1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
91
outstanding

323 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 323
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 6
Gots: 47 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Nickls
Nickls

District of Columbia

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2009 01:40:11 | More by Nickls
Photo of paco1029384756
paco1029384756

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2009 23:39:04 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of deathklaat
deathklaat

North Carolina

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 .

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 23:32:17 | More by deathklaat
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
MrHungryMonkey

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 01:47:12 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2009 20:33:16 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of IPAcraig
IPAcraig

Tennessee

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2009 02:21:20 | More by IPAcraig
Photo of Vonerichs
Vonerichs

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 00:32:33 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of aristeros
aristeros

Georgia

4.47/5  rDev +9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2009 22:44:17 | More by aristeros
Photo of Rhynes2
Rhynes2

Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 19:54:11 | More by Rhynes2
Photo of countrocula
countrocula

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 18:34:42 | More by countrocula
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2009 04:50:25 | More by srandycarter
Photo of wheatyweiss
wheatyweiss

Wisconsin

4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 22:43:47 | More by wheatyweiss
Photo of Jmoore50
Jmoore50

Nevada

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stone is king.

Okay, well this baby poured really nice into a wine glass, now renamed Beer Glass. Either way, I got it to a great two finger caramel head, that lasted for a while. It had a nice dark amber color that was a deep dark brown in the center. Little but sticky lace.

The smell was pungent of alcohol and sweetness. It has a bite to its smell, something like its taste. Just a nice aroma that consists of the Stone hops, the character you can always recognize.

The taste is great. I has that bitterness that comes with most of Stone's brews. It also tasted a bit like dark sugar, pine, and a little like bitter-alcohol.

The mouthfeel, like I said before is nice because the bitterness just gets your tongue and strangles it. The drinkability is so low because this brew got me a little trashed. I don't know what it was but it got me a little BUZZZED.

So, no surprise Stone repeats a great brew. Will buy again and drink with delight.
J

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 06:33:08 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of JamesS
JamesS

Indiana

3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice thick red-copper color with some very nice head and good lacing. Nice malty scent, although not very deep and with little beyond the malt. Great thick malt flavor, deep and hardy, with a nice hit of (slightly citrus and floral) hops at the end that stay on the tongue and balance it out. Fairly smooth, with just a hint of the alcohol that's in it, if a bit too thick to have much at a time.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2009 17:54:44 | More by JamesS
Photo of projectflam86
projectflam86

Ohio

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

Had at a Vintage Stone Tasting as part of an Old Guardian vertical (07,08,09).

A- Poured a beautiful deep amber color with a large white foam that leaves lots of lacing.

S- Huge grapefruit and piney hop scents make up the nose with floral and other citrus smells apparent as well. Tons of hops in the nose compared to the 07 and 08 that I tasted just before it. Alcohol is present in the aroma but not overbearing. There is some piney apricot and light malt sweetness with brown sugar/caramel scents.

T- Big and bold grapefruit and piney hop bitterness initially. There is a noticeable malty sweet bread flavor in the finish. The hops dominate the flavor though with lots of bitterness and citrus flavors. Spice and dark fruit flavors are present with a caramel sweetness in the finish.

M- Big and full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

D- A nice surprise from the other vintages that shows a much bolder hop profile.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2009 14:12:59 | More by projectflam86
Photo of CampusCrew
CampusCrew

Florida

4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: reddish dark brown

smell: large hop presence, very plesant for a hop fans. more than I expected and much more than bigfoot

taste: strong hops aroma, rich malty flavor

mouthfeel: high carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: smooth large beer. I was impressed. Never had a Barleywine other than Bigfoot. I liked both and they are completly different.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 04:49:35 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.
Pours a ruby brown in color. No head forms on the pour, but there is a bit of froth that appears. Smell is huge malts, some alcohol and just a hint of hops.
The flavor is big. The hops are more toned down in this years offering than in last years. Last years was too hoppy for me. This one is much more drinkable early on. Huge malts, and just a hint of alcohol. There are some hops in this beer, but they are very balanced and complimentary. I prefer this beer a lot more to last years bottling. Might have to pick up some of these bottles to put down for awhile.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2009 02:11:53 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of jsapunor
jsapunor

California

4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this into an Old Guardian glass. It's a great looking cloudy orange-red with three fingers of tan creamy head that just hangs on and on.

Since this is from Stone, you have to expect hops and that's what you get in the aroma but malt and alcohol are there as well.

I was expecting this to be hop heavy but it wasn't. The hops are there all right but there is a bias toward caramel malt. The taste is mostly sweet malt and alcohol along with the hops. Nicely carbonated.

