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Old Man (Winter Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old Man (Winter Ale)Old Man (Winter Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

544 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 544
Hads: 1,457
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 20.11%
Wants: 49
Gots: 176 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 12-17-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Man (Winter Ale) Alström Bros
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Reviews: 544 | Hads: 1,457
Photo of bobhits
1.8/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This is amazingly clear orange/reddish colored beer. That said head is lacking and no lace in my glass at all. Just some hints of foam around the edges.

The aroma is subtle with hints of grain and perhaps a touch of hop spice.

There is a lot of cereal grain with a finish of coy hops. There is a flavor here of an almost plastic/metallic nature I really do not like.

A bit under carbonated but acceptable for the style.

I really dislike this one. It is nearly to the point where I may just drain pour it. This isn't for me at all.

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Photo of Aberration
1.9/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served from a bottle

Looks pretty good! Smell is a little weak however...

Taste is like the smell...I get nothing of value here. The mouthfeel is pretty good, but the lack of any flavor was a real detriment to me drinking the entire bottle.

Maybe I'll revisit this one someday, but for now I feel as if it isn't even worth drinking the rest of it....hopefully this is just a bad batch...

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.21/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a snifter. The beer pours dark mahogany with a no head. Real nice color on this though. Lots of malts up front but there is kind of an off smell that I can't quite put my finger on. It's kind of fishy. It ruins it for me. Not a lot going on in this one. Slightly bitter in the end but the big malt profile I was expecting really seems to get lost in there somewhere. This really doesn't seem to have the characteristics I've come to expect in an old ale. The mouthfeel is a bit watery. Just a weak example of the style. There isn't much of a chance that I'll finish this one.

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Photo of adamette
2.25/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I purchased as a single at Save-On in Mentor for $1.68 two days ago into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. No observed "best by" date.

A Off white creamy head that leaves minimal lacing over a translucent and slightly dark caramel (just a bit darker than average caramel) colored body. Not really that impressive. 2.5

S Distant barley malt and very little hops in my opinion. This smells like a rather barley-centric beer but whatever it is there is not a strong smell. Again, not really that impressive. 2.5

T Dull, bitter taste of hops and much barley with a lingering, bitter aftertaste on the back of my tongue that I do not really appreciate very much. I do not like that kind of lingering bitterness. I am sure that it is consistent with the style, an Old Ale, but it is not to my liking. 2.0

M Full, big with the bitterness of the hops in front and then that lingering feeling on the back 1/3 of my tongue. I will say that the feel was much bigger than the look suggested. The feel is appropriate to the style and even though I do not necessarily like it I will not score it below average because I think that it hits the style correctly. 3.0

D Not good. I will finish the 12 ounces but not likely seek it out again. 2.0

Notes: Even though I am not a big fan of the style, this is not the best example of the style. The better ones, again in my opinion, have a heavier sweet malt profile to them.

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Photo of CortexBomb
2.46/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm reviewing this based on the style listing here, which frankly annoys me. This is more of an APA or an IPA...it has no old ale characteristics that I can discern.

Pour is amber, nice looking brew. Mild head. Nose is citrus twang and malts. Fairly classic pale.

The flavour on this is two major things: ruby red grapefruit and casual caramel malts. The grapefruit is not particularly aggressive and fades off the palette pretty quickly though.

The bottom line: This would be an across the board average beer if it was listed as an APA or IPA, as an old ale though? Overhopped, undermalted, and extremely shallow. Pick this up if you're looking for something mildly hoppy for the winter, but avoid if you actually want an old ale.

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Photo of Landar
2.5/5  rDev -33%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Aroma 6/12
Strong citrus hops bitterness and nutmeg hits immediately. This is followed by a cinnamon and a hint of a caramel malt profile. A strong hops bitterness dominates. As it warms the sharp hop bitterness is subdued somehwat and the caramel malt profile comes more into play. Fermented raisins begin to dominate with a sweet caramel malt profile and there
are hints of citrus peel, a hint of nutmeg and cloves. The citrus hops is still overpowering and makes the rest of the aromas difficult to differentiate.

