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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

434 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 434
Reviews: 301
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11%
Wants: 24
Gots: 19 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-14-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 434 | Reviews: 301 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of irishkyle21
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the cellar, just under a year. It pours with a medium sized, tanned head. Some lacing marks the glass as the foam lingers atop the ruby/brown colored brew.

Smells of roasted malts, nutty, wood, marshmallow and a bit of fruit.

Tastes of oak, caramel, tart, and a dry lingering finish. A great Old Ale, one I would not pass up.

Photo of brentk56
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear but dark amber color with a nice, rocky tan head that leaves some shards of lace

Smell: Tamarind, oak, burnt sugar and an earthy aspect

Taste: Starts out with a rich fruity flavor that is filled with tamarind and other dark fruit elements; by mid-palate, the burnt sugar starts to weave into the taste along with some diacetyl; after the swallow, their is a tartness that builds along with some earthy flavors to provide a deep and complex finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation

Drinkability: A complex and satsifying brew that works the diacetyl in to its advantage

Photo of Absumaster
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear dark red beer with a small head.

Smell is quite complex, ripe, red apples, which are a little overripe, earthy and woody notes, a great tartness and spicy, cinnamon and clove notes.

Taste is tart at first, without being sour, the complex smells are a bit muted in the taste, but still the taste is full of different tastes, dark overripe apples, wet soil, wood, a spiciness which reminds me of Christmas. Alcohol is a little hot and there is a slight trace of oxidation in the beer.

Photo of hunteraw
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Taste in Hong Kong. Slightly different labeling.

One of the better written descriptions of aroma/flavor on the bottle that I've seen.

Very nice ruby/garnet color, smallish head, no lacing to speak of. Nose is of fruitcake, spice and caramel. Flavor can be described with burnt toffee, slight oak finish, and some raisin. Mouthfeel is slick, light-medium body. Carbonation on the light side but expected in the style. Drinkability is decent, might be the best beer I can readily purchase in HK so I'd better get used to it.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle marking L06123 14:03, Sampled June 2007
Pours with a fairly dense, almost creamy, amber-tinged, full tan colored head that sits atop an absolutely brilliantly clear, ruby hued beer when held up to the light. The aroma is a mix of toffee, light butterscotch like diacetyl and caramel. Actually the butterscotch note is the most pronounced aroma to me, though I am particularly sensitive to diacetyl, yet it somehow manages to not ruin the aroma. Butterscotch I can deal with, if there was overpowering notes of rancid butter that would be another thing; luckily there is not though. Part of the butterscotch might be from the oak vats, but it is light enough that I can't be sure.

Lightly sweet, with caramel notes and toffee being noticeable up front. As a sip nears the finish notes of butterscotch starts to become noticeable. The beer has a medium heft to it that coats the mouth just a touch. The sweetness accentuates some fruit notes of raisins and perhaps some prune. Hints of burnt caramel are noticeable as is a nuttiness that almost adds a touch of astringency (think of peanut skins, or walnut shell), but that also could be the oak character. The oak, if actually noticeable, and I am pretty sure it does contribute here, is just subtle enough that the flavors could be contributed from something else; part of the butterscotch, and probably some of the tannic astringency must actually be from the oak character. Hints of aged malt sugars accentuate soft, subtle notes of sherry and even the raisin character.

An interesting beer, it is much better than I was expecting, but it is still a touch more simplistic than I could wish for. I wonder if this beer was heavily filtered before being bottled, it seems a little stripped of flavor and complexity. Somehow, despite all my gut-feeling hesitations about this beer, I am really enjoying it. I think that this is because there is still quite a breadth of flavor here (despite the guessed at filtration). Sure I think this could be a lot better and more complex, but there is something about it that make it work despite that the individual components don't quite cut it on their own.

Photo of Nipitato
3.3/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a bottle at Downtown Wine & Spirits in Somerville, MA.

A: Very dark reddish brown. Glowing brilliant clarity. Weak head that entirely disappears.

S: Sweet malt aroma very weak. Vinous and fruity esters strong and not particularly pleasant. Smells a little like a Raisinette.

T: Malt flavors are present but not strong. Light chocolate flavor just noticeable. Flavor characteristics lean heavily towards dried fruit and port. these flavors are very strong. A tad bit oaky.

MF: Medium light. Too thin and watery. Low carbonation. Slight alcohol warming.

D: Drinkability is ok. There ares some gaps in this beer. Would have liked a more sweet malty character in both the nose and taste.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Olde Suffolk pours a clear dark brown color with a small fizzy light tan head on top. The foam dissolves to a thin ring around the beer leaving no lace on the glass. A strong aroma of oak, caramel, vanilla, rasins and alcohol hovers over the beer.

