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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

329 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 329
Reviews: 246
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 6
Gots: 46 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 02-06-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 329 | Reviews: 246 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cptierney
3.28/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of jjanega08
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of TheKingsOfHop
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Cheers,
The Kings Of Hop

Photo of thespaceman
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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..

Photo of Blitzstyle
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Lunch
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber (10/21/09). Served in a Stone Old Guardian goblet at around 50 degrees.

Appearance: Pours a rich and hazy golden toffee color with a one finger off-white head.

Smell: Sweet malts, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, with a wave of alcohol coming through on the backend. A rich intense smell that leaves no doubt that this is going to be a powerful beer.

Taste: Starts with an intense syrupy caramel malt lightly coated in alcohol, but in a pleasant way, with a hint of toffee followed by a distinct hop flavor seemingly only Stone can produce. An alcohol note resonates after each completed sip and one is never confused as to how big this beer is.

Mouthfeel: Rather heavy and full-bodied with a slight cloying characteristic brought on by the rich malts and higher abv.

Drinkabilty: Moderate based on the richness and alcohol content, but better than average for its style.

Overall I find this to be a welcomed treat when looking for a rich malt-bomb with a nice hop profile to balance out the sweetness. Recommended.

Photo of barnzy78
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Poured an opaque amber color with a tight off-white head - good lacing on the glass and excellent head retention. Aromas were sweet brown sugary malt, caramel, toffee, some hops and rather boozy. Tastes were very similar to aromas with a pleasantly sweet maltiness up front followed by the familiar finish of bitter Stone hops - all their beers have a very distinctive hop character. Good representation of the style with a nice west coast hop flare.

Photo of velosuds
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Limited Early 2009 Release. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass.

A-Pours a cloudy medium amber with a one and one half finger head that quickly receded into an ample, typical Stone type, lace.

S-Malty, with dried fruits, especially figs and raisins. Pleasantly sweet. Nice.

T-Very pleasantly sweet yet balanced. At 11.3%, ABV the alcohol is warming, although masked extremely well. Mildy hoppy up front followed by barley malt sweetness. I am beginning to like this style, a lot.

M-Full bodied, but quite smooth. Very well crafted. One of Stone's better, more affordable brews.

D-Extremely drinkable for an 11.3% ABV though not evident in the taste.

This is quite good, and I will buy again. I love these full bodied beers.

Photo of UA8
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Photo of BostonBrewins
3.65/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of darklordlager
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of hardy008
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of kegger22
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of alcstradamus
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
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.

Photo of mjgarrett2
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of far333
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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!

Photo of Docer
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of BirdFlu
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of Wildman
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of rye726
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Photo of rfgetz
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of porterwoobie
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.