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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: 177 | 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
Reviews: 544 | Hads: 1,457
Photo of seedyone
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Mar'14. From bottle at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Not quite the enjoyment as from the tap, but still worthy...worthy of...worthy of my humble praise. God bless us one & all. (Step away from the computer, you're embarrassing everyone.)

11/20/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. My experience thus far w/So. Tier has been their Creme Brulee, Pumpking & Warlock...heavily flavored things. This is much more a straight ahead ale. Big bold flavor. Balance at it's best. Reassuring to know these guys know the basics as well as the slight-of-hand stuff. Nothing up the sleeve just a simple thumbs up.
At Rattle N Hum 10 months ago

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Soft nose of toasted malts under a thin, subtle blanket of piney hops. Much more hop-forward in the taste, with the malt and hints of caramel quickly surrendering to pine and dried floral hops along the sides of tongue. Too unbalanced, especially given the style.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%

Pours a clean copper color with plenty of sticky fizz. Piney hops , bitterness, tea leaf malt and a meaty smoky aroma. There's a good balance of bitter hops and biscuity malt with some backdrop of molasses and dark fruit. The hop character seems mostly bitter and the malt has that tea leaf, biscuit and caramel flavor. This is an Old Ale? Seems like a decent Pale Ale.

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

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/30/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, toffee, orange zest, floral, grass, light pine, light raisin, nuttiness, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity of dark/bready malt and moderate hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, brown sugar, biscuit, toffee, orange zest, floral, grass, pine, herbal, light raisin, nuttiness, and toasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy pine/floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, brown sugar, biscuit, toffee, orange zest, floral, grass, herbal, light pine, nuttiness, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of dark/bready malt and earthy/piney hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a light creamy and moderately sticky/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good Old ale. Good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and earthy/piney hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of dlcoblen
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is my first Old Ale style.

A: Mahogany in color. No head.

S: Floral, fruity (citrus), piney.

T: Hope Forward with a earthy malt back finish.

M: Nice mouth feel; oily feel with nice carbonation.

O: Southern Tier is one of my favorites and they produce some to quality brews but this old ale was an IPA in disguise. Maybe I need to try so more old ales to make sure im not confused. Nonetheless its a great beer.

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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 devilben02
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours from the bottle with a deep amber color and a light, foamy tan head. The aroma is initially dominated by caramel and sweet bread, with the woodsy, earthy hop profile being comparatively soft at first, but the hop aromatics become more dominant as the beer warms. The flavor is similarly rich and malty but well-balanced by the mildly-astringent woodsy hops. I would say that the taste is crisp, but not in a refreshing way. Rather, it tastes like standing outside at night after a new snow. The mouthfeel has a solid, somewhat resinous feel, with a fine, soft carbonation that lifts the flavors up rather than obscuring them. Overall, this beer is hearty and flavorful without being overly assertive or syrupy, making a nice complement to cool winter weather.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with DOB 11/19/2013 printed near the bottom of the bottle. A new winter seasonal to me from Southern Tier, this one classified as an old ale.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a light caramel amber with some nice clarity and one finger of off-white head which settles to a soapy ring. Some nice scattered lacing.

S - Smell is dry bready biscuit malt, dirty herbal earthiness, some peppery rye, tangerine / orange, and some florals.

T - Taste follows the nose: bready honeyed biscuit malt, caramel malt, some earthy, bitter, fruity hop presence - grapefruit, orange, pine, & some mineral water on the finish. Very nice balance.

M - Feel is crisp. Malty & hoppy. Bready & bitter. A good fitting end. Subtle alcohol warmth.

Overall, a nice winter beer. Not exactly what I would think of when I hear "old ale", but I wouldn't exactly know what else to call it either. Definitely one of the more interesting and memorable of the beers I've tried from Southern Tier. Recommended.

Southern Tier Old Man Winter Ale ---4/5.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.21/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Southern Tier Old Man Winter has a very thick, foamy, soapy, off-white head, a clear, brown, cola-colored appearance, with few bubble streams and lots of lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet bread crust, zingy hops, and toffee. Taste is of a pronounced, somewhat grapefruity hop bitterness, and sweet, brown bread crust. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Southern Tier Old Man Winter finishes crisp, refreshing, not a bit alcohilic, and quite drinkable. Delicious!


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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Amber red with clarity. Not much lace or head.

S - Dried fruit and faint boozy smell

T - Citrus hops and malty. ABV is well hidden. Caramel and sweet

M - Well carbonated and sizzles going down

O - A good winter warmer. Not great, but good none the less

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Photo of a0lbudman
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Very clear dark amber to brown color with a small tan head that leaves some lace
S-sweet malt and bready aroma with a hint of dark fruit and hops
T-sweet malt is the first taste, then comes a bitter pine hop bite with a slight alcohol warming
M- medium body and medium carbonation
O-I enjoyed this beer, but it was hoppy for an old ale, and not as much malt flavor.

