Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
2.53/5 rDev -38.3%
22 oz./ fresh '09
P: Shiny gold from the bottle, sits a deep orange-tinted amber in the glass. 2 fingered off-white head is thick & creamy with good retention. The sinking crown leaves the glass coated with lace.
A: Big whiffs of fresh hops; citrusy with a hint of floral along with caramel, rubbing alcohol, and some earth. Judging from the raw alcohol presence here, I think you could get drunk from smelling it!
T: This is quite malty sweet out of the gate with gobs of caramel, slight toffee, and booze with an earthy undertone. Hops arrive late but come with a vengeance as grapefruit, lemon rind, & pineapple swing the balance back to the bitter side for good. The result, the alcohol teams up with the alpha acids and scorches the tongue like the hills of Yorba Linda. Which any good BW should do. But in this case, the alcohol flavor is just too present, and invades on the task at hand.
M & D: Full-bodied, thick & chewy, rich & creamy, just what I expect from a Stone BW. The drinkability of this one is described pretty accurately by the score I've given: awful! If I wasn't such a cheapskate, I would have dumped it. Like drinking a glass of vodka with a beer accidentally spilled into it.
Notes: This is just way too young, in my opinion. I don't want to lose those precious hops. But I do, however, want that alcohol to sit back and relax. Right in the middle should be perfect. This is one beer that I won't be drinking fresh anymore!
02-08-2009 05:45:44 | More by sweetbrew82
2.55/5 rDev -37.8%
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.
07-30-2009 23:55:19 | More by goblue3509
2.7/5 rDev -34.1%
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.
04-11-2009 02:11:55 | More by Misfit138
2.7/5 rDev -34.1%
22oz into Newport Storm pint glass. Bought @ Chris Gassbaro's vast wasteland of beer.
A- Pale hazy orange with a bit of amber. Nice cascade in the pint glass.
S- Nose is of a wheatwine, actually. Sweet malts.
T- Taste is cotton candy, sweet sherry and undefined grape sugars and some heat from the alcohol.
M- Hot. Abrasive, not what I was expecting.
D- Moderate. I think this beer may be in a transitional period- I have another bottle and will give it some time and a re-review if needed.
01-15-2011 06:34:58 | More by ShogoKawada
3/5 rDev -26.8%
I drank this from a 22oz bottle into a Rochefort chalice.
The beer pours a ligth cloudy brown tea color with a medium tan head that rises about 1 finger but falls quickly. The lacing is pretty good.
The aroma starts off with mostly bourbon, banana, and a little wood. Its sweet, balanced and complex, pretty nice.
The taste is way to strong and not good. Its all woody alcohol with any sweetness to balance its out. Its grain alcohol in a wood barrel.
02-27-2010 03:03:43 | More by jrallen34
3.08/5 rDev -24.9%
22 oz bottle. Reviewed on 2/7/11.
Nice looking beer, with orange edges and a dark, burnt ochre middle. Fluffy, brownish head that takes awhile to settle down. Nice lacing, and beautiful bubbles.
Carmel sweetness on the nose. Robust malts. Surprising yeasty profile. Musty. Raisin bread. Pine hops. White pepper spices. Citrus twinge. Very complex and shifting nose.
Where does this beer start? Vague flavors immediately give way to a punch of pine hops and phenolic, medicinal flavors. Leads into spicy flavors. As it warms, more flavors try to poke their heads out. Carmel and raisin bread with candied orange appear, but those flavors are quickly beaten into submission by the hops. The finish is extremely bitter and has a giant alcohol punch, almost burning.
I can't believe this beer has 2 years of age on it. Very abrasive, and I feel abused. Wish I would have split this bottle with someone; it was a little too much for me by the end. Needs about 5 more years on it.
04-22-2011 03:40:27 | More by litheum94
3.15/5 rDev -23.2%
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.
07-26-2009 03:32:47 | More by WalrusJockey
3.2/5 rDev -22%
A: Pours a hazy dark reddish/orange color. A two finger white head gently rises. Some sticky lace is left on the glass.
S: Lots of floral, medicinal, and fruity hops. Apples, pears, and grapefruit jump out at me. A medicinal tea like aroma. A very light malty sweetness as the aroma lingers.
T: Bitter, oily, and resiny hops. Grapefruit dominates the flavor. Not much else, no real malty sweetness to balance the flavor out. Lots of hot alcohol.
M/D: A medium to full body. A crisp snap of carbonation. This is very hot from the alcohol, and a bitter beer makes this hard to drink for me.
