Olde Expensive Ale
Burton Bridge Brewery

Olde Expensive AleOlde Expensive Ale
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From:
Burton Bridge Brewery
 
England, United Kingdom
Style:
Old Ale
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
72
Avg:
3.02 | pDev: 22.85%
Reviews:
53
Ratings:
7
Status:
Active
Rated:
Mar 21, 2016
Added:
Nov 02, 2001
Wants:
  3
Gots:
  2
SCORE
72
Okay
Olde Expensive AleOlde Expensive Ale
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of sjccmd
Reviewed by sjccmd from Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Wet hay, apricot, sour apples in the aroma. Somewhat farmy. Overripe fruit. Juicy and sweet smelling. Bready malts linger behind the fruit and funk. Fresh baked bread, caramel, and honey. A whiff of butterscotch. Very musty.

Pours hazy light amber with big frothy off-white head. Good retention and lacing.

Sour fruits upfront along with funk quickly washing away into clean crackery malts and balancing hop bitterness. Lightly tart and funky, but not as over-the-top as the aroma suggests. Surprisingly very light on the palate besides the initial wash of fruit and funk. Caramel and toffee along with a slight mineral tinge. As it warms up flavors start to pronounce themselves a bit more with richer malt and fruit flavors.

Medium body, high carbonation. Lots of bubbles but fairly soft. Clean finish.

Haven't had any beer quite like this. Flavors seem to be navigating between light barley wine and Belgian lambic. But, as I understand it, this is what old ale was traditionally liked, having been aged in barrels for an extended amount of time being exposed to various wild yeasts.
Mar 21, 2016
Photo of Bitterbill
Reviewed by Bitterbill from Wyoming

2.52/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5
Cloudy rust coloured, huge head of foam despite being pulled from the fridge and poured carefully.

Bitter hops and sourness in the smell.

Very bitter starting off, moves to the sour side, actually goes back and forth during the session.

Champagne like carbonation doesn't help.

I don't see any dating of any sorts on the bottle.

Weird drinking experience.
Apr 09, 2015
Photo of pat61
Reviewed by pat61 from Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Fruit and bread on the nose with some spicy hop. Pours hazy amber with a thick 3” rocky head with a slight amber tint. Light malts, grain, bread on the palate finishes dry. Medium full body with medium low carbonation. Overall meh.
Mar 18, 2015
 
Rated: 2.5 by RochefortChris from North Carolina

Nov 02, 2014
 
Rated: 3.75 by SnifterLifter from New York

Jun 01, 2014
Photo of LiquidAmber
Reviewed by LiquidAmber from Washington

2.81/5  rDev -7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75
Second most forceful blowout of a bottle I've ever had, with beer gushing out of the bottle like a fire hose for what seemed like minutes, gushering over my counter, rugs and floor. How could a small bottle hold that much foam and beer? After mopping up and putting the rug in the washer (it was soaked and very malty), I was pleased to see two inches of beer in my Dogfish Head pint glass, a cloudy caramel color with a thin off-white head that actually had surprising retention considering that had been so active. Aroma of light caramel malt, apple and pear juice, lightly woody and earthy. Flavor is wild saison yeast, light funk, light apple juice, mild tartness, finishing earthy and funky with a mild brett-like bitterness. Light bodied with moderate carbonation. A very odd little ale, not remotely resembling an old ale (although maybe it did at some point?). Like others here, I honestly don't know whether this is an eccentric, funky saison yeast bitter or an old ale that is very badly infected. Since reviews go back almost eight years with similar over carbonation and funkiness, it must be intentional. Oh and I get the name now! 2 ounces of beer out a 17 ounce bottle. Olde Expensive indeed.
Apr 23, 2014
 
Rated: 4 by mrfrancis from Kentucky

Jun 19, 2013
 
Rated: 3.75 by Slatetank from Pennsylvania

May 25, 2013
 
Rated: 3.5 by PeteRiz from Connecticut

Jul 15, 2012
 
Rated: 4 by JAHMUR from Connecticut

Apr 23, 2012
Photo of spointon
Reviewed by spointon from Illinois

1.98/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2
I poured this from a 500ml brown bottle into an Imperial nonic pint glass.

