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Long John Ale - Red Brick Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Long John AleLong John Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

35 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.1
pDev: 20.32%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Red Brick Brewing Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: obireidkenobi on 11-12-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gambrinus1184


2.78/5  rDev -10.3%

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Thomas Hooker pint glass.

A: Very cloudy, dark, reddish brown amber color with a frothy, two-finger head of tan foam which hands around in a small, creamy veil, leaving decent lacing on the glass.

S: Toffee-like, bready malt sweetness with raisins and some herbal hop and candied fruit aromas.

T: Like a sweet, syrupy apple-berry juice blend up front, with flavors of apple, pear, candied plum, banana and spiced cherry. A sticky, peppery sweetness combines with a dose of Cherry Tussin, alcohol and all, before washing down prickly and bitter with a lingering, cloying alcohol sweetness.

M: A full-bodied, sweet and chewy ale with prickly carbonation and a pretty harsh alcohol bite.

D: At 8.2% ABV, Long John Ale has certain warming qualities, but I can't tell if it's the brew or the acids heard and felt churning in my system after every other sip. A pretty medicinal, sticky sweet and fruity ale that's too off balanced and boozy for me to enjoy.

02-18-2011 01:54:26 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of baconsausage


3.13/5  rDev +1%

Thanks to crookedsill for the extra.
Pours a murky dark brown with little head. smells of ripe apple and dark sugar. Taste is more of the same, but I also get a hint of strawberry. Weird. Carbonation is good for the style, but the mouth-fell is a little bit viscous and slightly off putting. I wouldn't buy more of this, but probably wouldn't turn it down if offered one. Probably.

02-09-2011 03:17:04 | More by baconsausage
Photo of rebel1771


3.38/5  rDev +9%

A: Pours a near black color with an off-white head that fades quickly.

S: Aroma of toasted malts with a slight note of dried fruits.

T: Toasted malts dominate the flavor with a decent amount of candied fruits coming through especially a prominent raisin flavor.

D: This is a decent beer but without a doubt does not taste like a dark Belgian. Kind of a strange beer but not bad.

02-08-2011 23:55:10 | More by rebel1771
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.28/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours a dark brown with some reddish highlights and not much of a head. Lots of belgian yeast in the nose, with banana and some vinous notes, as well as a touch of cocoa. Similar flavor profile with a spice top note as well, but unfortunately the flavor fades quickly on the finish, leaving a watery vegemite character. Relatively smooth, but there is an undercurrent of tea-like tannic bitterness. Not terrible, but seems a bit disjointed.

01-31-2011 00:43:48 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Brent


3.4/5  rDev +9.7%

Despite the higher ABV, this beer tended toward a bit more reserved Belgian Strong Dark Ale interpretation. Some candy sugar notes up front, but mostly caramel malt. Not as spicy as one would expect, but some pepper bite from the ABV. Overall, a respectable but not impressive stab at the style.

01-11-2011 23:09:59 | More by Brent
Photo of elgiacomo


3.58/5  rDev +15.5%

12oz bottle, 2010 vintage.

Pours hazy brown with a two finger tan head that leaves some lacing and holds a wispy cap and ring.

Aroma is toffee, caramel, candi sugar, spice, cinnamon, strong fruity esters of figs, raisins, apples, banana, some grassy and herbal quality, bread and yeast. Moderate to good strength.

Flavor is chocolate, toffee, caramel, dark fruits, brown/candi sugar, some light citrus hops, fairly sweet and spicy lingering finish. A touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, medium carbonation.

A tasty wintertime brew from this local brewery.

12-23-2010 01:42:05 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of Rogsterman


4.13/5  rDev +33.2%

Reminds me of a nice smoked porter. Other reviews labeled it a Belgian because of the malts used. Not, the case here. I can't see why the beer is getting such bad reviews unless they are basing it on the type of beer it is classified to be. Overall, it's a great beer to have with smoked meat and I would recommend it to dark beer enthusiasts.

12-09-2010 21:52:23 | More by Rogsterman
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.3/5  rDev +6.5%

another new one, they had cases of this sitting at total wine, literally like 20 cases so i grabbed a single and decided to try it out, served in a pint glass,

pour is a nice dark brown with an even head of light tan that just keep building until reaching about two fingers and settling down with a decent lace. aroma is sweet, lots of fruit notes, fig, banana, hints of dark cherries and a very sweet malt nose. the flavor is even sweeter, almost too sweet at times with a huge malt bill and nothing at all to balance it. some slight touch of fruit in the finish but that was it and it was over,

overall not sure what they were trying for here but it did not work. not the best effort.

12-09-2010 02:24:09 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of RossCain


2.33/5  rDev -24.8%

Served on tap into a tulip glass:

A: Dark amber coloring. Poured with a very small, white head which left virtually no lacing.

