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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
BA SCORE
4.09/5
Exceptional
335 Ratings
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
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
247
Ratings:
335
pDev:
10.51%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
50
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 335 |  Reviews: 247
Photo of czfreeman
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this bottle at a small grocery on my way to work, $4.99, unbelievable. I have yet to sample a Old Guardian, so my impressions will not be swayed by any previous year's offerings.
Pours out a golden malted tone of amber brown, a suprisingly effervescent head appears. This appears to be a rather highly carbonated brew for a 11.3% beast. I predict dangerous drinkablity.
Initial aromas are a tad bit watery than hoped...yet a big malty backgroundbegins to emerge. Citric hops add lightness, the alcohol definatley comes through by the means of a nice spicy peppery touch. After coming to temperature, more citrus i.e. grapefruits, mango, a touch of banana peel is found, sunflower,chickpeas in a abstractly light nutty touch. Seems harmless enough,can' wait to dig in.
The lightness is found. A spicy malted mix of peppery citric fruits, pure alcoholic hoppy(happy) warmness in true form.Candied orange peel,tangerine, rummy peaches, smokiness from the toasted barleys, grainy breads are found in digging deeper in this brew. This is definatley a young, hot brew that would gain amazing complexity in a year or so of aging. Hot burbony oakiness now would gradually give way to a nice vanilla compexity.
Drinkablity is great now in that it's so damn light and warm on the palate. Imagine a Strong Brown Ale, and this is what you have. A great young Barleywine. I will have to hide a bottle or two from myself to age.

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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 whoneeds8
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind on 3/12/11 as part of Blind BIF #4

22 oz. bomber poured into a snifter.

Pours a burnt orange with a two finger pillow of cream-colored head. Virtually no lacing as I drink.

One whiff and I'm thinking this must be a barley wine or DIPA. There are huge pine and juniper notes with only the slightest hint of a malt backbone. As it warms, there's a bit more grapefruit coming to the party. As it opens up even more, there's definitely a bit more caramel on the nose.

Interesting first sip. My palate either has something going on with it or this beer has some unique hops. I get sort of a weird bitter maple up front, then a sweet honey, then a long long lingering bitterness that stings the side of the tongue. This bitter finish is incredibly citrusy with lemon and grapefruit all over the place. It's such a weird finish that it's almost a hint of sour. This is sort of a weird finish, but I like it

Pretty thin for the aroma and taste. Definitely doesn't have the body for a barleywine, but I'm definitely digging it as a IIPA. Perfect carbonation and insanely smooth. I can tell there's some heat there, but the wildness has been tamed by the brewer.

Overall, it's going down sickeningly well at cellar temp. Part of it is its complexity driving me to sip and sip, but part of it is that it's just plain good. I don't think I'd go out of my way for this beer, but if it's around, I'd probably try it again.

Still a bit confused on the style. If I had to pick something, I'd say imperial amber. It's got some malt, but not enough to be a barleywine, so it must be a DIPA. As to which one, I'm clueless.

Reveal: 2009 Old Guardian (a Want)
4/4.5/4/4/4

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Photo of HeyItsChili
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
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 MrHungryMonkey
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose is full of rich malt and strong hops. Deep roast. Juicy, almost-pungent resins. Smells quite good.

Pours a rich golden red color, good clarity, moderate head. Looks good.

All kinds of spicy herbalness. I'm hit early on with pepper, mint, and lots of thyme/sage/parsley freshness. It feels like a bouquet garni bomb went off in my mouth. Also working with this is the alcohol which I may be mistaking for sharp, pungent herbal oils. I'm trying to find the malt, no luck yet.

My senses are quite numbed by the wondrous hops and still no real malt. Stone would have done better labeling this an Imperial IPA because it's a very good one. Not the best Barleywine. Still, tastes good. Feels good. Good drinkability. It just needs a bigger malt presence.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A – Amber-orange hue with a good head that settles into nice lacing.

