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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
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Ratings: 320 | Reviews: 247 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz. bottle, an interesting beer to try a year out,

A: Pours a hazy amber, light white head, some lace.

S: Still has a good hop character, malt is light, good toffee notes, but not particularly aromatic.

T: Good slightly aged malt character, grapefruit and light pine and other citrus. Good tasting beer, but I was expecting a little more at this point.

M: Smooth feel, easy drinking for its style, light ethanol character.

D: After having a great '06 at 4 years out, I was surprised the '09 wasn't showing me really anything that's going to make it stand out in a few years. Solid, but I think it's reached its peak already.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2010 02:23:57 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of grayburn
grayburn

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into my snifter at around 50 degrees.

A dark amber, toward the darker end of the Barley Wine spectrum, light head with nice lacing.

A hop and alcohol assault on the nose. This beer will age beautifully, it's way too fresh. At this age it's more like a HUGE ipa.

Taste is strong barley and alcohol with a huge hoppy bite. Extemely strong flavors that will surely blend well over time, but are even enjoyable now.

Good overall mouth feel, very chewy beer.

Due to the premature trial of this brew I cannot score it's drinkability too high. Not to say it isn't great young, it's just a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2009 23:55:27 | More by grayburn
Photo of nick76
nick76

Florida

3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The aroma is very hoppy with pine and citrus as well as butter and caramel malt. The appearance is deep amber with a large head. The flavor is like the aroma with a very bitter finish. The palate is thick and smooth. Overall a very well made beer that is just too bitter.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 11:52:02 | More by nick76
Photo of Shaw
Shaw

Florida

3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2009 01:48:45 | More by Shaw
Photo of spointon
spointon

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this one from a 22oz brown bomber into a stemmed globe glass.

A= This ale poured a hazed reddish orange color with a 1/4" white head that disappeared super fast. A few streaks of lace down my glass.

S= All of the expected Stone hop character in the aroma (big citrus and pine). Also some light caramel and a boozy alcohol note.

T= About what I would expect from the smell. Light caramel sweetness up front, followed by a fruity, estery, almost syrupy sweet middle. The hops were big and bitter and easily overpowered the sweetness. Probably a bit more piney than I like, but still within reason. Alcohol was all over this beer adding spicy and at times sweet notes. There was unfortunately a fair bit of oxidation in this beer. Finished dry and boozy.

MF= Medium bodied with a feel that leaned toward slick. Carbonation was on the lighter side of medium.

D= A good but not great barleywine. Stone needs to rework this a bit and get that oxidation out of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 06:10:53 | More by spointon
Photo of Backer2004
Backer2004

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Surprised after 6+ years, I have yet to have an Old Guardian. Maybe it needs a few months or couple of years on it, but this one was just too hardsh for my palate. Nice aroma and right on with appearance for the style, just not as impressed as I thought I'd be. Oh well, Stone is still one of the tops.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 23:31:27 | More by Backer2004
Photo of TheJollyHop
TheJollyHop

California

3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber brown, a finger's worth of off white head, sticky, scattered lace.

Floral, toast, butterscotch, and bready sweetness prevalent in the aroma.

Sadly, the taste falls short with too aggressive of a burnt toast flavor. Some cocoa flavor in the taste is noticeable along with some grainy sweetness, but then a torrent of hop bitterness dominates and turns into an excessively harsh burnt, bitter after taste.

Medium bodied and medium carbonated; creamy and tongue coating.

While drinkabilty is fine, the flavor is not very palate enticing.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 15:59:33 | More by TheJollyHop
Photo of zoolzoo
zoolzoo

Connecticut

3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2009 Vintage, consumed 11/17/10

A: Rusty copper center, orange highlights. Incredibly hazy. Thick white head, excellent lacing and retention.

S: Zesty hops still present after over a year of age. Booze ans sugary malt also present.

T: Hops have somewhat faded compared to when fresh, although they are still quite apparent. Sharp, biting, bitter, piney still describe the initial sip. Assertive bitterness up front is actually detrimental to the overall taste of this beer.

Malt soon rolls through, grainy but also sweet. Sweetness is a big player here, in fact. I feel like my lips are sugar coated after each sip. The malt gets a little more expressive as the glass warms but we basically have a one trick pony here. Good American barley wine both fresh and with a year on it, but perhaps lacking some depth.

M: Mouthfeel is creamy, even more so as the glass warms.

