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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
-
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 UA8
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy copper with one finger thick cream colored head.

S- Big tropical fruits notes, big syrupy malts, boozy back notes.

T- Leads with big piny hops, midpalate is of sweet caramel malts and fruits, finishes with a huge bitterness classic stone.

M- Syrupy with a touch of rough carbonation.

D- I think this beer most definitely could use a couple of years worth of aging to smooth out and blend the flavors. The hops are overdone for the style and could use some settling. (485 characters)

Photo of BostonBrewins
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy, glowing copper with a white head which dissipated quickly.

S - Floral and citrus hops hit my nose before as I was pouring it. Fragrant and powerful.

T - Earthy and citrus hoppy notes dominate this beer. Biscuity and caramel tones shine in the background. Alcohol is definitely there, but its surprisingly subtle.

M - Mouth feel is full bodied and creamy, perhaps a bit syrupy.

D - A nice brew to sip on. The 11% abv is hidden nicely making this very drinkable. I would have guessed it was 7-8% A good example of the American barley wine style. (566 characters)

Photo of darklordlager
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 22 oz. snifter a hazy sunset orange with a small film of tan head which recedes to a mere coating. Great fall colour.

Smell is of candied fruit. Fruit cake, layered caramel, with hops molding together the layers.

Taste is a spectrum of interesting flavours. Floral Hops with loads of caramel malt helping to prop up said hops.
Interesting finish consisting of a strong seemingly everlasting bitterness with a mild (compared to the hops) malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel is syrupy, on par with what you would expect with a barleywine.

D-For a fresh barleywine, it is ridiculously drinkable. On par with Bigfoot.

Will revisit in a year or so. (657 characters)

Photo of hardy008
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange color with an off white two finger head. The head has nice retention and leaves a nice lace. The smell is mostly grapefruit from the citrus hops. It smells like this will be a very hoppy bitter beer, but the taste is sweeter than I expected from the aroma. Yes, the flavor is mostly grapefruit and hops, but there is also a malt backbone which adds balance. This beer becomes sweeter as it warms.

The mouthfeel on this beer is between medium and full bodied and is sticky and oily. The carbonation is somewhat low, which is good, and this is a nice drinkable beer. I have not always liked Barleywines, but I do like this one. It would be nice if this beer was maltier, but it is still good as it is. I would buy this again if available. (757 characters)

Photo of kegger22
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 release (just had a bomber of 2008 a few days ago).

Poured a hazy, dark orange with a one finger head that slowly faded to a thick skin. The aroma was rather more hoppy than malt. The taste was much more bitter than the 2008. I like hops (though not quite yet a hophead, I'm getting there), but I preferred the malted balance of '08. Yes sweet was there, and more so as it warmed, but I still favor last year's release. This one is good though. The feel was medium bodied with little carbonation. Drinkability was good for a high ABV. (541 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 mjgarrett2
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep gold with amber tints, quite transparent with a modest beige head.

S-Not agressive, hints of hops and strong barley and a touch of oats.

T-Mellow with sweet malts. Surprising taste of caramel amongst the obvious barley and subtler hops.

M-Maltier and sweeter as the flavor progresses with some bitter tones lingering through the barley.

D-Wasn't sure what to expect from this Barleywine, but it seems to balance well between the more common styles. Great for sipping and enjoying, or pairing with some fine foods. (524 characters)

Photo of far333
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (538 characters)

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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! (740 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 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 BirdFlu
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly deep amberish/copper/red hue.. certainly deeper and darker than an IPA so gives a good indicator of whats to come. Aroma is certainly awesome. A very balanced yet very strong mix of hop and sweet maltiness. Both are present in a very robust way, the ho is quite fruity with grapefruit and citrus while still having a bit of floral quality. Also a fairly present alcohol aroma. The sweet is sort of malty but overall also very sugary and tart. Flavor also has a good balance of hop and malt, the malt is surprisingly a bit raisiny/plum-like the way you see in a doppelbock or so. Mouth is fairly viscous for the stlye, full-bodied and very nice. Overall its definitely very good. Its not quite perfect and certainly can be a bit in-your-face for some, but still overall very good. (794 characters)

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

This beer poured a clear red amber color and formed a small foamy light tan head that left latticed lace as it quickly subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, pine, grapefruit and caramel. The flavor was of malt, hops, caramel and citrus. The body is medium light and slightly creamy and the finish bittersweet. (341 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 rye726
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (406 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.05/5  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. (389 characters)

Photo of porterwoobie
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (760 characters)

Photo of Anthony1
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint

pours a hazy amber, somewhat burn orange. very thin head, goes away quick leaving little signs.

at first, thought it was a very floral smell, but realized it was sweet pine. citrus and hops, and farm sweets, honey, malt, grapefuit. tastes similar, better as it warmed. sweet up front, then bitter. was enjoyable with a meal. would buy again to go with some food. (391 characters)

Photo of TommyW
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy dark gold with nice white head the last nicely and leaves a decent lacing.

