Old Stitch | AleWerks Brewing Company

very good
22 Reviews
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Old StitchOld Stitch

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed exclusively for Colonial Williamsburg.

Added by bs870621345 on 01-02-2011

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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 103
Photo of Dodo2step
3.44/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- chestnut brown color with tints of red running through it. Poor head and no lacing

S- nuts and brown sugar with sweet malts.

F- nutty and sweet malts. some roasted coffee notes as well.

M- chewy and medium bodied with the nuttiness dominating the mouth.

O- not a bad brown ale. They are always hard for me to drink but i like this one.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Alewerks Taproom.

Muddy light brown body with a thin, off-white collar. Sweet malt, fruity aroma. Light bodied, bready, slightly sweet. A nice note of caramel candies. Easy drinking. Solid.

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Photo of BigGold
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had at King's Arms Tavern, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, poured on draft into Williamsburg salt-glazed stoneware stein. If truly historical, other breweries should take note: not too sweet, and one of my favorite browns ever.

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Photo of CHickman
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark chestnut brown color with red where light hits the brew, it had a 1 finger beige head that faded quickly and left decent spotty lacing.

Smells of roasted nuts up front, followed by toasted grains, roasted peanut shells, caramel, brown sugar, tree bark, light smoke and some mild dark fruit. The roasted nutty aroma is so dominant it was almost like a bag of peanuts, so it's really nice if its a nut brown ale and decent if it's a brown ale.

Tastes like it smells with roasted nuts up front, followed by toasted grains, roasted peanut shells, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, tree bark, peat moss, light smoke, mild pepper, earthy notes and some mild dark fruit.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Big nose of chocolate malts, dry cocoa powder, molasses, light cola nut, brownie batter and barley.

The flavors are dry but delicious; Chocolate malt, cola nut, molasses, barley malt, grain and Graham cracker. It finishes with light mint leaf and herb tones.

This is way too thin. It detracts greatly from the overall experience and flavor.

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Photo of uvachief
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great traditional old school brew. Nice creamy head with dark chocolate brown color. Beers tastes amazingly complex for an old historic recipe. Toasted malts with nuttiness. Lighter in the mouth and going down than it looks. Some sort of dark fruit is subtle but in there. Little to no bitterness. I could knock off a 6 pack easily. Well worth a try.

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Photo of rorjets
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Bought a bottle during a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. Pours a nice creamy head, very brown in color with a slight magenta cast to it. Head settles quickly. My first sip was surprising good, with a complexity of flavors that was not expected. Malty, with some spiciness and a bit of an bite in the aftertaste. They mention on the bottle using an old recipe from the colonial period, and it was very tasty. I will definitely buy a sixer the next time I get down there.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

Bottle (date unknown):
Pours a semi-clear brown with an off-white foamy head that lasts a bit, and collects with medium thickness at the edges - not much lacing. The nose is pretty full on toasted malts, toasted to lightly burnt bread, and a hint of nuttiness.

The taste is a bit more flavored coffee (maybe hazelnut), but with some other flavors that resemble the nose. The body is a bit light, with a minor bitter bite in the transition to the end flavors that I get: cigarettes and chocolate (a bit more of the first, and occasionally the latter).

I liked the beer more than I expected. It had a fair amount if complexity in the tastes, especially for the medium light body. Definitely will grab this agsin, if possible.

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Photo of slusk
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a typical brown with a fair head.

S: Malty caramel and graham cracker with no hop aroma. Some raisin.

T: Caramel and a bit of toffee and graham cracker. Low bitterness. Sweeter finish but not too sweet.

M: Medium body, low carbonation. Nice creamy mouthfeel. no astringency.

O: WHat a pleasant surprise to find this in a cooler at Colonial WIlliamsburg. A beautifullly crafted brown ale with a malt forward balance. Alewerks has outdone themselves with this brew. My only criticism is that you can't get it anywhere else. Looks like I have to make more trips to Williamsburg, as this is now one of my favorite english brown ales.

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Photo of hophugger
3.39/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

not a brown ale fan, but felt that this beer held up its part in being allowed in the brown ale category. The beer has a nice flavor, not too bitter, and holds well as it is drank. Kudos to Alewerks for producing an ale from an ancient recipe that is very enjoyable today

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

a tasty but somewhat pedestrian brown ale here, lacking a distinctive feature, but hitting all the necessary bases to be a good brown. english in nature, this pours a dark amber autumnal color, with nice bubbling and a half inch of fading tan head. it smells like a brown, a mix of sweeter caramel crystal malts and that dry cocoa chocolate malt. maybe 50/50 in terms of aroma, maybe 60/40 in terms of flavor, with the sweetness overtaking the cocoa just a little bit. long finish, and the thinness of the body is exposed here, which is a big weakness. needs more body to really satisfy, and its slight overcarbonation makes it simply too light for the style. maybe more of a summer brown, but even in that context some frothy body would serve it well. not as impressed with this as the bourbon barrel porter from alewerks, but a solid brew overall with an old school and elegant label.

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Photo of Perduret
4.69/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Old Stitch is an Old English brown Ale from 18th century recipe made for Colonial Williamsburg by the folk at Williamsburg AleWorks. Pours no head,Very Light malty chocolate nose and flavor is roasted chocolate with a burnt chocolate finish...the best Brown Ale I have ever had...Can't wait to get some more

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Photo of ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this growler from Williamsburg Alewerks.

A: Pours a dark brown hue with a two-finger tan head that slowly dissipates down the side of the glass and leaves a nice lacing.

S: Malty coffee aroma with a toasted malt background.

