Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 - Stone Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
4.03/5 rDev -1.7%
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.
06-15-2009 04:50:25 | More by srandycarter
4/5 rDev -2.4%
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.
05-24-2011 03:11:35 | More by emmasdad
4.45/5 rDev +8.5%
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.
05-08-2009 04:43:18 | More by allengarvin
3.98/5 rDev -2.9%
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.
02-16-2010 02:20:17 | More by Hojaminbag
3.2/5 rDev -22%
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.
02-11-2009 11:18:38 | More by Overlord
District of Columbia
3.45/5 rDev -15.9%
A decent US barley wine that starts on a stimulating note and ends confusing hoppiness with bitterness and losing its character.
Presentation: 22 Oz bottle. Iconic Stone demon gargoyle holding a glass of beer in their classic design. Long and typical over the top Stone narrative on the back, somewhat tongue in cheek rambling about its illegibility and a variety of recent topics, some distantly related to the brew. Below a one liner gives a generic description of ingredients. Notes bottling date as "Limited Early 2009 Release". Lacks any other info other than Alc. by Vol (11.3%) and cellaring indications. Poured into a snifter.
A - Pale amber color with a head inch that fades relatively quickly leaving some lacing on its way down.
S - An assertive hoppy range emerges from a sweet malt base. Not too complex or memorable, citrusy whiffs within the grain nose.
T - Consistent with the smell, while the hops are aggressive as they typically are in US version they leave room for a sweet malt counterbalance. There is a distinct Stone taste to it but all things considered it offers a short range or complexities in particular in the caramel, malt, spectrum with heavy hops that are a bit monotonous and are always trying to take a front seat.
M - It's a medium to high body in part due to a generous carbonation for the style.
D - It's average, tending to be a bit dull as one progresses and hopes that it will pick up its richness a bit, but then it really doesn't.
Notes: Not a great barleywine in this incarnation but not an awful one either. Not sure if I had tried it before a few years back, I may give it a try in future year batches and see if it was a matter of a mediocre year. But for now and form me, surrounded with such great variety this is a pass.
01-13-2010 20:53:04 | More by Daniellobo
3.95/5 rDev -3.7%
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.
05-07-2009 22:42:16 | More by atsprings
3.23/5 rDev -21.2%
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.
04-03-2010 06:43:29 | More by Arbitrator
4.1/5 rDev 0%
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.
09-28-2009 11:57:59 | More by OtherShoe2
4.15/5 rDev +1.2%
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.
01-12-2010 10:19:49 | More by ktrillionaire
4.38/5 rDev +6.8%
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.
08-26-2009 04:51:18 | More by rye726
4.15/5 rDev +1.2%
why is there listing for every year?
in case of merge 2009 edition
pours carmel redish orange with a huge 3+finger head that had great retention and covers the glass in lacing
smell - you know this is a stone brew big grapefruit hops some pine that seems a bit faded - makes me want a stone dipa
taste is well balanced - most BW are heavy malt with no hops - the stone beers i have had are all about the hops but this BW backs it up with the needed malts - grapefruit hops candy malts - the beer is not complex but it tastes great
mouthfeel medium body a bit sticky very creamy and smooth
drinkability - @11%+abv this bomber is a one and done but this one bomber will put a smile on your face
12-18-2009 04:10:30 | More by jsh420
3.63/5 rDev -11.5%
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.
06-09-2009 17:54:44 | More by JamesS
3.53/5 rDev -13.9%
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.
03-11-2011 18:28:38 | More by alleykatking
4.33/5 rDev +5.6%
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.
10-01-2009 20:58:49 | More by far333
3.63/5 rDev -11.5%
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.
03-03-2010 15:11:37 | More by charlzm
4.72/5 rDev +15.1%
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.
05-09-2009 01:13:49 | More by Drew966
4.35/5 rDev +6.1%
appearance: reddish dark brown
smell: large hop presence, very plesant for a hop fans. more than I expected and much more than bigfoot
taste: strong hops aroma, rich malty flavor
mouthfeel: high carbonation and very tasty
drinkability: smooth large beer. I was impressed. Never had a Barleywine other than Bigfoot. I liked both and they are completly different.
06-07-2009 04:49:35 | More by CampusCrew
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.