1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 - Stone Brewing Co.

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

320 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 320
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.76%


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 Reviewers
Ratings: 320 | Reviews: 247 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Poured an opaque amber color with a tight off-white head - good lacing on the glass and excellent head retention. Aromas were sweet brown sugary malt, caramel, toffee, some hops and rather boozy. Tastes were very similar to aromas with a pleasantly sweet maltiness up front followed by the familiar finish of bitter Stone hops - all their beers have a very distinctive hop character. Good representation of the style with a nice west coast hop flare.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2009 23:40:53 | More by barnzy78
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Guardian 2009, from a 22oz bomber obtained today at Harringtons for $7.49 plus tax and dep.

Color is a clear, rich, deep copper. Carbo is visible rising up, and the topping is a light beige, creamy, fine gathering of bubbles, most of which sit at the edge and add to the lacework. A very-late addition of some bottle sediment added some cloudiness to the mixture. Aroma has some strong, biting, resiny hops, along with a healthy dose of alcohol-related "heat" hitting the nostrils. The feel is very smooth on the tongue, and the body is solidly mid-range.

Flavor has some malt lurking about, contributing caramel and toffee notes to the mix. Hops are plentiful and produce a lupulin-coating on the tongue and oral cavity. There's a good dose of resiny, piney hop action going on here, with a smattering of citrus getting tangled up in blue. The 11.30% ABV is quite evident, right from the get-go, with a noticeable warming in the belly not long after the first few sips. Despite all the hops, some caramel is what actually lingers in the aftertaste. Though not quite as hoppy as I like a BW (give me Bigfoot!!), this is still pretty solid! Had no plans to review, until I saw that these Stone BWs are yearly offerings, so wtf, eh? ;-)

Prosit!!

4.1
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

1222

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2010 21:13:48 | More by Bierman9
Photo of bamadog
bamadog

Kentucky

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of this at The Main Stree Gourmet in Oxford, OH -- kind of a lucky find so if you're ever in that area, be sure to stop by and check it out. What was even better was that it was a bottle of '09 and kept pretty well in this store. I had a bottle of '09 when it was fresh and it was too big for me to get through too much, so with a year of age on it, it had definitely mellowed out and the hops had mellowed a bit, but were still really potent so I'd love to get a hold of another bottle of the '09 and let it set. Review is from notes taken on 6/1/2010 and poured from the bottle to a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a rich and deep honey color and starts with a 1/2 finger white head that fades immediately to a thin and uneven spotty skim on the surface; body shows tremendous clarity and minimal carbonation -- just one thin strand of bubbles trickling up; only a couple of spots of lacing are left behind on the sides of the glass.

Smell: A lot of honey sweet malts and a faint whiff of grapefruit bitter hop presence; a faint presence of alcohol is detectable in the nose as well -- nose is ultimately quite potent and makes its presence known.

Taste: Tons of the honey sweet malts are up front, but as kind of expected in most anything from Stone, the hops are still very present and are grapefruit bitter -- these hops have not really faded much at all over the extra year in the bottle, but have managed to mellow just a bit and ultimately this has become much more drinkable; the aftertaste is initially like pure honey, but the sticky coating holds some of the bitter hop resins and end up rounding out the palate.

Mouthfeel: Body is a little thick and heavy, even starts a little slick and oily; carbonation is a little more potent than it looks, but really smooth; a thick dry coating is left all over the mouth and as mentioned above, it really holds the bitter aftertaste quite well.

Drinkability: It's big, but I'm digging on the flavors and balance for such a big beer from a real hop-forward brewery; the ABV is high and that decreases the score a bit, and I would love to get ahold of another bottle to give it another year and see where it's at. Perhaps a road trip is in order.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 01:08:00 | More by bamadog
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Al's of Hampden served in a nonic. Appears a hazed golden copper color with a finger of creamy yellowish stained head that retains quite well for 11%. Faint patches of lace cling to the glassware with each sip. A light swirl revives the cap to a finger's strength and large bubbles of carbonation continually rise through the body.

The aroma of this brew is sweet with a scent of caramelized sugary malt. Fruity indications with hops that are light rind-like somewhat reminiscent of orange skin. A bit of fusel alcohol tingles the nose and finishes out the aroma.

