Olde Expensive Ale
Burton Bridge Brewery

Olde Expensive AleOlde Expensive Ale
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Burton Bridge Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Old Ale
Ranked #56
Ranked #28,670
3.03 | pDev: 22.77%
Feb 25, 2023
Nov 02, 2001
No description / notes.
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Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.74/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Sample pour at GBBF Winter. Clear brown pour with a sparse off-white head. Arma is malty, plums, pit fruit. Taste features the same, sweet with mild tannic notes, fruity cake
Feb 25, 2023
Photo of sjccmd
Reviewed by sjccmd from Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev +28.7%
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 -16.8%
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 +15.5%
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 -7.3%
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 -34.7%
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
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Reviewed by FanofHefe from Illinois

2.51/5  rDev -17.2%
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 +19.1%
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 Washington

3.78/5  rDev +24.8%
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 -6.6%
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 +2.3%
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%
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 -4.3%
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
Olde Expensive Ale from Burton Bridge Brewery
Beer rating: 73 out of 100 with 61 ratings