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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 246 | Hads: 330
Photo of womencantsail
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark, rich brown color with burnt orange tint. Small head but great lacing.

S: You definitely notice the booze on this one, but very sweet (caramel), and lots of hops (especially when fresh).

T: Quite hoppy for a barleywine, but still tons of malty sweetness. A rum-like taste is present as well.

M: Huge body on this one, kind of syrupy.

D: It's a delicious beer, but one that you can't enjoy too many of in a sitting. (428 characters)

Photo of Stunner97
4.79/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- cloudy brown to almost orange copper in color, very thin white lacing remains after thinning off the pour, light to little carbonation,

Smell- Beautiful smell thats a mix of caramel malts and sweet yet spicy hops, very powerful and intriguing nose

Taste- a very beautiful mix of both very nice sweet malts and the spicey hops you smell on the nose, caramel and molases flavors hit you hard up front but your left with a beautiful lingering bitter hop finish, a superbly and in my opinion almost perfectly balanced beers, delightful finish, to me a near perfect beer all around

Mouthfeel- Full bodied thick and creamy, it just feels heavy and big in your mouth, enjoyably smooth feel

Drinkability- the only reason I can give it a 5.0 drinkability is because its 11.3% booozeee but watch out because its dangerous and not noticable, this is a beer for the hop heads and the not so crazy hop heads a like, beautiful balance and to me a master piece example of what a barley wine should be, yet another example for why i love stone beers (1,049 characters)

Photo of babaracas
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange copper with fluffy but fast fading eggshell colored head. Smell: toffee, golden raisin, caramel, floral hops. Taste: toasted, caramel, golden raisin, sugary sweetness met head on by a massive raw floral hop and heady alcohol. This is certainly the least DIPA-like of the American barleywines I've had, but it definitely possesses that west coast Stone character. A behemoth of a beer that I'll cheaply take some points from for needing some age before it becomes more approachable... then again as an "early 2009" release, it's had a half year already... (566 characters)

Photo of SpecialK088
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

Nice golden/burnt orange color with a low head and no lace

Notes of floral hops and very tosted malt also a figgy or sugary sweet note

Flavor is very complex the malt,hops and barley come together in an amazing balance to create a very unique flavor alcohol burns a little in the finish with some nutty/wood notes

Mouthfeel is near perfect for this beer not overly carbonated slightly oily and incredibly complex flavors. Medium body

Split is at the very least between 2 this is one big bastard but very good. (539 characters)

Photo of strengthdoc
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass to reveal a nice reddish copper color. The aroma was not overpowering and consisted of raisin, licorice and pear. The mouthfeel was very nice and not syrupy like some of the style, pretty much perfect. The taste at first is milder than I had expected, there is a touch of raisin at first then the hop character charges in. The mid taste is of grapefruit hop and the finsih is a nice earthy pine hop bitterness. There is a nice alcohol warmth in the bitter aftertaste. This one could really sneak up on you. The 11.3% abv is hidden well. (567 characters)

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

poured into a glass quickly but did not produce a large head, a one finger resilient head that stayed until the glass was gone. Burnt orange with a cloudy haze.

Smells nicely of several malts and a woody hop nose. so much malt here in the aroma.

Tastes incredibly complex with so much malt, bready, toasty malts with a subtle hop flavor that allows the malts to be exposed and glorified.

Mouth is very nice, Damn perfect. Drinks well but be sure to split the bottle between two or more people. (498 characters)

Photo of BigJim5021
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Figured I would grab something good for my 100th review. This fits the bill.

Pours a deep amber with a light haze and a beige head. Lacing is out of control.

The smell is slightly sweet (caramel) and very hoppy. It's also slightly vinous.

The flavor is light fruitiness, caramel sweetness and huge hops. Just massively hoppy. The hops linger for a long-ass time. Alcohol only rears its head what seems like every other sip.

Mouthfeel is ridiculously creamy and thick without being chewy. Fantastic.

Abv keeps the drinkability low -- because this stuff seriously kicked my ass -- but goddamn this is one tasty beer. Stone has me wanting to try more American barleywines. I also want to pick up a bottle and sit on it for a while. I think it would be interesting to try once the hops have mellowed out a little. (814 characters)

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

The beer pours a dark amber brown with a small amount of cream colored head. The head recedes quickly with about a 1/4 inch of retention. Some carbonation is present.

The smell is hoppy with carmel and vanilla.

Ah, this barlywine in the real thing! The taste is sweet with a deep smokey carmel-vanilla flavor. The alcohol is not overpowering but is present. This is a nice balanced barlywine!

This beer is a real sipper. It is very drinkable and I will be back for more! (474 characters)

Photo of dhd1491
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lots of different flavors going on and not as over-the-top as some barleywines. Still, a powerful "sippin" brew; not one that you're going to want to pound down. Of the few barleywines I've tried so far, this is one of the better ones.

Lots of ripe fruit and berries in the flavor. Butter and toffee, too. A nicely complex brew. My expectations have been met or exceeded by Stone with every one of their beers that I have sampled. (431 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful bottle with the gargoyle daring the brave to drink. I brave it.

