Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Old Empire - Marston, Thompson & Evershed, Plc.

Not Rated.
Old EmpireOld Empire

Educational use only; do not reuse.

96 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 96
Hads: 151
Avg: 3.39
pDev: 17.7%
Wants: 9
Gots: 10 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 96 | Hads: 151
Photo of AEK
3.32/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml poured from a clear glass bottle into a Hobgoblin branded pint pot.

A. Tangerine somewhat in colour, with very little head that is reminiscent of a strong barleywine. Within 5 minutes the head had completely disappeared.

S.Perhaps my sinuses are blocked up today but I cannot smell anything whatsoever which is really disappointing.

T. Noticeably bitter from start to finish. The fruity malt is noticeable along with hints of bitter orange. Tastes stronger than a 5.7%ABV ale

M. Medium bordering on heavy.

D. Quite a nice drink but a little too heavy to drink on a hot day like it is today. This beer is 3 weeks over its BBE date but as it has been at the back of a dark drinks cabinet it hasn't suffered and still tastes fresh.

 743 characters

Photo of rarbring
3.56/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear copper/amber/orange beer, with an off-white head that leaves some lacing and curtains.

The smell is citric, bitter oranges and a whiff of malt vinegar, sweet bread crust, toffee.

Taste is predominately sweet and malty, syrup, butterscotch digestive biscuits. A rather modest bitter finish, but lasting. The bitterness is orange peel and cherry seeds.

Rather low carbonation, smooth texture and a nice dry finish.

In all a very well balanced Brittish IPA, not extremely hoppy but very enjoyable.

 507 characters

Photo of digita7693
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

got this recently in a trade from blackhaddock, thanks!

a nice clear amber, small head, that goes away, but leaves a thin layer

s malty and floral, nice smell, slight citrus and herbs in the background

t very nice, smooth, bitter hoppy, but doesnt knock you down, and sometimes thats a good thing, not everything needs to be a billion IBUs, very well done here

d very drinkable and enjoyable, could and would definitely drink a few of these with friends outside during the summer

 483 characters

Photo of mjgarrett2
2.92/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Slightly 'paler' than most American IPA's I am used to. Still a decent orange/caramel, not the unappetizing neon yellow you sometimes see.

S-Very wild and somewhat floral, not unlike a damp pine forest.

T-Dry and a bit flat (flavour, not carbonation). You get a nod of hops but it doesn't follow through with that distinctive flavour. Mellow which leaves you wanting and expecting more from the aroma.

M-Pleasant and a delicate balance from start to finish, in contrast to the lack luster taste.

D-Easy to sip and enjoy, but does not tease you for more like the top notch IPA's always do.

Note: I suspect the hops have gone off a bit due to the age and storage of the bottle as the vendor is inconsistent at times.

 721 characters

Photo of PartyBear
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours as a light amber with lots and lots of carbonation and a small creamy white head. The aroma is malty with clear sugars but there is a slight acidic hoppiness sitting behind it with earthy floral notes. The flavours are traditional English hops, with a light maltiness. The finish has a clingy bitterness with a earthy character. A weaker version of what would be considered a traditional IPA but still very flavoursome.

 425 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
2.13/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Quite a forgettable IPA

Presentation: 500 ml clear glass bottle. Somewhat old fashion label design with emblem, name of the brew, and a sailing boat dominating the image. Back notes imported nature and basic ingredients in several languages. Shows best by date (01 Oct 10) Notes Alc. by Vol. (5.7%) Served on a pint glass.

A - Medium amber pour with a short frothy head, short retention, little lacing, and a faint surface memory. Certainly subpar for the style, and the final appearance is totally flat but to be fair that was due to the long time that it remained sitting untouched before being disregarded.

S - Only skunky bitterness. Talking about a hoppy profile or malt hints is a bit delusional. Not terrible since the skunk whiff seems minimal but not a good aroma either.

T - The taste expands the aroma, which really is not good news in this case. There is predominating harsh bitterness woven with an unavoidable skunky sense early on. Minimal hop and malt notes that is are not coated by the overall roughness.

M - Light-medium body, with fading carbonation.

D - Nah, bitterness with skunk notes barely reaching out IPA land and the following flatness make this one brew that one does not really feel eager to finish.

