Old Flame | DuClaw Brewing Company

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Old FlameOld Flame

Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-05-2004

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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 93
Photo of RollBounce
2.21/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Full lacing, but an obnoxious nose, bourbon coconut, and a blue cheese powder that is transferred directly to the palate, thick mouth feel. Overall A disjointed beer is all I can say may be better if rested. Was the only beer of my samples that I did not like.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
2.28/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, semi-cloudy copper/amber color with a quarter of a finger of white head that immediately dissolved away into an extremely thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Interesting aroma. Fruity, sour, perfumy, funky, barnyard-y. Almost unpleasant.

Taste: As odd as the beer’s aroma. Very fruity and a little sour. Very yeasty in that Belgian-funk, barnyard way. I get notes of citrus, leather, floral notes of straw.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.0%, there’s no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: I’m not a fan of this beer at all. Too funky and weird for me. Sorry DuClaw, while I love a lot of your other beers, this one’s not for me.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.68/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a mostly clear copper color. The head sucks - not even a finger high (eggshell shade) and crap retention. No real lacing, either. Frankly, this isn't much to look at.

S: Wow, this seems pretty treacly to me. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and vanilla comprises most of the aroma. Some musty mineral water detracts harshly at first, but thankfully seems to calm down some. In its stead, it's replaced with some fruity esters. The more it warms up, the more estery it becomes. I still think it's too sweet, but there is some promise within the aroma.

T: It starts decently enough: fruit esters hit the palate first. It kind of goes to crap afterwards. Why? Because it finishes with a one-two 'combination' of must and plastic. It's not something that works - rather, it's something that makes me go "why is this in my beer?!" There are some faint rumblings of brown sugar and molasses on the finish, too. Take away the off notes, and this would be an okay sweet beer.

M: It's a weird mix of sweet and astringent on the tongue, and it doesn't mesh well. My tongue is left both overly dried out and overly coated in residual sugar. Add in low carbonation, and this beer doesn't just taste messy, it FEELS messy.

O: Every once in a while, DuClaw will surprise me quite a bit - X-1, for instance. All this does, however, is remind me exactly why I don't buy 6 packs from these guys. If these guys put as much effort into the main line as they do on their limited stuff...well, let's just say I'd be doing a lot more local drinking. Wait, it reminds me of another thing to say. I HATE CRYSTAL MALT! This tastes like it's freakin' loaded with the stuff. Both are good enough reasons for me to never need to drink this again.

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Photo of yeagerbm
2.75/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thought this one would go great with my seared tuna. I was not impressed (with the beer), but food was pretty good. For a micro brew this one is sub-par.

The appearance was avg. Not bad color, clear and amber colored. while tasting i noticed some caramel malt and roasty grain and spice but it was too light on the malt.the mouthfeel was thin and unappealing. Average drinkability.

Update: I got an email from the brewmaster explaining they are temporarily having the beers contract brewed while building another brewery. This is why some of the single batch seasonals have less body than usual. I'll have to head back in a few weeks and give it a try again.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Auburn with a small head and no lacing.

S - Syrupy caramel, tart white grapes and a little vanilla. The sweetness really dominants and isn't really inviting. Not much to this odor.

T - Predominantly caramel malt with a slight coffee to balance, not that sweet however. A vinous character and a bit of coriander pepper flavor are decernable. The aftertaste is caramelly sweet, with both coffee and hop bitterness in a nice proportion.

M - Smooth, thick and refreshing. Not too shabby on the mouthfeel.

D - This old ale was a bit of a dissapointment. I will probably never have this beer again, but I did like it enough to want to visit DuClaw to try their other offerings in the future.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Bright autumn orange pour with a skinny beige head short on hold. Dark, opaque nature with no signs of visible carbonation. Minimal lace decoration.

S: Blood orange, cherries with a sweet fruitiness and sweet toasted nature of grains. Some herbal, parsely, and stalky stems. Moderate rate of strength.

T: Dry stalky notes, dry powdery grain dust, bittering musky hops with floral musky citrus. Woodsy, spruce and dry pine follows. Green melon fruitiness, dry toasted caramel finish.

M: syrupy fullness wit granular feel, rough medium bodied textured with a flowery coating on the tongue.

O: Overall didnt care for this to much flavor wise. No bright moments or transistion of flavor, montone, dull, bittering with a flat complexity. Mid C offering that flames out excitement wise.

