1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Old Man (Winter Ale) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,204 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,204
Reviews: 519
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 12.74%
Wants: 33
Gots: 48 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 12-17-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Man (Winter Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,204 | Reviews: 519 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark in color with ruby highlights, not a lot of head in my snifter glass but plenty of lacing. Massive aroma of sweet malt, brown sugar, dark fruit with floral hops behind. Hops are much more assertive in the flavor, plenty of bitterness to balance the nutty malt sweetness. Seems a little under carbonated and slightly thin but overall one worth revisiting.

CDBeerDisappear, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of Jason
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Head retention is remarkable with a sizable froth to start and lots of stickage after. Clarity is fine. Deep malty aroma of dark sugars and raisins, hops are not to modest at all with a thick oily nose of tangerine and wild flowers. Creamy slick mouth feel with lots of body, maltiness tries to set in but the bitterness from the hops up roots almost all of the sweetness and holds fast with bitter herb and hard a dried orange peel flavor. This does fade a little and some warming alcohol and caramel sweetness comes through. Finishes bittersweet.

Perhaps some age would be good or not, I like it fresh right now. Bitter and heady. I am sure a little age will dull the hops and bring forth the sweetness in hopes that the alcohol ages just as well. A solid pick for the season.

Jason, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of mully
2.9/5  rDev -21.4%
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

mully, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of ProudBeerSnob
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic pint, very sparse head that immediately dissipated. Dark copperish brown color. Aroma has hops, with a bit of aspirin. Taste has nutty maple flavor, but not too sweet. Very clean finish. This tastes more like a hoppy nut brown ale, than an old ale.

Bottom line, very drinkable, above average for many winter seasonals, but below average for an old ale.

ProudBeerSnob, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of plaid75
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured an upfront grainy sweetness followed by an earthy hop.

The taste consisted of caramel malt, raisin/prune/dark fruit, and some estery yeast. An earthy hop appeared toward the middle and the finish featured a full toasted grain.

The mouthfeel was average for the style with a dry finish.

Overall a rather complex and highly drinkable ale. A perfect winter warmer.

plaid75, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - clear, amber color with a beige head that left trails of lacing on the glass.

S - roasted malt & bitter hop aroma.

T - malty, hoppy, malty, hoppy... mmmm, good!

M - light and crisp.

D - easy drinking, very good Winter Ale.

Final Note: 1st off, this is a Winter Warmer, not an Old Ale.
2nd, the ST website suggests cellaring this beer, but I think it's pretty good fresh.

(copy & paste to browser) http://www.southerntierbrewing.com/beer_5.htm

If I lay one down for a few months or more, I'll add an edit to this review.

JoeyBeerBelly, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of cichief
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draught at the Frisco Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a deep brown, with a nice off white head.

S- Citrusy hops and sweet malt.

T- Somewhat buttery, with a slight biscuit flavor. The hops are muted but balanced, no alcohol burn for a decent strong beer.

M- Smooth, nice small bubble and a thin to medium body, allow this beer to flow nicely.

D- Very well done, dangerously drinkable.

cichief, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of Greenlabel
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 6-pack at Julio's in Westboro, MA. No freshness dating on the bottles or description of the style of beer. Poured a dark mahogany color - decent foam retention. Roasted malt scent predominates in the flavor. Some sweetness with hops in the background and, to my pleasant surprise, no noticeable spice elements. I was surprised to learn that the ABV was above 7% as the mouthfeel didn't seem to reflect that level of strength.

While drinking my first bottle, I had difficulty determining the style and didn't realize it was an Old Ale until consulting the BA site. It seemed quite different from other Winter Ales I've tried this year. I can't compare it to other Old Ales but can say that it's quite drinkable although it wouldn't rate among my favorite Winter seasonals.

Greenlabel, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a light tan head. Not as deep a color as I have seen in a lot of other old ales. A bit lighter. Nose is a bit sugary sweet. Nice wood tones there as well. Seems to be lacking the right touch of complexity though. Flavor is tangy with a lot of citrus zest on there that I feel is a bit too much. Leaves a tart zing in the back of the mouth. As it warms it settles and keeps an interesting woody slightly sweet tone. Feel has a decent liquid feel and the carbonation is on the same level. Drinkable, sure. I can't really say this is the greatest old ale ever. I certainly have had others that carry a stronger profile than this. But it was worth trying.

RblWthACoz, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of brewcrew76
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours auburn with a thin tan head and minimal lacing.

S - Mostly caramel and nutty with some citrus hops.

T - Caramel and toffee with a light nuttiness and a touch of biscuit. Some citrus hops in the background.

M - On the thin side of medium with light carbonation making it slightl lifeless.

