Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) AleOlde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

424 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 424
Reviews: 297
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 25
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Greene King / Morland Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-14-2002)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 424 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pegasus:
Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep amber brown in color with a modest off-white head, which soon fades to a scattering of foam on the surface. Thin, fine-beaded lacing coats the glass walls. Before a light, fat, slow-rising carbonation can be seen.

Aroma: Caramel and spices dominate the aroma, there is a wood note as well, somewhat like old oak

Taste: Opens with dark caramel and toasted malt. As the taste progresses, a slightly smoky, wood flavor appears. Towards the background of the taste, understated mildly earthy hops as present as well, rising from the middle of the taste to a modest presence at the close.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, very pleasant, full.

Drinkability/notes: Well-crafted and elegant.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom embossed pint bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a Samuel Adam Boston Lager sensory glass.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poures a deep brown with some ruby-like tint to it with almost no head to it,very nice aroma of oak and caramel with some brown sugar.A real sipping brew here to savor the different flavors some big oaky notes along with some brown sugar and caramel with this,an almost cola-like flavor as well, as it warms the oak comes thru even more.A real nice old, ale here one to savor.

Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of Zakk
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine April 2007.

Olde Suffolk is a blend of two beers; one is a 12 percent Strong Beer that was aged in oak for two years, and the other is a fresh Pale Ale of 5 percent ABV. It says "Caramel Color Added" on the label. Is it necessary to add coloring to beer?

Light and faint spritzy carbonation conjures up a finger of bubbly head that sticks to the glass a bit. The clarity is fine with this garnet-tinged brown brew. Hints of vanilla, toffee, Portuguese sweetbreads and date sugar in the aroma. Creamy, slick mouthfeel with an underlying smoothness in a full body. Lots of malt action going on here; sweetness is kept to a minimum or at least does not stray too far to be cloying. Suggestions of ripe dates; toffee or brittle; mild, roasted, sweetened coffee; and a musty diacetyl in the back. Hop character is modest, with a faded herb flavor, middle to end. Grain husk and some cooked veggies in the finish.

For anyone who likes to explore complex, malty beers, this one will captivate you. But you have to wonder what the 12 percent Strong Beer tasted like on its own. Boursin cheese and basil-stuffed chicken breast over Parmesan risotto is a very appealing pairing.

Photo of t8000shx
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a .5L bottle into a tulip

Deep auburn, opaque at the center, translucent along the sides. It's an attractive beer. I botched the pour a bit so didn't get much of a head, but the little I produced was cream colored and did not stay around too long. Probably my fault.

Glad I drank out of a tulip glass, nicely intensified the aroma. Some dark fruit, plum certainly, some raisins/currants, too. Not particularly strong, but satisfying and appealing.

My first thought is fruitcake, or one of those chocolate bars with the nuts and fruit in it. Some mild cherry I didn't identify in the nose, but in hindsight I was smelling it. Caramel, a little oak, perhaps some mild vanilla, and a quick, scarcely existent hit of bitter from hops. All of this was very well balanced, arrived and left smoothly, with some of the fruit lingering.

Even as it warmed up, never got too sticky. Less carbonated, consistent with the style. Drank like a heavier version of a brown ale, but far from anything you would call Imperial, and certainly not as heavy as other, higher octane old ales.

Fantastically drinkable. This beer strikes a perfect balance between bold flavors and drinkability. The beer dork in me says I'm drinking a big, aged, sophisticated beer, and the responsible worker drone in me says I'm drinking a beer that won't kill me tomorrow if I have a couple. It's a damn shame it's not easier to find. If you have a store near you that carries it, I strongly recommend picking some up. I should add that I poured mine too cold and it warmed up as I drank, and I enjoyed it across the entire range. I recommend drinking colder than some of you normally drink an old ale, definitely no warmer than 55, in my opinion.

Photo of sponberg
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown. When I popped the cap, this sucker foamed - but when I poured it, it had little if any head. Weird. Aroma of butter and molasses, toasted wheat toast - appetizing.

