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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

324 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 324
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 6
Gots: 45 | 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
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Strix
Strix

Wisconsin

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

Pours a clear orange with good head and good lacing.

Citrus hops forward in the smell, along with barley.

Barley, malt, caramel, tea, anise, and hops in the flavor. Strong flavors, and hops dominate, but alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel viscous.

A solid American Barleywine. Nothing about it really grabbed me, but it was pretty good.

04-13-2009 02:00:11 | More by Strix
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

Pours orange/amber with a fairly nice initial head, particularly considering the abv of this one. Lots of sweet malt, boozy aromas, and big citrusy/piney hops in the nose. The taste is similar. Boozy and sweet with some nice hop bitterness with the pine being more evident this time, and quite a alcohol heat in the finish. For all its burn and hops, this is actually quite smooth. It needs some time to tame the heat, and there should still be enough hops left to add something. Pretty solid.

02-22-2009 03:35:35 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of swizzlenuts
swizzlenuts

Wisconsin

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

The nose on the beer is quite caramelly with a few hints of citrus; the citrus is probably more of the esters or something coming through though. Overall it's kind of bland on the nose, but it has just enough to make it pleasing. When pouring the beer you can see it's thickness and it's brilliantly clear ruby/dark copper colour with a nice centimeter of thick white head. Pretty good looking head, but it leaves a bit too quickly for my licking. When drinking Old Guardian, I feel that I'm sipping on a barley wine that is so balanced, that I drink it way too fast. Usually with a barley wine, I sip it every once in a while, but this one makes me drink it quite frequently. It reminds me of Bigfoot and Old Ruffian, but less hop flavour. All around this is a might tasty barley wine.

The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, which is exactly how I want it, and I could have a few of these, over a long period of time obviously, because of its great balance.

There is something about the beer that make me not want to rate any higher than I am now. I think it's that it doesn't do anything spectacular in my taste buds or nose buds. It's just an overall solid barley wine with a great balance. I kind of expect something creative to happen in a barley wine; for example Old Horizontal has a huge chocolate nose mixed with a fair amount of hops or even Hog Heaven with its huge citrus notes that dominate the malts. These qualities make the beers unique, and I'd probably choose them over this beer, even though this one is easier to drink.

I love Stone's beers, but I find this one good, but it just falls into the pack of all the barley wines I've had.

04-20-2009 03:01:59 | More by swizzlenuts
Photo of jdense
jdense

Oregon

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

22 oz bottle 'early 2009' release from Whole Foods Hollywood PDX poured into Delirium Tremens tulip.

One finger white head, relatively quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Amber semi-opaque body, a bit cloudy (not chill haze, served at 50-55 degrees). Nose is sweet and very boozy, molasses, hops hard to decipher. Taste is very, very boozy, sweet, a pretty good bitter hop kick on back end. Mouthfeel is fairly effervescent, not sticky. Not very drinkable at this high ABV, need to find a buddy to share a bottle with, but this was a good bargain at $5.99, will head back for another bottle and cellar, hope that will mellow out the overt booziness of this otherwise fine barleywine.

02-27-2010 17:16:27 | More by jdense
Photo of babaracas
babaracas

Florida

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

Hazy orange copper with fluffy but fast fading eggshell colored head. Smell: toffee, golden raisin, caramel, floral hops. Taste: toasted, caramel, golden raisin, sugary sweetness met head on by a massive raw floral hop and heady alcohol. This is certainly the least DIPA-like of the American barleywines I've had, but it definitely possesses that west coast Stone character. A behemoth of a beer that I'll cheaply take some points from for needing some age before it becomes more approachable... then again as an "early 2009" release, it's had a half year already...

07-14-2009 03:41:07 | More by babaracas
Photo of Lunch
Lunch

Maryland

3.93/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured from a bomber (10/21/09). Served in a Stone Old Guardian goblet at around 50 degrees.

Appearance: Pours a rich and hazy golden toffee color with a one finger off-white head.

Smell: Sweet malts, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, with a wave of alcohol coming through on the backend. A rich intense smell that leaves no doubt that this is going to be a powerful beer.

Taste: Starts with an intense syrupy caramel malt lightly coated in alcohol, but in a pleasant way, with a hint of toffee followed by a distinct hop flavor seemingly only Stone can produce. An alcohol note resonates after each completed sip and one is never confused as to how big this beer is.

Mouthfeel: Rather heavy and full-bodied with a slight cloying characteristic brought on by the rich malts and higher abv.

Drinkabilty: Moderate based on the richness and alcohol content, but better than average for its style.

