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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 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 ritzkiss
ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
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 mtstatebeer
mtstatebeer

West Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Rhode Island

2.7/5  rDev -34%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz into Newport Storm pint glass. Bought @ Chris Gassbaro's vast wasteland of beer.

A- Pale hazy orange with a bit of amber. Nice cascade in the pint glass.

S- Nose is of a wheatwine, actually. Sweet malts.

T- Taste is cotton candy, sweet sherry and undefined grape sugars and some heat from the alcohol.

M- Hot. Abrasive, not what I was expecting.

D- Moderate. I think this beer may be in a transitional period- I have another bottle and will give it some time and a re-review if needed.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 06:34:58 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of RankRefugee88
RankRefugee88

New York

4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
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 Naugled
Naugled

New York

3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thin tan head, deep copper color with some sediment.

Raisiny nose with deep complex maltiness.

Warm in the mouth with a hoppy raisin flavor, sugar sweetness and late bitterness. A little sticky in the mouth as well, a bit over bitter and dull. Softly carbonated.

However, still a drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 20:21:05 | More by Naugled
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 BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 15:02:13 | More by BuckeyeNation
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 wcintula
wcintula

New York

3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wowo. Strong beer. Strong flavors. Poured into a Duvel glass, the beer is beautiful. Deep dark honey color with a very creamy head of complimentary color, about 1 and a half fingers deep with a high pour. Very well retained, throughout. Smells verrry malty with your trademark Stone hops and a strong alcohol smell. Some fruits involved. The taste matches all of this which is good, you taste what you smell. But it's bad, sometimes that alcohol taste is just too much. Nice barleywine with a viscouse body with enough carbonation to make it not feel like your drinking malt syrup. I can drink about as many of these as I can any other barleywine. Enough to get happy. ;-)

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2010 03:34:55 | More by wcintula
Photo of earthboundagain
earthboundagain

Colorado

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 Old Guardian drank on 9/6/2010

I cracked this baby open after work today as part of my personal Labor Day celebration.

The beer pours a burnt orange and has a nice hazy appearance. The head is minimal put does leave a tiny amount of lacing.

Ok the nose is of caramel covered pine hops, and a touch of straight alcohol.

Ok the taste is loads of caramel malt, some buttery notes, and while the hops have faded they still pack a decent piney punch.

The feel is slick and creamy a bit sticky but has enough carbonation to not be cloying. The alcohol is well hidden and this beer can be dangerous.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2010 15:04:16 | More by earthboundagain
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Alabama

4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 2009 vintage bomber into a big ale glass.

A: Cloudy copper color. About a half inch of head which receded pretty quick. Lots of bubbles. Decent lacing on the glass.

S: Definitely hoppy but it has an unmistakable barley wine smell to it.

T: Huge barleywine malt sweetness with a sharp, citrusy hop backbone. Fruity with burnt molasses and coffee undertones to it. Really good. Supposedly there's some alcohol in there but I can't detect it.

M: Not a huge level of carbonation, feels just right in the mouth. A little on the filmier side, which is understandable given the hugeness of this beer.

D: Not something you're going to chug, but highly drinkable. The alcohol is hidden so well that I could probably keep drinking this one till I fell off my chair. In light of this, I'll stick with the one bottle. Very, very good.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2010 00:33:43 | More by evilkalla
Photo of Buebie
Buebie

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this lovely from Freethyhops.

Poured into an oversized snifter. To say its hazey would be an understatement. about an inch of bubbly froth is formed from a rigerous pour. Retention of assorted (mostly large) bubble islands and a ring around the collar.
Color is a marmelade orange.

Aroma is sweet and nectar like with loads of caramel malt goodness and just a hint of alcohol at the nose.
Some mild fruity hops and pine.

