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Snowbound English Old Ale - The Tap Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Snowbound English Old AleSnowbound English Old Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

49 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.02%
Wants: 3
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Tap Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 02-01-2009

Super malty, dark and slick. Undertones of raisins and some even say it has notes of red wine. Just because you’re stuck inside during the dead of Winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice beer. So go throw another log on the fire and put your feet up on the couch. You don’t find too many Old Ales these days. And you certainly don’t find many this good.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 35
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a super huge brown foamy head (quite a bit of a gusher actually). Aroma of dry caramelized malt with some dry toffee notes. Taste is also dominated by actually quite nice dry caramelized malt notes with some subtle notes of toffee and a generally quite dry finish. Body is about average with too much carbonation. Not too bad for an old ale that was past its best by date by almost three years.

Photo of chinchill
3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Served from a bomber bottle. Pours clear dark brown with a very good head

Aroma: fine except for a bit of vinegar

Flavor: smokey dark roasted grains and a touch of hops, but nonetheless, mildly sweet. Also a int of dates.

O: Decent-good for style.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from 2011.
Pours a deep reddish brown color with a smallish yellow white head that shows moderate retention and minimal lace. The aroma is quite sweet with lots of caramel and brown sugar as well as a fair amount of dark pitted fruits and orange marmalade. Sweet dark sugary flavor is mixed with orange and dark sweet cherry and is cut with a touch of earth melanoidin and alcohol. Hints of smoke and roast round out the flavor nicely. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. I remember trying this fresher and it didn't seem to meld well. With a bit of age on it this is a nice old ale.

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at New World Tavern--poured into a pint glass. Was called Haverhill Old Ale--may be a different old ale from Haverhill

Appearance: minimal head, tan in color, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: oak, toffee, and alcohol

Taste: oak, juniper, caramel, and earthy hops at the end

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium-heavy bodied, sweet with a distinct bitterness in the backbne

Overall: An above average old ale, but nothing I am likely to get again. I do appreciate the mixing of the sweetness and the sharpness of the bitterness. I have had examples in this style that are more complex however.

Photo of puboflyons
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 22 oz. bomber stamped Bottled in January 2011! Sampled on July 22, 2012.

The pour is a gorgeous looking dark brown with reddish highlights in the light, a small, wispy head that fades but laces. Clarity is quite good.

On the nose there are many sensations including sweet dark malts, molasses, licorice, and yeast. It is inviting me to drink it.

The body is medium to full and chewy.

The taste begins malty and sweet almost like a barleywine with a short-lived but light bitterness on the tail end. Some toffee notes as well. Overall it is very mellow. I actually bought this a year after it was a bottled and the aging improved it immensly. I wish I had more.

Photo of womencantsail
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber in color with a thin khaki head. Sweet caramel and brown sugar are about the only positives here. Maybe a touch of dark fruit. Otherwise, lots of cardboard. The flavor is fairly oxidized and cardboardy, too. A bit of toasted bread along with the caramel and brown sugar. Faint notes of raisin in the background.

Photo of vbiliyar
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To me this tastes like a really good brown ale more than an old ale. Didn't really notice it was 8% until I read the ABV on site.

Lots of caramel, but nothing really heavy or (in my mind) "deep" that characterizes an old ale. Slight bitterness at the end. Very very drinkable, though. It tastes more like 6%, which I wish it was. Could down many pints of this while watching a game.

Great beer overall.

Photo of mltobin
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a bomber of this while passing through Mass.

Appearance is brown/dark red, with lacing staying on the head. Its` nose has dark fruit, nuts and toffee. A fairly nice aroma, particularly on a "snowbound" or cold evening. The taste has caramel, raisins, chocolate and toasted malts. Mouthfeel is nearly full, a rather sweet finish. This old ale does not live up to some of the great options in this style. But it can be obtained for a reasonable price and is worth trying once.

Photo of silentjay
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark, but not quite opaque ruby/brown color with a khaki head that quickly settles at a spattering of film with a slight lacing left behind.

very subdued aroma of dark fruits, a touch of leather and sweet malts.

dark fruits covered in chocolate with molasses and lots of toasted malts. a bit subdued in the flavor as well.

medium bodied with subtle carbonation and a bit of molasses/syrup left after the swallow.

