Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale
Greene King / Morland Brewery

Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) AleOlde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale
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English Old Ale
Ranked #35
Ranked #6,473
4.01 | pDev: 10.72%
Greene King / Morland Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Very Good
Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) AleOlde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale
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Reviews: 311 | Ratings: 477 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jkblr
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL clear undated bottle (it did have an oxygen absorbing cap) poured into a snifter. The beer was warmed from fridge temp for an hour before pouring. The beer pours bright medium brown with chestnut highlights and light khaki head on a fairly hard pour. The head recedes to fat, splotchy ring and leaves some lacing. The aroma is fruitcake with plum, raisin, cherry and molasses. The taste is oxidized (almost on purpose) with subdued notes of cherry, darker malts, wood, red wine and burnt sugar. The finish is mostly dry with minimal bitterness and a tart aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with very low carbonation. Overall, very good. I'm assuming this bottle is quite old. It was pulled from the back of a shelf at room temperature earlier this year at a grocery I visit a couple times a year. They have the best import selection I've ever seen, but still use stickers for pricing and have no inventory control system. I've bought 10 year old beer there. I would love to try on draft or a guaranteed fresh bottle. I'm betting the flavors would have a lot more pop.

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Photo of stevoj
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draught at pub in Borough. Aroma is nutty and sweet, taste has up front elements of caramel and toffee. A nice break from the usual bitter style. Flavor to enjoy...

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Photo of drmeto
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

-pours a clear ruby-brown with a small to medium,foamy,sand-coloured head
-medium carbonation visible
-plums,raisins,syrupy,dates,cooked potatoes
-Follows the nose + spicy,bready
-finishes dry
-medium carbonation
-light to medium body
-slight alcohol noticeable
A really good Ale.It reminded me of some Doppelbocks in profile.I kinda missed the Toffee flavours/Aromas i get a lot in English Ale styles.

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Photo of sokol_1993
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: dark brown, with a white creamy head that doesn't dissipate that quickly. A lot of lacing around. Lively, lot of bubbles.
Smell: Malty, biscuity predominantly.
Taste: sweetness of malt, honey, biscuit hit you first thing in the beginning. Then the bitterness of the hop hit, but only lightly, balancing out the sweetness. Finally, you can taste the dark fruit, plum, cherry.
Feel: happiness in a bottle. Quite warming too!

Great English brew, of the greatest beer tradition. Lovely, lovely!

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Photo of Brolo75
2.75/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

16.9 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours a rich dark amber, mahogany red color with no head or lacing, low carbonation however the bottle was overly carbonated when I opened it, had to put it in the sink to allow it finish bubbling, looks flat, looks a little thin as well.

A: Very little aroma, caramel, toffee, sweet stone fruit, dates, light oak, not much else, very subtle aromas.

T: Caramel malts, toffee, light stone fruits, dates, plums, no oak on the taste, not what I was expecting, I hoping for rich, deep, layered flavors, not there at all.

M: Medium bodied, it's flat, no carbonation at all on the mouthfeel.

O: This must be a bad bottle, it exploded when I popped the cap, overflowed and I had to set it in the sink, very little aroma and flavor, mouthfeel is flat, not good at all. It came in a clear bottle not sure if that affected the quality.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Clear bottle, hopefully dodging the skunk monster here. Vintage undetermined.

Deep garnet red body, with excellent brown mahogany like wood colors. Head creation is about a little more than a finger, and a khaki color like cream consistency. Collar is made quite thick pencil size and creamy too, with a thin whispy puck showing quite a decent amount of body clarity. Some leopard like lacing adds some nice eye candy as well.

So for the nose is there any light struck quality? At first I thought there might be, but it doesn't seem so with some exploration. Small amounts of crisp toffee like aromas, and touches of berry like fruit. A small muted toasty nearly nut like quality but has more wood quality to it. Very creamy sensing, like a matching strawberry and cream character that starts to dominate. Very neat brew. Faint touch possibly of skunk.

