1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Old 95 - The Emerson Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old 95Old 95

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

19 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 19
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Emerson Brewing Company visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-22-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 19 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Vintage 2005. Review from notes taken December 2005.

Slightly cloudy, but not murky. Tawny-orange-amber with copper sparkle in the light around the edges. Two fingers of rocky, thick, dirty, light sand head. Sugary, tropical fruits. Pineapple fruit cocktail. Singed caramel, caramel apples, sweetbread. Raspy, muted hop aroma.

Rummy fruit cocktail. Sugary, but not too sweet or cloying. Pineapple-banana turns to smooth caramel roll malt. Roasted, toasted hop bitterness moves in nicely balancing the big maltiness. Full-bodied, nice bottle-conditioned feel. Best NZ beer of the trip (so far).

Photo of ToasterChef
2.98/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This bottle of 2010 vintage Old 95 has been in my basement since last Christmas, when my sister brought it back from New Zealand for me. I'm pouring it into my Smuttynose tulip.

A finger of tan foam rests atop an orange-copper liquid. A lot of clinging carbonation is visible. Swirling the glass leaves a sticky, slick film that is covered in patchy lace.

Sweet candi malts and alcohol greet my nose when I take in the beer's aroma. A few woodsy hops are also present.

The flavor has a lot of pale malts and some candi sugar. An effervescent finish gives way to an aftertaste that is slightly medicinal. Hops that aged poorly or just some oxidation? Hard to say, but to me, it doesn't seem like this beer has aged well.

The body is a lot lighter than I expected, but carbonation is high. It's not very sticky, but at 7% ABV, I didn't expect it to be. A slightly sweet coat does remain behind.

This is an ok beer. It may be better fresh, but it is hard to say for sure. In the future, I'll stick with British old ales.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a small head.
Loads of sweet malt and oats on the nose, along with soft hints of spiced orange marmalades, golden syrup, pancakes and maple syrup.
Similarly sweet flavours, more oatmeal, pancakes and golden syrup. Unfortunately there’s a fair whack of alcohol in the finish.
Very soft carbonation could be higher, body could be thicker and more syrupy.

Photo of dgilks
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat clear, golden, amber colour with a creamy, off-white head. Decent head retention.

Rich, sweet malt aroma with distinct melanoidins and ripe fruit character.

Luscious, maltiness with a nice dry finish. Moderate bitterness and solid fruit esters displaying notes of pear are good.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A delicious beer with lots going for it. Plenty of flavour and lots of richness.

Photo of juju7
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really good tke on an English style ale. The head holds up beautifully all the way through. A good slightly red, amber colour. Nose is full of sweet caramel malt and subtle hops. Palate pushes some of the alcohol along with a big, full bodied mouthfeel. Top stuff.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice orangey-brown colour with a very generous head of beige foam, bubbles are large and visible, sinks slowly and doesn't leave much lace. Head sticks nicely to the glass though. Nice cloud with a few floaties. Would like more lace, but otherwise fantastic.

Nose is very floral, with a lot of fruity notes, pineapple, red apple and a bit of a cakey malt aroma. Slight spicy note, like anise or something, subtly underlying. Pleasantly tangy, maybe a bit lacking in complexity but hits all the right notes.

Taste is quite hoppy, with some tangy, citric hop notes fairly dominant throughout the palate, with bitterness becoming more prominent towards the back, a little bit gritty on the aftertaste but otherwise floral enough to be refreshing. Hints of lemon are quite distinct, and some crumbly biscuity malt flavours as well. A slight buttery note as well which is a bit of a turn-off because it makes it a bit too sweet. But otherwise, the tang & bitterness are well balanced and well used.

A little bit thin on the feel, nice foaminess from the malt but lacks a bit of depth. Suitable for what it is but not fantastic.

Fairly good drinking, shame about that slight dank character on the aftertaste.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, slightly cloudy golden bronze with an initially thick head of off-white foam. Good lacing. Looks very thick from the pour, and static in the glass. Very dangerous looking. Nice.

Fair bit of molasses and rich malt on the nose, with a light citric acitidy and a vaguely fresh hop character. Lilting sweetness. For some reason it really strikes me as having a big New Zealand character. Possibly psychosomatic, but there's something to it.

Very smooth on the palate, with a big, swelling of malt, that dips off just before it gets oppressive. Back palate is a lovely dry hop bitterness that speaks of English bitters. Very delicious.

I enjoy the style, and this is a pretty good example of it. Very rich, smooth, with a hint of booze at the back to remind you to sip it. Nice.

Photo of ADZA
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep copper hue with beautiful carbonation that leaves a two finger creamy head with heaps of lacing,its really weird the most dominant,first aroma i get is a very strong pineapple,malty aroma very enticing as i do love pineapple juice and am very suprised at such a fruity aroma for a old ale,it has an above average creamy mouthfeel with a caramel,malty flavour and a nice citrusy hoppy finish,i am very impressed by this beers balance between sweet and bitter and would definately put this up there with my favourite old ales.

Photo of TubaManJack
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 500ml of 2008 vintage kept until just now. Its been "cellering" for at least six months. Poured into my mug at a cool temperature.

Appearance- A deep amber red ruby pour. A nice bit of head retention with a tan slightly creamy cap. A low amount of effervescence.
Smell- An interesting blend of a lightly roasted malt and a deep bitterness from a fading hop. A really plesent hop note that is fading from aging away from a floral note into an herbal mix like a spice cabinet.
Taste- A real mellow blend of mild malt and bitter hops. Bits of chocolate and roasted and multigrain mix. The hops have a real bitterness to them that compliments the malt well.
Mouthfeel- A light slightly carbonated feel. Its more than just a sipper.

