Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 | Stone Brewing

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottoale on 02-06-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
335
Reviews:
247
Avg:
4.07
pDev:
10.57%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
50
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 335 |  Reviews: 247
Photo of BeanBone
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A hazy golden-orange body--much lighter than I had expected--featuring a few assorted particles in suspension. Up top, a finger of creamy whitish head that features good lacing and retention.

Aroma: Up front, lots of bright and citrusy hops catch me a little off guard. Underneath, there's a sticky toffee malt backbone and some nice tinges of booze to bring things back towards traditional Barleywine territory. Opens up a lot as it warms.

Flavor: Again, the hops start the party--they are balanced nicely in between citrusy and grassy and nicely bitter. The big rum cake and sticky toffee malt backbone holds everything down nicely, substantial enough to keep everything relatively balanced. There's something a little woody floating around, but I can't quite pin it down. Plenty of alcohol character throughout, but it never feels like double-digits. Great lingering bitterness and toffee in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: Drinks faster than the ABV suggests, but requires caution like any bomber of double-digit brew.

Verdict: Old Guardian ranks right up there with the best American Barleywines--it's complex, hoppy as hell, and satisfying to the last drop. Absolutely terrific fresh, I only wish I had been able to secure a second bottle for aging.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler procured at the Charleston Beer Exchange into a pint glass.

A - Pours reddish amber with a thin, quickly dissipating white head.

S - Floral, piny hops with a sweet tinge. There's a very subtle essence of spices, almost peppery.

T - The frontend is spicy, hoppy, flavorful, with a sweet alcohol finish.

M - Slightly thinner than medium bodied, lots of carbonation, not as viscous as some other hoppy brews.

Notes - I was told by Rich at the CBX that the dry hopped quality of the beer would give it a very interesting, floral, spicy sort of essence, and he was spot on.

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Photo of cynical1027
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of bunnyhustle
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favs, Old Guardian does not disappoint this year. Pours amber but appears ruby when held to light. Thick and creamy off-white head with good retention and moderate lacing. Smell is strong of pineapple, grapefruit and overall citrus. A caramel hops and hops presence of course. Taste is of caramel malt, some biscuit, sweet fruit, and of course hops. Nice, fresh citrus hops. A warming sensation as it goes down with its silky and full body. Overall a great beer. I cant believe I'm saying this but my only complaint is the high ABV. I wish this was just slightly lower so that it could be enjoyed longer.

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Photo of Lerxst
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought off the shelf last week at my favorite haunt.

The colour is a blushing honey tone with minimal carbonation. Head is small and doesn't stay to visit.

The nose is largely hot and alcoholic. Fusels, baby. There is a grand crusty sweetness underneath. Burnt sugar and caramel with some funky old tones.

The taste is heavy on the burnt sugar and a prominent, but appropriate and welcomed alcohol burn and dryness. Tastes are crude and raw.

The mouthfeel is like warm syrup.

The drinkability is good for the style. This one is a sipper. Watch some Survivor and nurse one.

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Photo of elniko
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of PatronWizard
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wantet my 300th review to be something special. Don't know why, guess I'm stupid, since my 300th review matters to no one. Well, screw no one, I'm happy anyway. As Stone is my favorite brewery, I decided on the '09 Barleywine.

Pours completely opaque caramel. Tan creamy head. Sheets of lacing. All as expected.

Smell is of some fresh hops; moderately strong. Did I accidentally grab a Stone IPA? Some underlying scent that reminds me of ... smoking? Not really picking up any other scents, even though I'm expecting caramel.

Taste is big time bitter yum. Hops up front. Actually reminds me of the three bombers of Arrogant Bastard I had Saturday. The '07 and '08 Old Guardians I drank awhile ago had a little age on them (2 and 1 years respectively), and I think the '07 is the best of the three vintages. I'm still much enjoying the '09 right now. It just doesn't seem like barleywine. Seems more like a thick IPA.

This thing is smooth and harsh at the same time. Cool. Thick full, produces fresh lawn hop burps.

A huge advantage to drinking Old Guardian is 11+% bitches!!! Man I love Stone. Not afraid to use some hops, not afraid to pump up the ABV fo real lushes likes I, and not afraid to call you a pussy if you can't handle their brews.

Overall: would have anytime

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Photo of TommyW
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy dark gold with nice white head the last nicely and leaves a decent lacing.

S- Lots of different fruity sweets, lots of toasted and caramel malts, some hop oils and a light alcohol.

T- Mixed fruity flavors start off and are quickly over taken by the caramel and toasted malts. It almost tastes like a stout or porter with the level of toasted malts you get. The hops come through and mixed with alcohol create a very peppery and hoppy finish.

M- Very full feel, smooth at first and then gets a little rougher as it moves to the back of the mouth.

D- My first bw, so I have nothing to compare it to. But, I have to say it is quite a nice brew and I would definitely recommend trying it.

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Photo of pest
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of grayburn
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into my snifter at around 50 degrees.

A dark amber, toward the darker end of the Barley Wine spectrum, light head with nice lacing.

A hop and alcohol assault on the nose. This beer will age beautifully, it's way too fresh. At this age it's more like a HUGE ipa.

Taste is strong barley and alcohol with a huge hoppy bite. Extemely strong flavors that will surely blend well over time, but are even enjoyable now.

Good overall mouth feel, very chewy beer.

Due to the premature trial of this brew I cannot score it's drinkability too high. Not to say it isn't great young, it's just a sipper.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of velosuds
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

 747 characters

Photo of hyuga
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.92/5  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.

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Photo of jerz
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of baybassboy
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of whoneeds8
4.11/5  rDev +1%
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.

 746 characters

Photo of thespaceman
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
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..

 1,210 characters

Photo of SpecialK088
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

 539 characters

Photo of bca115
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of jdklks
4.09/5  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.

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Photo of UA8
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.46/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of wcintula
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
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. ;-)

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing
4.07 out of 5 based on 335 ratings.
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