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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

326 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 326
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: 326 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange/amber color with a large, creamy caramel colored head. Retention is good and it lays down some nice lace despite the ABV.

S: Loads of sweet citrus, caramel malt, fruity esters, and a hint of alcohol. Smells like caramelized citrus fruit covered in brown sugar. Absolutely delightful, a 5 if not for the slight booziness.

T&M: Tons of caramel and citric hops, some bitterness on the finish. Dark fruits, rum-ish alcohol flavor, brown sugar, and an herbal mint flavor all on the finish. Will be interesting to see how this one develops with some age on it. A solid flavor. Full bodied with a very thin, effervescent carbonation. Slick and slightly sticky in the mouth. Excellent feel.

D: Rather drinkable for a barleywine. Alcohol isn't so overpowering, despite it's young age. Yet another great beer from the guys at Stone.

BamaBeerBuff, Jul 02, 2009
Photo of Lerxst
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Stone Imperial Pint Glass

A-Hazy orange/amber with one inch head that fades fast

S-Hoppy with malts clearly evident. They go good together.

T-Hops are very evident but a toasty, malty flavor compliments it well and surprisingly the 11.3% abv is hardly noticable.

M-Medium body. Smooth with a hoppy afterbite, medium carbonation. Not too much carbonation, but just enough.

D-Surprisingly drinkable. I didn't think more than one in a sitting would be do-able, but it would be. The hops/malt combo here is delicious. Well done!

Stone has done it again. This brewery is simply amazing.

Lerxst, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of hyuga
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

hyuga, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of velosuds
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Limited Early 2009 Release. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass.

A-Pours a cloudy medium amber with a one and one half finger head that quickly receded into an ample, typical Stone type, lace.

S-Malty, with dried fruits, especially figs and raisins. Pleasantly sweet. Nice.

T-Very pleasantly sweet yet balanced. At 11.3%, ABV the alcohol is warming, although masked extremely well. Mildy hoppy up front followed by barley malt sweetness. I am beginning to like this style, a lot.

M-Full bodied, but quite smooth. Very well crafted. One of Stone's better, more affordable brews.

D-Extremely drinkable for an 11.3% ABV though not evident in the taste.

This is quite good, and I will buy again. I love these full bodied beers.

velosuds, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of jerz
5/5  rDev +22%

jerz, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of baybassboy
4/5  rDev -2.4%

baybassboy, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of whoneeds8
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Early Release been in the fridge for the past year.

Poured into a Westmalle chalice a transparent amber with a very thin white head. Good lacing. Not much noticable carbonation. The scent is rather light. Maybe this is from the aging. But I can find hints of grapefruit and maybe a little banana. The taste is really smooth. None of the harshness that fresh barleywines give, which means my other bottle of '09 is going to age very well. The carmal flavor isn't over powering, and the hop bitterness has died off. There is still the sweet flavor with that same flavor that is kind of banana like. The mouthfeel is low on carbonation, but just perfect in body. There is no evident alcohol burn despite the 11% abv.

These definatly age well.

whoneeds8, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of Snow81
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Reddish haze

Head: Very little head that dissipates quickly

Smell: Big citric with a rich heavy sweet malt

Taste: Big dark malty citric that has a little heat on the back of the palate

Weight: Heavy to medium body with medium to low carbonation

Finish: Sweet, hops, and a nice stickiness on the lips

Snow81, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of pest
4/5  rDev -2.4%

pest, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of bca115
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

bca115, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of jdklks
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- light amber golden color body with a light tan-white head that leaves a thick lacing. not as dark as i would like the body to be for a barleywine.

S- smell is fantastic. a perfect blend of hops and sweet fruits.

T- Taste is hoppy up front and malty in the finish. the lingering aftertaste is of hops and fruit. grapefruit bitterness. a nice mix of hops and malts, but overall, the hops are more pronounced, which doesn't work too well with a barleywine. last years was much better in my opinion.

M- full bodied and well carbonated. nothing special from a barleywine standpoint though.

D- drinkability is what it is.

i was disappointed this year. last year's was much better, although this one is still pretty good.

jdklks, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of thespaceman
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a deep, murky amber in color, nice size head erupts out of this one, leaving with it good retention and excellent lacing on my glass.

Smell: A nicely done hop aroma really stands out upon first whiff, bits of sweet malt are balanced nicely, smells a bit boozy in the back end, with darker esters peeking there head through. A very bold beer in the nose.

Taste: Citrus hops explode off the bat, a nice undertone of some crystalized malt leaves an earthy yet toasteed flavor on the tongue. A bit of darker esters, light plum and some sweetness from the malt make this beer balance out perfectly. A nice touch of alcohol in the finish is just what this beer needed to become complete.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, syrupy on the tongue and bitter from the extra hops in here. Not too much carbonation so this one can be a little viscous on the tongue. Lot's of extra bitterness lying around here.

Drinkability: Overall I was impressed with how good Old Guardian is. I like the occasional barleywine but this one captures all the elements of what the style should be defined as. It's boozy, big, and hoppy, and right on the money! I'll have another..

thespaceman, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of UA8
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

UA8, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of SpecialK088
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

Nice golden/burnt orange color with a low head and no lace

Notes of floral hops and very tosted malt also a figgy or sugary sweet note

Flavor is very complex the malt,hops and barley come together in an amazing balance to create a very unique flavor alcohol burns a little in the finish with some nutty/wood notes

Mouthfeel is near perfect for this beer not overly carbonated slightly oily and incredibly complex flavors. Medium body

Split is at the very least between 2 this is one big bastard but very good.

