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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

246 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 246
Hads: 330
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 8.17%
Wants: 6
Gots: 47 | 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
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Reviews: 246 | Hads: 330
Photo of Duhast500
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a deep amber/gold with a off white head with a nice amount of lacing.

The smell is a nice hop flavoring in the first few seconds. Is also surprisingly sweet, a small hint of cinnamon.

The taste has a strong hop flavor. Like all Stone beers the first taste has a punch to it. Somewhat bastard in taste there are also some dry flavor and is pretty malty. FULL of flavor.

The mouth feel is quite easy after getting over that first hump of the first sip. This also easy to drink. The next sip seems to lead into the next. (581 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Released as part of the 2011 Cleveland Beer Week.
A: Orangish red color, thin head that quickly dissipates.
S: All sorts of fruit: stone fruit, citrus, dried fruit; caramel & toffee rounds it out.
T: Caramel, toffee, orange peel. Straightforward but intense.
M: A bit thick and the alcohol does come through, but typical of the style.
O: Another solid offering from Stone. Drink this one slowly. (433 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.
Pours a ruby brown in color. No head forms on the pour, but there is a bit of froth that appears. Smell is huge malts, some alcohol and just a hint of hops.
The flavor is big. The hops are more toned down in this years offering than in last years. Last years was too hoppy for me. This one is much more drinkable early on. Huge malts, and just a hint of alcohol. There are some hops in this beer, but they are very balanced and complimentary. I prefer this beer a lot more to last years bottling. Might have to pick up some of these bottles to put down for awhile. (577 characters)

Photo of ocelot2500
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber and orange color with a small white head. Leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smells of some herbal hops and malt sweetness. Some toffee, caramel, and alcohol notes are in there.

Tastes of the sweet malt up front followed by a herbal hop note that ends in an alcoholic finish. The malt has a caramel and some fruit flavors, which is rounded out by the other flavors. Some pine flavors are also in the hops as well.

The mouthfeel is creamy and full and has an alcoholic finish. (500 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour is a cloudy brown-orange with a medium size beige head, and excellent lacing.

smell of sweet fruit (pear, apple) some roasted nuts, some caramel, spice, and grain in the back.

taste is thick, semi-tart, burnt caramel, roasted nuts, malt, some fruit, and a touch of citrus, ends a little dry and a little bitter, gets sweeter as it warms. (344 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle at The Beer Mongers on 12th and Division in SE Portland the other day... and just now read that it was an early release.. and the bastard is 11.3% Alc. WOW...

- Light caramel hazy brew with luscious lacing and subtle white head... looks like a nice bitter cream ale of sorts...

- Nice roasty caramel malt presence... light, with some brown sugar, maple... zesty spicy bitter hop balance... really nice.

- Zesty and spicy nostral opening liquor barley madness. What a complex and wonderful barleywine.. and yet so strong, and just right! My head shook after I took a small chug from a mug, that like a missing lug, made thee wanna hug! Great spice, hop forward bitter balance, with a perfect malt/burn combination... Stone is fantastic.

- Little sticky and oily... the burn is almost synthetic...

- Hugely drinkable if you like strong ales... and like trying to pick out all the flavors Stone puts in their brews. Shocked. (942 characters)

Photo of lovindahops
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this will be neat. A barleywine from Caly besides a bigfoot. Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass

Here we go....

A- hazy orange with that slow receding head. Bulky lacing remains on the side of the brew. Strangely, it almost looks like a blue moon with a lack of a head

S- whoa! Malty alcohol! So sweet with citrus and syrupy hops though. Butterscottch and caramel. Some watery raisins as well

T- sweet barley wine taste with alcohol and dried fruit. A tad crisp hopped flavor with light smoked malt even. Some earthy flavor is twisted with some citrus too. The malt does finish the brew with a sweet tone

M- crabonated and thick with a heck of a mouthfull

D- great west coast barley wine! Stone is wicked. You have to be careful with the alcohol. Sit back and enjoy one (779 characters)

Photo of Seanibus
4.74/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy orangy with a slow rising, lazy burst of carbonation and a modest head that falls quickly. Smell is deep, sweet malt, with rich floral hops. Flavor is sweet and bitter, like a zingy orange rind. Floral hops, sweet, tangy malt and an absorbing bitterness on the end. Mouthfeel is rich and viscous.