D: Not bad, however the 11%+ ABV coupled with a high level of sweetness / bitterness may hold you back. Two of these bombers and you'd probably hit the floor anyway.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 21:36:09 | More by zoolzoo
Photo of fmccormi
fmccormi

New York

3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straight pour from 22oz pry-off bomber bottle to a Duvel apèro tulip; no bottling date evident, though I suppose it’s not overly necessary.

Appearance (4.5): Beautiful light tan, almost custard-colored head, starting at a full three fingers and fading to a one-finger cap; moderate lacing. Body is a deep, glowing reddish amber, and quite hazy.

Smell (3.5): Caramel and booze, with rich, sweet malts dominating here. Bit of a candy scent, like those little Valentine’s Day hearts.

Taste (3.5): Following the nose, starts off with caramel and moves toward a deeper, kind of roasty, husky malt feel, like the barley was only half de-husked before it was malted. If that’s a thing. Bit of a boozy dry red wine finish, with just a hint of grassy-herbal hops coming in at the very end. Think I’m getting the flavor of distinctly British Isles (Scottish?) yeast happening here, which I like! All in all it’s decently balanced. Could use more bombast, but I appreciate the low-key balance here. Smooth.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Thick but not syrupy, a little oily, very little carbonation left in spite of the head. That’s okay, it’s aged two and a half years, shouldn’t expect a ton of carb. Still, has an effervescent feel going down, so mark it up a notch.

Overall (3.5): This is nice. I think I want to try this beer fresh, though. Definite sipper, but that’s okay. I like sippers, especially as it cools down. This beer is good, but it’s not blowing me away. Not the rich beauty I was expecting from Stone. Definitely enjoying it, but I’ll opt for it fresh next time.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 00:52:57 | More by fmccormi
Photo of atpben
atpben

Texas

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at the Houston Flying Saucer. Poured into a tulig glass. Appears amber in color with a thick dense head. Lots caramel and some citrus int he aroma. More caramel in the taste with lots of hop bitterness with lots of graperuit and light lemon taste. This beer feels like a maltier version of arrogant bastard, which is not a bad thing by the way. Good beer but not one of my favorite American style barley wines.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2009 23:35:04 | More by atpben
Photo of JamesS
JamesS

Indiana

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice thick red-copper color with some very nice head and good lacing. Nice malty scent, although not very deep and with little beyond the malt. Great thick malt flavor, deep and hardy, with a nice hit of (slightly citrus and floral) hops at the end that stay on the tongue and balance it out. Fairly smooth, with just a hint of the alcohol that's in it, if a bit too thick to have much at a time.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2009 17:54:44 | More by JamesS
Photo of countrocula
countrocula

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cracked the bottle and decanted into a standard English pint glass. Settled down into a 3/4 inch creme caramel head that fell off in due time. Nothing overly remarkable aside from the inviting color. Body was a deep honey with a tinge of haze.

Immediately got a piney, grapefruit hoppiness. My second whiff hit me with Indian bitter melon pickle.

Taste comes around with pine up front with nice creaminess. Trails off with a hard grapefruit citrus. The alcohol makes its presence known quite well. I get a warming liquor effect from this sucker.

Hits steadily and not too abrasively with a medium body. Thickens up the syrup as I get through about 10 ounces. Once again, the booze opens up the gullet for a warm, open feel.

I like the hop component to this. Sexy complement to the ethanol. Gets thick but never cloying. A few sips are in order for the noninitiated. Downing more than one bottle could prove funny/disasterous. Nice job, Stone.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 18:34:42 | More by countrocula
Photo of bluemoonswoon
bluemoonswoon

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber, the last of my Stone bombers from my little trip to Indiana and Three Floyds.

A: Stained cherry wood, head settles into a decent sized cap and some lacing, very nice considering the amount of alcohol and the glass used.

S: Candied peaches, ripe mango, guava, melon type fruits if you understand me, I heavier, sweeter kind of fruit aroma, seperate from the crisper, more bitter orange, apricot, pineapple, etc. an almost cotton candy like sweetness still a piny hop scent lingers strongly. Loads and loads of bready caramel sweetness.

T/MF: A big boozy hammer, burns the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is at first smooth and slick then becomes constricting, almost abbrasive on the back of the tongue and throat. Hot, hot, hot alcohol over powers, peppery, pine is still here, very prevalent. Pine moves into earth, moves into medicinal bitterness. This is a whale of a beer and it just might get the best of me. Candied fruits prevail near the end but really borderlines on cough syrup .

