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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

330 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 330
Reviews: 246
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 6
Gots: 47 | 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:
Beer added by: scottoale on 02-06-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 330 | Reviews: 246
Photo of DrJay
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on 6/10/2011 in a Stone Old Guardian glass.
This beer certainly isn't fresh, but it's held up wonderfully.
The top part of my bomber poured a bit hazy, but had a nice orange hue and a darker reddish cast through the middle of the glass. A modest cap of fine, whitish bubbles lingered for quite a while and formed a bit of transient, spotty lacing. Tons of caramel and toasted malts in the aroma, some cereal grains as well. The hops have mellowed, but there are still notes of earthy, citrusy hops mingling with the alcohol. Bitterness was still powerful, softer up front while the caramel was present, but sharper in the finish. Cereal husks and toasted malts, mild citrusy and fruity flavours, plus alcohol flavour and warmth in the finish rounded things out. Really nice texture at this point in its maturation. Full bodied with lowish carbonation, just enough to keep it lively, that was integrated nicely with the malty mouthfeel. I'm glad I have more in the cellar and look forward to how they'll continue to change.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.71/5  rDev -9.3%
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 $.

Photo of jrallen34
3.09/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from a 22oz bottle into a Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a ligth cloudy brown tea color with a medium tan head that rises about 1 finger but falls quickly. The lacing is pretty good.

The aroma starts off with mostly bourbon, banana, and a little wood. Its sweet, balanced and complex, pretty nice.

The taste is way to strong and not good. Its all woody alcohol with any sweetness to balance its out. Its grain alcohol in a wood barrel.

Photo of dgilks
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange colour with a smooth, creamy, off-white head. Good head retention.

Big, sweet malt and toffee. Plenty of fruit as well with a mild hop presence.

Big sweet malt again but with a hefty dose of bitterness. The hop character still manages to shine. Lots of fruit. Complex but easy to comprehend.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Good.
A seriously tasty beer. Lots of malt and big bitterness combine with enough fruit to keep it interesting.

Photo of barnzy78
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Poured an opaque amber color with a tight off-white head - good lacing on the glass and excellent head retention. Aromas were sweet brown sugary malt, caramel, toffee, some hops and rather boozy. Tastes were very similar to aromas with a pleasantly sweet maltiness up front followed by the familiar finish of bitter Stone hops - all their beers have a very distinctive hop character. Good representation of the style with a nice west coast hop flare.

Photo of champ103
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a hazy dark reddish/orange color. A two finger white head gently rises. Some sticky lace is left on the glass.
S: Lots of floral, medicinal, and fruity hops. Apples, pears, and grapefruit jump out at me. A medicinal tea like aroma. A very light malty sweetness as the aroma lingers.
T: Bitter, oily, and resiny hops. Grapefruit dominates the flavor. Not much else, no real malty sweetness to balance the flavor out. Lots of hot alcohol.
M/D: A medium to full body. A crisp snap of carbonation. This is very hot from the alcohol, and a bitter beer makes this hard to drink for me.

I am always willing to revisit a style that I am not crazy about. This is what I have come to expect from an American Barleywine though. Lots of hops and no balance with the malt. If that is your thing, then pick some up because you will not be disappointed.

Photo of rfgetz
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy, rusty orange in color. Thin white head w/ good lacing and retention.

S - Citrus and piney hops. Some light whiffs of dark fruit.

T - Nice balance of sweet malts and bitter hops. Faint hints of pine and citrus.

M - Heavy body... viscous yet smooth. Good carbonation. Slightly sticky.

D - Excellent Amreican Style Barleywine... alcohol hidden well w/ nice balance of flavor.

Photo of AgentZero
3.68/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle served in a snifter. The beer was a pretty dark orange color with a medium-sized tan head. There was some fleeting lacing. Sweet, toffee aroma. Alcohol detectable. Taste was toffee, a little bit of fruit, then a big lingering bitterness. Couldn't really taste the alcohol that I smelled. The hops were quite pleasing. I really enjoyed this barleywine.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.89/5  rDev +19.6%
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 Reagan1984
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my tulip glass as a reward for a nice workout snowshoeing in Maine. Getting a foot of snow here today and we hiked around in the woods for well over an hour. Sounds like a perfect day to break into my '09 Old Guardian.

