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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 - Stone Brewing Co.

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

320 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 320
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.76%


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: 320 | Reviews: 247 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2009 14:58:42 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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? ;-)

Prosit!!

4.1
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

1222

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2010 21:13:48 | More by Bierman9
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2009 20:33:16 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky orange honey with a 1 inch head that leaves fast to disk.
Tons of cascading bubbles as you tilt the glass. Lots of filmy small bubbled lace.

S - Holy Crap. It SMELLS like thick, gooey caramel. Tons of sweet malt in this aroma.

T - Big ass caramel, gets kind of harshly bittered in tandem with pretty significant alcohol presence.

M - Thick, coating, good carb. Big flavors and balances heave and ho.

D - Big, mean, lots of booze and ruin of palate. Good stuff, but not meant for a night, for sure.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2009 04:50:25 | More by srandycarter
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2012 01:27:24 | More by billab914
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consistently one of the better bomber values out there, this one hasn't disappointed yet. Poured a clear, dark, reddish-brown color with a little tan head on top. On the nose, aromas of earthy hops, dark fruits and caramel. On the palate, this one was medium bodied, with flavors of earthy hops, caramel and booze.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 03:11:35 | More by emmasdad
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I guess this beer is about a year old, which is just how I like my barleywines. Sampled on-tap.

Old Guardian has a body that mixes colors of ruby, orange and brown. A small, off-white head doesn't have a ton of retention and doesn't really leave behind a lot of lacing.

The aroma has some bitter grapefruit notes from the hops, still alive after a year. Some candied dates, toffee, caramel.

Stone Old Guardian is pretty good. A good bite of hops comes through in the beginning, bringing the flavor of grapefruit and some bitterness. A sweet, fruity character is barely noticeable, but reminds me of figs or dates. After that the strongest flavor of the beer comes in the form of caramel and toffee malts that are big and juicy. A touch of tobacco in the background.

The mouthfeel is full with adequate carbonation; it coats the mouth a little bit.

Overall this thing drinks ridiculously well for the ABV. After a year it is tasty, and I'm guessing next year it will be even better.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2010 02:20:17 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

3.2/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My least favorite year of Old Guardian. Frankly, an offputting brew in many respects.

Poured a familiar amber with white foam. Smelled like medicinal herbs and pine. None of the rich caramel aroma I recall from years past.

Taste was more muted as well. Where's the rich toffee/brown sugar/roasted caramel? Where's the pine/grapefruit hop undercurrent? This was primarily somewhat weak sweet malt and a bit of resiny pine/herbal hop content.

Just very disappointing. Mouthfeel felt thinner than years past, too.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2009 11:18:38 | More by Overlord
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2009 14:38:16 | More by rfgetz
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 02:17:58 | More by prototypic
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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..

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 19:28:08 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a tulip glass a crisp bubbly dark orange with a decent off-white head. Aroma is a bit of burnt caramel and Earthy hops. The taste is a nice balance of burnt caramel and sharp hops with a touch of syrupy alcohol, this one definitely shows that it needs some serious aging. The beer is heavy bodied and is certainly a sipper, its going to need some time to mellow out. This one is somewhat enjoyable, but I'd prefer to wait a year and try it again.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2009 22:42:16 | More by atsprings
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 18:13:48 | More by Florida9
Photo of OtherShoe2
OtherShoe2

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque orange brown, almost the color of apple cider. Decent foamy head to start, with some light lacing later.

Piney hops and toasted malt, caramel, and a big whiff of alcohol.

This one hits it all. Sweet caramel, toasted malt, piney hop bite, a tartness in there as well, some spicy edges, and though the alcohol is decently in the background -- have no fear it is still there. Very smooth beer. Great balance (this one will be great to lay down in a cellar for a time).

Good chewy body, some mouth coating stickiness and hop residue.

