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Old Izaak - Whim Ales

Not Rated.
Old IzaakOld Izaak

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

46 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Whim Ales visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brent
4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A very nice beer. Lots of caramel malt at the front, with a slight to moderate hops bittering at the finish. Very smooth and easy to drink.

Brent, Sep 12, 2001
Photo of Slatetank
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Slatetank, May 24, 2013
Photo of beerkittycat
4.72/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Every so often a beer comes along that when you taste it for the first time the word, "Wow" is said immediately after you swallow. Appearance is crystal-clear brown with ruby highlights and a lazy tan head. Decent lacing. Aroma is full of black-strap molasses, treacle, bitter chocolate, and maybe a hint of peat smoke. Grassy hops dance across your nose and blend with the complex malt aromas that remind me of what I think an English countryside might smell like after a soft rain. Taste (Wow) is all of the above but more intensified and balanced by a rather restrained hop bitterness for an ESB, but the mouthfeel is medium to medium-full and along with restrained carbonation it is spot-on for the style. A very tasty beer.

beerkittycat, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of kylesobrien
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a shade of cola brown, with a fairly thin and slightly brown head. Smells of raisins, plums and toffee. Fairly opaque; I can hardly see anything through the glass.

The flavor is relatively complex; this is a dark British ale, after all, and it would be a shame to serve it ice cold. The first taste is a mix of fruitcake, toffee, apple, plum and faintly hoppy flavors. Subsequent sips present a definite candied fruit and dark bread character -- I'm pleasantly surprised. I've only had the opportunity to sample a few bottled British ales, and of those I'm most reminded of Fuller's 1845. I realize this is an ESB, but it reminds me less of that Fuller's standard and more of the former. I'm certainly a big fan of the 1845, but I think I might like this one even more. To be perfectly honest, I'd not seen this one previously, and decided to snag a bottle since my local shop had only one left on the shelf. Now I see why.

If you enjoy ESBs and dark British ales with complex flavors, I highly recommend this selection. A particularly fine bottled example in the style of true real ales. Delicious.

kylesobrien, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of daliandragon
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An interesting looking presentation..took me a while to figure out that was a fishing lure on the label. This is a good looking beer..dark cider color with lots of sediment and thick foamy head..very English looking, if I may be allowed a stereotype. Roasted malt is the major player in the nose with yeast, hops (noble?) and a faint hint of pine rounding out an appetising odor indeed.
Some great malt flavor in this one, the black and crystal varieties both representing particulary well in my first sip. There is some fruit tendrils as well, culminating in a mild but delicious bitterness that remind me of the best English bitters and Scottish ales and wee heavies, minus the extra alcohol. Mouthfeel is very smooth and pleasing. The aftertaste is mellow with a touch of smokiness to it.
This beer is very well put together. No one characteristic dominates the flavor but each ingredient adds a nice component to the overall melange. definitely will be looking for more from these qualty Derbyshire microbrewers.

daliandragon, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep reddish-walnut color, small (typically English) head.

Aroma: Very little smell, with only a small malt aroma with a slight tartness.

Flavor: Rich nutty malt flavor, with a very nice earthy bitterness and hop flavor, with fruity yeast character, and finishing with enough acidity for a tart, sour, slightly sulfurish finish.

Body: Medium, yet slightly tingly, carbonation and mouthfeel.

A very quaffable ('quaffable' is just about my favorite drinking word) English beer, absolutely top-notch for a bottled beer of the style (except for the small aroma).

allengarvin, Jan 04, 2005
Photo of ThreePistols
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich brown color with a red hue. Short head, lasted well, some lace. Hops nose with roasted caramel malt. Smooth and rich. Loads of toasted caramel malt flavor up front followed by an apple sweetness. Long lasting aftertaste.

Excellent blend of pale, crystal and black malts flawlessly balanced with Northdown hops bitterness.

I Love English Ales! Skoal.

ThreePistols, Oct 17, 2002
Photo of Imbiber
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle came from American Beer Distributors, Brooklyn.

Reddish-brown in colour with a tan-coloured head. Aroma is slightly malty and a touch earthy. Flavour is rich in malt with some caramel and fruit but with a balance of hops; quite complex and satisfying. Aftertaste is balanced sweetness and maltiness, quite assertive.

