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Old Empire - Marston, Thompson & Evershed, Plc.

Not Rated.
Old EmpireOld Empire

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

134 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 134
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.5%
Wants: 7
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Marston, Thompson & Evershed, Plc. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vancurly
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale amber/orange, with a fluffy white head, haze-free.
Aromas of citrus/lemonade, warms to bready malt and piney hops.
Flavours of toasty malt, chalky, citrusy, wild herbs.
Mouthfeel a touch hollow, chalkiness upfront and bitterness at the back.

vancurly, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of soulgrowl
2.83/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bright, clear rouge-copper with a fizzy, weak, white head. Equally (un)impressive aroma, an impotent amalgam of lemon drops, caramel, mineral water (yes, water), lavenderesque floral hops, and some faint berry fruitiness. Zippy and quick on the palate, with a sharp sparkle of spicy hops that combines with effervescent carbonation and slightly too hot alcohol for a pretty rough landing. Cough syrup, stone fruit, and club soda with lemon are the main flavors that flare up in this far too light and abrupt ale. I had fairly high hopes for this beer and I am rather disappointed - it's hollow, needlessly rough, and uninteresting, like a Roman candle that fizzles out after two seconds. As an ale, it's mediocre - as an IPA, it's a failure.

soulgrowl, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of crowncapcollect
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a straight pint glass. Nice enough head. Aroma is okay, but not very appealing. Style is English IPA, not American. Fairly average of its type, perhaps not helped by the clear glass. I have a sense that the quality of Marston's beers has declined a bit over recent years.

crowncapcollect, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is my second attempt at trying this beer, as the fragile nature of its clear glass packaging resulted in the first bottle getting crushed by a single full bottle resting on it in my beer drawer. Keeping the next bottle (a gift from my gf, who participated in the previous bottle's demise) free and clear of obstruction, it has survived to fulfill its purpose...

This beer pours a medium pale golden hue, with a large amount of thin soapy white head, that leaves a bit of lacing. It smells of grassy hops, wood, and lemon peel. The taste is earthy hops, bitter citrus, and a light bready maltiness. The body is moderately heavy, a bit oily, and the carbonation a wee bit high. It finishes clean, and a little tart - I would stand to have a few pints of this given the opportunity. One thing though, I don't really get the categorization as an American IPA, it is much too mild for that, but then, it's got a lot of zing for an English IPA. Somewhere in the middle, so I guess it has to go one way or the other.

biboergosum, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of StJamesGate
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep gold with slight puffy head that doesn't lace. Nose is some leaf and twig, with slight soapy lemon as it warms. Husky malts with slight caramel, followed by woody (Goldings?) hops with touch of lemon rind zestiness and a diacetyl hit. Chewy feel, bigger than expected from the flavor profile. Tight finish, quiet but punchy ABV.

Pretty one dimensional. I'd expect more from the birthplace of IPA.

StJamesGate, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of Nickls
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Poured with a finger of a thick, capped white head. Golden yellow in color

S - Biscuity yeastiness and some maltiness. Had a hard time picking out any hops

T - Hops came though in the taste and were more earthy and tea-like in the flavor. Sour dough breadiness with a touch of malt sweetness

M - Medium MF, coating and a bit oily from the hops. Muted carbonation (cask)

D - Solid drinking, but I wouldn't say overwhelmingly drinkable. Basic stuff, but not the best example of the style.

Overall, decent take on the traditional style, but not the best I've had. Not terrible though.

Nickls, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of fullsweep
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL poured into a glass.

Pours with a nice, thick 2-3 finger head. Off-white with a foamy character. Dissipates within a minute or two leaving some adequate lacing.

Smells nice. Hints of buttery malts, alcohol, and hops.

Hoppy bitterness with a surprising sweetness, a bit of alcohol on the tongue as well. Much sweeter than expected for a 5.7 ABV in a traditional IPA style.

