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: 48 | 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 bunnyhustle
bunnyhustle

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favs, Old Guardian does not disappoint this year. Pours amber but appears ruby when held to light. Thick and creamy off-white head with good retention and moderate lacing. Smell is strong of pineapple, grapefruit and overall citrus. A caramel hops and hops presence of course. Taste is of caramel malt, some biscuit, sweet fruit, and of course hops. Nice, fresh citrus hops. A warming sensation as it goes down with its silky and full body. Overall a great beer. I cant believe I'm saying this but my only complaint is the high ABV. I wish this was just slightly lower so that it could be enjoyed longer.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2009 06:03:40 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of ReDave
ReDave

California

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love this stuff!
Pours a rather cloudy orange with a rather thin head and practically no lace.

First sip was sorta malty and i at first thought mellow...
Whew what happens! the bite comes on!
Its great! but it's a build up.
It's like the bitterness layers on your tongue and sticks around or something

one of the best barley wines around! Bitter style!

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 04:16:32 | More by ReDave
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip. I've been hanging on to this for a year. I had it when it came out, but didn't review it until now.

Darker amber/ruby/orange in color. One finger white head. Quickly dies down to a collar and wispy head. Nice spider web like lacing.

Smells deeply of caramel, toffee and sweet barley. There is some leaf, pine, and dank hops. An undertone of grapefruit hops.

Taste is rich caramel, toffee, vague dark fruits, and sweet barely. Hop flavor is still kicking as pine, grapfruit, dank and resin. Quite pleasing.

Light carbonation. Full bodied. Semi assertive small bubbles.

Good drinkability for such high abv.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2010 03:22:02 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of jsh420
jsh420

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

why is there listing for every year?
in case of merge 2009 edition

pours carmel redish orange with a huge 3+finger head that had great retention and covers the glass in lacing

smell - you know this is a stone brew big grapefruit hops some pine that seems a bit faded - makes me want a stone dipa

taste is well balanced - most BW are heavy malt with no hops - the stone beers i have had are all about the hops but this BW backs it up with the needed malts - grapefruit hops candy malts - the beer is not complex but it tastes great

mouthfeel medium body a bit sticky very creamy and smooth

drinkability - @11%+abv this bomber is a one and done but this one bomber will put a smile on your face

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2009 04:10:30 | More by jsh420
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A – Amber-orange hue with a good head that settles into nice lacing.

S – Piney hop and caramel malt, a standard but effective combo, with a slight breadiness and vodka smell.

T – The taste is mostly good hoppiness and rich malt backing with a warming alcohol presence, but there is an annoying green tea-like flavor that pops up along the way to the finish. The same unpalatable flavor is also found in Fuller’s Vintage 2008; I don’t know what it is, but I hate it. At any rate, this beer tastes good, and the specific flavor that I have so much disdain for is very scarcely present.

M – A tad thin, yet syrupy and viscous in mouthfeel.

D – Pretty good, but I go for GD’s Old Ruffian over this, and I will take Anchor’s Old Foghorn over either.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2010 10:19:49 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of BirdFlu
BirdFlu

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly deep amberish/copper/red hue.. certainly deeper and darker than an IPA so gives a good indicator of whats to come. Aroma is certainly awesome. A very balanced yet very strong mix of hop and sweet maltiness. Both are present in a very robust way, the ho is quite fruity with grapefruit and citrus while still having a bit of floral quality. Also a fairly present alcohol aroma. The sweet is sort of malty but overall also very sugary and tart. Flavor also has a good balance of hop and malt, the malt is surprisingly a bit raisiny/plum-like the way you see in a doppelbock or so. Mouth is fairly viscous for the stlye, full-bodied and very nice. Overall its definitely very good. Its not quite perfect and certainly can be a bit in-your-face for some, but still overall very good.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2009 01:26:05 | More by BirdFlu
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 SirSketch
SirSketch

Massachusetts

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!!!

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 03:49:53 | More by SirSketch
Photo of xanok
xanok

Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle.

A-Pours a orange/amber color that is quite cloudy. The beer is right out of the fridge, so any head that was there was gone quickly. It left some nice lacing.

S-Hints of vanilla and citrus fruit. Grapefruit perhaps? A little bit of hops and malt.

T-Citrus flavor on the palate immediately, and gone almost as fast. Caramel and toasted undertones. There's a bit of booziness to it.

