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

very good
301 Reviews
Read the review
Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) AleOlde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale

Brewed by:
Greene King / Morland Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-14-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 301 | Ratings: 459
Photo of Dave_Sutula
5/5  rDev +25%
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.

 297 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.91/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

deep, dark mahogany. a little head at first but dwindling to virtually nothing, although it does lace fully down the sides when tilted....
last guy said it smells like vanilla and wet grass and really hit it on the head with that description...
taste is a sweet malt-y, vanilla-y. very nice and very tasty, but i agree with the other guy in that the 'aging' might be the brew's downfall. it seems to create a slight funkiness, and a tad bitter that just doesnt mesh well. but that only takes it down from a perfect score. this brew has some wonderful qualities and is very pleasing. it feels a bit thin but that can easily be taken in stride.
overall, this is a beautiful drink. and at 6% it's relatively promising. i love the sweetness- it's like a dopplebock but has an entirely different set of parameters. i have a suspiciousness against myself for wanting to award another set of strong 5's in two beers in a row. and after much consideration, i have to admit this is an outstanding brew and i have no 2nd thoughts in rating this very highly. let me know what you think. i recommend this completely and will purchase a few more tomorrow to affirm what i feel now!

 1,168 characters

Photo of goochpunch
4.84/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured vigorously I managed to get a 2 finger head that eventually became no more than a thin white ring. Deep ruby color with hardly any carbonation. Beautiful aromas of brown sugar, dark fruit, vanilla, and butterscotch. Flavors of figs, raisins, cherries, oak, vanilla, and a touch of alcohol. Pleasant bitterness works with the sweetness of the beer quite nicely. Very smooth moutfeel, drying in the finish. The finish really reminded me of wine tannins.

Wonderful beer. One of the things I love I love about it is that the finishing bitterness is so subtle as not to totally and abrasively balance the malts out, rather the flavors flowed from sweet to mildly bitter. Fantastic.

 686 characters

Photo of nortmand
4.8/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

“Aged in Oak for two years” Cool.

Pours dark, ruddy brown-red with a foamy tan head.

Aroma has solid strong brown ale character. A bit roasty, with a lot of caramel and a hoppy edge. And then, there is that sneaky little sour acidity in there. Kind of a light acetic character.

Up front, there is a light caramel sweetness. This quickly turns into a funky acetic character on the back of the tongue. This is strangely accompanied by some hoppy bitterness and a good hit of roast. Strange, yet very alluring.

Medium body and relatively lightly carbonated, this beer has something for everyone. On one hand, you have a rich, flavorful brown ale. On the other is a refreshing acidity. Either inspired by or the inspiration for Flemish browns.

 756 characters

Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.8/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Much darker than I was expecting but still a beautiful beer. Deep garnet red with just a tiny little bit of head that is quite persistant.

Definately get some oak in the nose. The wood melds nicely with rich malt notes. Distinct caramel notes. Just a hint of fruityness. Just barely there.

Very nice flavor. Very full and rich and complex for an English ale. Nice caramel up front which mingles with distinct oakyness in the mid palate. Also get a distinct nuttiness in there as well. Definately some hop bitterness in the finish with just a touch of astringnecy. Actually finishes quite dry but still with the oak I think. All in all really terrific flavors. Very rich but not overwhelming. Very nice brew.

Good mouthfeel. Fairly thin for a beer of this richness and complexity but not too thin. I bet this is fantastic served from a cask. Would probably make my perception of the mouth feel change dramatically.

Quite drinkable. I wish I had some more. Not cloying at all. That dry oaky finish keeps me coming back for more.

Good mouthfeel.

 1,062 characters

Photo of Monsteruss
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The foam was dark wheat in color, bubbly and smooth with nice lacing. It had a almost opaque color with a ruby red tone with burgandy and brown highlights. It had a very deep roasted barley and fruit aroma underlined by hints cherries, carmel and toasted wood. It's taste was a very deep toasted oak, barley, fruit, with a carmel toffee hops accent. Mouthfeel - full-bodied. Drinkability - I loved this beer! Deep, rich, full of complex flavors and aromas. This would be a perfect holiday beer during the winter.

 512 characters

Photo of Offa
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is wodnerful.

