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Old Boy Ale - Parallel 49 Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old Boy AleOld Boy Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

75 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 75
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 7.54%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Parallel 49 Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: canucklehead on 08-21-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 75 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yancot
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

yancot, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.61/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Obtained a bottle from the current Parallel 49 "Unparallelled" mixed pack. Looks and smells like an English brown ale, dark sparkly brown with minimal foam and strong nutty, earthy aromas. Little discernible sweetness or fruit on the nose. Certainly a malt-forward brew, with flavors of toasted bread and biscuits predominating. Nice smoky aromatic malt complexity with dry bitter nuts and hints of orange oil and licorice. Reasonably assertive earthy hops recall cigar tobacco. Minimal sweetness throughout with a tea-like astringency in the finish that yields a noticeable puckering effect. Medium bodied but with a little too much carbonation. I'd argue that extra special bitters are typically more sweet and fruity than this exemplar, with more hop aroma. This one comes across well in the malt and old school English bittering hops (Fuggles) departments but otherwise is a bit lacking ... Few or no superlatives apply.

CalgaryFMC, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of jbeervt
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

jbeervt, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of MJ63
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

MJ63, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of crewfan1952
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

crewfan1952, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of djoprahwinfrey
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a really dark amber, pretty weak 1/8 finger of browner head which goes quick and leaves little lacing

S - fairly mild smelling, malts, coffee, caramel

T - toasted grains at the start, caramel, mild coffee, campfire but more so charcoal, malty but not overpowering, slighted toasted coffee finish

M - creamy, medium carbonation, medium body

O - pours okay with a mild aroma but makes up with a balanced taste with some nice flavors. Overall this was enjoyable and i would drink this again.

djoprahwinfrey, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of ZachT
4/5  rDev +11.7%

ZachT, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of deNevers
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

deNevers, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

DaftCaskBC, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of rwshelton2
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

rwshelton2, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of thehyperduck
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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.

thehyperduck, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of joefinnigan15
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

joefinnigan15, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of artemh
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

artemh, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of biegaman
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Old Boy has a coffee-brown colour that does a fair job of concealing the fact that it's actually perfectly clear (at least until some backlight comes into play, at which point the beer's dashing maroon highlights have nowhere to hide). Its head, though off-white, also has some glint.

The beer has a very subtle sweetness reminiscent of roasted pecan or hazelnut; this nuttiness can be found throughout but is nowhere as enticing as in the aroma, where it melds right into the malts' faint coffee-like smokiness and soft chocolatey notes.

Despite prospects of some dark and heavy flavours, no sootiness or meaningful richness ever emerges on the palate. The beer never get's dirty; it's almost as clean as a pale lager. This neutrality is sure to suit mainstream drinkers but is disappointing to those capable of handling even the smallest amount of roast or bitterness.

As mentioned, this recipe showcases light and very agreeable notes of roasted nuts, milk chocolate and toasted whole grain bread. Coffee oils I definitely note too. I don't get much dark or dried fruit myself but I can understand where others are coming from; it's difficult though as all tastes seize completely the moment they slide down the throat.

It seems as though Parallel 49 Brewing designed Old Boy so as to entice drinkers with fuller flavours but carefully ensured nothing too rich or substantial ever actually materialize, less they upset or overwhelm the simple palates of a mainstream audience. The result is pleasant but really only useful as what one would refer to as a "transition beer".

biegaman, Aug 07, 2013
Photo of Molson2000
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Molson2000, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of SebD
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

SebD, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -16.2%

cfalovo97, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of KStark
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

KStark, Jul 19, 2013
Photo of tbeckett
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from the mixed pack. From notes.

A - Poured rusty brown/red. Quite dark with a one finger beige head and mild haze and mild carbonation. Spotty lace with a half finger of retention.

S - Earth, caramel, butterscotch, mild smoke.

T - Raisins, dark bread, mild smoke. Much sweeter than aroma. Dark maltiness dominates.

M - Good mild carbonation, medium body, long fruity finish.

O/D - Not a bad English style. Kinda lacked hopping that other beers in the mixer showed off. Well done, but I wouldn't want lot's.

tbeckett, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Sammy, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of Geoffeweizen
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Geoffeweizen, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of BigGruntyThirst
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

BigGruntyThirst, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of 1stOffender
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

1stOffender, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

dirtylou, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

TheSevenDuffs, Jun 14, 2013
Old Boy Ale from Parallel 49 Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.