Appearance 3/3
Deep reddish brown, almost blood ruby. Clear. Just a few bubbles rising. Thick, creamy off-white head with excellent retention.
Even after it sits a good while the head retention is still foamy and covers the entire surface and then some.
It sticks thickly to the sides and stays there.

Taste 9/20
The strong bitterness hits immediately, this is followed by the nutmeg. Strong bitter aftertaste.
As it warms an orange citrus bitterness still dominates but the sweetness of the malt comes through. It is just a tad watery, demonstrating a clean soft mineral profile. Some caramel tries to make its way through but the bitterness interferes with the balance.
None of the interesting spices in the aroma are here at all, as the bitterness overpowers.

Mouthfeel 3/5
Crisp and dry finish. Astringent to the point of leaving my tongue and lips slightly numb. Very low carbonation.

Overall Impression 4/10
This is more like an IPA with a touch of spices than a winter ale. Perhaps reconsider classifying this as an IPA for a stronger score.
To make it more appropriate to the style, I recommend downplaying the hops more. It would be great if the flavors that are in the aroma would be allowed to take a stronger tone in the balance to make this feel more in season. This might also solve the astringency concerns and give it the comforting feel one looks to in a Christmas/Winter Ale.
Whatever was done to make this fantastic frothy head that just lasts forever, keep doing it.


Note: BeerAdvocate has this incorrectly classified as an Old Ale. If it were, this rating would be even lower, as it bears absolutely no resemblance to an Old Ale.

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Photo of BWH3
2.57/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Amber with faintly beige head. Retention is good. The amber is more on the brown side and a bit peculiar. Crystal clear. A sticky head on a swirl.

S: Not much. A grainy somewhat malty aroma. Not much hops aroma to speak of.

T: Initially a bit of Marzen malt then the bitterness comes as a mineral/metallic flavor. The grain almost tart astringent flavor fades in at the end. I guess I expected some nutty and sweet or spicy notes that just never surfaced in the nose or on the palate.

M: Somewhat creamy from the head. Good retention. Fairly still.

D: A holiday offering that is just okay.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.58/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On-tap 2/4/07 at Pitcher’s Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a decent-sized off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, spice and a good amount of hops.

T: Pale hops along with some dark fruits are the most prevalent flavors in the taste. I found it to be quite bitter, but it was not a pleasant hops bitterness. It was more like a bitterness that comes from a lack of flavor. Some vanilla flavor comes out a bit in the after-taste, which is also mainly bitter.

M: Very crisp but not very smooth at all, medium body, medium carbonation, very dry finish.

D: Not very tasty and doesn’t go down very easily, this one just seems to fall short on many levels. I just didn’t like it, which surprises me because I’ve really liked everything else that I’ve had from Southern Tier.

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Photo of cbless97
2.63/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Transparent amber color. Finger width of fluffy head.

S- clean, crisp, grapefruit

T- light citrus flavor, sparingly hopped.

M- A bit rusty taste, significant staying power on the tongue.

O- I was duped a bit into thinking Old Man Winter would be a darker more stout like beer. Very light for what I had been expecting. A decent beer, though if I knew it were going to be so light I would want some heavier hop to it. I would drink it again if I see it on top, but I would not buy a six pack again.

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Photo of mcnabb0001
2.71/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle no freshness date on the bottle

A- Pours a murky light brown looks like cedar water with a moderate white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S - Smell of citris hops and sugar cookie, also a little pine

T - Orange Peel, pine, lemon citris. The hops leave a nice bitter aftertaste. Hop bitterness begins to fade a little as this beer warms. But not spiced like I would have thought. Malt character is not what I thought it would be either. Maybe I am not familar enough with this style so I'm missing something???

M - Good carbonation and moderate body.

D - Its ok I probably wouldn't drink more than one and glad I only bought two.

Overall worth trying but nothing to write home about in my opinion much rather have a Rogue SPR.

