - very hoppy, yeasty, a bit spicy. Taste - hops at first, followed by yeast, some plum-like fruitiness finishes with some warming alcohol. Full bodied, rich, creamy, great big beer. I usually have a hard times with barley wines, but this one I really like. It is bold and strong, but it's a pretty good drinker for an ABV. Very solid brew, one of the best I've had this year.

Voonder, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of lhaqq
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

lhaqq, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of sweetbrew82
2.53/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

22 oz./ fresh '09

P: Shiny gold from the bottle, sits a deep orange-tinted amber in the glass. 2 fingered off-white head is thick & creamy with good retention. The sinking crown leaves the glass coated with lace.

A: Big whiffs of fresh hops; citrusy with a hint of floral along with caramel, rubbing alcohol, and some earth. Judging from the raw alcohol presence here, I think you could get drunk from smelling it!

T: This is quite malty sweet out of the gate with gobs of caramel, slight toffee, and booze with an earthy undertone. Hops arrive late but come with a vengeance as grapefruit, lemon rind, & pineapple swing the balance back to the bitter side for good. The result, the alcohol teams up with the alpha acids and scorches the tongue like the hills of Yorba Linda. Which any good BW should do. But in this case, the alcohol flavor is just too present, and invades on the task at hand.

M & D: Full-bodied, thick & chewy, rich & creamy, just what I expect from a Stone BW. The drinkability of this one is described pretty accurately by the score I've given: awful! If I wasn't such a cheapskate, I would have dumped it. Like drinking a glass of vodka with a beer accidentally spilled into it.

Notes: This is just way too young, in my opinion. I don't want to lose those precious hops. But I do, however, want that alcohol to sit back and relax. Right in the middle should be perfect. This is one beer that I won't be drinking fresh anymore!

sweetbrew82, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of Tdizzle
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to drinking this thing.

A- Poured into my Dogfish Head snifter, Old Guardian pours a brilliant orangish-amber color that I can almost see through. A nice head slips away into a thin layer. Not a whole lot of lacing though.

S- Bright notes of citrusy hops and tropical fruits on top of a rich malt backing that smells bready and sweet. The 11.3% ABV is very noticeable and imparts a slight chemical burn to the aroma. A tad cloying if you ask me, which you didn't, but there it is.

T- An intense hop bitterness is sort of balanced out by the big malt base. I can feel a mild alcohol burn in my belly as I sip on this viscous brew. The dry finish yields a hard, lasting bitterness on the back of the tongue.

M- Thick and kinda chewy with small carbonation bubbles that graciously prick the tongue.

D- Ok, so this beer has a really high alcohol content that makes it really "hot" in all categories. However, there's something about the taste that enabled me to basically plow through an entire bottle. Good stuff here.

Tdizzle, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of joefuzz
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours redish gold with a small quickly fading white head beautiful looking beer

Smells of candied fruit and malted barley with a slight alcohol afterburn

Tastes of butterscotch and caramel with some dark fruit aftertaste very slight alcohol presence

Mouthfeel is pretty right for the style if anything a little on the thin side

Overall a exceptional sipper probably could have used another 6 months in the cellar but way better than a fresh one. This is a beer you sit on.

joefuzz, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of Nickfellow007
5/5  rDev +22%

Nickfellow007, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of rodney45
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark shade of crimson. The head is white and ominous. I think it sticks around only to say " im gonna watch you drink this"

S: Smells overtly hopped. Imagine getting punched in the face with a silky fist full of hops. That is what this smells like, and you really aren't angry because its from stone brewery.

T: Well its more malted than the Arrogant line, and at first sip you get only a taste of it. Then you're sodomized by hops. Its a good thing, and you eventually start to like it. Then its dry, and you feel guilty and slightly offended. BUT... you're happy... its hard to explain

M: It tastes alot like razor blades made of hops... with a lot of alcohol. Hidden. To trick you.

D: I can drink this till the cows come home, which they have. Its more than double the strength of a normal brew and you should keep that in mind. But, for a barley wine style ale made by stone, its more drinkable than you'd imagine.