M-Fairly heavy overall with the carb and the body. Could have a bit more chewiness to it.

D- A bit of boosiness like I mentioned, but overall a great brew. Not my favorite of this style, but great nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 04:10:47 | More by xanok
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
BamaBeerBuff

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange/amber color with a large, creamy caramel colored head. Retention is good and it lays down some nice lace despite the ABV.

S: Loads of sweet citrus, caramel malt, fruity esters, and a hint of alcohol. Smells like caramelized citrus fruit covered in brown sugar. Absolutely delightful, a 5 if not for the slight booziness.

T&M: Tons of caramel and citric hops, some bitterness on the finish. Dark fruits, rum-ish alcohol flavor, brown sugar, and an herbal mint flavor all on the finish. Will be interesting to see how this one develops with some age on it. A solid flavor. Full bodied with a very thin, effervescent carbonation. Slick and slightly sticky in the mouth. Excellent feel.

D: Rather drinkable for a barleywine. Alcohol isn't so overpowering, despite it's young age. Yet another great beer from the guys at Stone.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2009 22:54:33 | More by BamaBeerBuff
Photo of whoneeds8
whoneeds8

Texas

4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Early Release been in the fridge for the past year.

Poured into a Westmalle chalice a transparent amber with a very thin white head. Good lacing. Not much noticable carbonation. The scent is rather light. Maybe this is from the aging. But I can find hints of grapefruit and maybe a little banana. The taste is really smooth. None of the harshness that fresh barleywines give, which means my other bottle of '09 is going to age very well. The carmal flavor isn't over powering, and the hop bitterness has died off. There is still the sweet flavor with that same flavor that is kind of banana like. The mouthfeel is low on carbonation, but just perfect in body. There is no evident alcohol burn despite the 11% abv.

These definatly age well.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 01:19:45 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of saintwarrick
saintwarrick

South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt orange with a foamy and constant white head that reminds me a lot of a DIPA. Very hoppy aroma; dark grapefruit and candied sugar, lots of citrusy hops; one of the hoppier barley wines I've come across, even more so than a fresh Bigfoot. Taste is big and bitter like a DIPA, but with enough malt to keep it from being stringent. Harsh on the palate in a good way with a nice but bracing bitter aftertaste. Alcohol is apparent but not distracting.

Another winner from Stone.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 18:36:58 | More by saintwarrick
Photo of TommyW
TommyW

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy dark gold with nice white head the last nicely and leaves a decent lacing.

S- Lots of different fruity sweets, lots of toasted and caramel malts, some hop oils and a light alcohol.

T- Mixed fruity flavors start off and are quickly over taken by the caramel and toasted malts. It almost tastes like a stout or porter with the level of toasted malts you get. The hops come through and mixed with alcohol create a very peppery and hoppy finish.

M- Very full feel, smooth at first and then gets a little rougher as it moves to the back of the mouth.

D- My first bw, so I have nothing to compare it to. But, I have to say it is quite a nice brew and I would definitely recommend trying it.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 01:39:38 | More by TommyW
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The limited Early 2009 Release, of course. Poured into a Duvel tulip, a chill-hazed, apricot amber-gold with a thick and creamy finger of off-white head. The head settles to the surface leaving a thick sheet of lace clinging to the glass. Great looking brew.

Caramalty and fruity sweet, with an overdose of hops lurking beneath. A slight roast and earthiness to the nose as well.

Big malty brew with a nice big hop balance. Quite tasty fresh this year, but still a bit raw and will smooth out very nicely with a year or two on it. I really like Old G thats been aged, compared to it fresh. Too much prune and fig when fresh, citrus flavor from the hops keep it in check. Needs to meld.

Big body and plenty of carbonation that's right for the style, as it holds up for ageing. It's more noticed in the mouth than visually and the mouthfeel is slightly astringent at this point. The alcohol is very well masked for a whopping 11.3% ABV.

Definetly worth trying this fresh and popping a few in the cellar for improvement. Big, bad Stone gnarleywine!

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2009 19:58:54 | More by scottoale
Photo of RankRefugee88
RankRefugee88

New York

4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into weiss glass.

A - Unfiltered body, extremely cloudy, thin whitish head. Plenty of lacing.

S - Strong aroma, smells aged. Fruitiness, I smell grape, nice malt, very hoppy. Very nice fruity scent mostly.

