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

Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) AleOlde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

380 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 380
Reviews: 290
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.45%

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)
View: Beers (52) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 380 | Reviews: 290 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GreenCard


4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark mahogany, great clarity, thinnish layer of tan foam

Aroma: rich rummy sweetness, dark caramel, malty, hint of woodiness, roasted grain, vanilla

Flavor: mild sweetness in a rich malty backbone, slightly oaky, hints of leather and licorice, finishes semi sweet with a lingering tannic bitterness and tanginess in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, low carbonation, smooth texture

Other comments: Tried this on cask at Charlie's Bar in Copenhagen. According to the bartender, this is the only place where you can get it on cask. It is done especially for them. Since it is one of my favorite British beers and I've only tried it in bottled form, I had to give it a try. Of course, even better than the bottled one!

Serving type: cask

04-24-2005 10:51:39 | More by GreenCard
Photo of mhaugo


4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16.9oz bottle decanted into a snifter. 6.0% ABV. Served at 55F and allowed to elevate to room temperature.

Appearance: Stained maple, brilliantly clear, rapidly fading head (4.5/5).

Aroma: Smells like an ancient, musty, dark old bar. There is an incredible lingering sweetness and fresh tobacco scent. This aroma definitely puts the “old” in Old Ale (4/5).

Taste: This beer features an incredible complexity considering its relatively low ABV. There’s an intresting staleness, followed by brown sugar, tobacco, caramel, dark cherries, and oak (4.25/5).

Mouthfeel: Full body with low carbonation (4/5)

Overall: It’s interesting to go directly from The Bruery’s Coton to Olde Suffollk. Both beers are great examples of the style, but on completely opposite ends of the spectrum for alcohol by volume. Both have been aged to perfection. Both have a minimal contribution from hops. Both have rich dark cherry and brown sugar flavors, but one clocks in at 14.5% and the other is 6.0%. It’s enlightening to see that these Old Ale flavors can develop, regardless of the alcohol. I guess you could call Olde Suffolk a “sessionalbe” Old Ale (4.25/5).

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2014 04:40:18 | More by mhaugo
Photo of MarkoNm


3.2/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color covered with a nice tan head and a decent retention.
The malty aroma is complemented by some sweet fruits and spices.
The taste is nicely bittery, you can also taste some nice spices, although can't say which.
Easily drinkable and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 11:59:52 | More by MarkoNm
Photo of SmashPants


3.74/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: a quality-look bottle, albeit clear (why do the English like clear glass so much??) with a stylish label.

Appearance: pours an almost cola-coloured clear red-brown with very minimal carbonation visible. A beige head jumps to two fingers and fizzes down to a solid cap.

Aroma: the aroma is dominated by toffee / caramel and some brown sugar. Some vanilla oak just hanging about in the background. A little demure.

Taste: the toffee and caramel are still definitely there, but some bittering hops and oak flavours are better integrated on the palate. Would still like to see a bit more fruits and hops.

Aftertaste: the almost overly sweet toffee and caramel backs off a bit and the bittering hop and oak pick up. Quite a nice finish.

Mouth feel: a medium body with moderate carbonation. Carries the flavour well, I reckon this would be killer if it was a bit drier on the finish.

Overall: a good, reasonably heavy English ale. It does seem like a stronger English mild ale, which is a nice change. I would have expected some more complexity however - as it is, it is more like a slightly richer Newcastle Brown, which is much cheaper. So, a nice beer, but nowhere near worth the price of AU$100 a case of 12 x 500mL.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 11:45:55 | More by SmashPants
Photo of delta490


4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- deep ruby brown with a typical short lived foamy white head. No retention.

S- rich and fruity with dark fruit and caramel dominating.

T- the flavor definitely mirrors the aroma and then some. Raisins and sugar are what I notice

M-thinner, fitting with english ales. A little bite from the hops and oak.

O- a really good English strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 22:24:36 | More by delta490
Photo of fourstringer


3.15/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 1 pt 0.9 oz bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet with a moderately aggressive hand. Clear bottle. Why Great Britain, why? The base of the bottle proclaims "Brewing Perfection". Well ok, then.

A: Very dark amber with scant 1/4 finger of white head. Disappears to a wispy suggestion of a head in 1-2 minutes. Kind of underwhelming.

S: Sweet, dark fruit, cherry. Dates. Spice. Light sourness. Not bad.

T: Sweetness up front with raisins, cherry, dried fruit. Malt. Transitions into some mild tartness/acidity and finishes surprisingly dry. Firm bitterness in the end, which is probably the best part. Some oak. Some bourbon.

