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Old Man (Winter Ale) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

553 Reviews
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Old Man (Winter Ale)Old Man (Winter Ale)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 12-17-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 553 | Ratings: 1,532
Photo of ajm5108
2.17/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Aroma is fine, but it doesn't fit the style at all. It's pretty much pilsner malt, very straw-like and mealy, which is a distance from the more robust, darker malt you get in many old ales. Taste is a little heftier but still flat & pale malt forward, which isn't bad per say, but a stretch in this style. A whimper of fusel alcohol creeps in at the end, but is also faint. There is some hops but they are bland and bitter, not really fitting the rest of the make-up. It has s stale malt flavor, dry and timid, really not much flavor at all.

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Photo of kgammell1
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Much more hoppy than I would have thought but that's probably good because it balances out some of the sweet, grainy malt. The finish is complex and lingers on the palette nicely. Some clove and cinnamon-sequel spices too. Really good beer here.

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Photo of Grizwaldio
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper reddish color with a nice head. A subtle aroma that breaks through at taste, bold on the tongue, not too sweet, not too bitter.

A nice strong ale.

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Photo of Act25
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the better winter warmers out there. Try 1.

A - Pours a clear, mahogany, burgundy color with a one-finger, thick, firm head of tan foam and oceans of thick rings of lace.

S - Beer smells of caramel, toffee, vanilla, wood, and floral notes. Beer smells like an old ale, but too faint compared with taste.

T - Beer starts off with grassy hop bite that is matched by sweet malty caramel and fruit. There are notes of dark fruit, chocolate (made me reach for one) and of vanilla.

M -Finish is soft and smooth with a dry finish. A medium bodied ale that is easy drinking.

D - Old Ale meets winter warmer. Gets better - natch - as it warms.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A light head over a clear amber, lightly carbonated, beer poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint. We pick up malts in the nose and the tongue, with high bitterness taking front stage. A little heavy on the hops IMHO. Laser-etched date code (first I have seen on a beer) says DOB 9/11/15, rated on 11 Jan, so this beer is 4 months old. This one may have been more of a hop bomb when fresh.

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Photo of salamiwagon
2.5/5  rDev -33%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Very bitter. No sweetness. No malt. I even let the beer warm a little hoping additional flavors would come through but all I taste are the hops. I did not find the lingering taste on the tongue pleasant at all.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: [3.75] Beer is a transparent mahogany brown color. It pours out with a 1/2 finger of off white head. The head has bubbles of varied sizes. The head dissipates into "continents" of bubbles with big open areas in between. The bottle lists the ABV (7.5%) but there is no dating information.

S: [3.75] Brown bread, warn spices like nutmeg and hints of cinnamon. Some sweetness like molasses.

T: [3.75] Follows the nose. Brown bread with hints of spices and a molasses sweetness throughout. The flavors are well balanced.

M: [3.75] Medium body and slightly elevated carbonation both work well. There is a bit of a lingering dry sweetness on the finish.

O: [3.75] Overall this is a nice beer. It would be great after finishing a day of skiing. It evokes lots of thoughts of holiday flavors and winter. I would definitely drink this again or happily bring it to a holiday party.

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Photo of mlockman
2.14/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

There is no malt profile evident to this beer, as both the aroma and palate are dominated by overassertive bitter hop flavor. Perhaps if it was aged for ten years this would make for a decent old ale, but fresh it is undrinkable.

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Photo of Wanderlust_Ink
3.14/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bitter, very little spice. Bitterness accentuates the alcohol -- I've had beers with 9-12% alcohol content that have less alcohol taste. Probably should have allowed to warm more, and that might change my feelings, especially toward the lack of spices.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a light brown caramel color with amber highlights. The head is one finger off white with a small rim of retention amd nice draping lacing. The smell is mild sweet and bready malts. The taste is similar, but not good at all. There is a hint of booze, but it also tastes stale. Feel is medium and oily with not a lot of carbonation. Overall not good.

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Photo of microbrewlover
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a brown color with ruby red highlights when held up to the light. There is a small head which quickly dissipates but some of it sticks around as a collar and there is good lacing.

The smell is full of fruity and spicy hops with thick caramel and bready malts.

The taste follows the nose with lot of hop spiciness, a little bit of hop oil and a little sweet fruit, caramel, roasted and bready malts in the background along with a slightly boozy taste.

The feel is thick and chewy with some hop oil hanging around after swallowing.

Overall, good stuff.

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Photo of brureview
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a copper red color in a Stone snifter

The aroma is light: fruit, and some toffee- not as strong as in other Winter Warmers.

There is a good bitterness to this beer: not overdone and not dwarfing the taste as in other beers in style.

Taste: Good, but not pronounced fruit and fig.

