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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
91
outstanding

326 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 326
Reviews: 247
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: 326 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Strix
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange with good head and good lacing.

Citrus hops forward in the smell, along with barley.

Barley, malt, caramel, tea, anise, and hops in the flavor. Strong flavors, and hops dominate, but alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel viscous.

A solid American Barleywine. Nothing about it really grabbed me, but it was pretty good.

Strix, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of Lerxst
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Stone Imperial Pint Glass

A-Hazy orange/amber with one inch head that fades fast

S-Hoppy with malts clearly evident. They go good together.

T-Hops are very evident but a toasty, malty flavor compliments it well and surprisingly the 11.3% abv is hardly noticable.

M-Medium body. Smooth with a hoppy afterbite, medium carbonation. Not too much carbonation, but just enough.

D-Surprisingly drinkable. I didn't think more than one in a sitting would be do-able, but it would be. The hops/malt combo here is delicious. Well done!

Stone has done it again. This brewery is simply amazing.

Lerxst, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of Yesac
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Almost solid orange/amber color. Thin layer of off-white head. Head eventually fades to nothing. No lacing etc.

S- Sweet yeast. Green apple florals. Some citrus. The 11.3% is not even noticeable.

T- Boozy sting from the alcohol overall. Along with the smell.. strong malty yeasty taste up front. The boozyness presence just kills the flavor and experience though. Strong bitterness finish.

M/D- Medium bodied. Slightly sticky. Palate is left boozed with the 11.3%. Not the easiest drinker however a good sipper.

Yesac, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of Misfit138
2.7/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Poured from the bomber into my pint glass.

A- Very nice burnt orange with a very nice head.

S- Soft hints of fruit and mildly floral.

T- Taste like an extremely bitter grapefruit, made me cringe. There is a mild malt flavor that you will notice the more you drink.
- The taste does improve however while you consume more, but there is the taste of alcohol that remains very strong.

M- The mouthfeel is actually very good, soft and smooth.

D- I cannot rate this very high for drinkability. I like IPA's but this kicks their ass for bitterness. The high alcohol is also something that means it has to be drank with some care.

I don't think I will be trying anymore barleywines.

Misfit138, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of djaeon
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy amber/reddish color with a moderate head. Little retention and decent lacing. Poured into a tulip glass.

S - This one smells pretty light compared to previous years. There's hints of orange citrus and malt.

T - A good amount of bitterness and acidity. Definite maltiness and citrus. But not grapefruit citrus. More of a orange/lemon zest kind of citrus.

M - It feels velvety wit ha sharp bitter aftertaste that dissipates quickly.

D - Very drinkable for an Old Guardian. This years is very drinkable and mellower than previous years. The 11+% ABV is hidden well. No burn at all.

djaeon, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage... 22 from the Coop .. great 2 finger head.. nice cap and alot of leopard spot lacing.. the brew is crystal clear orange/lite amber...

alot of pithy grapefruit in the nose.. lite pine with some warm caramel notes.. the hops are more than citric as it warms... sorta tropical fruits.. with a good slam of pale malts..

Flavor is great american BW .. triple C hops are abundant from front to back.. as it warms the bitterness is a great push with the pale malt.. a little bit of vanilla sugar cookie.. caramel essence ... The body is great and the carbonation pushes lite/medium with a less than plush mouthfeel..

I am not too sure what to make about this years Guardian... much better than last years.. This American barleywine is very very American.. I would have preferred a bit more maltiness .. right now the hops are first fiddle.. and I am wishing for some complexity other than hops...

It is still a pretty remarkable BW....

4/3.5/4.5/3.5/4

JohnGalt1, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of SirSketch
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Huge, luscious white head that leaves a thick, beautiful lace on the sides. Between a deep amber to copper in color. Just a great looking beer!

S - Loads of grassy, earthy hops but a big malt character as well. Alcohol adds a pleasant zest.

T - Enormous bitterness hits first followed by caramel and slightly nutty malts. Acidic fruit flavors come through at the end and you are left with a lingering, dry, floral aftertaste. The alcohol is covered up pretty well, too. Awesome barleywine!

M/D - Its pretty carbonated for the style, but otherwise there is nothing I can complain about. Nothing else could have been more enjoyable on the night I proposed to my future wife!!!

SirSketch, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

04/06/09- Purchased at Mollie Stones in Burlingame, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle poured into my Old Guardian glass.

Appearance- Brandy-like colored pour. Slight 1/4 inch head upon pour. Fades quickly and leaves behind some various spots and very light lines of lace.

Smell- Strong bitter grapefruit pith nose with a caramel malted sugary nose. A slight detection of alcohol as well.

Taste- Hops are bitter and extreme as always. However, there is a really nice toasty and roasty sweet caramel malt flavor as the background. A bit earthy and leathery as well. Alcohol is hidden well.

