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
91
outstanding

330 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 330
Reviews: 246
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.51%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 330 | Reviews: 246
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favs, Old Guardian does not disappoint this year. Pours amber but appears ruby when held to light. Thick and creamy off-white head with good retention and moderate lacing. Smell is strong of pineapple, grapefruit and overall citrus. A caramel hops and hops presence of course. Taste is of caramel malt, some biscuit, sweet fruit, and of course hops. Nice, fresh citrus hops. A warming sensation as it goes down with its silky and full body. Overall a great beer. I cant believe I'm saying this but my only complaint is the high ABV. I wish this was just slightly lower so that it could be enjoyed longer.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip. I've been hanging on to this for a year. I had it when it came out, but didn't review it until now.

Darker amber/ruby/orange in color. One finger white head. Quickly dies down to a collar and wispy head. Nice spider web like lacing.

Smells deeply of caramel, toffee and sweet barley. There is some leaf, pine, and dank hops. An undertone of grapefruit hops.

Taste is rich caramel, toffee, vague dark fruits, and sweet barely. Hop flavor is still kicking as pine, grapfruit, dank and resin. Quite pleasing.

Light carbonation. Full bodied. Semi assertive small bubbles.

Good drinkability for such high abv.

Photo of xanok
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of ChrisPro
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind on 3/12/11 as part of Blind BIF #4

22 oz. bomber poured into a snifter.

Pours a burnt orange with a two finger pillow of cream-colored head. Virtually no lacing as I drink.

One whiff and I'm thinking this must be a barley wine or DIPA. There are huge pine and juniper notes with only the slightest hint of a malt backbone. As it warms, there's a bit more grapefruit coming to the party. As it opens up even more, there's definitely a bit more caramel on the nose.

Interesting first sip. My palate either has something going on with it or this beer has some unique hops. I get sort of a weird bitter maple up front, then a sweet honey, then a long long lingering bitterness that stings the side of the tongue. This bitter finish is incredibly citrusy with lemon and grapefruit all over the place. It's such a weird finish that it's almost a hint of sour. This is sort of a weird finish, but I like it

Pretty thin for the aroma and taste. Definitely doesn't have the body for a barleywine, but I'm definitely digging it as a IIPA. Perfect carbonation and insanely smooth. I can tell there's some heat there, but the wildness has been tamed by the brewer.

Overall, it's going down sickeningly well at cellar temp. Part of it is its complexity driving me to sip and sip, but part of it is that it's just plain good. I don't think I'd go out of my way for this beer, but if it's around, I'd probably try it again.

Still a bit confused on the style. If I had to pick something, I'd say imperial amber. It's got some malt, but not enough to be a barleywine, so it must be a DIPA. As to which one, I'm clueless.

Reveal: 2009 Old Guardian (a Want)
4/4.5/4/4/4

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler procured at the Charleston Beer Exchange into a pint glass.

A - Pours reddish amber with a thin, quickly dissipating white head.

S - Floral, piny hops with a sweet tinge. There's a very subtle essence of spices, almost peppery.

T - The frontend is spicy, hoppy, flavorful, with a sweet alcohol finish.

M - Slightly thinner than medium bodied, lots of carbonation, not as viscous as some other hoppy brews.

Notes - I was told by Rich at the CBX that the dry hopped quality of the beer would give it a very interesting, floral, spicy sort of essence, and he was spot on.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of draheim
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Pours a clear honey amber w/ a 1-finger head, a few bubbles rising from the bottom.

Aroma is clean sweet rich caramel malt, toffee, vanilla, fermented dates, dried apricots, brown sugar. Sweet, savory, complex. Gets more nutty and fruity as it warms.

Taste is sharply bitter and sticky sweet. Caramel, toffee, mushy semi-dried fruit. Booze well hidden.

Mouthfeel is sticky, chewy, lingering.

Overall a solid, well-crafted barleywine.

Photo of BarrelO
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, the first installment of which was poured into a pint glass and the second into a goblet.

A: The requisite barleywine dark coppery color. A more vigorous pour into the goblet results in a bigger head. Little lacing.

S: A huge rush of piney, citrusy hops. Glad to see that they went back to American hops after the English hops in the 2008. Caramel malty sweetness is just as prominent.