T - Immediate all around alcohol presence, but dresses the fruity and complex malts very nicely. Nothing too overpowering, especially for an 11.3%. Caramel highlights in the middle, tart at the end. Piney from beginning to end, tastes like it has aged well over the past 2 years. Hops are probably less prevalent than they would have been if I drank this beer in 2009. Very well-rounded taste overall, nothing to complain about.

M - Bubbly, nicely carbonated. Super dry, and extremely crisp.

D - Good drinkability. Only picked up a bomber but I can see my self getting lost after having a few glasses.

Very good brew. I finally picked up a bomber of this beer after having it been suggested to me several times. Very satisfying, great barley wine. Nothing to complain about.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 02:55:43 | More by RankRefugee88
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 SShelly
SShelly

Oregon

4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drinking str8 out of my stainless growler from stone, i know its criminal but have nothing else to pour it in atm.

Big hop burst in the nose with alot of sweet malt that overwhelms it in a few moments.

Large alcohol, lots of hops and malt blend well, pleasant warming runs down my chest, leaves a sticky hoppy flavor behind.

pretty damn tasty, Ive had this in the past and thought the hops were a bit aggresive but im really enjoying the 09.

Serving type: growler

12-28-2009 03:54:40 | More by SShelly
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2009 02:53:23 | More by nickfl
Photo of tattooedtolley
tattooedtolley

Virginia

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

Always look forward to Old Guardian. With all these excellent reviews its hard to think of something to add other than to say this beer begs to be cellared. Its great fresh but to me, this beer could seriously go the distance in a cellar. I recently took a trip o San Diego and while there my friend broke out the 06 Guardian he saved that I sent him long ago, it was fantastic. A word of caution though, this beer is one of those beers that seriously will catch up on me, maybe you too, so enjoy all that it is and don't over indulge.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 05:21:46 | More by tattooedtolley
Photo of ritzkiss
ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

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

22oz bottle, Limited Early 2009 Release. Pours a gorgeous burnt caramel with some golden orange highlights, big chunks at the bottom. Two fingers of cascading head which leaves sticky lacing down the glass.

Whoa, after two years this is just reaching drinkable levels. Loads of resiny pine hops, loads of citrus, more leafy in the nose. Caramel base with hints of earth, but still overwhelmed by the hops. Booze in the finish, light burn. Creamy mouthfeel, a little thin in the malt base but otherwise spot on. This will be many years from balanced but damn is it tasty for what it is, a hopped up American barleywine - could drink this a lot, especially for the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2011 00:12:01 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of Brewnami
Brewnami

Texas

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

Stone Brewery make some of my favorite beers yet. I was about to grab Double Bastard Ale when I noticed an intriguing barley wine sitting right next to it. I checked out the bottle and realized that I had to give this one a try. Being a limited brew, I put down the Double Bastard and snagged this massive 11.3% barley wine style ale... and I am so glad I did. I have been trying a lot of barley wines lately, but this is definitely the best one I have had recently. I poured it into a pint glass and noted the very dark orange, amber like appearance with a small, fluffy, off-white head. I then gave my nose a taste before my mouth. Huge hop and malt aroma, very typical of Stone. I then let my tongue join in on the fun and it was nothing short of spectacular. Obviously being a barley wine you probably wont want to drink gallon of this so I would say the 22oz bottle is plenty. If you're looking to session, grab a six pack of the Stone IPA to wash this down. Anyways, if you like barley wine style ales, or huge hop taste, or are looking to grow some chest hair and not look like a vagina with your miller lights, then I would highly recommend giving this a try.
Oh yeah, did I mention BITTER?
Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 00:08:45 | More by Brewnami
Photo of aubuc1
aubuc1

Florida

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2009 00:32:29 | More by aubuc1
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 Patrick999
Patrick999

Florida

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 22:26:06 | More by Patrick999
Photo of zebco
zebco

Texas

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

The 22oz bomber poured an amber-orange color. Kind of a cloudy look to it. It had an ivory colored head. I kept smelling a roasty, almost chocolatey aroma. Some hops in there also. During the first sip, the heady was creamy feeling. The malt flavor was pretty strong. The hops seemed to hit later on and balance very nicely. I'm not sure the IBU rating of this brew but the bitterness seems moderate. A slight alcohol warming mouthfeel. This beer seemed to get better the further I went along. At 11.3% abv maybe that's why. But I enjoyed this very much. Would like to find a 2010 in the future...

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 01:49:39 | More by zebco
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.