Sits nicely on the tongue with a caramely sticky syrupy sweetness (but much milder than my description makes it sound).

Would drink again!

fullsweep, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of BrewSomerville
2.9/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aroma: Skunk (stupid choice of packaging is to blame), Floral hops, caramel, butter (diacetyl), Lemon.

Looks: The Beer is a pretty copper colour. Average sized off-white head. Average to low head retention. The head fades away to a thin layer leaving some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

Taste: Floral/spicy hops, lemon rind,. Some shy biscuity malts are there, but hanging back and letting the hops take the spot light. Some diacetyl is there, but not as much as the aroma had lead me to believe. It has a nice clean bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Average carbonation.

Overall, I am PISSED OFF that these idiots put their Beer in clear bottles. Other than that, the Beer is alright. The diacetyl is definitely there, but not offensively. The skunk is unacceptable, but once you get passed that the underlying Beer is not too bad.

BrewSomerville, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of bark
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is copper/brass; the high head is off-white, it leaves some lacing while slowly sinking down.

The smell is very powerful and bitter. Notes of sour/bitter hops, butter, herbs, apple acid and some yeast.

The taste is bitter and a little sour. Fruity hops, some yeast and dry hints of toffee and tobacco. The malt is clearly in the background, and there is almost no sweetness at all. The aftertaste is sour/bitter with hints of butter, minerals and dark bread.

The carbonation is medium to mild; the liquid is smooth.

Lots of bitter/sour hops: Without the malt this beer gets unbalanced.

bark, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of prosper
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Who listed this as an 'american' IPA? This is english, through and through.

Has a nice gold colour with a dense frothy off-white head.

Smells of earthy UK hops, with a touch of sulfur and plenty of malty sweetness

Those same earthy hops notes, and a hint of sulfur - perhaps mild skunk due to the clear bottle. Lots of sweet toffee grainy-hay malt character, and a stiff mineral background. Only moderately bitter - a nice interpretation of the style, against the tendency of IPA's to be much bigger than they used to be. Some notable alcohol warming.

Nice creamy-full mouthfeel, and moderately low carbonation.

prosper, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of wl0307
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coming in a 500ml clear bottle, BB 31/05/09, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: dark golden to light amber hue, coming with a creamy off-white froth settling gradually to a thin blanket, while the carbonation remains pretty light for a bottled ale.
S: English Goldings hop aroma fills the nostrils with abundant tangerine-ish citrusness and a light floral touch, plus sweet biscuity malts, sulphurous stinky edge of yeastiness, and a rather intensive tart edge of citrus juice. Overall, pleasant and integrated.
T: bitter-sweet citric-peels, hay-ish notes as well as biscuity on the main entry, gradually going deep down the palate and renders a quietly expanding zesty/tangy bitterness that lingers nicely with a sulphurous touch typical of Marston's ales as well as rather mild and gristy biscuity pale malts. Is the good level of tangy bitterness overall supposed the work of dry hopping? If so, compared with other "extreme" interpretations of this beer style, the dry-hopping (if any) here is pretty approachable and integrated with the main flavour seamlessly.
M&D: slightly sharp on the carbonation, spritzy even, unlike the quiet appearance tends to suggest, but not to the OTT level. Against a medium body, the fruity-hop and bitter elements seem to stand out quite elegantly on the balance, making this a very quaffable bitter ale. Overall, better than my first tasting three years ago, but one would imagine a brown bottle might help with the overall performance to make it free from possible light-struck.

