Old Man (Winter Ale) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 553 | Ratings: 1,532
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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Photo of peabody
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This is a very filtered brew. Clear amber liquid with 1 finger of slightly off-white suds. Some lacing around my glass.
Aroma is charred malts and pungent hop/yeast burn in the nose. As it warms it gets a little more sugar in the nose with molasses and brown sugar.
Taste is a tad watery for an old ale but the alcohol is very well hidden. A slight dirty flavor at first then the malt coats the back of the mouth and the bitter hop comes to the front. There is some booze left on the palate at the very end of the taste right before the black bitterness of the charred malts takes over.
Mouthfeel is very sharp and black for the most part. You don't get the alcohol burn at all as you do from most old ales. So I take it this one is slightly weak.
Overall I still like this mishmash of flavors and wouldn't hesitate buying this again.
Pretty nice beer.

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

Wow, some not so good comments on this brew...I am an IPA and a English/Scottish Ale fan. i am definitely an amateur with all the lingo....however i know what i like....Old Man is a very nice beer that you will not be disappointed with....it has a brownish tint with a light head....but who care, it is taste and ABV....you cannot go wrong with this beer as it has a little darker taste, tad bit floral, but not so much...then follows with that of a warming alcohol....what better feel do you need for winter time...perfect, only thing better would be a Skull Splitter

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Photo of barczar
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant deep amber with garnet highlights and a dense half inchcream head that dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving spotty lacing.

Floral hops and caramel, toasted malt combine with hints of dark fruit to form the aroma.

Caramel and lightly toasted malt are accentuated by grain, booze, and floral, perfumey hops, leading to a fairly bitter, resiny finish.

Body is moderate, with carbonation a tad low, and slight astringency. Significant alcohol warmth.

Lacks the character of an old ale, minus the booze. Pretty lackluster, and more bitter than anticipated. Just hot and bitter.

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

Poured into a glass mug.

A: Clear medium brown with two-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted more than several minutes. Pretty good lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malt and mild hop aromas.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Toasted caramel malt. Not too sweet. Has a stale taste. Resin. Not bad.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation.

O: This is a solid Old Ale. Looks, smells, and tastes like it should I think.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a clear, medium brown color with a slight, beige head. Just some grains and slight hops in the aroma, but nothing too fancy. There are some floral tones and spices in the flavor. A decent overall texture as it finishes with a slightly bitter taste. It has a kind of dry taste overall that gives a unique tasting experience. This is my first Old Ale, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but this is pretty good!

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Photo of jucifer1818
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: perfectly clear, light amber brew with a strong carbonation and a lick, bubbly head (tho it does disapte rather quickly.
It could defiantly use more color, but its clarity is quite refreshing

S: this beer gives off a lovely spicey/sweet hop smell. It is a rather weak smell however, and almost smells a bit of metal
Still its not bad. but needs to be more defined

T: this is where ST really always delivers, and its not exception here. Lovely hoppy flavors, tasting greatly of Grapefruit american hops, which are medium strength, yet balanced by the sweetness of the malt, which is barley detectable

a hop heavy brew, the taste is rather good. I would give this one a 4/5

Mouthfeel: mostly watery, with a nice acidic bite from the hopps.

overall: this is not a bad beer, but I feel that it is a bit off, since it doesn't taste like a winter beer at all, but a nice balllanced IPA.
their is not enough spice for me to consider it a one

however, To ward off the cold, this beer does nicely. It really delivers a good hoppy brew, and I feel that it deserves a solid 4/5

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a smaller chalice, color is lighter amber, transparent; head presents thicker on warmer pours, this time was 1/4" thick, then dissipates to froth and rings.

Smell is subdued cold, but as it warms is light toasted malt and bigger hop citrus and resin, pine.

Taste is quite crisp, nice clean malt profile, with some light toast and caramel, but not over sweet; bitterness overtakes and lingers in the tongue, flavors are more resin and pine with notes of lighter citrus.

Mouthfeel is quite pleasant for the strength, maybe some lingering bitterness and caramel notes, but not cloying or taste bud destroying.

Overall, another great tasting brew from southern tier, clean tastes good hop and bitterness profile; a nice winter take on the hopped up beer, and a unique take on the old ale style, maybe more clean and hoppy than i would have expected but a solid brew.

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

It only seemed appropriate to review Old Man Winter after snowshoeing in the 12 inches of snow that we got today.

A: A medium copper with good clarity. The head is thin but long lasting with creamy light-tan bubbles.

S: The aroma is kind of faint when it's cold but gets strong as it warms having a moderately-light hops aroma that is mostly citrus and a little bit resinous pine. There is a moderate malt with a clean sweetness, a touch of fruity esters and a slight peppery aroma.

T: A firm hops bitterness with a moderate hops flavors that are earthy, pine and citrus peel. There is some malt sweetness with a light bitter cocoa flavor but the balance is decidedly bitter. There is a low fruitiness from the yeast that is of light fruit. The finish is slightly sweet.

M: A slightly creamy, medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation.

O: Nicely bitter for an an Old Ale with a bit of hops in the and peppery phenols in nose. Many of Southern Tiers beer caters to the hops lover and this is one is no different but mostly just the bitterness. I has a good hops bitterness but still manages to be a bit on the sweeter side, though no where near as sweet as most Old Ales.

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Photo of atr2605
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a deep red amber with an off white head with decent retention that leaves a small lace
S-raisins, spice, molasses
T-bit bready up front with a decent amount of bitterness and finishes sweet with raisin flavor
O-different style than many other winter beers. Big and full flavor that is very drinkable

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Photo of AmitC
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. My first Old Ale.