A= Very highly carbonated. Poured a very hazy peach/orange color with a foamy 4" head (gentle pour at cold fridge temp). The head took forever to settle and left behind some impressive foamy stickage down the glass.

S= Wow its a lambic!?!? Nose full of musty, fruity, brett-infused funk. No hops or real malt to speak of...

T= Thin sweetness leads immediately into a cherry pie tartness, some light hints of oak, and not much else. Finishes bone dry and medicinal.

MF= Uber-thin body (way over-attenuated) with a crazy spritzy effervescence on the tongue.

D= At one time this may have been an old ale but it is totally infected and has morphed into a lambic-esque sour. Seriously, nothing about this ale resembles what it is supposed to be, but wow if someone handed it to me and said it was a half-assed Flanders Red I would believe it. THat's interesting and all, but this is just a showpiece of shoddy quality control. Judging from other recent reviews, this is not a rare infection. Beware.
Mar 13, 2012
 
Rated: 4 by JGuill from Massachusetts

Jan 24, 2012
Photo of FanofHefe
Reviewed by FanofHefe from Illinois

2.51/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
Pint bottle poured into a Duvel tulip; no dating on the bottle or label. WOW, this thing is hyper-carbonated. It takes several pours to get a drinkable amount in the glass Tan head and tons of lacing. Clear, light amber body with a hint of red. Looks pretty good after all the foam dissipates.

Not sure about the aroma. A bit of light fruit, apple or pear, is present. Seems light a lager-type yeast and some malt tending toward caramel make up the remainder.

Well, it does not taste like the aroma. The flavor is like burnt fruit, maybe like after putting a piece of fruit, probably apple, on a stick and roasting it over an open fire. Nearly none of the light fruit or malt are able to get through that burnt taste.

The taste also detracts from the mouthfeel. Overall, not recommended.
Jul 31, 2011
Photo of brentk56
Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

3.61/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Appearance: A careful pour yields a cloudy apricot colored liquied with a massive meringue of a head; nice retention and plenty of splashy lace

Smell: Very fruity, with a mineral/herbal twist on the overripe pear and apple aroma; doughy, with some diacetyl, as well

Taste: Opens with a doughy character; the mineral and herbal aspect drives the fruit in a decidedly sour direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, the caramel comes to the fore but there is a bit of butterscotch from the diacetyl that punctuates the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, somewhat creamy, with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: I know I am going against the tide here, but I rather enjoyed this very different beer; I like the sour and fruit elements along with the caramel and was not put off too much by the diacetyl
May 21, 2010
Photo of John_M
Reviewed by John_M from Oregon

3.78/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
I'm sure there's an explanation behind the name, but I don't get it. On cask at Max's today.

The beer pours a copper amber color with very good head retention and decent lacing. On the nose, I really get very little... just some grain, sweet malt and cereal aroma. The flavor profile is much better, with this moderately sweet beer coming across as malty, but with a hint of hoppy bitterness in the finish. There's a bit of a alcohol heat in the finish, but otherwise the flavors aren't bad. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fairly soft and long finish. Drinkability is decent, except for the heat in the finish.

While nothing extraordinairy, I don't quite understand the poor reviews for this beer. The bottled version must really be wretched. As for the cask version I had tonight, all I can say is that I've had far worse....
Apr 09, 2010
Photo of froghop
Reviewed by froghop from Washington

2.83/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
pours a clear amber with heavy carbonation, a bubbly off-white head, and some lacing.

smell is faint, caramel, and malt.

taste is tangy, caramel, sour malt, a touch of citrus, and a little metallic, ends a somewhat bitter.

overall ive had better old ales.
Jan 30, 2010
Photo of Florida9
Reviewed by Florida9 from Illinois

3.1/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
A: Light brown with just a hint of orange and a slight chill haze. A small white head forms with little retention, though it does leave some lace on the way down.

S: Sweet malt. Vinous.

D & M: Sweet flat malt on the front end, almost like drinking wort. More of the vinous characteristics: green grapes, "foxy" or "racy" in wine terminology. Some oak comes out as the beer warms. A surprisingly light body with virtually no carbonation at all.