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Photo of beachbum1975
2.74/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

My buddy Davo had one of these sitting in his fridge and I hadn't had it yet. Reviewing this one on the fly.

Pours a dark root beer in color with reddish highlights. Nice bone colored head with decent retention, leaving a nice skimming and legs as it settles.

An interesting nose that reminds me of yams, light caramel and peat. There's definitely a green vegetable-type presence is the nose, as well - almost like green beans... I don't mean to paint a bad picture from the description as it's actually quiet interesting.

Nice and complex malt variety. Definitely a noticeable hops presence in here, as well.

The mouthfeel is too carbonated for me and I really feel that the flavor is diluted. It's a shame, as it had a lot of promise.

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Photo of BMoney575
2.85/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled on 11-23-08

Pours a clear deep amber color, with a quickly fading head that leaves creamy rings of lacing.

Smell is malty, with an odd quality I can't place. Maybe a little smoky, and just a slight hint of dark fruit.

Taste is thin and adjuncty. Sweet, with little hop character. At least the booze is well masked.

Mouthfeel is good, thick and creamy.

Drinkability is poor, but at least you'll get a buzz quickly.

Overall, I don't know where the rating comes from. Southern Tier has once again made a steaming failure of a beer.

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Photo of klewis
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a drak copper with a small bubbly head. Specks of lacing on the glass.

S: Yeasty phenols and a bit of citrus.

T: Overall, the taste is bland bitter with a slightly spicy taste that reminds me of oxidation.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: This is definitely not an old ale. Drinks more like an overly hopped winter warmer. Drinkable, but nothing special.

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Photo of mully
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a -- thick head leaves a nice lace on the glass, beer pours dark clear amber color

s -- wool blanket like earthy hops a little sweet malt undertone

t -- hoppy, almost tart/crisp nutty malt underneath -- over hopped

m -- thin not big enough for an old ale

I don't mind beers that aren't to style, but this is not a good interpretation of an old ale, not a well balanced beer

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean yellow to orange-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, a small caramel and gingerbread like smell. In the taste, coriander and cinnamon spices, and a malty gingerbread like flavor underneath it. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry cinnamon to clean aftertaste. Spicy and malty, with a nice spice blend.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a very easy to drink winter seasonal ale. The taste is not bold, but subtle. The bottle says it is brewed with 3 kinds of hops and 2 kinds of malts, but overall the malt, smoky taste comes through over the hops.

There is a slight bitter aftertaste, but there are hints of fruit too. For the decent abv, there is not event he slightest hint of alcohol in the aroma or taste and that's a big plus.

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Photo of paco1029384756
2.93/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark orange color, but there is no head and very little carbonation.

Scent of malts, oats, and some fruit. Pretty shallow for and Old Ale.

Taste is grainy, with some malts and oats coming in, not good. This is the least impressive offering from Southern Tier I have had.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but lack of carbonation hurts it.

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Photo of donniecuffs
2.95/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

At the Mohawk House in Sparta, NJ. Poured a transparent amber into a tulip, with less than a finger of white; average retention and lacing. Very little visible carbonation. The nose consisted of distant spices and some candy fruit; almost like a bland fruitcake. The taste revealed a very subtle sour fruit and candi sugar midpalate, with a weak, semi-sweet finish. The body was surprisingly thin as well; borderline watery, with no carbonation. While this beer seems non-offensive enough to session, I was actually very disappointed with the lack of flavor after hearing so much hype about it.

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Photo of fropones
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A nice copper brown with about 3 fingers of crème head that dissipates with some lacing.

S - Very hop forward aroma for an old ale. A little more than I would like. Some citrus fruit, currant, a hint of molasses.

T - Flavor again, is pretty hop forward. A good malt profile in back, maybe a hint of raisins. Some caramel malt shining through as well. All in all, this tastes more like a well balanced APA than an old ale. I find the hop bitterness too overpowering for the style and am having trouble enjoying it thoroughly, since I wasn't expecting or hoping for it being this hoppy.

M - Nice medium-full body and creamy. Low carbonation.