Hazy deep amber color with brown/orange highlights. I did have this in a regular fridge here and took it out for 20 minutes to allow it to get to the right temp. Interesting that it's this hazy. A finger of bubbly light tan head forms and settles quickly. Quite interesting that despite a less aggressive head, there is a ton of lacing left everywhere. Literally almost the entire inside of the glass has a thick file left clinging to it.

Sure smells like a barley wine. Deep and inviting malt aroma with a background of fruit. I think more caramel vs. brown sugar here. Certainly a sweet note.

Sure tastes like a barley wine! ;) The depth of the flavor is really nice here. There are layers to the malt flavor and you can just enjoy them as you slowly sip this big beer. A sweet punch immediately, followed by a moment of vanilla cream. More sugar but now a bit more like brown sugar. Some fruit then a punch of pithy bitterness. Lots going on here.

Big in body and big in your mouth. Very mild carbonation. Almost oily

Certainly fits the bill on a day with a foot of snow. I really enjoyed working through the bottle and sharing just a bit of it..

Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Guardian 2009, from a 22oz bomber obtained today at Harringtons for $7.49 plus tax and dep.

Color is a clear, rich, deep copper. Carbo is visible rising up, and the topping is a light beige, creamy, fine gathering of bubbles, most of which sit at the edge and add to the lacework. A very-late addition of some bottle sediment added some cloudiness to the mixture. Aroma has some strong, biting, resiny hops, along with a healthy dose of alcohol-related "heat" hitting the nostrils. The feel is very smooth on the tongue, and the body is solidly mid-range.

Flavor has some malt lurking about, contributing caramel and toffee notes to the mix. Hops are plentiful and produce a lupulin-coating on the tongue and oral cavity. There's a good dose of resiny, piney hop action going on here, with a smattering of citrus getting tangled up in blue. The 11.30% ABV is quite evident, right from the get-go, with a noticeable warming in the belly not long after the first few sips. Despite all the hops, some caramel is what actually lingers in the aftertaste. Though not quite as hoppy as I like a BW (give me Bigfoot!!), this is still pretty solid! Had no plans to review, until I saw that these Stone BWs are yearly offerings, so wtf, eh? ;-)

Prosit!!

4.1
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

1222

Photo of Florida9
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light brown with an orange hue. There is a slight haze to the beer. Thin, creamy layer of small, bubbly head with surprisingly good retention. A little lacing, but not much.

S: Orange. Floral hops. Orange blossom. Some light alcohol.

T: Fruity and bright. Tropical fruits. There is a fusel burn on the swallow, but after a few swigs, the alcohol burn fades away.

M: Medium thick in body with enough carbonation to keep this beer lively. Alcohol is pleasantly noticeable and not over-powering.

D: An excellent BW. For such a strong beer, the alcohol is well hidden and the flavors are bright and clean.

Photo of prototypic
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

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

A decent US barley wine that starts on a stimulating note and ends confusing hoppiness with bitterness and losing its character.

Presentation: 22 Oz bottle. Iconic Stone demon gargoyle holding a glass of beer in their classic design. Long and typical over the top Stone narrative on the back, somewhat tongue in cheek rambling about its illegibility and a variety of recent topics, some distantly related to the brew. Below a one liner gives a generic description of ingredients. Notes bottling date as "Limited Early 2009 Release". Lacks any other info other than Alc. by Vol (11.3%) and cellaring indications. Poured into a snifter.

A - Pale amber color with a head inch that fades relatively quickly leaving some lacing on its way down.

S - An assertive hoppy range emerges from a sweet malt base. Not too complex or memorable, citrusy whiffs within the grain nose.

T - Consistent with the smell, while the hops are aggressive as they typically are in US version they leave room for a sweet malt counterbalance. There is a distinct Stone taste to it but all things considered it offers a short range or complexities in particular in the caramel, malt, spectrum with heavy hops that are a bit monotonous and are always trying to take a front seat.

