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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 johnkale
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - nice deep amber color, meager head left a little lacing

S - more subdued than I expected, lemon and orange, a little bit of caramel, hints of clove, berry, and booze

T - caramel and burnt sugars, orange zest bitterness, hops are very resinous initially. the finish is slightly boozy and this helps to accentuate some spicier notes (clove and anise) along with raisin-like flavors. Lots of bitterness at the end.

M - surprisingly light, just slightly oily. dances across the front of the tongue. Alcohol presence reveals the size of this beer more than body, remarkably quaffable for its style (though still a beer that becomes a chore to get through if served too much).

Excellent beer, aroma and flavor are super inviting. Goes well with pork, would compliment a loaf of limpa perfectly. Best enjoyed with a couple of friends, especially if they've just returned from a long stay in a foreign country.

johnkale, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of FriarTuckInLuck
4/5  rDev -2.4%

FriarTuckInLuck, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of RankRefugee88
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

RankRefugee88, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of joewsorenson
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

joewsorenson, May 13, 2012
Photo of zebco
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
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...

zebco, May 20, 2010
Photo of JamesP123
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an oversized wine glass.

A. Much lighter than I was expceting. Pours a golden/dark orange with a big one inch of off white head. The lacing trickles nicely down the glass as you drink.

S. Citrusy hops dominate with some sweet & bready malts followed by a hint of alcohol as the beer begins to warm up.

T. Wow this is one of the hoppiest barlwywines I've had. Grapefruit, honey with slight caramel notes. Alcohol not very noticable.

M. Medium to thick mouthfeel, a little resiny like an IPA. Medium carbination with a slightly dry finish.

D. Wonderful Barleywine, can win over a hop head for sure. By nature barlywines are intense, but this is a very drinkable.

JamesP123, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of Brewnami
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Brewery make some of my favorite beers yet. I was about to grab Double Bastard Ale when I noticed an intriguing barley wine sitting right next to it. I checked out the bottle and realized that I had to give this one a try. Being a limited brew, I put down the Double Bastard and snagged this massive 11.3% barley wine style ale... and I am so glad I did. I have been trying a lot of barley wines lately, but this is definitely the best one I have had recently. I poured it into a pint glass and noted the very dark orange, amber like appearance with a small, fluffy, off-white head. I then gave my nose a taste before my mouth. Huge hop and malt aroma, very typical of Stone. I then let my tongue join in on the fun and it was nothing short of spectacular. Obviously being a barley wine you probably wont want to drink gallon of this so I would say the 22oz bottle is plenty. If you're looking to session, grab a six pack of the Stone IPA to wash this down. Anyways, if you like barley wine style ales, or huge hop taste, or are looking to grow some chest hair and not look like a vagina with your miller lights, then I would highly recommend giving this a try.
Oh yeah, did I mention BITTER?
Cheers!

Brewnami, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of harperman69
5/5  rDev +22%

harperman69, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of badbassrandy
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smells like hop/malt heaven, with definite spice from the hops and a very Stone-like presence of malt in the nose. My pour revealed an off-white, luxurious and relatively large head for a barleywine. Yum.

Tastes loaded with fine malts and delicious hops with a symphony of earthy and organic notes dancing on the palate. Deceivingly delicious. I can tell this one could spell trouble. It's very drinkable for such strength with a wonderful, chewy mouthfeel that's both silky and rustic.

All said, this is my kind of barleywine brew. One that will keep me coming back to this style after having disliked them for so long.

badbassrandy, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of mjgarrett2
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep gold with amber tints, quite transparent with a modest beige head.

S-Not agressive, hints of hops and strong barley and a touch of oats.

T-Mellow with sweet malts. Surprising taste of caramel amongst the obvious barley and subtler hops.

M-Maltier and sweeter as the flavor progresses with some bitter tones lingering through the barley.

D-Wasn't sure what to expect from this Barleywine, but it seems to balance well between the more common styles. Great for sipping and enjoying, or pairing with some fine foods.

mjgarrett2, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of maskednegator
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper. Off-white head deflates in a minute or so, leaving a thick lace on the glass.
Smell: Alcohol, brown sugar. Toasted malts, pine needles.
Taste: Caramel, brandy, little bit of sweet apples. Big, spicy hop finish.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, medium carbonation.
Drinkability: A lot of alcohol presence. My buddy's Belgian-drinking girlfriend got mad at me after trying it. I think it's ready to go out of the bottle, but holding onto one for a few years will make this one absolutely tremendous.
Verdict: Solid, likely to be totally transcendent in a few years. Peep the abv, and clear your schedule for the evening. This is like drinking a 40.

maskednegator, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of cdayb1
4/5  rDev -2.4%

cdayb1, Dec 16, 2012
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.

countrocula, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of BeerOnTheWall
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours crystal clear deep copper/orange with very little off-white head that thins out instantly...small co2 bubbles rising slowly in the glass. Seems pretty standard for the style.

