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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

409 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 409
Reviews: 295
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 25
Gots: 14 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 409 | Reviews: 295 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of unklesyd
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting brew. Poured out into a straight-side Young's Pint. Small, short-lived dirty tan head. Once this is gone, the beer looks pretty for a while, but when there are no bubbles, it looks flat and overly calm, which belies the carbonic acidity of the beer's flavor. Dark chestnut and clear.

Molases, some rumminess, some dank/sour dried cherries in the nose. Nicely appealing.

Flavor is similar to the nose, a slightly mineral hop bitterness and the aforementioned tang from the oak aging. Nice lingering aftertaste, not cloying, but slightly sweet.

Body is fairly thin, which might have something to do with the acidity imparted by the aging.

Overall, the flavors and mouthfeel seem to be opposites one another, but combine to make for a very enjoyable and drinkable ale.

unklesyd, Dec 30, 2006
Photo of xymyl
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vibrant reddish/brown in color with a thin off-white head little carbonation.

Aroma is sweet and sour, very fruity with a strong cherry note, vanilla and old oak a lot going on here but I just want to get back to the beer so I'll be quick about the review.

Taste very balanced with malty, fruity, and other dark sugars and toasty notes all sharing the stage at the same time. Juicy and fruity at the front end moving toward a soft vanilla cream note then moving to the darker flavors with a soft bitterness, at the end a light sweet and sour note mixes with a faint whisp of burnt sugar.

Light to medium light in body, very good drinking at a slow to moderate pace, although if your the type to throw it back fast it won't kick. But that just ain't right.

xymyl, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of Derek
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark ruby-black; tan head; only a little retention; initially leaves some lace.

S: Bread; toffee; caramalized brown-sugar; nuts; dark fruit & a little spice (pepper?).

T: Burnt toffee (just like it says on the label!); fresh wood; jaggery; dark fruit; spice; moderate bitterness. This is a really well-rounded blend.

M: Slightly acidic & dry (well-attenuated); moderate body and carbonation.

D: Blending the old ale with some fresh brew has made this quite drinkable. I could session this... but I'd be in trouble!

Derek, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of Viggo
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown, some red in the edges, thick off white head, some spots of lace, nice retention. Smell is sweet and malty, some iron and minerals, dark fruits, alcohol, not bad. Taste is sweet, some toffee, dark fruits, really malty and coating, brown sugar, little alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, almost thick, nice coating, decent sipper.

Viggo, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of PCaravan
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This really is a beautiful beer with it's deep amber hues and dense mousey head that clings to the side of the glass. The aroma yields strong doses of caramel and oaky vanilla but mostly a very powerful citrus. The tast is really complex. For the most part, a sour citrusy taste dominates with oak in the background from start to finish with flashes of many other elements such as caramel, grain, vanilla, and dried fruit. Not sure if I cought it all as it seems with every sip I catch something else in a flash. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than what I would expect with a beer of this compexity but I like the moderate carbonation. Overall I have to put the drinkability just a little above average because, while it's a complex and interesting beer that I would have again if offered, the sour citric quality leaves an odd character to it that for just doesn't quite meld well with the other flavors... definitely worth a try though as I can see how someone else might rate this one much higher than I have.

PCaravan, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of TerryW
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In Ontario as Stong Suffolk Vintage Ale.

Very handsome beer, dark chesnut red, big chunky head. some lace. Looks very inviting.

Nose is lots of gently burned caramel and dark fruits. Quite malty. Nice woody earthy notes from oaking.

Flavour is dominated by caramel. Wood, grain, and smokiness throughout. Bitter hop finish contrasts sharply to sweetness of the malt. Some fruit as well. Fairly diverse flavour profile requires paying some attention.

Overall an enjoyable beer.

TerryW, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of allergictomacros
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear dark red, with a solid, sticky head.

S - The teeniest bit funky with lots of floral and fruity tones, esp. raisins and prunes.

T - Rich fruity flavour and a mild bitterness backing it up. Graininess comes on strong in the aftertaste as does some coffee/roasted flavour. Doesn't feel overly sweet. Hop flavour is definitely subdued.