D: This is an odd one. Not necessarily bad, just different. Its almost as it someone decided to make a "lite" barleywine. However, it does go done surprisingly easy.
Dec 03, 2009
Photo of goethean
Reviewed by goethean from Illinois

3.91/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Way over-carbonated. Amber.

Nice distinct light toffee typically English ale flavor. A bit light in body and flavor for an old ale (at least for this extreme beer enthusiast). Herbal hops flavor is clearly present, which is surprising for an English brew. Overall, probably not something I'd go out of my way to obtain, but no complaints here.
Jul 25, 2009
Photo of drpimento
Reviewed by drpimento from Wisconsin

2.9/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
Odde ducke. As soon as I opened it I smelled sherry and walnuts. Poured straight into the middle of the glass and got a little head, no lace. Color is dark amber with a little color particle haze. Upon sticking my schoz into the beer I got lots of other stuff: cider, leather, dirt, Burton-on-Trent smell, caramel, minerals, and yeast. Flavor's about the same. Body's a hair thin. Finish is ok. Not one of my favs. Got to be much better from the cask. Got this bottle last week at Sam's in Chicago.
Jun 09, 2009
Photo of wl0307
Reviewed by wl0307 from England

4/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Coming in a 500ml brown long-neck bottle, filtered I presume. Freshness info. unavailable on the beer label, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a light copper hue with a huge and tightly frothy beige head that lasts extremely well, fed by an unusually high level of carbonation.
S: sweet perfumy apple-ly, caramely & creamy malts come with a touch of overripe-fruits-like dense yeasty-sweetness, very much like a lot of other English strong ales I've come across. The overall impression is however very quiet, hinting at a depth of something underneath the huge froth. No doubt; as the froth dissipates, a fine nose of sweet tea, sweet plum-flesh, date-ish fruits, and herbs are lifted to the surface by a good swirl. Integrated and rich, albeit not terribly complex. Very English.
T: moderately sour fruity swallow with a quiet flavour and light alc. rule at first, then gradually, an aromatic tea-ish and dry-nutty taste creep up, leading towards a sherry-like dry aftertaste with aromatic licorice-flavoured prunes (a Taiwanese delicacy) and an old-ish spicy/peppery taste mixed of old fortified-wine (like Masala) and English hops... A slightly alcoholic mouthfeel emerges in the very end, but the palate remains powdered-herbally dry-ish and enjoyable.
M&D: contrary to the appearance, the mouthfeel goes rather smooth on top of a very decent, moderate body overall. The aftertaste really shows the depth of flavour and maybe the touch of "old-ness" any aged strong ale should demonstrate. This is NOT a big, complex, exciting old ale that one might expect. This is NOT even an Old Ale according to the definition on this website. However, this ale rings a bell of the traditional West Country-style aged strong pale beer that won over people's palate with the controlled sourness and lingering dryish palate. Give it a good slurp and sit back - you'll really enjoy it in the end.
Feb 07, 2009
Photo of Offa
Reviewed by Offa from California

4.16/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
New review of cask at Burton Bridge Inn, December 2022:
Having forgotten completely that I' had this in a bottle back in 2008, I got this cask at the pub in Burton-upon-Trent in December 2022. My old review I have kept, below.

Dark copper. Thick creamy off white head. Steadily shrinks to lasting thin foamy top and rich foamy lace. Aroma rich dark fruits and dark toast. Taste dark fruits dark toast and fruitcake. Some spicy bitterness to balance the firm sweetnesss. Tinge of booziness. Very good.

Old Review from 2008 of bottle purchased in US:
look 4, smell 2, taste 1.5, feel 2, overall 2.
This is another dud from Burton Bridge for me, similar to the Empire IPA and, like the other, makes me suspect that the bottle was bad.

Cloudy brownish yellow amber, it has a huge pale tan head, fizzy, slowly shrinking and never vanishing, leaving no real lace.

The aroma is strong bananas, old musty grapes, yeast, peach, some bitter orange.

