Old Boy Ale - Parallel 49 Brewing Company
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Ratings: 71 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by thehyperduck:
3.38/5 rDev -6.1%
341 mL bottle from the LCBO, pulled from their Unparalleled sampler pack. No packaging date given - there's a spot for this information provided on the six-pack box, but it was left blank. I didn't mind the Hoparazzi I tried last night, but let's see how this brewery fares with a style whose base flavours can't simply be obscured with a dump truck full of hops. Served slightly chilled.
Pours a deep mahogany hue with some ruby red tinges under the light, and topped at first with two fingers of loose, puffy, light beige-coloured head. It recedes steadily over the next few minutes, leaving in its place a modest, dense cap about 1 cm thick. Not much in the way of lacing. The aroma is decidedly malty, but rather subdued. Hints of almond, chocolate and toasted bread/biscuits are noticeable, as well as a respectable dose of earthy, English-style hoppage.
Seems promising enough so far, but my first sip leaves me disappointed and confused. There is a lot of fruity, almost sour raisin-and-plum-like character in this flavour profile, and it is irritatingly noticeable from start to finish. This flavour mingles with the malts initially, which provide some notes of brown sugar sweetness, milk chocolate and toasted nuts. The hops become prominent toward the finish, providing an earthy bitterness that sufficiently counters the malts. Mildly earthy aftertaste that meekly clings to the palate. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation and very fine bubbles that gently prickle the tongue. Fairly balanced in flavour and reasonably drinkable, but not an inspiring English-style ale at all.
Final Grade: 3.38, a serviceable B-. I generally like English bitters and brown ales, but Parallel 49's Old Boy Ale just isn't doing it for me. The flavours aren't awful, but the fruity sourness clashes intensely with the rest of the profile, and it all adds up to a brew that is less than the sum of its parts. Suffice it to say, I'm not impressed, nor am I inclined to purchase this again. I agree with the other reviewers who consider this more of a brown ale than a bitter, although in all honesty it's not a great example of either style. There are plenty of imported British bitters that I would greatly prefer over this stuff, and I would recommend that you stick with them, too.
NOTE: The second bottle of this was consumed at (air-conditioned basement) room temperature, and it actually came together much more nicely. I'm not changing the score (since the bottle itself suggests serving this chilled to 4-7 degrees C), but it's a fact worth considering.
08-18-2013 18:21:19 | More by thehyperduck
More User Reviews:
3.58/5 rDev -0.6%
341ml, corporately embossed bottle, another single from my craft six-pack from a heretofore unfathomable Whyte Ave booze purveyor. A Mr. Peanut parody, obviously involving a pint glass, holds the fort on the actual label.
This beer pours a clear, dark ruby amber tint, with two fingers of tight foamy, somewhat creamy beige head, which renders a decent string of broad webbed lace around the glass as it eases its way out of existence.
It smells of biscuity caramel malt, some further toffee nougat, a subtle oily nuttiness, and soft earthy, leafy hops. The taste is lightly toasted bready caramel malt, some mild crackery biscuit notes, further indistinct bar-top nuts, a slight twinge of bittersweet chocolate, and more forest floor, somewhat herbaceous hops.
The bubbles are fairly restrained in their ardor, the body a solid medium weight, and rather smooth by any measure. It finishes on the sweet side, the dark bread, toffee, and roasted biscuits basically lording it over those punk-ass, underachieving hops.
A decent enough ale, with a hell of a lot more to recommend it as an English Brown Ale, than the current ESB designation, a style otherwise close to my heart and/or palate. Anyways, approach this as the former, and you will be adequately, if not pleasantly, satisfied.
09-12-2012 03:53:05 | More by biboergosum
3.78/5 rDev +5%
A - clear deep brown, finger of head slowly settled at a half finger covering, no significant lacing
S - very nutty with some caramel and light dark fruity notes
T - big cashew and almond nuttiness, mild notes of caramel and brown sugar
M - biggish body and very creamy, finishes full
O - this is definitely better characterized as an english/nut brown rather than ESB, and in that light it makes a rich malty treat
11-23-2012 02:01:14 | More by joemcgrath27
British Columbia (Canada)
3.5/5 rDev -2.8%
Poured from a 355ml bottle. Pours a brown-orange colour with a thin head. The nose is all about cereal malt notes with hints of chocolate and coffee. The mouthfeel is pretty soft and smooth. On the palate there are chocolate, grain and cracker notes with a slight bitterness on the finish.
11-29-2012 19:01:58 | More by CookstLiquor
British Columbia (Canada)
3.73/5 rDev +3.6%
A: A clear rudy brown with active streams of carbonation that pored with a thin finger of creamy head, that left just a scant lacy scattering of tiny bubbles.
S: Hints of toffee malts followed by minerals, fairly mild on the smell while cool, but developed as it warmed.
T: a flush of bitters that quickly followed up by notes of pleasant malty brown ale, then to be followed again by more bitters. The tug of war between bitters & malts are complex and intriguing, and the warmer the brew gets the better it tastes.
M: Light to medium mouth feel, very mild carbonation.
O: Easy drinking brew that would go great with pub fare & sports. Much better warmed a bit, be sure to be patient when tring it the first time.
09-03-2012 02:04:59 | More by FondueVoodoo
3.46/5 rDev -3.9%
12oz Bottle from the Orleans LCBO, part of a mixed 6 pack for $13
Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size fizzy/frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there isn't much lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes before it was gone.
Smell - Malts, chocolate, grains
Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and a light smokiness. There are also earthy notes and a bit of a dark fruit flavour. It ends with a chocolatey and matly aftertaste.
Overall - As the last reviewer said, more of a Brown Ale than a ESB. Either way, this is a solid beer if you're a fan of brown ales. Not my favourite style, but worth trying for sure.
06-02-2013 00:43:56 | More by spinrsx
3.79/5 rDev +5.3%
Appearance: It has a nice deep amber color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves little lacing.
Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of caramelly malts, a slight nuttiness, dark fruit chocolate and some smokiness.
Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some sweet caramel, some nuts, slight roasted chocolate, sweet dark fruit and some earthy notes.
Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.
Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.
07-22-2013 21:24:23 | More by SebD
District of Columbia
3/5 rDev -16.7%
From a bottle, pours a dark caramel mahogany with a very creamy white head.
The nose is sweet, crystallized sugar, chocolate, toffee with bitter and piney hops. A little toasty too. Flavor is smokey, which I was not expecting. It is very crisp, but the flavor finishes almost burnt oats or nuts. The chocolate is fighting to come through, but the smoke is overpowering it, damaging what I think the beer was supposed to be. It is almost like tobacco. It's thin and a bit watery, would be better with more body.
Overall, not sure what happened. Could have been better, but wasn't.
08-23-2014 19:52:27 | More by nmann08
3.51/5 rDev -2.5%
More of a brown ale than an ESB, this would make a good deck beer I think. Brown in col our and soft in feel it misses the ESB mark, but still has some nice flavors and qualities.
I might not chase after this beer, but if someone handed it to me on the dock, I'd be happy to drink it.
05-31-2013 20:02:22 | More by polloenfuego
Old Boy Ale from Parallel 49 Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.