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Old Man (Winter Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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

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1,414 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,414
Reviews: 545
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 44
Gots: 149 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,414 | Reviews: 545
Photo of SkunkWorks
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. I should note that I've never had an old ale before and I am more reviewing this with the whole "Winter Ale" quasi-category in mind.

Look: looks like a dark caramel color, a bit bronze, with a pale off white head that is 3 fingers at the time of the pour. The head retains exceptionally well and a bit is still left as I finish my glass. The head leaves behind patches of sticky lace along the sides of the glass. Nice looking beer.

Smell: a bit hoppier than I would've expected from a Winter Seasonal. Aren't these all supposed to be about the malt? Well, Southern Tier seems to diverge from that paradigm and it certainly pays off. Caramel malt and citrusy hops along with a bit of winter spices are what I find in the nose.

Taste: very well balanced. A serious malt backbone with brown sugar and caramel along with some citrus and piney hops lurking around. There are also some hints of spices, like cinnamon. After each swallow, a lingering and very profound taste of hops sits in my mouth. Quite unexpected for a winter ale!

Feel: medium bodied tending towards full, moderate carbonation, alcohol warmth is non-existent. Malty sweetness up front with the hoppy bitterness in the finish.

Drink: very drinkable. This is definitely a good beer to drink beer after beer of. I got through mine a little faster than I would've liked to!

Overall, a great beer from Southern Tier. Thus far I haven't been wowed by any of their beer outside of the Imperial line but this one does a good job. This is one of my favorite Winter Ales now and wholeheartedly recommend it. Cheers!

3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a wine glass.
A: Nice bit of head retention, with a quality coating of sticky lace. The body is a amber that has a very clear appearance to it.

S: low on the intensity spectrum, with a subtle note of a sweet oak, that is a classic old ale aroma.

T/M: A bit weak for an old ale, while still holding true to being a nice winter warmer. The front is a spice that rounds out into the middle of the body. The consistent taste of Southern Tier is present. While being a nice light malt profile there is a need for more flavors, the end is much too quick and in need of some age or something beyond my powers. Malts sweetness peaks the body to a quick release that shows expressions of toffee and ends with a nice and very subtle roasted note.

D: This was a very good brew to do in a tasting, But I would not come back to this brew or even get more to see how they age, because fresh was a little bit of a weak, let down. Goes down easy.

Photo of russwbeck
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Golden brown pour, head boasts minimal retention, but some lacing.

S: Smells of a bit of piny hops and caramel malts.

T: Taste starts of a bit with spices, which give way to the hops. A sweet and malty aftertaste with some hop bitterness.

MF: Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

D: Not all that high. The aftertaste began to get to me after a while.

Photo of alleykatking
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a darker coppery amberish hue. Two finger beige head shows poor retention. Light streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Toasted malts with a nice dashing of caramel malts. Some light darker fruits mainly raisins come into play toward the middle of the aroma. Lastly spicey piney hops come in the back end of this beer. Nothing over the top and a little bland to be honest.

T- Some toasted malts in the front of the beer with a light hop. The middle of this has some light caramel malts but with a huge darker fruit (plum and raisin) flavor. Light piney hops in the ending with a touch of warming alcohol. There is some light spicey flavor in the backend as well.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Toasted malts with some light caramel malts left on the palate. Darker fruits, alcohol, and toasted malts left in the aftertaste. Flavors were clean for the style. Light drying on the palate from the alcohol. Blended well for the style with a hop flavor that comes out more in this beer than in other warmers.

D- This beer is good but a little more bland then what I would like in my warmers. A nice shot by Southern Tier but just not quite there. The ABV is not really there until the backend which is nice.

Photo of MaineBeerGuy
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Beer pours an amber brown color. Beer has a white head with lacing that follows the beer down the glass. The Beer has a bitter sweet caramel flavor. Alcohol comes through; I was actually surprised that it was only a 7.2% beer.

I can't place it exactly but this beer doesn't work for me. It seems to be just missing something.

Not a bad beer; just not for me.

Photo of Lerxst
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Love ST and love Old Ales, so I was pumped to see this on the shelves. This is the first release of Old Man since ST started distributing in my area. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours a clear copper with a substantial off white head that has good retention and leaves much sticky lace. Looks good.

S-Faint wisps of bready malt and earthy hops. Thats about it. Nose is not unpleasant at all, but very subdued and understated.

T-A slightly sweet malt hits first then a bitter bite from the earthy hops come in. Maybe a touch of molasses as well? As with the nose, the taste is pleasant but subdued.

M-Almost medium bodied. Crisp carb bite that I thought was a bit distracting, but still slightly creamy.

D-It just doesn't inspire me to have another.

