Thomas Sykes Old Ale
Burton Bridge Brewery

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Burton Bridge Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Old Ale
3.52 | pDev: 26.14%
Jun 06, 2012
Nov 17, 2003
Notes: None
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Rated: 2 by chrispoint from Connecticut

Jun 06, 2012
Rated: 4.5 by Pencible from Virginia

Feb 11, 2012
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Reviewed by Groucho75 from Georgia

4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Enjoyed this one from a cask during Atlanta Beer Week at Mac McGee's in Decatur. Lovely pub by the way. Pity they need to work on their service...

Shimmering dark gold in the glass; a faint head keeping in line with cask delivery. Very clear and clean in appearance. Almost viscous in the glass due to the ABV.

Here's where it gets interesting; loads of plum, honey, malt, hints of tobacco, and ginger when nosing this one. Noticable alcohol too.

Big flavor when I get around to sipping; but a big burn from the alcohol. A little rough with an almost cough syrup aftertaste. Honey, cherries, some citrus, malts, and sugars at the forefront.

The mouthfeel is a bit of a let down considering how much is going on with this beer; the ABV keeps it hot on the tounge. Almost a sourness on the finish that keeps this from being something you want to keep drinking. Maybe it was the presentation; 10 ounces in a pokal. Something like this may be best enjoyed from a snifter.

A lovely beer, but not one I'd be in a hurry to try again.
Oct 13, 2011
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Reviewed by ATLbeerDog from Georgia

4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
From a firkin at The Fred.

Pours a yellow-orange medium deep in color. A nice one finger head tops the beer. Pretty amazing for a cask or firkin to have any head at all. Smells surprisingly fruity for an Old Ale with ripe plums, green apples and light figs comprising the nose. First sip is very close to the aroma with prunes, green apples leading the way. Also surprising is Brett. WTF is Brett doing in an Old Ale? Funkier than expected. Carbonation falls on the light side but certainly acceptable. A Tasty treat indeed.
Sep 08, 2011
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Reviewed by woosterbill from Kentucky

4.02/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottle from (probably) the 1985 vintage into a Hill Farmstead wine glass. Big thanks to Knifestyles for sharing yet another silly-old beer.

A: Flat, hazy orange-red body. Lovely color, ok legs.

S: Weird. Apple-flavored edible panties (aka Fruit Rollups, I suppose;). Brown sugar. Smoke. Graham crackers soaked in sweet port. Kinda good.

T: Follows the nose - super sweet fruity, candied, sugary. Quite tasty, but a little one-dimensional.

M: Thick, sweet, sticky, and still. Just what I expect from an Old Ale almost as old as myself.

O: If you think that eating soggy graham crackers drenched in sweet, nutty port wine sounds like a good time, then you'd probably enjoy drinking a 26 year old bottle of this beer. I thought it was quite fun, myself.

Jul 27, 2011
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Reviewed by Daniellobo from District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Nice malty and sweet cask serving with a upfront but engaging boozy note.

Presentation: 10 oz cask serving. Menu offers a short but fair description. Notes Alc. by Vol. (11%) Served on a snifter.

A - Minimally hazy deep amber to light amber brown serving with a nice 1/4" of head touching the rim. Fair retention with a thin and reliable surface memory and lacing.

S - A bit of shy note with toffee and caramel touches around the malty profile.

T - Sweet range of malt goodness. Caramel and toffee with a fruity touch in the back.

M - Medium-full body with a tiny touch of carbonation. Smooth and lightly creamy finish. Alcohol emerges as it lingers but nicely blended.

D - Nice sipper. A bit short of complexities in this cask instance but pleasing nevertheless.

Notes: In the end it may not be too remarkable a cask offer but works well on its own. Lingers for a second on blandness but luckily emerges with some nice character holding its ground.
May 01, 2010
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Reviewed by ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.36/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
Appearance: Pours a hazy, orange-amber body with a full inch of off-white foam on top that lasts until the very last sip.

Smell: Honey-glazed toffee with a handful of fruitcake crumbles and a tot of white wine served on the side.

Taste: Sweet blend of honey and toffee candy washed down with some Sauvignon blanc. Short-lived fruitiness. Herbal hops with a medium bitterness. The alcohol component in this one is rather boisterous, occasionally delivering some hotness. Long, dry finish with a sweet, winey taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation. Just a touch sticky.

Drinkability: A decent English-born cask ale, but, I must say, one pint was more than enough for me.
Mar 24, 2009
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Reviewed by PEBKAC from North Carolina

1.46/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1
Saw this item I didn't recall on cask at Rattle n Hum last week.

Place was warmly lit, but the clarity of the beer was well inside its deep amber body. A fizzle of head. A whole pint is my serving. Good value for a midtown bar, but that is for another review.

Smell was akin cough syrup, but with layers of scotch,
hard water, & a mildly flowered bouquet.

Crazy over-reaching flavors of burnt honey, toffee, ginger, rancid melon, salted nuts, & scotch... just too much of so much that it doesn't make sense. I'm one for old & buttered English ales, & am no stranger to cask, but this was very much like compost. Very offensive.