M: Low carbonation. Honestly, a fairly watery body with a residual stickiness on the lips and tongue. Unfortunately, I don't think this was a prime bottle...

O: Sad to say, disappointed overall. Has potential, especially with regards to the scent and flavor, but came off a bit weak. I was hoping for some more complexity, depth and assertiveness. I believe I'll pass in the future.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 02:35:57 | More by fourstringer
Photo of REDAMI


4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 16.9 oz bottle into Samuel Smith pint glass.

A - Dark, caramel brown color. Little to no head.

S - Bready malts, toffee, raisin, slight pale ale hoppiness, and sweet vanilla on the nose.

T - Sweet toffee, wood, vanilla, vague copper metallic aftertaste from the hops.

M - Alcohol is well hidden, smooth with little carbonation, wine-like.

Would love to have tasted the two beers used in this blend separately. The combination is intriguing in its complexity. Better than expected.

Note: Clear beer bottles should be banned.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 17:19:34 | More by REDAMI
Photo of schwemjw


3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Ruby red with almost no head.

S: Dank herbs. a wine quality with a hint of oak. There is some spice in here with bits of grape and sour cherries. A butterscotch malt.

T: Tart cherry with a dry finish. Cranberry and walnut dance around my tongue followed up by dried grape. A little roasted malt that imparts some toffee with oak in the finish. Lots of acid.

M: Pretty light actually. No carbonation. I expected this to be bigger.

O: This is refreshing! The taste is very different from the aroma. Its very tart surprisingly. /83

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 15:13:06 | More by schwemjw
Photo of IchLiebeBier


3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark brown body; medium sized head

Aroma: Spicy; oak notes; wine like

Taste: Spicy; oak flavors; malty with a bitter finish; fairly well balanced and pretty good overall

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 21:51:17 | More by IchLiebeBier
Photo of Pegasus


4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 15:40:42 | More by Pegasus
Photo of bmwats


3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a footed tulip.

A: Dark brown. Pours a quarter finger, bubbly, brown-white head. Settles quickly. Plenty of clingy effervescence throughout the body of the brew. Very sparse lacing quickly retreats into the body of the brew. Shallow.

S: Nutty malt. Tea leaf and a little butterscotch, and chocolate.

T: Roasted malt, a little coffee, touches of licorice, molasses, pecan, and tea.

M: Hearty, malty, and earthy. Heavy alcohol character. Has a certain sweetness that infiltrates the nasal cavity. Bitter finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. Not just a whole lot to look at, but a fair head with substantial effervescence; however no real lacing. Nose is really nutty with some sweet and herbal components. Complex flavor consisting of roasted malt, accentuated with bitter, sweet, herb, and nut components. Bitter and sweet with a high alcohol feel, but not overwhelmingly so. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 03:28:01 | More by bmwats
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, rich, dark copper brown, with ruby highlights. A slight, rocky head builds from ample carbonation which also clings to the glass. As the carbonation dissipates from the glass, the beer takes on more of a dark, ruby color.

Sweet malt is accompanied by dates, figs, and sun-baked oak. After a few sips, the aroma takes on the distinct character of caramelized sugar.

Toasted malt with a hint of bitterness and light spice. Sun-dried raisins with light, lingering malt bitterness is a nice, subtle touch. Warmth brings out cola and nuts.

The medium body is contrasted by a sharp texture with light alcohol and ample carbonation.

This one was enjoyed from a Dogfish Head snifter over a quiet half hour before dinner while listening to classical music. A rare stolen moment in time. This ale would likely pair well with lamb.

Aged 3.5 years in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 14:48:11 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of deadonhisfeet


4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A blend of two ales, one aged in oak vats for 2 years. Poured from a bottle into a Fuller's Pub Pint. The pour is clear and dark, dark brown with very little light getting through. It sports a nice rocky head that dissipates quite fast. The nose is a bit sulfery at first, but once it de-gasses a bit you get some rich, sweet toffee and treacle notes and bready aromas. No alcohol is evident.

The beer has a medium body and nice, sweet, malt-forward flavor. It is all about the malt. Sweetness dominates but the beer is not cloying or syrupy at all. Wonderful earthy flavors of bread, oak, toffee, caramel, nuts, and molasses slide all over the palate. You also get just a hint of dark fruit. The flavors become just a little dry right in the back of the mouth and you get a little spice just as you swallow. The feel is firm and silky.