T: Similar to the smell a great coffee malt flavor with a good mix of toasted-toffee.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Really good brown ale – very smooth and went down easy.

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Photo of sommersb
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 01-10-2013
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Mug
Purchased: Received as a gift

A: Semi-clear, dark brown beer topped by a small off-white head. I only get a little bit of lacing and the retention is low.

S: Heavily toasted malts, it smells very porter-like. Other aromas are of brown bread and earthy English hops.

T: The taste has the same roasted malt character as noted in the nose, plus some caramel sweetness, nutty flavors and a slight coffee-like bitterness.

M: Medium body with a low level of carbonation. The aftertastes are of nuts and a light bitterness from coffee and hops. Fairly dry

O: A unique beer in that it reminded me of both a nut brown ale and a porter. Well executed, unique and enjoyable.

Thanks to Billy for this one!

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Photo of djdetar
4.83/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the most tasty beers I've ever tried. It has been sold on tap for a few years and has only recently be bottled. Still only sold in Colonial Williamsburg. I stock up every time I visit.

a - Dark golden in appearance. The bottle claims it is unfiltered, but it is crystal clear if you ever view it in a clear glass. I've never seen an unfiltered beer with at least a little bit of trub, but this does not have it.

s - it smells of a dark bitter choclate

t - is quite amazing, sweet, pleasant, very easy to drink. It goes down smooth it's just a wonderful experience. The colonials sure knew how to make a good brew.

m - light with a slight effervescent feel. It is not overly carbonated at all

o - I never cared for sweet beers before this one, it was quite a change. I really wanted to try something native to the colonial atmosphere. I enjoyed it so much, that it is now one of my favorites. I really recommend trying it. If you have a taste for micro brews, you should enjoy. I had a friend who like New Castle a lot and did not enjoy this one. So it's not necessarily for everyone that loves brown ales.

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Photo of 00trayn
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in Chownings Tavern, a favorite location for "gambols" while visiting Colonial Williamsburg. This beer is exclusive to Colonial Williamsburg, which is a shame because I'm quite a fan of it.

A - Pours a thick brown color with no head or lacing. Somewhat hard to tell since it comes in a colonial ceramic mug rather than a standard glass.

S - Molasses is a primary scent characteristic, followed by hint of a chocolate-y, nutty profile.

T - A roasted malty/caramel flavor really comes through with a finish of the nutty profile. It's unique and delicious, unlike anything I've really tasted before.

M - Somewhat thin with medium carbonation. Smooth though.

O - It really is a shame I can't get this outside of Williamsburg. It's based off of an old colonial recipe. I look forward to having a pint (or 5) of this whenever I visit this area.

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Photo of Pencible
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Chowning's Tavern.

A: This poured a dark mahogany with no head.
S: It smelled like earthy and nutty malt, with some coffee and bittersweet chocolate.
T: It tasted like earthy and nutty malt, with some coffee and bittersweet chocolate and pumpernickel. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Somewhat thin body.
D: This was a great historic beer. It had a nice scent and taste, but weak body. Very easy to drink. Recommended.

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Photo of jnn4v
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Chowning's Tavern (which told us it was exclusive to their locale).

A: Dark brown, bordering on black. No visible head. Hard to properly evaluate since it was served in a ceramic mug.

S: Smelled very interesting - almost entirely malt-centric, but with an earthier tone than I was used to for brown ales. Mixed nuts, molasses, toffee, and plenty of earthier flavor

T: Tasted very similar to the scent, although a bit "drier" and definitely less sweet. The caramel / toffee element didn't become evident in flavor until it had warmed at least 10 degrees above serving temp.

M: Decent density, although I thought the carbonation level seemed too "modern" and much higher than I would have imagined for a colonial-era beer.

O: Interesting beer that claims to be completely authentic to the colonial era. The brewmaster at AleWerks seemed less convinced, but it was fun to try either way.

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Photo of RodneyFarva
4.79/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

picked up a growler at the brewery, told it was a brown ale, but turned out to be much more than what I was expecting.

a standard dark color which a solid tan head. a decent amount of lacing.

smells of toffee, caramel, tobacco, some malts. really interesting.

taste is awesome. the toffee and caramel brings some sweetness, the tobacco flavors give it a bitterness, and the malts balance it out.

perhaps the fact I was expecting a standard brown ale skewed my perceptions, but I was blown away. finished the growler in an evening. ABV must be decently high.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Chownings Tavern Williamsburg, VA. 18th century recipe. Pours no head, no lace. Deep brown color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Light malty chocolate nose and flavor is roasted chocolate with a burnt chocolate finish. $5.50 for a pint mug.

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Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Chowning's Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. Told this is an 18th century brown ale recipe.

Appearance: Dark and caramel colored.

Smell: Molasses and grainy, almost earthy tone to the scent.

Taste: Molasses and spruce (pine, but not in a hoppy way).

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, lightly carbonated, unfiltered.

Overall: Really enjoy this, colonial tavern helps. I'll have a third!

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Photo of bs870621345
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just going to say, not a huge fan of brown ales (until this one).

Pours a deep brown with a nice off white head. Leaves a little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells nutty, tobacco, roasty. Not a lot of hops mixed in and a rather light smell.

Taste is amazing. Nuts and tobacco really overtake the palate. This gives way to a roasted nut flavor and finishes clean. Fantastic

Mouthfeel is thin but nice. Also had on tap with good carbonation.

Drinkability is outstanding. Finished a growler and went back to get another one. And I'm not one to have more than 1 of each beer in a week.

Fantastic beer, go get yourself some.

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Old Stitch from AleWerks Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 103 ratings.
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