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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 Fluke828
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!

Fluke828, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of mmmbeer
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.

mmmbeer, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of augustgarage
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.

augustgarage, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of MoreThanWine
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.

MoreThanWine, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of BogleHill
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

BogleHill, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of alcstradamus
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.

alcstradamus, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
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.

Mora2000, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of lordofthewiens
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.

lordofthewiens, May 14, 2010
Photo of jdhilt
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.

jdhilt, May 10, 2010
Photo of gfreed
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.

gfreed, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of tpd975
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.

tpd975, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of jlindros
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.

jlindros, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of jamie2dope
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

jamie2dope, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of ShadesOfGray
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.

ShadesOfGray, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
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.

steve8robin, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of Bierman9
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

Bierman9, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of MisterSH
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

MisterSH, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of Duhast500
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.

Duhast500, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of IBUnit63
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!

IBUnit63, Feb 01, 2009
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Snowbound English Old Ale from The Tap Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.