The only block to drinkability is its intense alcohol content, which will set you back fairly quickly, particularly given how smooth and well balanced it is. (466 characters)

Photo of Shaw
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An orange-amber in color with a short, off-white head that's not much more than a ring and a thin layer in my glass.

It has that trademark barleywine aroma of alcohol, hops and tons of malt.

The trademark aroma leads to the trademark taste. Lots of malt and big hop bitterness, but not in an over-the-top way. This is a more nuanced barleywine. Big warming notes at the end.

The body is super slick and creamy. Quite nice.

Overall this is a good barleywine. It's a little too strong for me to be packaged in a 22-ounce bottle: I'd prefer a 12-ounce version. But that's because I'm a serious lightweight. I just ate a huge meal and will drink this bottle over several hours. Here's hoping I don't get a hangover. (715 characters)

Photo of roadhouse
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter after reading a really lame ass label that I regret wasting 5 minutes of my life on.

Appears a nearly clear red-orange color with a one inch off-white head. It falls to a cap and leaves no lacing.

Aroma is pretty much all hops. Lots of pine, grapefruity citrus, and a somewhat nutty tone. Something about it is almost metallic or medicinal that isn't good.

Taste is again mostly straight up hops. Is there a difference between Imperial IPA and American Barleywine besides a slightly darker color? Lots of pine and grapefruit hops once again. There's actually a small hint at some malt in there, a caramelly sweetness that appears for a split second at the beginning of the finish. Ultimately the hops end up dominating and leaving a bitter aftertaste in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, it has a good creamy consistency. Not exactly the easiest to drink.

Overall I found this to be pretty tasty, but I'm really starting to just get annoyed by American Barleywines. I will take an English style one any day over the American counterpart. At least those have some complexity other than insane hops. Not everything has to have the hops of an Imperial IPA. (1,206 characters)

Photo of JDizzle
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aged a few years. Bought a Martha's Vineyard in Grand Rapids for $3.99 a bomber!!!

This one pours a deep bllod orange red that looks unreal. A little head boils up for a second and retreats quickly. Smells like apricot, plum, caramel, leather, and a wee bit of alcohol. Really sweet and inviting! Can't wait to try this one. WOW, this is one of the best barleywines I have tried-aged. The hops are still there, but have faded perfectly from a fresh one. Still bitter on the finish, but not so abrasive. Really sweet with a carmel, earthy flavor that really shines-so smooth for such a heavy beer. Getting a cherry, peach fruit punch, but it's hard to tell there is so much going on here. Mouthfeel is thick with low carbonation. What a fine beer!-sucks it took this long to get this:) Drank the 10' side by side and it's night and day how much better this is. (860 characters)

Photo of bamadog
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of this at The Main Stree Gourmet in Oxford, OH -- kind of a lucky find so if you're ever in that area, be sure to stop by and check it out. What was even better was that it was a bottle of '09 and kept pretty well in this store. I had a bottle of '09 when it was fresh and it was too big for me to get through too much, so with a year of age on it, it had definitely mellowed out and the hops had mellowed a bit, but were still really potent so I'd love to get a hold of another bottle of the '09 and let it set. Review is from notes taken on 6/1/2010 and poured from the bottle to a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a rich and deep honey color and starts with a 1/2 finger white head that fades immediately to a thin and uneven spotty skim on the surface; body shows tremendous clarity and minimal carbonation -- just one thin strand of bubbles trickling up; only a couple of spots of lacing are left behind on the sides of the glass.

Smell: A lot of honey sweet malts and a faint whiff of grapefruit bitter hop presence; a faint presence of alcohol is detectable in the nose as well -- nose is ultimately quite potent and makes its presence known.

Taste: Tons of the honey sweet malts are up front, but as kind of expected in most anything from Stone, the hops are still very present and are grapefruit bitter -- these hops have not really faded much at all over the extra year in the bottle, but have managed to mellow just a bit and ultimately this has become much more drinkable; the aftertaste is initially like pure honey, but the sticky coating holds some of the bitter hop resins and end up rounding out the palate.

Mouthfeel: Body is a little thick and heavy, even starts a little slick and oily; carbonation is a little more potent than it looks, but really smooth; a thick dry coating is left all over the mouth and as mentioned above, it really holds the bitter aftertaste quite well.

Drinkability: It's big, but I'm digging on the flavors and balance for such a big beer from a real hop-forward brewery; the ABV is high and that decreases the score a bit, and I would love to get ahold of another bottle to give it another year and see where it's at. Perhaps a road trip is in order. (2,221 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22oz single from Arctic Liquors in Steamboat, CO. Around $6.

