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LongShot Old Ben Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
LongShot Old Ben AleLongShot Old Ben Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

256 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 256
Reviews: 228
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 3
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: smcolw on 04-02-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 256 | Reviews: 228 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

Pretty sweet but very drinkable and enhoyable. Vanilla, above average mouthfeel. Dark cherry colour with some white head. Vanilla Malty, with a bit of cherry aromas and that was true in the aroma and the taste. Bitterness is very secondary.Some raisins, a tad woody. Suitably carbonated.

Sammy, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +5.8%

t0rin0, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a caramel amber color with a small white head. Nose brings forward some caramel, brown sugar, and a low dose of hops. The taste is brown sugar, caramel, some lighter dark fruits, and some booze. Medium body with a nice warming effect from the alcohol. Drinkability is pretty good; looking forward to seeing how this ages.

Thorpe429, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

zestar, May 21, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +5.8%

"It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated... it is finished when it surrenders."

--Ben Stein

Glowing topaz topped by a creamy crown of orangish ivory cream that filled the upper third of the snifter on the pour. Gradual meltage, splendid looks while doing so, and a high collar of thick lace all combine to earn the good score.

The aroma is less impressive. It's toasted and earthy, with some background contribution from caramel and almost no hoppiness. No alcohol is a plus, but there needs to be some sort of hook to draw the drinker in.

Old Ben is a little more accomplished on the palate. Time, and the next 11 ounces, will tell if it's enough to enter the realm of the soldily good. For whatever reason, this LongShot brew tastes English. Samuel Adams, as one of the leaders of the American revolution, was definitely anti-red coat, but I'm sure he'd still approve.

The passage of time and several more degrees have done wonderful things to the flavor profile. OBA has become deeper and more complex... which is the way it's supposed to work. Specifics include toasted brown bread, caramel, sugared pecans, medium-dark fruit, and hints of black tea leaves. Splendid job of alcohol masking as well.

The mouthfeel works well with either sipping or gulping. The former is recommended so that flavor transfer can be maximized. A luscious creaminess is more than hinted at on the suprisingly long finish. Very close to very good.

Michael Robinson's Old Ben Ale is another in a long line of LongShot successes. Whoever judges this competition knows what good beer is all about. And so will you if you're lucky enough to have cellared a few bottles of this enjoyable old ale.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%

A pretty good English Ale that isn't 'old' enough to claim its namesake. Still with a bit too much bite and lacking the melded character, the beer shows promise.

A brilliant deep copper, nearly mohogany pour builds a dainty yet stubborn off white creme that yields some lacing and legging.

Malty aromas of toffee, slightly roasted caramel, and sweet breads set the stage while fruity notes of raisons, plumbs, and figs challenge in bold English fashion. Maybe only a mild herbal hop character fights through the strong malt and ester mix.

Deep toffee flavors dominate the flavor. Even with the strong ester fruitiness, the malts hold on to the predominant feature of the taste. Again, slight hop/herbal flavors but the bitterness rise just enough to keep the beer from cloying. Cherry flavors blend with alcohols, giving a nearly cough syrup flavor going into the finish. The beer lingers with a long malty/sweet finish.

Full, round, and almost syrupy to the mouthfeel at least to start. The carbonation lifts the beer just a bit, then subsides as the thinning and warming alcohols add to the complex finish. The youth of the beer shows some rough fusal notes that will surely mellow out with time.

Still, there's a slight disjointed character with the malts, esters, and alcohols. And the aged character of sherry haven't developed yet. These are the attributes that age will contribute, bringing this beer up to par with its style.

BEERchitect, May 19, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%

I grabbed the longshot sixer at total wine the other day, last one they had too, so I figured I would start working my way through them. I grabbed this one last night and to be honest thought it was a really good brown ale until I looked it up here, that may skew my review, but it was a damn fine brown ale. Served chilled in a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/14/2010.

Nice dark brown pour, very even and consistent with a good thickness to it. Light shining through gave it a light caramel reddish hue on the sides. Small off white head pokes up, maybe an inch high before settlin back down, but does leave some nice lacing.