Very buttery on the palate - smooth, oily, hints of diacetyl but not from Ringwood. Then the flavors expand - coffee, chocolate, bitter hop, molasses, and a certain hardness that I can't put my finger on. Undercurrents of alcohol are also present. Finishes with a molasses and toffelike flavor that works well. Simply unbeatable with a well-aged cheddar. Very drinkable, as I keep trying to nurse another sip out of my empty glass. Very complex, eminently drinkable brew - three of these, a fire in the fireplace, and a hunk of 5 year old Balderson's cheddar would be an evening fit for a king.

Photo of merlin48
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pint bottle pours a dark and clear ruby mahogany body with a small beige head that falls into an enticing film and collar with minimal sheet lacing.
Aroma is robust and complex. Molasses and toffee open a powerful malt character, with fresh baked bread, herbal hops, fresh concord grapes, plums, raisins, and vanilla oak tones adding to the bountiful bouquet.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied,creamy, with appropriate low carbonation.
Several layers of malt complexity are featured in the taste. Toffee, molasses, and maple syrup are apparent, but never overly sweet. Aged oak notes let you know that this has been in the barrel for awhile. Prunes, raisins, and fresh Concord grapes lead the fruity component. Some mild chocolate is noted in the middle, and some dry herbal hops bitterness emerges at room temperature. Wow! Lots of complexities in this one. Finish is slightly bitter, but you're left with an aftertaste that evokes all the many flavors enjoyed as you plow through the glass.
Lacks the punch to be a winter warmer, but the drinkability is excellent. An exceptional array of flavors are displayed from start to finish. Give me three bottles of this and I could spend a full afternoon and evening trying to decipher the complexities of this magnificent ale. This is one of the better English ales I've enjoyed recently. I look forward to getting my paws on a few more of these.

Photo of kaneel
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of innominat
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of magictrokini
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much better than the Speckled Hen. Mahogany pour with nearly no head. Earthy, malty, oak aroma that is very sweet. Velvety mouthfeel. Smooth taste of caramel malt and some vanilla mellowness from the oak. Slight bitterness in the back. Nicely balanced.

Photo of juicebox
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of ADR
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark ruby-brown color, nice 1/2 inch head that holds an elevated "ring" inside the pint glass. Dank aroma, a little molasses. Nice roasty flavors that persist to the swallow. Coffee flavors, a little raisin, and chocolate. Some sense of grape, as well. Nice complex malt flavor. A blend of an "Old" Ale with a new batch, this brew reminds me of the blended beers of "yore"...very nice stuff.

Photo of goast8127
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

ST: Pint poured into a wine glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown with a fluffy brown head. It leaves nice lacing. When held to the light, dark ruby red tints take over the beer, and very slowly rising carbonation bubbles can be seen.

S: Roasted malt, toffee, caramel, and fruit.

T: A lot more flavor than the nose suggested, it beings fairly fruity. Mid-way through the flavor switches to light malt and slight toffee. The finish has slight vanilla, nuts, and roasted malts hold center stage along with a bit of oak (a slight burnt taste lingers on the tongue).

M: Surprisingly light, the finish even feels a bit watery.

D: It has some nice flavor, and it is light. The bottle does not list the alcohol percentage, though I would guess it is 5.5 or 6 percent.

Overall: I met someone that went to England and swore up and down about the quality of this beer. With that in mind, I picked it up to try. It has nice flavor and a bit of complexity, and it blends the alcohol very nicely. However, its light and watery mouthfeel distracts true enjoyment. It could use more body. This is not a bad beer, but it is not an excellent beer.

Photo of rastaman
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

an awesome little english strong ale, an excellent blend between, malt and hops, medium body with a dry finish, i like it a lot.

Photo of Melchizedek
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep murky slightly red-tinged brown with a well-formed but slightly uneven tan head. Aroma is sweet malt, with alcohol noticeable and a little dark fruit/raisin.

Plenty going on in flavor, some caramel, some slight burnt and oaky character, spice, a light touch of bitterness and lightly floral hop, warming alcohol, a bit metallic, fairly light and dry mouthfeel for the depth.

Tasty, solid brew. With some cheese and bread, this would make a great meal.