Poured into a pint glass and view a caramel color and a massive eggnog colored foamy head which is present throughout the session.

A sweet, sticky, hoppy (almost peppery) aroma.

The taste is very hoppy for a Barleywine. It does have a major malt kick which evens out the bitterness. The bitterness stays on the tastebuds though but it is a pleasant stay.

Drinkability is high even with the 11% though it will sneak up on you.

One of my favorites from Stone though this beer is best consumed at a warmer temperature which enables the drinker to appreciate all it has to offer. Aging it is even better. (679 characters)

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange/amber color with a large, creamy caramel colored head. Retention is good and it lays down some nice lace despite the ABV.

S: Loads of sweet citrus, caramel malt, fruity esters, and a hint of alcohol. Smells like caramelized citrus fruit covered in brown sugar. Absolutely delightful, a 5 if not for the slight booziness.

T&M: Tons of caramel and citric hops, some bitterness on the finish. Dark fruits, rum-ish alcohol flavor, brown sugar, and an herbal mint flavor all on the finish. Will be interesting to see how this one develops with some age on it. A solid flavor. Full bodied with a very thin, effervescent carbonation. Slick and slightly sticky in the mouth. Excellent feel.

D: Rather drinkable for a barleywine. Alcohol isn't so overpowering, despite it's young age. Yet another great beer from the guys at Stone. (854 characters)

Photo of pmcadamis
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This is a rich golden copper color that looks like gold bars melted into a viscous liquid. The beer is a deeper copper tone in the glass, and quite cloudy. The head stands at a respectable two fingers of completely solid foam. Gigantic sheets of caramel hued foam slide slowly down the edges of my snifter, melding seamlessly back into that solid, dense pillow of beautiful foam. The beer starts to clear up after a few seconds of settling in the glass, and head retention is outstanding for a beer of this stature.

S - Sweet vanilla bean, banana Laffy Taffy, gooey caramel ice cream topping, Belgian waffles, and if this is starting to sound too malty... its topped of with a glorious west coast hop note redolent of fresh flowers and citrus fruit. Nice!

T - Hoppy as all hell. This is WAY hoppier than it smells... should have expected that from Stone! This wonderfully hoppy brew is like caramelized sugar poured over bushel of fresh hops. Pine and grapefruit are the major components here, along with flourishes of gin and tonic "botanical" bitterness. This is outstanding, but I gotta say that its more of a double IPA than a barleywine isn't it?

M - Medium bodied and muscular. This has some apparent alcohol burn that comes across in a bitter and refined way.... like good gin. Starts with the tiniest hint of sweetness and finishes super-bitter and dry.

D - What is the IBU rating for this one? Its honestly one of the hoppiest and most bitter bees that I've ever had... ever. This is a well made and memorable beer, and it smells outstanding. However, at the risk of sounding like a weenie, its honestly just too bitter to really quaff with any enthusiasm or regularity. This is a beer that could stand up to the spiciest fare.... Indian, Thai, or Cajun this would give a super-spicy or peppery dish a run for its money. (1,838 characters)

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

Appearance: Old Guardian pours a nice golden pumpkin color, with a fair bit of soapy tan head which thins to a nice lace.

Smell: this is Stone, so hops are on top, with a nice tangerine citrus aroma

Taste: the hops immediately hop onto the palate along with citrus notes and well balanced malty sweetness

Mouthfeel: this is a nice mouthful, full bodied but quite smooth

Drinkability: Entirely interesting brew, Old Guardian is a champ in my book. I am relatively new to barley wines but given Stone´s track record i figured this is a good place to start...and this drink suits me just fine. Thumbs up thrice! (614 characters)

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

A - Pours with a thinner, eggshell colored head; cloudy rust orange/brown color

S - Dark fruits, bit of sweeter plums; then straight onto an aggressive hoppiness; the hops are piney; bit of light fruit (grapefruit) come through as well

T - Hops are out front and center with clear juniper and resin flavors; moves onto some grapefruit; great maltiness that imparts a bit of sweetness but nowhere even as sweet as some DIPAs. Great assertive American barleywine here!

M - Viscous, smooth, heavier feel but carries the brew very well.

D - I think this is superbly drinkable against the style. Definitely a sipper, but there are so many layers that bring me back to another sip. Booze is completely hidden as well

Overall, this is an outstanding US barleywine. Stone really just doesn't disappoint. Highly recommended. (821 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
3.26/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with one and a half fingers of sticky white head.

Scent of caramel, some hops, a bit of alcohol, and more caramel.

Taste of caramel, sugars, hops and some alcohol. Too much caramel, an unimpressive Barleywine.

Mouthfeel is smooth with good carbonation. (282 characters)

Photo of deathklaat
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

first review EVARR, so here we go...
A - Deep amber/honey color, poured thick. small lacing

S - very sweet caramel, distinctive stone's signature hops but only for a breif moment, more on the malt end

T - starts off sweet/cainy, then the hops come in, towards the back of the pallet the hops definition comes through. then a bready character, the alchohol finds its way towards the back, strong but pleasent, actually warming once swallowed, its presence travels back up
my nasal passages thus warming them. the resiny taiste from the hops remains present after swallowed, leaving that distinctive "sour apple" flavor (almost riny citrus) taste on your lips.