Aroma is light, but dominated by caramel malts which is a great thing. Rich and deep flavor rush across the tongue, lots of caramel, earthy, woodsy type of flavor and a very full feel, bigger on the palate then most of the style. Creamy and hints of vanilla and light herbal grasses coming through, but cannot get past the 18 tons of caramel malt that must be in this thing. Smooth and easy drinker I put this one down in no time flat.

Overall I really did like this, but an old ale it is not. It drinks and tastes like a damn good brown ale, a very full bodied, but damn good brown ale. I would not mind turning to it again.

mikesgroove, May 15, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev 0%

Pours a darkish amber color with an off-white head. Strong aromas of caramel and toffee. There is a good brown sugar and toasted bread note to it and perhaps a little bit of dark fruit character. Pretty nice nose to this. The flavor is a bit less robust, but still enjoyable. A hint of vanilla to go along with the caramel and toffee. Mild molasses and brown sugar and just a touch of black cherry.

womencantsail, Jul 05, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%

Medium dark clear reddish copper brown with a light yellowish tan head that fades quickly.

Assertive candi sugar very ripe banana nose. I would initially guess Belgian just from the smell; really nice.

Creamy "half and half" mouthfeel with wonderful balance and a very rich character with small bubble "elegant" carbonation.

Flavors are big assertive malt, carmel, burnt toffee, sweet creamed coffee and with a big sweet malty coffee finish. Lots of rich cooked sweet fruit in this one.

This is a really well made beer that is so full of flavor and character it should be in Samuael Adams "full time line up." I don't drink a lot of Sam Adams brews and this could be a regular for me. Nice effort! The rich "sweet" coffee finish just lingers and lingers.

GRG1313, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

jaydoc, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%

Appearance: Pours out a clear, varnished wood-hued body with a tall, frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Quite a sweet-smelling brew, with notes of light caramel stirred up with dark brown sugar and honey candy, sweet cherries, and some notable background alcoholic wafts.

Taste: Vivid flavors of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and honey with a continuous, succulent sweetness throughout. Touches of toasted nuts work their way into the taste. Fruity esters imparting bright tastes of cherries and figs. Relatively light, earthy hop character and bitterness. Growing alcohol warmth. Warming, sweetly malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Slight chewiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I liked it. Begins sweet, finishes sweet, and has a lingering sweetness into the aftertaste. A pleasant old ale to relax with after helping move a friend into her new place, and, so far, the winner of the LongShot 6'er this year.

ChainGangGuy, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%

This old ale pours out as a copperish red color with a decent head on it. The lacing is pretty nice looking at first but faded with time. The smell was sweet with some sugar aromas and fruit on the nose. The taste had a light boozey warmth with the sugary dark fruity keeping it alive. There was a slight hoppiness to it but not much. The mouthfeel was a little thick. Overall it was a pretty nice brew.

Knapp85, May 31, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%

Poured a nice rich amber/bronze with a large fluff slightly off white head,it settled oh so slowly into a creamy froth leaving multiple rings of broken lace bahind.A nice micx of candied fruit,brown sugar,and alcohol dipped cake in the nose.Flavors are not nearly as sweet as expected,more of a mix of light nuttiness with a bit of leafy hop,it has an abrupt finish to it.Hmm the flavors have me a little baffled,its a pretty good old ale but leaves me wanting a bit more flavor.

oberon, May 17, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

As a homebrewer and Beer Advocate, drinking these winning recipes is both enjoyable and humbling. I feel lucky whenever any recipe doesn't somehow spontaneously catch fire. Green fire. I don't know how it happened either. Regardless, these homebrewers blow me away every time.
This old timer relaxes in the snifter, a surprisingly clear dark garnet pool that looks more akin to a nice liquor than a beer. Lovely nonetheless, and it does fit the style. A deep whiff brings out some black cherry, some sour watermelon, and a bit o' bourbon. Not at all expected, but definitely pleasant to say the least. A bit of alcoholic heat emanates upward as well, adding another dimension to the proceedings. Well, the run up to this guy has built it up pretty highly...the danger of a live review, I suppose. Have at it, mouth! Mouth has had at it, and, yea, 'twas good indeed. Those black cherries are harvested again, but toned down, with a decrease in the sourness. But just one flsvor is downright boring, right? Worry not, folks, as there's complexity in that thar brew! Behind the cherries stalks a massive load of syrup, molasses, and bourbon. This darkly sweetness creeps up and strangles the fruitiness in a rowdy scuffle. Not sure how, but the world is better for this brutal murder. Must be the whole gladiator aesthetic of it all. In fact, the only thing keeping this taste from a 4.5 is the end, when the darkness suffers a heart attack while disposing of the fruit's corpse, leaving me with a very dry, leathery taste and feel. But another sip brings everybody back to life. It feels good to be God, gotta say. Everything goes down smooth and easy, with a mild fizziness and a prettily plump body. Man, I wish I could make a brew like this. Back to the drawing board, I guess...

