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Old Tom - Frederic Robinson Limited

Not Rated.
Old TomOld Tom

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

137 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 137
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.83%
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: 137 | Reviews: 89 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of silenius
silenius

Illinois

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
Photo of bnuttz
bnuttz

Wisconsin

2.28/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

alright, i dont know what the deal with this beer is, but i was completely not impressed. This beer had a skunkish, kind of rotten smell. It poured a really dark amber color. Small head was present. The taste is all malts. Not enough hop balance, I even like my barley wines to be more on the malty side, but this is just too one sided. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2004 03:13:36 | More by bnuttz
Photo of khargro2
khargro2

Georgia

2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

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

United Kingdom (England)

2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

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

Illinois

2.58/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

(Poured into a goblet)

Appearance: Dark mahogany brown with a tan head that disappears quickly. It is pretty opaque in the light with a ring of foam hanging on the edge of the glass.

Smell: very faint aroma but there is some caramel/prune smell with a hint of hoppiness.

Taste: watery taste that doesn't have any layers. A slight prune/pale malt flavor that disappears quickly. There is a little hoppy flavor in the back of the throat after a sip. It lacks warmth or malt that I would expect in a barley wine or the hops to back it up.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is low but the body is very thin and slippery

Drinkability: This beers prime has come and gone. It says it is best before L2296 17:13, but I left my Old Tom decoder ring in the pub. I will have to hunt this one down in cask next time I have a chance.

Thanks to tavernjef for mail this one to me, I'm glad I got the chance to taste this one for myself.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2005 00:34:51 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
ALESwhatCURESya

Wisconsin

2.58/5  rDev -31%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Couldn't pass this up at only $1.99 a bottle. Strange cat on label and what appears to be a reference to Capital Brewery on the neck label. The appearance was pretty weak with a resemblence to flat pepsi. The aroma is pretty malty with chocolate and sugar undertones. Pretty uneventful for a barleywine as far as taste goes. Not as explosive as I hope barleywines are. Decent for a one-time tasting, but not impressive!

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2004 01:57:39 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of aztraz
aztraz

Sweden

2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

06-30-2012 19:18:43 | More by aztraz
Photo of Kirk
Kirk

United Kingdom (England)

2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

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

Illinois

2.85/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 9.3 oz. bottle. Thin head, medium brown color with slighty reddish hue. Smell is a bit medicinal with not too many other scents.
Mouthfeel is a bit too thin, especially for the large alcohol content of an old ale. Mostly medicinal taste, with yeasty and sweet cherry tones. I keep expecting more flavor from the beer, but all I'm left with is the yeasty aftertaste - which isn't bad, but not what I hoped for.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2003 01:09:25 | More by jahred
Photo of Quaffer
Quaffer

Nevada

2.93/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked this one up in KC, MO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer poured a very dark brown with hints of deep amber around the edges. The dense, tan head rose up to under one finger with an aggressive pour and fizzed away quickly. There was only a thin ring around the edge of the glass when I took my first sip, and even that was gone in only a few minutes. There was no lacing.

Smell: Classic English barley wine aromas, if a little on the sweet side. Thick toffee, light caramel, brown sugar, and maraschino cherries dominated over some tart, dark fruit. These were all puncuated by the occasional hit of strong alcohol. There was also some burnt sugar floating around in there. No hops to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied but slightly buttery. Completely flat and dead in the mouth. Smooth beyond what is natural. Smoothness is usually good, but combined with the light body, this beer came across bland, watery, and boring.

Taste: Hardly any of the sweetness that was present in the smell came through in the flavor. Tart cherries and dry alcohol dominated. There were light hints of bitter hops as well. A husky bitterness arose on the finish that was borderline astringent. That was about all there was to this beer.

This was a good beer up until the point that I took a drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2005 23:52:17 | More by Quaffer
Photo of akttr
akttr

Michigan

3/5  rDev -19.8%

07-02-2012 03:34:24 | More by akttr
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Burgandy color. A thin beige head disintegrates into only a rimming. Aroma consists of deep carmelized burnt malt tones. There's a candy like sweetness on the tongue with some dull raisin and dates notes. Some alcohol....not a lot. This barleywine, while not a bad beer, just lacks the complexity and depth and courage I look for in this style. There's not a lot of hop character or bitterness. The malt is overriding, if not that enjoyable. Very average. Not sure I want to cellar that other one I have. Maybe I'll pawn it off on ZAP.

Thanks for effort cokes.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2003 21:24:34 | More by Bighuge
Photo of crowncapcollect
crowncapcollect

United Kingdom (England)

3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

330ml bottle (design is different to photo)

A good example of this style, but not really a style of beer I like. The treacle taste is a bit too dominant for my liking and it is a touch on the sweet side. But, it does look lovely and the smell is quite intriguing.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2009 21:29:55 | More by crowncapcollect
Photo of spicelab
spicelab

Australia

3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle thanks to Lukie.