M - It's a medium to high body in part due to a generous carbonation for the style.

D - It's average, tending to be a bit dull as one progresses and hopes that it will pick up its richness a bit, but then it really doesn't.

Notes: Not a great barleywine in this incarnation but not an awful one either. Not sure if I had tried it before a few years back, I may give it a try in future year batches and see if it was a matter of a mediocre year. But for now and form me, surrounded with such great variety this is a pass.

Photo of jsh420
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

mouthfeel medium body a bit sticky very creamy and smooth

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

Photo of srandycarter
4.05/5  rDev -1%
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 yemenmocha
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours slightly hazed off-amber color with off-white head. Nose is rich with peach pit, overripe grapefruit, and caramel. Palate offers more caramel and toffee, with soft "chalky" hop bitterness towards the end. Slow drinking, and perhaps could benefit enormously with more age.

Photo of allengarvin
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Old Guardian, poured into a nonik glass, is a cloudy golden color, with a large head of thick, creamy, dense foam. The nose is sweet, lightly fruity, with a great aromatic hop presence. Exceptionally bitter citrus-flavored hops. The sweet malt takes a step to the background with bitterness front and center from start to finish, but it does make a light balance if you look for it. The finish lingers forever, very dry. A surprisingly light bodied beer for such strength, creamy and sumptuous.

Very good America barley wine.

Photo of emmasdad
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consistently one of the better bomber values out there, this one hasn't disappointed yet. Poured a clear, dark, reddish-brown color with a little tan head on top. On the nose, aromas of earthy hops, dark fruits and caramel. On the palate, this one was medium bodied, with flavors of earthy hops, caramel and booze.

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

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.

Photo of Overlord
3.21/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My least favorite year of Old Guardian. Frankly, an offputting brew in many respects.

Poured a familiar amber with white foam. Smelled like medicinal herbs and pine. None of the rich caramel aroma I recall from years past.

Taste was more muted as well. Where's the rich toffee/brown sugar/roasted caramel? Where's the pine/grapefruit hop undercurrent? This was primarily somewhat weak sweet malt and a bit of resiny pine/herbal hop content.

Just very disappointing. Mouthfeel felt thinner than years past, too.

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

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.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. (2009)

A: Pours a lightly hazy (chill, I'd guess) amber body with ruby and orange inflection to it. Quite inviting. Unlike the 2010, the head dies pretty quickly and leaves only a few trails of bubbles on top of the brew.

S: Hops are fading a bit compared to the fresh 2010 version, as one would expect. The pine is still prominent, even weed-like; it blends well with caramel, toffee, and crystal malt. Some butterscotch too.

T: I'm a little less enthused about this aged version than I was about the 2010. It's very toasty, lots of butterscotch and caramel. These are very dominant, almost making me miss chocolate (which I did not find in the fresh one). The pine hop character is still there, with an undercurrent of citrus flavors. This lacks the hoppy aggressiveness of the fresh version, and it fails to have developed a nice complexity to compensate for the faded hops. On top of that, it's a bit boozy (solventy, not just warm).

M: Chewy; finish is a little harsh and boozy. Low-medium carbonation.

D: In my opinion, one year isn't the sweet spot for this beer. It's still better than average, and I had no trouble putting down a bomber of it, but in the future I'd drink these fresh.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque orange brown, almost the color of apple cider. Decent foamy head to start, with some light lacing later.

Piney hops and toasted malt, caramel, and a big whiff of alcohol.

This one hits it all. Sweet caramel, toasted malt, piney hop bite, a tartness in there as well, some spicy edges, and though the alcohol is decently in the background -- have no fear it is still there. Very smooth beer. Great balance (this one will be great to lay down in a cellar for a time).

Good chewy body, some mouth coating stickiness and hop residue.

Overall, this should have been a sipper and it went down very very easy instead. Very drinkable compared to some other barleywines. Hop heavy, but not so much that it gets in the way.
Enjoy!

Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 330 ratings.