SpecialK088, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of taylorhamrick
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a beautiful clear red color. A massive 3-4cm head sits on top and doesn't fade quickly, leaving sticky lacing down the side. I just watched the bubbles rise up through the beer while I was waiting to taste and I was in love. The smell has a faint whiff of hops, cascade/centennial pungent citrus smell, and you can smell the hugely sweet malt backbone in there, hints of bready, nutty, biscuity malts. The taste is really great. Exactly what I want in a barleywine. It doesn't smash you over the head with bitterness, and is actually brilliantly well-balanced. There's a whole load of sweetness, raisiny, caramelly sweetness. The hops are buried in there with a nice lemony kick in the end and a slight hoppy bitterness. There's also a bit of burn from the alcohol, but it really is enhancing my enjoyment of this one. I'm usually not a huge fan of American Barleywines, but this one may have changed my mind. I could imagine this one filling out a bit more, whether by age or adding a bit more lingering sweetness or biscuity maltiness. And of course, it will beat you up a bit, making you work hard to finish it (though I never took a sip I didn't enjoy). But I would recommend this to all.

taylorhamrick, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of wcintula
3.45/5  rDev -15.9%
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. ;-)

wcintula, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of Yesac
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Almost solid orange/amber color. Thin layer of off-white head. Head eventually fades to nothing. No lacing etc.

S- Sweet yeast. Green apple florals. Some citrus. The 11.3% is not even noticeable.

T- Boozy sting from the alcohol overall. Along with the smell.. strong malty yeasty taste up front. The boozyness presence just kills the flavor and experience though. Strong bitterness finish.

M/D- Medium bodied. Slightly sticky. Palate is left boozed with the 11.3%. Not the easiest drinker however a good sipper.

Yesac, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Bowdoinbeerboy, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of swizzlenuts
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

swizzlenuts, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of naterock
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

poured into a glass quickly but did not produce a large head, a one finger resilient head that stayed until the glass was gone. Burnt orange with a cloudy haze.

Smells nicely of several malts and a woody hop nose. so much malt here in the aroma.

Tastes incredibly complex with so much malt, bready, toasty malts with a subtle hop flavor that allows the malts to be exposed and glorified.

Mouth is very nice, Damn perfect. Drinks well but be sure to split the bottle between two or more people.

naterock, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of boatshoes
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brought over to the apartment by my buddy CharlatanSin. Always love to try a new barleywine and heard good things about this one. The 2009 vintage.

Appearance- Pours a deep amber with pretty lively carbonation and about a finger and a half of off white head that dies back to a ring in short order.

Smell- Actually very hop forward with lots of grapefruit and resin. Almost smells like a DIPA but with a lot of caramel showing through in the background.

Taste- Again a very interesting combination of sweet malt and hops. Very hop forward again wit lots of pine and grapefruit rind but combined with lots and lots of sweet malt. Cuts an interesting mixture and much more hop forward than many barleywines I've tasted.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is thick and slick and very nice but a little too much hot alcohol showing through in the taste to make it overly drinkable at this point. Could use some time to mellow out a bit.

Overall, a good barleywine. Not the best I've had but tasty and an interesting nonetheless. Probably better even with age.

boatshoes, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of darklordlager
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 22 oz. snifter a hazy sunset orange with a small film of tan head which recedes to a mere coating. Great fall colour.

Smell is of candied fruit. Fruit cake, layered caramel, with hops molding together the layers.

Taste is a spectrum of interesting flavours. Floral Hops with loads of caramel malt helping to prop up said hops.
Interesting finish consisting of a strong seemingly everlasting bitterness with a mild (compared to the hops) malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel is syrupy, on par with what you would expect with a barleywine.

D-For a fresh barleywine, it is ridiculously drinkable. On par with Bigfoot.

Will revisit in a year or so.

darklordlager, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of jacobseyb
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice caramel/amber color with a light tan head and good retention. Laced pretty well, with the head dissipating to a nice crown and a bubbly island in the middle. Sweet malts on the nose, with some fruity hop presence. Tasty sweet maltiness gives way to some alcohol spiciness. Feels well with light carbonation tickling the palate, and some oiliness on the finish. Drinkable for the style though the ABV prevents mass consumption.

jacobseyb, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of mtstatebeer
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

mtstatebeer, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of CharlatanSin
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy cider color that becomes more opaque as it settles down. A small head with a thin but persistent lacing.

Smell: Fruity hops dominate the smell. It's pretty boozy, too.

Taste: Those fruity hops, in true Stone fashion, have their way with your taste buds. The hops overwhelmed my first couple of sips. As I had a few more, a very pleasant undercurrent of toasted caramel or butterscotch made its presence felt. The hops and the caramel both linger nicely, making for a terrific finish. All in all a delicious beer.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a bit low for my taste. It doesn't take away from the taste, but doesn't compliment it, either.

Drinkability/Overall: This is one sneaky beer.The alcohol is fairly present in the smell, but not so much in the taste. The 11 and change ABV kind of hides and then wallops you.

That being said, this beer is something of a tweener. It's a delicious beer, but it's almost more like an excellent double IPA than a barleywine, at least the way I think of the style. I think I'm going to go buy another bottle and age it for a spell and see what that does to the balance. Definitely pick it up, though, as long as you're not a barleywine purist.

CharlatanSin, Nov 20, 2009
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.