Each sip of this light to medium bodied beer is dry on the palate with a moderate carbonated fizz on the middle of the tongue. The flavor is much like the aroma, rich caramel malt, toffee, oak, vanilla, and rasins. It finishes dry leaving behind a rich flavor of caramel.

This full flavored beer has a nice strong aroma and is quite easy to drink. However, it's a bit thin in the body and there's hardly any head or lace. Definitely worth a try. Grab a bottle if you can.

Photo of mjc410
3.04/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I decided to put this old ale in a finer glass than a pint, so I put it in my trusty La Moneuse tulip. The pour from the 16.9 oz bottle raises a head under one finger that drops quickly. It's a tan that matches the label, over a body the color of cola with a ruby-brown translucency. The lacing is minimal.

The nose is a mix of candied apples, caramel, red wine, wood, toffee, bread, and a smell I often get from English ales, a buttery aroma. Impressive.

The taste is a muted mirror of the nose, unfortunately. I pick up the wine character, some acidity, and a little diacetyl, but not much else. As it warms, though, there's some creamy caramel and vanilla barely shows. Alcohol shows too, sadly.

The mouth is actually fairly thin, which I didn't expect for a heavier English ale. The carbonation is a bit high too (for the style), but it's not that far off.

This had a bit of promise, but it's boring, overall. Plus, the acidity is too high. Oh well.

Photo of DogFood11
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice it forms an tight eggshell white head. Copper body that leans towards amber towards the core. Carbonation sticks to the sides of the glass and slowly roll up.

Soft malt body is the theme here. Lightly toasted grain and a somewhat spent grain feel. Mildly metallic and tinny. This brew is very well blended and incredibly smooth. Aged and seasoned dark fruits combine with a subtle wood angle to make it interesting and complex while being surprisingly mellow. There is also an underlying nutty, earthy groundwork that helps out the cause.

Notes: I would definitely pick this up again and would also put in some effort to seek this out. The character from the oak aged brew that is then blended work out very well. It has enough "Livelyness" to keep this old dog learning new tricks.

Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, tiny little fizzy head, basically no sticky lacing at all. The nose is malty, slight touch of pears, and caramel/toffee. The taste pretty much follows the nose malty, and lots of caramel/toffee. Light/Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew at that, recommended.

Photo of Onslow
2.23/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This is my one odd-one-out beer! I really really tried with this beer but no, I HATE IT! I love Old Ales but this is a complete train wreck of a "beer"...
The smell is god awful, like bad wine, and the taste is horrible...."how does this beer have such good marks, its truly terrible BUT it just shows you how different some people can think... and brew. It first tastes bitter sweet then starts to sharpen as it warms,....its aftertaste tastes like wine when you breath out the nose, but alot of people like that bite to there brew...but not me really. i did a re-rate twice!, this beer is ...well, crap, i hate it , to damn tart and sour and ...geez, tastes like a beer that went bad!!! a wine beer if u will"

Photo of beertastegood
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Random beer purchase of the week.

Pours a deep, deep garnet with a thick, off-white head. Good retention, quarter-inch cap of foam remains througout the bottle.

raisins, splums, caramel, cherries, slight pear...very intense fruitiness with a very slight alcohol aroma. Sweet and complex. I am not getting much oak/vanilla in the aroma.

Taste: Not near as complex as the aroma, intense caramel/toffee with faint pear - hops bitterness is moderate, keeping the beer from being overly cloying. Fades into candied fruit and very slight woodiness (the oak is very subtle). Well balanced. As it warms, a bit of vanilla does make an appearance, albeit a very faint one.

Mouthfeel: very creamy, medium-low carbonation with a full body.

Drinkability: Good, not really a sipping or a quaffing beer, somewhere in between.

Overall: very well done old ale. Don't see enough of this style in the US. Complex without being messy, intense yet still balanced, this is a quality beer. I will definitely be buying more of this.

Photo of greenbeaner
2.68/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very dark, amber color, more towards the black side of things than amber. 1 finger head dissipates fast into a ring around the glass, slight lacing apparent.

Very sweet on the nose up front, strong caramel and toffee scents, wheat notes on the finish.

Taste is very sweet, probably a little too sweet for my liking...caramel, fruit, slight bitterness, metal, sourness as well. For being aged in oak vats I cannot taste the slightest hint of oak. Just not very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is somewhat full up front but finishes weak. Not much else to say about it.

Not what I was hoping...I probably will not purchase this beer again. It's drinkable, but then again so is water.

Photo of kimcgolf
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle to a dark brown with a ruby red tint. Aroma was a little faint, but what was there was a pleasant malty dark fruit, mostly grapes and cherries. Flavor was more of the dark fruit, and mouthfeel was carbonated and a bit tangy. As the beer warmed, the alcohol became a little more noticeable in both the aroma and flavor, which all led to a smooth, warming finish.