The taste is similar, a little better than expected after the Empire ale experience and the signs so far, but not much. It's highly alcoholic- winey with old, fermenting bananas, turned peaches, yeasty. It is tart, a little sour, bitter. The best part is a dry, almost leafy quality that tries to take over in the finish but then fades, leaving a bad aftertaste. It's even worse as it warms and is undrinkable.

I may try this again, on the belief that this was bas, but many others seem to have had a similar experience.
Nov 13, 2008
Photo of henrysunset
Reviewed by henrysunset from Washington

2.55/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5
clear of cloudiness, amber in color with huge head of medium light tan bubbles.

scent is citrus, sweet malt, but not dark. may be slightly off flavor.

Taste is acidic, unbalanced, bitter and has an off quality. Aftertase of an unpleasent woodiness.

a bit thin and alcoholic, odd for the low 6.5 ABV. uninspirational.
Sep 22, 2008
Photo of jwc215
Reviewed by jwc215 from Arizona

3.03/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
500 ml bottle:

Pours hazy/murky tea-like amber with a head that has good staying power. Trailing lacing sticks.
As per instructions, I decanted carefully, letting sediment settle and left in bottle. Still, it did not pour the "clear" that it states it would on the label. The head retention and lacing save it.

The smell is a vague fruitiness - lemon and peach - with some caramel.

The taste is of an odd fruitiness - overripe pear and apricot with lemon and orange. Restrained caramel and some mustiness. It has a sour and bitter - almost aspirin-like - finish.

Rather thin, but just about hits medium-bodied. Dryness lingers.

A bit raw, with alcohol coming through more than it probably should.

Drinkable for one, I suppose - pretty hoppy for style (though not in a way that "works" very well. Not "sessionable", though it probably wasn't meant to be. I thought this might be an out-of-date bottle - no freshness date indicated - but, looking at other reviews, I suppose it is what it is. It sort of has potential - but imbalanced and fruitiness just doesn't mesh well, and maltiness doesn't really shine forth the way it should.
Aug 20, 2008
Photo of baos
Reviewed by baos from Indiana

2.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
Bottle into my bicentennial Mason jar.

A: Huge head a hand and a half into my jar until it overflowed. Cloudy copper body. Head dwindles down to a nice sheen. Definitely Martin not Charlie.

S: Smells like dried apricots and candy. Maybe a bit of clove and pink bubblegum.

T: Here's where it kinda goes downhill. My first Old Ale, this is a strange brew. Very bitter kinda like an esb but with a stale candy taste in the backdrop. Ends dry and peculiarly sour.

M: Kinda watery.

D: Well the sourness kind of grows on you, but I doubt I"ll choose this one again although it has made me very interested in what a well made example of this style will taste like.
Jun 17, 2008
Photo of NJpadreFan
Reviewed by NJpadreFan from New Jersey

3.41/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Olde Expensive Ale

A- Cloudy reddish orange with a huge thick head. Heavy thick lacing down half the glass.
S- Orange peels and tea leaves.
T- Sweet orange rind, tea leaves, caramel malt, and spices; pepper and clove come through.
M- Thin and a little watery but becoming more cloying further in. Alc. appears in the aftertaste.

Overall- I enjoyed this 1! Simple, flavorful, and easy to drink a few.
Apr 17, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
Reviewed by dsa7783 from New Jersey

2.5/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
1 Pint, 9 fl oz bottle copped singly from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Pours a hazy, cloudy, murky, ruby-red, light-brown color with absolutely no head at all and very minimal lacing...
Very faint, subtle, almost non-existing aroma with a slight suggestion of grains, wheats, and malts...
Average, at best taste- very light and nondescript witha small hint of caramel and vanilla thrown in the mix... No alcohol was noticeable, but the mouthfeel was very watered-down and faint, pale, and almost non-existent... Poor level of drinkability as well, with not much going on here...
Overall, this beer seemed almost "nonexistent" in terms of flavor and taste...
Poor sample - not recommended...
Mar 30, 2008
Photo of danielharper
Reviewed by danielharper from Michigan

2.12/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
Appearance: This beer nearly leaped out of the bottle at me, likely overcarbonated. First pour leaves huge head that fills up nearly two-thirds of the glass -- after removing some of it I managed to fill up enough of the glass to get an idea of the color and consistency. Dingy brown body, very hazy. Very thick head (obviously), off-white colored.