It's deep ruby red with a slight brownish hue, topped with a big, dense, light tan head slowly shrinking to a thin, lasting foamy top and a little lacing.

The aroma is earthy toasted bread, fruit, caramel with hints of chocolate, port, pine, juniper licorice, burnt sugar, pine.

The taste is similar, rich, complex, yet fairly subtle. There's a clear light bitterness up front and in the finish, more mellow in the middle. The palate is full and complex, and lively. It's easy to drink, complex, and very flavourful.

 541 characters

Photo of John
4.73/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely brilliant deep mahogany/ruby color…perhaps even lovelier than the gem itself. Magnificent malty and fruity aroma. Complex flavors consisting of a deliciously hefty malt backbone, huge fruity grape, plum, raisin and toasted caramel. Hops are only for balance, though some faint piney notes can be detected. Alcohol gently warms the body and soul. Mouthfeel is medium-full, carbonation is low-moderate. Mmmm…grape juice burps. This brew is a unique blend of 2 year old oak conditioned and new ales. Incredible beer, an automatic classic. A must try, seek this out.

 575 characters

Photo of StevieW
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow did this beer surprise me. I expected a pale english style ale. The color is a dark caramel with a thin light tan head, that quickly evaporates. The smell is simialer to a stout or dopplebock and its appearance is too. The first tast is a strong heavy roasted caramel that finishes with a crisp hop flavor. This is the most complex beer I have ever tasted, and it is very very good ! Nice warming finish from the alcohol. I would keep this one for special occasions.

 470 characters

Photo of fx20736
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a nonic served at cellar temp.

Deep dark garnet with a thin brown sugar colored head that leaves decent lacing.

Aroma: winey alcohol laid over some dark fruits and toasted caramel malts

Mouthfeel: slippery and smooth

Taste: malty, toffee like sweetness, dark fruity with a certain woodiness.

Notes: Reminds me of Yorkshire Stingo a little. This is a tasty malty sipper.

 408 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It poured thick and the color was a clear reddish brown, with a tan head and nice lace on the glass. When first smelled, I got a french vanilla and candy aroma. The taste of chocolate, molasses and roasted malts, with a hint of yeast. This is a smooth ale, with a little bitterness in the end to balance out his fine beer. As it warms up I started getting a different flavor, like french vanilla and other complex flavors. What a pleasant surpise to find this beer. Everytime I take a sip, the flavor changed as this beer warms up.

 531 characters

Photo of bditty187
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark burgundy hue with snippets bronze from the penetrating light, it is awesome eye candy. The beige head never development much height, not that I was expecting it too. It topped off at a half finger, which quickly faded to a soapy residue. Did not lace. The nose on this ale is wonderful; great potency initially, the aroma, at its best, is literally mouthwatering. The strength does die a little in time. The bouquet is wine-like upfront, followed by oak, light but noticeable raw alcohol (like brandy), malts, and a hint of buttery-cream. The palate is not as biting or raw as some Old Ales; this could be an attribute of the blending of the two ales (see the back of the label) or I have an older bottle. Anyway it is very unique tasting, malty upfront but that is quickly followed by a mellow woody-winey-creamy taste then a kiss of alcohol follows; the finish is divine, seriously. Figs and fruit, subtle sweetness, distant and suppressed hops (aged?), a kiss of wood, a note of dry bitterness. Yeah, it is that damn good. The carbonation is light but appropriate, medium-full body, all in all, a very respectable mouthfeel. A tremendous quaff, something to savor, I would love to drink this on a regular basis. I snagged a couple bottles of this fine brew in Des Moines for $3.50 each. I wish I bought more. Recommended. Seek it out.

 1,342 characters

Photo of HoustonTX
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

-Olde Suffolk English Ale-

Wonderful pour, poured a dark brown, deep and enticing. Nice large cream white head. The first whiff smelled of lovely aged bourban- alot of oak in the nose. I procedded to take many other sniffs. The next one was a nice roasted malt smell, along with some nice dark fruit notes. Now on to the taste, the taste is incredible. Mellow and incredibly smooth. Upfront has a flavorful roasted malt taste, with a caress of a light nuttiness. This is closely followed by a blast of nice dark fruits. The flavor is semi-sweet at this point. Shortly after a strong beautiful oak taste comes creeping in. Giving the drink a sherry/cognac sipping sense about it. Which leads us to the hops in this brew. In my opinion they are balanced to perfection, and there is no denying that. Perfect balance overall, delightfully mellow and smooth, and the balance is right on. The aftertaste leaves a light fruit/hops/alcohol note, which lingers for a second.