S – Piney hop and caramel malt, a standard but effective combo, with a slight breadiness and vodka smell.

T – The taste is mostly good hoppiness and rich malt backing with a warming alcohol presence, but there is an annoying green tea-like flavor that pops up along the way to the finish. The same unpalatable flavor is also found in Fuller’s Vintage 2008; I don’t know what it is, but I hate it. At any rate, this beer tastes good, and the specific flavor that I have so much disdain for is very scarcely present.

M – A tad thin, yet syrupy and viscous in mouthfeel.

D – Pretty good, but I go for GD’s Old Ruffian over this, and I will take Anchor’s Old Foghorn over either.

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Photo of draheim
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Pours a clear honey amber w/ a 1-finger head, a few bubbles rising from the bottom.

Aroma is clean sweet rich caramel malt, toffee, vanilla, fermented dates, dried apricots, brown sugar. Sweet, savory, complex. Gets more nutty and fruity as it warms.

Taste is sharply bitter and sticky sweet. Caramel, toffee, mushy semi-dried fruit. Booze well hidden.

Mouthfeel is sticky, chewy, lingering.

Overall a solid, well-crafted barleywine.

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Photo of BarrelO
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, the first installment of which was poured into a pint glass and the second into a goblet.

A: The requisite barleywine dark coppery color. A more vigorous pour into the goblet results in a bigger head. Little lacing.

S: A huge rush of piney, citrusy hops. Glad to see that they went back to American hops after the English hops in the 2008. Caramel malty sweetness is just as prominent.

T: An immediate onslaught of hoppy bitterness. Sweet malt keeps the hops from becoming unbearable. As it warms up, the situation reverses itself as the caramel malt takes over and the hops keep it from become cloying. Aftertaste is dominated by hoppy bitterness. Alcohol burn is noticeable but not overwhelming.

M: Thick and syrupy with good carbonation.

D: Hoo-boy. I took on the whole bomber by myself. Bad idea. By the time I finished, I was down for the count. Old Guardian wins. Flawless victory. Overall, I don't have too much experience with OG, but I definitely prefer this to 2008. It's quite impressive for a beer this big to be so drinkable right off the bat.

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Photo of TheMistler
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bit thick, sticky. A clear, rather light caramel brown with orange. A creamy, just off-white head produced by an initially roiling carbonation. Pretty solid lacing.

Sticky-sweet malt is up front in the aroma. Caramel, dough. Initially it seemed to be an all-malt nose, but as I let it sit I detected a bevy of different hop notes. Mint. Spicy citrus.

Malt up front, but then lots of sticky hops. Light caramel, but mostly indistinct sweet malt serves to prepare the palate for the hop onslaught. Herbal and grassy, made spicy and dry by significant alcohol drying. Medicinal note.

Creamy, but not without some restrained CO2 prickliness. Medium bodied, with some chewiness, as well. Definitely a sipper, but an enjoyable one. I guess I wish the malt was as developed and nuanced as the hops, but this is quite nice.

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Photo of TCgoalie
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I can't decide if this looks like caramel water, or dirty river water. Head around the edges, overall, not a normal looking beer.

Smells like my kitchen when the wort is boiling in the pot. I can't get past that smell, it is unique.

Thick taste. Presence of hops early and late. Has a very bready barley taste and I can also taste grass, honey, and pine.

Like I said above definitely thick. Very full and sweet.

It will be tough to finish this bomber.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber and orange color with a small white head. Leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smells of some herbal hops and malt sweetness. Some toffee, caramel, and alcohol notes are in there.

Tastes of the sweet malt up front followed by a herbal hop note that ends in an alcoholic finish. The malt has a caramel and some fruit flavors, which is rounded out by the other flavors. Some pine flavors are also in the hops as well.

The mouthfeel is creamy and full and has an alcoholic finish.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
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 billshmeinke
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip. I've been hanging on to this for a year. I had it when it came out, but didn't review it until now.