D: This beer is rough, rough in feel and rough around the edges in taste. The aroma is something spectacular, really was enjoying that aspect of the beer, smelled like cake batter and pie filling mixed with hops coming out of the bottle. Time in the cellar would do this beer good I believe, but as it stands it could use some softening.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 04:59:32 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed Feb 7th, 2010 at Stone World Bistro.

Cloudy orange-yellow fluid with copious off-white foamy head. Remarkable amount of lacing.

The nose is sweet, slightly woody and spicy. Hops are present as a sappy, resiny note.

Herbal flavor, approaching tea. Within spitting distance of medicinal, though not quite that far. Bready and caramel malt notes are welcome, though not as strong as I would have anticipated. Aspirin-like bitterness on finish. Flavors are still quite strong; I guess a year isn't enough time to round off any of the edges here.

Finish is somewhat dry and a little on the thin side; odd for an Old Guardian. Alcohol heat felt plainly.

I didn't particularly enjoy this one a year into its life; according to previous tasting notes, the bottle I had a year ago was actually more drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2010 15:11:37 | More by charlzm
Photo of juhl31
juhl31

California

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

-orange, auburn, caramel color with a thin white head. thick looking with some sedi up in there

-still has a pretty hoppy nose. solid caramel in there, with maybe some grapefruit and a little nose sting

-wow, still really hoppy. seems the hop flavor died a bit, but there is still a big hop bitterness in the middle that runs through the aftertaste. some definite grapefruit characteristics, while the caramel is in the background

-strong body, but not as thick as it appears. the lingering bitterness on the tongue is crazy

-this is one of the beers in which someone wonders the difference between an american barleywine and a DIPA. this is one hoppy bitch at 2 years old still. needs at least 2 more years for those malty flavors to come out

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 18:59:38 | More by juhl31
Photo of BostonBrewins
BostonBrewins

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy, glowing copper with a white head which dissipated quickly.

S - Floral and citrus hops hit my nose before as I was pouring it. Fragrant and powerful.

T - Earthy and citrus hoppy notes dominate this beer. Biscuity and caramel tones shine in the background. Alcohol is definitely there, but its surprisingly subtle.

M - Mouth feel is full bodied and creamy, perhaps a bit syrupy.

D - A nice brew to sip on. The 11% abv is hidden nicely making this very drinkable. I would have guessed it was 7-8% A good example of the American barley wine style.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2009 19:03:09 | More by BostonBrewins
Photo of Dalem
Dalem

Michigan

3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark orange amber in color. Dashes of strawberry, molasses and dints of medicinal alcohol in the aromas. Brown sugar malts are right up front in the flavor along with a bit of with a bit of strawberry jam and plums. The body seems a little lighter than some barley wines I tried in the past but creamy and a little sticky too. An oily pine & peppery hop bite kicks in the end contrasting the sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2009 07:42:53 | More by Dalem
Photo of roadhouse
roadhouse

Florida

3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter after reading a really lame ass label that I regret wasting 5 minutes of my life on.

Appears a nearly clear red-orange color with a one inch off-white head. It falls to a cap and leaves no lacing.

Aroma is pretty much all hops. Lots of pine, grapefruity citrus, and a somewhat nutty tone. Something about it is almost metallic or medicinal that isn't good.

Taste is again mostly straight up hops. Is there a difference between Imperial IPA and American Barleywine besides a slightly darker color? Lots of pine and grapefruit hops once again. There's actually a small hint at some malt in there, a caramelly sweetness that appears for a split second at the beginning of the finish. Ultimately the hops end up dominating and leaving a bitter aftertaste in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, it has a good creamy consistency. Not exactly the easiest to drink.

Overall I found this to be pretty tasty, but I'm really starting to just get annoyed by American Barleywines. I will take an English style one any day over the American counterpart. At least those have some complexity other than insane hops. Not everything has to have the hops of an Imperial IPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 07:30:27 | More by roadhouse
Photo of UA8
UA8

Washington

3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy copper with one finger thick cream colored head.

S- Big tropical fruits notes, big syrupy malts, boozy back notes.

T- Leads with big piny hops, midpalate is of sweet caramel malts and fruits, finishes with a huge bitterness classic stone.

M- Syrupy with a touch of rough carbonation.

D- I think this beer most definitely could use a couple of years worth of aging to smooth out and blend the flavors. The hops are overdone for the style and could use some settling.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 23:04:14 | More by UA8
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Orangish mber color with a nice colored off-white head that rose about half a finger on the pour.

