Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev 0%
I can't decide if this looks like caramel water, or dirty river water. Head around the edges, overall, not a normal looking beer.
Smells like my kitchen when the wort is boiling in the pot. I can't get past that smell, it is unique.
Thick taste. Presence of hops early and late. Has a very bready barley taste and I can also taste grass, honey, and pine.
Like I said above definitely thick. Very full and sweet.
It will be tough to finish this bomber.
02-14-2010 02:48:14 | More by TCgoalie
4/5 rDev -2.4%
Pours a very deep amber/copper color. Big light tan head falls to a minimal one. Fairly nice clingy lace.
Yep, has that barleywine smell. Boozy alcohol back by mild malts and noticeable hops.
Yep, has that barleywine taste. Sweet malts followed by a hop flavor and a bitter hop aftertaste.
Rather full mouth and smooth. Slight bite.
Very nice barleywine.
02-13-2010 18:06:07 | More by dstc
4.03/5 rDev -1.7%
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? ;-)
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4
02-11-2010 21:13:48 | More by Bierman9
3.58/5 rDev -12.7%
I poured this one from a 22oz brown bomber into a stemmed globe glass.
A= This ale poured a hazed reddish orange color with a 1/4" white head that disappeared super fast. A few streaks of lace down my glass.
S= All of the expected Stone hop character in the aroma (big citrus and pine). Also some light caramel and a boozy alcohol note.
T= About what I would expect from the smell. Light caramel sweetness up front, followed by a fruity, estery, almost syrupy sweet middle. The hops were big and bitter and easily overpowered the sweetness. Probably a bit more piney than I like, but still within reason. Alcohol was all over this beer adding spicy and at times sweet notes. There was unfortunately a fair bit of oxidation in this beer. Finished dry and boozy.
MF= Medium bodied with a feel that leaned toward slick. Carbonation was on the lighter side of medium.
D= A good but not great barleywine. Stone needs to rework this a bit and get that oxidation out of the beer.
02-04-2010 06:10:53 | More by spointon
3.6/5 rDev -12.2%
Surprised after 6+ years, I have yet to have an Old Guardian. Maybe it needs a few months or couple of years on it, but this one was just too hardsh for my palate. Nice aroma and right on with appearance for the style, just not as impressed as I thought I'd be. Oh well, Stone is still one of the tops.
01-23-2010 23:31:27 | More by Backer2004
3.9/5 rDev -4.9%
Brought over to the apartment by my buddy CharlatanSin. Always love to try a new barleywine and heard good things about this one. The 2009 vintage.
Appearance- Pours a deep amber with pretty lively carbonation and about a finger and a half of off white head that dies back to a ring in short order.
Smell- Actually very hop forward with lots of grapefruit and resin. Almost smells like a DIPA but with a lot of caramel showing through in the background.
Taste- Again a very interesting combination of sweet malt and hops. Very hop forward again wit lots of pine and grapefruit rind but combined with lots and lots of sweet malt. Cuts an interesting mixture and much more hop forward than many barleywines I've tasted.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is thick and slick and very nice but a little too much hot alcohol showing through in the taste to make it overly drinkable at this point. Could use some time to mellow out a bit.
Overall, a good barleywine. Not the best I've had but tasty and an interesting nonetheless. Probably better even with age.
01-22-2010 02:08:05 | More by boatshoes
4.47/5 rDev +9%
Pours a bright amber with a nice white head. The aroma is of sweet amber and caramel malt with pin and citrus hops. A slight whiff of alcohol as well. The taste is overwhelmingly hoppy and slightly sweet. Not what I would call balanced, but the malt definitely makes a contribution here. Medium bodied and dangerously drinkable.
01-20-2010 21:20:35 | More by Thorpe429
4.3/5 rDev +4.9%
A - nice deep amber color, meager head left a little lacing
S - more subdued than I expected, lemon and orange, a little bit of caramel, hints of clove, berry, and booze
T - caramel and burnt sugars, orange zest bitterness, hops are very resinous initially. the finish is slightly boozy and this helps to accentuate some spicier notes (clove and anise) along with raisin-like flavors. Lots of bitterness at the end.
