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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

329 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 329
Reviews: 246
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.76%
Wants: 6
Gots: 46 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottoale on 02-06-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 329 | Reviews: 246
Photo of prototypic
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's a very attractive amber color with strong orange highlights. There's a good bit of haze clouding the view. On top is a vanilla colored head that reaches maybe a finger deep. It dissipated very quickly and left only light lace on the glass. Not too surprising given the high abv.

Smell: The nose is a little weak. It's very brown sugary and sweet smelling up front. Smells like there's a good malt presence. Mostly caramel. There's some citrus grapefruit and pineapple lingering throughout. Light plum and raisin complement the citrus scents very well. Hops are pretty strong and smell mostly piney with some citrus characteristics blended in. All in all, nice smelling beer, but just a tad weak.

Taste: The nose is very representative of the flavor profile. It's very sweet and sugary. Brown sugar is noted. Caramel malts are noted, but they're not quite as prevalent as they should be. Hops are very aggressive and bitter. They mostly taste like pine sap, but do have some good citric qualities. There's grapefruit and pineapple in the mix. Light plum and perhaps some other dark fruit flavors are noted. They're clearly secondary, but add a nice flavor to it. Surprisingly, very little alcohol is noted for such a strong beer. It finishes piney and bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It has body on the lighter side of thick and a pretty smooth feel. Carbonation isn't too invasive, but it doesn't really help the cause much either. It's still smooth and goes down easy. Drinkability is pretty limited. It's very strong at 11.3% and is definitely a sipping beer. I'll handle the bomber, but it will take a while.

This year's Old Guardian is overall a good beer. I can't say that it's materially different from last year's. Surpisingly, it seems like it could use a little more malt to add some flavor and assistance with the feel. Small gripe. Otherwise, it's very solid and still worth picking up.

Photo of richbrew
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep amber/copper color. Big light tan head falls to a minimal one. Fairly nice clingy lace.

Yep, has that barleywine smell. Boozy alcohol back by mild malts and noticeable hops.

Yep, has that barleywine taste. Sweet malts followed by a hop flavor and a bitter hop aftertaste.

Rather full mouth and smooth. Slight bite.

Very nice barleywine.

Photo of cdayb1
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of josssmith
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ScottyC54
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of bamadog
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of emmasdad
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consistently one of the better bomber values out there, this one hasn't disappointed yet. Poured a clear, dark, reddish-brown color with a little tan head on top. On the nose, aromas of earthy hops, dark fruits and caramel. On the palate, this one was medium bodied, with flavors of earthy hops, caramel and booze.

Photo of FriarTuckInLuck
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ToasterChef
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. A year old Keg was tapped as part of Novare Res' strong beer week. I consumed it on 3.20.10. The beer is opaque, with an orange/red coloration. It has a foamy, tan colored head and visible carbonation rising within the glass. It has good, even lacing. it smells of spent grain and citrus hops. I can make out some alcohol as well. There are dry, bitter hops up front in the taste. The hops also linger in the aftertaste. Up until swallowing, I can pick up some alcohol and some sticky sweetness. It has a heavy body and stick mouth coating. It really feels like a 11% ABV beer. There isn't much alcohol burn though. It's pretty drinkable considering the strength. There is a strong hop presence, but that is the only limiting factor that I could detect.

Photo of codynevels
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of elniko
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of lovindahops
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this will be neat. A barleywine from Caly besides a bigfoot. Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass

Here we go....

A- hazy orange with that slow receding head. Bulky lacing remains on the side of the brew. Strangely, it almost looks like a blue moon with a lack of a head

S- whoa! Malty alcohol! So sweet with citrus and syrupy hops though. Butterscottch and caramel. Some watery raisins as well

T- sweet barley wine taste with alcohol and dried fruit. A tad crisp hopped flavor with light smoked malt even. Some earthy flavor is twisted with some citrus too. The malt does finish the brew with a sweet tone

M- crabonated and thick with a heck of a mouthfull

D- great west coast barley wine! Stone is wicked. You have to be careful with the alcohol. Sit back and enjoy one

Photo of bearisprime
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of DoctorB2B
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Ralphus
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't even know there was an old Guardian until I saw it in a liquor store in Annapolis on a recent trip to Chesapeake Bay. But it was Stone and that was good enough for me.

Pours with a nice fluffy head that recedes to a cap of foam that leaves plenty of lacing. The color is good.. a cloudy orangey amber that I enjoy looking at.

The smell is also good. Soft notes of vanilla, sweet fruit and hops are present in the beginning. It's unfortunate that the strength of the beer is so high that after a quarter of a glass you can barely smell anything though. Well, it was nice while it lasted.

The taste is a typically Stone well done balance of sweet malts, fruity yeasts and hoppy finish. In this case the volume is bumped up by at least 30% and despite not tasting the alcohol too much - you can definitely feel it! It warms the stomach and leaves a slight burning sensation.

Mouthfeel is really well done for a beer of this strength. Smooth and refreshing with very little stickiness that I would expect.

Drinkability is also good. More than a bottle is out of the question for me given it's strength - but it does go down very quickly. Nice work Stone.

Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of pest
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of eslemarc
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber in a medium sized tulip.

Medium amber color, looks very thick, cloudy, and hazier I would have imagined. Nice cloudy cream colored head just a couple millimeters tall, stays pretty strong too. Very full thick lacing begins as the head falls. Half way down the glass the lace is still staying fairly strong.

Smells very fragrant, notes of honey, lemon, mild hints of some sweetness behind the wonderfully floral-esque hop character. Also possibly some darker fruits like cherries.

The taste starts off fairly sweet and fruity with an early onset of hop bitterness, washes over the palate with smooth texture and finishes long and bitter, very quickly warming without over powering.

With age I'd imagine this beer will become amazing as the hop bitterness subsides slightly and allows the fruit complexity to shine through. I have another bottle in the cellar that I will revisit down the road. Wonderful barley wine style ale.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.