S: Overly sweet and yeasty. Almost what you would expect from a decent Belgian gone bad.

T: Hits you up front with moderate notes of Belgian yeast and fruits (raisins, bananas) which turns into slight malty middle with a smokey finish reminiscent of overly toasted bread and burnt sugars. All around OK in the beginning but certainly not what I was expecting.

M: A little too much carbonation with a thin-medium body. The alcohol was masked by the lingering taste of burnt sugar which just kept making its presence known in the aftertaste.

D: I thought that the first 2-3 sips were *OK* but the more I drank, the more and more I was wishing for the beer to be finished with. Certainly not anything that I would recommend as a good Belgian Strong Dark Ale to anyone.

Overall, the Long John Ale left way too much to be desired. From the appearance alone, I was led to believe that I was in for something much better than I was actually left to taste. The beer experience started out relatively weak for a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and continued downhill with each consecutive sip. The typical sweet, creamy, and fruity notes you expect would dominate for such a type were masked too much by an almost astringent taste of burnt sugars and burnt bread.

12-02-2010 04:47:54 | More by RossCain
Photo of BlackBearForge


3.3/5  rDev +6.5%

Long John pours a rather murky brown with some ruby highlights and a fizzy head that falls quickly with little to no lacing.

The aroma is mostly of soft fruity malts but little else.

The flavor is predominantly sweet softly dark malts, fruity in character with a touch of banana, bubblegum and just a touch of bitterness on the tongue after the finish. Warming enhances the yeasty esters, but not entirely in a good way.

Mouthfeel is medium, a touch chalky and perhaps a tad harsh from the carbonation.

I'm a bit on the fence with Long John, it's not a bad beer by any description, just a bit odd. I might even develop a taste for it but I doubt I'd want more than one in a sitting.

12-02-2010 00:42:52 | More by BlackBearForge
Photo of Jason


3.58/5  rDev +15.5%

12oz brown bottle w/ a freshness date.

Crackling head drops to a thin lacing, deep burgundy color has some haze. Big ripe banana, medicinal, clove and brown sugar nose. Thick and slick medium body, just enough crispness with a lush smoothness. Vague spice in the middle. Bready doughy malt is coated with toasted bits and cocoa powder. Banana is the forefront of the tropical movement with bandaid medicinal flavors and a warming alcohol in tow. Spicy drying finish with a dash of unsweetened chocolate and dried grass.

Spice, alcohol and fruit is talking holiday all over. A bit boisterous and lopsided by still enjoyable to drink.

12-01-2010 01:53:25 | More by Jason
Photo of obireidkenobi


3.85/5  rDev +24.2%

Formerly known as Red Brick "Winter" Ale. Apparently this is supposed to be the same recipe as "Winter" but there is a slight taste difference.

Appearance: Deep amber, 1 finger white head on the pour.

Smell- Belgian for days. Yeast, dried fruit. Sweet.

Taste- Sweet Belgian candi sugar, dark fruits, subtle touch of roasty coffee.

Mouthfeel: Not heavy, tart. Slightly tongue curling.

Drinkability: An easy drinker, the sweetness mixed with the dark fruit notes doesn't linger long. Keeps you going for another taste.

11-12-2010 21:13:14 | More by obireidkenobi
Photo of FLBeerGuy


1.9/5  rDev -38.7%

Pours a mahogany color with a thin white head that leaves very little lacing.

Nose is sweet dried fruit and malts.

Taste is awful! I don't have many drain pours, but this one became one. I had high hopes for this one too, sounded good...a Belgian winter ale, but was sadly disappointed.

07-24-2010 16:55:27 | More by FLBeerGuy
Photo of ThaBobfather


2.9/5  rDev -6.5%

Pours a solid brown with a light red tint- very little head.
Smell is light of dark fruit with some belgian spice.
Taste is pretty ok- dark fruit pits are solid.
Finish is dry with very little spice on the end and after.
Drinks ok- it goes very well at 8.2

04-26-2010 04:10:07 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of mwa423


2.15/5  rDev -30.6%

A - The color was a hazy/murky red with a finger of off white head that quickly disappeared and left some lacing.

S - Little smell, a bit of raisin and dried fruit.

T - Uh....I think whomever traded me this at Dark Lord Day was mad at me. The taste was similar to rotten raisins fermented over Belgian yeast and spiced in secondary fermentation. As far as both the category and winter beers, this is near the bottom.

M/D - Mouthfeel was hard to rate because I tried to throw this back as fast as possible but overall, if you're still considering drinking this, don't. Drinkability? I wish I had a funnel handy to make it go quickler.

04-26-2010 04:04:06 | More by mwa423
Photo of fairdinkum2


2.93/5  rDev -5.5%

I've been a big fan of ABC brewing products since I discovered that the brewery was around the corner from where I work. They have a happy hour three times a week with four beers for eight bucks and live music on occasion. What's not to like right?