Brown color in the glass. Translucent. Some haze. Not one of the darkest old ales. Head is of creamy color and nature, about two fingers thick and with excellent persistence. A good stickiness on the sides that leaves some decent laces. Very few bubbles.

Aroma is purely malt based. Sweet, ester like. Some dry nuts and raisins may be. A very mild alcohol presence if i may say so. Some toffee like notes.

Taste: Malt sweetness, caramel like flavors and some very mild chocolate. A very good hop presence that is rich in bitterness. Tilts the finish on sweet bitter side with a touch of dryness. Some alcohol is observed, however it is very mild.

Mouth feel: Very good medium to slightly full feel. Some alcohol warmth. Some chewiness. Nice on palate. Low carbonation makes it very good to drink. No astringency of any kind.

A very surprisingly likable style and a good brew at that.

Style Rate: 4
Personal Rate :4

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Clear brown with an inch of off white head. Nice stick to the glass.

S. malty, raisins, spices, brown sugar. Nice nose on this. Not overpowering.

T. This is smooth as hell and has a nice balance of hops, malts, spices, and faint sweetness.

O. Very solid option for the season that is definitely worth a shot.

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

Pours a deep amber with some reddish hues. There is little head, and it disappears quickly. I can see minimal carbonation, and the glass has sparse lacing as the session goes on.

There is some citrus / pine hops on the nose, and some toasted malts.

These flavors, and more, come about in the taste. There is an initial pine hop, followed buy a sweet citrus, like orange and bitter grapefruit, then some raisin flavors as the very subtle toasted oat / toffee malts strike a nice balance. There is a great clean sweet sugar in this ale that blends well with the prominent hop flavors. The body is lighter than expected, and the finish is clean. The Somewhat minty, but more citrus, bitters linger with the clean rock candy sweet of the malts. This brew tastes great stat to finish.

A well hopped, not spiced, or overly sweet, winter seasonal. There is a well balanced blend of piney citrus sweet hops and subtle toasted malts that make this a wonderful winter ale.

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Photo of rangerred
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark copper with a one finger off-white head. The head seems to last forever and there is lots of thick lacing clinging to the sides of the glass.

Piny hops really stick out at first in the aroma but there are hints of much more underneath. Caramel and dark fruit are there along with some tree bark and earth. Almost a little bit of mint and some spices comes through.

The flavor begins mush like an IPA with pine, earth and caramel up front. These quickly transition, however, into peppermint and pine trees along with pitch. This is a little fleeting leading to a parting shot of caramel and a lingering bitterness on the roof of the mouth. Mouthfeel is somewhat chalky leaving a slightly sticky finish.

Overall, I really like the flavors in this beer. It really reminds me of a winter pine forest and makes for a good cold weather beer. Nice to see an Old Ale being made by an American brewery.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a clean brown pour with a finger of creme colored head.

smells of grapes, raisins, dates, molasses, chocolate, cinnamon. the taste is very sweet and malty up front followed by an even sweeter backbone of dark fruits and subtle nutty notes. very sweet and flavorful rich.

medium body with moderate carbonation, creamy mouthfeel.

a nice winter warmer, sweet and malty, not to the point where it's undrinkable.. in fact it's quite enjoyable. a roasted nutty characteristic that satisfies the slight want for bitterness.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance - Pours a mahogany color with a one finger off white head. The head has moderate retention eventually fading to give a decent level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is heavy of spices. There are strong aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Mixed with these aromas are lighter notes of a bready and caramel nature, which when mixed with the spice give a spice bread aromas.

Taste – The taste starts out roasty and bready with a very light caramel sweetness and a pine hop taste. Upfront there is also some nutmeg spice with more spice flavors come to the tongue as the taste advances. After the initial taste a cinnamon and allspice flavor come to the tongue. In the end the roasted and nutmeg flavors of the brew grow stronger with the caramel fading. A clove, moe pine hop, and light alcohol flavor greet the other tastes in the end to leave a rather roasted bittered spice flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average as well. A thicker body and a slightly lower carbonation may have better accentuated the roasted, pine hop, and spice flavors, although even while said the feel was not too bad.

Overall – A pretty decent winter ale. It was a good blend of spice, roast and hop. Not bad and worth a try.

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Photo of weeheavybutdieting
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased in a Growler from Ale Yeah, Roswell GA. Served in a snifter.

A: A light mahogany with a hint of copper. Not as dark as I would expect from some Old Ales but still in the ballpark.

S: Carries a grain scent from front to back though in the middle you pick up a little bit of the malt aroma and something a little creamy.

T: The front of the palate picks up the caramelly sweet malt flavor but definitely carries the citrusy hops on the back end and into the after taste. I find myself wanting more of that sweet raisin after taste of other old ales but keep coming back for another swig. It is a balanced beer from front to back.

M: Lighter than I expected (could be that lack of raisin) with less carbonation after the original pour. Plus it has a light oily viscosity that coats the tongue. Reminds me of Bergamot in Earl Grey tea. Might have to try some for that to make sense. The mouthfeel is ok though I would like it to be a little heavier on a cold winter's night.

O: Overall it is a pretty good beer. Would definitely poor another, oops, just did. I enjoy the way that the taste is not overly complex and changes significantly from the front to back. It may be the gravity of beers I drink but I find the alcohol tones fairly laid back though you still get a nice warming in the tummy.

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