Smell: Hard to classify. Slightly musty, malty. Reminds me more of a brown ale than an Old Ale. Slightly nutty. No hops in nose.

Taste: Very malty, roasty. A touch of unfermented sugar in the wort I think -- slightly sweet and somewhat cloying. Slightly astringent, not complex at all.

Mouthfeel: Thin, watery. Apparently this one lets all its carbonation out in the original bang, 'cause I'm not getting it in this glass.

Drinkability: I'll finish this one, but this is really a brown ale marketed as an Old Ale. Reclassify it as a brown and it isn't so bad, but this is just a disappointment.
Mar 29, 2008
Photo of Hautacam
Reviewed by Hautacam from Connecticut

4.3/5  rDev +42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
First of all... I had this ON CASK ( My Place Restaurant, Newtown, CT)...nothing like the shitty reviews for the bottles.
This is a really tasty brew. Medium brown with a foamy tan head. Smells a bit doughy and metallic....slight hint of phenol.
The taste was a well balanced slightly sweet, steely malt with a sharp hop bite that came on fast and lasted. There were hints of pome fruits , caramel and a very slight bit of sulfur way in the back.
The body on cask was really nice, gentle carbonation and medium to full bodied. I had a few Imperial pints and had to leave, but I could have sipped this stuff all night. I hope to see this again.
Feb 29, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
Reviewed by Metalmonk from North Carolina

2.41/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2
Sure looks good, a red-tinted dirty copper color and a huge fluffy head that sticks around a long time. A little bit of lace shows up as the glass empties.

Aroma gives off a candy-like sweetness, a bit fruity, with something rather hard to pin down--maybe toffee, maybe butterscotch, not really either though. And an infernal malt liquor type wang. Despite its 6.5% alcohol, it smells pretty boozy. As it sits and warms, it REALLY starts smelling boozy. The more I smell, the more I think "aftershave". Uh oh.

Flavor is rough. There's a cherry succulence trying to work its way in...and some sherry-soaked berry and apple...but these flavors and anything else potentially enjoyable are steamrollered by a grossly medicinal flavor that just spells w-r-o-n-g. I tried to taste it for the part of me that loves weird, bitter, funky, dirty beers, but there's a fine line between that kind of sublimity and just plain ugliness. Because this is a larger bottle, I poured twice. The second pour shot out some yeast, though I didn't swirl. The flavor became a bit nuttier, so I raised the Taste score from 1.5 to 2. Big deal.

Mouthfeel is okay, carbonation-wise, but the paint-thinner veneer of the finish literally leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Nasty.

This bottle is way too big.
Jun 26, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
Reviewed by BretSikkink from Mexico

2.98/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5
Wow. Burst of carbonation leaves me with approximately four finger head, retention is really quite incredible at this volume (i.e., it's not getting any smaller). Gets rather rocky but otherwise quite light and spongy, lacing includes many good-sized bubble populating the interior of the glass. I've had too much time to look at it...

Dark fruit sweetness, the malts run the show here along with some lively diacetyl yeast. Pears come to mind to describe the sweetness.

Same with the flavor, which is accompanied by a rush of carbonation down the throat - this could give you hiccups. Raisin steps forth to claim dominance in the flavor, maybe dextrin was the correct sugar. There is a definite hop presence that emerges near the finish, which doesn't balance as much as it should: the bitter and spicy aftertaste works with the sticky sugars, with the result being a very sticky residual that mucks up the palate.

Re-pour at this point. Once again, this beer is badly overcarbonated. It reacts like badly-tapped keg beer. I've seen conditioned bottles shatter after falling from upright onto their sides by a kid's foot on a tile floor so I know the amount of pressure from secondary fermentation, but this beer would require an oversided tulip to contain that head, while I only accounted for an English old ale with my nonic.