Photo of IntriqKen
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark tea color with a half finger of white that melted to a ring of white only slightly sticky.
Aroma is very toasty amber malts with a touch of dark brown sugar and a little vinegar. (as a side note, my non-beer drinking g/f noticed prunes....tart prunes...interesting)
Taste is very much like the aroma to me...very toasty amber malts with a sweetness mixed with a vinegar like tartness.
I know vinegar sounds terrible, but this combination of flavors really works for me.
I'm more accustomed to American styled Old Ales which are borderline Barleywines. This is a British styled Old Ale and consequentially much thinner but still an excellent drink when you want something heavier.
Cheers.

Photo of DruC4
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of cokes
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark ruby with a moderate, creamy beige head.
Roasty, oak merlot-infused aroma.
Taste begin heavily malted. Chocolate Malted Milk Balls and traces of mocha. This fades quickly as a grapey, red wine sweetness develops. Burnt brown sugar, molasses and toffee bars continue this sweet trend. Concord grape juice later. Dry woody oak characteristics are noticed with a careful examination, but are generally overshadowed by the kalidescopic malts. Concludes just hoppy and bitter enough to show that this is, in fact, and English-styled Ale (as opposed to, say, a doppelbock, which this does bear some similarity to). Flourishes of metallic herbs partially dry the palate, although plenty of sticky malt heft remains clinging to the teeth.
Medium in stature. Very low carbonation.
Flavorful and robust. This is a winner.
Grab me a bib if I ever come across this on cask.

Photo of Sammy
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very satisfying and elegant brew, that sizzles after you pour and retains a barleywine appearance. Tasty and a plus that its alcohol is dilluted. Interesting sour oak winey and malts and spice. Nicely hopped, understated. Had another bottle 15 months later and enjoyed its oaky and fruity characteristics (1999 edition).

Had the recent edition in early 2007, 2.3 years later and it was really noticeable woody, and well hopped. Do a side by side with oak aged AB. Still very nice. Review based on the first aged edition.

Photo of pastramionrye7
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of prototypic
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with brilliant ruby highlights. Darkness doesn't limit the light cutting through much. Looks deep red with a little backlighting. It's topped with a caramel colored head that's about two fingers deep. It receded quickly leaving light lace in its wake.

Rich caramel and toffee malts kick off the nose. Smells sweet and sugary. There's no questioning the aging with this aroma. Oak's coming through loud and clear. It adds a lot of character and quality depth. There's some ancillary vanilla and raisin lingering. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Nice smelling beer all-around. Pretty straight forward and well done.

Sweet caramel and toffee flavors are in full force initially. It borders on being too buttery, but fortunately doesn't quite make it that far. Vanilla is more prominent in flavor. Oak is very prominent is the driving force of the flavor. The impact is not as dramatic as it is on the nose, but it certainly adds quite a bit. Raisin and faint prune are secondary and mix pretty well. If alcohol's here, I can't tell. It has a slightly spicy, acidic finish. It's very good, but isn't quite as impressive as the nose.

Olde Suffolk has an impressive medium body. Carbonation is restrained and it's nice and smooth. It doesn't quite reach being creamy, but it's nice. Drinkability is very high. Goes down very easy and has a nice, satisfying flavor. ABV is relatively low and doesn't intimidate. I'd happily drink a few of these. In fact, the single bottle I have is disappearing far too fast.

Olde Suffolk's a pretty impressive Old Ale. The aging process in oak barrels had a positive impace that's appreciable in all respects. The flavor has a slight buttery taste that throws it just a little. It's doesn't have a huge negative impact, but does hold it back a little. That's the only small qualm I have with it. Impressive all around nonetheless. Definitely worth picking up.

Photo of californiakebab
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours ruby brown in color with a creamy, vanilla head. I read that this has been aged in oak vats. Never had an old ale before, very excited for this beer. This one is a blend of stock ale that's been aged for 2 years along with a fresh batch. Aroma of dried fruit, oak, wet hay, tannins, and a hint of alcohol is very complex, yet pleasant. After a few sips, the dominant caramel sweetness gives way to a more roasted toffee like character. For a supposed heavy-bodied beer, the finish is somewhat dry, probably from the higher than expected carbonation level. If I had a library adorned with leather & rich mahogany, I'd probably dabble with this style more often (in a snifter of course). Unexpectedly delicious. Would be curious to see how this would play out a year from now.

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Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 424 ratings.