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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 yen157
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep mahogany leaning towards dark auburn. Topped by a foamy head with some sticking power. Nose is of toffee, malt, and hazelnuts. A similar description can be made of the flavor. Wood is extremely minimal (perhaps flavor only do to power of suggestion from label). Honey echoes faintly in the background. Dry and clean, yet complex finish. Carbonation is slight, but not underdone, giving the beer a velvety mouth feel. The body itself is just a notch above adequate and wonderfully slick. Good beer.

IMO, this is on par with Fullers 1845. Yummy malt presence. I would love to find this hand-pulled someplace.

[About 1/2 way though I lit an Aristoff Black Robusto Extra, and flavor-wise it was a perfect match, but it was about 10% too much for the beer.]

yen157, Dec 11, 2003
Photo of BierReise
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a great English ale this is. Dark amber brown and cloudy with a nice thick head. Good retention here with scattered lacing. Big sweet malt aroma with a woody, fruitiness. I detect some herbs as well in there. Flavor is noticably English, a good strong malty ale with a slight bitterness in the finish. Overall one of the best English ales I've had in a bottle.

BierReise, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of Morris729
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark burgundy in color with a tall and foamy tan colored head that only remains for a second before fading into a thin lace. Nose is rather wine like with some additional notes of molasses. Full mouthfeel with little active carbonation and a smooth, slightly oily, texture. Taste begins with sweet roasted malts and brown sugar followed by some oakey notes and a sour raisiny flavor that gives way to some noticeable hops that leave a dry finish and lingering aftertaste. An enjoyable brew that’s a good choice for a nightcap. Some additional aging would probably also benefit this complex beer.

Morris729, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of bditty187
4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark burgundy hue with snippets bronze from the penetrating light, it is awesome eye candy. The beige head never development much height, not that I was expecting it too. It topped off at a half finger, which quickly faded to a soapy residue. Did not lace. The nose on this ale is wonderful; great potency initially, the aroma, at its best, is literally mouthwatering. The strength does die a little in time. The bouquet is wine-like upfront, followed by oak, light but noticeable raw alcohol (like brandy), malts, and a hint of buttery-cream. The palate is not as biting or raw as some Old Ales; this could be an attribute of the blending of the two ales (see the back of the label) or I have an older bottle. Anyway it is very unique tasting, malty upfront but that is quickly followed by a mellow woody-winey-creamy taste then a kiss of alcohol follows; the finish is divine, seriously. Figs and fruit, subtle sweetness, distant and suppressed hops (aged?), a kiss of wood, a note of dry bitterness. Yeah, it is that damn good. The carbonation is light but appropriate, medium-full body, all in all, a very respectable mouthfeel. A tremendous quaff, something to savor, I would love to drink this on a regular basis. I snagged a couple bottles of this fine brew in Des Moines for $3.50 each. I wish I bought more. Recommended. Seek it out.

bditty187, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of byrd
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a light tan sticky head. Clear dark brown in color with garnet highlights. The head reduces to a thin lace that covers the surface. Rich sweet caramel malt and dark fruits notes in the aroma. Nose is also somewhat vinous with a little noticeable alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium, but seems a little on the lighter side. There’s a fine carbonation one the tongue and the feel is quite smooth on the palate. Sweet malt starts with some dark fruitiness. Vinous notes come through quite well along with a woody/oak flavor. There’s a mild yet tart hoppy finish that is just a touch roasty. A little alcohol is noticeable on the aftertaste. This is a well balanced and very drinkable brew. A complex yet very enjoyable old ale.

byrd, Nov 03, 2003
Photo of HardTarget
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Pint brown bottle, mentions aged in oak for 2 years, but no best by date.
Aroma: Chocolate malt smell, with some alcohol
Appearance: Deep brown, clear when backlit. Thin tan head that retreated quickly. Given the abv, not unexpected.
Flavor: Both the dark malt and the crisp hops come through in a nice 1-2 combo punch. Full rich malt taste followed by a very clean, dry, slightly bitter finish that is quite refreshing. Hops seem a bit strong for the style, but given the blending of aged and fresh beer, seems appropriate.
Mouthfeel: Creamy medium-heavy body with a dry finish. Slight alcohol prickle at the end.
Overall Impression: Nice stuff! Both the malt and the hops are given a chance to show their stuff. The blending of old and new works nicely, almost like getting 2 beers in 1. Satisfying, but drinkability isn’t impaired.

HardTarget, Nov 01, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A rather unique beer, with respect to the fact that it is a beer blended from a 12% “old” beer called Olde 5X, and a 5% “fresh” beer called BPA. The Olde 5X is stored and matured for 2 years in 100-Barrel sized Oak Vats – the newest & latest of which now forms part of the Brewery Museum which opened in 2001.