A: Dark copper/orange, with an off white head about half an inch or so, excellent lacing all the way around. Hazy. Dense bubbles, not a lot of carbonation moving around in the glass. Pretty nice looking beer.

S: Piney and citrus hops are really present with some huge caramel and doughy flavors too. Smells very sweet, but has some nice bitter hints as well. Almost honey like, smells pretty darn tasty. Faint hints of booze as it warms up.

T: Wow! Bitter hoppiness! If I didn't have any other knowledge of this beer, I would mistake it for a very potent DIPA. Damn. Hops are very citrus like, almost like biting into a grapefruit rind. As it warms, the hops mellow out a little bit, and the malt starts to shine, quite similar to the nose, caramel, and honey. This is a strong beer. No doubt about it. An interesting barley wine that will age nicely, right now, its a bit overbearing on the hop end of the spectrum.

M: Thick, dry, and slightly spicy from all the hops, alcohol is pretty hot as it goes down, not so much in the mouth, but I can really feel it in my gut.

D: It is very intense, but drinkable if hops are your thing. Honestly, its hard for me to see this as a barleywine right now, give it a few more months and I think things will mellow out, but right now, this is a very malty DIPA. Really a tasty beer, I think the next bottle will be a little more mellow in...October? Good beer though, I'd recommend it to a hop head. (1,521 characters)

Photo of ShogoKawada
2.74/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz into Newport Storm pint glass. Bought @ Chris Gassbaro's vast wasteland of beer.

A- Pale hazy orange with a bit of amber. Nice cascade in the pint glass.

S- Nose is of a wheatwine, actually. Sweet malts.

T- Taste is cotton candy, sweet sherry and undefined grape sugars and some heat from the alcohol.

M- Hot. Abrasive, not what I was expecting.

D- Moderate. I think this beer may be in a transitional period- I have another bottle and will give it some time and a re-review if needed. (498 characters)

Photo of soupyman10
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wife got me a bottle of this, first one I've gotten my hands on in a couple of years. Look is solid - amber color, fairly light, with a smallish head that dissolves quickly down to a fairly fine film. Huge nose: strong on fruity hops, spice, and caramel malt. Really perfect, well-balanced aromas here. Definitely a hoppy nose, but not unnervingly so. Body is fruity sweet up front, then rolling into a more caramel malt before finishing with a strong, drying, syrupy hop conclusion. A really good example of a solid barley-wine, although this one obviously focuses on the hops side of the fence, leaning into DIPA range (but who's counting, really). Fruitiness, looking at some dried fruit - raisins and apricots. Don't get any alcohol out of this sucker, despite the 11% ABV. Body is fine, with a really busy carbonation that works with that strong hop presence. Overall, this is a really solid brew, much like I remember it. (927 characters)

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.49/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh 2009 bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A slow-forming, foamy, 2-finger, peachy-khaki-colored head sits atop a gritty, copper-colored body. Great retention and tremendous lacing given the ABV. Very inviting.

Smell: Resinous hops, doughy malts, pine, and some alcohol. Surprisingly faint, though it does seem to pick up strength as it warms. Smells sweeter and stickier toward the end of the session.

Taste: Doughy malts, caramel, loads of oily hops, and maybe some berries. Earth, pine, and spicy notes are also detected. Finishes full and dry. This is one MASSIVE beer!

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, creamy, warm, and a little sticky. Carbonation is medium in strength and suits the beer well.

Drinkability: This one needs a little time to mature. I'll lay the next bottle down for a couple years before tasting. It's good fresh, but definitely beasty. (868 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, Limited Early 2009 Release. Pours a gorgeous burnt caramel with some golden orange highlights, big chunks at the bottom. Two fingers of cascading head which leaves sticky lacing down the glass.

Whoa, after two years this is just reaching drinkable levels. Loads of resiny pine hops, loads of citrus, more leafy in the nose. Caramel base with hints of earth, but still overwhelmed by the hops. Booze in the finish, light burn. Creamy mouthfeel, a little thin in the malt base but otherwise spot on. This will be many years from balanced but damn is it tasty for what it is, a hopped up American barleywine - could drink this a lot, especially for the ABV. (668 characters)

Photo of ChrisPro
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind on 3/12/11 as part of Blind BIF #4

22 oz. bomber poured into a snifter.

Pours a burnt orange with a two finger pillow of cream-colored head. Virtually no lacing as I drink.