Dark treacle with a very aggressive pour yielding a two-finger tan head. Good retention and decent lace trails.

In-your-face boozy port nose. Molasses, brandy cherries, raisins and oak. Too much booze.

Very similar to the nose with a tad less aimless booze. Lacks dimension and complexity but holds your attention with the intensity of the fortified dark fruit character.

Mouthfeel is way too limp for flavours this big. Simply no carriage of the bold character that it should be all about.

Disappointed by this. Excessive booze rawness that pretty well fails to integrate with the rich malt and dark fruit character. Similar to, but a pallid imitation of a decent Scotch or Old Ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 11:05:07 | More by spicelab
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fat, medium size bottle. No glued on label. Formed glass into the head of a cat. Kinda cool.
A dark brown, ruby pour. topped with a slight head, kind of soapy looking. Solid color, not bad.
Aroma is sweet. Raisin, plum other dark fruits. Almost too sweet. Like a wine, too much like a wine.
Taste follows nose. Plums, prunes, raisins, dark cherry. A bit slick, yet syrupy. Seems a bit broken down. Malts don't mesh well, hops are non-existant.
a bit hard to finish. Too sweet for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2007 18:19:54 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of mmapes
mmapes

Colorado

3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Traded from Ben in York (thanks!)

Pours cola brown, but is much darker in the glass, a deep reddish brown. Not much head (the bottle is dated about 10.5 months ago). A second pour yields some fizz that dissipates quickly. Served at refrigerator temperature.

Smells mostly sweet and malty, maybe a little sour but not unpleasantly so. Vanilla? Very little hops or bitterness on the nose. Expected a sweet, smooth, carmelly, barleywine-ish flavor based on the smell.

Taste is a bit dryer and more astringent than I expected. Alcohol is very forward. At fridge temps, the flavor is pretty subtle compared to the booze, but I expect will be more interesting after warming up a bit.

As it warms, it grows on me. It has some interesting leather/tobacco notes. Still not very heavy for an 8.5% ale, so perhaps that's a balance some people will like.

Not really what I'm looking for in a strong ale -- I usually like something maltier, smoother, rounder, sweeter. This one is more mineral/alcohol/dry.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2012 22:11:46 | More by mmapes
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
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 canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pretty brown beer with a nice head, but alas nut much going on below the surface. Very smooth and somewhat malty, this beer is too subdued in the flavour profile to being highly regarded. I sensed the quality but could not really grasp the nuances as they were too far down in the mix.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2005 06:39:11 | More by canucklehead
Photo of Skidz
Skidz

Wisconsin

3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out a goldent yellow and sits crimson in the glass. Small head achieved with a forceful pour, but is soon gone, leaving only a bit along the fringes.

Smells of dark, fruity esters (raisins, dates), sweet malts, dark caramel, and a hint of chocolate. A slight hint of alcohol is noted.

Tastes of sweet malts, caramel, prunes and dates, but soon thins out as it becomes astrigent and the alcohol takes over. Finishes off dry and bitter.

Feels a bit thin in the mouth to be honest. I was expecting something a bit more rich and full-flavored. It's smooth through, and the carbonation is at the right level. One of these is enough, however.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2004 18:45:53 | More by Skidz
Photo of TheLevi4000
TheLevi4000

New York

3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

09-01-2013 03:20:14 | More by TheLevi4000
Photo of stuart3368
stuart3368

Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

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

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

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

Idaho

3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

05-24-2013 20:19:47 | More by casapy
Photo of DerBayer
DerBayer

Germany

3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The look is more of a Porter or Schwarzbier than a Barleywine -- minimal head though. Not bad in all.

Smells like a good old Barley wine, summer fruit, some alcohol and harvest spice. There is some chocolate in the background though again more like a Porter or maybe a Stout

Taste is overpowered by chocolate like Porter Stoutness

Mouthfeel is refreshing and creamy. I could have it again but I am disappointed since this should be labelled a stron Barley Porter so you would know what to expect

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2009 19:26:36 | More by DerBayer
Photo of stcules
stcules

Italy

3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful dark mahogany color. Brownish head, relatively abundant, compact and sticky, even if not too persistent. Good appearance.
The smell has good woody notes, with vanilla and raisins. A good dark maltiness in the background.
The wood note becomes softer in the taste. Not bad at all. Intersting and pleasant. Woody and vanilla. Even some chocolate.
In the aftertaste a good resolute bitterness. And again wood and vanilla notes.
More than plesant.
Good nightcup.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 16:49:53 | More by stcules
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Old Tom from Frederic Robinson Limited
84 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.