Overall: a good old ale, but not in the same class as other more complex offerings in the style.
Definitely worth checking out, and easier to drink than other Old Ales.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed form the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice old ale pours a medium dark copper color with a nice head of white foam that settles to a thin layer, thick ring, and light lacing. Nose of light caramel malts, moderate grain notes, and bittering hops. Flavors surpass the nose with caramel and spruce touched hop notes to the front and middle, fading into the background with light warming alcohol and a lightly bitter hop and sweet malt aftertaste. Very nice.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a snifter because it is an old ale.
The appearance was a bronzed golden amber to almost caramel brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute. Adequate foamy lacing started to cling but slid into the beer.
The smell had a sweet caramel malt blended with a sly amount of sprucy/piney substance. A light amount of cherry came back to even things out a bit.
The taste was mainly sweet with the pine wanting to let a sly bitterness to enter but for the most part stays in the background. A slight lingering aftertaste wants to charge into the finish but dryly moves along.
The mouthfeel was about light to medium bodied with an ample amount of sticky sprucy to caramel malt clinging to my tongue. For the most part, it feels fine. Carbonation feels fine as well.
Overall, it's a nice old ale good for this time of year, pretty sure I could have this again.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: A clear chestnut color, with a big white head of glistening, uniform bubbles. Snowy lace scatters across the glass. The look is the most wintery thing about this ale, which is more of an APA (read on).

Smell: Lots of herbaceous hops on the nose: peppermint tea, fresh earth, and dried sage. Well-toasted malt provides a warm backdrop. It's a nice scent, but the hoppiness is unusual for a winter ale, and foretells of a beer that may not fit its billing.

Taste: Grainy, toasted malt up front, with the herbal hop flavors bursting through in the middle,like an American hop volcano. At this point, it's confirmed: A winter ale, this is not. The bitterness grows, but does not extend beyond a medium-high level. Even if this were an APA, it's not terribly diverse in terms of flavor. All in all, however, it is enjoyable in its own right.

Mouthfeel: A good, standard mouthfeel for a beer of this size. Medium body and carbonation make this brew drinkable, but not too light.

Overall: Undoubtedly unusual for the style, and not a jewel under any category , as the complexity is wanting. There are some interesting upsides, however, particularly when it comes to the high level of flavor coming from hp varieties that are typically more subdued.

 1,253 characters

Photo of BrewUSA
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Old Man Ale

Look 9/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 37/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 18/20

Overall 89/100

Super nice and easy to drink old ale. Has great balance and surprisingly better taste than expected. Nice blend of hops and malts. Covers the 7% pretty good. Got it as a gift, wouldn't usually pick it up for myself. Although after a few I have to admit I will seek it out next year~

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.54/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber with a creamy, lingering khaki head.

S: Aromas of caramel, biscuit, nougat, cream, herbs, spices, and grass fill the nose.

T: Notes of caramel, biscuit, nougat, cream, medicinal herbs, grass, candied orange peel, lemon rind, and baking spices wash across the palate. The finish is fruity and spicy, with notes of citrus, caramel, and of course, baking spices most noticeable.

M: On the fuller side of medium in terms of body and fairly dry. Carbonation is crisp and firm.

O: This ale is not bad at all, but then again, it does not really stand out either. If the aromas and flavors separated a bit more, this ale would potentially display a little more depth and character. As is, it is a solid old ale that falls short of being a great one.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a pretty, cloudy, golden, copper/amber color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic. Lots of floral, grassy, piney hops, blending with the bready aromas of toasted malt.

Taste: Hoppy up front and slightly bitter, but the hops quickly fade to a malty backbone, which imparts notes of freshly baked bread, some brown sugar and caramel-like sweetness. The hops returns at the finish to provide a slightly bitter finish. It’s ok, but not really my cup of tea, or rather, my pint of beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with some ok carbonation. With an ABV of 7.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is not one of my preferred beers from Southern Tier, or in general, in fact. It just has too much hoppy bitterness for my tastes. Hop heads should love it, though.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L - Light dull amber. Hazy. Short, white, short-lived head.
S - Light. Medium roasted malts. Caramel and raisin.
T - Rich malts. Dark fruit and toffee and nuts. Citrusy hops.

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Photo of JPowell712
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Again I am confused by Southern Tier with the styling of this seasonal ale. It taste more like an IPA than an ale. I had this problem with their KRAMPUS beer as well. Infact, I am having trouble separating the taste of this and KRAMPUS. They taste way too similar in my opinion. Anyway, this is the second sampling from Southern Tier that is a good beer, but I am not tasting anything different or distinguishable. They all taste like IPA's even though they are supposed to be a different style. I am not saying that this OLD MAN is a bad beer. It is a good beer. I find it to be very bitter and hoppy which I like. I wouldn't call it an ale or old ale though. I guess my expectation from this company is to always blow me away since my first two Southern Tier samplings were their PUMKING and WARLOCK which are phenomenal! This is a solid beer if you like hoppy, bitter beers with all the characteristics of an IPA. I just wished for more of a creamy ale.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a MD snifter