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Photo of plumcrazyfx
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In no way is this an old ale. This is totally different from an Old Stock or Fruet. It's closer to Celebration or a Red Ale/IPA. There is no dark fruit or brown sugar. That being said it's a solid but not outstanding beer.

A- Clear redish brown, almost sparkles.

S- Hops and bready malt, ballanced.

T- Ballanced hops and slightly sweet malt with a dry earthy hop finish.

M- Crisp, lighter body.

This is not a sticky, thick old ale that coats the mouth and finishes with an whisp of alcohol. Really belongs in the Red Ale category. If you are looking for a real old ale- look elsewhere but it's a fine beer that's unoffending rather than a wow beer. Put it this way, if I saw this at a holiday party I'd be thrilled to not have to drink Bud. The problem is, if I want an old ale - this ain't it (I'll get a 4-pack of Old Stock for almost the same price). Other than that, Celebration is a cheaper/better beer. I don't see a reason to buy this again.

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Photo of AwYeh
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear reddish-amber color, with a finger of quickly dissipating off-white head. A few lines of lacing around the glass.

S: Raisins, must, pine hops. Not one of the most common combinations in a beer, but not bad either. I kind of like the earthy combination that the must+pine make.

T: Caramel, bready malts combine with earthy, herbal bitter flavors to produce a tasty, well-balanced beer. Light metallic taste on the finish dings this a bit.

M: Medium-bodied, well-carbonated, dry finish.

O: This is an alright beer; I picked it up because it was the only beer down to one bottle, and it turns out that wasn't a bad call. Not a favorite but if I was having a big Christmas gathering I might pick up a sixer of this for variety's sake.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip; deep brown-ish orange, like maple syrup. Moderate slimy white head that slides down and leaves wet lacing on top of a half-finger cap of foam.
Smell is bready sweet malt with sparse hints of fruitiness.
Taste is sweet malt, lots of dark bread, dark earthy herbals, and lesser dark fruit. Slight twist towards sour but doesn't quit get there, just ends with a dark, sweet fermented fruit flavor.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth, finishes wet and sticky.
Overall, this is the lowest %abv old ale I've had (in fact I think it's the only one under 10%) but it still holds up pretty well against its high-gravity brethren. Good flavor, and still that 7% isn't anything to sneeze at, and a few of these will certainly warm you up on a winter's night.

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Photo of Hopscat
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into stemless wine glass. Copper color , clear look with small off white head which dissolves quickly leaving ring with good lacing and legs. Nice looking ale. Smell was roasted grain, floral hops with fruity -citrusy notes.
Taste is sweet malt up front with a nice hops bite and the faint booziness is there .
Mouthfeel is medium body with some creaminess with good carbonation.,
This is my second time and it is better . Overall this is a pleasant ale with some surprising complexity.

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Photo of LI_PO12
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into Tulip

Appearance- Dark copper, white head, fades quick

Aroma- Deep musty malts, caramel, some toffee, some pine, and floral hops tones, some dark fruit notes as well, slight alcohol

Flavor- More bitter than a to style old ale should be but that doesn't bother me, piney hops, caramel malts, less fruity notes than the nose, some alcohol warmth

Mouthfeel- Medium, good carbonation

Overall- I like this beer, got a case last year after digging my six pack so much. It really isn't a "traditional" old ale, but its good and worth a try and it fits the season well.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This brew was served on tap at MacGregor’s Grill and Tap Room in Canandaigua, NY. It arrived in a dimpled house mug, showing a rich nut brown coloring, with cola hues shimmering around its edges when held to light. One finger of almond colored bubbles sat atop the liquid, showing nice retention, and thick sheets of lacing as it disappeared. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be active. The aroma sang of heavy, sodden moss, musk and dust, aged cheddar cheese, pale and syrupy caramel malts, fusel booze, ground mustard, cherry and strawberry fresh fruitiness, light floral hop oils, lemon essence, and sweaty saltiness. Our first impression was that there was a deep fruity sweetness that wasn’t entirely expected, but by the end there was enough muster and toast from the malts for a fine balance. As we sipped, the taste began with soapy and floral hops, maraschino cherry fruitiness, tangerine rind bitters, brassy metallics, brown and toffee malts, and fermented apple and strawberry fruitiness. The middle came to a peak with raspberry tea tannins, lemon and soapy hops, gravel, chunky yeast grit, toasted pine bark, brown and caramel malts, eucalyptus, and peppery booze. The finish came with nutty oiliness, port booziness and sweetness, pencil woodiness, lemon and orange flesh, phenolic chemical cleaner, dusty stone, and chalked yeastiness. The aftertaste breathed of tobacco leafiness, light charcoal smoke, wood lacquer, straw and dirty caramel maltiness, bitter cough syrup cherries, wheat bread toast, light buttery diacetyls, and orange rind bitters. The body was medium, and the carbonation was the same. Each sip gave great froth and slurp, but with lesser smack or pop to the lips. The mouth was crisply warmed, with biscuity dryness, and the faintest astringent lick to the tongue. The abv was appropriate, and the beer sipped well.