Mouthfeel- Slight hop burn in the finish. Pretty damn smooth with a mid to lower carbonation level. Lasting hoppy bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Seems as if they are getting more and more drinkable right off the bat. I think it will age very nicely, but it is drinkable now.

GClarkage, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of PatronWizard
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wantet my 300th review to be something special. Don't know why, guess I'm stupid, since my 300th review matters to no one. Well, screw no one, I'm happy anyway. As Stone is my favorite brewery, I decided on the '09 Barleywine.

Pours completely opaque caramel. Tan creamy head. Sheets of lacing. All as expected.

Smell is of some fresh hops; moderately strong. Did I accidentally grab a Stone IPA? Some underlying scent that reminds me of ... smoking? Not really picking up any other scents, even though I'm expecting caramel.

Taste is big time bitter yum. Hops up front. Actually reminds me of the three bombers of Arrogant Bastard I had Saturday. The '07 and '08 Old Guardians I drank awhile ago had a little age on them (2 and 1 years respectively), and I think the '07 is the best of the three vintages. I'm still much enjoying the '09 right now. It just doesn't seem like barleywine. Seems more like a thick IPA.

This thing is smooth and harsh at the same time. Cool. Thick full, produces fresh lawn hop burps.

A huge advantage to drinking Old Guardian is 11+% bitches!!! Man I love Stone. Not afraid to use some hops, not afraid to pump up the ABV fo real lushes likes I, and not afraid to call you a pussy if you can't handle their brews.

Overall: would have anytime

PatronWizard, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of JamesP123
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an oversized wine glass.

A. Much lighter than I was expceting. Pours a golden/dark orange with a big one inch of off white head. The lacing trickles nicely down the glass as you drink.

S. Citrusy hops dominate with some sweet & bready malts followed by a hint of alcohol as the beer begins to warm up.

T. Wow this is one of the hoppiest barlwywines I've had. Grapefruit, honey with slight caramel notes. Alcohol not very noticable.

M. Medium to thick mouthfeel, a little resiny like an IPA. Medium carbination with a slightly dry finish.

D. Wonderful Barleywine, can win over a hop head for sure. By nature barlywines are intense, but this is a very drinkable.

JamesP123, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of ironarrow42
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Colour is a hazy orange-amber hue with a short-lived cream-coloured head. No sign of bubbles. Aroma of orangey citrus, sweet, candyish malt, and alcohol. Smells like dessert!

Velvety-smooth texture with full body. Starts out sweet and malty with caramel, toffee, and orange oil, then a bold, resinous bitterness sweeps over the palate, bringing some citrus & piney hop notes and fruity esters. Tangy finish lingers delightfully.

Bold, flavourful and substantial beer. The hops stand out at this young age. I imagine this will evolve over time and cellar quite nicely for many years.

ironarrow42, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of aubuc1
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 22 oz bomber in to a goblet

pours a hazy orange with a thin white head

very big smell of citrus and pine

taste is like a malty sweety hop bomb triple ipa. sweet sticky bitter taste that is very persuading.

mouthfeel is very full.

for what it is, the abv is barely present. i can't wait to try my other bottle in a couple of years to see how this hop bomb transfigures.

aubuc1, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of djeucalyptus
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a slightly murky golden copper hue with bright gold highlights. a solid and thick one-finger head sits atop, slowly receding to leave some impressive crumpet-esque lacing.

aroma of bready malt, caramel and honey, grapefruit hops and a hint of pine. more sweet malty raisin, a bit of alcohol, and more honey.

bitterly hoppy potency hits up front, then recedes to a fairly pleasantly complex malt profile with some nice honey, caramel and toffee. A bit of resinous pine sap and spice finish it up. Almost a strong and malty extreme-ipa. A definite alcohol hotness too.

Mouth is full, a bit sticky, carbonation doesn't quite cut through, although if it did, it would probably be overload. A lasting pine bitterness lingers for a seemingly endless amount of time. astringent, resinous, viscous, and fairly hot at this point... I'd imagine it would be perfect with some age.

All in all, deliciously strong and piney. Reminds me, as I said, of a strong IPA, more than in years past. The brown sugar notes and carmelized malt are a bit hidden... maybe with a bit of age they'd develop a bit further. Enjoyable, although a bit hot at the moment, definitely drinkable. Worth trying, and definitely worth grabbing one or two to lay down for a bit.

djeucalyptus, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to pokesbeerdude for this one.

Poured into a tulip a slightly hazy golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, hoppy, with some honey notes, caramel. The taste is hoppy, with some malts, sweet, slight spice. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, maybe more hoppy that past years, recommended.

Wasatch, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of nickfl
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark copper-amber body with a two finger white head. The foam settles quickly and leaves decent lace.