TMoney2591, May 07, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a small, off-white head of frothy foam. It left a little lace on the glass.

S - It smelled earthy and malty. There was a good sweetness with touches of caramel and toffee.

T - It had a sweet malty flavor with tons of caramel flavor. It had hints of raisin, vanilla and some subtle spice hop flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied ale with a chewy mouthfeel.

D - This is a pretty good old ale. I liked it more the second time I had it.

zeff80, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.63/5  rDev -4%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains raisins and other fruits, caramelized malts, brown sugar and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and raisins. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with a touch of an alcohol bite. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, not too filling, decent representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are others in the style that I would choose first.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +5.8%

A - Pours with one finger of white foam that rests on top of an amber colored body with excellent clarity. The head settles rapidly and leaves little lace.

S - Rich aromas of caramel and toffee with some brown sugar and a hint of warm alcohol. There is a little bit of spicy hop character in the background as well.

T - Thick, sweet malt up front with some toasted bread flavor and a whole lot of thick caramel. A slightly darker malt balance in the middle with more toffee and a hint of roast. Finishes with sweet toffee, brown sugar, and spicy, mustardy hops that leaves a lingering note of blue-veined cheese.

M - Thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - This beer is big and thick, with an intense malt character that is all about complex sugar. There is only a hint of roast to the malt, which is appropriate for the style and the hops are only prominent enough to balance out the intense malt character and keep the beer drinkable. While I have had some other, truly world class examples of this style that had a greater level of complexity, this is an interesting and well made beer that is especially notable for being mellow and well balanced despite its strength.

nickfl, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a brilliant clear ruby, topped with 1 ½ fingers of foamy light tan head. This retains with a rich ½ finger that showers the sides of the glass with a frothy cascade of lacing. The aroma has some sweet heft to it, with notes of toffee, cocoa, fusel alcohol, spice, fruity orange, leafy hops, a bit of roastiness, and a touch of tobacco. Lot of complexity here!

The taste is a smooth blend of citric orange, caramel, creamy vanilla, sweet alcohol, some light roasted malt character, and a bit of leafy hops on the backend. There’s a lot of dryness in the finish, with a lingering sweetness and warmth to this that sees some dark fruit emerge as well as this warms. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied and extremely slick feeling, which sits underneath a light creamy carbonation. This is just VERY smooth in the mouth, with no stinging alcohol present whatsoever besides the flavors here from the ABV.

This is another great entry from the Longshot Class of 2010, with a rich complexity and super easy feeling body for the size. This is another one that I would have loved to have squirreled some bottles away of!

Kegatron, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%

Laat of the three to review...

Pours an effervescent amber/copper with 3+ fingers of cream colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness, toffee, slight pear fragrance. Some leafy hops & figs once warm

T: Toffee, a touch of carmal honey malt & smokeyness up front. Dryness & fig notes as this warms, plus some faint date flavor & oakyness. Toffee sweetness, a kiss of booze & dryness in the finish

MF: Chewyness, moderate carbonation & a touch of slickness

Drinks pretty easy for the style & ABV, pick of the Longshot litter this year IMO

russpowell, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of jlindros
3.78/5  rDev 0%

A: Fluffy 1 finger head fades very slowly over very clear toasty auburn brown color with many bubbles rising up from the etch at the bottom.

N: Very malty, with lots of toasty malts, brown sugar, some molasses, little syrupy sweetness, raisin, caramel malts.