D - If I didn't know any better I would have guessed this was vienna lager.

brewcrew76, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of letsgopens
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I wasn’t expecting Olde Ale as the style for this brew but it’s very enjoyable nonetheless. The cloudy, woody brown body displays some lighter amber/gold highlights around the edges. The frothy tan head has good retention and leaves a spotty ring of lace around the glass.

Lots of solid caramel malt and a great deal of hops. Buttery, toasted English muffin along with a slight metallic character and, again, a good hoppy undertone. The hops really stand out and linger in the nose. Very nicely done.

Even more solid hops, especially for a winter seasonal. Floral and bitter. Really meshes well with the strong malt backbone. Hops then caramel malt/toffee, then back to hops again in the finish. Well balanced and very flavorful.

Moderate bodied and medium to light carbonation. Not too dry and rather slick in texture with a good lingering hoppy feel. Well balanced. Not super complex, but nothing is missed in this brew it seems. Another quality selection from Southern Tier.

letsgopens, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of Bighuge
4.45/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear auburn/mahogany body. The beer throws up a nice bubbly off white head that sticks around for a while. The lace is fairly abundant as well. Nice warm aroma of molasses cookies, caramel malts and spicy hops. I really like this aroma. This beer has a rich texture to it and a rich flavor as well. A spiced and hoppy aftertaste compliments the deep biscuity maltiness. The flavors are all very even keeled and blend together nicely. Some sweet candied flavors appear as well with some cookie dough like goodness as well. It has a very warm feel to it without being alcoholic at all. Very enjoyable. Southern Tier impresses me again.

Bighuge, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of tgbljb
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep chestnut color with attractive off-white chunky head. Modest retention with great sticky lacing.
Smell is notable only for distinct alcohol note.
Taste have lots of caramel-toffee malt, but an overabundance of hops overpowwers all other taste sensatios.
Leave an austerely dry feeling in the mouth.
Very dissapointling. I expected much more.

tgbljb, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of John_M
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Mahaffey's the other night. Franklyk, I'm amazed southern tier was able to make a special seasonal beer that is under 10% abv.

The beer pours a darkish copper color with a creamy looking head. There is good head retention and decent lacing to this one. The aroma is pretty enticing, with noticeable sweet malt superimposed upon a back bone of bitter citrus. There is a hint of spice, but the malt and hops really dominate the nose on this beer. On the palate one gets the sense of an aged ale, with nuances of sherry, along with some citrus and astringency in the finish. The beer is medium bodied and frankly the abv. is a bit more noticeable then I would like. That detracts from the drinkability, although the alcohol is not overly obtrusive.

This is a good beer, but not what I would call outstanding. I probably will not order it again.

John_M, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, scooped a 6 pack at Riley's when looking for something different to quaff down as the heavy snows come. I drank this particular bottle in my Lake Geneva on a very snowy night

appearance: dark amber-mahogany body with a light tan head and minimal lace around the rim, clear body

smell: notable hop presence, caramel and nutty aromas, roasted malt, mollasses

taste: some sort of combination of a porter and an old ale and a few other things, but certainly not what comes to mind when i think of a standard old ale. strong roasted malt torched in a light boozy sauce, piney hops with a slightly metallic aftertaste, a touch spicy

mouthfeel: medium body, slick

drinkability: pretty good, but my limits 2

dirtylou, Dec 05, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an extremely nice, hoppy (not spicy) winter beer. I've been extremely impressed by the sudden array of Southern Tier beers available here in southeastern Wisconsin, and this is no exception.

This beer pours a rich amber color with perfect head formation of tiny bubbles compressed into a thick lid. Like all Southern Tier beers I've had, the body is clear and brilliant. Aroma is hoppy and very phenolic. Flavor is also hoppy, but balanced with abundant amounts of caramel malt (and I think a bit of diacetyl). Mouthfeel is smooth (the diacetyl helps, if it is in fact there) but a bit flat.

Quite nice, and definitely recommended.

BeerBelcher, Nov 28, 2007
Photo of ndekke39
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank a 12 oz. bottle of this, poured into a pint glass. Comes out a reddish-copper with a thin, white head. Good retention, a little bit of lacing on the glass. Nice winter smells of nuts, nutmeg, cinnamon, toasted grains. Dark, toasted malt at the center of the flavors. Again, a good warm quality. Mostly sweet and nutty on the tongue, like a lightly-spiced Brown Ale. Touch of bitterness in the aftertaste, almost like a dark macadamia nut. Medium-bodied mouthfeel, appropriate for the style. Overall, a nice, balanced session ale. Good for the season. Doesn't rely too heavily on gimmicky spices. Good example of the style - I will definitely remember this one!

ndekke39, Nov 25, 2007
Photo of iceball585
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark reddish brown color, non-transparent, very thin lacy cover head

S- Flowery hops, spices, scotch, hint of citrus

T- Strong hops flavor, burnt malts, spices, oranges, raisens, scotch, hint of cocoa

M- Medium body, low/medium weight, smooth, slight warming of alcohol near the end

D- Good but not quite a session beer

Not too complex but the flavors mix very well. The more you drink of this one the more you start to taste the alcohol.

iceball585, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of Jmamay22
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

No bottled or best by date, but I believe this one is left over from last year. It should hold up well, but every bottle should be dated.

