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Snowbound English Old Ale - The Tap Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Snowbound English Old AleSnowbound English Old Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

44 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.26%
Wants: 2
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: 44 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gfreed
gfreed

Massachusetts

2.83/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'd classify this more as a strong brown ale, or perhaps a weak old ale. In either case, it's a solidly mediocre beer. Decent mahogany color with a manilla-folder yellow head that was rather difficult to generate. Not surprising, given the low carbonation of the style. Some vinyl in the nose along with nice vanilla, maybe some... cloves? Cocoa? Not sure; there isn't a lot to smell. Not a lot to taste, either. I detected some more vanilla as well as a decent roasted-grain flavor, but it seemed rather flat overall. After 20 minutes in the glass it got even flatter. Poo. My experience with Haverhill Brewery is that the beers with the beer+broads labels are rather blah, while those with the shoe lasts are somewhat better. This shoe-last beer barely makes the grade.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2010 23:16:26 | More by gfreed
Photo of levifunk
levifunk

Wisconsin

2.95/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 02:06:21 | More by levifunk
Photo of alcstradamus
alcstradamus

Washington

3/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2010 21:11:33 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3/5  rDev -21.5%

02-10-2013 12:07:10 | More by nmann08
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 21:45:30 | More by womencantsail
Photo of mltobin
mltobin

Connecticut

3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2012 02:08:01 | More by mltobin
Photo of ShadesOfGray
ShadesOfGray

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks jmu500! Poured from a 22oz bottle bottle into my Delirium Tremens snifter/tulip. Pours a dark cloudy maroon color once filled. No head what-so-ever when pouring...a few seconds after the pour, a small fizzyness forms and quickly dissapears. No lacing is present. Great color, dissapointed though on lack of head.

Aroma is nice...sweet, malty, slightly boozy. Dark fruits, yeast, a little caramel. Nice presentable, yet pretty average aroma.

Flavor is decent, but not exciting/complex for an old ale. A little bite up front, but mild. A sweeter, thicker mouthfeel and flavor follows shortly after in a second wave. Caramel notes, malts and yeast...dark over ripe fruit. Very low carbonation, which is what is really dissapointing me on this beer. I don't know if I have a bad bottle, but it was stored correctly. Overall, a good beer...an average old ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2010 02:29:45 | More by ShadesOfGray
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 02:00:08 | More by chinchill
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.4/5  rDev -11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2010 22:19:16 | More by jdhilt
Photo of silentjay
silentjay

Massachusetts

3.4/5  rDev -11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2012 06:41:46 | More by silentjay
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2012 17:14:29 | More by tigg924
Photo of number1bum
number1bum

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 00:45:29 | More by number1bum
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2010 02:12:18 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Fluke828
Fluke828

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 23:51:07 | More by Fluke828
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

02-09-2014 21:47:28 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of mmmbeer
mmmbeer

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 17:41:30 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.78/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 00:40:32 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 02:48:04 | More by cbutova
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 01:18:20 | More by augustgarage
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky brown hue some floaters with a nice tall tan head. Head dies to a ring with some lace.

S: Mild aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, and dark fruit.

T: Pretty tasty. Nice chocolate with hints of coffee. Mild roast which adds to the enjoyment. Mild notes of dark fruit with tinges of caramel and darkened brown sugar.

M: Medium in body, smooth, ample carbonation.

D: Good, a real solid ale. Not pushing the limits when it comes to Old Ales, but tasty and drinkable none the less.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 22:14:16 | More by tpd975
Photo of Hibernator
Hibernator

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 23:46:15 | More by Hibernator
Photo of steve8robin
steve8robin

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided to try this local brew...

A: Dark, with brownish / ruby highlights around the brew. Tiny white head that fades to nothing but a couple bubble on top of the brew. Nothing special.

S: Getting some oaky malts with hints of vanilla. Doesn't smell too bad at all. I wish the scent was a little more prominent, but once you grasp it, it smells good.

T: Oaky taste upfront with hops and water followed. Hints of alcohol in the middle and more water on the backend. Not too bad, but not amazing.

M: Hint too much on the carbonation of this one. Not too bad.

D: Goes down fairly easy.

All in all, this is not a bad brew. Not sure if it can compete with other brews in the same style, but it's definitely a good local brew to try if you get the chance.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2010 03:18:17 | More by steve8robin
Photo of IBUnit63
IBUnit63

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2009 13:09:36 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-02-2010 19:03:48 | More by jlindros
Photo of stoppertb18
stoppertb18

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.7%

01-22-2014 00:51:01 | More by stoppertb18
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Snowbound English Old Ale from The Tap Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.