Overall I find this to be a welcomed treat when looking for a rich malt-bomb with a nice hop profile to balance out the sweetness. Recommended.

10-22-2009 13:31:25 | More by Lunch
Photo of BatDaddy
BatDaddy

Tennessee

3.95/5  rDev -3.7%

A - Poured into a snifter. Pours a slightly cloudy tea-like color with a fluffy cream colored head that settles down to a wispy lace and some nice bubbles around the edges.

S - Hops are present, but the caramel malty sweetness seems to dominate the nose. Maybe just some faint floral notes from the hops.

T - First taste seems very well balanced between the hops and sweet malts. Hop bitterness is more pronounced as I hold it on my tongue. Small alcohol bite on a crisp, dry finish. Some citrus notes from the hops.

M - Medium bodied, slightly sticky.

D - Very good for an abv this high. While the alcohol is definitely present, it's hidden fairly well. Overall is well balanced enough for good drinkability, though the abv might get to you before you pour another glass.

04-22-2010 03:05:57 | More by BatDaddy
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
Bowdoinbeerboy

Maine

3.95/5  rDev -3.7%

Appearance- Pours with little head and beer is a light coppery reddish color.

Smell- Faintly bitter due to hops, yet still very malty in character.

Taste- Very bitter, lots of hops here, alcohol is well hidden. Bitterness really lingers a great deal on the palate. Not too bad.

Mouthfeel- Surprisingly light for a barleywine, tasty but not nearly as heavy as I would have suspected.

Drinkabilty- One of the most drinkable barleywines Ive ever had. Very good.

02-25-2009 01:19:08 | More by Bowdoinbeerboy
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -3.7%

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a tulip glass a crisp bubbly dark orange with a decent off-white head. Aroma is a bit of burnt caramel and Earthy hops. The taste is a nice balance of burnt caramel and sharp hops with a touch of syrupy alcohol, this one definitely shows that it needs some serious aging. The beer is heavy bodied and is certainly a sipper, its going to need some time to mellow out. This one is somewhat enjoyable, but I'd prefer to wait a year and try it again.

05-07-2009 22:42:16 | More by atsprings
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev -3.7%

Early 2009 release. Odd I just bought this and didn't check. I think this is a better beer fresh, but it holds up well at least the first year. Around 2 years it gets a bit too mellow for my tastes.

A. Thick white head, still doing well a year and a half old. Reddish straw, thick, and cloudy appearance.

S. Deep strong malt and hops. Opens with a sugary sweet beginning then a flowery and finishing piney hops.

T. Wow...I've had this beer 5-6 times at least but every time...wow that's all I can say. Toffee and caramel malt. Piney and strong hop finish. The finish ends with a nice alcohol bite.

M. Thick syrupy, plenty of carbonation, just what you'd expect.

D. Easy to have a nice drink or sip all night. Can't lie, the alcohol is a touch strong at times.

This is the standard I judge all american barley wines by, which is truly unfair to others. I'm not sure what real changes happen year to year with this, but solid stuff.

08-21-2010 02:40:22 | More by bobhits
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.95/5  rDev -3.7%

Surprisingly blurry pumpkin peel orange topped by a thick slice of ecru colored foam that occupies the glass from the nonic bulge to the rim. Is it my imagination or were previous Old Guardians filtered? Foam longevity is impressive and lace is slightly less so.

The aroma is primarily pale with a mid-range malt presence of the toasted-earthy-caramel sort. There's a fair amount of fruitiness and a mere blip of alcohol. Hop(s) in use? Hard to tell... and I got eye strain and a headache reading the miniscule print on the back of the bottle attempting to find out.

2009 Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale tastes pretty similar to every other Old Guardian Barleywine Style Ale. It would be great if Stone changed the recipe from time to time, but if it hasn't happened yet, it probably isn't going to happen. Guess they're happy with the basic blueprint.

Although the hops vary every year, they're always in the citrus zesty (orange especially) and spruce-like vein. The malts taste like they smell, with perhaps a little more caramel this time around. For a beer that is now about 22 months of age, alcohol is still on the aggressive side. Having said that, mellowing is occuring as the beer warms.

As always, the mouthfeel is a large and luscious treat. Still rampant alpha acids and the finely honed steel slice of alcohol aren't quite able to cut through the malt sugar crushed velvety plushness that greets each mouthful.

Buying and reviewing each year's Old Guardian BWSA is a ritual that will continue as long as Stone continues to brew beer in this series. Having said that, this will never be a truly great American barleywine unless Greg and the boys choose different malts and do a better job of alcohol masking. Just one BA's opinion.

