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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.

416 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 416
Reviews: 295
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 25
Gots: 15 | 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: 416 | Reviews: 295 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Much darker than I was expecting but still a beautiful beer. Deep garnet red with just a tiny little bit of head that is quite persistant.

Definately get some oak in the nose. The wood melds nicely with rich malt notes. Distinct caramel notes. Just a hint of fruityness. Just barely there.

Very nice flavor. Very full and rich and complex for an English ale. Nice caramel up front which mingles with distinct oakyness in the mid palate. Also get a distinct nuttiness in there as well. Definately some hop bitterness in the finish with just a touch of astringnecy. Actually finishes quite dry but still with the oak I think. All in all really terrific flavors. Very rich but not overwhelming. Very nice brew.

Good mouthfeel. Fairly thin for a beer of this richness and complexity but not too thin. I bet this is fantastic served from a cask. Would probably make my perception of the mouth feel change dramatically.

Quite drinkable. I wish I had some more. Not cloying at all. That dry oaky finish keeps me coming back for more.

Good mouthfeel.

cerevisiaephilus, Feb 20, 2005
Photo of stjarnflikka
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2000 edition, 6%.

Pours a clear, blood-red beer with single large bubbles in it. There is a thick creamy foam on top.

There are very clear apple and citric tones in the smell. There is malt and a bit of champagne-like smell, very nice.

The taste is fruit. Apples are dominating, but theres also raspberries in there. A large sweetness and a very good carbonation tickles the tongue. Reminds och champagne and cider with a bit dry aftertaste that isn't notably bitter.

This is just a wonderful tasting beer. Excellently balanced with a great frutiyness and freshness. Really enjoyable and easy drunk, great brew!

stjarnflikka, Dec 01, 2004
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.

merlin48, Nov 28, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2000 issue. Light brown cover surpasses a deep brown garnet. Aroma is complex, vinous and malty. Shy balsamic cherries initially surprises until they are reached by mellower red grapes reminiding of a tart red wine. Added to the yeasty hints, this was like a liquid raisin bread with an interesting dark malt profile (roasted chocolate, nuts). Unfortunately, it didn’t really hold up in the taste department where it’s more meaty rather than richly bready and desserty and just far less complex and developping. There’s this unique fruit tartness thing going on under an apple clothe, but it heads nowhere. Flavor evolution made me think of a cone without a summit. Fine mouthfeel though, medium body with appropriate carbonation, a bit higher than expected.

Rastacouere, Nov 21, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2000 Vintage, thanks Bob. This one pours out a dark brown colouring with a big beige head that lasts quite well for a "strong ale" hehe. Aromas are complex and consist of sherry, vanilla, a bit of oak, and the normal slightly roasty malt aromas. The taste is smooth up front with the subdued oak and vanilla flavors leading into a nice malty middle and a slightly strong finish of subdued hops and a bit of chocolate/almost coffee. Mouthfeel is creamy, and smooth, but not too thick. Drinkability is very good. This is probably amazing on cask.

francisweizen, Nov 18, 2004
Photo of bashiba
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a very thick long lasting head.

Smells are very sweet and malty with hints of wood.

Taste is very good. Some nice malt flavors with a very biscuity and woodyness that is very pleasant. The hops are very subtle but nice.

Mouthfeel is very full and creamy with nice carbonation.

Great Drinkability, a very easy drinking english ale.

bashiba, Oct 18, 2004
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.

Sammy, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of bark
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The colour is deep deep copper – amber, the medium-sized beige foam dissolves slowly into a thin lid. The liquid is clear.

The smell is mild, mainly sourish with a hint of mint and some malt.

The carbonation is perfect for dark ale, gentle and balanced. Refreshing!

The taste is very complex: At first, a very fruity and sweet aroma with hints of cherries replaces a touch of dark rum. Then, a dry and elegant whisky-like flavour emerges with a clear savour of alcohol. The aftertaste is full of flavours; nuts, dried fruits, marzipan, a hint of lime and an increasing bitterness that seems to last forever. The only thing that stops me from a “5” in the taste-column is the almost annoying alcoholic taste. At 6%, this shouldn't be a problem.

This is a blend of a fresh ale and a strong ale that have been matured in oak casks for two years, giving it a very multifaceted taste. World class!

bark, Sep 17, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
3.08/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A Greene King beer not packaged in a clear bottle! Rejoice!

This ale gave me a wicked rush of crazed carbonation that eventually rested to a 1/4" lightly splattered head / lace. The color is a deep ruddy pond water.

Wine like fruity esters abound; oaky carmelized sugar, slight cider hints. Major bready doughy malt until interrupted by a spattering of noble hop.