Overall, I love ST. But I'll skip this one from now on. Its not bad, just not memorable.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a gentle garnet hue with a slim beige head. Retention is woeful, as is the lacing. Seriously, what is this thing supposed to be??

Smell -- Toasted malt, plum, juicy citrus, pine boughs. Again, what is going on here?

Taste -- The overall flavor profile is reminiscent of a hoppy winter warmer: Toasted malt, fruity plum sweetness, floral hops, pine boughs, gentle spicing. Lingering flavors of plum and pine resin.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body, slightly viscous, with moderate prickly carbonation. Really not too bad for the style.

Drinkability -- This beer is no Old Ale, though Southern Tier refers to this as such. However, this drinks more like an Amber Ale: toasty malt and substantial hop flavors. As an Old Ale, it's rubbish, but as a

Photo of MeisterBurger
2.98/5  rDev -19%
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.

Photo of beachbum1975
2.74/5  rDev -25.5%
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.

Photo of adamette
2.25/5  rDev -38.9%
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.

Photo of gwclark
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I don't see the "old ale" designation here.
More of a hoppy brown ale, or brown IPA. Maybe strong ale?

Bottle poured into a Sam Adams "free founding subscriber" glass. Nice head - a lot of lacing on the glass. Color on the light end of a brown ale, dark end of an IPA. Smell is subdued - some sweetness from the malt and hoppy, earthy tones underneath. Carbonation is just right - and the taste is like it smells. Blend of strong brown ale and an IPA maybe. One of my favorite of the winter ales I have tried this year.

Photo of tapman
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Medium dark brown with a 2 finger head of tan foam. Once again this beer is dark brown, not black. Hard to find a just brown beer these days.

Savory malt aroma with a considerable fresh hop smell of pine. Also overn-toasted biscuit. I could have used a little more complexity in the malt but those hops smell great!

Sweet malts are full bodied, but more toast than caramel. A little warm, numbing alcohol and a moderate business. Some vegetal hop notes are both grassy and spicy.

A little sharp with the carbonation, but still highly quaffable and not syrupy at all.

A great winter warmer from a dependable brewery. This is like Anchor's Christmas Ale's younger brother, taking after its big bro but still full of young pip and vinegar (not real vinegar).

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - a good robust copper color with minimal white head

S - Very nice hop/malt balance, citrus and sweet hops, a bit of caramel toastiness from the malt.

T - The front of it has some spiciness from the hops, and towards the back you get the malt sweetness, with some bitter drying hops on the finish. Not bad.

M - Fairly full-bodied, a bit light, and perhaps a bit much carbonation.

D - very drinkable. Easy to drink for sure.

Photo of xnicknj
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at the spot in point

Pours a clear copper color with a fairly high off-white head. Retains pretty well, leaving some rings of lacing around the glass.

The nose is somewhat soft, with hints of cinnamon spice, caramel, dark fruit, and a twinge of alcohol.

Begins with a decent dose of bitter pine hops, followed by mellowing sweetness. Raisins and cherries are apparent, along with a malty, bready backbone. Another flash of hoppiness is coupled with a bit of a boozy aftertaste during the finish.

Medium bodied, decent carbonation, a little dry feel. Drinks okay, the alcohol is masked alright except during the aftertaste. Flavors are decent, I usually like ST but I don't think I'd seek this one out.

Photo of SnowGoon99
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle into a Stella Artois glass

Pours a dark amber with hints of orange. Thick head on top that eventually laces down the glass. Aroma is a bit of everything. Caramel, toast, fruit, pine, raisins are all apparent. Definitely complex but still lacking the pungency of a really good old ale.

Flavor was very good. Alcohol comes through along with the caramel sweetness and a touch of toast. Body is great but it's to be expected with a over 7% beer. Drinkability is also very good in spite of the high alcohol content.

Overall a very nice beer that borders on being a really great beer. It's just missing something. Could be age or a more controlled fermentation. Could be less hop flavor and more specialty malts. Not sure what it is really. Just missing that "great beer" quality. But don't get me wrong, i'd certainly drink it again.

Photo of bobsy
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown with ruby highlights and a finger of off-white head. Some decent lacing left behind. Sweet caramel nose with hints of ginger. Big caramel flavour, which is cut by hints of pine and ginger, and accentuated by a burst of spice in the finish. Alcohol is AWOL. Medium body seems pleasantly full at times and works really well.

A pleasant drinker, though not one to blow me away. As an old ale / winter warmer, its more at the 'sessionable' end of the scale in comparison to some of the bigger brews, though I'm not sure its interesting enought to have more than one.

