Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev +5.6%
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.
02-23-2014 04:12:40 | More by superspak
3.73/5 rDev -9%
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 $.
04-30-2010 23:43:12 | More by Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5 rDev -9%
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.
05-05-2012 01:27:24 | More by billab914
4.25/5 rDev +3.7%
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.
06-12-2011 00:19:36 | More by DrJay
4.08/5 rDev -0.5%
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....
04-09-2009 08:59:13 | More by JohnGalt1
3/5 rDev -26.8%
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.
02-27-2010 03:03:43 | More by jrallen34
3.7/5 rDev -9.8%
A - Orangish mber color with a nice colored off-white head that rose about half a finger on the pour.
S - Sweetl malts, mostly, some sort of nicely muted sugar smell. A nice touch of hops, which I was not entirely expecting, little bit citrusy.
T - Citrusy and sugary, just like I expect from a barleywine, it's an interesting style I need more exposure to. Somewhat yeasty, dry finish on it.
M - A little creamy, heavier side of medium bodied, nice carbonation burn.
D - Doing the bottle was a bit difficult, average drinkability as best, something of a sharp taste and the high alcohol make one bomber enough.
05-17-2010 01:50:47 | More by AgentZero
4.23/5 rDev +3.2%
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.
03-19-2012 09:32:24 | More by dgilks
4.03/5 rDev -1.7%
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.
10-20-2009 23:40:53 | More by barnzy78
3.2/5 rDev -22%
A: Pours a hazy dark reddish/orange color. A two finger white head gently rises. Some sticky lace is left on the glass.
S: Lots of floral, medicinal, and fruity hops. Apples, pears, and grapefruit jump out at me. A medicinal tea like aroma. A very light malty sweetness as the aroma lingers.
T: Bitter, oily, and resiny hops. Grapefruit dominates the flavor. Not much else, no real malty sweetness to balance the flavor out. Lots of hot alcohol.
M/D: A medium to full body. A crisp snap of carbonation. This is very hot from the alcohol, and a bitter beer makes this hard to drink for me.
I am always willing to revisit a style that I am not crazy about. This is what I have come to expect from an American Barleywine though. Lots of hops and no balance with the malt. If that is your thing, then pick some up because you will not be disappointed.
04-26-2009 23:43:30 | More by champ103
4.1/5 rDev 0%
A - Cloudy, rusty orange in color. Thin white head w/ good lacing and retention.
S - Citrus and piney hops. Some light whiffs of dark fruit.
T - Nice balance of sweet malts and bitter hops. Faint hints of pine and citrus.
M - Heavy body... viscous yet smooth. Good carbonation. Slightly sticky.
D - Excellent Amreican Style Barleywine... alcohol hidden well w/ nice balance of flavor.
08-17-2009 14:38:16 | More by rfgetz
4.9/5 rDev +19.5%
This beer pours a cloudy red-orange color. The head is a nice quarter inch cap of foam that lingers around leaving fine lacing around the glass. The aroma of a ton of malt, and a ton of hops. There is a solid caramel, and toffee backbone with vibrant citrus, pine resin, and floral hops. As far as aroma goes this is the best American Barelywine I've had in a long while. The taste is more hop forward than the aroma, which I like due to the interesting hop bill. There is a very nice mix of floral, grapefruit, and pine. There is a nice lingering bitterness, and moderate heat in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with lively carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a great beer that I will search out again.
06-23-2009 20:33:16 | More by KarlHungus
4.05/5 rDev -1.2%
Poured into my tulip glass as a reward for a nice workout snowshoeing in Maine. Getting a foot of snow here today and we hiked around in the woods for well over an hour. Sounds like a perfect day to break into my '09 Old Guardian.
Hazy deep amber color with brown/orange highlights. I did have this in a regular fridge here and took it out for 20 minutes to allow it to get to the right temp. Interesting that it's this hazy. A finger of bubbly light tan head forms and settles quickly. Quite interesting that despite a less aggressive head, there is a ton of lacing left everywhere. Literally almost the entire inside of the glass has a thick file left clinging to it.
Sure smells like a barley wine. Deep and inviting malt aroma with a background of fruit. I think more caramel vs. brown sugar here. Certainly a sweet note.
Sure tastes like a barley wine! ;) The depth of the flavor is really nice here. There are layers to the malt flavor and you can just enjoy them as you slowly sip this big beer. A sweet punch immediately, followed by a moment of vanilla cream. More sugar but now a bit more like brown sugar. Some fruit then a punch of pithy bitterness. Lots going on here.