The taste if this offering has a pleasant contrast of sweet caramel malt verse modestly bitter rindy hops and bold alcohol. For coming up on 2 years old or so this brew can certainly hold out much longer. Hops last inside the mouth long after each sip with a mixture of herbal aspect and rind. As this brew warms it picks up some toasted toffee like flavors that are a pleasant mix to the solid abv and hop character.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Very bold and quite a solid strength sipper. A well rounded brew that could be cellared for a few more years and enjoyed. The hop oils seemingly stick and cling inside the mouth. with each sip.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2011 17:09:04 | More by stakem
Photo of ONUMello
ONUMello

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Released as part of the 2011 Cleveland Beer Week.
A: Orangish red color, thin head that quickly dissipates.
S: All sorts of fruit: stone fruit, citrus, dried fruit; caramel & toffee rounds it out.
T: Caramel, toffee, orange peel. Straightforward but intense.
M: A bit thick and the alcohol does come through, but typical of the style.
O: Another solid offering from Stone. Drink this one slowly.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 01:50:26 | More by ONUMello
Photo of BoitSansSoif
BoitSansSoif

France

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured a slightly hazy amber w/creamy off-white head. Respectable retention.
S-Hops are dominant, w/a bouquet of citrus, pine, floral, and fresh vegetal tones. There is also a sweet honey-like fruit character.
T-Attack is harmonious blend of sweet and bitter, and the alcohol emerges right away if you hold it. The malt come out nicely midway, and the finish is of strong hops that cleanse the palate nicely. The first two seconds of aftertaste brings out the alcohol, but this is ephemeral, and the resiny hops come back on, leaving a pleasing bitterness.
M-Medium-bodied w/light carbonation. Good balance.
D-Very good. Picked this up at SeaSide Market in Encinidas. We're hitting the brewery tonight.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 02:41:39 | More by BoitSansSoif
Photo of pokesbeerdude
pokesbeerdude

Colorado

4.05/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2009 22:30:11 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of djaeon
djaeon

California

4.05/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 00:04:09 | More by djaeon
Photo of seand
seand

California

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a large red wine glass. Early 2009 release, so it's not had a long time to age.

A: Pours a fairly light translucent amber red, with about a finger of off white head that dissipates quickly leaving some foam on the surface. Some lacing.

S: Caramel malt with hints of fruity hops.

T: Lots of flavor. The sweetness on the front of the tongue gives way to grapefruit flavors and a big hop finish which lingers on the aftertaste. The alcohol is present but mostly covered by the hops.

M: Nice, crisp carbonation. Full bodied, somewhat sticky mouthfeel.

D: Drinks quite easily considering the 11.3% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 04:44:24 | More by seand
Photo of kegger22
kegger22

Michigan

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 release (just had a bomber of 2008 a few days ago).

Poured a hazy, dark orange with a one finger head that slowly faded to a thick skin. The aroma was rather more hoppy than malt. The taste was much more bitter than the 2008. I like hops (though not quite yet a hophead, I'm getting there), but I preferred the malted balance of '08. Yes sweet was there, and more so as it warmed, but I still favor last year's release. This one is good though. The feel was medium bodied with little carbonation. Drinkability was good for a high ABV.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2009 18:23:15 | More by kegger22
Photo of CharlatanSin
CharlatanSin

Connecticut

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy cider color that becomes more opaque as it settles down. A small head with a thin but persistent lacing.

Smell: Fruity hops dominate the smell. It's pretty boozy, too.

Taste: Those fruity hops, in true Stone fashion, have their way with your taste buds. The hops overwhelmed my first couple of sips. As I had a few more, a very pleasant undercurrent of toasted caramel or butterscotch made its presence felt. The hops and the caramel both linger nicely, making for a terrific finish. All in all a delicious beer.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a bit low for my taste. It doesn't take away from the taste, but doesn't compliment it, either.

Drinkability/Overall: This is one sneaky beer.The alcohol is fairly present in the smell, but not so much in the taste. The 11 and change ABV kind of hides and then wallops you.

That being said, this beer is something of a tweener. It's a delicious beer, but it's almost more like an excellent double IPA than a barleywine, at least the way I think of the style. I think I'm going to go buy another bottle and age it for a spell and see what that does to the balance. Definitely pick it up, though, as long as you're not a barleywine purist.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2009 04:47:37 | More by CharlatanSin
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer sereved side by side with a 2004, wine and bourbon barrel aged versions. This was a close second behind the 2004.

