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

329 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 329
Reviews: 246
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 6
Gots: 46 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
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: 329 | Reviews: 246 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KarlHungus
4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a cloudy red-orange color. The head is a nice quarter inch cap of foam that lingers around leaving fine lacing around the glass. The aroma of a ton of malt, and a ton of hops. There is a solid caramel, and toffee backbone with vibrant citrus, pine resin, and floral hops. As far as aroma goes this is the best American Barelywine I've had in a long while. The taste is more hop forward than the aroma, which I like due to the interesting hop bill. There is a very nice mix of floral, grapefruit, and pine. There is a nice lingering bitterness, and moderate heat in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with lively carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a great beer that I will search out again.

Photo of IPAcraig
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice reddish orange body with a one finger eggshell white head. Slightly cloudy.

Piney hops, caramel, and bit of alcohol in the nose.

An all around big barleywine. Taste similar to the aroma with a wee bit of leather.

Perfect mouthfeel for a barelywine. Lightly carbonated with a big body that is not too viscous.

Very drinkable for such a big beer. very nice.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It looks like a glass of honey with a 1/4" of soft and smooth head that's a light caramel tint. There's a good amount of carbonation rising through the translucent body. No lacing.

Having had more than a handful of different Stone brews this is exactly what I expected in both smell and taste. There's a very strong hop profile to this, even for a barleywine. The smell is sweet like syrup and the hops show up as pine trees. It's a very well balanced smell. The taste has a nice bitterness to it and is hop-forward with pine and citrus. There's a strong malt backbone that has a caramel or brown sugar like sweetness to it. The aftertaste is a slight alcholic burn and fruity esters.

It has a nice creamy mouthfeel that is cut with crisp carbonation. Finish is slightly bitter, but not as bitter as I expected with such a nice hop profile.

The alcohol taste and burn is there, but well played with the rest of the beer and contributes to the overall flavor as opposed to detracting from it. For and 11.3% barleywine, no problem.

Stone in general is my personal favorite when it comes to the use of hops in all of their styles and this is what I imagined it'd be. Another very strong offering from a top notch brewer.

Photo of aristeros
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. I've had barleywines before, and Stone brews, so I'm pretty excited about this one.

Pours a honey-amber color, has a big, creamy, off-white head with decent lacing. I smell grapefruit up front, sweet caramel malts, alcohol, and some hops.

Tastes like brown sugar layered over citrus and bitter hops. Piney resins and the tingle of hops on the tongue eventually overpower the sweet malts for a dry, prickly finish.

The high alcohol content and big hop presence is well-balanced against the beer's other characteristics, but if I were to crack the second bomber I think -I'd- be bombed. This, and assertive hops and carbonation impact drinkability, even for the style.

Excellent brew.

Photo of Rhynes2
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.

Photo of countrocula
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of srandycarter
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky orange honey with a 1 inch head that leaves fast to disk.
Tons of cascading bubbles as you tilt the glass. Lots of filmy small bubbled lace.

S - Holy Crap. It SMELLS like thick, gooey caramel. Tons of sweet malt in this aroma.

T - Big ass caramel, gets kind of harshly bittered in tandem with pretty significant alcohol presence.

M - Thick, coating, good carb. Big flavors and balances heave and ho.

D - Big, mean, lots of booze and ruin of palate. Good stuff, but not meant for a night, for sure.

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, room temperature.

Pours a medium amber with a nice ample head that laces and sticks quite well.

Aroma is of estery alcohol with an intense bitter, earthy hop aroma. Sweet caramel and light vanilla notes are present. The aromas of alcohol and resinous hops make the aroma overall, quite estery and slightly phenolic.

Flavor opens with a perfect melding of sweet and caramel malts with a wonderful bitter hop presence. Hops become more fierce and assertive in the middle completely washing away the sticky sweetness of the malt. Finishes quite dry, with a nice bittering aftertaste to the tongue and throat.

Mouthfeel is lush and sticky. Carbonation is good, attenuation working in the hops favor to cut the sweetness.

A big Barley wine that melds the hop and strong malt characters well. Alcohol is well hidden and only detectable on the exhale. The balance is better than I have had in other Barley wines that are over hopped in my opinion.

Well done Stone!

Photo of Jmoore50
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stone is king.

Okay, well this baby poured really nice into a wine glass, now renamed Beer Glass. Either way, I got it to a great two finger caramel head, that lasted for a while. It had a nice dark amber color that was a deep dark brown in the center. Little but sticky lace.

The smell was pungent of alcohol and sweetness. It has a bite to its smell, something like its taste. Just a nice aroma that consists of the Stone hops, the character you can always recognize.