A very traditional beer. Not to be confused with a barleywine or modern-day booze bomb. No roasty bitterness and very little in the way of hops. Just lots of rich, chewy malty goodness.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2013 00:15:45 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of pkalix


4.93/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

deep, dark mahogany. a little head at first but dwindling to virtually nothing, although it does lace fully down the sides when tilted....
last guy said it smells like vanilla and wet grass and really hit it on the head with that description...
taste is a sweet malt-y, vanilla-y. very nice and very tasty, but i agree with the other guy in that the 'aging' might be the brew's downfall. it seems to create a slight funkiness, and a tad bitter that just doesnt mesh well. but that only takes it down from a perfect score. this brew has some wonderful qualities and is very pleasing. it feels a bit thin but that can easily be taken in stride.
overall, this is a beautiful drink. and at 6% it's relatively promising. i love the sweetness- it's like a dopplebock but has an entirely different set of parameters. i have a suspiciousness against myself for wanting to award another set of strong 5's in two beers in a row. and after much consideration, i have to admit this is an outstanding brew and i have no 2nd thoughts in rating this very highly. let me know what you think. i recommend this completely and will purchase a few more tomorrow to affirm what i feel now!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 03:51:28 | More by pkalix
Photo of Mebuzzard


3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oooh...and English old ale. yes please.

Pours a light brown. Nice 2 finger head. Looks rich.

Aroma is sweet. Caramel, malt, some vanilla and wet grass.

Flavor is good, albeit a bit one sided. It seem the oak vat aging renders most of the flavors. The malt is thin, and with the low carbonation it just about disappears. Some smoke. Caramel and vanilla are the main culprits. It is very smooth.

I like this one. Something keeps me from loving it. I think it's the aging--just wonder what the original brew is like.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 22:41:56 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of rangerred


4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass out of a 500ml clear bottle.

Pours a clear very dark brown with a one finger medium tan head. Head fades away rather quickly leaving a little bit of lacing.

Aroma is wonderful. Lots of butterscotch and caramel along with a rich wood character that is quite appealing. There is quite a bit of dark fruit typical of English ales and some burnt toast. A little molasses as well; quite a bit going on.

The flavor starts out a little sweet with dark brown sugar and molasses with the same burnt toast that was present in the aroma. The wood is a little less prominent and is way in the background. Dark fruit and some yeast character is present along with a decent dose of grassy hops. There is a moderate assertive bitterness to balance out the sweetness and it works nicely.

Overall, a really nice beer if not exactly Earth-shattering. I enjoy the added depth from the blending of wood-aged beer but it is just missing a little something. It is still nicer than your typical English ale and I appreciate that it is not skunked despite the clear bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 04:50:58 | More by rangerred
Photo of doktorhops


3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Olde Suffolk English Ale has been sitting patiently at the back of the fridge, biding its time, until I decide it is a glorious day for a classic vintage ale. That day is today. Hail to the king baby.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Presents with a deep slight cloudy burgundy body and a minimal tan lacing.

S: Aroma is upfront with dark fruit; figs, plums, dates, a bit of molasses and some burnt caramel. This is then followed with a hint of brandy, faint earthy hops, and woody oak in the finish. Expecting a big sugar hit based on the aroma.

T: Very sweet, very boozy too... quite a bit like the Christmas pudding that is flambé with brandy before serving. It's almost too sweet, even for a sweet-tooth like me. This then follows through the palate with the above mentioned figs, plums, dates, molasses and burnt caramel before ending with some bitter medicinal hops. Aftertaste is that much expected oak. The glaring sweetness of this brew makes it a little one dimensional, and stands out long after the first sip.

M: Medium bodied with flat carbonation which really brings out that slick sugar feel.

D: For an Old Ale it doesn't present much character, bit of a shame really as I had been looking forward to this one. Don't get me wrong though it is a good drop, but it isn't a great drop, and great was what I was expecting from an ale of renown. Theakston Old Peculier is a far better Old Ale.

Food match: Christmas fare; roast turkey, honey glazed ham, sides of roast potato, onion, squash, carrot, peas and a heavy gravy - all are viable options.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 09:04:43 | More by doktorhops
Photo of srandycarter


4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a somewhat murky brownish orange. Nice small off white head leaves to ring pretty quick. Lots of cling.

S - Spicy, sugary malty nose.

T - Burnt sugar, herbal spiciness, booze is present. Hops are low.

M - Medium body, good carb, pretty good balance.