M - nice full body, thinner than i was expecting considering the apearence, but none-the-less holesome. same carbonation as most of stones brews (respectfully) which really lets the flavors pop.

D - not so much drinkability considering this is definitely not a session beer. would definitely reccomend to anyone who comes across it. cant wait to see how this brew does with some aging

B(burp) - haha, heres one the kinda makes a difference to me... the burp! lets be honest, we all enjoy them... simular to the taste, the burp gives you that great bready hoppy taste along with a small carbonation presence. i bet this stuff goes very well paired with spicy (hot or flavorful) food and pizza.

i would deinitely reccomend this one to any BA . (1,409 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)

Photo of KarlHungus
4.89/5  rDev +21%
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. (729 characters)

Photo of IPAcraig
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice reddish orange body with a one finger eggshell white head. Slightly cloudy.

Piney hops, caramel, and bit of alcohol in the nose.

An all around big barleywine. Taste similar to the aroma with a wee bit of leather.

Perfect mouthfeel for a barelywine. Lightly carbonated with a big body that is not too viscous.

Very drinkable for such a big beer. very nice. (365 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It looks like a glass of honey with a 1/4" of soft and smooth head that's a light caramel tint. There's a good amount of carbonation rising through the translucent body. No lacing.

Having had more than a handful of different Stone brews this is exactly what I expected in both smell and taste. There's a very strong hop profile to this, even for a barleywine. The smell is sweet like syrup and the hops show up as pine trees. It's a very well balanced smell. The taste has a nice bitterness to it and is hop-forward with pine and citrus. There's a strong malt backbone that has a caramel or brown sugar like sweetness to it. The aftertaste is a slight alcholic burn and fruity esters.

It has a nice creamy mouthfeel that is cut with crisp carbonation. Finish is slightly bitter, but not as bitter as I expected with such a nice hop profile.

The alcohol taste and burn is there, but well played with the rest of the beer and contributes to the overall flavor as opposed to detracting from it. For and 11.3% barleywine, no problem.

Stone in general is my personal favorite when it comes to the use of hops in all of their styles and this is what I imagined it'd be. Another very strong offering from a top notch brewer. (1,224 characters)

Photo of aristeros
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. I've had barleywines before, and Stone brews, so I'm pretty excited about this one.

Pours a honey-amber color, has a big, creamy, off-white head with decent lacing. I smell grapefruit up front, sweet caramel malts, alcohol, and some hops.

Tastes like brown sugar layered over citrus and bitter hops. Piney resins and the tingle of hops on the tongue eventually overpower the sweet malts for a dry, prickly finish.

The high alcohol content and big hop presence is well-balanced against the beer's other characteristics, but if I were to crack the second bomber I think -I'd- be bombed. This, and assertive hops and carbonation impact drinkability, even for the style.

Excellent brew. (712 characters)

Photo of Rhynes2
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first barley wine ever. I was very impressed by it. Honey is the best word i have to describe the taste of this brew. For such a high alcohol content i have to say that it blends in perfectly. I have been a fan of stone brews for a while now and this is just another excellent example of great stone beers. Head retention was great but no lacing on the way down the glass. Color was a darker honey gold. Great buy on this one, I'll definitely buy this one again. (465 characters)

Photo of countrocula
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cracked the bottle and decanted into a standard English pint glass. Settled down into a 3/4 inch creme caramel head that fell off in due time. Nothing overly remarkable aside from the inviting color. Body was a deep honey with a tinge of haze.

Immediately got a piney, grapefruit hoppiness. My second whiff hit me with Indian bitter melon pickle.

Taste comes around with pine up front with nice creaminess. Trails off with a hard grapefruit citrus. The alcohol makes its presence known quite well. I get a warming liquor effect from this sucker.

Hits steadily and not too abrasively with a medium body. Thickens up the syrup as I get through about 10 ounces. Once again, the booze opens up the gullet for a warm, open feel.

I like the hop component to this. Sexy complement to the ethanol. Gets thick but never cloying. A few sips are in order for the noninitiated. Downing more than one bottle could prove funny/disasterous. Nice job, Stone. (946 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (511 characters)

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

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, room temperature.

Pours a medium amber with a nice ample head that laces and sticks quite well.

Aroma is of estery alcohol with an intense bitter, earthy hop aroma. Sweet caramel and light vanilla notes are present. The aromas of alcohol and resinous hops make the aroma overall, quite estery and slightly phenolic.

Flavor opens with a perfect melding of sweet and caramel malts with a wonderful bitter hop presence. Hops become more fierce and assertive in the middle completely washing away the sticky sweetness of the malt. Finishes quite dry, with a nice bittering aftertaste to the tongue and throat.

Mouthfeel is lush and sticky. Carbonation is good, attenuation working in the hops favor to cut the sweetness.

A big Barley wine that melds the hop and strong malt characters well. Alcohol is well hidden and only detectable on the exhale. The balance is better than I have had in other Barley wines that are over hopped in my opinion.

Well done Stone! (1,000 characters)

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