Old Humbug | Southern Oregon Brewing Company

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Old HumbugOld Humbug
22 Ratings
Old HumbugOld Humbug

Brewed by:
Southern Oregon Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by mattmaples:
Photo of mattmaples
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This winter brew pours a brilliant red / brown hue with a thin head. The aroma is yeast fruit with a touch of lemony hop. The flavor is of creamy toffee malt and fruity yeast ester. This is not a HUGE sticky Christmas beer or one of the dark brown and hoppy winters. What it is, is an exquisitely balanced, creamy, fruity, well crafted brews that should be enjoyed all on its own as most foods will only detract from its tightrope act of malt, yeast and texture.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of i_Trav
5/5  rDev +34.4%

This beer evolves slightly every year, this year it is unfiltered and in my opinion is one of the best versions yet. You can't help but think about the holidays when it crosses your pallet. And it's certain to warm you up from the inside out at 8 1/2% ABV. Another solid offering from SOB.

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Photo of Hobbit
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Docer
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Snagged a new 22 oz. bottled version of this 8.2% Winter Warmer at a Whole Foods... called "Old Humbug".

- Rootbeer brown... clear... eggshell head... down to a small swirl of lacing, and a light ring.

- Smell is a slightly sweet and robust chocolate malt... bittering hop... sweet toffee... and some zest.

- Porter-like chocolate malt, spicy herbs.... sweet sugars... roasty..

- Little sticky.. overall great, not too dry, nor chewy.

- A very nice offering... but like many Winter Warmers... it doesn't stand out enough from all of the other offerings around though this one is floating near the top.

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Photo of hannaho
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of GeorgeAKeim
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a surprisingly dark chestnut color with an ample cap of off-white head. Nice retention and good lacing.

Nose is cereal grains, Cocoa Krispies, hazelnuts and figs. Nice aroma...

Taste is definitely chocolaty, though more cocoa powder than milk chocolate. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I hoped, but still good. The malts are dominant with a light nutty yeast aspect. Its good, nothing thats going to stand out in an old ale tasting, but a solid offering that I would be happy to drink again.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, warmed to just below room temp.Served in dimpled imperial pint mug Nice looking mahogany brown ale, with a small yet attractive light tan head. Leaves copious lacing. Nice toffeeish/treacle like aromas, very malty.Dark dried fruits come to mind. The taste is very similar to the aroma with a hint of mollasses thrown in. It's quite sweet, in a liquorice way..though a small bitterness shows through from all those hops..but it just barely cuts the sweetness of the malts. Ok on the palate..not quite as "thick" as expected but acceptable. Overall a nice winter sipper. Very malt accented and sweet almost like a Scotch Ale. Not for the hop heads..but for malt-monsters this is a treat.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A somewhat aggressive pour gives me a little over one finger of head that even sends a few drops of beer down the side of the glass as it overflows a tiny bit. Poured into my standard pint glass, the head is pretty fluffy, I don't know if I would go as far as to say it's creamy looking. Mostly small bubbles, but some medium sized ones too. Head retention is pretty good so far, I still have a solid finger of head left. Really can't tell about lacing yet, but my guess is that it will be nice. The head is light brown in color. The body is an extremely dark shade of brown, not quite black yet, but it for sure has some shades of black as well as red. Visibility through the beer is basically zero. It looks a little cloudy too, not sure about that though because I really can't see all that much. As for carbonation - it's too dark to see any. Overall it's a really good looking beer so far, the head and head retention were probably the best factors so far. The head is pretty much gone now, but it lasted longer than most beers do, and it still has a substantial amount of foam on top of the body. We'll have to see how the lacing goes, but I think it's going to be good. Not a whole lot going on with the nose. I mean the only smell that is really coming through is a malty, carbonated, alcohol smell. It's really weird. There just isn't that big of a smell at all. I mean my nose is a tiny bit stuffed up, but only barely, I'm not sick or anything. I should be able to smell whatever is going on with this beer, for sure. I man a little alcohol is present, some malts are there, as well as a carbonation smell, and then a small dose of hops. Overall though the smell just isn't that big. Maybe a tad bit sweet smelling as well. I mean it doesn't smell bad, it's a decent smelling beer, it just doesn't have much of an aroma. I'm kinda shocked that it doesn't have a bigger alcohol smell, for being 8.2 % ABV, and with that being said I'm surprised it doesn't have a bigger malt and sweet smell. Oh well, it's not a bad smelling beer, but the aroma just isn't big enough. 3.5 is fair. Well the flavor is much bigger than the smell, that's a very good start. You get a whole crap load of malts and sweetness upfront. The alcohol is definitely there, but they do a pretty good job of covering it up with the rest of the flavors. Small hop bite as well, it's definitely there, but it's covered up substantially by everything else in the beer. Not a super duper complex beer, but it's got a pretty big kick in terms of flavor, and just overall presence in your mouth. It really has everything you need in a big winter beer, big malts, big alcohol, a little bit of hops. I mean it's not fantastic, there isn't anything outstanding about it, but it's a god beer for sure. Maybe a little heavy on the sweetness, but it's hard to get rid of that with the heavy malts and alcohol. It's not a complex beer, but it's good. As for the mouthfeel, it's pretty good. The carbonation is a tiny bit low for my liking, but it's still there enough so be noticed. Carbonation isn't all that important in a huge beer like this, but it's obviously nice to get it right. The body is a little thin for a winter beer, but it's covered up pretty well by the big alcohol presence in your mouth. I mean a winter beer isn't supposed to have a huge body, like a stout should, but still, it should have a bigger, thicker feel than this does. It's not the end of the world though, like I said, it's covered up nicely by the big alcohol flavor. Overall not a bad mouthfeel. The drinkability is....eh, getting harder, but it's still not bad. It's not a horribly hard beer to put away, which is saying a lot because it's 8.2% ABV. Still, it was easier to drink when I first poured it. It's probably one of the easier beers to drink (that is 8.2%) now that I think about it, it's really not that harsh at all. Overall it's a pretty good beer, like I said it's not outstanding, but it's a solid brew. It's a beer I wouldn't mind at all having again. It's a solid 4 overall, considering the taste was a 4 and the appearance was awesome.