This is one beer that makes me proud to be a Beer Advocate. A must try!

 1,044 characters

Photo of mclanem
4.56/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was one of the best beers I have ever tasted. It poured nice and dark with a good head. the smell was pleasing. the taste was the best part on taking a mouthful it covered all of the tastes perfectly in my opinion, slight coffee flavor. If you have a chance to try this beer do so it will not let you down.

 316 characters

Photo of putnam
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Following two of my favorite reviewers. A sincere honor.

My wife hollers approvingly, "It smells like chocolate milk." No argument from me. It smells like chocolate and milkweed milk. And thistle, and leather, and cherry pipe tobacco. Not bad.

The suave flavors ride cooly along a swell of rich, mink fur-like foam. They contain notes of cherry tootsie pops, Scotch, caramel, cocoa, pine and orange marmelade.

Dry. Plush. Perfect texture. Like stagecraft.

Happy Halloween.

 484 characters

Photo of ClimbStuff
4.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Dark Carmel in appearance, hint of ruby when held to the light.

S: Delicious smell of toffee, some roasted notes

T: Complex, initially seems like a mono-tone beer, but then a distinct but subtle roasty flavor, followed by a pleasant "hang"

M: Fantastic. Sits on the palate, medium body, little to no carbonation

D: Rich flavor makes the beer delicious but not super drinkable. This is a sipper beer not a "guzzler" beer

 426 characters

Photo of bighoppymonster
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany with very little carbonation and a tan head. A single finger head quickly setlles down to barely cover the surface of the beer. Rich sweetness in aroma, but rather faint and hard to pick up. Very smooth, not too heavy with some smokiness. The flavour envelopes the entire palate as you sip on this one. A lot of character with hints of coffee and caramel as it warms a bit. Overall a fantastic Old Ale. My favourite style, and this is definately one to seek out. A terribly enjoyable brew.

 511 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pint bottle pours a dark and clear ruby mahogany body with a small beige head that falls into an enticing film and collar with minimal sheet lacing.
Aroma is robust and complex. Molasses and toffee open a powerful malt character, with fresh baked bread, herbal hops, fresh concord grapes, plums, raisins, and vanilla oak tones adding to the bountiful bouquet.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied,creamy, with appropriate low carbonation.
Several layers of malt complexity are featured in the taste. Toffee, molasses, and maple syrup are apparent, but never overly sweet. Aged oak notes let you know that this has been in the barrel for awhile. Prunes, raisins, and fresh Concord grapes lead the fruity component. Some mild chocolate is noted in the middle, and some dry herbal hops bitterness emerges at room temperature. Wow! Lots of complexities in this one. Finish is slightly bitter, but you're left with an aftertaste that evokes all the many flavors enjoyed as you plow through the glass.
Lacks the punch to be a winter warmer, but the drinkability is excellent. An exceptional array of flavors are displayed from start to finish. Give me three bottles of this and I could spend a full afternoon and evening trying to decipher the complexities of this magnificent ale. This is one of the better English ales I've enjoyed recently. I look forward to getting my paws on a few more of these.

 1,391 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is has been down in the cellar a couple of years and it looks like tawny bootpolish with a slight haze. The nose is all old fruit and old hops with a iron undertone. The taste is complex as hell with tobacco, dried fruit and a solid malt backbone. A pleasant metallic twang sits on the back of your tongue with the finish. This is much like a Brown from Belgium in its continual ability to challenge and delight the senses.

 428 characters

Photo of hustlesworth
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- clear big bottle, samuel smith's imperial pint glass. the first thing i notice is the pancake batter-like tan head sitting atop this handsome dark brew. it's clear, rosewood in color, and very appealing. the lace on the low side, with only a few swirlies here and there. foam does remain however, at a nice sudsy ring to the bottom of the glass.