It's pretty good. 8% alcohol is well integrated, but it lacks the complexity I like in the style. very muted overall.

Photo of smcolw
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep ruby brown color. Apparently clear but it's hard to tell definitively. Foamy, lasting head. Leaves some spotty a mildly chunky lace.

Milk chocolate and gooey caramel aroma. Sweet and attractive.

The chocolate tastes semi-sweet. The swallow has some white pepper bite to it. The aftertaste is relatively mild and short-lived. Rich bodied with a low level of carbonation. The alcohol is muted despite 8% abv.

Photo of levifunk
2.92/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review done by a non BA friend of my wifes. :)

Looks dark. Little light flecs in it.

Smells like coffee, eww. Also smells like raisens and an old barrel.

Tastes like wood, barrel, and beer. Like raisens.

Mouthfeel is thick, but smooth...like cold coffee.

Overall its not my style but I understand why people may like it.

Photo of tzieser
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottled on January 2011. poured from a 22oz bomber into a Rapscallion tulip.

a: pours a clear, very dark amber color with a one inch off white head that settles into a nice thin lacing.

s: rich, malty aroma with notes of dried fruits (prunes, raisins)

t: sweet, rich malty flavor with notes of dried fruits, caramel. very subtle hop presence which adds a slightly bitter aftertaste. well balanced.

m: smooth mouthfeel

i got this for a pretty good deal @ $3.99 a bottle. i was going to hang on to it until winter time but i really wanted to try it. not many breweries make old ales and i'd stack this one up against any of the better ones i've had (founder's curmudgeon, old engine oil). recommended.

Photo of cbutova
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Dark red body with brown hues as well. A small head forms and fizzes out somewhat quickly. Creamy ring leaves spotty lace.

S- Big caramel, dark fruit, raisin and butter. Cocoa, fig, vanilla as well.

T- Dark fruit, raisin, fig, cocoa and caramel come to mind the most. A smoky hint adds a nice element. Not as sweet or syrup caramel forward as many old ales.

MF- The one flaw= too thin, needs a much thicker body. Moderate carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

A nice beer, the flavors are plentiful and blend well, if only it was a bit thicker.

Photo of number1bum
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish, chestnut brown color with an inch of light beige head. It's clear and pretty calm looking, and keeps a thin, wispy, full lace.

Smells of sweet caramel malt with some buttery toffee as well. There is some dark fruit here too, prunes and raisins. Subtle nutty aroma as well. The caramel is most dominant and is quite nice.

Taste is a bit more bready and less sweet than the nose was. Doesn't have the layers of caramel sweetness that the nose suggested. Has a lightly toasty, slightly bitter, grainy bite to it as well. It's somewhat earthy, with subtle dark fruit flavors. Drinks pretty simple; nose was more complex.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation. Pretty soft and smooth, clean in the finish.

This is a pretty good beer although the nose was more complex and pleasant than the taste. I wish more of the caramel sweetness had translated to the palate. Drinks pretty simple, but it's tasty.

Photo of Hibernator
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snowbound
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass
Bottled in January 2011

Pours an oily brown with a minimal head on top.

Whiffs of sweet tea and light chocolate notes.

A silky and oily caramel malt backbone. Heavy malt usage with a decent hop presence. Juicy apple with caramel flavors.

An easy drinking, high octane Old Ale from a solid Massachusetts brewery. A pleasant sipper on this early March evening.

Photo of Durge
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark black coffee color with a modest off-white head and decent lacing. The aroma is sweet caramel malt and chocolate licorice. Real nice. The flavor keeps things on a high note with a deep malt-molasses and herbal-grass hop combination. There's a touch of smoky charcoal and more of that licorice/root beer hint. It's near glassy smooth in feel, lightly carbonated with a solidly medium body. There's vague alcohol warmth but it drinks quite reasonably. I really like this, especially for a winter refreshment with plenty of flavor. It makes me think of a fairly mild barleywine. Wish there were more old ales out here. Nice job Haverhill!

Photo of Fluke828
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

According to the label this was bottled in January '11
Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Troegs pint glass.

Poured an opaque, dark mahogany with a bold 2 finger head that disspated rather quickly. Little to no lacing.