D - Drinks fine for an APA, but I was hoping for an old ale, and as such, it's quite sub par. The alcohol is decently masked, which keeps this score from being too low.

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Photo of anyhoodle
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pouring this beer reveals a deep burnt orange or copper colored brew with a nice tan head that quickley diassapates, leaving minimal lacing down the glass.

The smell is overwellingly hoppy, not particularly citruscy, but definitiely not grassy either.

Unlike most winter seasonals, this beer is very hoppy with no spiciness. While I'm a hop head by nature, the lack of spice and malt flavor and the overwelming hoppiness leave me underwhelmed. I keep thinking that this is more an IPA or heavily hopped APA.

At 8%,and the lack of spiciness I'd expect the alcohol to stand out more, but somehow it doesn't.

I'm a fan of most of the other ST products that I've tried, however this brew leaves me luke warm. Perhaps because I expected that it would be more similar to other winter seasonals with a spiciness or mild fruit inclusion. You won't find any of that here however. Now when when the hop mood strikes...

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Photo of Givemebeer
2.97/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A: dark red almost brown. Some lacing not too much of a head.

S: dark fruit such as cherries and raisin and a slight hint of floral hops

T: way too hoppy for an old ale. Floral citrusy hops hit harder than the nose would make you think they would. There is malt presence - some of those dark fruits but the hops are being showcased. Not what I look for in an old ale.

M: medium bodied and pretty creamy. Good mouthfeel.

O: in my opinion - not a good representation of the style. The flavor isn't bad but why not call this a strong ale?

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Photo of MeisterBurger
2.98/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear russet brown with a thin head. No real lacing. Retains okay.

Aroma of leafy piney hops, toasty, slightly bready malts. Decent but not overly inviting.

Taste is clean toasty malt (Vienna?) with some raisin in the middle. A leafy, spicy bitterness lingers, but mostly alcohol clings to the corners of my mouth in the aftertaste. Finishes dry.

The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, fairly nice. Probably the best aspect of this beer.

The aftertaste is a little off-putting and I'm as much of a hophead as the next guy, but this seems unbalanced to me with too much hop bitterness and not enough malt sweetness, with both of them being at odds to the point where I'm not sure striking a better balance would be enough to make me like it.

Yeah. No. Not horrible. But this is not a beer I'll ever come back to. Just not my thing I guess.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear darker golden color with white head. Some hop aroma on the nose, a little grass and some floral notes; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a decent amount of malt. Not a bad winter ale.

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Photo of philbertk
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Southern Tier Brewing Company--OLD MAN Seasonal Winter Ale--Brewed with 3 Varieties of Hops and 2 Types of Malts--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 8.00% ABV. 65 IBU's? (3.0 / 5.0) Lacy white lasting light head. No sediment. Clear dark copper amber thin rich color. Slightly earthy toasted no spice mild hop front. Dry sweet thin textured fully fermented toasted caramel body. Crisp dry rich hot hop spice end. Big bitter but unbalanced. Sampled 1/14/2011. 6-Pack purchased for $9.25 @ PCC--Fremont, Seattle on 12/2/2010.

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Photo of OldSock
3.04/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance – Glad to finally see Southern Tier showing up in Eastern Mass. 12 oz bottle from Julio's. Deep amber/brown that is relatively clear. One finger off-white head that leaves sheets of lacing as it slowly sinks to a thin covering.

Smell – Surprisingly strong grapefruit hop aroma. There is some caramel maltiness, but the smell is closer to an IPA than a winter warmer.

Taste – Lots of smooth hop bitterness laid on top of a sweet malt background. The hops are the main player, citrus, bits of pine and some grassiness. The malt is slightly toasted and nutty with lots of caramel. Not much yeast character or alcohol evident. Its just too bitter for a cold winter night.

Mouthfeel – Medium body with medium strong carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – Relatively easy to drink, but not what I was expecting or looking for at all, way too hoppy and unbalanced for the style. That being said if they called this a fall amber instead of a winter warmer, I would probably like it better.

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Old Man (Winter Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 544 ratings.