Feel is slick and creamy with a full bodied feel and smooth carbonation.
Taste upfront is sweet and filled with caramel, malt, buttery bread and plenty of cereal grains.
Hops start to smash me up midway throw and dominate through the swallow with plenty of pine and citric peel. Through the hop bruising, malt still shines through with sweet caramel.
Finishing almost wood like with bitters and a little aspirin.
Very mild warming feel and for 11% it is way too mild. Dangerous really. :)

Very delicious brew. I didnt think I'd ever get a chance to try this and then this trade fell into my lap.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 23:37:44 | More by Buebie
Photo of bundy462
bundy462

Texas

4.78/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy copper color with a frothy tan head. Head retention was good.

S: Boozy sweet malt base with a somewhat tamed piny hop. Very good balance of malt and hop. Plum, grapefruit, caramel all shine through.

T: Huge hanging pine hop throughout. The sweet dark fruit-like malt barely fights it's way through. Definite earthy flavors also apparent, but this is mostly about the hops.

M: Prickly, alcohol warming, pretty smooth.

O: Nice brew, very drinkable. Would buy their future yearly releases.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 23:01:36 | More by bundy462
Photo of johnnieoz
johnnieoz

Texas

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A testament to aging quality ales, only to be served in a red wine glass or tulip.

A: Hazy shade of bronze, a smallish off-white head with tears of hops and malts abounding.

S: Wonderful balance as the hops have mellowed out enough to let the malts shine through the forest for all the trees. Aromas of pine, caramel, grapefruit, pineapple and charred walnuts.

T: As it warms up, the flavors suggested by the scents begin to emerge. Another year may merge the two perfectly.

M: Medium to full-bodied, a Old Guardian aged some 1.5 years is viscous and luscious.

D: Some claim to be able to drink more than one of these 22oz bombers. OK, but if you're willing to split the second one among three or four, I'd be happy to savor this night cap. Otherwise...

A case of this is well worth procuring. A few during the infant years, a few right about now and the rest over time. To my mind, a beer cellar needs Old Guardian keeping the treasure safe.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2010 02:13:53 | More by johnnieoz
Photo of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Let me start by saying I love Stone beer. This place rocks, my favorite brewery, and this beer just reminded me of why.

Lovely pour, smells fruity.

Taste is amazing, this is my first barleywine, but if this is the standard, I am trying more. Tastes similar to one of the malty/fruity IPAs I've had, nice and sticky, but you get a huge hop hit as well, and a nice after taste as well. Good from beginning to end, high ABV, doesn't really factor into the taste in my opinion. This was aged a little bit and I think this is a good time to crack it, but I'd also like to keep one another year or 2 and see what happens. Next time, I am buying 2 for that purpose exactly. Very interesting and complex beer...well done!

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 21:26:09 | More by Pittsburgh
Photo of ryanonline
ryanonline

Florida

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice orangey coppery color with a whitish tan head.

Piney and malty. A slightly biscuity scent.

Taste is the same, slightly boozy. Biscuity still. Very tea like flavor as well.

Slightly thin bodied and a mellow carbonation. A bit dry and hot on the way down.

Pretty easy on the stomach, uncommon for the style. I could handle more than one of these.

Good beer, okay for the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 00:55:10 | More by ryanonline
Photo of lovindahops
lovindahops

New York

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

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 02:24:25 | More by lovindahops
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 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 zebco
zebco

Texas

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
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
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 BDTyre
BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not a bad barley wine from Stone. Orange-copper, very light and clear with a very thin off-white head.

Sweet, slightly vinous scent. Malts, brown sugar, raisins and hints of blackberry.

Somewhat bitter taste - hops, berries and raisin and wine hints. Suggestions of brown sugar, caramel, bread and even bananas. Rich flavour, but sometimes the complexity is lost.

Good carbonation though at times it seems a little too heavy on the fizz. Very enjoyable, but a dessert beer at 11.3%

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2010 04:42:57 | More by BDTyre
Photo of tmgiddings
tmgiddings

Indiana

4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Crown Liquors #6 - Hazy, opague amber with a thin white head and sparce white lacing. Aroma is subtle resin hops, caramel, toffee, and sweet bready malt. Sweet bready malt dominates the flavor with subtle resin on the front. Mouthfeel is both oily and creamy.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2010 00:01:33 | More by tmgiddings
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 320 ratings.