A very nice beer with interesting qualities.

Imbiber, Jan 26, 2004
Photo of bigblueheron
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've become a loyal fan of this somewhat obscure offering. This is a handsome, warm and friendly-looking beer. Rich mahogany in color. And such a clean floral smell with a hint of apples. It pours with a 2-finger head that settles to a lasting 1 mm thick frothy layer. Nice lace, also. At first it feels sparkley and thin on the tongue. Let it breath for a while and it becomes smooth and creamy. Very flavorful - fruity at first, then malty with notes of caramel and toffee; finishes dry and bitter. Great with food, I enjoyed this with a naked Joey Bag o' Donuts from Moe's. I've heard this is a great selection to take fishing. I wouldn't know . . . I golf. But, I'd certainly throw 1 or 2 in my bag.

bigblueheron, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of oberon
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red/orange mixture with a big rocky head that sticks like glue to the glass I didnt expect that large of a head I have to say.Very English in aroma some dried fruit and bready malt with a metallic note lingering.Now this is what an ESB should taste like in my opinion,on the malty side very fruity and lightly caramelly sweet with a enough herbal hoppiness to make it extremeley balanced and extremely easy to drink.How good on cask would this be,I will likely never know but I can dream thats for sure.

oberon, Dec 18, 2004
Photo of UnionMade
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color, with a moderate antique white head. The head lasts forever, well beyond the beer in the glass. Very rich looking ale. I'm excited!
Aroma is seriously malty and powerful. Light estery fruitiness, english hops, and lots of malt. Apple and pear, with perhaps a touch of clovey spiciness. That could be the hops, though.
Flavor is strong and decidedly british. Carbonation is british, which seems to be slightly lower and smoother than american brews. Somewhat spicy hop finish, with a nutty aftertaste. Smooth for it's presence. I am loving every sip of this beer, and I can't wait to hit HalfTime again to get another one.

UnionMade, Aug 06, 2003
Photo of zerk
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy deep amber brown, with a fine lace of white on top. Very malty aroma, with some fruity and spicy hops. Flavor is intese upfront, with malt, a touch of smoke and dried fruit, and some spicy hops, with a dry, crisp finish. Medium bodied, with a fairly high carbonation. A very good ESB.

zerk, Sep 19, 2002
Photo of LJWalker
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

LJWalker, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of blackie
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Tan colored head. Reddish brown in color.

smell: sweet, estery, earthy, slight hop spiciness, fruity

taste: malty sweetness, woody, well balanced, finishes with a lingering hop bitterness

mouthfeel: slight carbonation

I like the name's origins.

blackie, Jun 06, 2005
Photo of niknar
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark reddish-brown color with a light almond head that builds quite nicely. The bulk of the head disappears fairly rapidly, but leaves a very nice collar and good lacing. Aroma is of sweet malt with faint hints of spices and citrus notes. Very sweet. Flavor is quite good with more spices (the type of spice is lost to me) and malt coming through. Definitely some hints of roasted malt underneath as well. Finishes quite sweet but leaves the slightest hint of citrus sourness at the back of the mouth that accompanies a hint of lingering hop bitterness. An excellent balance in combination. Mouthfeel is right on for what I would expect - full bodied but not over-powering in any way. This is a highly drinkable beer and well worth trying!

niknar, Jul 03, 2005
Photo of hotstuff
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite styles of beer.When poured, this beer had a medium sized tan head with fine-medium bubbles.There was carbonation observed and the body was dense.The hue was reddish brown and this beer left a fair amount of lacing on the sides of my glass.The nose was that of alcohol, malt and spices.The flavor was bitter, dry, mild and also alcohol.The mouthfeel was smooth and light-medium bodied.All in all, a very fine English Strong Ale in my opinion.

hotstuff, Aug 13, 2003
Photo of Reverand
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional beer. Deep brown color with tan colored head that clung to the side. Very smooth taste with a dry crisp aftertaste. A perfect balance of hops that encourages another glass.

Reverand, Mar 29, 2002
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with ruby tints when held up to the light, with a nice, creamy head that doesn't last very long. Quite pretty.