As far as the style, it matches the characteristics of thickish, viscous malt-driven brews with a good level of bitterness and dark fruit characteristics. The off-putting thing is the foam, which makes it hard to drink..I wish the 500 mL English bottle had been a regular 355. The lacing is beautiful, however. The glass looks like an off-white blizzard hit it, and if this were served off a cask at room temperature it could be very enjoyable.

Bottom line: as astringent and alcohol-apparent as this old ale is, 6.5% is an almost unacceptable abv. I would grant this beer many props if the brewer was hiding 10-12% in there, but this is difficult to stomach. My advice for those with an unopened bottle is to cellar it for a while and serve it slightly chilled, waiting a bit before pouring, and doing so carefully (or "unhurriedly" as Duvel says). Consume quickly, and consider having a friend.
Apr 17, 2007
Photo of yinzer
Reviewed by yinzer from Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2
appearance: nice lingering head, amber color

smell: very fruity for an old ale. pleasant pear nose.

taste: nice flavor, nothing special. A bit tart finish with no rhyme or a reason Some malt to balance.

mouthfeel: pleasant with lingering carbonation.

drinkablitly: just not a fun beer. I might not finish the bottle.
Feb 05, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
Reviewed by BEERchitect from Kentucky

2.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
This beer shows disapointment from the outset. An overcarbonated, fizzy pour brought a broze colored beer with quickly fading head retention. Unavoidable aromas of esters and fusal alcohols overpower the malts, hops, and subtle nuances. Flavors don't fare much better. Quite hot and fruity with high levels of buttery, yeasty flavors. The body is moderate, but pales underneath the harshness. Seems that this beer was designed correctly, but fermented at temperatures that were way too high. Likely not to try this one again.
Feb 03, 2007
Photo of horndecker
Reviewed by horndecker from New Jersey

1.94/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5
Plump matronly bottle with a foil hairpiece....ugly label, poor design, bad drawing....

Pop the top and the room fills with sweet candy-ish aromas. The beer is highly carbonated. Tons of foam, fine and frothy, eventually subsides to a light coat of fuzz. Color is deep copper and bit cloudy.

It smells old. Er, olde. A bit citric, old socks, materized white wine, banana. Very funky

It tastes awful. Er, awful. To be more specific, a citric wash flashes away to a tiny moment of candy sweetness and leaves you with a relentless nasty bitterness.

Is this a bad bottle? Do they mean it to taste this way? I can hardly take enough sips to gather enough information to write this review. It did have a nice foamy mouthfeel though.

Steer clear.
Jan 06, 2007
Photo of lackenhauser
Reviewed by lackenhauser from Maryland

2.43/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2
Somewhat hazy amber color. Big head and a bevy of bubbles rapidly rising from the bottom of the glass. Metallic and industrial aroma to it. Not a lot of flavor-pretty one dimensional. What is there is solvent like and astringent. Some form of bitterness just not sure what. Rather thin and harsh body wise. I would give this a wide berth.
Nov 13, 2006
Photo of Osiris9588
Reviewed by Osiris9588 from Ohio

1.73/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5
From the 750ml brown bottle it pours a murk, pale amber, with a fair amount of sediment floating around. The two-finger white head is not very thick and dissipates quickly, leaving some slight lacing.

The smell is of yeast and sour fruit, and for lack of a better descriptor, fermentation. The flavor resembles the smell, just a mash of furit and yeast left to ferment, along with a strong an unpleasnt phenolic aftertaste. The mouth--well, I can't really keep in my mouth long enough to comment--the yeasty, medicinal, biting aftertaste is not enjoyable.