S- it has a little bit of that 'clear bottle that's been sitting on the shelf a while' effect, but giving it a moment to breathe sure helps. nicely woodsy with oak and vanilla, caramel, toffee, and burnt cookies. earthy and herbal hops provide a nice contrast. half way through the glass the aroma peaks and becomes delightfully sweet and earthy at the same time.

T- all woodsy and dark chocolate, this is one rich and delicious brew. devil's food cake comes to mind with a hint of vanilla sweetness. dark squishy and dark dried fruits linger in there somewhere, but the flavors are fleeting as the other complexities move in and out. raisin, prune, and currant notes layer over the deep woodsy and burnt flavors. soil, stone, cedar, and black pepper appear in the finish with a pleasant mild hop bitterness. something in there reminds me of the lightly peaty finish of the glenlivet and it goes very well with the flavor profile.

MF- creamy and soft, the gentle carbonation rolls away the dew. it's an almost cask ale type of feel and there's a drying yet coating feeling on the cheeks and a lingering almost powdery character.

D- a real treat even though it's probably past its prime. i love old woodsy things, things that feel antique. not like decorations and shit, i mean like old ales and kellerbier. this one from greene king definitely satisfies.

 1,707 characters

Photo of jreitman
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice reddish brown color with light brown head with reddish hues. Aroma is very enticing. Really unique flavor with quite a bit of complexity... every sip seems to bring out different flavors. Hint of sourness in the finish. Very easily drinkable. Didn't know what to expect when I opened the bottle, but I was pleasantly surprised.

 337 characters

Photo of diablo14
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had the good fortune to try a bottle of the 2000 vintage for the first time tonight at the sherlock holmes and what can i say? an early contender for beer of the year. its a dead set ripper of a brew. a beer i could rip into all night long even tho its quite strong in flavor and strength.

glorious deep ruby color, thinnish head, and low in fizz which is absolutely perfect. smell was woody, fruity and had strong caramel and rich buttery notes. fantastic! flavor comes as advertised, witha marvellous complexity many beers could only dream of. washes over the tongue in sublime fashion and had my taste buds doing a two step in no time. oaky, buttery, stronger toffee presence in the mouth and raisins/currants were also right up there on the palate. all the while superbly smooth, no trace of the ABV and a subtle hopping which finished things off perfectly. sensational!

ive rolled out the superlatives here i know, but geez this is a fine brew. anyone who comes across suffolk vintage would be a madman not to give it a nudge. a classic example of a strong english ale. it sits along the likes of adnams broadside, fullers 1845 and ESB as the best in the biz in the genre.

 1,183 characters

Photo of xymyl
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vibrant reddish/brown in color with a thin off-white head little carbonation.

Aroma is sweet and sour, very fruity with a strong cherry note, vanilla and old oak a lot going on here but I just want to get back to the beer so I'll be quick about the review.

Taste very balanced with malty, fruity, and other dark sugars and toasty notes all sharing the stage at the same time. Juicy and fruity at the front end moving toward a soft vanilla cream note then moving to the darker flavors with a soft bitterness, at the end a light sweet and sour note mixes with a faint whisp of burnt sugar.

Light to medium light in body, very good drinking at a slow to moderate pace, although if your the type to throw it back fast it won't kick. But that just ain't right.

 764 characters

Photo of kinger
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I debated for some time in the store if I should purchase a bottle of this or not. I'm glad that I decided to! Pours a dark red almost purple with a decent head and good lacing. I let the beer warm up in the glass for a bit, the aroma is very fragrant. Feels smooth going down and finishes even smoother. Very drinkable indeed, and the flavor is nothing short of spectacular. The blend of two ales must be the key with this one cause there is a fresh hoppy taste followed directly by a strong smooth burst. Almost finishes like a whiskey or a dry wine, I can't quite put my finger on it but it works well. This beer is a bit pricey for my liking but it worth every penny to enjoy once in a while.

 696 characters

Photo of beerguy101
4.46/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark black color, medium head. A full bodied English Ale. This beer is a blend of 2 year old aged in oak beer with fresh young beer. Rich full malts, very complex flavor. Some hop spiciness. Rich, robust complex flavor. Nice taste. Mouthfeel is full and complex. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Very interesting beer.

 344 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
4 out of 5 based on 459 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.