S - Perfumey hop aroma with some tobacco, raisins, and slight grapefruit. Lots of malt with dark caramel and bread notes and a hint of mustard seed.

T - Rich and bready malt character with toasted notes and some spicy hops. Dark caramel and raisin flavors in the middle. The finish is bitter with notes of tobacco and a slight astringent charred flavor.

M - A thick, slightly oily body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A nice, robust barleywine. Well balanced with a distinct spiciness and a great, mustard quality that reminds me of Brooklyn Monster.

nickfl, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22oz single from Arctic Liquors in Steamboat, CO. Around $6.

A: Dark copper/orange, with an off white head about half an inch or so, excellent lacing all the way around. Hazy. Dense bubbles, not a lot of carbonation moving around in the glass. Pretty nice looking beer.

S: Piney and citrus hops are really present with some huge caramel and doughy flavors too. Smells very sweet, but has some nice bitter hints as well. Almost honey like, smells pretty darn tasty. Faint hints of booze as it warms up.

T: Wow! Bitter hoppiness! If I didn't have any other knowledge of this beer, I would mistake it for a very potent DIPA. Damn. Hops are very citrus like, almost like biting into a grapefruit rind. As it warms, the hops mellow out a little bit, and the malt starts to shine, quite similar to the nose, caramel, and honey. This is a strong beer. No doubt about it. An interesting barley wine that will age nicely, right now, its a bit overbearing on the hop end of the spectrum.

M: Thick, dry, and slightly spicy from all the hops, alcohol is pretty hot as it goes down, not so much in the mouth, but I can really feel it in my gut.

D: It is very intense, but drinkable if hops are your thing. Honestly, its hard for me to see this as a barleywine right now, give it a few more months and I think things will mellow out, but right now, this is a very malty DIPA. Really a tasty beer, I think the next bottle will be a little more mellow in...October? Good beer though, I'd recommend it to a hop head.

pokesbeerdude, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of maskednegator
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper. Off-white head deflates in a minute or so, leaving a thick lace on the glass.
Smell: Alcohol, brown sugar. Toasted malts, pine needles.
Taste: Caramel, brandy, little bit of sweet apples. Big, spicy hop finish.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, medium carbonation.
Drinkability: A lot of alcohol presence. My buddy's Belgian-drinking girlfriend got mad at me after trying it. I think it's ready to go out of the bottle, but holding onto one for a few years will make this one absolutely tremendous.
Verdict: Solid, likely to be totally transcendent in a few years. Peep the abv, and clear your schedule for the evening. This is like drinking a 40.

maskednegator, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of JimFromVenus
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone Old Guardian - Limited Early 2009 Release
22oz bottle - $8 in Buford, GA 3/19
served in all-purpose 10oz stemless tulip tasting glass

A - Simply gorgeous! Prettiest beer I've had in a long time. In my glass it ranges from a dark orange-yellow at the edges through caramel to almost blood-orange at the center. A gentle center pour yielded a 4+ finger head at first, with amazing persistence. After a minute, I topped it off to a 3 finger head half in and half out of the glass - it retained great definition and body for a few minutes. Rarely does it get this good.

S - Hops. Hops. Hops. Maybe a hint of cherry pit, possibly something woodsy, perhaps an exotic spice like cardamon or even a bit of orange peel, but probably just hops - several kinds and lots of 'em. Not studied enough to tell them apart or identify them in the wild... but it's a good lesson.

T - Personally, I am almost always more tongue than nose. While my schnoz may not understand, or be over-whelmed, my tongue is in heaven with the spicy-floral-citrus-caramel flavors and the dry finish.

M - Rich, frothy, and bit creamy with a black pepper edge. The finish is clean, yet full of complex flavors... or maybe it's just searingly hoppy. I drank this bottle as a meal in itself, but I would quite enjoy it with catfish or a peppered Tilapia. I keep waiting for the finish to stop lingering. I'm more of a wine guy than beer drinker these days, so finding a beer with this depth and length of finish is pretty exceptional.

D - Really hoppy beers make me forget to breathe. The Old Guardian warns me not to breathe, lest I suffer his wrath... even more hops. Like great music, a large part of my enjoyment of Old Guardian is the silences between the notes. When I can make a 22oz beer last 3+ hours of fairly involved enjoyment, it has to have a lot to offer.

O - I loved this beer. My ideal barleywine is less hoppy and a bit maltier, but then it wouldn't be a Stone, would it? I will certainly be purchasing more for my collection. There are times when this will be the best beer match with my dinner menu. The Old Guardian works well with spicy and sweet foods that I have a hard time pairing wine with.