Body did have a hint of carbonation. Syrupy, of course. Alcohol was decently hidden amid everything else, though I think I was just so distracted by its obscene greetings to care at this point. I was literally nauseous at the memory of it on the way back home.

Never again.
Mar 13, 2009
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Reviewed by phattysbox from New York

2.01/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
Had this on cask at Rattle N Hum in Manhattan. Was in the mood for something different: Authentic old Ale from UK, excellent!

Quite saddened by this lackluster brew...

Poured into a tall collins style glass. Absolutely zero head and carbonation evident - which is fine since it was cask. Looks rather nice, golden hues and clear clarity.

The smell was the first indication I would not like this brew. Strong medicinal notes and sickly sweet caramel overtones dominated the nose. The alcohol really pulled through and was not put in check by the malts. Extremely medicinal.

Taste was worse- slightly malted cough syrup. Really did not like this one. I could barely register some malts (marris otter?) and there was oxidation present (wet cardboard). I asked the bartender if the cask had gone bad or if this is the last dregs but he said it was tapped yesterday. The brew was also WAY too hot and astringent. Mouthfeel was a bit creamy but couldn't get past the cough syrup taste.

Drinkability was poor for me - could not even finish it.

Darn shame for me. If cask ale wants to make a breakthough here in the states, leave this brew out of it.
Mar 09, 2009
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Reviewed by TurdFurgison from Ohio

3.37/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
I had this on cask at the Ginger Man in Manhattan. The beer was clear copper colored with a very thin (almost non-existent) head. The smell is very candy like and alcoholic, like an English barleywine. Behind the sweet toffee you can smell some bready malts. The taste is very sweet, almost too sweet for me but it's probably the profile they were after. I like the toffee and breadiness, especially the smooth cask mouthfeel, but the taste gets to you long before the glass is done. Of the few reviews so far I guess I'm the odd man out.
Feb 09, 2009
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Reviewed by bonbini26 from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
On Cask @ the ginger man 2/7/09

Pours a yellow semi haze, with low carbonation. the amorma is sweet with hints of oaked cherry and apple. The flavor is very sweet and sour unlike any old ale i've ever had. Very smooth for 10%. Hardly can detect the alcohol. Def. a different version of any old ale i've ever had. Almost like an imperial lambic
Feb 08, 2009
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Reviewed by John_M from Oregon

3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3
It's beers like this that make me wonder if Casey (at Max's) made some deal with the devil to get a beer like this.

Had this on cask at Max's tonight.

The beer pours a lovely light tan/brown color with a nice creamy head and adequate lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just a hint of sweet malt. On the palate the flavors are immense, rich and intense. The beer is quite sweet, but not over the top or cloying. At least not initially. I get flavors of vanilla, cherry cough drop and sweet golden apple. From the low carbonation, one gets a soft creamy mouthfeel. The beer is quite rich, and there are nuances of walnuts and sherry. I must say that the abv. is rather noticeable, and only becomes more so the longer it sits in the glass. The beer is very warming and would probably go better in the Winter time then it does in late June in Baltimore.

The longer this beer sits in the glass the more noticeable the abv. becomes. This is a very good beer, but it wears you out after a while. A pint of this was all I could do and then it was time to go home. Nevertheless, what a treat it was to try this beer.
Jun 23, 2007
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Reviewed by MuddyFeet from North Carolina

3.46/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Pumped from the cask at Sunset Grill in Boston. Reviewed from notes.

Poured a shiny copper color. Very bright. Rather retentive head that held up well. Nose was bursting with peppery heat and perhaps a bit too strong.

The alcohol was perhaps a bit too much. It wasn't really being cut by much at all. Some malted toffee was able to break through and that aspect was raher enjoyable. Some mild wood tones that came across more as a sourness. Overall, just a tad out of balance with the alcohol. This beer makes me think it would be better as a late night scotch or toddy.

Personally, I think I prefer milder beers pumped from a cask. This one was a bit too much and he wood didn't do all that much to balance it out.
Mar 23, 2007
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Reviewed by Dithyramb from Maryland

4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Sampled in a small snifter at a Max's beer and cheese dinner. Slightly hazy chestnut with limited retention and a wisp of lacing. Fruity/bready aroma.somewhat hazy. Okay, we had quite a few before this one came along. My sole memory that is burning through was how much I thought it was full of molasses and brown sugar. Mmm, syrup. Don't remember much alcohol burn, but it warmed the head afterward. Tasty and worth a few if you are worthy.
Apr 26, 2006
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Reviewed by zerk from California

4.47/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Sampled on cask at BW3 in Downtown Indy.

This beer is a pale gold / peach with a thin layer of small white bubbles... somewhat hazy. Aroma is a mixture of apple, some flowery hops, and some sweet beady malt. Flavor begins very sweet like brandy covered apples and brown sugar... a touch of nutmeg and some grassy hops add some balance. Mouthfeel is syrupy and smooth... I could easily drink way too many of these. The alcohol is not hidden, but the flavors marry very well. This is a fabulous barleywine.
Nov 17, 2003
Thomas Sykes Old Ale from Burton Bridge Brewery
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 15 ratings