11-07-2010 15:02:13 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mtstatebeer
mtstatebeer

West Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

22 oz. bottle served in a snifter glass. Pours a hazy amber color with a thick, frothy, off-white head, lacing throughout. Aroma is sweet malts, caramel, light citrus, earthy, and a hint of must. Flavor is caramel malts, citrus and resin hops, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium, chewy, and bitter. Good beer, the hops have obviously subsided slightly in more than a year, but still fairly pronounced.

01-27-2011 01:43:24 | More by mtstatebeer
Photo of froghop
froghop

Washington

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

pour is a cloudy brown-orange with a medium size beige head, and excellent lacing.

smell of sweet fruit (pear, apple) some roasted nuts, some caramel, spice, and grain in the back.

taste is thick, semi-tart, burnt caramel, roasted nuts, malt, some fruit, and a touch of citrus, ends a little dry and a little bitter, gets sweeter as it warms.

05-23-2009 00:40:43 | More by froghop
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

2009 vintage, so this is a little over a year old now. Opened with a nice little pop and smoke, very reminiscent of my first '08 Double Bastard a while back. Poured this into an oversized wine glass. Pours a very nice translucent red with a small but nice creamy off-white head, leaves nice lacing. Looks great in this glass. Sediment in the 2nd pour makes it a bit hazier. I'm trying hard to pick up scents but they seem quite faded, maybe because of the age. I pick up barleywine characteristics such as dark fruit, caramel and booze but they are slight. The taste, although very good, is quite muted as well. It seems at first that it's turned into a total malt bomb, but about halfway through the hops are just about even with the malts. Underneath a huge blanket of caramel malt lies some nice citrus tastes and sugary dark fruits, and a bit of chocolate and baked goods, which seems to come into play alot with Stone's strong ales, I always enjoy that part especially. Booze is very nicely hidden. It's hard to say whether age has done this beer good or not, I love the malty sweetness and hidden booze, but the flavors themselves aren't as "in your face" as I like in a barleywine. Mouthfeel is nice and very malty. The hops seem to come out of nowhere. As with pretty much any barleywine a bomber is quite sufficient. Paired nicely with some spicy Chinese food. Definitely encouraged me to pick up a fresh 2010 bottle, I may pick up another 2009 if I see one floating around.

04-30-2010 23:33:16 | More by Chico1985
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

I guess this beer is about a year old, which is just how I like my barleywines. Sampled on-tap.

Old Guardian has a body that mixes colors of ruby, orange and brown. A small, off-white head doesn't have a ton of retention and doesn't really leave behind a lot of lacing.

The aroma has some bitter grapefruit notes from the hops, still alive after a year. Some candied dates, toffee, caramel.

Stone Old Guardian is pretty good. A good bite of hops comes through in the beginning, bringing the flavor of grapefruit and some bitterness. A sweet, fruity character is barely noticeable, but reminds me of figs or dates. After that the strongest flavor of the beer comes in the form of caramel and toffee malts that are big and juicy. A touch of tobacco in the background.

The mouthfeel is full with adequate carbonation; it coats the mouth a little bit.

Overall this thing drinks ridiculously well for the ABV. After a year it is tasty, and I'm guessing next year it will be even better.

02-16-2010 02:20:17 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of JimFromVenus
JimFromVenus

Georgia

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

Stone Old Guardian - Limited Early 2009 Release
22oz bottle - $8 in Buford, GA 3/19
served in all-purpose 10oz stemless tulip tasting glass

A - Simply gorgeous! Prettiest beer I've had in a long time. In my glass it ranges from a dark orange-yellow at the edges through caramel to almost blood-orange at the center. A gentle center pour yielded a 4+ finger head at first, with amazing persistence. After a minute, I topped it off to a 3 finger head half in and half out of the glass - it retained great definition and body for a few minutes. Rarely does it get this good.

S - Hops. Hops. Hops. Maybe a hint of cherry pit, possibly something woodsy, perhaps an exotic spice like cardamon or even a bit of orange peel, but probably just hops - several kinds and lots of 'em. Not studied enough to tell them apart or identify them in the wild... but it's a good lesson.

T - Personally, I am almost always more tongue than nose. While my schnoz may not understand, or be over-whelmed, my tongue is in heaven with the spicy-floral-citrus-caramel flavors and the dry finish.