Palate seems to stick to basics, but done real nicely. Light crisp body matching a waffery toffee flavor and slight caramel bar quality. Much of the hinted fruit quality seems not noticeable, more of a light wet mineral and hard water like presence which gives only so much depth. Faint wood char, slightly sticky resin flavors as well. Quick drinking, but creates a desire for more.

I call Session drinking old ale! Feels almost light and poundable, but with far more power and richness.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(16.9 oz bottle, no date, bought at SL... poured into a teku)

L: very deep ruddy burgundy-colored liquid - bit hard to tell if there's any sediment afloat... about an inch of tan foam forms on the pour, but fades away to a thin collar, as expected... scab of dark sediment left in corner of bottle bottom

S: cloyingly deliciously-rich caramel (initially), chestnut, hint of spice... perhaps a whiff of light milk chocolate... hint of fresh oak and caramelized wood fibers... faint note of an almost bourbon-like booze... subtle nuances soon die off, and what's left is mostly the caramel and some dried fig

T: first off, notably much less sweet than anticipated by the smell... bits of toasted toffee, leather, and roasted generic nut coated chased with a thin tail of caramel; woody and dry on the back end, with a minuscule vibration of bitter acorn lingering... pleasant dryness, but concurrently a tad dull in the aftertaste

F: certainly has a few more sinewy layers of malt body than an average Brit pale ale, but it arguably falls short of medium-bodied... not much carbonation to dazzle, but it lends just fine to letting it sit for a long while, sipping periodically

O: something a bit different, and I feel worth the wait (had this on my want list since I think 2010)... this is right up my alley and I'm looking forward to 1) maybe finding a fresher bottle within the next 7 years and 2) getting a couple more bottles to pair with funky cheeses

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 5/31/2016. Pours crystal clear dark ruby red/brown color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, toffee, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, vanilla, oak, raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, apple, sherry, and red grape; with light notes of cocoa, licorice, tobacco, leather, butterscotch, herbal, pepper, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready/light roasted malt, fruity yeast, and light-moderate oak notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, toffee, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, vanilla, oak, raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, apple, sherry, and red grape; with light notes of cocoa, licorice, tobacco, leather, butterscotch, herbal, pepper, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/roast bitterness and tannic oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, vanilla, oak, dark fruit, apple, sherry, herbal, light cocoa/leather/tobacco, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malt, fruity yeast, and light-moderate oak flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light dryness from lingering bitterness, lightly increasing through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and lightly sticky/chalky/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 6%. Overall this is a great old ale! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malt, fruity yeast, and light-moderate oak flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. Very well rounded and rich in complexity for the modest ABV. The diacetyl was a bit overpowering in the aromas at first, but seemed to mellow out as it warmed. A very enjoyable offering, and spot on style example.

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Photo of dcotom
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 1/2 liter bottle into a Craft Beer Club sampling glass. Dark caramel color with tan highlights and a thin off-white head that disappears quickly leaving no lacing to speak of. Aromas and flavors of dark malt, sweet caramel, and toffee, with notes of dried fruit. There are also hints of oaky sourness on the finish, with a little sticky sweetness lingering. A tad astringent, with a bit of tannin. Everything seems to come together quite well, resulting in a very good beer overall.

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Photo of FLima
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Copper color with a thin fluffy head with short retention.
Aroma with notes of caramels, butterscotch, earthy English hops and mild Port Wine
Flavor with notes of English earthy hops, toffee, a bit of nuts and chocolate, drops of Port Wine, plums, raisins, vanilla, licorice and wood. Dry aftertaste with a mild to medium bitterness.
Light bordering medium body with appropriate carbonation.
One of the reference for the style, easy to drink and balanced Old Ale. Not bold, bus still flavorful and differs from the crowd with some refreshing notes. This should go well with comfort food.