I am always willing to revisit a style that I am not crazy about. This is what I have come to expect from an American Barleywine though. Lots of hops and no balance with the malt. If that is your thing, then pick some up because you will not be disappointed.
04-26-2009 23:43:30 | More by champ103
3.2/5 rDev -22%
My least favorite year of Old Guardian. Frankly, an offputting brew in many respects.
Poured a familiar amber with white foam. Smelled like medicinal herbs and pine. None of the rich caramel aroma I recall from years past.
Taste was more muted as well. Where's the rich toffee/brown sugar/roasted caramel? Where's the pine/grapefruit hop undercurrent? This was primarily somewhat weak sweet malt and a bit of resiny pine/herbal hop content.
Just very disappointing. Mouthfeel felt thinner than years past, too.
02-11-2009 11:18:38 | More by Overlord
3.23/5 rDev -21.2%
Chilled bottle into a glass. (2009)
A: Pours a lightly hazy (chill, I'd guess) amber body with ruby and orange inflection to it. Quite inviting. Unlike the 2010, the head dies pretty quickly and leaves only a few trails of bubbles on top of the brew.
S: Hops are fading a bit compared to the fresh 2010 version, as one would expect. The pine is still prominent, even weed-like; it blends well with caramel, toffee, and crystal malt. Some butterscotch too.
T: I'm a little less enthused about this aged version than I was about the 2010. It's very toasty, lots of butterscotch and caramel. These are very dominant, almost making me miss chocolate (which I did not find in the fresh one). The pine hop character is still there, with an undercurrent of citrus flavors. This lacks the hoppy aggressiveness of the fresh version, and it fails to have developed a nice complexity to compensate for the faded hops. On top of that, it's a bit boozy (solventy, not just warm).
M: Chewy; finish is a little harsh and boozy. Low-medium carbonation.
D: In my opinion, one year isn't the sweet spot for this beer. It's still better than average, and I had no trouble putting down a bomber of it, but in the future I'd drink these fresh.
04-03-2010 06:43:29 | More by Arbitrator
3.25/5 rDev -20.7%
Nice looking copper/orange pour with a finger of head that leaves some sticky lacing.
This one is a hoppy monster upon first contact with my nose. Nice, sweet caramel malt underneath.
The hops seem to be quite a bit faded in the taste and there is a mustiness there that isn't really very pleasant. Biscuity malts without a whole lot of a sweetness.
Mouthfeel is medium and sticky. Perhaps this one just needs some time under it, but right now I'm not a huge fan.
10-04-2009 18:37:56 | More by alcstradamus
3.25/5 rDev -20.7%
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.
06-26-2009 23:39:04 | More by paco1029384756
3.28/5 rDev -20%
Poured from a bomber into a North Coast snifter. As a note of caution, I don't care for hoppy barley wines, I prefer the taste of sweet malts so my subjective review may be troubling to you hopheads.
This Barley Wine poured a surprisingly light straw color with a high level of translucence. Added to this light color was a nice crown of foam, two to three fingers of aggressively poured head that quickly fled the scene. Moderate lacing as the beverage was drank down.
The nose of this brew didn't scream hops though there were some piney fresh blasts. There is a good deal of sweet notes that show up, some burnt sugars and... maybe... butterscotch?
I'm a little bummed by the mouthfeel. I want a thick chewy barley wine but this guy doesn't deliver. A thin body and an overly aggressive carb bite makes me an unhappy boy. Especially considering the high ABV on the sucker.
The taste, for me, is wayyy hoppy. Like tree sap hoppy, almost utterly overwhelming. I let the beer warm for a time and finally some of the malt character comes out, a bit biscuity and just not prevalent for my taste. I want the sweetness, but I'm not going to get it, the muscular pine tree flavor just obliterates sugar that I crave. I'm definitely going to buy another one of these and age it for a year to see if the hop profile mellows a bit.
The drinkability is a tough sell for me. High hop oils, high ABV, and low chewiness make this a forgettable brew.
11-12-2009 03:09:37 | More by cptierney
3.3/5 rDev -19.5%
22oz bomber poured into an oversized wine glass (the remaining 6 or so ounces will be enjoyed later).
A - toasted brown/ruby/copper color. it's hard to describe. a white 2cm head formed, but disappeared pretty quickly into nothing.
S - grapefruit, pineapple, citrus hops, caramel malt, fruit. a slightly vinous quality to it. it's not that strong though.