Smells floral and sweet with coffe and cocoa aromas and hint of dark fruitiness. Tastes similar to the smell with the malts hitting the palate first, almost as if I were enjoying a coffee porter. Bitterness calmly takes over with just a nip of alcohol and carbonation going down. Can really sense the alcohol in the aftertaste even though it isn't too too strong @ 8%.

Suprisingly light mouthfeel for such a heavy tasting beer but feels creamy and airy going across the toungue and mouth and down the hatch.

A crisp, dark(er), and medium bodied brew, perfect for a chilly winter night. Indeed quite drinkable, obviously not sessionable but still enjoyable. Could easily see tossing back two bombers maybe three over the course of an evening/night. Could also easily enjoy with a meal and probably will!

Photo of mmmbeer
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to the guys at Haverhill for dropping this one by the shop. Brewed with English malts, hopped to 42 IBUs with East Kent Goldings, fermented with London ale yeast and aged for three months before being bottled in January '10. Sampled in March. Pours a clear crimson with red wine highlights, and is capped with a thin head that eventually dies completely. Smells richly malty and lightly vinous, bready, with caramel, a bit of roast, fruity yeast, rum bread, a dash of hops and a kiss of ethanol. Hops are the first to hit the palate, but are quickly overrun by a deep maltiness that contributes lots of thick caramel notes and a light backing of roast. The body is medium, a bit dry, and light on the carbonation. Damn tasty beer here, and one that I'm sure will only get more complex with age.

Photo of augustgarage
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ShogoKawada for this one - an unexpected treat. Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter.

Opaque, dark burnt umber body with faint chocolate highlights. A small desert sand head recedes to a lasting collar and a whispy mushroom-cloud shaped surface slick. Pearling weakly soapy lacing, and no legs.

Medium roast coffee, black cherry, toasted rye, and light yeast notes in the nose - subtle but with a good amount of depth.

Initial flavors of cocoa, multiple layers of roast malt from lightly toasted wheat bread to lightly burnt barley. Oats, pine nuts, and faint brown sugar mid-palate. Dry roasty vaguely grainy finish.

Medium-light bodied, moderately carbonated, somewhat low ABV.

Has elements of a porter or mild brown that supersede the dark/stewed fruit you might expect from an Old Ale - still, I enjoyed this example of the style very much.

Photo of MoreThanWine
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Not sure why this site marks this beer as "retired". Anyway poured a lame 1/8" head which dissipated to nothing. Deep dark color like a coke. And I'm not picking up much of any bouquet. Yet the taste is outstanding. Some coffee, chocolate, vanilla, malt and grains. It heads into Bourbon County Stout territory without the traces of actual bourbon. And reasonably affordable too.

Can't stand the label though. Dirty old shoe stretchers may be an original idea or even historic to the brewery's building but they're not really appetizing.

Photo of BogleHill
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Purchased 8-2010. Pours out a deep reddish brown color with minimal lacy head and carbonation that is medium to low. Let this one warm a bit. Aroma is sweet and nutty. Flavor is very complex malty, raisin, prune, nutty, and spicy hopness. Well balanced. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

Photo of alcstradamus
3.01/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes

Pours a deep copper/brown with a huge two fingers of head and good lacing. The aroma is made up of lightly toasted malts, a few used coffee grounds, and some floral hoppiness. The flavor follows the aroma pretty much exactly. The body is medium and carbonation levels are high but soft. Overall this was a manageable beer, but not one with many redeeming qualities.

Photo of Mora2000
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mar for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a clear dark brown color with a white head. The aroma is caramel, toffee and chocolate. The flavor is more of the same with toffee and chocolate being the most predominant flavors. There is very little detectable alcohol. Medium carbonation and thin-medium, slightly watery mouthfeel.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled January 2010. A dark amber color with a small tan head and a bit of lace. Roasted malt aroma, some fruit. Alcohol noticeable. Very nice taste: malt, dark fruit, and tobacco. The alcohol was still present. I thought this beer was a little heavy on the alcohol and a little light on the malt. Still pretty nice.

Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger cream head that fades quickly to a ring, leaving traces of lace. Clear deep mahogany color. Light carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted malt nose. Flavor is malty and some brown sugar. Smooth finish. Not bad but there are better like Harviestoun's Ola Dubh 12 year. Bottled 1/2010; $5.95 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Snowbound English Old Ale from The Tap Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.