T: An immediate onslaught of hoppy bitterness. Sweet malt keeps the hops from becoming unbearable. As it warms up, the situation reverses itself as the caramel malt takes over and the hops keep it from become cloying. Aftertaste is dominated by hoppy bitterness. Alcohol burn is noticeable but not overwhelming.

M: Thick and syrupy with good carbonation.

D: Hoo-boy. I took on the whole bomber by myself. Bad idea. By the time I finished, I was down for the count. Old Guardian wins. Flawless victory. Overall, I don't have too much experience with OG, but I definitely prefer this to 2008. It's quite impressive for a beer this big to be so drinkable right off the bat.

Photo of TheMistler
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bit thick, sticky. A clear, rather light caramel brown with orange. A creamy, just off-white head produced by an initially roiling carbonation. Pretty solid lacing.

Sticky-sweet malt is up front in the aroma. Caramel, dough. Initially it seemed to be an all-malt nose, but as I let it sit I detected a bevy of different hop notes. Mint. Spicy citrus.

Malt up front, but then lots of sticky hops. Light caramel, but mostly indistinct sweet malt serves to prepare the palate for the hop onslaught. Herbal and grassy, made spicy and dry by significant alcohol drying. Medicinal note.

Creamy, but not without some restrained CO2 prickliness. Medium bodied, with some chewiness, as well. Definitely a sipper, but an enjoyable one. I guess I wish the malt was as developed and nuanced as the hops, but this is quite nice.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Early Release been in the fridge for the past year.

Poured into a Westmalle chalice a transparent amber with a very thin white head. Good lacing. Not much noticable carbonation. The scent is rather light. Maybe this is from the aging. But I can find hints of grapefruit and maybe a little banana. The taste is really smooth. None of the harshness that fresh barleywines give, which means my other bottle of '09 is going to age very well. The carmal flavor isn't over powering, and the hop bitterness has died off. There is still the sweet flavor with that same flavor that is kind of banana like. The mouthfeel is low on carbonation, but just perfect in body. There is no evident alcohol burn despite the 11% abv.

These definatly age well.

Photo of bgreg3
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wish my vocab was as good as the guy who writes the back o the bottle. It took me almost 5 or more minutes to read. Anyway...

App- Amber at the top (a dark amber orange to be more precise) becomes lighter near the bottom. Leaves a nice lace on the top. There is also some unfiltered yeast floating around.

Smell - A lot of barley! I smell a bit of hops to balance and the yeast used comes together nicely.

Taste- Amazing barely wine! The barely is very sweet and tickles the tongue as it ventures through the mouth. The presence of yeast is acknowledged but not too noticeable. Hops balance it throughout. They are complementary and do not dominate at anytime. Again comes together nicely and should be drank in small mouthfulls.

MF - Dripping wet finish. Almost as good as a meal.

Drink - Drink with food or water. The alcohol can bother your throat after awhile and is better off being absorbed by food.

I advise only a 12 oz of this. Share a bomber with a friend.

Photo of joshstevens87
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a red orange brown kind of color with a half inch light tan head
S-some sweet malt with notes of bread,carmel and molasses and some good dose of citrus hops
T-a sweet bready malt with a hint of caramel and molasses with an assertive citrus hop profile and a very present alcohol
M-a very full body with a dull carbonation making it smooth yet bitter from the hops and alcohol
D-overall a very good beer and one that would do very well with some age on it

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
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 czfreeman
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this bottle at a small grocery on my way to work, $4.99, unbelievable. I have yet to sample a Old Guardian, so my impressions will not be swayed by any previous year's offerings.
Pours out a golden malted tone of amber brown, a suprisingly effervescent head appears. This appears to be a rather highly carbonated brew for a 11.3% beast. I predict dangerous drinkablity.
Initial aromas are a tad bit watery than hoped...yet a big malty backgroundbegins to emerge. Citric hops add lightness, the alcohol definatley comes through by the means of a nice spicy peppery touch. After coming to temperature, more citrus i.e. grapefruits, mango, a touch of banana peel is found, sunflower,chickpeas in a abstractly light nutty touch. Seems harmless enough,can' wait to dig in.
The lightness is found. A spicy malted mix of peppery citric fruits, pure alcoholic hoppy(happy) warmness in true form.Candied orange peel,tangerine, rummy peaches, smokiness from the toasted barleys, grainy breads are found in digging deeper in this brew. This is definatley a young, hot brew that would gain amazing complexity in a year or so of aging. Hot burbony oakiness now would gradually give way to a nice vanilla compexity.
Drinkablity is great now in that it's so damn light and warm on the palate. Imagine a Strong Brown Ale, and this is what you have. A great young Barleywine. I will have to hide a bottle or two from myself to age.