Beer is reddish and clear with a tight head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low.

Beer smells malty but unlike the 2004, this one is pretty hoppy too. Nice.

Beer is strong and big. Mildly hot but its hoppy bitter with good hop character that matches the malt sweetness in the front mouth quite well. Its a very drinkable and nice beer. Stone makes good barleywines, that's for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2010 18:31:52 | More by drabmuh
Photo of SupaCelt
SupaCelt

Michigan

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought off the shelf last week at my favorite haunt.

The colour is a blushing honey tone with minimal carbonation. Head is small and doesn't stay to visit.

The nose is largely hot and alcoholic. Fusels, baby. There is a grand crusty sweetness underneath. Burnt sugar and caramel with some funky old tones.

The taste is heavy on the burnt sugar and a prominent, but appropriate and welcomed alcohol burn and dryness. Tastes are crude and raw.

The mouthfeel is like warm syrup.

The drinkability is good for the style. This one is a sipper. Watch some Survivor and nurse one.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 01:23:01 | More by SupaCelt
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my tulip glass as a reward for a nice workout snowshoeing in Maine. Getting a foot of snow here today and we hiked around in the woods for well over an hour. Sounds like a perfect day to break into my '09 Old Guardian.

Hazy deep amber color with brown/orange highlights. I did have this in a regular fridge here and took it out for 20 minutes to allow it to get to the right temp. Interesting that it's this hazy. A finger of bubbly light tan head forms and settles quickly. Quite interesting that despite a less aggressive head, there is a ton of lacing left everywhere. Literally almost the entire inside of the glass has a thick file left clinging to it.

Sure smells like a barley wine. Deep and inviting malt aroma with a background of fruit. I think more caramel vs. brown sugar here. Certainly a sweet note.

Sure tastes like a barley wine! ;) The depth of the flavor is really nice here. There are layers to the malt flavor and you can just enjoy them as you slowly sip this big beer. A sweet punch immediately, followed by a moment of vanilla cream. More sugar but now a bit more like brown sugar. Some fruit then a punch of pithy bitterness. Lots going on here.

Big in body and big in your mouth. Very mild carbonation. Almost oily

Certainly fits the bill on a day with a foot of snow. I really enjoyed working through the bottle and sharing just a bit of it..

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 19:28:08 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of jdklks
jdklks

Nevada

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 04:45:48 | More by jdklks
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 08:59:13 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of cvstrickland
cvstrickland

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The double-deuce bomber bottle adorned with the customary gargoyle is presented chilled and served in a snifter. The pouring unleashes a bright, richly copper-colored beer topped with a finger's thickness of creamy, semisolid ivory foam atop. The cap recedes very slowly and scatters a field of speckled lacing onto the sides of my glass.

The smell is loaded with citrusy, grassy hops and spicy, fruity alcohol. Brown sugary notes accent essences of leafy green grass, white grapefruit and orange zest, the dark sugars adding depth, warmth, and stickiness to the profile.

The taste is fruity and richly malty with a savory dark caramel backbone. Oily citrus rind bitterness accents the mellow dark toasted malt-sugariness, only to be rinsed clean by a splash of alcohol masquerading as dilute golden apple juice. A lingering earthy bitterness dawdles around in the aftertaste, wandering about upon an increasingly punch-drunk palate pummeled by Old Guardian's deadly one-two combination of flagrant West Coast-style hopping and blatant high gravity. The finish is grassier and drier as the drink progresses.

The drink is creamy and heavy-medium in body with perfect carbonation, but at 11.3% ABV, I'm not going to pretend that this excellent brew is anything but a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2009 22:48:40 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of jsapunor
jsapunor

California

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
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 dhd1491
dhd1491

Georgia

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2009 21:36:10 | More by dhd1491
Photo of jacobseyb
jacobseyb

Alabama

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 05:13:02 | More by jacobseyb
Photo of joshstevens87
joshstevens87

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  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

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 02:47:23 | More by joshstevens87
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 02:04:56 | More by zeff80
Photo of dannydetox
dannydetox

California

4.09/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2013 22:15:52 | More by dannydetox
Photo of HeyItsChili
HeyItsChili

China

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Serving type: growler

02-13-2009 23:58:15 | More by HeyItsChili
Photo of czfreeman
czfreeman

Michigan

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 07:08:22 | More by czfreeman
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 320 ratings.