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Photo of Gavage
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear bronze in color with a thin 1/2" head. No lacing develops, and carbonation is low.

Smell: sweetness abounds along with a hint of hop bitterness.

Taste: brown sugar, caramel candy, hint of cracked pepper, and some mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smooth at the finish. The sweetness briefly lingers on the tongue after swallowing. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: this is not a session beer, and one was more than enough. Not that it was a bad beer, there were other DuClaw beers that are better in my opinion.

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Photo of stevoj
3.34/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at BelAir location. Sharp malt backbone, some peat and smoky nose. Crisp, medium brown ale with thin off white head. Somewhat dry finish and smoke remains on the palate.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.42/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a very malt-forward brew. Loads of sweetness, and I'd have to say too much so. I think some hop influence would be a good thing for this beer and would help it balance out, if done right. The beer is smooth and easy enough to drink. It's just not really that interesting.

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Photo of jkeefe1800
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Smell is intense, strong sweet malt scent little bit of wood. flavor is strong but smooth almost oaky, roasted notes come thru finish is smooth with a slight bit of acidity. Acidity makes you pause mimics heat and makes you want to come back for more. Overall a decent beer but not anything overall exceptional.

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Photo of Samp01
3.44/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a cloudy brown with a medium beige head. Aroma is sweet caramel malt, toffee, grains with mild fruity notes. Taste same as aroma with some mild bitterness. Palate is a medium body. moderate carbonation. Finish is caramel malt, grains, some mild toffee notes and fruity with some bitterness on the end foe balance. This brew seems a bit lacking for an old ale. Overall it still not too bad, a good brew.

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Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, a bit of sweetness, a hint of smoke. Taste is malts, caramel, alcohol, some notes of fruit. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at DuClaw in Bowie, MD.

The beer is orange hued with subtle copper highlights. The head is thin and off white hued, leaving sparse lacing on the glass.

The aroma consists mainly of butterscotch candies, followed by light toffee, fruit, malt, alcohol.

The flavor is decent. Slightly sweet throughout, with butterscotch candies again playing a big role. I happen to like butterscotch quite a bit, so perhaps I am bothered by this less than most.

Lighter in body than I would have thought, with some fruity malt esters lingering in the back.

Overall, this was ok. Worth a try.

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Photo of Suds
3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a clear and dark mahogany liquid. The head is small, but with reasonable lace. Woody and nutty aromas. Walnut shell, roasted malt, and some distant hops. A bit of alcohol as well, but light. Drying and flavorful. It could have more body, but is reasonably god.

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Photo of ckollias
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this on tap at Duclaw in Bowie, MD

A: Pours a clear amber hue with a very thin white head that quickly dissipates and leave no lace.

S: Sweet caramel malt followed by some dark fruit notes.

T: Very caramel malt just like the smell followed by some toffee and dark fruits.

M: Medium body and minimal carbonation.

O: Just a so-so beer for me – duclaw has much better options.

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Photo of philbe311
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Two fingers worth of crisp slightly fluffy froth with a tinge of an orange hue... Average retention gives way to a splotchy thin veil of lace in the center of the glass and a thin collar... The color is a mix of light caramel and dark amber... A mix of moderate paced carbonation with some quick speedy bubbles mixed in...

S - Light grape juice... Assorted dark fruits... A light caramel scent... A bit of brown sugar... Just a kiss of molasses.. Simple, but quite pleasant...

T - Much different than I expected... Lots of earthy and woody flavors... The sweetness of the molasses is next to cut through... The dark fruit notes are present, but take a definite back seat...

M - Medium bodied... Pretty smooth... Brisk carbonation... A bit chalky and gritty on the finish...

D - A decent beer which should be no surprise from the fine folks at DuClaw... However, I'm not sure it's a great representation of the style... To me it's a a decent but unremarkable brew without a true category... While the individual parts aren't bad, the total package is rather average...

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.69/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Cloudier than I was expecting, dark amber color, with half a finger of golden-tan head; it faded fast, and left minimal lacing.

S: Aroma is dominated by strong aromas of toasted grain. I detect sweet, ripe pear and hints of pepper, plus some floral notes as well.

T: Like the aroma, the taste is also dominated by the grain, with a rich, bread-crust flavor up front, melding into sweet, malted grain. There's a hint of plum for a fleeting moment, then grassy flavors come to the front; these, in turn, yield to moderately bitter hops that lingers well into the clean finish.