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Photo of scbeerman
3.61/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not bad as an interesting English blended ale. Very solid malt complexity without cloying sweetness; some noticeable bitterness on the back end improves drinkability. Raisin, toffee, fig, caramel, light coffee. However, a few notable flaws - primarily some grainy adjunct lager-like notes in there and a touch of diacetyl - make this just slightly above average on the whole.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle, Pours brown with reddish hue. Little to no head. Aroma is bread, biscuit, toffee, dark fruit, Raisins, prunes. Taste pretty much the same as the aroma. Very nice.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
2.85/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: pours a mahogany color with hints of garnet and blood red. a two to three finger head with low retention and leaving behind a fairly strong lacing. pretty much opaque due to the darkness. some points with intense brightness around the edges.

Smell: strong dark fruit character, plums and prunes. huge sweetness, vanilla, oak and toffee. some oxidized qualities come through with notes of leather and stewed plums

Taste: opens with toasted grains hinting at a roastiness. opens up with huge amounts of sweetness coming with notes of stewed plums, vanilla, toffee, and prunes. earthiness begins to come through with notes of oak and leather. ends with a slightly buttery note to possible grassiness.

Mouthfeel: velvety to buttery. heavy for the abv. cloyingly sweet.

Overall: I am a huge old ale fan but this one doesn't cut it. hard to tell if its a bad bottle due to the clear bottle, but I made every effort to buy as young and light protected as possible. it shows some great aged qualities but I believe this blend is a bit of a cop out. the young beer just doesn't have what it takes to stand up against the bold, and most likely delicious, older beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle named "Greene King Strong Suffolk Dark Ale" with a picture of a bull on the label. The beer is a dark, crystal clear, ruby coloring with no head. Pretty vibrant in the glass. Nose of very sweet, rich toffee, tangy caramel, sugary sweetness, fig, date, and hints of roast. Very sweet throughout. Flavors of plum, date, dark cherry, and roasted toffee, all on a bready and sugary backbone. Very slick, oily, robust bodied, with an old world fruit rich and sweet aftertaste. Rich, dark sweet linger on a slick, smooth finish. Big beer.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a half liter while sitting in my house London. Still working my way through so many English brews I haven't tried before moving here. Mostly interested in seeing how this compared to Old Peculiar. Brown...not much else to say...not much head or staying power, but could be the glass wasn't cleaned properly. Nose...light malt with that old ale stale hop smell. I find it odd that I'm starting to like that a little bit after smelling it in so many beers here. Overall flavor and mouthfeel seemed to style based on the other English old ales I've had here. Enjoyable, but probably not everyone's bag. Pretty good beer. I really need to do a side-by-side with Old Peculiar and will update this review if I get around to that.

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Photo of Paul_Hutchinson
2.53/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

So I feel a little unfair at reviewing this ale as it's not really my bag. Pours to a very dark red almost brown colour with a head which quickly disappears making this ale appear flat. Smells like Christmas cake with spices, malt and treacle coming through. Tastes lighter than its appearance would suggest and lingers long after swallowing. There will be people who love this beer but I'm not one of them but that's down to my taste rather than the ale

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Photo of Sinfull
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Dark brown color , good beige head. Aroma of fruits , malt , wood . Taste is malty , fruity with notes of oak and chocolate, hint of sourness. Light bitterness in finish. Very good beer

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Photo of The_Mad_Capper
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

500ml bottle from Yamaya. Clear, deep copper body with mahogany highlights; light tan, quickly diminishing head; thin crown lingers. Aroma includes rich toffee, dried fruit, molasses. Somewhat smokey, wine-like flavor dominates over nutty, toffee-like malt; moderate bitterness. Medium-light body; fairly low carbonation.

The smokey, vinous quality is welcome, though the malt presence is disappointingly subdued. Nevertheless, visually appealing with a terrific aroma and ultimately quite enjoyable.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle from Tesco (£1.79):
Chestnut brown & clear with a 1cm, fine bubbly head that's a light brown colour & fades to a thin, patchy lacing after about 35 seconds.