Smell is grainy, nectarine and dried apricot frutiness, caramel, leather, damp earth. Very little alcohol noticeable. Slight oxidation (expected with the age of this bottle). Overall the nose on this is great!

Slightly fruity, caramel sweetness, subtle amounts of cedar and tobacco. Finish is a lingering, sharp, piny hop bitterness that dominates. Alcohol is present but does not warm too much. Some nice components here but the bitterness is overpowering.

The mouthfeel is heavy and viscous. Avg. carbonation leaves this feeling a little too syrupy.

I think a little less bitterness may have allowed the flavor complexity to come through better and the body was a little too heavy for me. However, I do think the age did this bottle some good and generally enjoyed the beer.

BeerOnTheWall, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of MiamiRedSkins13
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

MiamiRedSkins13, Mar 05, 2013
Photo of johlendorf
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is huge. A treat for American barley wine fans. A good introduction brew for hop heads interested in kicking it up a notch.

A = Orange amber. I managed to tease a faint head which quickly disappeared. The orangeness made my mouth water in anticipation of the hoppy goodness ahead.

S = Sweet hops. Not a hint of alcohol, which scares me at 11%.

T = Sort of a hop bomb out of the fridge, but complex flavors come through as it warms and the palate adjusts to the shock. A nice malty finish all the way. Malting takes some edge off the insane hops. Hops rule but don't bite.

M = Clean and slightly bubbly. Some stickiness at the end but less than expected. A warm feeling in the mouth and belly is the only indication of the high ABV.

D = Scary.

Drink it now or cellar it. Past years have aged very well. My experience with aged beers is mixed but my winged friend will never let me down.

johlendorf, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of ironarrow42
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Colour is a hazy orange-amber hue with a short-lived cream-coloured head. No sign of bubbles. Aroma of orangey citrus, sweet, candyish malt, and alcohol. Smells like dessert!

Velvety-smooth texture with full body. Starts out sweet and malty with caramel, toffee, and orange oil, then a bold, resinous bitterness sweeps over the palate, bringing some citrus & piney hop notes and fruity esters. Tangy finish lingers delightfully.

Bold, flavourful and substantial beer. The hops stand out at this young age. I imagine this will evolve over time and cellar quite nicely for many years.

ironarrow42, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of eslemarc
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber in a medium sized tulip.

Medium amber color, looks very thick, cloudy, and hazier I would have imagined. Nice cloudy cream colored head just a couple millimeters tall, stays pretty strong too. Very full thick lacing begins as the head falls. Half way down the glass the lace is still staying fairly strong.

Smells very fragrant, notes of honey, lemon, mild hints of some sweetness behind the wonderfully floral-esque hop character. Also possibly some darker fruits like cherries.

The taste starts off fairly sweet and fruity with an early onset of hop bitterness, washes over the palate with smooth texture and finishes long and bitter, very quickly warming without over powering.

With age I'd imagine this beer will become amazing as the hop bitterness subsides slightly and allows the fruit complexity to shine through. I have another bottle in the cellar that I will revisit down the road. Wonderful barley wine style ale.

eslemarc, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Jtschupp04
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Poured into a trappist glass, amber colour with off white head that settles to a remnant lingering on the surface. Smells like a sour bitter grapefruit left in the fruit bowl for some time. Sourness and bitterness reigns in this brew. Grapefruit again comes to mind on taste. Very creamy and smooth. It bites and feel its journey stomping down the throat into the stomach.

Jtschupp04, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of benetoh
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on 4/28/12

Absolutely no alcohol taste. Rich caramel and toffee, hops are almost gone which is understandable after 3 years. Slight raisin aftertaste, where hops come through a little more.

If you have one of these, you should drink it soon; I don't know how much better this will get

benetoh, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of tmgiddings
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

tmgiddings, May 04, 2010
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.

benjathelion, May 10, 2009
Photo of PalatineBrewing
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm in love. Drove all the way to indiana to sample some Stone beers, and found this 22 oz bomber at 3 floyds brewery. Read it was a barleywine @ 11% and had to take it for a try.

A: Light golden brown color with light carbonation. Pours slightly syrupy with definite hops rings on the surface after the head fades.

S: Hops and malt. Times ten.

T: Amazing deep malty flavor backed by a firm bitter hoppiness. Very well balanced for such a huge beer. The hops manage to be bitter without destroying your palate; i enjoyed this beer until the very end. The sweetness is not cloying.

M: Slightly syrupy, but not overwhelming. Goes down very easy for a barleywine.

D: When you order a barleywine you expect to get punched in the face with sweetness and/or bitterness. This one is right at the threshold for both.

Overall: Honestly - this is one of the most beautiful beers i have ever tried. I went directly to a liquor store and bought a case.

PalatineBrewing, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of JimFromVenus
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

JimFromVenus, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of MrMattC
5/5  rDev +22%

MrMattC, Apr 22, 2013
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.