This is not as smooth as Bigfoot but very enjoyable as a maltier, more muscular barleywine. It's also very drinkable, at least until halfway down the bottle when the gargoyle jumps off and kicks you in the head.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2009 18:39:23 | More by jsapunor
Photo of adamette
adamette

Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Live Review. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my DFH pint glass. $6.99 at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills, Ohio.

A Great looking 3 inch head over a translucent orange brown slightly cloudy body that glows in front of direct light. Lacing is evident even now before I sip this beer. I like the look a lot and I think that it is true to the style.

S Hops predominate (not surprised as most Stone beers feature hops) but there is a nice sweet malt underbelly to this beer that is interesting.

T Hops and barley are in the front. The hops linger longer than I would like but I think that it is true to the style, one that I really do not like due to the predominance of the hops.

M Appropriately acidic like any hops centered beer would be.

D Not that good. I will likely finish the bomber but will not likely buy this again nor would I buy a second pint (if I had bought a pint).

Notes: I suspect that Barleywine lovers would prefer Big Foot. This pales in comparison to my favorite Barleywine, from Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland (had it on tap as a pub exclusive...it was drinkable and interesting).

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 04:02:11 | More by adamette
Photo of froghop
froghop

Washington

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

pour is a cloudy brown-orange with a medium size beige head, and excellent lacing.

smell of sweet fruit (pear, apple) some roasted nuts, some caramel, spice, and grain in the back.

taste is thick, semi-tart, burnt caramel, roasted nuts, malt, some fruit, and a touch of citrus, ends a little dry and a little bitter, gets sweeter as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2009 00:40:43 | More by froghop
Photo of rodney45
rodney45

New York

4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark shade of crimson. The head is white and ominous. I think it sticks around only to say " im gonna watch you drink this"

S: Smells overtly hopped. Imagine getting punched in the face with a silky fist full of hops. That is what this smells like, and you really aren't angry because its from stone brewery.

T: Well its more malted than the Arrogant line, and at first sip you get only a taste of it. Then you're sodomized by hops. Its a good thing, and you eventually start to like it. Then its dry, and you feel guilty and slightly offended. BUT... you're happy... its hard to explain

M: It tastes alot like razor blades made of hops... with a lot of alcohol. Hidden. To trick you.

D: I can drink this till the cows come home, which they have. Its more than double the strength of a normal brew and you should keep that in mind. But, for a barley wine style ale made by stone, its more drinkable than you'd imagine.

This is a good brew... its the 2009 early release if anyone cares... I heard from the guy at the distributor that it was better in past years, but i dont believe him. This beer is profane. Thank god

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2009 03:09:21 | More by rodney45
Photo of MunchkinDrinker
MunchkinDrinker

Maryland

4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing after the fact from notes.

A - Hazy amber red with a thick rocky slightly orange-tan head. Plenty of lacing.

S - Like any good stone brew, plenty of malt and hops. Citrusy, grapefruit and lemony, but large sweet malt backbone. A real pleasant punch to the nose.

T/M - Ahh, now this is a barleywine. Good solid malt, slightly chalky quad-like feel. Sweet, but balanced by heavy citrusy hops.

D - Very tasty, but high alcohol. MIGHT have 2 on a night.

I will definately be picking up another one of these to review more thoroughly.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2009 03:06:19 | More by MunchkinDrinker
Photo of elniko
elniko

Texas

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from Bomber into snifter. Early 2009 Release marked on bottle.

A: Rich amber coloring with oily head. Nice lacing apparent. Good looking brew.

S: Typical Stone citrus nose with heavy hops apparent but not to the same extent as the IPA or Ruination. The high alcohol does not come across with I found surprising.

T & M: I get a strange musty tone in the taste that I have not encountered in the bottles of Old Guardian that I have had. Pretty well balanced for an American Barleywine, especially from Stone. Finish definitely has some bitter hop qualities.

D: For a barleywine this is quite drinkable but the high ABV would keep me from a drinking more than one bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 23:51:55 | More by elniko
Photo of Wetpaperbag
Wetpaperbag

Washington

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Red copper color with a touch of amber. The head is very thin, yet stays a good while.

S- The hop smell is very gin/juniper like, with great herbal spices. A nice candy caramel smell.

T- That gin hop taste carried over to the taste. The beer has more hop taste then aged. Very tasty and edgy, not quite as refined and mellowed as an aged one.

M- The mouthfeel is good, nice carbination to the thick beer.

D- Easy to drink for sure. Goes down smooth but can be a slight bit harsh.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2009 03:04:30 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of TheMistler
TheMistler

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 23:18:50 | More by TheMistler
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.