This beer goes by two names;

Olde Suffolk English Ale
– the exported Bottled name, as well as
Strong Suffolk Vintage Ale
– the UK Bottled & Draught* name.
*limited release during the Winter in Cask form for the UK only.

Appearance: Varies from a dark brown to a ruby mahogany color when back-lit. Thick tan-brown head, formed from bubbles of various sizes. The head has a yellowy tinge at times, but settles to a decent looking ¼” covering that remains & offers up some lacing.

Nose: The nose has a nice aged/young mix – some molasses, toffee and fig syrup odors. Also has a dark fruit wine and Port like dimension in the back end.

Taste: Marvelous malty beginnings, sweet but never sickly, moreover it is a sweetness often found in exotic dark fruits, a light tasty sweetness. It has a molasses taste that is as smooth as fig syrup in the middle. Waning, the malts are replaced with a dry bitterness; hoppy is the wrong word here – for it is a pure bitterness, presumably from aged hops. A light aniseed-liquorices feel on the tongue lingers through the bitterness. Excellent

Mouthfeel: Strong and Whole-bodied. A very full feel in the mouth from this Old Ale. Sweet malty beginnings, yet an astringent bitter finish which lingers.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, I expected this to be more of a sipper, yet it disappeared from my Imperial Pint Glass in no time. Extremely quaffable!

Overall: A very unique English Ale, that has somewhat of Gueuze-like pedigree.

Well worth seeking out and even sticking some into the Cellar for a bit longer. I know of a few people in the UK who have actually tried one of the base beers, the Olde 5X, during tours of the Brewery – if that ever got released, now that would be something!!

TheLongBeachBum, Oct 20, 2003
Photo of BeerBard
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark brown English Ale that pours with very little head but gives off a rich aroma. The oak barrel aging is easily apparant, but not overpowering. Has a bit of bite but is firmly founded on a chocolate malt. Tastes better as it warms, and broadens in it's mouthfeel.

BeerBard, Oct 17, 2003
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a mahogany color with a light tan head. It forms an excellent amount of lacing when sipped down. The aroma is malty, with chocolate notes. The flavor is rich, malty and chocolatey with a slight oakiness in the drying finish. It is a full bodied brew that is very tasty. It was a very enjoyable beer that took me by surprise.

BeerBuilder, Oct 14, 2003
Photo of kbub6f
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small, coarse, yellowish tan head. Small spots of lacing. Very dark color: toffee/brown, red through light. Tangy, metallic, vinous nose with hints of magic marker. The front is toffee, fruit, sugar. Middle gets a little sour, but there's still plenty of toffee and fruit. Metallic finish fades with temperature, leaving nice tangy apples. This is not bad at all. Tangy, apples and creamier with temp.

kbub6f, Oct 11, 2003
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.

cokes, Sep 22, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another impressive brew from this well known English brewery. The body is quite nice being a rich, deep amber to copper/broze in color and crowned with an ivory colored head that fit the picture quite nicely.

The aroma and taste seem to be classical English in being of a strong base and overlayed delicately with smoothing rather than bittering hops. The result is an exquisitely balanced and smooth, full-bodied drinking experience.

The feel is just as one expects - smooth, clean, not crisp in the ending, but rather a bit lingering and creamy. Drinkability is high for a substantially high alcohol beer.

AtLagerHeads, Sep 16, 2003
Photo of Mark
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep clear mahogany color, head was good at first but shrunk away to near nothing. lacing was a few wisps here and there. Aroma was of sweet malts and fruity hops, classic English aroma. Very smooth malty taste that was both slightly sweet and a tad roasty at the same time. Fruitty hops so typical of fine English ale were in perfect balance with the maltiness. Full bodied and rounded, very drinkable on this coolish September day (not normal) here in California. Outstanding, and bring on winter so I can enjoy more of these types of brews again.

Mark, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of Darkale
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thick, barley-wine-style aroma, sweet and deep. Clear mahogany body with a short, tan, reluctant head. Good lacing.

Slick and slightly chewy in the mouth. Roasted and malty but more bitter than sweet. Refreshing and raspy. Slightly sour and foamy, with an undercurrent of Scotch and peat. Mellow and wide in the mouth.

This is a wonderful beer. It is reminiscent of holiday ales but without the sweetness; yet, it is slicker and sweeter than most English bitters. Eminently drinkable.

Darkale, Aug 27, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark black color, medium head. A full bodied English Ale. This beer is a blend of 2 year old aged in oak beer with fresh young beer. Rich full malts, very complex flavor. Some hop spiciness. Rich, robust complex flavor. Nice taste. Mouthfeel is full and complex. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Very interesting beer.

beerguy101, Aug 19, 2003
Photo of bobes
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rich deep amber/ brown with a minimal head that dissapated quickly. Initial nose was very floral but gave way to a rich roasted malt aroma. Taste is dominated by malt but with a minor hop component. A rich roast after taste lingers in the back of the mouth just long enough to let you know its there, but passes in reasonable time. Mouthfeel is moderately velvety based on the rich malt character, but finishes sort of dry.