M - Rich, frothy, and bit creamy with a black pepper edge. The finish is clean, yet full of complex flavors... or maybe it's just searingly hoppy. I drank this bottle as a meal in itself, but I would quite enjoy it with catfish or a peppered Tilapia. I keep waiting for the finish to stop lingering. I'm more of a wine guy than beer drinker these days, so finding a beer with this depth and length of finish is pretty exceptional.

D - Really hoppy beers make me forget to breathe. The Old Guardian warns me not to breathe, lest I suffer his wrath... even more hops. Like great music, a large part of my enjoyment of Old Guardian is the silences between the notes. When I can make a 22oz beer last 3+ hours of fairly involved enjoyment, it has to have a lot to offer.

O - I loved this beer. My ideal barleywine is less hoppy and a bit maltier, but then it wouldn't be a Stone, would it? I will certainly be purchasing more for my collection. There are times when this will be the best beer match with my dinner menu. The Old Guardian works well with spicy and sweet foods that I have a hard time pairing wine with.

Cheers!
Jim

03-20-2009 03:24:07 | More by JimFromVenus
Photo of jjanega08
jjanega08

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

A= pours a nice orangish brown color with a thick creamy one finger head that has really nice retention. The lacing on the glass is pretty nice as well. The beer is super hazy not sure if its due to chill haze or not though. Really a pretty decent looking barleywine.
S= The first thing that comes to mind is pineapple. I think the pineapple smell is just a nice combo of the malts and hops. Really great toffee and caramel smell to it as well.
T= This was released in Feb. I believe and the hops are still holding strong in this one. The pineapple is still there but its well covered by blanket of intense flavors. Really bitter in the back but still really nice and malty. Alcohol isn't present in the taste too much its well covered by lots of sweet caramel malts. There is a ton of warmth going down the back of my throat though. There is some alcohol warmth as it was really really cold though and the malts come in more as it warms.
M= Pretty good but not great. Nothing too great here. Nice amount of carbonation and a good lasting finish.
D= Pretty good. I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. Really well done. Was perfect for what I needed tonight. Bad day at work and a nice little bit of hotness to it.

11-02-2009 04:50:47 | More by jjanega08
Photo of hardy008
hardy008

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

Pours a dark orange color with an off white two finger head. The head has nice retention and leaves a nice lace. The smell is mostly grapefruit from the citrus hops. It smells like this will be a very hoppy bitter beer, but the taste is sweeter than I expected from the aroma. Yes, the flavor is mostly grapefruit and hops, but there is also a malt backbone which adds balance. This beer becomes sweeter as it warms.

The mouthfeel on this beer is between medium and full bodied and is sticky and oily. The carbonation is somewhat low, which is good, and this is a nice drinkable beer. I have not always liked Barleywines, but I do like this one. It would be nice if this beer was maltier, but it is still good as it is. I would buy this again if available.

10-10-2009 19:56:29 | More by hardy008
Photo of FleeVT
FleeVT

Florida

4/5  rDev -2.4%

Brown bomber into a snifter.

A: Beautiful copper with touches of amber edges that just glows. The head is hearty and off white that dissipates with time to a thin layer that clings to the glass. On initial pour this is one of the finest looking brews I've ever laid eyes on.

S: Lots of alcohol on up front, this is extremely tight and could use some cellar time. Continuing on, there is a nice crisp dose of hops, faintly reminiscent of a citrusy IPA. Sweet malts come out with a hint of dark berries.

T: A lot of hops on the palate. In my opinion, they are a bit much for the style. The hops have that nice balance of citrus and pine. The alcohol does not come through nearly as strong as it did on the nose and it actually is a pleasant surprise after the mouth puckering doled out from the hops. Only the faintest hint of sweet malts come through during that split second the hops give way to the alcohol. A nice taste that should age well.

M: Chewy and substantial with a nice balance of carbonation. Nothing wrong here.

D: Another great offering from Stone. I may pick up a few of these and cellar.

02-27-2009 00:23:59 | More by FleeVT
Photo of cynical1027
cynical1027

Ohio

4/5  rDev -2.4%

02-21-2012 00:54:00 | More by cynical1027
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

4/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

02-15-2009 02:17:58 | More by prototypic
Photo of richbrew
richbrew

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-15-2011 20:03:32 | More by richbrew
Photo of dstc
dstc

Florida

4/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

02-13-2010 18:06:07 | More by dstc
Photo of cdayb1
cdayb1

California

4/5  rDev -2.4%

12-16-2012 22:16:42 | More by cdayb1
Photo of josssmith
josssmith

Arizona

4/5  rDev -2.4%

01-05-2012 21:56:58 | More by josssmith
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.