This is a good brew... its the 2009 early release if anyone cares... I heard from the guy at the distributor that it was better in past years, but i dont believe him. This beer is profane. Thank god

rodney45, May 21, 2009
Photo of Rhynes2
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first barley wine ever. I was very impressed by it. Honey is the best word i have to describe the taste of this brew. For such a high alcohol content i have to say that it blends in perfectly. I have been a fan of stone brews for a while now and this is just another excellent example of great stone beers. Head retention was great but no lacing on the way down the glass. Color was a darker honey gold. Great buy on this one, I'll definitely buy this one again.

Rhynes2, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of ReDave
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love this stuff!
Pours a rather cloudy orange with a rather thin head and practically no lace.

First sip was sorta malty and i at first thought mellow...
Whew what happens! the bite comes on!
Its great! but it's a build up.
It's like the bitterness layers on your tongue and sticks around or something

one of the best barley wines around! Bitter style!

ReDave, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of aristeros
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. I've had barleywines before, and Stone brews, so I'm pretty excited about this one.

Pours a honey-amber color, has a big, creamy, off-white head with decent lacing. I smell grapefruit up front, sweet caramel malts, alcohol, and some hops.

Tastes like brown sugar layered over citrus and bitter hops. Piney resins and the tingle of hops on the tongue eventually overpower the sweet malts for a dry, prickly finish.

The high alcohol content and big hop presence is well-balanced against the beer's other characteristics, but if I were to crack the second bomber I think -I'd- be bombed. This, and assertive hops and carbonation impact drinkability, even for the style.

Excellent brew.

aristeros, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of BigV
5/5  rDev +22%

BigV, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of tattooedtolley
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always look forward to Old Guardian. With all these excellent reviews its hard to think of something to add other than to say this beer begs to be cellared. Its great fresh but to me, this beer could seriously go the distance in a cellar. I recently took a trip o San Diego and while there my friend broke out the 06 Guardian he saved that I sent him long ago, it was fantastic. A word of caution though, this beer is one of those beers that seriously will catch up on me, maybe you too, so enjoy all that it is and don't over indulge.

tattooedtolley, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of merryjoulton
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a fantastic deep gold that tiptoes the edge of being red... maybe an orange-red? this beer is exceptional looking. a beautiful 1/4 inch tan head showed no signs of dissipating until the last sip.

S: sticky, piny, lemony hops. a big malt aroma present, along with booze.

T: I can find two components to this: bitter and booze. I'm looking for malt, but its not there. a hop forward taste, seemingly attempting to mask the 11.3%... a tall task.

M: slightly creamy with a pleasant and lingering aftertaste at the back of the tongue.

D: surprisingly high for a brew this enormous! even though I mentioned that the alcohol is evident, it in no way makes it a harsh drinker.

merryjoulton, May 13, 2009
Photo of despond
5/5  rDev +22%

despond, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of cycoduck
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

cycoduck, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of JoePat
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color with a white head that seems to last forever.
Has a pretty strong piney hop aroma considering its a year old.
Smooth malty flavor quicky over powered by the grass like bitterness.
Very thick syrupy mouthfeel but it fits with the bitterness.
Drinkability suffers some but but for a barley wine it goes down great.

JoePat, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of lonestar4lunch
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to try this one for a long time and was stoked to see it on the shelf at Grapevine. Poured this one into my Maudite snifter. I love a good Barleywine and this one doesn't dissapoint. The aroma is faint but is sour and hoppy. I love the reddish hue to this beer, looks yummy. Nice lacing in the glass and there is a constant foamy top to this beer. Taste, this is good. The hops smack you right in the face and you can feel them coming out of the glass. There is a little sweetness in the beginning and then the hops punch back. You get just a tiny bit of sweetness then comes the 180 into a bitternes that is hard to descripe. Did I just lick a pine cone? Did my mouth just go completely dry? Why can't I stop taking sips of this? All valid question about this great barleywine. It finishes dry and is way to easy to drink for 11.3. There is a nice little alcohol heat esp. once it warms up. Thank you Stone.

lonestar4lunch, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of Misfit138
2.7/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Poured from the bomber into my pint glass.

A- Very nice burnt orange with a very nice head.

S- Soft hints of fruit and mildly floral.

T- Taste like an extremely bitter grapefruit, made me cringe. There is a mild malt flavor that you will notice the more you drink.
- The taste does improve however while you consume more, but there is the taste of alcohol that remains very strong.

M- The mouthfeel is actually very good, soft and smooth.

D- I cannot rate this very high for drinkability. I like IPA's but this kicks their ass for bitterness. The high alcohol is also something that means it has to be drank with some care.