M - Good solid body with a nice carbonation level.

D - Very tasty; I like this a lot.

allergictomacros, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a dark burgundy color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of semi-sweet malt with some light oak. Taste is a mix between some sweet caramelized malt with some very subtle notes of oak and fruit. Body is way too light and carbonation is low which is to be expected of. I have to admit that this one was a bit deceiving and definitely lacking in complexity.

Phyl21ca, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of shamus
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful dark ruby red with a lush tan head. Lots of complex flavour experience here. In fact it's hard to pin down as the taste goes through various transformations that I'm just not expert enough to characterize. All I can say is that this tastes like quality.Full bodied sayeth the label. This is a very smooth beer though with spicey aftertaste. I'm at a loss for descriptors but you should try it. If you like complexity in your beer this one will do it and it goes down like a river of melted butterscotch (with hops).

shamus, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of nortmand
4.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

“Aged in Oak for two years” Cool.

Pours dark, ruddy brown-red with a foamy tan head.

Aroma has solid strong brown ale character. A bit roasty, with a lot of caramel and a hoppy edge. And then, there is that sneaky little sour acidity in there. Kind of a light acetic character.

Up front, there is a light caramel sweetness. This quickly turns into a funky acetic character on the back of the tongue. This is strangely accompanied by some hoppy bitterness and a good hit of roast. Strange, yet very alluring.

Medium body and relatively lightly carbonated, this beer has something for everyone. On one hand, you have a rich, flavorful brown ale. On the other is a refreshing acidity. Either inspired by or the inspiration for Flemish browns.

nortmand, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I think this might be the first blended beer Ive ever tried (other than lambics). There is a massive wooden tun on the label, apparently these are what they use to make the stronger beer in the mix.

SSA pours a rosewood color with a few cognac glints. The head is pretty minimal and leaves moderate lace ridges behind. aromas of doughy malts, spent grains, toasted oak and a little smoke abound. The taste is decidedly malty and much oakier than I was expecting. Caramel, dark berries and vanilla are present. An overarching toasty, smokey oak flavor is there from start to finish. Hops are very light, imparting an earthy flavor. The finish is sweetish and oaky. The mouthfeel is full and light in carbonation.

This isnt an 'oak bomb' by any means, but it has a very definite oak flavor. Tastey and complex, worth a try.

CAMRAhardliner, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of pootz
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


A brisk pour puts a dark cola colored ale with a 2 finger rocky cap into the pint glass. Good cap retention leaves a lace...mildly carbonated.

Aroma not unlike a good bock except for the overpowering caramel which has notes of toasted malts, some dried fruits a hint of "char" and an interesting woody- earthy smell from the oak barreling.

Decent roasted malt spine, sturdy body, silky smooth mouth feel, unique fruity-mellow "charred" character

Flavour profile starts with a big dose of toasted and caramel malts then these are blended into a very pronounced juicy fruit decernment like marmalade on dark. toasted treacle-soaked rye bread...then mid palate the hops strike and we get a nice stab of delicate bittering to this mixture ..finish is long and wet and slowly the sweet fuity-cocoa tones go mellow with metalic tones from goldings and the astrigency from the black malt char....a light clean almost citrus after taste.

A very interesting blend of flavors almost like a dark bock and a strong IPA. Seeing how this is a blended ale I think the amounts of the 2 original brews was delecately measured to produce as complex a flavour profile as posssible.

Three thumbs up on this awsome mellow smooth blended ale....wish I could taste this one unpasturized.

pootz, Dec 06, 2006
Photo of mrmanning
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

LCBO advanced tasting- This pours a faintly carbonated copper liquid, with just a petit amount of beige dusting. Nice malt based aroma(toasty, roasted malts, bready) with woody, nutty, burnt sugars. Flavours are a wonderfully balanced interpretation of the aromas. Lots of vanilla/wood, with sweet nutty malts, toasty, with a smidge of the ABV shining through. Very warming, and dangerously drinkable. Finishes with a big malt bang, and a wonderful warmth.

mrmanning, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of Minkybut
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pored this into a 16 oz tumbler with a wide top. Whew!!! this brew really has a smell that is like whiskey. Taste was strong and when you exhale that oak/whiskey smell was very evident. Was a decent different brew, but most likely will not buy one again.