Once you get past the rush of liquid cardboard I initially noticed, this is a good English experience. Its rather hard to describe in its astringency, however. Slighly thin mouthfeel, med to low drinkablility.

GreenWBush, Aug 19, 2004
Photo of Padron4KM
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, stored in liquor stores' walk-in since 2002.

Pours a reddish brown in color, solid long lasting tan head. minimal lacing.

oaky, malty,red wine aromas.
mellow creamy smooth beer with a touch of bitterness on a long finish. very tasty beer

Padron4KM, Aug 16, 2004
Photo of BeerResearcher
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date.
It pours a strong black coffee color with a smallish beige head.
The aroma is very mild for the "Old Ale" style. A faint smell of fresh brown bread and maybe a little molasses can be noticed with some concentration.
The malt body, a little thin at first gulp, begins to develop in short time. Brown bread, toffee with a splash of rum are the upfront flavors. Citrus peel bitterness and a light taste of tart plums provide a nice and interesting hop to malt balance.
I'd love to try this on tap!

BeerResearcher, Aug 11, 2004
Photo of Brent
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

According to the website, this "Strong Suffolk Vintage Ale" is a blend of two ales: Old 5X , which is brewed to the maximum strength possible (around 12% abv) and left to mature in 100-barrel oak vats for a minimum of two years, and BPA, a dark freshly brewed beer which is added just before bottling. The result is 6% abv. I wonder if this is a "two-threads" beer, along the heritage of the old porter designation as "three-threads" through blending.

Very robustly malty, with about as much caramel malt as one could pack into the flavor profile. Given the hype of the barrel maturation, I expected a bit more complexity than what presented. There was a bit of soft acidity in the malt, lending a touch of liqueur to the flavor. Finish was bright and a bit astringent, which cleaned up nicely. An interesting beer, but not one that engaged me.

Brent, Aug 09, 2004
Photo of WetCoaster
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nice warm ruby/mahogany with a short-lived, slightly off-white head. Fine, almost champagne-like carbonation. Collar and thin lacing.

Smell: A lot happening here. There's a slight yeastiness and an apple tartness up front. There's some caramel malt sweetness, some dark fruit/raisin, and slight scotch aroma. It's sweet and fruity overall with a nice richness.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Hmmm. Not a lot happening here. A bit of maltiness initially--perhaps a bit of port?-- with some nuttiness and toastiness, but the flavor is dominated by a huge wave of oaky bitterness. The mouthfeel is quite thin and the carbonation keeps things crisp.

Drinkability: Er... good? Well, I mean, it's not awful and pretty light, so I guess you could drink a few.

I don't get this beer. So much time and work go into making it, and this is the result? It looks great, it smells great, but bluntly, there's not much flavor to speak of. I think I may have to come back to this beer, maybe I'm having an off night. Right now, not a favorite.

WetCoaster, Aug 06, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great looking clear burgundy red brew.

Smell is BIG and fruity and nutty smell and some mild spice and malt. A great smelling brew with a great apple/plum scent. The oak is noticeable in this.

Taste is a bit sweet but not too much, closer to dry than sweet.
Lots of fruit, walnut, oak and subdued malt in the flavor. The bitterness is there but is in proportion to the mild flavor of this brew.

Mouthfeel is good.

Super drinkable brew, one of those beers than can pull off the difficult trick of being complex and mild at the same time.

Zorro, Aug 04, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one-finger light brown head that fades to a ring and leaves hardly any lace. Light carbonation, light to medium bodied. Color is a nice clear amber. Starts wth coffee overtones and has some hoppiness. A good ale too bad it is "brewed in limited quantities". $3.90 for a 16oz bottle at Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

jdhilt, Jun 09, 2004
Photo of Globetrotter
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tall brown half liter bottle with a short neck and a blue, gold and white label featuring an illustration of oak vat #6. My bottle is vintage 2000. The Russian import label lists only ingredients in conformance with the purity law. Best before 1/29/05, I opened it on 5/30/04.

Clear dark copper hue under a reddish-tan one finger head that fades quickly to film and collar. Lacing is minimal. There's some floral hops in the nose, along with a bit of citrus fruit. The mouth is heavy and medium carbonated. The taste opens with substantial heavy malt, plus some plum sweet and sour notes. Strong, crisp British hops follow in the finish, leaving a nice dry bitterness in the aftertaste. The fruitiness is a bit of a distraction for me, but this is a good drinking brew. Yum.

Globetrotter, May 30, 2004
Photo of HochFliegen
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Olde Suffolk pours a dark reddish/brown. It had a small head that turned to a film that laced a little bit. This beer had a strong scent of raisin and carmel. A rather sweet smelling beer.
This smooth ale starts out with a nice sweet malt taste that has hints of carmel and raisins as in the aroma. It also has a slight coffee note to it and a nice bit of bitterness in the end.