Big in body and big in your mouth. Very mild carbonation. Almost oily
Certainly fits the bill on a day with a foot of snow. I really enjoyed working through the bottle and sharing just a bit of it..
02-25-2011 19:28:08 | More by Reagan1984
4.3/5 rDev +4.9%
A 22oz bottle served in a snifter. The beer was a pretty dark orange color with a medium-sized tan head. There was some fleeting lacing. Sweet, toffee aroma. Alcohol detectable. Taste was toffee, a little bit of fruit, then a big lingering bitterness. Couldn't really taste the alcohol that I smelled. The hops were quite pleasing. I really enjoyed this barleywine.
02-25-2009 14:58:42 | More by lordofthewiens
4.03/5 rDev -1.7%
Old Guardian 2009, from a 22oz bomber obtained today at Harringtons for $7.49 plus tax and dep.
Color is a clear, rich, deep copper. Carbo is visible rising up, and the topping is a light beige, creamy, fine gathering of bubbles, most of which sit at the edge and add to the lacework. A very-late addition of some bottle sediment added some cloudiness to the mixture. Aroma has some strong, biting, resiny hops, along with a healthy dose of alcohol-related "heat" hitting the nostrils. The feel is very smooth on the tongue, and the body is solidly mid-range.
Flavor has some malt lurking about, contributing caramel and toffee notes to the mix. Hops are plentiful and produce a lupulin-coating on the tongue and oral cavity. There's a good dose of resiny, piney hop action going on here, with a smattering of citrus getting tangled up in blue. The 11.30% ABV is quite evident, right from the get-go, with a noticeable warming in the belly not long after the first few sips. Despite all the hops, some caramel is what actually lingers in the aftertaste. Though not quite as hoppy as I like a BW (give me Bigfoot!!), this is still pretty solid! Had no plans to review, until I saw that these Stone BWs are yearly offerings, so wtf, eh? ;-)
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4
02-11-2010 21:13:48 | More by Bierman9
4.25/5 rDev +3.7%
A: Light brown with an orange hue. There is a slight haze to the beer. Thin, creamy layer of small, bubbly head with surprisingly good retention. A little lacing, but not much.
S: Orange. Floral hops. Orange blossom. Some light alcohol.
T: Fruity and bright. Tropical fruits. There is a fusel burn on the swallow, but after a few swigs, the alcohol burn fades away.
M: Medium thick in body with enough carbonation to keep this beer lively. Alcohol is pleasantly noticeable and not over-powering.
D: An excellent BW. For such a strong beer, the alcohol is well hidden and the flavors are bright and clean.
08-01-2009 18:13:48 | More by Florida9
4/5 rDev -2.4%
Appearance: It's a very attractive amber color with strong orange highlights. There's a good bit of haze clouding the view. On top is a vanilla colored head that reaches maybe a finger deep. It dissipated very quickly and left only light lace on the glass. Not too surprising given the high abv.
Smell: The nose is a little weak. It's very brown sugary and sweet smelling up front. Smells like there's a good malt presence. Mostly caramel. There's some citrus grapefruit and pineapple lingering throughout. Light plum and raisin complement the citrus scents very well. Hops are pretty strong and smell mostly piney with some citrus characteristics blended in. All in all, nice smelling beer, but just a tad weak.
Taste: The nose is very representative of the flavor profile. It's very sweet and sugary. Brown sugar is noted. Caramel malts are noted, but they're not quite as prevalent as they should be. Hops are very aggressive and bitter. They mostly taste like pine sap, but do have some good citric qualities. There's grapefruit and pineapple in the mix. Light plum and perhaps some other dark fruit flavors are noted. They're clearly secondary, but add a nice flavor to it. Surprisingly, very little alcohol is noted for such a strong beer. It finishes piney and bitter.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It has body on the lighter side of thick and a pretty smooth feel. Carbonation isn't too invasive, but it doesn't really help the cause much either. It's still smooth and goes down easy. Drinkability is pretty limited. It's very strong at 11.3% and is definitely a sipping beer. I'll handle the bomber, but it will take a while.
This year's Old Guardian is overall a good beer. I can't say that it's materially different from last year's. Surpisingly, it seems like it could use a little more malt to add some flavor and assistance with the feel. Small gripe. Otherwise, it's very solid and still worth picking up.
02-15-2009 02:17:58 | More by prototypic
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.