Sweet to start with dark, ripe fruits & sugar. Rich smelling with some figs, dates, musky notes & caramel malts with some toffee. Sweet without overpowering, some bread, faint vanilla & subtle hops also feature.

Quite sweet with sugar & fruits that includes raisin & figs. Vanilla & hops around the middle but neither manages to dominate. There is some toffee & caramel malts in there as well with some oak & butterscotch too.

Rich & very sweet with a smooth, medium body & light carbonation. The beer is quite complex & rich with an ever so slightly bitter finish.

Started very well with a lot of sweetness & various fruits & held up well right until then end when it started to fade ever so slightly. Not a bad beer at all but it falls short of being a great one.

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Photo of Dave_Sutula
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The only beer I've ever had that i would rate a 5 all around. Appearance is a rich dark red almost brown. Small head. Flavor is instantly fruitcake, then smoky and finished off by anise. Velvety texture, which only enhances. It is amazing. Even if you only try this once it is absolutely worth it.

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Photo of mhaugo
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16.9oz bottle decanted into a snifter. 6.0% ABV. Served at 55F and allowed to elevate to room temperature.

Appearance: Stained maple, brilliantly clear, rapidly fading head (4.5/5).

Aroma: Smells like an ancient, musty, dark old bar. There is an incredible lingering sweetness and fresh tobacco scent. This aroma definitely puts the “old” in Old Ale (4/5).

Taste: This beer features an incredible complexity considering its relatively low ABV. There’s an intresting staleness, followed by brown sugar, tobacco, caramel, dark cherries, and oak (4.25/5).

Mouthfeel: Full body with low carbonation (4/5)

Overall: It’s interesting to go directly from The Bruery’s Coton to Olde Suffollk. Both beers are great examples of the style, but on completely opposite ends of the spectrum for alcohol by volume. Both have been aged to perfection. Both have a minimal contribution from hops. Both have rich dark cherry and brown sugar flavors, but one clocks in at 14.5% and the other is 6.0%. It’s enlightening to see that these Old Ale flavors can develop, regardless of the alcohol. I guess you could call Olde Suffolk a “sessionalbe” Old Ale (4.25/5).

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Photo of MarkoNm
3.21/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color covered with a nice tan head and a decent retention.
The malty aroma is complemented by some sweet fruits and spices.
The taste is nicely bittery, you can also taste some nice spices, although can't say which.
Easily drinkable and smooth.

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Photo of vinicole
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%

Original score = 4.25

The more I drink it the more I like it.
I love the distant sour notes of the 5X and the way it balances with the fruity sweet maltiness of the rest of the blend. There are far too few brews that are so well bended as this one.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled and sadly not bottle conditioned because that would have really brought out a pretty good strong ale.
Pours a burnished bronze body with decent enough white head
Nice toffee aroma
Good barley sufar flavour

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Photo of SmashPants
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: a quality-look bottle, albeit clear (why do the English like clear glass so much??) with a stylish label.

Appearance: pours an almost cola-coloured clear red-brown with very minimal carbonation visible. A beige head jumps to two fingers and fizzes down to a solid cap.

Aroma: the aroma is dominated by toffee / caramel and some brown sugar. Some vanilla oak just hanging about in the background. A little demure.

Taste: the toffee and caramel are still definitely there, but some bittering hops and oak flavours are better integrated on the palate. Would still like to see a bit more fruits and hops.

Aftertaste: the almost overly sweet toffee and caramel backs off a bit and the bittering hop and oak pick up. Quite a nice finish.

Mouth feel: a medium body with moderate carbonation. Carries the flavour well, I reckon this would be killer if it was a bit drier on the finish.

Overall: a good, reasonably heavy English ale. It does seem like a stronger English mild ale, which is a nice change. I would have expected some more complexity however - as it is, it is more like a slightly richer Newcastle Brown, which is much cheaper. So, a nice beer, but nowhere near worth the price of AU$100 a case of 12 x 500mL.

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Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 477 ratings