I don't think I will be trying anymore barleywines.

Misfit138, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of backfat
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a brilliant shining copper with highlights of amber. perfect lacing with a two finger off white head. just beautiful. the smell packs a punch. fresh and fragrant. granny smith apples, citrus, sweet malt, and pineapple. i want to make this into a perfume and make my girlfriend wear it. perfect. the taste is bold and ferocious. huge caramel malt and bitter all engulfed in citrus and piney hops hops hops! very strong and fresh hop character and milky mouthfeel. very thick. the balance puts me in a state of Qi. it is difficult to find flaws in this beer. it was made for me. dangerously drinkable, but the ABV will remind you that this is a creature to be reckoned with. thanks stone. This beer is perfect with about one year on it. It takes away any harsh astringency, but still packs a hop punch that I enjoy in american style barelywines.

backfat, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of porterwoobie
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: two finger light tan head that dissipates slowly and laces well. orangish/light brown color. cloudy.

S: some good citrusy aromas, mild sweetness and malt aroma, and some alcohol aromatics.

T: some malt sweetness initially, followed by the hop bitterness and bite from the alcohol. the bitterness tends to linger on the tongue while the alcohol warms the mouth and throat. finishes slightly dry, which is tempting to drink more, but at 11%+, much more for sipping, not pounding.

MF: full bodied, low carbonation. alcohol warmth is present.

Drinkability: whoah. tasty, bold, bitter i need to buy another and let it age a bit to see how it mellows out. hop bitterness lingers forever. very drinkable.

porterwoobie, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of Pittsburgh
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Let me start by saying I love Stone beer. This place rocks, my favorite brewery, and this beer just reminded me of why.

Lovely pour, smells fruity.

Taste is amazing, this is my first barleywine, but if this is the standard, I am trying more. Tastes similar to one of the malty/fruity IPAs I've had, nice and sticky, but you get a huge hop hit as well, and a nice after taste as well. Good from beginning to end, high ABV, doesn't really factor into the taste in my opinion. This was aged a little bit and I think this is a good time to crack it, but I'd also like to keep one another year or 2 and see what happens. Next time, I am buying 2 for that purpose exactly. Very interesting and complex beer...well done!

Pittsburgh, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of RunDWP
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this last night, and it's a bit young, but this looks likes it might be a great barleywine some day. It's good now.

It poured a burnt orange color into my tulip glass, with think, light orange foam floating on the brew. The head never completely went away, and lots of heavy sheeting action on the glass. A pugent piney, resin-like smell greated me when I opened the bottle, and I detected it standing three or four feet away from it. I have a weak nose, so that's one powerful aroma.

Surprise, surprise, something from Stone Brewing is hops dominated. Lots of piney, resin hops dominating the fresh, chewey malt. The malt had a little sweetness to it, a little toffee like character. Wasn't really getting a lot of fruity-like character, here, but that's OK. Mouth feel a little astringent, and a little harshness to the brew hurt the overall drinkability. There's a lot of alcohol in there, and I could taste some of it. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it hurts the drinkability department too, at least for me.

I enjoyed this fresh tasting, unique barleywine, and the good news is that I have another bottle in my fridge. I'm going to give it a few months before I open it, to let it mellow out some. I expect that this one will improve with age.

RunDWP, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of Dirt
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Dirt, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of FleeVT
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown bomber into a snifter.

A: Beautiful copper with touches of amber edges that just glows. The head is hearty and off white that dissipates with time to a thin layer that clings to the glass. On initial pour this is one of the finest looking brews I've ever laid eyes on.

S: Lots of alcohol on up front, this is extremely tight and could use some cellar time. Continuing on, there is a nice crisp dose of hops, faintly reminiscent of a citrusy IPA. Sweet malts come out with a hint of dark berries.

T: A lot of hops on the palate. In my opinion, they are a bit much for the style. The hops have that nice balance of citrus and pine. The alcohol does not come through nearly as strong as it did on the nose and it actually is a pleasant surprise after the mouth puckering doled out from the hops. Only the faintest hint of sweet malts come through during that split second the hops give way to the alcohol. A nice taste that should age well.

M: Chewy and substantial with a nice balance of carbonation. Nothing wrong here.

D: Another great offering from Stone. I may pick up a few of these and cellar.

FleeVT, Feb 27, 2009
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 327 ratings.