On the bottle it is claimed that this is a blened beer, using an oak barrel aged beer and cutting it with a younger beer, a BPA. In this beer I think this works. The roast character is not overpowering and seems well placed in the beer. The blend of the fresh beer definately adds a youth to the final beer that makes it enjoyable. A bit more flavoring hops would make this beer stand out, but that might not be to style.

bobes, Aug 17, 2003
Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at From The Vine monthly beer tasting Aug 4th, 2003: Pours a dark amber-brown with a medium beige head and thin lacing. Aroma of smoke, caramel and malt. Smooth drinking with a nice caramel/maple and malt character. There is also a nice spiced aspect to the flavor that offsets the sweetness. The finish is semi-sweet fruit and malt. Good stuff.

Dogbrick, Aug 06, 2003
Photo of fattychubs
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish colorful dark brown with a nice large tan head. Aroma is complex, malty, with a touch of smoke. Medium body with a complex flavor starting malty, but rounds out with chocolate, molasses moves to wood like notes maybe a little wheat and yeast in there, finishes delicious and crisp.

I really enjoyed this beer and mix of flavors, gets better as it warms, complexity and balanced seemed right on.

fattychubs, Jul 14, 2003
Photo of AudioGilz
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's dark amber with a solid thick coating atop. A strong malty aroma is very pleasant and full of caramel notes. Flavors are dominated by malts at first and it's wonderfully toasty and sweet. Hops come through just enough for an awesome finish. This stuff is friggin awesome, kind of similar to some Scotch Ales I have tried, but smoother.

AudioGilz, Jun 03, 2003
Photo of dwarbi
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thin, small-bubbled head. The beer very dark and murky... cloudy and dark brown. Smells like honey and woods. Not too sweet. I really like the oaken flavor. It really tastes and feels well-aged. Smooth, with a little bite. No lingering sweet aftertaste. wonderful beer.

dwarbi, May 19, 2003
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.

sponberg, Apr 27, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice hazy brownish color with a thick, tight tan head with small bubbles. The smell is very complex with lots of levels. Its a sniffer.
You can smell the alcoholic grains right away, even as it pours out. Has a strong musty bread aroma, yeasty but perhaps more like a burgundy or whiskey. Has some molasses, citrus fruit, and wood-like notes. The taste echos the smell, very complex and multi layered. Its smooth and mellow with a nice fruity dryness that speaks volumes of fresh grains, lets see, had sweet caramel maltyness, some molasses, fresh bread, flour, citrus fruits, small woody and hop notes dance around helping balance out the citrus and alcohol. It has a wine-like feel in the finish and feel, sweet citrusy and dry. Highly drinkable with its complex smell and flavor you'd expect it to knock you on your ass. But its so mellow and smooth. It reminded me sort of a dry lemonade spiked with whiskey. It became more drinkable and dry as it warmed, I liked it a little more when it was colder, but had to drink slowly when it was cold. Packs a good punch when cold.

tavernjef, Mar 23, 2003
Photo of stegmakk
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown with rud tint...thin tan head
Aroma: slight alcohol, wine?, and malt are mixing in here
Taste: Nice...winey...toffee...malty...finish a little bitter...complex in my opinion...
mouthfeel a bit thin
Drinkability...with the nice flavor and a little alcohol warmth...I could drink many of these

stegmakk, Mar 19, 2003
Photo of BeerManDan
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It poured thick and the color was a clear reddish brown, with a tan head and nice lace on the glass. When first smelled, I got a french vanilla and candy aroma. The taste of chocolate, molasses and roasted malts, with a hint of yeast. This is a smooth ale, with a little bitterness in the end to balance out his fine beer. As it warms up I started getting a different flavor, like french vanilla and other complex flavors. What a pleasant surpise to find this beer. Everytime I take a sip, the flavor changed as this beer warms up.

BeerManDan, Feb 25, 2003
Photo of Denali
3.28/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Opaque brown. Very thick tan head that, although dissipated slightly, still remained for the entire beer. Bubbles attached to the glass.

Aroma: Strong burgundy and alcohol smell. Initially there was a musty-bready smell that I did not like at all. The aroma improved a little as the beer warmed and was replaced a little bit by a molasses smell. The musty smell did not go away completely though.

Taste: Roasted caramel and molasses taste up front. Finishes with sweet malt taste and a very slight bitter aftertaste. I enjoyed the taste of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Very little carbonation. A little chewy with a dry and tingly finish.

Drinkability: A sipping beer. A little alcohol warmth.

Comments: Unfortunately the aroma ruined the enjoyment of this beer for me.

Denali, Feb 18, 2003
Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 416 ratings.