M: Crisp, well-carbonated, with a hint of dryness at the end.

O: It began like a brown ale, and finished like a pilsner. A good beef to pair with a hamburger or similar American fare.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Snagged a single for $3.50 at the House of 1,000 beers.

A - Color is a very clear deep amber brown with a 1/4 inch of head that settles back rather quickly to just a sticky lace ring. Very sticky indeed.
S - Smells of molasses, caramel like malt, and brown suagr. Something about old ales reminds me of oak barrels with the smell...
T - Has a pretty good balance of sweet malts, molasses, and brown sugar goodness. Hops come in the finish giving it a sort of acidic twang but quickly to a sweet finish. Not a bad beer at all.
M - Medium bodied and very drinkable.
Overall quite a good old ale, with balanced flavors and a somewhat easy drinking ABV. Too bad on the price point or I would get it again.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.74/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Off tap at the brewery this beer was a copper/bronze color with one finger of khaki-colored head. The retention was not very good and it left on the smallest rings of lacing off the collar. The aroma was of caramel malt, toffee candy, alcohol and a little dark fruit. The flavors were dominated by the sweet malt that produced a lot of caramel, toffee and butterscotch notes but behind that there was some more dry character of toasted malt and a nice, semi-dry finish of nuts. The booze was well concealed and it was an easy-going, well-balanced old-timer, like Mr. Belvedere. Get it? No? Rotten kids know nothing of the classics… The mouthfeel was good, the body medium and the carbonation a bit light but still appropriate.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not a bad brew at all. Kind of funky in its dry taste, but not off-putting. I think I like this at first sip more than when it warmed, but still a decent beer with a fair variety of spicy and malty flavors. Just seems to miss the mark of a real good beer by a slight margin. Yet, a bit of a surprise in its flavors.

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Photo of weeare138
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a transparent copper toned amber with a small off white cap that slowly fades into a mild head. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of pecans, caramel, toffee, ripe fruit, and a touch of cocoa.
Taste is of the aromas with a sweet malt flavor that carries throgh as sweet caramelized brown sugar and pecan pie.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, smooth, and dry.

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Photo of oline73
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at the Arundel Mills location.

Appearance: Pours a reddish amber that is slightly cloudy. There is a half finger of off white head and pretty decent retention.

Smell: Definitely dominated by the malt with some mild smoke, sweet dark fruit, and some caramel.

Taste: Sweet malt with dark fruit and caramel. The smoke in the smell doesn't really show up here. The finish is just a touch bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a nice malt forward beer that hides the alcohol quite well. I would definitely have another.

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Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is an oak-aged firkin of Old Flame, served as part of a one-time release. The ale is served near room temperature.

Appearance: Unlike the original Old Flame, which is deep auburn and clear, this version is intensely cloudy, so much so that the color appearas completely different, more of a deep brown color.

Smell: Upon first arriving, the beer gave off no smell. As time passed and the beer warmed further, it took on a nice sugary bourbon aroma.

Taste: The oak aging has imparted a definite bourbon flavor on the ale, giving it a sugary, buttery sweetness that reminds me of a good whiskey. In my opinion, the aging has completely changed the character, removing all traces of the strong ale Old Flame flavors.

Mouthfeel: The ale's sweetness sits well on the palate. The buttery sweetness can be a little much at times.

Drinkability: The oak aging imparts a sweetness that can be cloying at times. On the whole though, this is a tasty, well-made and well-aged beer.

Previous Reviews:
11-Jan-06, On-tap, 4.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 4.0, 3.95

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A- a light red/copper color with a one finger head that leaves a string lacing around my pint. Clear as well.

S- just like the bottle says; fruity esters and caramel malts with sweetness as the molasses.

F- some dark candied fruit/cherry maybe. caramel malts and molasses.

M- medium bodied brew that leaves a nice malt flavor in your mouth. It goes down smooth as well.

O- not a bad strong ale and packs a nice little punch to get you feeling happy. good flavor as well.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.02/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark amber color with very faint white head. Some lacing.

S- Caramel malt with slight fruit notes.

T- Same as it smells, caramel malt at the beginning with a dried fruit finish.

M- Crisp and clean, well carbonated.

O- Good beer for the style, nothing mind-blowing but solid.

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Old Flame from DuClaw Brewing Company
3.57 out of 5 based on 93 ratings.
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