I've tried the Winter brew on tap and it's not what I remember in this bottled version.

The beer pours well with a nice finger thick, creamy tan head and a deep red brown color.

That's where the comparison with "Belgian Style Ale" ends. Where most of these styles are warm, rich and smooth, this effort demonstrates lifted, volatile notes.

Almost perfumey nose followed by a rather coarse flavors of hops, spice and weak coffee. Definitely not the richness of Belgian ales. Just a little shy of the mark.

03-03-2010 01:41:50 | More by fairdinkum2
Photo of Crazy4LegMoose


3.7/5  rDev +19.4%

A: Deep brown hue with 1 and a half fingers of a creamy golden brown head that dissapates very quickly. Slight lacing left on the glass.

S: Pleasant chocolate smell accentuated by a malted scotch flavor.

T: A nice balance of smooth roasted coffee flavors, combined with chocolate and scotch with a hint of scotch whisky in the finish. Very interesting combination of flavors.

M: Smooth medium bodied beer. Good carbonation balance.

D: Good drinkability for a winter brew. Really warms up the body after a couple of these.

07-31-2009 17:09:53 | More by Crazy4LegMoose
Photo of movingtrain


2.68/5  rDev -13.5%

Picked this beer up at a little wine shop in North Carolina...had never heard of the brewery, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

So, the bottle reads "Belgian-Style Ale." Mostly, I agree. It is in that style, but not an excellent representation of it. The appearance is brown/dark amber with a decent head that quickly fades. There is a little sediment floating around in the glass, as well.

The smell seems pretty close...a little funky, caramel, some chocolate notes, maybe some dark candy sugar, figs, dried fruit.

As for the taste, there isn't much body here...it's tasting a bit watered down. There is some good bitterness up front, and then again on the back of the tongue, but where the weight of the beer should be, it is lacking. I'm not sure what it is...the best way I can describe it is to say it tasted like a slightly watery/less flavorful spiced brown ale.

Overall, a decent beer...not undrinkable, but probably not one I would pick up again if I saw it. I'm glad I tried it, but this isn't one to really write home about.

07-05-2009 22:33:45 | More by movingtrain
Photo of glid02


3.48/5  rDev +12.3%

Bottle had at Twain's in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy dark brown color with a thin layer of tan bubbles on top. The head recedes quickly to a thin ring around the glass leaving no lacing.

Smells of bananas and bubblegum with hints of roasted malts and subtler hints of bread.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The banana/bubblegum flavors rule throughout, with bready undertones and a nondescript ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit on the thin side and doesn't seem to have as much body as it should.

Drinkability is good. I finished one without a problem, but I'm not sure I'd want another one.

Overall I didn't think this beer was a bad as most others that have reviewed it. That being said, it didn't do much to further ABC's cause (or Atlanta's for that matter) as a solid brewery (or brewing town).

02-16-2009 03:18:38 | More by glid02
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev 0%

Virtually no head when poured, just a thin accumulation around the glass sides, zero lacing. Deep brown core, further out towards the rims there's orange and yellow shades, almost fully opaque. Boisterous banana, fruitcake, plum, cherry and ginger, coriander spices, licorice too, the nose is a mother lode of sweetness, milk chocolate, bubblegum, all that junk in the trunk. Full-bodied in terms of weight but weak in terms of maintaining that weight and palate pressure. Seems more foamy than carbonated, prematurely breaks up the concentration of the brown sugar, molasses, chocolate sweetness. Banana, green apple, plum, cherry fruit fade into bubblegum flavors. Dried oranges and tangerines. Not as sweetly spicy as in the nose. Double clutches on the finish, you can't get to to soak in before it hiccups on you.

02-10-2009 01:30:42 | More by farrago
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.13/5  rDev +1%

Appearance: A lightly effervescent, dark mahogany-hued body with a small, fizzy, white head.

Smell: Aroma that's fairly fruity and a bit high on the fusels, coming across like sniffing a basic DeKuyper liqueur. Lesser spicy, herbal hints as well as notes of dark malts.

Taste: A blend of dark malts displays flavors of caramel, bread (though light), and roast (even lighter). Hmm, right from the word "go" it's kinda conspicuously boozy. Tastes of plums, figs, bananas, and spicy licorice try their very best to usher you away from the glaring alcohol character. Lightly hopped with a slight herbal pop and only ever mildly bitter. Finishes dry and fruity with a bit of lingering alcohol heat on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Try as I might, I just wasn't too crazy about this one. However, for good or bad, it's at least pleasing to see Atlanta Brewing Company trying their hand at some new brews.