Photo of ryanonline
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice orangey coppery color with a whitish tan head.

Piney and malty. A slightly biscuity scent.

Taste is the same, slightly boozy. Biscuity still. Very tea like flavor as well.

Slightly thin bodied and a mellow carbonation. A bit dry and hot on the way down.

Pretty easy on the stomach, uncommon for the style. I could handle more than one of these.

Good beer, okay for the style.

Photo of jdklks
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- light amber golden color body with a light tan-white head that leaves a thick lacing. not as dark as i would like the body to be for a barleywine.

S- smell is fantastic. a perfect blend of hops and sweet fruits.

T- Taste is hoppy up front and malty in the finish. the lingering aftertaste is of hops and fruit. grapefruit bitterness. a nice mix of hops and malts, but overall, the hops are more pronounced, which doesn't work too well with a barleywine. last years was much better in my opinion.

M- full bodied and well carbonated. nothing special from a barleywine standpoint though.

D- drinkability is what it is.

i was disappointed this year. last year's was much better, although this one is still pretty good.

Photo of zeff80
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled in August 2011

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a small, head of bubbly, off-white foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very malty and sweet. Lots of caramel and toffee with some floral notes.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel and toffee. Nice spicy bitterness with a slight citrus kick.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A dry finishing beer that is medium to full bodied.

O - This is a very good barleywine, but I still enjoy the '08 better. I think aging these is a very good thing.

Photo of jacobseyb
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Docer
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
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 tmgiddings
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Crown Liquors #6 - Hazy, opague amber with a thin white head and sparce white lacing. Aroma is subtle resin hops, caramel, toffee, and sweet bready malt. Sweet bready malt dominates the flavor with subtle resin on the front. Mouthfeel is both oily and creamy.

Photo of Andreji
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

so i'm having a bottle that says "limited early 2009 release" so i guess this is the right one.

Oh god. spontaneous purchase @ a d'agostino on the upper east side. not planning on buying beer but, what the heck.

dark, orange pour. oh it seems transluscent, but hold it up against a light and you'll feel the straightforward, matte orange. I mean, if you were a synesthesic, this would sound like a tv when there's only blue and no transmission. shocking. kinda scary indeed.

smell is aggressive right off. sure there's malt, and a citrusy feel like you're venturing on a pop named orange-something. but folks, below lies a considerable hoppy feel. it hides nothing from the nose, this one's go'n bite hard, so you might as well ball-up.

indeed.

taste no.1: overwhelmed.
taste no.2: drawing closer, still too much.
tatste no.3: call me corny, but this one nailed it. a hop surprise to the bone, very suspiciously charged malts right off the bat. the burnt caramel sort of tries to lure you but it's second head brings a scotch flavour in while a spit of undeniable hops rides your tongue till its death. this beer's all contrasts and definetly hard to define. alcohol's nowhere to hide, it's too obvious but still the beer's so bizarre it might as well not hide but try to shine. this is a monster, indeed friends, one worthy of an old guardian and a young robust one as well, this could kill a man if only he'd dare not sample it but binge it instead.

careful.

Photo of ReDave
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love this stuff!
Pours a rather cloudy orange with a rather thin head and practically no lace.

First sip was sorta malty and i at first thought mellow...
Whew what happens! the bite comes on!
Its great! but it's a build up.
It's like the bitterness layers on your tongue and sticks around or something

one of the best barley wines around! Bitter style!

Photo of dannydetox
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

had the pleasure of tasting this vintage keg at the stone outpost in pasadena. poured into a short stem glass, the ale has a hazy amber tone, with a thin, off white head. smell was less intense than i would have expected; there is a subtle smoked quality accompanying the malt-driven nose, perhaps some toffee as well. taste is excellent; loads of rich caramel and dried fruit flavors lead into a bitter, yet balanced finish. alcohol is present, but not overpowering. this four year old beast held up nicely.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 330 ratings.