Overall, this should have been a sipper and it went down very very easy instead. Very drinkable compared to some other barleywines. Hop heavy, but not so much that it gets in the way.
Enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 11:57:59 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A – Amber-orange hue with a good head that settles into nice lacing.

S – Piney hop and caramel malt, a standard but effective combo, with a slight breadiness and vodka smell.

T – The taste is mostly good hoppiness and rich malt backing with a warming alcohol presence, but there is an annoying green tea-like flavor that pops up along the way to the finish. The same unpalatable flavor is also found in Fuller’s Vintage 2008; I don’t know what it is, but I hate it. At any rate, this beer tastes good, and the specific flavor that I have so much disdain for is very scarcely present.

M – A tad thin, yet syrupy and viscous in mouthfeel.

D – Pretty good, but I go for GD’s Old Ruffian over this, and I will take Anchor’s Old Foghorn over either.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2010 10:19:49 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of allengarvin
allengarvin

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Old Guardian, poured into a nonik glass, is a cloudy golden color, with a large head of thick, creamy, dense foam. The nose is sweet, lightly fruity, with a great aromatic hop presence. Exceptionally bitter citrus-flavored hops. The sweet malt takes a step to the background with bitterness front and center from start to finish, but it does make a light balance if you look for it. The finish lingers forever, very dry. A surprisingly light bodied beer for such strength, creamy and sumptuous.

Very good America barley wine.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 04:43:18 | More by allengarvin
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brilliant stained cedar with a silky tan head.

Nose has herbal hops, fruity malts, peppery alcohol, toffee and caramel.

Well balanced flavor profile. Bitter hops, sweet candy malts and spicy alcohol.

Full body is delicately carbonated. Great lingering finish. Could enjoy this anytime.

I am very impressed by this vintage, has more complexity than the two previous years. Will age very well.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2009 04:51:18 | More by rye726
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

3.23/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. (2009)

A: Pours a lightly hazy (chill, I'd guess) amber body with ruby and orange inflection to it. Quite inviting. Unlike the 2010, the head dies pretty quickly and leaves only a few trails of bubbles on top of the brew.

S: Hops are fading a bit compared to the fresh 2010 version, as one would expect. The pine is still prominent, even weed-like; it blends well with caramel, toffee, and crystal malt. Some butterscotch too.

T: I'm a little less enthused about this aged version than I was about the 2010. It's very toasty, lots of butterscotch and caramel. These are very dominant, almost making me miss chocolate (which I did not find in the fresh one). The pine hop character is still there, with an undercurrent of citrus flavors. This lacks the hoppy aggressiveness of the fresh version, and it fails to have developed a nice complexity to compensate for the faded hops. On top of that, it's a bit boozy (solventy, not just warm).

M: Chewy; finish is a little harsh and boozy. Low-medium carbonation.

D: In my opinion, one year isn't the sweet spot for this beer. It's still better than average, and I had no trouble putting down a bomber of it, but in the future I'd drink these fresh.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2010 06:43:29 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of JamesS
JamesS

Indiana

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice thick red-copper color with some very nice head and good lacing. Nice malty scent, although not very deep and with little beyond the malt. Great thick malt flavor, deep and hardy, with a nice hit of (slightly citrus and floral) hops at the end that stay on the tongue and balance it out. Fairly smooth, with just a hint of the alcohol that's in it, if a bit too thick to have much at a time.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2009 17:54:44 | More by JamesS
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle. Thanks to SuperNova777 for opening this bottle.

A- Poured a semi-hazy amberish brown color. A half figner of tan head shows up and actually dies down rather quickly. Nice streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Caramel malts in the front of the aroma with hints of brown sugar. Orange skins come in hints from the hops. Darker fruits with a high alcohol tingle the nose in the ending. A simple barleywine aroma to me with hints of alcohol.