S - Sweetl malts, mostly, some sort of nicely muted sugar smell. A nice touch of hops, which I was not entirely expecting, little bit citrusy.

T - Citrusy and sugary, just like I expect from a barleywine, it's an interesting style I need more exposure to. Somewhat yeasty, dry finish on it.

M - A little creamy, heavier side of medium bodied, nice carbonation burn.

D - Doing the bottle was a bit difficult, average drinkability as best, something of a sharp taste and the high alcohol make one bomber enough.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 01:50:47 | More by AgentZero
Photo of BeerOnTheWall
BeerOnTheWall

California

3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours crystal clear deep copper/orange with very little off-white head that thins out instantly...small co2 bubbles rising slowly in the glass. Seems pretty standard for the style.

Smell is grainy, nectarine and dried apricot frutiness, caramel, leather, damp earth. Very little alcohol noticeable. Slight oxidation (expected with the age of this bottle). Overall the nose on this is great!

Slightly fruity, caramel sweetness, subtle amounts of cedar and tobacco. Finish is a lingering, sharp, piny hop bitterness that dominates. Alcohol is present but does not warm too much. Some nice components here but the bitterness is overpowering.

The mouthfeel is heavy and viscous. Avg. carbonation leaves this feeling a little too syrupy.

I think a little less bitterness may have allowed the flavor complexity to come through better and the body was a little too heavy for me. However, I do think the age did this bottle some good and generally enjoyed the beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 01:09:33 | More by BeerOnTheWall
Photo of Anthony1
Anthony1

Colorado

3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect pint

pours a hazy amber, somewhat burn orange. very thin head, goes away quick leaving little signs.

at first, thought it was a very floral smell, but realized it was sweet pine. citrus and hops, and farm sweets, honey, malt, grapefuit. tastes similar, better as it warmed. sweet up front, then bitter. was enjoyable with a meal. would buy again to go with some food.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 18:29:53 | More by Anthony1
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great looking Stone, oozes out the bottle, its a thick syrupy one. Minimal head, big alcohol notes come out the nose, surprisingly little hops.

Taste wise again, was expecting something comparable to Bigfoot or the signature Stone hopping, but this one is immensely sweet. Still a big beer. Mouthfeel remained consistent, yet unadventurous yielding no nuances. Decent price for a Stone bomber of something so big, but many better Stone options for my $.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2010 23:43:12 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle. It poured a murky orange color with a thin white head barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma shows a lot of malty flavors to it with some caramel and toffee notes coming through. It's still got a good amount of residual hoppiness left to it as well with some resiny, citrusy, grapefruit like flavors.

The taste shows more of the resiny, bitter, grapefruit flavors to it. The malty sweetness mixes well with it and helps balance it out some. The finish shows a dry, bitter hoppiness to it that lingers.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall it's a pretty good beer but the bitter, resiny hoppiness is a little overpowering for my tastes in the style. A little more rich, malty, caramel flavors would have gone a long way for me. Still a very enjoyable beer I find myself buying annually.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2012 01:27:24 | More by billab914
Photo of KBoudreau66
KBoudreau66

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 22 oz. bomber after work, and poured it in to my trusty Samuel Adam's pint glass.

Pours a nice copper color with carbonation coming from the middle of the glass. It has two fingers of rough looking off white head that will dissipate into a thin layer over time. I noticed that it left some frothy off white lacing at the top of the glass, but after the first few sips it stopped.

Definitely needs to age for a couple of years because the alcohol smell gets right into your nose. It also has a sweet smell from the malts. Hops in the undertone. A little bit of citrus in there, but it's hard to tell through the alcohol smell.

This brew surprised me. I thought it was going to be all alcohol taste, and although that flavor is strong it is actually alot more balanced then I expected with sweet malts, and a little bit of hops, I wish it was hoppier, but then I remembered I'm drinking a Barleywine not an IPA or a DIPA. Citrusy undertones. There is also an earthy almost dirt like flavor to it, but it is by no means offensive in taste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonated. A little bit rough as well from the high ABV.

This brew will be better with age then it is for the time being, but it's still an excellent Barleywine. I'm going to pick another one up and let it age for a couple of years and re-review this. I have an Old Guardian from 2008 that I can't wait to open up a couple of years down the road.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2009 15:50:10 | More by KBoudreau66
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 320 ratings.