Minkybut, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of tatterdash
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown-black with red in the light. The thin white head dissipates quite quickly, but the ale is obviously quite lively. Aroma of walnuts and bit of oak, and some malt as well. Lots of caramel appears as is warms and dark wood. Taste was very complex sweet, peppery, sappy, some piney hops, dry finish. Mouthfeel was spitzy, tastes like they used hard water to brew. This is very complex and takes some time to finish, which is great.

tatterdash, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of norwichboy
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany with a quickly dissipating light brown head; no lacing.
Lovely malty (chocolate, toffee) and sweet dried fruit aromas. To taste, similar initial flavours, alcohol noticeable, but it has such a beautiful long lasting bitter finish that goes on and on. Overall everything comes together in this excellent English ale, which I'd be happy to drink all day long.

norwichboy, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of BeerSox
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 Fl oz bottle into mug.

Pours a very very deep red, almost brown. Light brown thin head which quickly settles to a thin cap.

Bits of roasy malts, hints of cream, soft butterscotch aromas, mild raisin like scents. Some warming alcohol in the smell, which increases in strength as it warms, along with the dried fruit scents.

Dark coffee flavors in a thicker medium body. Light hops are experienced in the finish, and light alcohol makes its way through. Very complex mix of flavors, with the acohol presenting itself a little more than other 6.00%ABV beers, but not overpowering. Humble bits of hops and alcohol in the finish, but only slightly dry. It's mostly a smooth finish.

Complex and robust at the same time. This is a highly enjoyable beer, although a bit expensive (but that comes with the territory). Be sure to enjoy this one.

BeerSox, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of daliandragon
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This Suffolk oldie pours a dark mahoghany, almost black, into my pint glass, with a decent tan head that settles and disappears quickly. Nose is sweet malt with strong coffee notes.

Taste is complex, with initial coffee and malt, followed by fruit and a winey, port favoring stage. Finish is oily and peppery and lingers on for quite a while. Mouthfeel could stand some thickening, although it is smooth and generally agreeable. I could drink these all night, if I didn't have to be up for work in seven hours.

This is a solid old ale, not quite on a par with the best, like TH or Engine Oil, but good in and of itself. Give it a go.

daliandragon, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of BlindPig
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- 1/4" tan head that faded into basically no lacing. a dark color then as it sits for awhile it goes to a dark amber color.
S- Alcohol comes through. Almost reminds me of a congac. Sweet, some darker fruits like plums. Maybe some light hops also.
T- Plums are first thing I notice. Some grassy hops balance that out. Bit of warming form alcohol. Cherries also make an apperance. Almost like a candy taste. Grapes also come through. Reminds me of a watered down light red wine.
M- Low carbonation, body on the thinner side, and a dry finish.
D- Bit to watery and laid back for me. I like stronger flavors and this was lacking that quite a bit.

BlindPig, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of numenor1
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful garnet color with a decent tan head with some urging. Nose is reticent, deep malt is obvious but it's very stingy here. Smells a tad sour and dusty. Taste however is exceptional. Bits of dark fruit here and there, more than a touch of sourness, hints of vanilla, oak, some acidity, cocoa powder and mild earthy tealike hops drying it out. Good mineral aspect and very nice. Mouthfeel is full with soft, low carbonation. Very creamy. Very drinkable too.

numenor1, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of warmstorage
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a deep chestnut brown from a 16.9 oz bottle. Significant dense brown head, retains light dense brown head. ~$2.75 from Utah State Wine Store in SLC (which isn't in Beerfly, so I can't Beerspy it.)

Aroma is limited, a little stale, slight notes of cider and sour bread.