D - Not my style for a session, but a pretty good example of an old ale, literally made from an older ale and a newer ale, just like in the old days. Fun.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2012 06:36:44 | More by srandycarter
Photo of heygeebee


3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Pours a dark brown. Two finger head bubbles and dies - little lace on swirl, slight spots.

Aromas are of dark treacle, burnt toffee, roast malts.

Taste is a bit of a let down after the aromas - a watered down version or aromas, and add in earwaxy bitterness on back plate. The dry finish builds as the bottle goes down.

Mouthfeel also slightly watery and light. Moderate carbonation.

All in all, a solid beer. Not a great one. Interesting - when drunk slowly, no great change from intial serving temp to nearly room temp.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2012 11:02:23 | More by heygeebee
Photo of barczar


4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with garnet highlights and a foamy half inch khaki head that lingers as a pool of foam.

Caramel, brown sugar, figs, raisins, oak, and burnt toffee comprise the fairly complex aroma. There's a bit of toasted malt evident, along with tobacco and a hint of tar.

Flavor is relatively sweet, with toffee and caramel leading into a dark fruit melange of cherries and dark berries that prevents the profile from becoming cloying. Notes of oak and toasted malt add complexity, giving an almost smoky character to the palate. The finish is slightly bitter and peppery. Floral hops surface as it warms.

Body is moderate, with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is somewhat creamy and alcohol warmth is subtle.

Overall, very complex, nicely developed malt flavors accompanied by beautiful esters. It's very balanced, yet intriguing.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 05:13:10 | More by barczar
Photo of Eramen


4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cascades into the glass a dark red mixed with brown. A couple of shades lighter than cola. Head is initially a finger high but soon bubbles away to nothing.

S - Biscuit malts, dried dark fruit, cola, peat, moist earth.

T - Sugary dried plums, figs, spongy fruit cake, cola, hint of coconut oil, no hops present, but stands up amazingly well.

MF - Medium bodied with a soft feel, little carbonation and very pleasant on the palate.

O - Quite a decent old ale, one that I could revisit and could recommend without reservation.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 21:21:37 | More by Eramen
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear caramel brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and toffee aromas. Taste is very much the same along with some dark fruit flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some very rich aromas and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2012 01:06:19 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of choyhosoi


3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown color with a white head. The scent is a normal fruity scent not too overwhelming. The taste is a bit like Boddingtons. If you haven't had that then it is like a brown with some sweetness to it. This is a smooth session beer that would be good in a pub. I would recommend this if you have a chance to try it.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 05:01:08 | More by choyhosoi
Photo of plfahey


3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Explodes forth from the bottle, a bit of a gusher, but hopefully this one's not a bad bottle. Deep garnet/mahogany appears a moderately clear blood red when held to the light. Moderately large tan head shows good retention and some fair retention.

Aroma-Yum-dark fruit (plums, prunes, figs, raisins), along with a rumlike black licorice note. Blackstrap molasses and burnt sugar parade through the background. A little bit ashy with perceptible fusels. Very light oak notes as well.

Flavor-Light bready sweetness and a bit of caramel quickly give way to richer, darker flavors of prune and raisin, molasses, buttery rum, and a touch of black licorice. Finishes rather dry with some oak notes as well as mild, peppery alcohol. Hops are entirely absent, which is not unexpected. In the aftertaste, there are some light toasted breadcrust malt flavors which complement the lingering dark fruitcake/toffee flavors.

Mouthfeel-Moderately low, soft, gentle carbonation with a medium body. Viscosity seems a bit low for this style and almost feels thin in the finish at times. Dry in the aftertaste, with just the faintest prickle of alcohol warmth.

Not a bad old ale, though the flavors seem a bit dull. The aroma opens quite nicely and the flavor begins impressively, but quickly fades to a dull, thin, and somewhat vapid finish. I would love to taste this one in its native country, but I'm not terribly impressed with the condition I find it in here.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 06:28:27 | More by plfahey
Photo of KDawg


3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into a pint glass. Pours a good mahogany color that is see through. No real head from this

Good complex aromas of toffee, caramel, blood oranges and a slight touch of hops as well. Slightly lacking a bit of depth, but the complexity makes up for it

good medium body with a real good feel. The flavors are slightly lacking as mostly toffee and caramel dominate. Good depth on the flavors though

This was a real quality ale to drink. Very drinkable with good depth and aromas. The flavors are lacking slightly, but what is there is very good

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 23:06:09 | More by KDawg
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Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 380 ratings.