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
84
good

35 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 49
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 9.33%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 49
Photo of gfreed
2.81/5  rDev -25.1%
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. (771 characters)

Photo of levifunk
2.92/5  rDev -22.1%
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. (326 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
3.01/5  rDev -19.7%
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. (386 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
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. (317 characters)

Photo of mltobin
3.15/5  rDev -16%
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. (487 characters)

Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.3/5  rDev -12%
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. (863 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.31/5  rDev -11.7%
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. (252 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
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. (364 characters)

Photo of silentjay
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
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. (534 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
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. (610 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (437 characters)

Photo of Fluke828
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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! (1,024 characters)

Photo of number1bum
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (929 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.75/5  rDev 0%
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. (339 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev 0%
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. (646 characters)

Photo of mmmbeer
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (801 characters)

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. (552 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (868 characters)

Photo of tpd975
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (496 characters)

Photo of Hibernator
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (422 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (756 characters)

Photo of IBUnit63
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
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! (982 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (1,267 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at The Liquor Shoppe last week, 22oz for $5.49 plus tax/dep. Bottled Jan, 2010, so it's pretty fresh (like the quaffer). Snowbound seems like a good option while watching USA-Switzerland Olympic hockey in HD with the snow coming down hard and heavy outside.

My imperial pint glass is filled with a deep, dark chestnut liquid. It is slightly hazy, and when back-lit displays some lovely mahogany highlights. Head is mostly nonexistant after the first half-minute or so, save for a smattering of tan bubbles at the edge. Otherwise, nichts for a topping, and little lacing either. The beauteous color is the saviour for "appearance". Aroma is very enticing, with lots of malt coming through. Caramel and brown sugar are most prominent, and it almost seems like a Scotch Ale. Body is medium to medium-plus, and the feel is silky smooth, with only a light touch of carbo on the tongue.

Nice flavor here, as well. It's quite solid in the malt department, with caramel and toffee shining. There's a suggestion of dark fruit, which comes across reminding me of a rummy fruit-cake. Hopping is at a decent level, with a floral bitterness balancing the malty sweetness nicely. I like the malts in this one, but wish it had more flavor complexity. Still, it is well-made, tasty and drinkable. Cheers!!

4
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

1223 (1,368 characters)

Photo of jamie2dope
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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 (823 characters)

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Snowbound English Old Ale from The Tap Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.