A: Clear dirty brown with a slight head, tiny collar and no lacing.
S: Very light flavors, mostly of some sweet malt.
T: StoutHunter was right in that this really tastes just like an old IPA. Mostly malts and doesn't have any of the regular Old Ale characteristics.
M: Nice bit of carbonation here.
O: Not what it is advertised as, but an ok beer.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a bottle of Southern Tier's Old Man Winter Ale a couple weeks ago for $1.69 at The lager Mill. I've never had this beer before and it caught my eye while i was looking for some new beers to try, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it goes with the season and i think it's just a little eye catching. It poured a hazy caramel color that took on more of an amber red color when held to the light with almost two fingers worth of creamy and slightly bubbly very light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice rings of patchy lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the malts being the first to show up and they impart a sweet malt, light toasted malt, bready, caramel malt and bread crust like aromas with a good amount of doughy yeast coming through in the background. Up next comes the hops which impart a mixture of citrus rind and herbal hops aromas with the citrus rind hop aromas sticking out the most. This beer had a nice aroma, but I wish it had a little more complexity.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the malts still being the first to show up and they impart the same malty aspects that they did in the aroma with the bready and bread crust like aspects sticking out the most. Up next comes some doughy yeast that goes right into the hops which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma with no single aspect sticking out the most. On the finish there's a medium amount of bitterness with a bready and herbal hop and a little watery aftertaste. This was a decent tasting beer, but I thought it was a little bland for the style.

M- Fairly smooth, a little watery, pretty crisp, slightly prickly, on the light side of being medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was ok, but I wish it was a little thicker with a little less carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer and I thought it was pretty close to being an average example of the style, I know this style always doesn't have to be on the stronger side, but i felt like this beer was missing some of that complexity that I look for in the style and when it came down to it I didn't find it to be too memorable. This beer had ok drinkability, it was fairly smooth, a little watery, pretty crisp, slight prickly, not too filling and the taste didn't do a great job of holding my attention, one is enough for me any more than that and I would start to get bored with it. What I like the most about this beer was the appearance, this was a pretty good looking beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the mouthfeel and that it was jut a little bland and not to memorable, those aspects held this beer back. I don't think I would buy this beer again, but I wouldn't turn one down. I can't say I would recommend this as a good Old Ale, but it may be worth a try to see what you think of it. All in all I wasn't impressed with this beer, it didn't really have anything that made it stick out to me and it reminded me a lot of how an IPA tastes when it get too old without that stale malt aspect. This one was falls right in the middle for Southern Tier and it's very average for an Old Ale. I just wasn't that into this beer, better luck next time guys.

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Photo of Mikus
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This just hit me as really damn good. Nice deep amber in the glass, and nice hints of pine on the nose. Many of the same notes (IMHO) as Brown Shugga, just not as sweet or strong. Really set off a nice winter evening with the wife. I am really glad I tried this one!

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle (no date) served in a Libby globe porter glass.

Appearance: Deep copper-amber with a slight haze due to some sediment coming along with pour. Very thin ring of foam - no lacing.

Smell: Hints of lemon and pine with a hint of solvent.

Taste: Pine and citrus up front. There is a sweet malty middle which is bready and has aspects of pastry and raisins to it. The finish is again hoppy with lemon zest, pine, and some tea-like bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation and very sticky on the teeth, but nicely thick.

Overall / Drinkability: Overall this isn't like any Old Ale I've had. The hops and malts play very nicely together but I'd have a hard time calling this an Old Ale. Maybe a very hoppy Amber or just an APA with some unique malt / hop combos. So while overall it isn't an Old Ale to style, it is a beer that grew on me over the course of the glass. It went quite well with food (pork chops with roasted potatoes & sweet potatoes) and by itself was rather tasty. I think if another one was offered I'd probably take it telling me its drinkability is actually pretty good, and dangerously so at 7% ABV.

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Photo of cbutova
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Somehow I have not gotten around to reviewing this. I see it is categorized as an Old Ale and I wonder how true it is to style, there is only one way to find out.

A- 12oz bottle from 09/2014 poured to a tall chalice with a mostly clear, deep amber body. The cap atop the beer forms to just under a finger with a medium thick frothy texture. Crown down to a massive ring with sheets and drizzly webs of lace.

S- Mostly malty but the hops are actually quite strong for this style. Caramel, dates, raisin and toasted nuts make up most of what I get being balanced off by hops carrying pine and citrus character.

T- Same general idea carrying over well from the nose with a spiced, dried dark fruit and caramel malt sweetness prevalent. Spicy figs, raisins, toasted grains, Crystal malts, slight musty Barleywine sugars all show up with pine, earthy and dried citrus peel hops rounding it out.

MF- Medium bodied and perhaps just a tad over that with a hint of chewiness and a frothy consistency. The bubbles fall on the palate at a moderate level with a substantial hop bitterness in the very end.

I feel like this is a pretty solid brew but serving it as an Old Ale is just a bit of a stretch to me. It has some Old Ale characteristics but to me it drinks like a balanced sweet Amber. That being said, the interplay between the toasted sweet malts and the hops is pulled off quite nicely.

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Old Man (Winter Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 553 ratings.