Overall, the best thing about this brew was its flavoring. While the aroma was nice and fruity, it gave way to a much more complex and bittered, with bite and metallic grittiness to the bone. All the while the fruit was echoing across the top, but dynamically, and not as strongly as the nose would suggest. This is not what we would classify as your typical “old ale”, but it did show strength of musk and depth to the grain bill throughout. This is one of Southern Tier’s last “major-line” beers for us to rate, and we feel it fits the pedigree well. We’ve probably been avoiding this guy in particular for so long on account of some local friends warning us away from it, but as locals ourselves, we will stand by this beer as a decent upstate seasonal.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Very transparent brown with a 1/2-finger head
S: A touch light but a nice maltiness, baking spice, cola and a hint of pine hops
T: The palate also has malt, spice & hops but generic versions of each, I'm not picking up any specific flavors. Good balance but lacks character
M: Overall medium-bodied but a touch watery
O: This would be great if I could pick up more distinct flavors but at least with this bottle it's a no go. I'll certainly be revisiting it next year to see if this is vintage or bottle variation

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Photo of bmwats
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a footed tulip.

A: Medium brown. Pours a 1 finger, foamy, white head. Settles fairly quickly leaving a thick beer ring, and a thick smattering of bubbles. Thick, persistent, pervasive lacing.

S: Rye bread, pecans, and tea leaf.

T: Slight hop. Roasted malt. Pecan shell.

M: Light body. High alcohol unapparent. Bitter finish remains on the palate.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. Really nice foamy head, plenty of lacing. Nose is bitter and pungent. A little hoppy with earthy roasted malt grains ans some bitter pecan. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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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 utopiajane
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep amber with hues of brown and with exceptional clarity. A light stream of bubbles rises up to meet a fat head of cream colored foam. Good retention and laces well. The nose is tangerine and brown sugar. Hop floral and a faint bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. The dark fruits are deep within the bready malt and lend a crafted sweetness. Taste is spirited with light tangerine and dark fruit. A slight hop bitter and a nice biscuit. Has a juicy overall fruit quality in the drink and sweet bread that seems to go on forever. Carbonation brings a ticklish mouthfeel to this and the body of the beer is full but not too heavy.

This was a cheerful winter ale that wasn't a spice bomb. The spices were light and the bread never ended. The hops gave it a vibrance and it drank with a bit of caramel sweetness. pretty nice and before you know it you will have had 3 or 4 of these.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Man Winter Ale poured a orange-ish amber color with an off-white head. The only really distinct note in the aroma was the malt. I could not detect any sense of spiciness or notes typical of a winter ale. In the taste, one gets notes of orange, some mild spice, and alcohol. For a winter beer, I thought the mouthfeel was fairly thin. The finish was a tart malty after that brings a fairly bland winter ale to a head. I love winter ales, but will pass on this one in the future.

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Photo of Omnium
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice rustic amber color, 2 finger head, good lacing going on.
S - Sweet malts, bourbon, and some dank herbal hops, a few spices.
T - Sweet caramel malts are prominent here, and then comes in some herbal hop flavors and then some of the spice and bitterness.
M - A little sticky and sweet.
O - Not bad, but its best cold thats for sure, as it warms up it gets over the top with sweetness, and you really pick up the bourbon smell. Not as good as I remember it, but still a decent winter beer.

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Photo of ToddT
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- Clear amber topped with a thin off white head. Head fades slowly to a ring and leaves a bit of spotty lace on the glass.

S- Caramel, spice, candied fruit, and floral hops notes. The nose on this one is subtle.

T- Malty notes at first, caramel and spice right away. Hints of sweet candied fruit, raisin and a floral hop note balance out the malt and lead to a dry finish. The finish is slightly bitter with hops notes and a slight warming alcohol effect.

M- Medium in body and carbonation,

O- Nice take on the style, the 7.0% ABV is well hidden and this one represents the style well.

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Photo of budgood1
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a fine and clear dark auburn colour with a slight bone white head. some head retention and some spotty lace are left. malty sweet aroma...figs, raisins and burnt sugar and some spicy hoppiness fill the nose. the taste profile is in the old ale tradition...sturdily malty with some earthy, dirty maltiness complimented by some herbal and spice hop notes. it's well attentuated leaving an incredibly dry, spicy, lightly bitter hop finish. alcohol is well integrated and not detectable, although it provides a gentle warming sensation in the belly. like a warm hug. body is full and sturdy with a smooth yet dirty mouthfeel. hard to explain. very nice drinkability...tasty but not overbearing.

overall a nice winter warmer and something that would warm the heart on even the coldest of winter eves. recommended.

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