M - surprisingly light, just slightly oily. dances across the front of the tongue. Alcohol presence reveals the size of this beer more than body, remarkably quaffable for its style (though still a beer that becomes a chore to get through if served too much).
Excellent beer, aroma and flavor are super inviting. Goes well with pork, would compliment a loaf of limpa perfectly. Best enjoyed with a couple of friends, especially if they've just returned from a long stay in a foreign country.
01-20-2010 02:32:18 | More by johnkale
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
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
4.08/5 rDev -0.5%
Poured a nice caramel/amber color with a light tan head and good retention. Laced pretty well, with the head dissipating to a nice crown and a bubbly island in the middle. Sweet malts on the nose, with some fruity hop presence. Tasty sweet maltiness gives way to some alcohol spiciness. Feels well with light carbonation tickling the palate, and some oiliness on the finish. Drinkable for the style though the ABV prevents mass consumption.
01-10-2010 05:13:02 | More by jacobseyb
4.25/5 rDev +3.7%
$7.49 for the bomber at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY, feels like a bargain. "Limited Early 2009 Release" printed on the front label. Does anybody read all that blabbering printed onto the rear of these bottles?!? Pours clear, slightly orange hued medium almond amber. The head is slight and none to memorable. Carries a thin film and a slight collar, with just a tad of tiny bubble lace left on the glass. Minor nose of malt and perhaps a wiff of fruit and alcohol. Dense and packed with malty goodness flowing under a biting layer of citric hops. Additional notes of dark, ripe fruit,and then some alcohol, adds to the complexity. Not a bashful or timid brew. I love it right now, wish I had the patience and facilities to put a few bottles away for 2 or so years.
01-02-2010 02:49:19 | More by Billolick
4.2/5 rDev +2.4%
Drinking str8 out of my stainless growler from stone, i know its criminal but have nothing else to pour it in atm.
Big hop burst in the nose with alot of sweet malt that overwhelms it in a few moments.
Large alcohol, lots of hops and malt blend well, pleasant warming runs down my chest, leaves a sticky hoppy flavor behind.
pretty damn tasty, Ive had this in the past and thought the hops were a bit aggresive but im really enjoying the 09.
12-28-2009 03:54:40 | More by SShelly
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
4.22/5 rDev +2.9%
Always look forward to Old Guardian. With all these excellent reviews its hard to think of something to add other than to say this beer begs to be cellared. Its great fresh but to me, this beer could seriously go the distance in a cellar. I recently took a trip o San Diego and while there my friend broke out the 06 Guardian he saved that I sent him long ago, it was fantastic. A word of caution though, this beer is one of those beers that seriously will catch up on me, maybe you too, so enjoy all that it is and don't over indulge.
12-14-2009 05:21:46 | More by tattooedtolley
4.55/5 rDev +11%
Appearance: A hazy golden-orange body--much lighter than I had expected--featuring a few assorted particles in suspension. Up top, a finger of creamy whitish head that features good lacing and retention.
Aroma: Up front, lots of bright and citrusy hops catch me a little off guard. Underneath, there's a sticky toffee malt backbone and some nice tinges of booze to bring things back towards traditional Barleywine territory. Opens up a lot as it warms.
Flavor: Again, the hops start the party--they are balanced nicely in between citrusy and grassy and nicely bitter. The big rum cake and sticky toffee malt backbone holds everything down nicely, substantial enough to keep everything relatively balanced. There's something a little woody floating around, but I can't quite pin it down. Plenty of alcohol character throughout, but it never feels like double-digits. Great lingering bitterness and toffee in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation and a dry finish.
Drinkability: Drinks faster than the ABV suggests, but requires caution like any bomber of double-digit brew.
Verdict: Old Guardian ranks right up there with the best American Barleywines--it's complex, hoppy as hell, and satisfying to the last drop. Absolutely terrific fresh, I only wish I had been able to secure a second bottle for aging.
12-13-2009 23:03:00 | More by BeanBone
4.15/5 rDev +1.2%
Poured from a 22oz bottle.