The taste is great. I has that bitterness that comes with most of Stone's brews. It also tasted a bit like dark sugar, pine, and a little like bitter-alcohol.

The mouthfeel, like I said before is nice because the bitterness just gets your tongue and strangles it. The drinkability is so low because this brew got me a little trashed. I don't know what it was but it got me a little BUZZZED.

So, no surprise Stone repeats a great brew. Will buy again and drink with delight.
J

Photo of JamesS
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of projectflam86
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at a Vintage Stone Tasting as part of an Old Guardian vertical (07,08,09).

A- Poured a beautiful deep amber color with a large white foam that leaves lots of lacing.

S- Huge grapefruit and piney hop scents make up the nose with floral and other citrus smells apparent as well. Tons of hops in the nose compared to the 07 and 08 that I tasted just before it. Alcohol is present in the aroma but not overbearing. There is some piney apricot and light malt sweetness with brown sugar/caramel scents.

T- Big and bold grapefruit and piney hop bitterness initially. There is a noticeable malty sweet bread flavor in the finish. The hops dominate the flavor though with lots of bitterness and citrus flavors. Spice and dark fruit flavors are present with a caramel sweetness in the finish.

M- Big and full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

D- A nice surprise from the other vintages that shows a much bolder hop profile.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: reddish dark brown

smell: large hop presence, very plesant for a hop fans. more than I expected and much more than bigfoot

taste: strong hops aroma, rich malty flavor

mouthfeel: high carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: smooth large beer. I was impressed. Never had a Barleywine other than Bigfoot. I liked both and they are completly different.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.
Pours a ruby brown in color. No head forms on the pour, but there is a bit of froth that appears. Smell is huge malts, some alcohol and just a hint of hops.
The flavor is big. The hops are more toned down in this years offering than in last years. Last years was too hoppy for me. This one is much more drinkable early on. Huge malts, and just a hint of alcohol. There are some hops in this beer, but they are very balanced and complimentary. I prefer this beer a lot more to last years bottling. Might have to pick up some of these bottles to put down for awhile.

Photo of jsapunor
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this into an Old Guardian glass. It's a great looking cloudy orange-red with three fingers of tan creamy head that just hangs on and on.

Since this is from Stone, you have to expect hops and that's what you get in the aroma but malt and alcohol are there as well.

I was expecting this to be hop heavy but it wasn't. The hops are there all right but there is a bias toward caramel malt. The taste is mostly sweet malt and alcohol along with the hops. Nicely carbonated.

This is not as smooth as Bigfoot but very enjoyable as a maltier, more muscular barleywine. It's also very drinkable, at least until halfway down the bottle when the gargoyle jumps off and kicks you in the head.

Photo of adamette
3.3/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Live Review. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my DFH pint glass. $6.99 at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills, Ohio.

A Great looking 3 inch head over a translucent orange brown slightly cloudy body that glows in front of direct light. Lacing is evident even now before I sip this beer. I like the look a lot and I think that it is true to the style.

S Hops predominate (not surprised as most Stone beers feature hops) but there is a nice sweet malt underbelly to this beer that is interesting.

T Hops and barley are in the front. The hops linger longer than I would like but I think that it is true to the style, one that I really do not like due to the predominance of the hops.

M Appropriately acidic like any hops centered beer would be.

D Not that good. I will likely finish the bomber but will not likely buy this again nor would I buy a second pint (if I had bought a pint).

Notes: I suspect that Barleywine lovers would prefer Big Foot. This pales in comparison to my favorite Barleywine, from Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland (had it on tap as a pub exclusive...it was drinkable and interesting).

Photo of froghop
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of rodney45
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark shade of crimson. The head is white and ominous. I think it sticks around only to say " im gonna watch you drink this"

S: Smells overtly hopped. Imagine getting punched in the face with a silky fist full of hops. That is what this smells like, and you really aren't angry because its from stone brewery.

T: Well its more malted than the Arrogant line, and at first sip you get only a taste of it. Then you're sodomized by hops. Its a good thing, and you eventually start to like it. Then its dry, and you feel guilty and slightly offended. BUT... you're happy... its hard to explain

M: It tastes alot like razor blades made of hops... with a lot of alcohol. Hidden. To trick you.

D: I can drink this till the cows come home, which they have. Its more than double the strength of a normal brew and you should keep that in mind. But, for a barley wine style ale made by stone, its more drinkable than you'd imagine.

This is a good brew... its the 2009 early release if anyone cares... I heard from the guy at the distributor that it was better in past years, but i dont believe him. This beer is profane. Thank god

Photo of MunchkinDrinker
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing after the fact from notes.

A - Hazy amber red with a thick rocky slightly orange-tan head. Plenty of lacing.