Photo of IntriqKen
4/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of Melchizedek
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
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 BlackHaddock
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle, unable to find a best before date, drank on 11th march 2007.

Poured into a straight sleeve pint glass. Dark, very dark ruby red colour with a good foam light brown head. it looks healthy and heavy, a fine, clear sparkling liquid.

Spices like corriander and some cloves in the aroma, mixed with hops and dark almost burnt malts. Nothing to strong though.

I like the taste, woody with tones of caramel and toffee combine to give it a Christmas like flavour, very pleasant. The label claims some of the beer (which is a blend) has been aged for two years in oak. Which is where the woody flavour obviously comes from.

Full bodied is too strong to use, but it is a well rounded beer and the aftertase and mouthfeel are impressive, the flavours stay, with a burnt feeling becoming more prominent.

Green King get a lot of stick from some of British real ale drinkers, but this is a fine beer and they should be applauded for producing it.

Photo of Hampton73
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a pretty dark amber color, and with a short-lived head.

The aroma is of English noble hops, with oak and a nice floral accent coming through.

The taste is somewhat complex, with oak and floral hops and a bready malt combining to delight the taste buds.

I think I will have another.

Photo of IceAce
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful mahogany body with a tightly knit finger of foam collar. Nose is of damp, earthy malts.

Entry is quiet with a midtaste of woody, damp-earth malt. Finish is caramel malt goodness with a slightly acidic overtone.

Clarity is excellent and the mouthfeel palate-pleasing.

This style is a holdover from the days when beer was aged in wood for up to and over a year. Olde Suffolk is a prime, tasty example worthy of recommendation.

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

Olde Suffolk pours a dark garnet color with a one-finger high tan head that falls to a thin, but rather persistent cap. The aroma is has hints of malt, alcohol, but is dominated by the dark fruit. The taste is even heavier with the flavor of dark fruit some oak and a hint of roastiness is present.

Mouthfeel is very good, filling the mouth, but not too much so and a crisp finish. The beer is very drinkable. I will keep this one in mind when I was a solid old ale. Recommended.

Photo of steinlifter
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured rather flat, not much head to speak of, wonderful aroma,....fruity, and a hint of tea aroma as well.Taste is interesting, some tea flavor here, but just as aroma, some ghost-like fruits in the back ground, actually a very bold flavor, hard to describe, but pleasant, well balanced hop bitterness, with a nice touch of malt, but leaning towards the hops..mouthfeel is crisp and satisfying..drinkability is fine!..this is a well crafted beer, that I will certainly have again.

Photo of SwillinBrew
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I dont remember picking this up at the store but i saw it in my DBF and thought it was time to quaff it. I'm glad i did... a true unlooked for gem.

Appeared a bronzy amber color with a soda pop colored head and nice bubbles dancing up the glass. Aromas of toffee, molasses and candy corn solidly fill the nose. The taste of butterscotch and caramel corn mixed with a mild sourness make for quite an exquisite flavor. Very delicious. The flavors just play on the tongue and it's very memorable. Medium bodied with nice carbonation and on the tad dry side. I can drink this then have another one. I picture myself reading a book by the fireplace just widdling the time away with a constant pints of this. Very tasty!

Photo of soulgrowl
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark yet somehow bright amber cola brown. Coffee-stained head stands tall despite the huge, airy bubbles that compose it. Fair retention. No lacing.

Smell: Kind of like a kicked-up ESB, lightly buttery and fruity. Floral hops, burnt sugar notes, an undercurrent of alcohol, and overtones of robust, oaky red wine make for a very complex and appealing nose.

Taste: Lots of buttery toffee sweetness, mild whiskey notes, burnt bitterness, dark chocolate, and a light vinous background. Dry finish. Flavorful, interesting, and balanced.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin, sloshy. Not bad, but this is not on par with the beer's flavor.

Drinkability: This is a very nice ale, easy to drink and fun to savor. Goes very well with tangy foods like pickles or olives.

Photo of LarryV
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep red color with nary a head to be found. Smells of dark cherries, plums. Taste is slightly acidic with a big dark cherry flavor up front followed by a drying, slightly charred flavor. Somewhat tangy in nature. Mouthfeel is on the thinner side but doesn't detract from the enjoyment of this beer. A pretty interesting beer to say the least.

Photo of BDTyre
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I give this a solid four because I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I like it, but it baffles me. It is somewhere between a Scottish ale and an old ale, I think.

Dark appearance and thin, dirty head tell of an old ale, as does the sour, "rust" scent.

Taste is again, a mixture. Certainly the sour, stale elements of an old ale are there. But this is somewhat more sour and not as malty as most old ales I've had.

Good body and easy to drink. Not an excellent old ale, but an all around decent one.

Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 434 ratings.