Taste is pretty blah. A little sour, nut, caramel, slight hints at roastiness. Minimal, ummm, almost zero hops detectable. Unpleasant astringency. Tastes a little burnt, and a little like white vinegar. Kind of like a sour, basic brown ale (makes me think of a sour Newcastle, which I would normally drink when the only other options are BMC products.)

Edit: after it warmed to complete room temperature (it's about 75 in my house right now) it became slightly more drinkable, and I bumped my "taste" score from 2.0 to 2.5. I'd drank it in the mid cellar range, i.e., mid 50s. All of my taste comments still apply, but the really unpleasant tastes have mellowed a bit, which is a little bit odd, given that cold generally masks bad flavors. Only other real difference is in the aftertaste: hints of fruit (apricots?) and some notable alcohol warmth.

Either it's way past due, or is just plain mediocre beer, and I'm inclined to think it's the latter. Good example of an import in a pretty bottle that isn't worth my time or money.

warmstorage, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of vancurly
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a lovely clear mahogany, with a tan head.
Noticable wood aroma, with dough, leathery, some gamey wildness.
Medium bitter, with hints of leather, brine, caramel, and English hops.
A medium, creamy mouthfeel, and a long finish.
Quite an unusal beer. Drank it as a part of a beer tasting flight. The others in attendance were uncertain...some liked, some not so. Its overall score was 3.4, from 6 tasters.

vancurly, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of HoustonTX
4.63/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

-Olde Suffolk English Ale-

Wonderful pour, poured a dark brown, deep and enticing. Nice large cream white head. The first whiff smelled of lovely aged bourban- alot of oak in the nose. I procedded to take many other sniffs. The next one was a nice roasted malt smell, along with some nice dark fruit notes. Now on to the taste, the taste is incredible. Mellow and incredibly smooth. Upfront has a flavorful roasted malt taste, with a caress of a light nuttiness. This is closely followed by a blast of nice dark fruits. The flavor is semi-sweet at this point. Shortly after a strong beautiful oak taste comes creeping in. Giving the drink a sherry/cognac sipping sense about it. Which leads us to the hops in this brew. In my opinion they are balanced to perfection, and there is no denying that. Perfect balance overall, delightfully mellow and smooth, and the balance is right on. The aftertaste leaves a light fruit/hops/alcohol note, which lingers for a second.

This is one beer that makes me proud to be a Beer Advocate. A must try!

HoustonTX, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of Nesued
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 fl. oz. bottle, served at room temp.

Appearance - Dark red/ruby color. Poured clear with a two-finger head formation. Minimal carbonation present. Retention of head was minimal with a lacey adherance to the sides of the glass.

Smell - A detect a sour-sweet aroma with a bit of fruity presence. I would say cherry if I had to place a particular fruit with the aroma. That would make sense with an ale due to the aromatic esters. Overall this has a very clean, crisp aroma.

Taste - The carbonation was very light which complimented the light taste of the first deep swig. The taste I can equate this to is a tea-like or simple malt taste. Not a strong overall presence of any one flavor, nor did I taste a change over time.

Mouthfeel - Wonderful mouthfeel! When I rolled this beer around my mouth and allowed for the taste to mature, the fullness of the beer was quite evident. Great amout of carbonation.

Drinkability - Oh my, this was a pleasure to drink. So very smooth, so clearly representing what an English Ale should be. Except for the price, I would often say, pass me another.

Nesued, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of belias
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, had a half inch off-white/khaki head which dissipated soon after the first sip and left decent lacing. The smell was complex, albiet not very strong, with notes of caramel/chocolate malts, and an almost berry-like fruit aroma that reminded me of red wine (specifically some cabernet cavingions i've had). I really enjoyed the taste, the caramel and chocolate malts stand out again firstly, and a berry/grape taste follows, ending with a dry finish. There are a lot of flavours going on, but they all seem a little subdued, however this didnt hamper my enjoyment of the beer. It is medium bodied and the carbonation is perfect so it actually feels very light. Would definately drink this again.

belias, Jul 27, 2006
Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 409 ratings.