One whiff and I'm thinking this must be a barley wine or DIPA. There are huge pine and juniper notes with only the slightest hint of a malt backbone. As it warms, there's a bit more grapefruit coming to the party. As it opens up even more, there's definitely a bit more caramel on the nose.

Interesting first sip. My palate either has something going on with it or this beer has some unique hops. I get sort of a weird bitter maple up front, then a sweet honey, then a long long lingering bitterness that stings the side of the tongue. This bitter finish is incredibly citrusy with lemon and grapefruit all over the place. It's such a weird finish that it's almost a hint of sour. This is sort of a weird finish, but I like it

Pretty thin for the aroma and taste. Definitely doesn't have the body for a barleywine, but I'm definitely digging it as a IIPA. Perfect carbonation and insanely smooth. I can tell there's some heat there, but the wildness has been tamed by the brewer.

Overall, it's going down sickeningly well at cellar temp. Part of it is its complexity driving me to sip and sip, but part of it is that it's just plain good. I don't think I'd go out of my way for this beer, but if it's around, I'd probably try it again.

Still a bit confused on the style. If I had to pick something, I'd say imperial amber. It's got some malt, but not enough to be a barleywine, so it must be a DIPA. As to which one, I'm clueless.

Reveal: 2009 Old Guardian (a Want)
4/4.5/4/4/4 (1,671 characters)

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first review...here it goes.

A: Old Guardian pours a reddish orange with more orange than red. Upon close examination you can see a little yeast sediment when held to the light. The head is a little disappointing, would have liked to see a little thicker head with better lacing.

S: You know the nose on a beer is spectacular when you crack open the bottle and you're salivating before the beer hits the glass. The nose is defiantly well balanced. Malt is present more then hops, and the alcohol is there to tingle the nose when inhaling deep.

T: With the first sip comes the malty background. More caramel then anything, sweet at first, then the hoppy bitterness stings the tongue. The alcohol is well hidden, but it is ever present to remind you that this is a big beer.

MF: Lightly carbonated full mouth without being too full.

D: Considering the ABV and the hoppyness of this beer the drinkability is great. I can more then sip this beer and not feel like I'm overwhelming my pallet.

Overall Old Guardian will not disappoint. The barley wine style IMO covers a wide range of beers. Old Gaurdian is somewhere between great and a definitive beer of this style. I personally would have liked to have a little more flavor complexity, but there is no doubt that OG is a MONSTER of a barley wine. (1,305 characters)

Photo of AmitC
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A pure bliss of a bottle.

Got this in lieu of 3-12 fl oz Hopslams.

Poured from 22 oz bomber into large snifter glass. Very clear, deep amber color with great ruby hues. Still has a lot of carbonation for a 2009. Some bubbles are seen rising up slowly. Very less, thin layered head from the first half pour. Tan colored and does not stay. Excellent stickiness shown by the side laces with each sip.

Aroma is huge. Smells a lot like old ale. Some very obvious malt-hop presence upfront. A little bit boozy as well. Smells fills the nose from a feet away once you open the bottle. Hops shine along with a lot of malt but do not have a distinct presence of their own.

Taste is all malt and boozy. This one is heck of drink, Alcohol has not mellowed down much i would suppose or it would have been hell boozy when fresh. Bitterness is still there. In fact a lot of it. A little bit of toffee flavor and a lot of caramel flavor dominate the taste. An excellent blend of malts and hops is what barley wines are all about. I like it very much. Finish is bitter to very bitter.

Mouth feel is medium to slightly full. A lot of oily and resiny touch. A very good warmth when drinking this. A lot of booze and might appear astringent to some.

Strong and drinking nice.

I love it. (1,280 characters)

Photo of litheum94
3.17/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Reviewed on 2/7/11.

Nice looking beer, with orange edges and a dark, burnt ochre middle. Fluffy, brownish head that takes awhile to settle down. Nice lacing, and beautiful bubbles.

Carmel sweetness on the nose. Robust malts. Surprising yeasty profile. Musty. Raisin bread. Pine hops. White pepper spices. Citrus twinge. Very complex and shifting nose.

Where does this beer start? Vague flavors immediately give way to a punch of pine hops and phenolic, medicinal flavors. Leads into spicy flavors. As it warms, more flavors try to poke their heads out. Carmel and raisin bread with candied orange appear, but those flavors are quickly beaten into submission by the hops. The finish is extremely bitter and has a giant alcohol punch, almost burning.