The drinkability is nearly nil--I'm palate began to grow accostomed to the yeasty fruit, but the cough syrup aftertaste is horrible. I'm dumping this down the drain. Possible a bad bottle
Sep 15, 2006
Photo of mattpetti
Reviewed by mattpetti from New Jersey

2.61/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
Pours a cloudy burnt amber color with a large tan head that holds up for a while. The smell was of a little sweetness, some weird musty/chalkiness and decent english hop bitterness. Maybe there is some dust on this glass or something and thats why i smell it. Nope its the beer (i poured into another glass). The taste is a weird blend of bitter citrus fruit, sweet caramel malt and hop bitterness. They seem to swirl around each other in an imbalanced way. Plus there is a strange medicine like flavor in there as well. Not very enjoyable. Thats pretty much it though. There was just something off with this beer. I might not be used to english ales, but i wont be revisiting this one.
Jul 28, 2006
Photo of dgallina
Reviewed by dgallina from Georgia

2.41/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
500ml brown bottle without freshness date. Poured good-looking hazy copper with very firm tan head. Little aroma; perhaps a vague touch of caramel sweetness. Terrible flavor; medicinal alcohol up front followed by indeterminate hop bitterness and alcohol burn. Hideously phenolic all the way through. Medium body in the mouth; lots of simultaneous creaminess and carbonation. Very difficult to finish this bottle and not something I'd try again.
Jul 25, 2006
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Reviewed by Crosling from Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +44%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Attractive dark bright orange. Rich aroma, full of leather and alcohol, finely shredded orange peel, discarded banana peel, along with hints of vanilla, peach, vanilla and grapes. Doughy mats, with a funky, yeasty contibution along with loads of sour fruits and honey flavors. Much better, in subtlety and balance compared to the Empire Ale. Burton Bridge is another brewery that I must visit.
Apr 01, 2006
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Reviewed by barleywinebrewer from New Hampshire

3.58/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Initial pour took a while. Lots of carbonation in this brew. The color was a tan with a hint of amber at the edges. I let this one sit for a while before the carbonation settled down enough to sip. This definitely reminded me of visiting england. While fuller than a typical english bitter, I did notice that the hop ale flavor came fully through. The extra malt balanced out the taste with a light toffee and a tart yeast presence. The beer finished well but did not make me want to go out and buy more of this brew.
Feb 07, 2006
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Reviewed by BuckeyeNation from Iowa

2.35/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5
Violently carbonated, murky apricot with a reddish blush. I only have a finger or two of beer with which to assess the color since the rest of the glass is full of frothy beige foam that is slowly giving up the ghost, only to be spirited higher with the next pour. It's a little rocky on the way down, but is ultimately too soft to deposit much lace.

The nose is pungently sour, borderline spoiled fruity and clove-like yeasty. All of that is dominated by an odd phenolic character reminiscent of Scotch whisky, although not nearly as pleasant. It certainly doesn't lack volume; I can easily smell it as I type and the glass is nowhere near my nose. It's interesting and different, but is nothing like an old ale.

What in God's name are those crazy Englishman at Burton Bridge doing to their beer? Empire India Pale Ale was strangeness personified and this one is wacky (and nasty) as well. The spoiled fruit of the nose has now become frankly rotten fruit; like peaches turned to a funky, sticky, sun-baked mush on the ground beneath the tree. It's a little more drinkable as I get deeper into the glass, but that's only because the palate shock had worn off to some extent.

Those peppery, brutish phenols are almost overwhelming and effectively drown out any chance the underlying flavor has of succeeding. For anyone who wants to know what a phenolic/Band-Aid flavor is like, this is one of the best examples that I can think of. Again, OEA is as far from an old ale as it could possibly be. Exactly *what* it is, I have no idea. Although there's a fair amount of bitterness, the English hop flavor has no chance to be anything other than a bit player in this horror movie of a beer.

The body/mouthfeel is too light for the style. It's 'pale ale medium', roughly speaking. The initially crazed amount of carbonation has settled down as I start the second half of the bottle. Eventually what happens is that it goes from too much to too little (read: flat) in the space of a few ounces. Once past appearance and smell, this is a mess of a beer.

Olde Expensive Ale is my second offering from this brewery and is, by far, the worst of an unimpressive duo. I don't know if the brewers intended it to taste like this or if my bottle is off. Waaay off. In any case, I don't believe I'll make it all the way through the bottle. Not only that, but I'll be extremely leery of buying any more Burton Bridge beer in the future. Definitely not recommended.
Aug 19, 2005
Olde Expensive Ale from Burton Bridge Brewery
Beer rating: 72 out of 100 with 60 ratings