The appearance turned out to be really freaking awesome. Probably in the top ten in terms of best looking beers I have ever had. The only reason it's not in the top 5, or even 3, is because the head didn't last all the way. But man, the lacing sure did. Not only did I get lacing basically to the bottom of the glass, but it was thick THICK lacing, I mean at the beginning I couldn't even see through the glass in the places I had already drank! It's a super good looking beer.

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Photo of KlayWey
2.92/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of GreenCard
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: brown, good clarity, thick layer of tan fine-beaded foam, good retention

Aroma: big waft of bubblegum and hints of rum-raisins, malt, chocolate, and herbal hops

Flavor: medium malt sweetness with chocolate, unripe pear bitterness, and an aftertaste of prunes or raisins

Mouthfeel: medium body, pert carbonation, smooth

Other comments: This beer surprised me a bit. The cheesy label made me think the beer would be lackluster, but it was pretty good!

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Photo of nmann08
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Vancoubeer
4.26/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. Its one of the best for the season for under 4 dollars. It pours out very dark brown. It looks black but its a very dark brown. It really does not have that winter warmer spiced scent but its a malt bomb and its got a lot of chocolate and caramel tones in the scent. The taste is where this beer is at. It has all you want in a dark beer. Its got the very subtle roasty tones of roasted malt mixed with the chocolate and caramel. The hops are really not profound at all. However there is a very slight citrus tone thats definitely the hops but its really hard to get when its cold. When worm its there but very subtle. The mouthfeel is medium. Not sticky but not dry. The carbonation is not high and the head when poured disappeared quickly. Overall, this is a top class beer to have this time of the year. It stays away from the spices that other brewers try to throw in and it goes big on the abv, which cannot be tasted at all. For under 4 bucks this is a steal and looks like something I would look forward to every xmas season.

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Photo of chugamugofsud
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of flagmantho
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich brown hue with a hazeless body. Head is two fingers of frothy tan foam. Looks good!