The aroma is very very nice. Sweet, sweet-bread, aromatic, rich herbs (hops, I guess), and hints of fruity complexities I note in Belgian strong dark ales. I was expecting a high ABV beer based on the aroma alone.

The flavor follows through, with hints of smokiness and slight tartness on the edges. Pretty nice. Not what I think of when I think ESB, but hey, they is still very good. A full flavored beer that stands up and gives you something to enjoy.

Dukeofearl, Jun 10, 2005
Photo of hooligan
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown opaque beer with a thin bubbly head that clings to the side of the glass. Caramel and grainy smell, faint fruitiness, with no aroma of hops. Very robust roasted malt bitterness upfront, more savory then sweet, very roasted and dry. Caramel/toffee flavors are present but also quite dry. Excellent herbal hop flavor that cuts through the dry malt character, slight floral, grassy hop astringency at the finish. Cleans well on the palate and has an excellent roasted character. Prickly mouthfeel on a clean and thin bodied beer... great beer, very interesting and unique for the style.

hooligan, Mar 03, 2002
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear crimson color, with a light, thinnish head atop.
Aroma: mild fruit, berry and grape, tiny hops.
Taste: a meeting of malt and hop that ends in equilibrium, and adds up to refreshment. A very tasty ale, fruity character being largest, nice hop component, warm, lush malt.
Medium bodied, slightly bitter finish. Very mellow, but brimming with flavor, smooth and tasty, ...everything a good ale ought to be.
this is very nice, one of the best English Ales I've had in a long, long time.

Next time I go fishing, I'l take some of these along!

feloniousmonk, May 20, 2005
Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a ruby red/brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades. The aroma is excellent. It has a creamy caramel scent that is slightly bitter and sweet. It is quite aromatic. The taste is good. It has a thin, bitter flavor that finishes creamy and full of pale and caramel malts. It has a woody aftertaste to it like it was stored in barrels. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good tasting ESB. It's true to style and full of malty flavor; a good drinker.

WesWes, Mar 09, 2005
Photo of Suds
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

½ liter bottle with a fishing lure on the label and an explanation that the beer is named after the writer of The Compleat Angler (go figure).
Pours a dark, muddy, brown color. Moderate carbonation with a thin, but sticky, tan head. The aroma is a mix of yeast, caramel, and sweet-smelling malts. The brew has a soft, slightly sweet taste. It’s extremely soft and smooth. At times it can be tongue-coating, with just a bit of oiliness. Finish has a tasty hop bite. This is a solid English ESB.

Suds, Aug 07, 2004
Photo of Bookseeb
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance has a hazy light brown color with a fair head that dissapates leaving no lace. Smell of rich caramel malts and dark fruits. Taste has an interesting earthy sweetness to the malts that is nicely balanced with the hops having a clean finish in the end. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. I've drank many of pints over in England and Scotland and I'd say this is a fair comparison.

Bookseeb, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: One pint, .9oz brown bottle with raised glass of hop vines below the neck of the bottle. Noted on the bottle that this ale was named after the 17th century author, Sir Isaak Walton. Freshness date clearly scored.

Appearance: Rusty reddish in colour with a ever so creamy and bubbly lace which even leaves a few rings around the glass.

Smell: Fresh cut pie apples and a slight herbal hop in the nose.

Taste: Very very smooth with a dry crisp medium body, lots of flavours hit in the front ... nice malt character with hints of apple in the fruitiness and a mild sweetness that has a touch of caramel also. Hops are perfect with a level bitterness that keeps this brew on an even keel and lingers for a long time. The end gets even better with a pinch of chocolate and toasted grain in the finish.

Notes: Goes down very easy, on the label it says its a "Traditional English Ale" so we assumed its an Old Style Bitter. A well built ale and a sure treat to quaff.

Jason, Apr 10, 2002
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark red brew.

Smell is malty and a bit of apple and bready with a faint soy sauce scent.

Taste is a bit sweet and a bit bitter. Mild fruit and molasses taste. A mild tasty ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is excellent, mild tasty brew.

Zorro, May 30, 2004
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Old Izaak from Whim Ales
89 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.