01-29-2009 18:59:57 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


3.35/5  rDev +8.1%

Until this year, ABC's Winter Brew was a porter. But this year, it's a new style: a big 8.2% ABV dark belgian ale. The closest thing I can describe it as is a dubbel...but let's get drinking.

Deep reddish brown in the glass with nary a head, just wispy bits of foam. Nose is full of candi sugar, herbal hops and big fusel alcohol aromas. Hints of banana, believe it or not.

Fruity and caramel malt, slight sweet astringency from candi sugar or something of the like. Plum and blackcurrant. Very sticky in the mouth, only the driness from the alcohol keeps it from being cloying. It's hot, lots of alcohol. Long sticky aftertaste.

Perhaps a bit young and hot but interesting nonetheless. Maybe a bit of age will settle it down.

12-17-2008 20:59:47 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of mrandypandy


3.53/5  rDev +13.9%

Purchased at Capital City Package in Atlanta.
12oz bottle.

A- Pours a murky brown with some ruby hues when held up to the light. The small white head quickly disappears and leaves no lacing on the glass.
S- Bubblegum, banana, some alcohol present. Pretty good and what I would expect from a Belgian Ale
T- Aroma carries over to the taste, with strong yeasty and banana tones. A bit phenolic.
M- Brew is a bit light-bodied, and rather dry. It also leaves you with a slight sourness that I wasn't expecting.
D- Decent drinkability. I put one down fairly easily for 8% but wasn't jumping up to have a second. It did make for a decent end to my evening though.

Overall, an OK offering from Atlanta Brewing Company. I wouldn't go out of my way to get it, but wouldn't turn it down either...

12-17-2008 14:54:01 | More by mrandypandy
Photo of StarSAELS


4.33/5  rDev +39.7%

I'd heard that ABC had switched the winter brew to a Belgian and couldn't wait to try it. ABCs brews aren't typically the greatest on the market, but they're a solid choice when the pickins are slim.

The 2008 Belgian pours a deep brown color, slightly cloudy from the sediment in the bottle. Light head, no lacing (and I know the glass is clean).

First sniff and I think, "Belgian ale," but we need to explore this more. Definitely alcohol in there, but I'd expect that from a dark Belgian. Fruits, bananas... reminiscent of Leffe. Nice.

First taste (cold) and I think, "I rather do like this." A bit astringent, but as I let the brew dance over my tongue and warm a bit, I get the banana flavor, maybe some toffee(?), and a bouquet that reminds me of a tasty, spicy raisiney fruit mincemeat pie. Again, much of what I'd expect from a dark Belgian ale.

The brew is dry from start to finish, leaving behind a peppery banana finish. Interesting.

This would be a great dessert or nightcap brew. One should be enough, but I'm already on my second... ;-)

12-13-2008 05:10:52 | More by StarSAELS
Photo of khiasmus

South Carolina

1.38/5  rDev -55.5%

Apparently, Red Brick Winter Brew changes every year. Last year's was an oatmeal stout, this one a "Belgian Style Ale." Since it pours brown, one can only assume it's a Belgian brown ale. EDIT: i have been corrected that they had the oatmeal stout as the winter brew for a few years, and have now decided to make it year-round. So this year's winter brew is replacing that.

The beer pours a muddy brown with a slight greenish tinge when held to the light. (?) Head is minimal after a medium strength pour, and drops to a ring quickly. Some bubbling, and a bit of yeast sediment from the bottom of the bottle. Not a super attractive beer.

Smells a bit like a weizenbock - banana, a bit of bubblegum, actually a lot of bubblegum... There's some molasses like malt in there, but also some higher, fusel alcohols evident as well as some band-aid... doesn't bode well.

Flavor is also reminiscent of a weizenbock, but not a very good one. Banana bread malt with orange that turns to orange peel bitterness. It's really a mess. Phenols, diacetyl, fusels, a lingering bitterness that tastes more like bad pecans and orange peel than hops. There's some band-aid phenols and some DMS, as well as a burnt citrus... did they burn the hops? I'm having difficulty finding one positive about the way this tastes. :-(

Mouthfeel is not terrible, except for the high fusels and crazy astringency in the finish that I can't seem to attach to a flavor. As I said, the bitterness is more like bad pecans than anything else, and there's little to no hop flavor, or really anything besides flaws, bubblegum, and orange peel.

This is not a good beer at all. It's a shame, because I wish more semi-local breweries could produce quality product. However, if this were a homebrew of mine, I wouldn't even enter it in a competition. It's honestly one of the worst commercial beers I've had. Hopefully they'll work out their apparent sanitation/fermentation temp issues and produce a quality brew next year, as it appears they did last year. This one is a shame, and a drain pour.

11-25-2008 17:36:03 | More by khiasmus
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Long John Ale from Red Brick Brewing Company
74 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.