Smell: rich malty aroma with a tinge of biscuit. Quite sweet-smelling with a bit of fruity character; something like mixed berries, only very light. Usually I'm not a huge fan of biscuit but it works well here. A good winter brew.

Taste: quite malty with a lot more biscuit in the flavor than in the aroma. Malt is deep with a good fruity character as well, although these are darker plum and raisin qualities. I like it, but I could do without so much biscuit.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and creaminess. I like it.

Overall: this is a good winter warmer. There are some flavor characteristics which are not strictly to my taste, but for the most part it is a pretty enjoyable beer.

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Photo of chumba526
2.96/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appears deep brown. A thin off-white head appears on top.

It smells on caramel/ toffee and earthy grassy hops. Nothing else is really going on in the smell.

It tastes of caramel and toffee. There is a bit of a grassy, mildly hoppy aftertaste to the beer as well. I get a bit of a hoppy citrus finish to the beer that goes nicely with the caramel undertones. The beer does not taste bad but there is not much going on with this beer. It is a forgettable beer.

The carbonation is moderate high but there is a smooth texture to the beer.

The drinkability is limited. It is a fairly heavy beer and it is rough around the edges so I would only drink one glass of this beer.

Overall an ok beer but nothing impressive: about average for the style.

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Photo of shelby415
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of cswhitehorse
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The humbug pours a dark dark amber color with a 2 finger foam head with some good retention.

I didn't get much from the nose of the beer. A little bit of spice possibly nutmeg and some matliness.

The taste hit you in the face with a good abv kick. I felt this one was a little too powerful for a winter warmer. It bordered on a strong or edge of a barleywine.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Bookseeb
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark brown in color with a thin easily dissipating head. Smell of biscuity roasted malt, dark fruits and alchohol that hits the scences. Taste has that biscuity roasted malt, light in the dark fruit with a grapefruit bitterness till the end. Mouthfeel is medium/full with light carbonation. If you like roasty, this is a good winter warmer for you.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

"People don't like the true and simple; they like fairy tales and humbug."

--Edmond de Goncourt

Dark burnt orange with a hint of brick red when backlit with morning sunshine. A thick slice of pale caramel colored foam rests up top. It's tight-bubbled enough to last and is doing a fine job laying down BB-shot sheets of lace.

Neither the SOB website nor the label say that spices were added. The nose is proof that they weren't. There isn't much going on here. Just a little dark caramel (from Special B malt) and a musky-earthy hoppiness. Hopes aren't high at this point.

Old Humbug was brewed to be an English-style winter warmer. It's too hoppy-bitter to fit into that category, even multiple months after the bottling date. It's difficult to pick the closest style because the flavor profile is so all-over-the-place. How about a hop-laced BSDA without the Belgian yeast?

Flavors include steely caramel, unsweet raisin paste, bitter black tea leaves and a shot of Absolut. If the brewery wanted to use so many hops, they could have picked something better than Challenger, Glacier, Newport and U.S. Goldings. My suggestion would be any (or all) of the following: different hops, Belgian yeast, assorted spices, and better alcohol masking.

Warming helps to some extent, although there's still no flavor hook and the beer's alpha acid and alcohol harshness is beginning to wear on my taste buds.... and I say that as a lover of both hoppy beer and big beer. More time in the cellar probably would have helped.

Mouthfeel joins appearance at the top of Mt. Highlight. OH isn't quite as full as most beer of this ABV, but it has a firm creaminess and dialed-in carbonation that is enjoyable.

Old Humbug Winter Warmer tries awfully hard, but it misses the 'big winter beer' mark in the end. If Southern Oregon decides to bring it back next year, here's hoping they make some changes. If you're aging a bottle, give it more time to mellow.

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Photo of olmatty
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pouts a very deep brown, which when held to light has beautiful shades of burgundy. head is very low and light tan.

Smell- A very light aroma creamy malt and yeast slight hop presence

Taste- Bold and complex malts. Lots of german malt base with sweet caramel, molasses, chocolate, earthiness, licorice, spice and a slight lingering hop bitterness and some slight creaminess.

Mouthfeel- Chunky body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability- Delicious and palate filling

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Old Humbug from Southern Oregon Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 22 ratings