Darker amber/ruby/orange in color. One finger white head. Quickly dies down to a collar and wispy head. Nice spider web like lacing.

Smells deeply of caramel, toffee and sweet barley. There is some leaf, pine, and dank hops. An undertone of grapefruit hops.

Taste is rich caramel, toffee, vague dark fruits, and sweet barely. Hop flavor is still kicking as pine, grapfruit, dank and resin. Quite pleasing.

Light carbonation. Full bodied. Semi assertive small bubbles.

Good drinkability for such high abv.

 641 characters

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 SirSketch
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Huge, luscious white head that leaves a thick, beautiful lace on the sides. Between a deep amber to copper in color. Just a great looking beer!

S - Loads of grassy, earthy hops but a big malt character as well. Alcohol adds a pleasant zest.

T - Enormous bitterness hits first followed by caramel and slightly nutty malts. Acidic fruit flavors come through at the end and you are left with a lingering, dry, floral aftertaste. The alcohol is covered up pretty well, too. Awesome barleywine!

M/D - Its pretty carbonated for the style, but otherwise there is nothing I can complain about. Nothing else could have been more enjoyable on the night I proposed to my future wife!!!

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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

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

Pours a fairly deep amberish/copper/red hue.. certainly deeper and darker than an IPA so gives a good indicator of whats to come. Aroma is certainly awesome. A very balanced yet very strong mix of hop and sweet maltiness. Both are present in a very robust way, the ho is quite fruity with grapefruit and citrus while still having a bit of floral quality. Also a fairly present alcohol aroma. The sweet is sort of malty but overall also very sugary and tart. Flavor also has a good balance of hop and malt, the malt is surprisingly a bit raisiny/plum-like the way you see in a doppelbock or so. Mouth is fairly viscous for the stlye, full-bodied and very nice. Overall its definitely very good. Its not quite perfect and certainly can be a bit in-your-face for some, but still overall very good.

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Photo of Rhynes2
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first barley wine ever. I was very impressed by it. Honey is the best word i have to describe the taste of this brew. For such a high alcohol content i have to say that it blends in perfectly. I have been a fan of stone brews for a while now and this is just another excellent example of great stone beers. Head retention was great but no lacing on the way down the glass. Color was a darker honey gold. Great buy on this one, I'll definitely buy this one again.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.17/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of scottoale
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The limited Early 2009 Release, of course. Poured into a Duvel tulip, a chill-hazed, apricot amber-gold with a thick and creamy finger of off-white head. The head settles to the surface leaving a thick sheet of lace clinging to the glass. Great looking brew.

Caramalty and fruity sweet, with an overdose of hops lurking beneath. A slight roast and earthiness to the nose as well.

Big malty brew with a nice big hop balance. Quite tasty fresh this year, but still a bit raw and will smooth out very nicely with a year or two on it. I really like Old G thats been aged, compared to it fresh. Too much prune and fig when fresh, citrus flavor from the hops keep it in check. Needs to meld.

Big body and plenty of carbonation that's right for the style, as it holds up for ageing. It's more noticed in the mouth than visually and the mouthfeel is slightly astringent at this point. The alcohol is very well masked for a whopping 11.3% ABV.

Definetly worth trying this fresh and popping a few in the cellar for improvement. Big, bad Stone gnarleywine!

 1,049 characters

Photo of TommyW
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
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 naterock
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of RankRefugee88
4.19/5  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.

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

Always look forward to Old Guardian. With all these excellent reviews its hard to think of something to add other than to say this beer begs to be cellared. Its great fresh but to me, this beer could seriously go the distance in a cellar. I recently took a trip o San Diego and while there my friend broke out the 06 Guardian he saved that I sent him long ago, it was fantastic. A word of caution though, this beer is one of those beers that seriously will catch up on me, maybe you too, so enjoy all that it is and don't over indulge.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2009 from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 335 ratings
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