Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2009) - Double Dry-Hopped | Stone Brewing

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11 Ratings

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by seaoflament on 03-18-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by baos:
Photo of baos
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into Atlas Good luck jar

A: 4 finger ecru head. Good head retention over a nice amber body. Good lacing.

S: Piney hops, hops, and more hops. A bit of malt. Honey and some booziness.

T: Huge hops and honey liqueur on the back. Ends pretty dry.

M: decent.

D: Pretty strong. I wouldn't make this a session beer. But then again this is the first review I've do in so many months. Good beer try one on. It fits nicely.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of shark262
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Color is copper/amber and is opaque. Low carbonation which is appropriate for style. Hardly any head on this beer.

Aroma of citrus hops are up-front. Brown sugar and toasted malt smells quickly follow. Almost a bourbon-like character at the end of the aroma. Very inviting.

Tastes amazing - hops hit first with currant/fig aftertaste and a very smooth alcohol warmth finishes. Much more drinkable than I expected at 11.3% alc/vol. There is a lasting impression of hop bitterness after each sip which invites me to try more.

Carbonation does a nice job of moving the flavors around my palette. Fairly crisp and not syrupy for a big beer.

Very drinkable...maybe a touch less hops would work too. Overall I recommend this beer - a great find.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a snifter at Sunset for lunch on a day off...

Pours an exceptionally clear copper light bourbon color. I'm amazed that this looks so clean. The head is solid, bready and chunky with decent lacing and retention.

Well, as expected there are copious amounts of citric hops in here. Still, there's just enough creamy vanilla and slight bourbon booze to balance out nicely alongside the large caramel malt backbone and sweetness. More hoppy and crisp than the average barleywine but I'm guessing that's by design.

It's interesting to see how the big hop presence lightens this up. One would think it would taste more like a solid hop-bomb DIPA...and it's true. Light and refreshing for a barleywine? You kiddin' me? There is the alcohol presence - a little bit on the vanilla and bourbon side on point with its nose. Maltiness is prevalent but also quite clean with a light butterscotch/caramel tint. Good citrus and slight floral presence from the bushels of hops in here.

It may not be true to style but the palate feel is downright crisp - the sweet booze and caramel malt don't overpower. It seems like the huge quantities of ingredients here resemble a championship team full of superstars. They all have incredible egos but have dialed it down for the good of the team in the quest for greatness. Beautiful Chemistry is quite prevalent here.

One detriment to the "light and crisp" quotient here...it's wayyy too drinkable. This ingests very easily and with the huge ABV punch it packs, be wicked careful.

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Photo of dhd1491
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lots of different flavors going on and not as over-the-top as some barleywines. Still, a powerful "sippin" brew; not one that you're going to want to pound down. Of the few barleywines I've tried so far, this is one of the better ones.

Lots of ripe fruit and berries in the flavor. Butter and toffee, too. A nicely complex brew. My expectations have been met or exceeded by Stone with every one of their beers that I have sampled.

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Photo of hansendc
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a slightly sticky, quickly dissipating head. Red and cloudy in the glass.

This beer's smell is it's distinguishing mark. It is quite unique. My first thought was of fruitcake or even some kind of wine. I have no idea with what they dry-hopped this thing, but it really works.

Everything else is typical Stone, very good. It is hoppy but bot harsh or overwhelming. With an abv this high, it must be syrupy, but it does not come off that way.

If you like old ale or barleywine, do not miss this one.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: amber orange with a small yet resilient and frothy head.

Nose: flowery hops, alcohol

Taste: strong (11.3% ABV), wow, heavy hops and a complex sweetness, resiny, bites in the beginning with a smooth finish, the hops are present all the way through

Mouthfeel: smooth and resiny like heated syrup

Drinkability: yet another beer to sip and enjoy with food. I recomment spicy, high fat or rich foods.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Abraxas, South Beach. Double-dry hopped in this case.

A - Served in a St. Bernardus chalice, it was a standard barleywine amber-orange. Very little head, no retention, no lacing, which I found odd given the vast amount of hops present.

S - Citric hops overwhelm the nose of this one, as I would expect. I smelled no alcohol, nor any fruity esters. The hop aroma was great, but it would have been nice to get a little more out of the nose than just hops.

