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Snowbound English Old Ale - The Tap Brewing Company

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%


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 | Show All Ratings:
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 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 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 smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 00:19:15 | More by smcolw
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 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 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 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 puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2012 21:54:29 | More by puboflyons
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2010 23:59:15 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

4.3/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 03:25:38 | More by Durge
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +4.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 20:27:33 | More by Bierman9
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 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 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 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 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 Duhast500
Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 06:15:37 | More by Duhast500
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 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 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 MoreThanWine
MoreThanWine

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2010 09:16:36 | More by MoreThanWine
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 jamie2dope
jamie2dope

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2010 23:20:27 | More by jamie2dope
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Snowbound English Old Ale from The Tap Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.