This beer pours a deep ruby red and not the typical murky brown I have grown used to for Old Ales. Nice sized head and retention that's slightly off white. Good sticky lacing no doubt aided by the hops.

Smells of citrus hops and orange rind. Very solid and smart use of hops. If this has aged it has aged beautifully. Smells a bit like a sedated IPA with spice.

Tastes hoppy still. I'm not sure how I feel about the current trend of winter brews that are big on hops and small on spice. I may not represent the masses, but I prefer a spiced winter ale. Mostly citrus hops, but there is a caramel malt background to hold things together. This really isn't an Old Ale at all. This is similar to SN Celebration or Santa's Private Reserve from Rogue. Enjoyable, but not what I expect or had originally hoped for.

Mouthfeel is disappointingly thin and rather lifeless. Very drinkable for its abv, but this will not serve as a winter warmer in the least. Really an improperly labeled beer.

Jmamay22, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of GFSchwab
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A goood tasting beer, with a lot of unique spices to compliment the malts. yet at the same time you get a wollop from the hops. This is just in the nose of the beer. Upon tasting it I immediatley was overwhelmed by the alcohol content, which was much higher then I had expected, although it went along with the hopps quite well. Although that quality is something you would expect in an IPA and not a winter ale. That was the main thing I found odd about this beer, it was like an IPA with an identity crisis.

The aftertaste had a distinct reminance of the alcohol and hops, with sublt notes of dark cofee, and faint malts.

Overall a good beer, it just seemed like it was in between types, which took away from the overall intent.

GFSchwab, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Southern Tier- Old Man

Singles at Circle Liquors- Pennington, NJ

A- Light cola brown with a small bubbly head.
S- Slight ash/ roasted hop, cocoa, and sugary malt.
T- Sweet, slighty burnt, brown sugar with a touch of cocoa powder.
M- Sweet and syrupy up front, finishes oily with a bit of alc. heat.

Overall- A session Winter Ale. Slighty sweet and cloying but polishing off 3-4 would be no problem.

NJpadreFan, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of merlin48
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear cola brown body with a small and creamy ecru head. Attractive patchy lace clings to the glass. Malty aroma with a hint of chocolate, spicy notes of ginger and orange peel, and some pine hops. Medium body and low medium carbonation. Taste is malty caramel with a hint of chocolate, atop spicy ginger and pine hops. A hint of orange peel. Very dry finish. Decent winter warmer.

merlin48, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an orange-amber with a smallish white head that melted to a film of white and sticky white lacing.

Aromas of sweet amber malts and pepper with a hint of orange peel and bread dough.

Sweet malt only barely shows itself in the mouth with most of the flavors going to the bread dough, black pepper spice, and an orange peel hop finish. Bitter orange peel makes itself more well known as it warms and is quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin with a bitter finish that works well at drying the palette and making you look for another sip.

7.5% ABV is very well hidden. This feels more like a drinking than a sipping beer. Much lighter than the Old Ales I am used to.

IntriqKen, Jun 15, 2007
Photo of jwff
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark orange with red hue and very little carbonation/head. Smell is sweet english malts with orange rind/pepper/bread. Taste is a blend of pepper, tea, sweet malts, orange peel oils, and bittering hops in the finish. Very interesting beer that keeps me guessing. Solid mouthfeel with just enough carbonation. Not really thick, but a little slick. This beer has a lot going on and I'd love to sit down with a 6... on my day off of course.

jwff, May 31, 2007
Photo of Grundle20
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a rough pour a semi viscous dark brown beer produces a small off white head. There's little head retention to note but some patchy lacing is produced.

Some sweet caramel malts blend well with some fresh citric hop character to build this beer. There are some underlying notes of dates and raisins with the malts.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
There's some up front grassy hop character with a raisiny bitterness. This melds in to a smooth and semi viscous middle with a raisin and bittersweet chocolate taste. In the finish there is just a touch of sulfur and some mouth coating bitterness in the finish.

With a semi high ABV and rich malty flavors this is striking me as a cold day kind of beer. It's pretty good but not something I would want to drink too many of.

Bottom Line:
It's a pretty decent beer. I doubt how true it is to other old ales with a hop profile like this one has. I would almost call it a barley wine but who am I to make the rules.

Grundle20, May 16, 2007
Old Man (Winter Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 1,204 ratings.