* Tasting Date: 17/04/05
Quite apart from quite a few other reviewers' comments, I find the beer jolly drinkable! (though it has to be taken in the context that I'd had a pint of not remarkable real ale at my local first...)
Tried it at home, served in a big tulip wine glass.
Appearance: light amber, thin head and fine bubbles.
Smell: grassy perfumy nose, with not dominating hint of malt.
Taste: nutty, fruity(grapefruit peel?), creamy/mellow palate, quite smooth actually.
Aftertaste: lingering hoppyness, dryish, very mild grapefruit-zesty throat but deep down...

wl0307, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of joecast
4.22/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

recieved a 500ml bottle of this during my last brew day. thanks geoff!

lightly hazed gold/amber color. light carbonation. long thin neck ensure a pour which forms an even white foamy head. it settles to a thin lace leaving lacing around half the glass.

aroma is a balanced mix of malt sweetness and floral hops. the presence of the malt gives the impression of a very strong beer. probably more than the reality of 5.7%abv.

wow! big hop flavor. impressive. full on bitterness kicks the taste buds around. yeah, thats an ipa all right. finishes lightly enough though that the next sip isnt far away.

great example of an ipa regardless of type or origin. a bit light on aroma, but the flavor packs a punch and keeps you asking for more. yummy.

joecast, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Voonder for this one!

Pours hazed orange amber with a thin white head. Some trailing lace sticks.

The smell is herbal/slightly citric, a bit musty, with caramel backing.

The taste is of caramel, some butterscotch. Hops add bitterness more than flavor though there is a citric note with an herbal/asprin-y touch. Finishes dry.

It's on the lighter side of medium body, with medium carbonation.

An easy-drinking beer. Balanced for the style, with a bittering touch.

jwc215, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of Voonder
4.05/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber orangeish color with gorgeous 1 finger white head which stayed there for a while. Smell - hops and citrus. Quite nice aroma. Taste is the same, starts with sweet malts and grapefruit then hoppy bitterness kicks in. Mouthfeel - medium bodied with just enough of carbonation. Drinkability is rally good.
Overall, I loved that beer, this is something I would drink on regular basis. I really enjoyed the balance of that beer. Great stuff!

Voonder, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of AlexLMS
3.55/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: very clear with a light orange colour. White, frothy low head with impaired retention and very little lacing.
Aroma: sweet malts and earthly hops aroma.
Taste: very bitter earthly hops taste, sweet malts and biscuits notes.
Mouthfeel: dry, low carbonation, average alcoholic presence and a medium to full body.
Finish: very bitter lingering aftertaste.

Overall: interesting and drinkable pale ale for those who enjoy a beer strong on the bitter side.

AlexLMS, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of IronDjinn
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spin the wheel with the clear bottle.... Pours out a brilliant clear amber hue, very impressive clarity. Tall frothy white head that slowly recedes to a thick creamy cap. Immense amounts of lacing, practically coats half of the glass.

Aroma is woody and nutty, orange and grapefruit hop nose, along with a mild caramel malt base. Subtle yet refined.

Perhaps I am simply a whore to the hepped up and hopped up PNW American versions of this style, but the flavour profile seems tame. Full of character but tame. Nutty, caramel malt up front, woody, earthy middle, followed by an herbal, dandelion/arugula-like hop finish, with the mild herbal hops lingering long into the aftertaste. Rounded orange and grapefruit notes tend to surface as it warms.

Medium-bodied on the light side, with a slick, oily mouthfeel that lightly coats the palate. Very quaffable.

When all is said and done an earthy, astringent IPA, mild compared to North American standards, however would still make a fine session ale given the style.

IronDjinn, May 24, 2008
Photo of DaveUK
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pale brown-yellow with a tiny head. Faded to a very small rim.

Aroma - Bitter hops are immediate and poweful, sulphur is also present. The tastes are floral to spicy with some malty notes in there.

Taste - Lightly toasted malt with bitterness prevalent. Mostly from hop character but also a sour note probably from the sulphur, unmasked due to the low carbonation.

Mouthfeel - not great, minimal carbonation yielded a thin feel with an excessive, prolonged bitterness. And not the sort of good bitterness you would associate with a well hopped beer.

Overall - Not bad, surprisingly, after an initial reticence over the carbonation, my second can went down alot smoother. The thinness in the mouth may have benefited its quaffability.