By far one of my favorite NZ beers of the past 6 months. Its a lighter version of the style by definitely spot on and it delivers.

Photo of vancurly
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Glenn for this....

a) Poured into a small half pint glass. Kicks up a big rocky white head which is going nowhere.... a slighty hazy apricot orange

s) Very citrus/sour nose...lemon & grapefruit. Warms to some stonefruit, with candy/caramel notes coming through.

f) Excellent, complex & full-flavoured ale. Caramel & licorice. Spicy hops are the driver, yet the malt balances nicely, without over-cloying. Backed up with firm yet pleasant bitterness.

m) Chewy, with a slight alcohol warmth

d) Perfect winter ale. Could even ramp up the gravity & hops, creating a superb barley wine if they wanted.

Photo of Parrotshake
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light, reddish brown with a finger or so of creamy white head.

Chocolate-coated wheat biscuit nose, woody hops. Little whiskey note. Smells like a good Wee Heavy, except for the hops. I make a point of smelling with every sip. Lovely.

Toffee, huge caramel malts and fruitcake. Exactly what you'd want in a winter ale.
A little hoppy in the finish, with an unexpectedly astringent hop note and slight lingering bitterness. A true old ale wouldn't have it - I could do without it, but I don't dislike it. Lightish mouthfeel, but a bit syrupy. Carbonation is barely noticeable. I'd rather this beer be under rather than over-carbonated, but it's a bit flat and makes each sip seem like a slug of port.

Give this beer a year in the cellar and I suspect you wouldn't notice the hops. I bought 2 and this one was meant for storing but I couldn't resist. Will buy some more for this time next year.

Photo of koolk
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage.

Pours a browned amber in colour with a small white head that persists well.

Deep dark malty nose with hints of chocolate and spices. Hop aroma is non existent.

Flavours of toffee, rum, dark malt and tons of red fruit on the finish - particularly cherry. Tight bitterness on the finish, that is long well balanced.

Creamy mouthfeel, great texture and very very drinkable. Somewhat warming finish feels great on a cold, rainy spring evening.

Drank this alongside a 2008 vintage. Was really interesting to see the development from a "fresher" more bitterness/hop driven beer into this malty, smooth monster. Great stuff, and some Old 95 is about to find its way into my cellar.

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: hazy copper color with gold & some carbonation around the edges, huge cream-colored head that barely goes away, lots of lacing
s: mostly hoppy aroma balanced with malty overtones
t: sweet malts give way to hops from middle to end with a slightly bitter, alcohol finish
m: medium, almost chewy body that finishes very crisp with lots of carbonation from the middle to the end, a very nice balance
d: another high-quality brew from emersons. a pretty smooth ale with nice balance of malts & hops that i look forward to having again.

Photo of brendan13
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy orange colour with a big rocky off white head.
S - Biscuity malt smell with some floral hoppy notes.
T - The biscuit malt flavour comes through first backed up by some stewed dark fruit with a sherry like alcohol kick.
M - Thick, smooth mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.
D - Another good one from these guys. I wish I had some of this last christmas, which was unseasonably cold & rainy, to drink with the christmas pudding.

Photo of VitBAficionado
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep, hazy (only because I didnt read the label and thus didnt realize it was bottle conditioned) burnt copper color. Finger thick puffy off white head. Lots of lace. Light carbonation.
S: Alcohol, berry/cherry fruits, resiney hops and tons of woody/earthy malt.
T: Biscuit malts with a cherry liquor flavor coming in first then hops midway through, finish is not dry though... molasses/caramel over hops. The hops just seem wrong with the rest of the flavours and style somehow. Still, a very interesting beer.
M: Slighly syrupy feel and a little flat. Chewy.
D: Decent brew but one bottle is enough. Some more familiarity with the style on my part is probablly needed to really appreciate this beer.

Photo of paterlodie
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006 249. Nice white head and amber brownfoggy beer. Nose is very piney flowery and if the is new zeelands hops bring them on! Nice and piny with flowernote. In the brew backed by nic caramellic maltiness. Also in taste that is full malty bodied, nice caramelmaltysweet. Backed by a good bitterness and nicely carbonated make it good mand silky mouthfeel. Great brew to just enjoy!

Photo of Sigmund
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Bottle conditioned, 500 ml). Pours with an enormous fluffy lingering head. Cloudy brown colour. Aroma is alcohol, red fruits, leather, caramel and sherry. Flavour is malty with English fruitcake and Christmas pudding elements, but a substantial hoppy bitterness (nearly too much?) takes over and dominates through the long finish. Some alcoholic warmth. Good strong ale, but somehow the hop varieties used seem not to be perfectly balanced with the initial comforting sweetness.

Photo of diablo14
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

emersons know how to brew a quality beverage as well as anyone in these parts, and this is one of them. a scotch ale the scots would be happy to claim as one of their own.

deep orange color that appears cloudy with a golden colored head, it has a lovely nose of orange zest, sweet malts, toffee and flowery hops. biscuity flavors, citrus, caramel, and a huge backbone of malt. it also has a fantastic tokay type factor, with huge dried fruit liquour tastes. it has a pleasant sweetness, and has a marvellous hop finish that is clean and dry. not as full bodied as youd expect from a beer of this strength and nature, this makes it deceptively drinkable.

old 95 is a real winner from emersons brewery. their stronger and darker styles are absolutely marvellous. particularly good in the colder months as youd expect, its also a good 'un with dessert, or just as a finisher. lovely!

Photo of rastaman
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice, but slightly stickier than i like, smooth but strong, and a bit of a sipper, strong toffee notes and quite malty, i like it, nice for winter.

Old 95 from The Emerson Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.