Cheers!
Jim

JimFromVenus, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad to see this annual gem of a beer show up here in NC somewhat early.Poured into a imperial nonic a dull somewhat hazed burnt orange with a tight formed 1/2 finger white head that never really completely subsides, just a creamy mass with broken lace behind.Big pine resin in the nose along with dark fruit and brown sugar.Full on thick mouth coating mouthfeel but not overly so,just lush.Strong flavors on the palate with the alcohol really coming thru,big resiny hop intermingled with sweet alcohol and dark fruit are the big flavor components,as the beer warmed the alcohol became more prevelant.Abeer to hold on to as its big and raw right now,ah but raw is great!

oberon, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of Shaw
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An orange-amber in color with a short, off-white head that's not much more than a ring and a thin layer in my glass.

It has that trademark barleywine aroma of alcohol, hops and tons of malt.

The trademark aroma leads to the trademark taste. Lots of malt and big hop bitterness, but not in an over-the-top way. This is a more nuanced barleywine. Big warming notes at the end.

The body is super slick and creamy. Quite nice.

Overall this is a good barleywine. It's a little too strong for me to be packaged in a 22-ounce bottle: I'd prefer a 12-ounce version. But that's because I'm a serious lightweight. I just ate a huge meal and will drink this bottle over several hours. Here's hoping I don't get a hangover.

Shaw, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big three finger head if you pour too aggressively, very slow to simmer down, more microscopic foam than bigger bubbles, semi-sticky lacing. Murky glow deepens the orange-brown color, fully opaque through to the slightly more orange rims. More hop presence in this than any other barleywine beer consumed before, the nose full of grapefruit, tangerine citrus, pine sap and green grass, sharply angular in texture, the tropicality in the pineapple, nectarine, guava, kumquat fruit scents contributes mightily, little cushioning from the rye bread, mocha, carob or scone notes. Full-bodied unto thick in the mouth, even the foaminess seems to add to its density. Not substantially different from the nose in that pink grapefruit, lemon citrus, pine and herbaceousness dominate. Around the mid-palate you might get some malty biscuit or bread but the malt presence drops a notch here, any chocolate comes only when you breathe out. The pineapple, guava, nectarine, peach fruit met by raisin and fig flavors which keep their distance. Keeps rubbing your palate until it starts to get raw. Selfish steamroller, doesn't consider your feelings at all.

farrago, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of patobandito
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice cloudy copper color with a thick off white head. Smells amazing. Very malty with lots of Earthy tones with a great hop scent as well. Taste is indescribable. Malty earth notes with great grain tastes from the start, then the hops bombard my tongue with citrus and grassy notes. The balance is damn near perfect, the only complaint being that it might be a bit hop-sided, but thats not a bad thing at all in my opinion. Very full feeling and easily drinkable. Excellent. Simply excellent.

patobandito, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of lhaqq
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber body with a creamy head that retains at about 2mm.
S: Good dose of malts--really grainy and earthy.
T: Similar to the smell. The malts almost remind me of fiber or oats. Spicy alcohol at the end.
M: Somewhat smooth throughout with the alcohol kick at the end.
D: One of the better barleywines I've had in awhile.

lhaqq, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of GJ40
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Tyler's in Apex, NC.

A - Amber with a reddish tinge and good clarity. A small beige head that dissipates quickly.

S - Rich malt and floral hops. Very nice.

T - A firm burst of malt and alcohol followed by a nice hop aroma and flavor. The flavors are all so distinct but work together nicely. A lingering hop bitterness and warming alcohol effect.

M - Thick with an almost oily consistency. Low carbonation.

D - A very big, strong beer that still has plenty of subtlety. I'm not a big barley wine drinker but this one definitely left me ready for more.

GJ40, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of Patrick999
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a large snifter. Very light copper, a DIPA-ish appearance but with a skinny head that nevertheless rouses itself with a few swirls.

S - Upon cracking the bottle, my first thought was that it smelled as though I'd just opened a pinot grigio; it had a vinous aroma. When poured into the snifter, though, it gives a more typical American barleywine nose. Tropical fruit esters, mostly pineapple, passion fruit, guava. Some acetone. It doesn't smell as blatantly hoppy and one-dimensional as it did on tap.

T - Wow, nor does it taste as one-dimensional as it did on tap. On draft, it tasted like a glorified IPA. Not to minimize the still-considerable hop presence, but this is very rich and more balanced, not quite as dry hoppiness in the finish. Fruity alcohol much more notable here, better cookie malt backbone.

F - Has a good typical sticky-barleywine feel.

D - I don't know why this feels so much more full and alcoholic out of the bottle, but I find it much more complex, more aromatic, and more like what I expect from a barleywine. That said, I had 3 chalices of this from the tap, and I don't think I can match that here. Very good, but will be a struggle to finish the bomber.

Patrick999, Mar 14, 2009
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.