A-Pours a orange/amber color that is quite cloudy. The beer is right out of the fridge, so any head that was there was gone quickly. It left some nice lacing.
S-Hints of vanilla and citrus fruit. Grapefruit perhaps? A little bit of hops and malt.
T-Citrus flavor on the palate immediately, and gone almost as fast. Caramel and toasted undertones. There's a bit of booziness to it.
M-Fairly heavy overall with the carb and the body. Could have a bit more chewiness to it.
D- A bit of boosiness like I mentioned, but overall a great brew. Not my favorite of this style, but great nonetheless.
12-08-2009 04:10:47 | More by xanok
4/5 rDev -2.4%
I didn't even know there was an old Guardian until I saw it in a liquor store in Annapolis on a recent trip to Chesapeake Bay. But it was Stone and that was good enough for me.
Pours with a nice fluffy head that recedes to a cap of foam that leaves plenty of lacing. The color is good.. a cloudy orangey amber that I enjoy looking at.
The smell is also good. Soft notes of vanilla, sweet fruit and hops are present in the beginning. It's unfortunate that the strength of the beer is so high that after a quarter of a glass you can barely smell anything though. Well, it was nice while it lasted.
The taste is a typically Stone well done balance of sweet malts, fruity yeasts and hoppy finish. In this case the volume is bumped up by at least 30% and despite not tasting the alcohol too much - you can definitely feel it! It warms the stomach and leaves a slight burning sensation.
Mouthfeel is really well done for a beer of this strength. Smooth and refreshing with very little stickiness that I would expect.
Drinkability is also good. More than a bottle is out of the question for me given it's strength - but it does go down very quickly. Nice work Stone.
11-27-2009 23:01:10 | More by Ralphus
4.05/5 rDev -1.2%
22 oz. bomber, poured into an oversized wine glass.
Appearance: Pours a hazy cider color that becomes more opaque as it settles down. A small head with a thin but persistent lacing.
Smell: Fruity hops dominate the smell. It's pretty boozy, too.
Taste: Those fruity hops, in true Stone fashion, have their way with your taste buds. The hops overwhelmed my first couple of sips. As I had a few more, a very pleasant undercurrent of toasted caramel or butterscotch made its presence felt. The hops and the caramel both linger nicely, making for a terrific finish. All in all a delicious beer.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a bit low for my taste. It doesn't take away from the taste, but doesn't compliment it, either.
Drinkability/Overall: This is one sneaky beer.The alcohol is fairly present in the smell, but not so much in the taste. The 11 and change ABV kind of hides and then wallops you.
That being said, this beer is something of a tweener. It's a delicious beer, but it's almost more like an excellent double IPA than a barleywine, at least the way I think of the style. I think I'm going to go buy another bottle and age it for a spell and see what that does to the balance. Definitely pick it up, though, as long as you're not a barleywine purist.
11-20-2009 04:47:37 | More by CharlatanSin
4.33/5 rDev +5.6%
Appearance- This beer poured a nice reddish amber color with little head which disappated quickly. Lacing present throughout.
Smell- Nice hoppy aroma. Perhaps a grapefruit aroma with a sweet maltiness.
Taste- Interesting taste. Has the hoppiness of most Stone but finishes with an interesting hint of peppermint. Very cool. Nice maltiness as well which gives it a nice balance.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with low carbonation.
Overall- A fantastic barleywine.
11-13-2009 21:56:50 | More by Beerbuddha
3.28/5 rDev -20%
Poured from a bomber into a North Coast snifter. As a note of caution, I don't care for hoppy barley wines, I prefer the taste of sweet malts so my subjective review may be troubling to you hopheads.
This Barley Wine poured a surprisingly light straw color with a high level of translucence. Added to this light color was a nice crown of foam, two to three fingers of aggressively poured head that quickly fled the scene. Moderate lacing as the beverage was drank down.
The nose of this brew didn't scream hops though there were some piney fresh blasts. There is a good deal of sweet notes that show up, some burnt sugars and... maybe... butterscotch?
I'm a little bummed by the mouthfeel. I want a thick chewy barley wine but this guy doesn't deliver. A thin body and an overly aggressive carb bite makes me an unhappy boy. Especially considering the high ABV on the sucker.