DaveUK, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of foles
1.95/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Maybe I'm not very experienced with IPA's, but this wasn't a nice experience for me. There may have been other flavours present - but all I could taste was a overpowering, burning hop presence, in a medicinal way.

I tried very hard to get used to it and enjoy some of the flavours potentially hidden, but I just ended up forcing my way 3/4 of the way through the beer, and pouring the rest out.

Unlikely that I will retry it.

foles, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of stcules
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber-copper. Very clean. Almost no foam, and a low carbonation.
In the smell a good earthly hop. And malt. Very clean. In the finish a herbal and very long, and clean hop.
Notes of artichoke, and orange marmelade. Definitely bitter.
Average body.
In the aftertaste the maltiness is quite short, quickly replaced by a quite long bitterness.

stcules, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of Daredevil
4.2/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on a hot summer afternoon one might be tempted to order a cold lager ... if he hasn’t got the chance to get hold of an Old Empire IPA that is ... IPA’s are perfect thirst quenchers to start with and this one tops it with a overwhelming taste of fresh hops and a marvelous bitter aftertaste .... a great brew in an impressive bottle ...

Daredevil, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of janubio
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

50 cl. clear bottle. Coppery orange colour, small head that doesn't hold too long. Smell is hoppy, sulphurous, a bit skunky, oranges. Rough in the tongue, but saomewhat silky. Taste is citrus, butter, biscuit, some caramel, marzipan, vanilla. Nice one.

janubio, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of GreenCard
3.73/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pale coppery straw, slight chill haze, frothy later of off-white foam that collapses on itself

Aroma: fresh floral hop scent with a touch of grapefruit; sweet caramelly malt in the background

Flavor: semisweet malt profile offset by a decent grapefruit rind bitterness; hints of unripe plums and golden raisins; finishes dry with a bitter aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-ish-full body, pert carbonation, crisp texture

Other comments: If you're able to find a bottle of this that hasn't been skunked because of the clear bottle, it's actually quite a scrumptious IPA.

GreenCard, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of Naerhu
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Robbeer for bringing this all the way to Japan.

A - nice orangy amber clear body, with a 1 centimeter intensley thick head.
S - nitrogen like smell, which faint hops and notes of malt underneath.
T - Very light flavors, with very mild bitterness at the front. No sweetness. The aftertaste of a nice rich biscuityness and bitterness only show up on the finish. This beer lives and dies on its finish because it has nothing upfront. Faint citrus in the background.
M - light bodied with a spritzy microcarbonation.
D - Nice and drinkable, but I prefer something with a bigger initial profile, instead of placing everything on the backside.

Naerhu, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of seanyfo
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at local wetherspoons, pint of

A: clear, copper amber in colour, 1 finger whispy thin head that reduces to a crown, served nicely cool.

S: not overly fruity which i like, some sweet malt notes, no citric smell here like some.

T: a nice balance is the thing that first strikes me, a nice fruitfulness but i also feel its a little stale in taste, malt is a little too much in the aftertaste, doesnt seem too fresh.

M: very smooth and easy drinker, no alcohol really detected which was surprising as its higher abv than a lot of local IPA's

D: smooth easy drinking sessioner, but would have expected more alcohol in aftertaste than there is, so i would go for lower abv in a session, slight staleness did detract a bit, however not bad

seanyfo, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of Mark
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was is a medium amber that was topped by an airy white head, lacing was light and scattered. Fresh hoppy aroma was a easy improvemnt over the lack of lacing, cherry notes were evident. Long fruity finish dominates with some apple and cherry notes, creamy and full bodied. Good Beer Guide says it's a IPA, something the pump clip neglected to mention. Either way it was the strongest in abv of any cask ale tried on this trip. A decent beer but an unspectacular one.

Mark, Jan 13, 2007
Old Empire from Marston, Thompson & Evershed, Plc.
78 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.