T: SImilar, with lots of toasty malts on the front. Very sweet, with lots of brown sugar, molasses, crystal malts, raisin, little bitterness perhaps from some hops, a little earthy hop presence, slightly chewy, with some creaminess too. The slightest touch of booze, hides the 9% well. It does taste like it has a little age or oxidation on it.

M: Medium with a little syrupy flavor and tons of carbonation, maybe even too much for the style.

F: A lingering sweetness, but not as much. SOme syrupy molasses and a little sticky sweetness. It has that lingering aged almost oxidized taste that I get in many aged barleywines. Some raisin and brown sugar at the beginning of the finish but fades quickly to that aged/oxidized taste. All that with a slight bitterness, perhaps could use more bitterness and more hops IMHO.

jlindros, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.8%

The beer pours a clear amber color with a tan head. The aroma is strong with notes of brown sugar, dark fruit and alcohol. The flavor is similar with a lot of cherries and brown sugar. I also get some caramel malt and the alcohol is very present in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of smcolw
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%

From the bottle:
Old Ben Ale
Brewed with a blend of five malts and American hops, this well balanced English-style Old Ale has fruit and raisin notes with a hint of caramel in the finish. Full-bodied and slightly sweet, this brew is the perfect ending to a fine meal or to enjoy on a cool evening.

Rich off-white head that leaves extensive lace on the glass. The color is dark amber and clear.

Sweet smelling with caramel notes. I can detect the alcohol, but it remains in the background.

True to its roots, this is a rich, creamy ale. Sweet without any notable bitterness. The swallow shows the warmth of the higher level of alcohol. Almost chewy to the tongue.

smcolw, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%

Best by date of September 2010; Sampled April 2012 & stored in my fridge the whole time
A steady pour into my tulip glass produces a four finger thic, lightly amber tinged, dark tan colored head that leaves an expansive, though light, layer of lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is a concentrated amber color that shows a lightly hazed, golden red-amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of savory malt (that is boosted by age / oxidation), lots of caramelized malt character, some slightly nutty toasted whole grain character, and an interesting bright cherry character that comes out as you take a deep draught of the nose. The cherry / fruit note adds an unexpected, though still balanced, dimension that I wasn’t expecting.

Fairly thick and viscous feeling as it first hits my palate, but it isn’t really all that sweet. The malt has a richness to it more than a sweetness, there is a significant toasted brown grain character, complex caramelized notes that are significantly rounded by a light oxidation (this is purely positive at this point as it helps cut the percieved sweetness). There is something like a light tartness here that doesn’t seem out of place. The fruit character seems to have more of a prune like leaning to it rather than the cherry note that was in the aroma. The oxidation also boosts a rich nuttiness in this beer, though the oxidation itself remains well in check.

The age on this beer seems to fit it quite well at this point; I can’t say for sure that it will improve any more after this, and if you have been storing this warmer than at 50°F it might be over-the-hill, though I would expect this particular bottle to be quite drinkable for at least a couple more years if I had not opened it.

Gueuzedude, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
3.93/5  rDev +4%

12 oz. bottle, I'm always excited to try a new Old Ale, a very underrated style, perhaps this beer is named after Obi-Wan Kenobi, I'd like to think so,

A: Pours a deep amber red with a mild white head with good retention, no real lace.

S: Treacle, rum, toffee.

T: Big stone and dark fruit character, rum and orange there for sure with golden raisins and plums. Apricots come to mind as well.

M: Full-bodied and robust, a big beer for sure. Light aftertaste of sweet true malt which I liked.

D: A nice sipper on a cool Beltane evening. A quality product, traditional in its flavours, what I've come to expect from Sam Adams. I've got the additional bottle which I will age; the malt and fruit notes are there I can feel it, a potential to make this beer brilliant and complex with time.

Halcyondays, May 02, 2010
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Always love these Longshot beers.. always some solid beers in the pack. This is no different and at 9% ABV.. a nice sipper at the end of the night. Some great dark fruit aromas, nice balance of hops to this one... some raisin and dark fruit flavors really permeate. A tad strong on the finish but it's smooth, like a nice mixed drink. Nice stab at a rare style and it's well done; highly recommended.

oriolesfan4, May 08, 2010
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LongShot Old Ben Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.