T - At first, this seems one-dimensional, like an over-hopped Double IPA without much malt backing, not too substantively different from a Ruination or Avery Maharaja. However, the malt does gradually open up in layers as it warms, revealing a slightly more complex brew than initially thought. I picked up notes of chocolate on further warming - don't be in a hurry to drink this one. Still, I find this to be a very "clean" barleywine - I find the Stone yeast similar to the Rogue yeast in that it really dries things out and doesn't throw off many esters. One of the drier barleywines I've encountered, which really contributes to drinkability.

F - Very full mouthfeel, as expected. Can be sticky - this beer made me very thirsty. Have a tall glass of water on hand.

D - Fearsome drinkability, given its dryness, and the propensity for its considerable hop character to cover up basically all the considerable alcohol. Very dangerous, when the taps are flowing.

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Photo of BeerNemesis
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Old Guardian Barley Wine 2009. 1 pint, 6 oz. bottle. AGED

On the label:
Stone "Old Guardian" Barley Wine Style Ale. Limited Early 2009 release (I'm having it a little over a year later).

Poured into a snifter. Thick amber orange. It's opaque and looks barely carbonated. The fact that there's almost no head is appropriate to the style -- a solitary island drifts aimlessly in the stagant copper pool of barleywine. Upon close inspection, I see unfiltered bits suspended and swirling below the surface.

Citrus hops upfront, and a thick overwhelming wheat aroma -- something a bit like bourbon. It's warm, inviting, but very alcoholic.

Palate smacking, resiny hops of currant and fig. Maybe there's some plum in there. The malt opens up in layers as it warms. It's quite sweet and very alcoholic. After a year, I think the carbonation has died down a bit -- a shame considering it could use something a little more uplifting. This one's a pensive drink, clearly meant to be enjoyed in sips.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability:
Thick, not too sticky or syrupy though. Overall, I prefer it to Rogue's "Old Crustacean". Some reviews seem to say that the hops cover up the alcohol. Maybe. But not after it ages. Alcohol is definitely there.

I'm not a huge fan of barley wines. I have tried to be as fair as possible, but I can't claim to like them in particular. If the review is unrightfully skewed towards the low end, I apologize in advance. Consider adding a +0.5 to s, t, m, and d to account for the imbalance.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Okay, I was not expecting to find this little treasure on tap at Sierra Grille (Northampton). Hooray! This is why you go to beer bars!

Pours a nice orangey/tangerine color into a snifter glass. Half an inch of stark white head makes for quite a presentation.

Smells of citrusy super fresh hops with a lot of syrupy sweetness to follow. Its a very good smelling beer, it reminded me a little of SN Bigfoot when its super fresh on tap.

Taste is an immediate blast of nice super citrusy fresh hops, not that piney grapefruity taste you get from some dIPA, but something a little more kept in check by the immense amount of malt backbone this beer has. I've yet to have a glass of the regular Old Guardian, so I feel a bit spoiled.

At 11.3%, that is just scary. I could drink more of this than I'd like to think before it put me into a coma. Great stuff. I feel lucky to have found it on tap tonight! Finding this gem on tap reminded me why I love beer so much, the element of suprise and the sheer joy of a great beer placed in front of you at a great bar. Cheers!

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Photo of seaoflament
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I see there has been other entries for "double dry hopped" beers so I'm adding this one separately.

Had this one on tap tonight at La Bella Pizza.

Pours a copper and caramel color with a very thin head.

Caramel notes upfront with some low citrus and spicy notes. Subtle fruits hidden in the background...really not as hoppy as I thought it would be.

Toast, caramel, and citrus bitterness that hold on to the palate for a few moments on the first sip, but it drops off in the following sips. Initial bitterness and toast but every other sip it seems like halfway thought the flavors just drop off a cliff. Alcohol flavors develop in the finish as it warms up.

Very well carbonated, smooth and easy to drink.

I gotta say, I was expecting more out of this one.

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Photo of capra12
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed solo on 8/18/09 at 11am... special thanks to Marrianne for answering the phone when I called.

Appearance: Dark tan.

Smell: Sweet grains.

Taste: Opens with a sweet doughiness which carryover to the end. From the middle to the end the bitter hops and alcohol take over leaving a malty and hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, coarse and leave my mouth dry.

Drinkability: Not a bad brew but I would rather have an IPA.

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (2009) - Double Dry-Hopped from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 11 ratings