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

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Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) AleOlde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale
473 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 473 |  Reviews: 310
Photo of Sammy
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very satisfying and elegant brew, that sizzles after you pour and retains a barleywine appearance. Tasty and a plus that its alcohol is dilluted. Interesting sour oak winey and malts and spice. Nicely hopped, understated. Had another bottle 15 months later and enjoyed its oaky and fruity characteristics (1999 edition).

Had the recent edition in early 2007, 2.3 years later and it was really noticeable woody, and well hopped. Do a side by side with oak aged AB. Still very nice. Review based on the first aged edition.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear caramel brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and toffee aromas. Taste is very much the same along with some dark fruit flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some very rich aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy brownish amber in color and poured with a finger high beige head that quickly faded away, leaving lacing in the center of the glass and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of prunes and raisins in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather fruity but also has some flavors nuts and toffee as well as notes oak from the barrel aging.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: Given the low alcohol content, the beer is quite drinkable and goes down smoothly.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Probably a little better than I expected. Pours a heavy dark brown color with a fair head that fell to a trace, though laced well. Rich malt aroma with light roasted, toasted character. Tastes as malty as the aroma suggests. Big sweetness with a faint, sweet alcohol flavor. The periphreals are decorated with coffee, cocoa, stout-like flavor and bitterness. Moderately full and heavy to the mouth respective to style. Sweet with a mild relief with the roasted bitterness. Finishes full and savory, but without the syrupy, thickness, and aged characteristics normally found in Old Ales.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev 0%
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 zeff80
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a brown hue with hints of ruby. It had a huge, bubbly, tan head that left sticky patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of light malt and had a earthy quality. There were also notes of raisin or plum.

T - It tasted sweet and slightly fruity (raisin?). It had a smooth maltiness and an oak-like flavor.

M - It was smooth and somewhat soft. An easy drinking, medium-bodied beer.

D - Overall, I was quite impressed. A very good old ale.

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Photo of brentk56
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear but dark amber color with a nice, rocky tan head that leaves some shards of lace

Smell: Tamarind, oak, burnt sugar and an earthy aspect

Taste: Starts out with a rich fruity flavor that is filled with tamarind and other dark fruit elements; by mid-palate, the burnt sugar starts to weave into the taste along with some diacetyl; after the swallow, their is a tartness that builds along with some earthy flavors to provide a deep and complex finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation

Drinkability: A complex and satsifying brew that works the diacetyl in to its advantage

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a dark burgundy color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of semi-sweet malt with some light oak. Taste is a mix between some sweet caramelized malt with some very subtle notes of oak and fruit. Body is way too light and carbonation is low which is to be expected of. I have to admit that this one was a bit deceiving and definitely lacking in complexity.

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Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poures a deep brown with some ruby-like tint to it with almost no head to it,very nice aroma of oak and caramel with some brown sugar.A real sipping brew here to savor the different flavors some big oaky notes along with some brown sugar and caramel with this,an almost cola-like flavor as well, as it warms the oak comes thru even more.A real nice old, ale here one to savor.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramel, honey, malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of honey and caramel followed by some breadiness from a hearty malt character. The hops presence is decent for the style and provides a good balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a aged beer to for a while but a bit over-priced when there are better less-expensive choices out there.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -25%

Photo of dcmchew
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A truly lovely shade of crimson-bronze, like dark raspberry sun tea. The interior looks to be devoid of carbonation, but the two finger cap puts the lie to that notion. The head is the color of a barely toasted marshmallow and appears about as firm. Specks and splotches of lace are the extent of the glass coverage.

I caught a whiff of what smelled like woody bourbon when I popped the cap... that seems to have disappeared now that I'm focusing on the nose for real. Olde Suffolk smells spicy, somewhat caramel-like, not at all whiskey-like and still woody. It's unlike anything that I've smelled before, but I'm at a loss to explain exactly what makes it so.

This is a wonderful old ale. The focal point is heavily toasted caramel malt with accents of subtle spice and fragrant wood. I love 'wood' in my whiskey, wine and beer, as long as it isn't overdone. Olde Suffolk is tangy, spicy and gently sweet at once; a cavalcade of flavors and flavor sensations. It tastes like a more strongly flavored English mild; which is what it's meant to be I guess.

While the hop content is on the low side, their flavor contribution (but not so much their bitterness) is definitely noted. What a wonderful use of the herbal, fruity English varieties. The body is well within bounds for the style and the gentle carbonation is a boon to drinkability.

Olde Suffolk English Ale is different and is very good. The two years that (part of) it spent in oak were years well spent. That woodiness gives it that *certain something* that makes it distinctive. Since the flavor is becoming richer and more intense with warming, I'll take my leave in order to concentrate on the second half of the bottle. The most amazing thing of all is that this fine ale is available at my local grocery, right alongside the Bud Select and the Coors Light.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Couldn't resist tryin' this one. It pours a very dark ruby-brown topped by a short finger of ashen foam. The nose comprises flaky biscuit, light toffee, light honey, light vague dark fruits, and a touch of toasted wood. The taste holds notes of dark greens, graham crackers, light cardboard, light tobacco, tea, sweetgrass, and a vague sense of cedar. The body is a stolid medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a creamy feel. Overall, a nice brew, one that's clearly benefited from the oak-aging.

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Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -25%

Photo of imbibehour
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
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 stevoj
3.88/5  rDev -3%
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 GarthDanielson
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
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 Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, tiny little fizzy head, basically no sticky lacing at all. The nose is malty, slight touch of pears, and caramel/toffee. The taste pretty much follows the nose malty, and lots of caramel/toffee. Light/Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew at that, recommended.

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Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to deepsouth for this!

Pours caramelish ruby with a nice tan head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of wood/oak with herbal spicing. Tart cherry and a tough-to-describe fruitiness mixes in. Pleasant.

The taste is of tart cherry, herbal spicing and roasted toffee (with some caramel). Tartness present, but mixes in with an herbal bitterness, a mild sweetness that grows and some roast. Chocolate becomes more apparent as it progresses. Wood/oak shows in the dry finish.

It is medium-bodied to full bodied with mild to medium carbonation.

A nice brew - well balanced. Very smooth. It has an oaky character that doesn't overpower. It began at higher end of cellar temperature, yet subtle complexities (such as chocolate) arose as it progressed. Very drinkable. A nice "treat" from across the Pond.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a deep, dark brown color, under a full, lush cocoa-colored head. Generously aromatic, issuing hints of nuts, coffee, cream, toffee, butter. Malt is very prominent, hops take the backseat. Taste is smooth and delicious, with a slightly oily palate. Body is thick, rich, texture is very nice, and the finish continues the sweet, candyish flavors found initially in the nose,and they rest leisurely on the tastebuds. Puts me in mind of a brown ale, but done right, with flavor. Perfectly balanced, perfectly enjoyable, a tasty treat. A good ale with dinner, or in lieu of dessert.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oooh...and English old ale. yes please.

Pours a light brown. Nice 2 finger head. Looks rich.

Aroma is sweet. Caramel, malt, some vanilla and wet grass.

Flavor is good, albeit a bit one sided. It seem the oak vat aging renders most of the flavors. The malt is thin, and with the low carbonation it just about disappears. Some smoke. Caramel and vanilla are the main culprits. It is very smooth.

I like this one. Something keeps me from loving it. I think it's the aging--just wonder what the original brew is like.

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Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 473 ratings