S- Lots of different fruity sweets, lots of toasted and caramel malts, some hop oils and a light alcohol.

T- Mixed fruity flavors start off and are quickly over taken by the caramel and toasted malts. It almost tastes like a stout or porter with the level of toasted malts you get. The hops come through and mixed with alcohol create a very peppery and hoppy finish.

M- Very full feel, smooth at first and then gets a little rougher as it moves to the back of the mouth.

D- My first bw, so I have nothing to compare it to. But, I have to say it is quite a nice brew and I would definitely recommend trying it. (696 characters)

Photo of Florida9
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (609 characters)

Photo of n00tz
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep red apple cider-like (translucent) body, medium height silver-queen colored head that laces down the glass.

S - Piney with a fruity sweetness that I can only distinguish particularly as apple. Somewhat woody, mossy natural smell seems to peer out.

T/M - Smooth fruity grape, melon, berry onset, followed by a malty punch (almost porter-like) followed with a sharp pine hops that hammers it's way into your palate. The initial mouthful(s) carry the barley through until the hops burn in, though 5 minutes after your last sip you'll be tasting the barley and grain more than the hops - unique! The more it warms the less hops you taste and the more of the fruit, malt, and grain you taste.. the most temperature diversity I've tasted in a brew to date.

D - It really takes an open mind for newbies (those that don't know half of the diversity of brews). But wow, this really kicks up and drives home my desire for a beer cellar. Such a lucky find!

I drank this after much internal debate, this was my first barleywine and I was somewhat scared of it for lack of a better term. It will certainly be where I set the bar for good barleywines from now on. (1,162 characters)

Photo of goblue3509
2.63/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an apple cider like color, a hazy brown color with very little head. The smell is of fruit and malts. No real hop presence. Fruit gives way to malts. The taste is malty but it can't mask an over bearig alcohol taste. The alcohol burn is present, there isn't enough notes to balance out this beer. The mouthfeel is a little rough, alcohol burn and harsh feel. Drinkability is below average, not enough going on to cancel out the alcohol taste, there are a lot of barelywines smoother and more balanced than this one. (521 characters)

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber, the last of my Stone bombers from my little trip to Indiana and Three Floyds.

A: Stained cherry wood, head settles into a decent sized cap and some lacing, very nice considering the amount of alcohol and the glass used.

S: Candied peaches, ripe mango, guava, melon type fruits if you understand me, I heavier, sweeter kind of fruit aroma, seperate from the crisper, more bitter orange, apricot, pineapple, etc. an almost cotton candy like sweetness still a piny hop scent lingers strongly. Loads and loads of bready caramel sweetness.

T/MF: A big boozy hammer, burns the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is at first smooth and slick then becomes constricting, almost abbrasive on the back of the tongue and throat. Hot, hot, hot alcohol over powers, peppery, pine is still here, very prevalent. Pine moves into earth, moves into medicinal bitterness. This is a whale of a beer and it just might get the best of me. Candied fruits prevail near the end but really borderlines on cough syrup .

D: This beer is rough, rough in feel and rough around the edges in taste. The aroma is something spectacular, really was enjoying that aspect of the beer, smelled like cake batter and pie filling mixed with hops coming out of the bottle. Time in the cellar would do this beer good I believe, but as it stands it could use some softening. (1,342 characters)

Photo of WalrusJockey
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Into DT tulips.

A- cloudy, dark orange, with a decent white head. Very decent on the first glass, but less on the second one.

S- lots of aromatic hops, lots of apricot and citrus, no real bitterness in the nose, and also (shockingly) no real alcho-smells. Deep down there is some malt aroma, and some faint esthers are also buried down there.

T- sweet aromatic hops rapidly give way to a strong, medicinal, alcohol bite, which gradually fades into bitter hops. Some hints of malt are present, but faintly so. Alcohol is fairly dominant flavor throughout, which makes sense, given the ABV, but is still a bit of a disappointment, as it tends to trample down the other flavors, and flatten the palate rapidly.

The more I have, the more I enjoy it, but I can't tell if that is a factor of the beer warming and becoming tastier, or just a factor of my own intoxication. I could buy another bottle and drink it even warmer, but I don't know if I will bother. If I do, I will update this review.

M- rich, strong and creamy mouth.

D- over 11% and 22 ounces of it, the drinkability is near the bottom of the barrel. (1,113 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)

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