Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2009)
Stone Brewing

Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2009)Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2009)
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Style:
American Barleywine
ABV:
11.3%
Score:
91
Avg:
4.09 | pDev: 10.51%
Reviews:
248
Ratings:
338
From:
Stone Brewing
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  6
Gots
  51
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2009)Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2009)
Notes:
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Reviews: 248 | Ratings: 338
Reviews by zeff80:
Photo of zeff80
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled in August 2011

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a small, head of bubbly, off-white foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very malty and sweet. Lots of caramel and toffee with some floral notes.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel and toffee. Nice spicy bitterness with a slight citrus kick.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A dry finishing beer that is medium to full bodied.

O - This is a very good barleywine, but I still enjoy the '08 better. I think aging these is a very good thing.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of DoctorB2B
4/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

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Photo of kegger22
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 release (just had a bomber of 2008 a few days ago).

Poured a hazy, dark orange with a one finger head that slowly faded to a thick skin. The aroma was rather more hoppy than malt. The taste was much more bitter than the 2008. I like hops (though not quite yet a hophead, I'm getting there), but I preferred the malted balance of '08. Yes sweet was there, and more so as it warmed, but I still favor last year's release. This one is good though. The feel was medium bodied with little carbonation. Drinkability was good for a high ABV.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, so this is a little over a year old now. Opened with a nice little pop and smoke, very reminiscent of my first '08 Double Bastard a while back. Poured this into an oversized wine glass. Pours a very nice translucent red with a small but nice creamy off-white head, leaves nice lacing. Looks great in this glass. Sediment in the 2nd pour makes it a bit hazier. I'm trying hard to pick up scents but they seem quite faded, maybe because of the age. I pick up barleywine characteristics such as dark fruit, caramel and booze but they are slight. The taste, although very good, is quite muted as well. It seems at first that it's turned into a total malt bomb, but about halfway through the hops are just about even with the malts. Underneath a huge blanket of caramel malt lies some nice citrus tastes and sugary dark fruits, and a bit of chocolate and baked goods, which seems to come into play alot with Stone's strong ales, I always enjoy that part especially. Booze is very nicely hidden. It's hard to say whether age has done this beer good or not, I love the malty sweetness and hidden booze, but the flavors themselves aren't as "in your face" as I like in a barleywine. Mouthfeel is nice and very malty. The hops seem to come out of nowhere. As with pretty much any barleywine a bomber is quite sufficient. Paired nicely with some spicy Chinese food. Definitely encouraged me to pick up a fresh 2010 bottle, I may pick up another 2009 if I see one floating around.

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Photo of MordorMongo
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

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.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of BostonBrewins
3.67/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy, glowing copper with a white head which dissipated quickly.

S - Floral and citrus hops hit my nose before as I was pouring it. Fragrant and powerful.

T - Earthy and citrus hoppy notes dominate this beer. Biscuity and caramel tones shine in the background. Alcohol is definitely there, but its surprisingly subtle.

M - Mouth feel is full bodied and creamy, perhaps a bit syrupy.

D - A nice brew to sip on. The 11% abv is hidden nicely making this very drinkable. I would have guessed it was 7-8% A good example of the American barley wine style.

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Photo of mjgarrett2
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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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.

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Photo of xanok
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle.

A-Pours a orange/amber color that is quite cloudy. The beer is right out of the fridge, so any head that was there was gone quickly. It left some nice lacing.

S-Hints of vanilla and citrus fruit. Grapefruit perhaps? A little bit of hops and malt.

T-Citrus flavor on the palate immediately, and gone almost as fast. Caramel and toasted undertones. There's a bit of booziness to it.

M-Fairly heavy overall with the carb and the body. Could have a bit more chewiness to it.

D- A bit of boosiness like I mentioned, but overall a great brew. Not my favorite of this style, but great nonetheless.

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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

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Photo of moonknight31
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad to see this annual gem of a beer show up here in NC somewhat early.Poured into a imperial nonic a dull somewhat hazed burnt orange with a tight formed 1/2 finger white head that never really completely subsides, just a creamy mass with broken lace behind.Big pine resin in the nose along with dark fruit and brown sugar.Full on thick mouth coating mouthfeel but not overly so,just lush.Strong flavors on the palate with the alcohol really coming thru,big resiny hop intermingled with sweet alcohol and dark fruit are the big flavor components,as the beer warmed the alcohol became more prevelant.Abeer to hold on to as its big and raw right now,ah but raw is great!

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Photo of ryanonline
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.

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

This beer poured a clear red amber color and formed a small foamy light tan head that left latticed lace as it quickly subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, pine, grapefruit and caramel. The flavor was of malt, hops, caramel and citrus. The body is medium light and slightly creamy and the finish bittersweet.

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Photo of ROBSTARR
5/5  rDev +22.2%

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.

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Photo of TheJollyHop
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber brown, a finger's worth of off white head, sticky, scattered lace.

Floral, toast, butterscotch, and bready sweetness prevalent in the aroma.

Sadly, the taste falls short with too aggressive of a burnt toast flavor. Some cocoa flavor in the taste is noticeable along with some grainy sweetness, but then a torrent of hop bitterness dominates and turns into an excessively harsh burnt, bitter after taste.

Medium bodied and medium carbonated; creamy and tongue coating.

While drinkabilty is fine, the flavor is not very palate enticing.

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Photo of hyuga
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of evilkalla
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of far333
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazed and murky deep orangey copper with a thick head of beige foam that rises up to a chunky head.

Big aroma of pine sap, overripe apple, citrus hops, honey, toffee and brown sugar.

Rich and complex flavor that fairly matches the nose, a little sharper on the tongue, probably from the ABV. Good balance of hops and malt, grapefruit pith and pine lingers.

Rich and full mouthfeel, tingly carbonation, definite warming on the tip of the tongue and the cheeks.

Very tasty and drinkable beer, but I'm gonna sip this one slowly for sure.

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Photo of dudeabides76
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Andreji
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

so i'm having a bottle that says "limited early 2009 release" so i guess this is the right one.

Oh god. spontaneous purchase @ a d'agostino on the upper east side. not planning on buying beer but, what the heck.

dark, orange pour. oh it seems transluscent, but hold it up against a light and you'll feel the straightforward, matte orange. I mean, if you were a synesthesic, this would sound like a tv when there's only blue and no transmission. shocking. kinda scary indeed.

smell is aggressive right off. sure there's malt, and a citrusy feel like you're venturing on a pop named orange-something. but folks, below lies a considerable hoppy feel. it hides nothing from the nose, this one's go'n bite hard, so you might as well ball-up.

indeed.

taste no.1: overwhelmed.
taste no.2: drawing closer, still too much.
tatste no.3: call me corny, but this one nailed it. a hop surprise to the bone, very suspiciously charged malts right off the bat. the burnt caramel sort of tries to lure you but it's second head brings a scotch flavour in while a spit of undeniable hops rides your tongue till its death. this beer's all contrasts and definetly hard to define. alcohol's nowhere to hide, it's too obvious but still the beer's so bizarre it might as well not hide but try to shine. this is a monster, indeed friends, one worthy of an old guardian and a young robust one as well, this could kill a man if only he'd dare not sample it but binge it instead.

careful.

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2009) from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 338 ratings