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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.

1,171 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,171
Reviews: 516
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.01%
Wants: 32
Gots: 40 | 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
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Ratings: 1,171 | Reviews: 516 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AdamBear


3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-thick amber with a foamy cream colored head

S-vanilla, barley, and a good amount of hops! smells good!

T-its a weird mixture of vanilla, barley, and hops. None of those flavors stand out and the taste comes out sort of weird. I feel it would've been best if the barley or hops stood out more. The after-taste is mainly a bad grapefruit bitterness with some vanilla in there as well.

M-medium carbonation tho there is a sharp finish

D-well the tastes stay, this isn't a bad beer really. it seems that a lot of the negative aspects drift away and i start to pick up the better tastes more, especially the vanilla.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2010 23:54:50 | More by AdamBear
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

2.95/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

At the Mohawk House in Sparta, NJ. Poured a transparent amber into a tulip, with less than a finger of white; average retention and lacing. Very little visible carbonation. The nose consisted of distant spices and some candy fruit; almost like a bland fruitcake. The taste revealed a very subtle sour fruit and candi sugar midpalate, with a weak, semi-sweet finish. The body was surprisingly thin as well; borderline watery, with no carbonation. While this beer seems non-offensive enough to session, I was actually very disappointed with the lack of flavor after hearing so much hype about it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2010 03:29:28 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of philbe311


3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an over sized snifter...

A - A fingers worth off-white colored head that is equal parts creamy and airy... Minimal retention gives way to a splotchy lacing and thick collar... Completely translucent... The color is a reddish brown amber... A modest bit of moderate paced carbonation... Loads of lacing cling the sides of the glass...

S - Strawberry... Twizzlers... Medicinal cherry... Some very faint hints of citrus and caramel... A tad of muskiness... There's a bit of plastic in the nose as well...

T - Piney hops are at the forefront... Some very slightly woody notes... A touch of spice on the finish...

M - Medium bodied... Just a touch of carbonation... Dry from the get go... Sophisticated and quite mellow...

D - A very unique offering from Southern Tier... Not nearly as lush or malty as I typically expect for the style, but rather a very refined hop forward offering... I would drink on again in the future, but not something I would necessarily recommend or buy again next season...

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 03:03:55 | More by philbe311
Photo of beertunes


3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear deep amber color. An accidentally aggressive pour gave almost 2 inches of of rocky, medium tan head that had very good retention and lacing.

A very nice malt aroma greets the nose, with a bit of hops and yeasty spice in the background. On the tongue, all the flavors, malt, hops and the yeast, are very nicely blended. No feature really dominates, they compliment each other very well.

The body was a touch thinner than I look for in the style, but is still pretty good. Drinkability was very good, I may go back and grab a sixer to keep around for a while.

Overall, a very good beer, worth some effort to find.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 01:48:10 | More by beertunes
Photo of tommy78

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark copper color, with a medium amount of head out of the bottle that quickly settles into the beer.

S - A good mixture of malts and barley in the beer.

T - Even taste of citrus and hops. I could taste the fair amount of bitterness towards the end.

M - Very smooth beer. Not much carbonation in the beer.

D - I like it out the bottle, but I think it will be better out of a tap. Next time I'm in the Jamestown area, I will try this one at their tap room.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 19:55:53 | More by tommy78
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Old Man Winter Ale has a reddish-orange and a finger of tan head that leaves a little bit of lacing behind.

Rich caramel malts and a hefty backbone of sweetness mix with bright citrus and resin from the hops.

Old Man Winter Ale has a flavor that is more aggressive than the aroma, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. The malt backbone is once again huge and rich, with lots of caramel, sweetness and a touch of toffee to it. The hops are equally powerful, bringing considerable bitterness, big pine resin flavors and a good amount of citrus. The two play together well, and with each sip I change my mind about which flavor I taste more: the malt or the hops. Just a hint of warmth in the finish. For some reason I've never noticed this seasonal offering from Southern Tier before, but I won't overlook it now.

Good mouthfeel, a big solid feel from all the malt turns into a bitter, slightly tongue-attacking feel from the hops.

I like this one from Southern Tier, and will probably sample it again at some point.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2010 13:18:58 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of danronian


4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Deep amberish brown. Some lacing from the bottom. Small one-finger head that dissipates in a minute or so.

S - A lot going on but still well balanced. Smells of citrus (maybe orange) and pine, along with some winter "spices."

T - The sweetest tasting winter seasonal ale I've tasted but also with the lowest ABV of the bunch. Starts off somewhat sweet with a citrus taste, followed by a malt flavor, and finishes with a pine aftertaste which isn't as dry as most winter seasonal ales I've tried. Overall it's a lot of flavor and none of them are overwhelming.

M - Sweet, can't hardly feel the alcohol, and not too carbonated. I'd say the level of carbonation is optimal for my taste in an ale.

D - The somewhat low ABV combined with the balanced flavors and the not-so-dry finish make this something I could have a few of before looking for something else. I wish I would have bought more of this than I did.

Overall this is the favorite seasonal ale I've tried for the winter second only to Sierra Nevada Celebration.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 19:19:30 | More by danronian
Photo of SkunkWorks

New York

4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 15:16:39 | More by SkunkWorks


3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 07:00:40 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of russwbeck


3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 06:16:11 | More by russwbeck
Photo of alleykatking


3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 03:33:40 | More by alleykatking
Photo of MaineBeerGuy


3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 23:53:38 | More by MaineBeerGuy
Photo of Lerxst


3.1/5  rDev -16%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 17:59:32 | More by Lerxst
Photo of yeahnatenelson


3.48/5  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

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 01:51:25 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of MeisterBurger

Ontario (Canada)

2.93/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 22:01:04 | More by MeisterBurger
Photo of beachbum1975


2.75/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 04:52:32 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of adamette


2.23/5  rDev -39.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 03:33:36 | More by adamette
Photo of gwclark


4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 20:05:49 | More by gwclark
Photo of tapman


4.28/5  rDev +16%
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).

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2010 05:14:24 | More by tapman
Photo of ColdPoncho


3.8/5  rDev +3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 23:30:30 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of xnicknj


3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2010 16:08:08 | More by xnicknj
Photo of SnowGoon99


3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 00:44:42 | More by SnowGoon99
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2010 02:28:05 | More by bobsy
Photo of silentjay


3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 04:52:55 | More by silentjay
Photo of stimulus

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 04:06:13 | More by stimulus
Old Man (Winter Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 1,171 ratings.