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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

327 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 327
Reviews: 246
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 6
Gots: 46 | FT: 0
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: 327 | Reviews: 246 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Florida9
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Florida9, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of n00tz
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

n00tz, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of goblue3509
2.55/5  rDev -37.8%
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.

goblue3509, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

bluemoonswoon, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of WalrusJockey
3.15/5  rDev -23.2%
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.

WalrusJockey, Jul 26, 2009
Photo of hustlesworth
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

hustlesworth, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

womencantsail, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of Stunner97
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
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

Stunner97, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of babaracas
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
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...

babaracas, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of SpecialK088
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

SpecialK088, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of strengthdoc
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

strengthdoc, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of naterock
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

naterock, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of BigJim5021
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

BigJim5021, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of wampahoofus
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

wampahoofus, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of dhd1491
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

dhd1491, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of kaseydad
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

kaseydad, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

BamaBeerBuff, Jul 02, 2009
Photo of pmcadamis
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

pmcadamis, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of sirdrinkwell
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

sirdrinkwell, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of Nickls
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Nickls, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
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.

paco1029384756, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of deathklaat
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
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 .

deathklaat, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

MrHungryMonkey, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of KarlHungus
4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

KarlHungus, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of IPAcraig
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

IPAcraig, Jun 21, 2009
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 327 ratings.