I can't believe this beer has 2 years of age on it. Very abrasive, and I feel abused. Wish I would have split this bottle with someone; it was a little too much for me by the end. Needs about 5 more years on it. (978 characters)

Photo of hustlesworth
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A- beautiful color, a bright reddish orange when back lit, hazy and appealing, with a creamy beige head that possesses remarkable retention abilities for such a big barleywine. rings of lace slide away leaving spots behind and forming a negative silhouette of mountainous peaks rising behind this thick lake of danger.

S- crazy hops, hop on board the mothership, pine and grapefruit, and a big whiff of alcohol, even when it's still rather cold. orange, tangerine, pineapple, passionfruit, and a good amount of brown sugar and honey sweet malt although it is overwhelmed by the monster hops. some caramel and toffee, sandalwood, cognac, milk chocolate, and a creaminess as it warms up some. also as it warms, the malt sweetness opens up and competes with the hops, achieving a sublime balance and at the same time (thankfully) suppressing the alcohol esters.

T- sweet and malty up front with a huge hop explosion on the backside. woodsy and earthy with a caramel sweetness that is overtaken mid way by the hops. tons of pine and grapefruit and the other aforementioned fruits all slathered in a bath of bitterness and vodka like sweet alcohol, almost dank and musty, but in a very good way. flavors of earth and soil, stone, grain husk, grain meat, sherry, pork, and plenty of herbal and burnt fruit flavors from the hops. i couldn't guess what varieties are in here but i would compare the flavor profile to centennial, amarillo, and simcoe. insane bitterness mellows out quickly, allowing for a nice balanced finish of toasted grain, burnt grapefruit, and pine resin.

MF- full and lush, like as good as any single malt scotch i've ever had. warming and luxurious, with the feel of articulation and dignity. carbonation is somewhere between medium and low and i feel that any lower and this thing would be a syrupy mess. being masterfully brewed however, this monstrous potion feels as good as a vegas hooker with a bottle of glenmorangie and a... nevermind. clutch.

D- couldn't hold out on this one more than 6 months, with another in the basement for good measure. a real treat in my silver rimmed stone levitation tulip glass. 1/3 of the bottle has me 'stoned' but the rest will be enjoyed on two more upcoming occasions. for the faint of heart and palate, this is as arrogant as any bastard could ever be. (2,316 characters)

Photo of Buebie
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this lovely from Freethyhops.

Poured into an oversized snifter. To say its hazey would be an understatement. about an inch of bubbly froth is formed from a rigerous pour. Retention of assorted (mostly large) bubble islands and a ring around the collar.
Color is a marmelade orange.

Aroma is sweet and nectar like with loads of caramel malt goodness and just a hint of alcohol at the nose.
Some mild fruity hops and pine.

Feel is slick and creamy with a full bodied feel and smooth carbonation.
Taste upfront is sweet and filled with caramel, malt, buttery bread and plenty of cereal grains.
Hops start to smash me up midway throw and dominate through the swallow with plenty of pine and citric peel. Through the hop bruising, malt still shines through with sweet caramel.
Finishing almost wood like with bitters and a little aspirin.
Very mild warming feel and for 11% it is way too mild. Dangerous really. :)

Very delicious brew. I didnt think I'd ever get a chance to try this and then this trade fell into my lap. (1,037 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2009 edition

Nice looking copper/orange pour with a finger of head that leaves some sticky lacing.

This one is a hoppy monster upon first contact with my nose. Nice, sweet caramel malt underneath.

The hops seem to be quite a bit faded in the taste and there is a mustiness there that isn't really very pleasant. Biscuity malts without a whole lot of a sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium and sticky. Perhaps this one just needs some time under it, but right now I'm not a huge fan. (480 characters)

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose is full of rich malt and strong hops. Deep roast. Juicy, almost-pungent resins. Smells quite good.

Pours a rich golden red color, good clarity, moderate head. Looks good.

All kinds of spicy herbalness. I'm hit early on with pepper, mint, and lots of thyme/sage/parsley freshness. It feels like a bouquet garni bomb went off in my mouth. Also working with this is the alcohol which I may be mistaking for sharp, pungent herbal oils. I'm trying to find the malt, no luck yet.

My senses are quite numbed by the wondrous hops and still no real malt. Stone would have done better labeling this an Imperial IPA because it's a very good one. Not the best Barleywine. Still, tastes good. Feels good. Good drinkability. It just needs a bigger malt presence. (757 characters)

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