T- Caramel malts with darker fruits in the front (raisins mostly). Some light alcohol heat in the front which comes back mostly heavy and very hot in the ending. There is some piney hops that still stand out toward the middle to ending that for 2 years shouldn't be there (I feel like it at least). Caramel malts shine in the middle and stay through till the end.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Caramel malts, darker fruits, and higher alcohol left on the palate. Aftertaste is light pine hop, darker fruits, caramel malt lingering, and high medicinal alcohol. Flavors were highly balanced for the style which seems to be a Stone trademark. No off flavors but the alcohol seemed to be a little on the high end at times. High alcohol drying on the palate.

D- This could have laid down in the cellar a little longer I think. A overall above average barleywine that could be tweaked a little. Maybe a little less on the alcohol flavor and a little more indepth fruit flavors could give this one a little more justice.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 18:28:38 | More by alleykatking
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazed and murky deep orangey copper with a thick head of beige foam that rises up to a chunky head.

Big aroma of pine sap, overripe apple, citrus hops, honey, toffee and brown sugar.

Rich and complex flavor that fairly matches the nose, a little sharper on the tongue, probably from the ABV. Good balance of hops and malt, grapefruit pith and pine lingers.

Rich and full mouthfeel, tingly carbonation, definite warming on the tip of the tongue and the cheeks.

Very tasty and drinkable beer, but I'm gonna sip this one slowly for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2009 20:58:49 | More by far333
Photo of Drew966
Drew966

Florida

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale is a very interesting beer, I can't really say it's not an American Barleywine, but it sure seems like a double IPA on steroids to me. The flavor is intensely hoppy, there is some caramel flavored malt that balances it out and the alcohol is hidden pretty well considering, however it is part of the flavor and I sure as heck could feel it's effects. Absolutely one of the best beers I've ever had. It makes me want to hoard as much as I can find.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 01:13:49 | More by Drew966
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a ruddy amber with a bubbly white head that dissipated into an oily ring. Spotty lacing. Wooden, hop-syrup aroma blended with boozy caramel malt. Light carbonation gave this a solid mouthfeel that complimented the high ABV. Speaking of which, the high ABV was not completely masked, giving off a sugary alcohol warmth. The caramel was heavy, nearly candy-like. Balanced well with the resiny hops. Some apricot and kumquat flavors versus citrus tastes. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 23:15:17 | More by magictrokini
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed Feb 7th, 2010 at Stone World Bistro.

Cloudy orange-yellow fluid with copious off-white foamy head. Remarkable amount of lacing.

The nose is sweet, slightly woody and spicy. Hops are present as a sappy, resiny note.

Herbal flavor, approaching tea. Within spitting distance of medicinal, though not quite that far. Bready and caramel malt notes are welcome, though not as strong as I would have anticipated. Aspirin-like bitterness on finish. Flavors are still quite strong; I guess a year isn't enough time to round off any of the edges here.

Finish is somewhat dry and a little on the thin side; odd for an Old Guardian. Alcohol heat felt plainly.

I didn't particularly enjoy this one a year into its life; according to previous tasting notes, the bottle I had a year ago was actually more drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2010 15:11:37 | More by charlzm
Photo of adamette
adamette

Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Live Review. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my DFH pint glass. $6.99 at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills, Ohio.

A Great looking 3 inch head over a translucent orange brown slightly cloudy body that glows in front of direct light. Lacing is evident even now before I sip this beer. I like the look a lot and I think that it is true to the style.

S Hops predominate (not surprised as most Stone beers feature hops) but there is a nice sweet malt underbelly to this beer that is interesting.

T Hops and barley are in the front. The hops linger longer than I would like but I think that it is true to the style, one that I really do not like due to the predominance of the hops.

M Appropriately acidic like any hops centered beer would be.

D Not that good. I will likely finish the bomber but will not likely buy this again nor would I buy a second pint (if I had bought a pint).

Notes: I suspect that Barleywine lovers would prefer Big Foot. This pales in comparison to my favorite Barleywine, from Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland (had it on tap as a pub exclusive...it was drinkable and interesting).

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 04:02:11 | More by adamette
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 320 ratings.