S - Like any good stone brew, plenty of malt and hops. Citrusy, grapefruit and lemony, but large sweet malt backbone. A real pleasant punch to the nose.

T/M - Ahh, now this is a barleywine. Good solid malt, slightly chalky quad-like feel. Sweet, but balanced by heavy citrusy hops.

D - Very tasty, but high alcohol. MIGHT have 2 on a night.

I will definately be picking up another one of these to review more thoroughly.

Photo of elniko
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from Bomber into snifter. Early 2009 Release marked on bottle.

A: Rich amber coloring with oily head. Nice lacing apparent. Good looking brew.

S: Typical Stone citrus nose with heavy hops apparent but not to the same extent as the IPA or Ruination. The high alcohol does not come across with I found surprising.

T & M: I get a strange musty tone in the taste that I have not encountered in the bottles of Old Guardian that I have had. Pretty well balanced for an American Barleywine, especially from Stone. Finish definitely has some bitter hop qualities.

D: For a barleywine this is quite drinkable but the high ABV would keep me from a drinking more than one bottle.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
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.

Photo of TheMistler
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bit thick, sticky. A clear, rather light caramel brown with orange. A creamy, just off-white head produced by an initially roiling carbonation. Pretty solid lacing.

Sticky-sweet malt is up front in the aroma. Caramel, dough. Initially it seemed to be an all-malt nose, but as I let it sit I detected a bevy of different hop notes. Mint. Spicy citrus.

Malt up front, but then lots of sticky hops. Light caramel, but mostly indistinct sweet malt serves to prepare the palate for the hop onslaught. Herbal and grassy, made spicy and dry by significant alcohol drying. Medicinal note.

Creamy, but not without some restrained CO2 prickliness. Medium bodied, with some chewiness, as well. Definitely a sipper, but an enjoyable one. I guess I wish the malt was as developed and nuanced as the hops, but this is quite nice.

Photo of merryjoulton
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a fantastic deep gold that tiptoes the edge of being red... maybe an orange-red? this beer is exceptional looking. a beautiful 1/4 inch tan head showed no signs of dissipating until the last sip.

S: sticky, piny, lemony hops. a big malt aroma present, along with booze.

T: I can find two components to this: bitter and booze. I'm looking for malt, but its not there. a hop forward taste, seemingly attempting to mask the 11.3%... a tall task.

M: slightly creamy with a pleasant and lingering aftertaste at the back of the tongue.

D: surprisingly high for a brew this enormous! even though I mentioned that the alcohol is evident, it in no way makes it a harsh drinker.

Photo of AChamberlain
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All around solid American barleywine. Poured into a snifter at the Ginger Man in Austin. Amber, honey color. Thin head, that left some sticky lacing on the glass. Hop, hop, hoppy aroma. Sticky flavor and aroma. A nice sweet tea flavor in the middle of the tongue, really tasty. Bitter finish. A tad thin. Boozy. I have enjoyed other barleywines much more. This may need some time, actually, I am prety sure this needs some time to chill and age.

Photo of soupyman10
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wife got me a bottle of this, first one I've gotten my hands on in a couple of years. Look is solid - amber color, fairly light, with a smallish head that dissolves quickly down to a fairly fine film. Huge nose: strong on fruity hops, spice, and caramel malt. Really perfect, well-balanced aromas here. Definitely a hoppy nose, but not unnervingly so. Body is fruity sweet up front, then rolling into a more caramel malt before finishing with a strong, drying, syrupy hop conclusion. A really good example of a solid barley-wine, although this one obviously focuses on the hops side of the fence, leaning into DIPA range (but who's counting, really). Fruitiness, looking at some dried fruit - raisins and apricots. Don't get any alcohol out of this sucker, despite the 11% ABV. Body is fine, with a really busy carbonation that works with that strong hop presence. Overall, this is a really solid brew, much like I remember it.

Photo of benjathelion
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Crystal clear bright mahogany. Moderate head that fades fairly quickly but never completely vanishes. Delicate, resilient lacing.

Aroma: floral, hints of pineapple and dry summer grass, gently piney hops.

Taste: Commanding hop presence with robust malt body to match. Lots of fresh and dried fruit- especially strawberry, apricot, and some citrus. Mayan cocoa (dark chocolate with chili), hot jalapeno, and pipe tobacco, especially as the taste finishes and lingers. Finish also contains grassy/floral/vegetal notes which correspond with the aroma. Herbal suggestions of Benedictine, peat smoke, and heather. There's a bit of alcohol presence, but it's not nearly as boozy-tasting as one would expect for this style.

This ale is robust, bold, complex and articulate without being too heavy handed or lopsided. As the name suggests, it's both mighty and dignified.

In short- AMAZING. I buy as many of these as I can carry whenever I find them.

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