1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Old Tom - Frederic Robinson Limited

Old TomOld Tom

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

125 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 87
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%


Brewed by:
Frederic Robinson Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cokes on 01-13-2003)
View: Beers (10) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 87 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by flyingpig:
Photo of flyingpig
flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml Bottle from Asda Supermarket:
Chestnut brown with a few red tinges and a tiny, white to tan lace on top that turns patchy fairly quickly.

Fruity, sweet malts and a lot of alcohol on the nose with some darker, strong fruits and berries coming through. There was also a touch of caramel and some rich fruits with sugar. Pleasant but perhaps the alcohol could have been hidden slightly better.

Sweet with some alcohol but not as much as with the smell, there is however the same, strong fruit and richness. I could detect some plums and a few other darker fruits with some caramel and toffee coming through as well as some cherries.

Smooth and a little spicy but with a lot of alcohol that had a negative impact on my opinion of the beer. The taste was sweet and boozy and the mouthfeel was medium to full bodied.

An average beer if truth be told, I did enjoy it but they alcohol was a little strong and although pleasant the sweetness and fruity flavours did little to mask it. The beer is a strong and boozy one that leaves you with a warming alcohol taste to it and it was easy enough to drink despite the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 15:27:46 | More by flyingpig
More User Reviews:
Photo of falcon1
falcon1

Ohio

4/5  rDev +7.5%

04-17-2014 03:31:57 | More by falcon1
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier

Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(poured into a balloon)

A: very dark, reddish-brown liquid, clear.... almost an inch of spongy tan foam on the pour - thought it would stay longer - alas, it did not - settled into a ring around the edge

S: gotta say - this almost smells like Abt 12(?!)... very fruity - sort of strawberry, grape, cherry.... bold presence of dark caramel, sweetish, desserty - perhaps a mild, sweetish coffee in there?... the booze is more felt in the nose than overtly detected as a scent - in other words, it's tucked far back behind the other aromas

T: raisin, cherry skin, dark brown sugar syrup up front... fairly assertive, tonic-herbal nuance starts around midway, coursing through the finish, ending with dark, dried cherry, toffee, and a medicinal booze (akin to Ny-Quil?) in the aftertaste - just hanging there... gotta be judicious, nearly indulgent use of dark invert sugars here - I wouldn't call this necessarily sweet - superb balance from alcohol and bitterness tempers it, at least - but the melanoidin-derived flavors associated with candy sugar are all too present... the bitterness grows fairly assertive after long. raining down on and flooding the palate - thank heavens for it!

M: approaching fullish-ness - actually, considering what the flavors suggest, I'm surprised it's not a notch or two more viscous - a soft rinse of suds seem to balance that with a phantom rush of clean booze on its heels... vaguely-menthol cooling sensation at the back of the throat after the finish...

O: fan-damn-tastic!... is this what a latter-day Burton Ale tasted like? I've found few British imports here in the States that have tasted quite like this... can't help but pick up another bottle

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 06:57:46 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

all old ale should taste like this. old tom is a classic, a genuine no frills english ale of the highest class. underrated as they get, this is everything we think about when we envision old world english evenings turning into late nights, and as claystation phrased it so eloquently, one sip and you expect to be visited by the ghosts of christmas past present and future all at once. its got just enough dark malt roast without being bitter like darker ales, rich enough, without being sweet at all, even dry in fact, and hefty while still being sturdy yet sessionable. its winter beer for me i think, but its not that confined. the combination of grain and yeast in this is impressive, i dont wish for anything else. a great balance between dark and light as well as strong and approachable are on display here. one of the more enjoyable beers on the market at about five bucks a bottle, it is an overwhelming success and a fantastic example of what true english old ale should taste like and feel like. a blue collar treat.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 16:11:23 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of lesdemonsamaporte
lesdemonsamaporte

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

02-03-2014 18:23:11 | More by lesdemonsamaporte
Photo of artoolemomo
artoolemomo

Oregon

3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which has better retention. The head is a medium khaki/beige while the body is a murky chestnut brown which appears as a hazy maroon when held up to the light. Lacing seems to be solid and consists mostly of sheeting.

Nose- This is dominated by warm and inviting malt. Starts off with banana, moves to molasses and honey, and then finishes with caramel. It takes a while but slight notes of raisins do appear. Swirling doesn't reveal anything else.

Taste- This is not a beer to be taken lightly and while the heat might not be that strong, you can tell right away. Heavy malts with caramel and raisins being the biggest notes initially while a honey and syrup note seem to coat the back end. Almost reminds me a honey liqueur. Some bitterness on the backend- mostly of the woody variety. Strikes me as little thin and doesn't seem to work for this beer. Some notes of pepper but really could use more presence and complexity. Especially for a beer that proclaims to be the “The World's Best Ale.” Still pretty solid as the initial heat begins to diminish and the honey, caramel, and raisin take over. Very syrupy. Some citrus and burnt caramel around the edges. Between above average and good, solid beer. No flaws but doesn't do anything amazing.

Mouthfeel- Almost medium bodied but it might just be the heaviness of the syrup on the palate that suggests this. Carbonation is rather subdued.

Drinkability- Fairly easygoing but does take some time warming up to. Lively enough amongst many English beers but rather docile by American standards. A little much at 5 bucks a 330 mL beer. Would be interesting to try it on draught.