Photo of silentjay
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a translucent grayish brown colored brew gives way to an average sized cream colored head that quickly recedes to a spotty film, but leaves some decent chunks on the glass.

aroma of pine, spice, and light caramel and some light toast.

flavor is reminiscent of the nose, but less hoppy. light caramel and toast dominate with little to no spice and hops that come through after the swallow. a touch metallic, but finishes sweet.

rather thin bodied with just a touch of carbonation.

drinks okay. alcohol is masked well, but flavors are not quite what I expect, nor want, out of a winter warmer, nor any beer for that matter. not a bad beer, but one i will pass up on from now on. not ST's greatest.

Photo of stimulus
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (6 pack) into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear reddish brown with a light white head that leaves a bit of lacing along the glass.
S: A bit of brown sugar and caramel malts.
T: Big and malty; strong caramel and toffee notes.
M: Light to medium bodied, well carbonated, and smooth but a bit sticky on the finish.
D: Very drinkable, if not for the bit of stickiness, would be perfect for the style.

Photo of nick76
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is good but it's not much of an old ale. The aroma is malty with hops, paper, and a bit of fruit. The appearance is amber with a foamy head. The taste is like the aroma with a good balance of sweet and bitter. The palate is smooth. Overall a good beer but it needs work in same ways.

Photo of lovindahops
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Gotta support ny craft brewery seasonals!

A- pours a dark brown look with a slightly brown head. Looks very hearty as one would want with winter brews

S- spices, brown sugar, good dark malt scent. Let me just say this is the scent I want in a winter seasonal. Hearty scent

T- taste is what you expect. Good darkened, warming, spiced malt with the sugar and taste you want this time of year.

M- great flavor in mouth

D- so here it is. With bbc taking away the winter seasonal I remember... Southern tier makes thee winter seasonal out there. Spices, sugar, and good malt. This is the new go to of this season

Photo of Seanibus
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber brown, like a sherry or a Bordeaux past its prime, with a slight fluffy head (with no lacing). The aroma is burned tobacco, smokey, like a cool ashtray. The flavor is smokey and woody, like smoked bacon, with a sharp hop bite and a cinnamon burn. The mouthfeel is prickly, with a spicy burn around the lips and a prickly finish

Photo of williepep
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber color. Medium head that clung to the mason jar mug all the way down, though it did not leave distinct rings.
S- The nose was very hoppy which dominated the sweet maltiness that was barely detectable.
T- The taste was similar to the smell with the hops nearly overwhelming the malt. However, it was quite smooth, especially considering the somewhat high alcohol content.
M- A medium-bodied, medium-carbonated brew. Could have had more of the former and less of the latter.
D- Quite drinkable even for a beer of relatively high alcohol content.

I was somewhat disappointed in this brew, as it did not meet my expectations for a seasonal winter ale. I am not a hop-head, nor do I think a seasonal brew should be heavily hopped. I do think that spice should play a part, however, and I detected very little if any spice in this beer. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant and drinkable beer

Photo of Genuine
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my newly purchased Sam's Perfect Pint glass.

It poured a very nice amber in color, mid level in color, non cloudy.

Smell - the nose on this amazing, cascade hops shine through, piney, citrust notes, along with the malts showing up later.

Taste - follows similar to the nose, but the malts are really taming the citrus note hops, with a toffee/malty finish that lingers afterwards. Not bad at all. I'm not picking up any sort of spices.

Mouthfeel - low on the medium scale, I wouldn't say full bodied but it's no where near light

Drinkability - I'd have no problem having a few of these on a cold winter night. Very nice beer, but lacking the spices to truly call it a winter warmer, but the alcohol is there to make sure of your warmth. Another great beer from Southern Tier!

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was an amber color with a medium-sized tan head and a fair amount of lacing.
Aroma of caramel, brown sugar, citrus. Some sweetness also.
Caramel taste, grapefruit, a little piney hops. There was also some spice that I didn't notice in the aroma.
This was a real easy beer to drink. I think I found a new winter favorite.

Photo of nickfl
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer pours with one finger of light tan head on top of a clear, medium-brown body. The foam settles rapidly and leaves light lace.

S - Toasted malt and some brown sugar with a note of musty molasses. Some herbal hops lurk in the background.

T - Dry caramel malt up front with lots of toasted grain. Herbal hop flavors come out in the middle with some toffee and molasses. The beer dries out towards the finish with more toasted malt flavor and some resinous hop character as well as moderate bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Not bad, this is very toasty and malty with some burnt sugar undertones. The toast gets a little bit overly dry in the finish with a burnt bread character that lingers on the palate. The herbal hop flavors blend nicely with the brown, malty notes though the bitterness doesn't quite manage to keep the rich malt subdued. A decent and drinkable beer, though one is enough for me.

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Old Man (Winter Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 1,414 ratings.