T - caramel malt, more fruitiness and the citrusy hops present in the nose. the hops are pretty weak for a fresh brew and it seems to be pretty balanced compared to other American Barleywines I know of that are hop-heavy.
M - nice, thick and undercarbonated. how i like my barleywines.
D - i didn't find this beer particularly spectacular. i have another bottle that i'm hoping will be better next year.
02-18-2009 08:03:15 | More by bowersdm
3.3/5 rDev -19.5%
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).
05-25-2009 04:02:11 | More by adamette
3.4/5 rDev -17.1%
Thin tan head, deep copper color with some sediment.
Raisiny nose with deep complex maltiness.
Warm in the mouth with a hoppy raisin flavor, sugar sweetness and late bitterness. A little sticky in the mouth as well, a bit over bitter and dull. Softly carbonated.
However, still a drinkable beer.
11-24-2010 20:21:05 | More by Naugled
British Columbia (Canada)
3.45/5 rDev -15.9%
Not a bad barley wine from Stone. Orange-copper, very light and clear with a very thin off-white head.
Sweet, slightly vinous scent. Malts, brown sugar, raisins and hints of blackberry.
Somewhat bitter taste - hops, berries and raisin and wine hints. Suggestions of brown sugar, caramel, bread and even bananas. Rich flavour, but sometimes the complexity is lost.
Good carbonation though at times it seems a little too heavy on the fizz. Very enjoyable, but a dessert beer at 11.3%
05-13-2010 04:42:57 | More by BDTyre
3.45/5 rDev -15.9%
Wowo. Strong beer. Strong flavors. Poured into a Duvel glass, the beer is beautiful. Deep dark honey color with a very creamy head of complimentary color, about 1 and a half fingers deep with a high pour. Very well retained, throughout. Smells verrry malty with your trademark Stone hops and a strong alcohol smell. Some fruits involved. The taste matches all of this which is good, you taste what you smell. But it's bad, sometimes that alcohol taste is just too much. Nice barleywine with a viscouse body with enough carbonation to make it not feel like your drinking malt syrup. I can drink about as many of these as I can any other barleywine. Enough to get happy. ;-)
10-07-2010 03:34:55 | More by wcintula
District of Columbia
3.45/5 rDev -15.9%
A decent US barley wine that starts on a stimulating note and ends confusing hoppiness with bitterness and losing its character.
Presentation: 22 Oz bottle. Iconic Stone demon gargoyle holding a glass of beer in their classic design. Long and typical over the top Stone narrative on the back, somewhat tongue in cheek rambling about its illegibility and a variety of recent topics, some distantly related to the brew. Below a one liner gives a generic description of ingredients. Notes bottling date as "Limited Early 2009 Release". Lacks any other info other than Alc. by Vol (11.3%) and cellaring indications. Poured into a snifter.
A - Pale amber color with a head inch that fades relatively quickly leaving some lacing on its way down.
S - An assertive hoppy range emerges from a sweet malt base. Not too complex or memorable, citrusy whiffs within the grain nose.
T - Consistent with the smell, while the hops are aggressive as they typically are in US version they leave room for a sweet malt counterbalance. There is a distinct Stone taste to it but all things considered it offers a short range or complexities in particular in the caramel, malt, spectrum with heavy hops that are a bit monotonous and are always trying to take a front seat.
M - It's a medium to high body in part due to a generous carbonation for the style.
D - It's average, tending to be a bit dull as one progresses and hopes that it will pick up its richness a bit, but then it really doesn't.
Notes: Not a great barleywine in this incarnation but not an awful one either. Not sure if I had tried it before a few years back, I may give it a try in future year batches and see if it was a matter of a mediocre year. But for now and form me, surrounded with such great variety this is a pass.
01-13-2010 20:53:04 | More by Daniellobo
3.48/5 rDev -15.1%
bomber split with my gf. snifter.
a - pours a murky copper color with a thin cap of pale yellow head. after calming i get a thin ring and lots of webby lacing.
s - maraschino cherry, brandy, candi sugar, prunes, astringent alcohol.
t - tart fruitiness up front with dank bitterness in back. notes of candi sugar, brandy, dark fruits. herbal hop character, faint alcohol taste in the finish.
m - full bodied with adequate carbonation. medium co2 profile.
o - a solid beer overall, but i've had other vintages (and other examples of the style) that i've enjoyed more. might try this one again though.
01-17-2012 02:56:16 | More by divineaudio
3.5/5 rDev -14.6%
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.
04-11-2009 03:26:56 | More by Yesac
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.