Overall- Above average to good beer. Seems fairly true to a style that I don't have much experience with. I'll have to track down a Bracia to get a firmer idea of the English Strong Ale. Definitely worth a shot as I can see this beer having fans.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 07:38:38 | More by artoolemomo
Photo of ImperatorScab
ImperatorScab

Tennessee

3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

01-23-2014 00:07:05 | More by ImperatorScab
Photo of khargro2
khargro2

Georgia

2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

01-07-2014 05:16:15 | More by khargro2
Photo of Renegrenade
Renegrenade

Texas

4/5  rDev +7.5%

01-07-2014 03:08:34 | More by Renegrenade
Photo of Phillybrewhead
Phillybrewhead

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

12-29-2013 01:19:52 | More by Phillybrewhead
Photo of Kirk
Kirk

United Kingdom (England)

2.75/5  rDev -26.1%

12-28-2013 22:31:51 | More by Kirk
Photo of WGO
WGO

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

12-09-2013 23:34:22 | More by WGO
Photo of stuart3368
stuart3368

Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

11-14-2013 01:30:48 | More by stuart3368
Photo of Zach136
Zach136

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

11-13-2013 22:13:50 | More by Zach136
Photo of PaulsBrew
PaulsBrew

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

11-11-2013 01:00:35 | More by PaulsBrew
Photo of ISmith87
ISmith87

Arizona

3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - 4 - This beer is a really dark brown mahogany color with a nice ring of head that sticks around and leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Bottle is cool looking, nice old style, dark design.

S - 4 - Really nice old ale smell - caramel, coconut, booze, hop bite, vanilla, bourbon.

T - 3.75 - Not as full as you might expect from the smell, it's good though. Same notes come out in the taste. Maybe a little bit more boozey than I'd want, it would probably be really good aged. Caramel, coconut, bourbon, vanilla, hops.

M - 3.75 - Medium - heavy mouthfeel. Alc is present, at 8.5% almost a little too much. Aftertaste is nice vanilla caramel.

O - 3.75 - This is a good old ale, but not the best by far. The American made ones are more smooth w less booze taste - like Bell's Third Coast Old Ale and Double DBA.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2013 03:09:48 | More by ISmith87
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Squat 330ml bottle purchased from Stanmore Cellars.

Uncaps without much ceremony, a minor hiss that releases a tiny amount of carbonation. Body is a deepish, oily brown with a seeming clarity in the thinner parts of the glass. Head forms a very fine mesh across the top, eventually petering out to a thin but creamy ring. Carbonation is powdery. Overall, it looks pretty good.

Nose is malt-heavy, but with a distinct savoury overtone. Like rich malt extract spiked with seaweed glutamates. Some grainy notes come through as well, which somewhat add to the body of the savoury character, although they don't really add any additional savoury notes themselves. As it warms, the sweetness comes through a little more, giving some wild honey and crushed biscuits. Not bad.

Smooth entry on the palate belies the strong heat which pounces on the second half, leaving a sherry-like boozy ache on the back. The sweetness drops out about three quarters of the way in, leaving it malt-poor on the finish, and leaving the finish reminiscent of ink. Slight oxidation characters don't help this assuage this impression.

Feel is smooth enough on the entry, but it disappears as the booze increases, leaving it volatile and hot in the mouth.

Overall: watch out. This has an unpleasant heat to the booziness on the back that's not matched by enough flavour to give it structure or purpose. By the end, I felt a little bit battered.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2013 06:06:34 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

11-01-2013 14:27:31 | More by EmperorBevis
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.34/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark coloring, nearly black, with a beautiful off-white, creamy head above. Wonderful.

Aroma: deceptively soft, smooth and creamy. Malty-sweet, but even-tempered and expertly balanced.

Taste: Enters the palate full, rich and in complete domination. Rowdy, ruddy, and taking no prisoners. This brew tastes like an old tom behaves, it throws itself around without regard for societal norms and common regard. Dark fruit on the flavor, some spice, massive malt, some toffee and a touch of caramel. All very well-played and perfectly put. No over-weening hops, no over-bearing malt, but this is still a large beer, just like any Tom Cat strutting it's stuff.

Philosophical question: is the American barley-wine style better because it's bigger, and hoppier? I say, not necessarily. If you can't handle some subtlety, if you need to be pounded on by every beer you try, …well, you're missing a lot. There is so much to be said with just plain old good taste. This is a barley-wine, but don't expect a ton of American-style over-hopping. Don't expect to be burned by over-…alcoholing…?
What's wrong with the classics, I ask, and I don't expect an answer, because I know what it should be. If you want something delicious, and beautiful, cool, calm and slightly cacophonous, Old Tom's your man. Deee-lightful. Tasty, tasty, tas-teee……

this is so good, so malty, cool, calm, and utterly lovely. My goodness. I like this more and more, as I drink it down. I'm practically in love with it, ...mmmm.

Serving type: on-tap

10-22-2013 03:49:26 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of speak72
speak72

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

10-11-2013 23:05:50 | More by speak72
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brownish-red color and a slightly hazy texture. There was a big, off white, long-lasting foamy head. Very good lacing.

S: An interesting aroma of malt, caramel, and a vinous quality.

T: Tasted of caramel, dark fruit (plums especially), malt, light hops, and the aforementioned vinous quality. A solid flavor here. At first it seemed a little thin, but seemed to get better as it went along. Subtle, yet complex.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat boozy finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A well done, oddly likeable beer. Definitely tasty and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 22:56:52 | More by avalon07
Photo of TheLevi4000
TheLevi4000

New York

3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

09-01-2013 03:20:14 | More by TheLevi4000
Photo of mrfrancis
mrfrancis

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

07-07-2013 19:07:52 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost opaque super brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, molasses, and slight dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with dark fruit, toffee, and alcohol flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is slightly strong and boozy.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 05:34:29 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of RedneckBeerz
RedneckBeerz

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

06-25-2013 12:32:04 | More by RedneckBeerz
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Old Tom from Frederic Robinson Limited
84 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.