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Old Tom - Frederic Robinson Limited

Not Rated.
Old TomOld Tom

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

139 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 139
Reviews: 90
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 2
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
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)
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Ratings: 139 | Reviews: 90 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by silenius:
Photo of silenius


2.25/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I am fairly sure this is an old beer and rumor has it that it is not distributed anymore by Capital Imports. The back label says "BEST BEFORE SEE BOTTLE NECK." I looked and the only thing I saw was this code on the bottle neck L2296 17:03. WTF?

Pours a nice dark red brown with a big head that subsides to a thin collar. Very little lacing. The beer is clear.

Doesn't smell like much, maybe a long since empty cookie jar. Slight brown sugar smell.

Taste is, well, pretty lame. A slightly medicinal twinge then some brown sugar and an echo of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thin and weak.

This beer is hard to choke down after half a bottle. I thought I'd give it a try and that's all it gets.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2005 21:58:48 | More by silenius
More User Reviews:
Photo of XmnwildX12


3/5  rDev -19.8%

07-20-2014 22:10:38 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of Ozzylizard


4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$ 4.29/11.2 oz bottle at Vintage Estates in Boardman, OH
Bottle marked L3346 21:51 at 45 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of earth and pepper, some maltiness
Head large (5 cm), light brown, frothy, diminishing to 3 mm layer
Lacing very good – thick ring extending from the top of the glass to the beers surface, mostly small bubbles
Body very attractive red-amber, clear
Flavor follows the nose – very woody and earthy with some peppery spice – no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

Excellent ale – I could drink this all day if it had a better price point. Oh well; champagne tastes and a beer budget!

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2014 18:17:37 | More by Ozzylizard
Photo of GClarkage


4/5  rDev +7%

07-08-2014 03:14:01 | More by GClarkage
Photo of zenithberwyn


4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

06-25-2014 07:20:52 | More by zenithberwyn
Photo of Haybeerman


4/5  rDev +7%

06-22-2014 20:14:29 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of shelby415


3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

06-08-2014 22:31:12 | More by shelby415
Photo of rulisekmartin

Czech Republic

4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

06-07-2014 06:22:05 | More by rulisekmartin
Photo of endless1408

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

05-31-2014 18:32:35 | More by endless1408
Photo of Latarnik

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

05-29-2014 21:04:23 | More by Latarnik
Photo of JoeAmerican77


4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought from the Aeon at American Village, Okinawa.

A - Pours thick and dark like espresso with a fine two fingers of dark cream on top.
S - Coffey, toffee, caramel, mocha, mollasses, anything and everything delicious
T - The first thing that hits is the Belgique yeast explosion on my tongue, followed shortly by roasted malts and a smattering of the above scents becoming flavor in addition to sweet pit fruits, namely red cherries.
M - Medium to heavy on the tongue with staying power and warmth from the booze. Extremely pleasant carbonation fits the bill nicely.

Overall: This beer came right out of nowhere and made my night. It is always a relief to find good beers in Okinawa, this being a classic no less.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2014 10:13:09 | More by JoeAmerican77
Photo of bacher468


3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

05-18-2014 11:47:05 | More by bacher468
Photo of Packard


4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

05-17-2014 06:01:24 | More by Packard
Photo of BeerDocT


4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Label proclaims it the "World's Best Ale." Hmph. We'll see.

Appearance 3.75: Pours out a murky, opaque dark brown. Very little head and no lacing. Still, this is quite a difference from your typical yellow ale.

Smell 4.50: Ho, wow! As I poured this brew in the bottle, a big wave of malt and caramel seeped up and hit me in the olfactory senses! Amazing bouquet on this beer. Malt, caramel, grassy hops, butterscotch, I could go on but won't.

Taste 4.25: Front is slightly sweet and tart with a lovely hint of malted barley. Middle is slightly caramely with more of the barley and a very nice hint of grassy hops. Finish is so smooth with just a delightful blend of caramely, buttery malt and light hops. Balanced and no over the top sweetness. Aftertaste is long and you get more of that lovely malt along with a pleasant earthy taste reminiscent of porta bella mushrooms.

Mouthfeel 4.0: Beautiful and balanced and outstanding.

Overall 4.25: Excellent beer. Big, balanced and no hint at all of its 8%+ ABV. Smooth, delicious and just an excellent ale, this baby may very well be the best of its kind in the world. It really reminds me of a Scottish ale, what with its deep malt obsession, but it does have the English interest in hops about it as well. This beer was a revelation to me, certainly one I had not heard of before, but certainly one I will buy again, this time in bulk. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2014 05:27:55 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of becsug

United Kingdom (England)

2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

04-26-2014 12:41:06 | More by becsug
Photo of falcon1


4/5  rDev +7%

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


4.46/5  rDev +19.3%
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


3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
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


3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

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


3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
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


3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

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


2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

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


4/5  rDev +7%

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


3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

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

United Kingdom (England)

2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

12-28-2013 22:31:51 | More by Kirk
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Old Tom from Frederic Robinson Limited
84 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.