HochFliegen, May 13, 2004
Photo of lackenhauser
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep reddish brown color with very little head and no lacing whatsoever.Nice aroma-somewhat sherry like.Malty,no noticeable hops.Nice flavor-caramel and toffee.Slight alchohol burn in the back.Lingering sweetness.Full mouthfeel-oily,smooth.A very enjoyable beer.Pleasant sipping on a relaxing,cool spring nite.

lackenhauser, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of DESTRO
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours out a deep dark red tinted brown/copper. somewhat small bubbly head, light lacing. smells of sweet malt, raisin bread, alcohol and caramels rise up making for a most mouthwatering aroma. full bodied with smooth carbonation, silky. taste wise its sweet and malty, once again caramels, raisins, some coffee notes and a light hop bitterness. an awesome ale, one to be savored while relaxing. yum.

DESTRO, Apr 18, 2004
Photo of Doiv
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a delightful dark ruby colour, with a tan head that lasts well. Lacing is good.

The aroma is malty, fruity (apples), slightly gingery, woody and roasted hops. The ginger really gives a nice little kick to the nose. Very diverse and full nose.

The taste is raisins, spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, etc. very bready, roasted hops, chocolate, woody, whiskey, apples. It is obvious that oak is the wood of choice in its aging process.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and sticky but the drink is a little heavy for a session beer. A fantastic offering nonetheless, and the blending and aging really improve the flavours.

Doiv, Apr 05, 2004
Photo of alexgash
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich crimson brown (cola brown) with a an off-white spider web lacy head. Smell is a delightfully complex mix of ripe fruit, whiskey, oak shavings, plums wine. Very nice. Taste starts vinuously sweet, tart, and vinegary. Toffee cookie dough malt notes come in strong and then give way to a gentle finish of tangy hops. Oaky character throughout, and the flavors linger forever. Full feeling, especially for its strength and well worth the money.

alexgash, Mar 14, 2004
Photo of Reidrover
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought in the pint bottle, old fashioned, narrow neck, wide body.
The beer pours a deep ruby red into my Imperial dimpled pint mug..very small head that dissapears fast..leaving forelorn wisps atop the pint.
A nice mellow aroma combining mostly coffeeish malts and hints of hops..nice.
mmmm this is certainlly a nice "kick back" ale,nicelly mild, but with enough background flavour to impress..mostly nice smooth malts backed up with a very tasty hopiness for an English ale..it is like most English ales of this ilk..balanced, which I love in a beer.
Very nice and smooth beer on the palate.
Exceptionally drinkable..very good.I recommend it.


Reidrover, Mar 09, 2004
Photo of BeerAngel
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola color and appears to be clear with a small modest dense light tan head. The rich smell of sweet malts and is also a tad fruity blends nicely enough to make the mouth water. The flavors of heavy malts with a nice sweet tone, perfectly blended hops, and finishes with a light raison on the tail. This is a medium to heavy bodied brew that ends with a smooth sweetness. This is one good brew! Wow! Cheers!

BeerAngel, Mar 09, 2004
Photo of mickeymac
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an interesting bottle containing an interesting brew. It comes in a pint bottle with a long thin neck. It pours an eye-pleasing mahogany with a smallish head that disappears quickly. The smell is an intriguing mix of toffee, oak, pipe tobacco, and a bit of hops. Although the beer screams English, it's somehow reminiscent of a dopplebock at the same time. It's a very nice beer and worth seeking out.

mickeymac, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of diablo14
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had the good fortune to try a bottle of the 2000 vintage for the first time tonight at the sherlock holmes and what can i say? an early contender for beer of the year. its a dead set ripper of a brew. a beer i could rip into all night long even tho its quite strong in flavor and strength.

glorious deep ruby color, thinnish head, and low in fizz which is absolutely perfect. smell was woody, fruity and had strong caramel and rich buttery notes. fantastic! flavor comes as advertised, witha marvellous complexity many beers could only dream of. washes over the tongue in sublime fashion and had my taste buds doing a two step in no time. oaky, buttery, stronger toffee presence in the mouth and raisins/currants were also right up there on the palate. all the while superbly smooth, no trace of the ABV and a subtle hopping which finished things off perfectly. sensational!

ive rolled out the superlatives here i know, but geez this is a fine brew. anyone who comes across suffolk vintage would be a madman not to give it a nudge. a classic example of a strong english ale. it sits along the likes of adnams broadside, fullers 1845 and ESB as the best in the biz in the genre.

diablo14, Jan 09, 2004
Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 416 ratings.