The taste, for me, is wayyy hoppy. Like tree sap hoppy, almost utterly overwhelming. I let the beer warm for a time and finally some of the malt character comes out, a bit biscuity and just not prevalent for my taste. I want the sweetness, but I'm not going to get it, the muscular pine tree flavor just obliterates sugar that I crave. I'm definitely going to buy another one of these and age it for a year to see if the hop profile mellows a bit.
The drinkability is a tough sell for me. High hop oils, high ABV, and low chewiness make this a forgettable brew.
11-12-2009 03:09:37 | More by cptierney
3.98/5 rDev -2.9%
A= pours a nice orangish brown color with a thick creamy one finger head that has really nice retention. The lacing on the glass is pretty nice as well. The beer is super hazy not sure if its due to chill haze or not though. Really a pretty decent looking barleywine.
S= The first thing that comes to mind is pineapple. I think the pineapple smell is just a nice combo of the malts and hops. Really great toffee and caramel smell to it as well.
T= This was released in Feb. I believe and the hops are still holding strong in this one. The pineapple is still there but its well covered by blanket of intense flavors. Really bitter in the back but still really nice and malty. Alcohol isn't present in the taste too much its well covered by lots of sweet caramel malts. There is a ton of warmth going down the back of my throat though. There is some alcohol warmth as it was really really cold though and the malts come in more as it warms.
M= Pretty good but not great. Nothing too great here. Nice amount of carbonation and a good lasting finish.
D= Pretty good. I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. Really well done. Was perfect for what I needed tonight. Bad day at work and a nice little bit of hotness to it.
11-02-2009 04:50:47 | More by jjanega08
3.88/5 rDev -5.4%
22oz bottle poured into tulip shaped glasses:
A: Honey amber in color with a nice white fluffy head that clings to the side of the glass. Impressive for having such a high ABV.
S: Fruity citrus with a side of bitter hops, and towards the end burnt caramel.
T: A splash of grapefruit then...gone the center of your palate gets hit with a wave of caramel, and hazelnuts. It then proceeds to leave your mouth with a bitter long lasting hop finish. With the alcohol not showing its self until the warming begins in your chest.
M: Medium in body, well carbonated, yet fairly smooth.
D: One bomber does the trick, but we can't wait to try the "08" in the cellar.
The Kings Of Hop
10-31-2009 01:23:04 | More by TheKingsOfHop
4.25/5 rDev +3.7%
Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass:
Appearance: Pours a deep, murky amber in color, nice size head erupts out of this one, leaving with it good retention and excellent lacing on my glass.
Smell: A nicely done hop aroma really stands out upon first whiff, bits of sweet malt are balanced nicely, smells a bit boozy in the back end, with darker esters peeking there head through. A very bold beer in the nose.
Taste: Citrus hops explode off the bat, a nice undertone of some crystalized malt leaves an earthy yet toasteed flavor on the tongue. A bit of darker esters, light plum and some sweetness from the malt make this beer balance out perfectly. A nice touch of alcohol in the finish is just what this beer needed to become complete.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, syrupy on the tongue and bitter from the extra hops in here. Not too much carbonation so this one can be a little viscous on the tongue. Lot's of extra bitterness lying around here.
Drinkability: Overall I was impressed with how good Old Guardian is. I like the occasional barleywine but this one captures all the elements of what the style should be defined as. It's boozy, big, and hoppy, and right on the money! I'll have another..
10-27-2009 03:20:36 | More by thespaceman
4.47/5 rDev +9%
Poured into a pint galsss. Pours a golden toffee color witha good white head.
Smelled caramell notes, brown sugary aramos and some hops with a hint o boozieness.
The alcohol is hidden quite well in this beer, its there but not as overpowering as it is with most barley wines. Hops actually stand out a bit more than the alcohol. There is some good malty sweetness there as well.
Fuller bodied but yet extremly smooth.
Very drinkable the alcohol is not over powering which is surprising considering the abv over over 11%. Really liked the hoppy taste it had.
10-23-2009 03:46:19 | More by Blitzstyle
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.