Notes: I don´t know it it is typically this bad, and frankly I don´t feel inclined to give it another try. Sure enough in all fairness this might be a bad bottle, badly stored, badly bottled, badly imported, or badly brewed... And I sure hope there is a better version of this out there.

 1,527 characters

Photo of benclimbs
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours brown amber in a glass with very little head and just a bit of lacing

smell is a bit of vanilla with some dry hops in there...overall, just a bit perfumy and not very good, a bit of skunkyness, soapy smell? i know i rinsed my glass well

taste is a bit of caramel hops, sweetness, followed by a dull bitter finish, not very awesome, still some vanilla, is this just a crappy oak aged beer? reminds me a bit of innus and gunn but not nearly as good.

mouthfeel and drinkability are pretty average, nothing special about this beer, isn't even an IPA, not nearly hoppy enough, even compared to east coast/ other english ones.

 630 characters

Photo of canucklehead
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was let down by the lack of hops in this EIPA as I expected from both the brewer and the ABV that this might be a bigger beer. This is a decent beer but tasted like most other ESBs. cirtus notes on the finish and nice balance but not the EIPA i was hoping for from Marstons

 275 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
2.74/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly orangey-golden colour with a little bit of head that disappears to leave a spit-like cloud on the top. Steady but light bead. Leaves some trails of white lace, looks pretty blah, really.

Smells very hoppy and English. Large bitterness with European hops - grassy and slightly citrussy. Aromas of tea, lemon and some caramelly malt, makes for a decent smelling hoppy beer, but ultimately (I think) has a bit of a pilsenery aroma. Lacks the fruity ale esters.

Taste starts off a bit buttery, with a fairly smooth malty front palate, bitterness comes in soon after, with the flavour of lemon rind followed by an astringent tea leaf character, quite grassy as well with a herbal edge. Bitterness eases off right towards the back to leave a slightly zesty finish, although it returns for the aftertaste. Slight yeasty edge to the aftertaste and very acerbic and distasteful, mediciney, like the taste of a crunched up headache tablet. Not much nuance to the aftertaste, just overly bitter. Rest of the palate is passable.

Mouthfeel quite thin and watery - slightly dry at the back, slight stickiness on there but mostly thin.

The hang really kills this beer for me. I sense a lot of Goldings hops, and I'm not really a fan, just needs more tempering of them, or a better blend.

 1,293 characters

Photo of Shadman
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice bright copper color with an off white head, decent retnetion and lacing.

Slight skunk smell from the clear bottle no doubt. Behind said skunk, a nice if muted caramel malt and sharp, but somewhat floral citrus aroma.

Carbonation bite followed by a decent sweet caramel maltiness. Hop bitterness takes over with a decent grapefruit peel bite. Obvious to me that Burton-on-Trent is in a hard water zone of the Isle as mineral water is evident in the later stages of the taste experieince.

Decent mouthfeel

Nice and I'm totally certain that fresh/0n tap would be superior to the sample I had. Decent example of the style, but as of now, gonna stick to my local Canadian versions of EIPA

 692 characters

Photo of DerBayer
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice ruby - chestnut colour with creamy head slightly frothy around the edges

Smells of dry hops and lots thereof - some very bitter and some grassy

TAste follows suit not bad in all

Mouthfeel is true to stytle a bit flat

It s sippable and therefore drinkable

 276 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.53/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a clear orangey color ale with a medium bubbly head with minimal retention and no lacing. Aroma of dry caramel malt with lightly dry and astringent hoppy notes. Taste is dominated by weak dry caramel malt notes with a dry finish. Body is average with OK carbonation. Lacking complexity or floral notes of English hops to be a beer I would drink again.

 366 characters

Photo of vancurly
3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 254 characters

Photo of soulgrowl
2.87/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

 741 characters

Photo of crowncapcollect
3.46/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 296 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 1,015 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 408 characters

Photo of Nickls
3.51/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 607 characters

Photo of fullsweep
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

 522 characters

Photo of BrewSomerville
2.86/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

 851 characters

Photo of bark
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

 603 characters

Photo of prosper
3.27/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

 615 characters

Photo of wl0307
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
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...

 2,103 characters

Photo of joecast
4.18/5  rDev +23.3%
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.

 746 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

 477 characters

Old Empire from Marston, Thompson & Evershed, Plc.
78 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.