Snowbound English Old Ale - The Tap Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Snowbound English Old AleSnowbound English Old Ale

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BA SCORE
85
very good

48 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 48
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:
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 added by: Bierman9 on 02-01-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jamie2dope:
Photo of jamie2dope
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Time to get snowbound. I poured this one slowly in to a Harpoon 100 Barrel Series tulip. Not much head ( a little white lacing), but a really nice hazy chestnut brown color. From the nose I get some chocolate, brown bread, and powdered sugar. The taste is big and malty, with tons of fresh grain and chocolate coming through, but never becoming heavy in any way. The alcohol is kept in check, and makes for a really good beer to serve with dessert. I damn near gulped this somewhat large bodied beer down, which I guess counts for something as far as drinkability. I am a fan of aging beers, and I am sure this one would do well with some age, but it is drinking really well now, so I will leave that up to you. Cannot wait to try this on tap. Definitely my favorite so far from Haverhill in their series of bombers. Cheers

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
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 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 Mora2000
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
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 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 augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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 JGuill
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of puboflyons
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
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 Phyl21ca
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
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 MisterSH
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've got a bomber bottled 1/10... this is still 1/10 so it's real fresh.
An aggressive pour reveals a rich, deep woody brown beer with a head that slowly appears and never grows very large. Aroma is caramel and sweet, also a strong roasty malt note and certainly hints of vanilla and oak. A slight hop on the nose but it's not too prominent, just enough for some balance.
First taste is dark, full-bodied malt, followed by some caramel sweetness and then a strong roasty note to escort the beer down the palate. There's a nice caramel flavor that stays present throughout, pretty mellow on the sweetness and balanced well by a really robust, almost portery malt-profile. A fairly strong hop bitterness compliments the beer and asserts itself particularly on the finish, when it mixes nicely with the roasty and slightly smoky malt for a surprisingly crisp finish, kept interesting by some vanilla and toffee hints.
Mouthfeel is fairly heavy and quite syrupy, dextrinous and low on the carbonation and with some real body on the tongue. It's a sipper, but the flavors are so complex and dense that the feel of the beer seems just right.
Another great offering from Haverhill! This is a tasty malt-heavy beer with a nice hint of sweetness and some really interesting things going on overall. At apparently 8%, it's not a huge beer, and drinkability is in my mind quite high, but the full body keeps this one a slow sipper, like it should be. Very nice now, and I can imagine it would be very nice with a little more time on it.

Photo of mtomlins
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Fluke828
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
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 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 spinrsx
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of IBUnit63
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at The Tap. Website says 8% ABV and 42 IBUs.

Now that's quality...good 1 1/2 finger head sticks a while with decent lacing. Body is that color of a Starbucks daily dark roast. A little hint of carbonation makes itself known.

A little light on the nose actually - darkness of malt mainfests itself in slight caramel/molasses tones. Maybe a hint of floral hops. Velvety nonetheless.

There we go...at first this one's all about the deep dark roast with slight residual sweetness and a hint of booze (just to remind you it's there). With warmth there's more complexity - a little nuttiness, some mild hop grass and a little pine. Much cleaner than the ABV level indicates.

Hearty is the word. Deep bench strength here. The dark nuts mix with a mellow hop bitterness to balance a coating (by no means cloying) sweetness on the palate and finish up nicely.

Oh yeah, this is a sipper. Still, it rolls much more sessionable than it should. Nicely done!

Photo of alcstradamus
3/5  rDev -21.3%
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 cbutova
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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 levifunk
2.95/5  rDev -22.6%
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 jlindros
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap @ Horseshoe pub in Hudson, MA, with nitro tap!

A: A long crazy nitro upsidedown waterfall head, creamy, and takes up half the glass and 5 minutes to settle. A very dark brown color with little light shining through.

N: A creamy nitro aroma somewhat gets in the way, but I can forgive that. Not sure if this beer should have been nitro-ed. After that comes some dark malts and roast. A nice subtle dark malt aroma with very slight hints of hops. A slight touch of oak I think.

T: Again starts with nitro creamy flavor that I feel shouldn't be there. Tasting through that I get more malts. Dark malts, some light caramel, a nice roasted malt flavor, touch of coffee. Then some nice oak, almost as if it came from a cask. Some bitter stout flavors and dark roast come through. More wood flavors, a little vanilla, and that oaked "real ale" like flavor. It's not bad. Through all that is some creamy milk and lactose combined with the nitro. A slight bitterness with touch of spicy hops.

M: Creamy nitro feel and medium body.

F: Finishes slightly more bitter as the hops finally seem to come through, some spicy hops that is. Semi sweet with the residual sugar and thick creaminess of it. Some light wood as well. More stout earthy charred bitterness too.

Photo of jdhilt
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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 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 nmann08
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of johnnnniee
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
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 Duhast500
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a dark red and pretty cloudy, with about a half finger of head and some slight lacing.

The smell is a bit dark malt and some dark fruit flavors mixed in there together.

The taste is pretty sweet and it giving off a flavor of butterscotch and some caramel flavor. It also has a slight bitterness as well.

The feel is pretty refreshing and goes down easy, more a surprise is how this beer does not leave you with a wrecked tongue. It is with you for just about the right time and them goes away and does not linger on the pallet.

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Snowbound English Old Ale from The Tap Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.