Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) AleOlde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale
468 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:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 468 |  Reviews: 307
Photo of kbnooshay
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a super ruby red color with the entire glass being coated in tiny bubbles. The one finger width head stuck around for about a minute. The aroma is woody, sweet and of dark fruit. There was also a very pleasant apple scent. The oak flavor from the barrels is very noticeable. This was super malty and sweet with a nice roastiness to it. Not much hop bitterness here but thats alright, there is barely enough. The feel is a tad thing but not bad. This is a very drinkable EPAish old ale. Nothing super special like i was hoping, but solid.

 544 characters

Photo of Patrick999
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the heavy bottle into a goblet - short but persistent head, looks quite dark but is actually a pretty clear deep ruby.

Has a definite oaky, boozy aroma, which is odd considering the beer is only 6%. Rum-soaked raisins, yet in some whiffs I (rather surprisingly) smell some lemon zest. What in the hell am I smelling? Must be hops.

My first impression is that this tastes like stale raisin bread about to go moldy. I get a little of that slightly sour "barrel" character, too. This description of mine doesn't seem to be terribly appetizing, but I do like it a good deal.

Feel is not bad, it has less of that Old Ale-stickiness I don't necessarily care for.

A pleasant, complex drinker. While it's very enjoyable, I'm left thinking it could be even better. I agree with the reviewer below me, this should be bottle-conditioned. There is the likely difference between this, and an exceptional Old Ale like Fullers Vintage. That said, it's still pretty damned good.

 982 characters

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle into red wine glass.

Pours dark brown with a thin, soapy off-white head. Some spotty lacing.

Nose is big and oaky, tons of buttery toffee, some fruitcake hiding out as well. Rich and sweet. As the beer warms, the vanilla recedes somewhat and you get some light tannins coming through as well.

Taste up front is lightly acidic, with a light earthy bitterness, and some notable tannins. This gives way to more toffee towards the finish, with a soft, woody, almost stale note persisting as well. Finish is juicy, lingering buttery old oak and toffee and a light, subtle earthy bitterness staying on the tongue, with more toffee on the exhale.

Mouthfeel is very lightly (almost under-) carbonated, medium bodied, though just a hair watery at times. Forced carbonation does this one a noticeable disservice.

Very drinkable, with a sense of refinement and depth of flavor that belie the low abv. Overall, a tasty beer that exudes class in the same way the smell of old leather does. It's a shame this one isn't bottle-conditioned, as that could really be the final leg needed to elevate this into a whole other realm.

 1,126 characters

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

Poured dark black color with an average frothy light brown head that lasted with good lacing. Heavy roasted malt and toffee aroma. Medium to full body with a slick texture. Flavor is a heavy sweet with a light bitter finish of long duration.

Very good brew.

 258 characters

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

pours a deep dark brown with amber hues and an off white head

aromas of bourbon, apples, caramel, roasted malt

bourbon notes upfront, followed by apples, caramel, malt, slight pine hops

medium bodied, strong bourbon notes, good malt character

big mouth feel, strong malt flavors, whiskey, malt, a very tasty british ale

 323 characters

Photo of katan
3.18/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 500ml into a pint

A - dark red to almost cherry in color - some areas are more opaque which appear black. Almost porterish. Little head retention, but it didn't appear to be from the lack of carbonation. Very filtered.

S - Sweet chocolate and caramel notes on top with a hair of yeast backdrop. Not bitter at all. Does have a sour tinge to it.

T - Starts off relatively light in flavor - just a hair of malts and the exact counterbalance of bitterness. Mid-stream is just a bit flat. Finishes with that very sour acidic flavor mixed with some yeast spiciness. Aftertaste is muted, but overall a bitter astringent residue.

M - Thinner than I would have expected from the appearance - the body is light. Watery. Small amount of leftover filming.

D - Very easy to drink - flavors are mild and so is the abv. Carbonation is not very filling.

I shouldn't look at previous reviews as it may bias me, but I have to say I'm going to run against the grain on this one. It just didn't do it for me.

 1,006 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into two white wine glasses. Thanks to Heidi & Tom Morris for the hook-up! Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!


A: Pours a dark cola-brown with a creamy light-khaki head that dissolves quickly and leaves virtually no lace.

S: Big buttery oak aroma that plays nicely with vanilla, caramel sauce, nuts, and toffee.

T: Buttery oak and toffee with help from toasty malt, nuts, caramel, vanilla, and a hint of dark fruit.

M: Slick and oily with a dry and peppery quality that keeps things very interesting. Sticky finish coats everything.

D: The only thing that could make this better is if they brewed it with some chocolate malt. Really very nice.

 688 characters

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

Much better than the Speckled Hen. Mahogany pour with nearly no head. Earthy, malty, oak aroma that is very sweet. Velvety mouthfeel. Smooth taste of caramel malt and some vanilla mellowness from the oak. Slight bitterness in the back. Nicely balanced.

 252 characters

Photo of hwwty4
3.51/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 16.9oz bottle into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours an extremely muddy dark brown with just a slight light brown head that disappeared quickly and left no lacing at all. The aroma reminds me of toffee, caramel, vanilla and oak. The flavor has a big toffee component but there is also just a slight tart funk to it. Vanilla, and caramel are both there also. The mouthfeel is light with just a slight carbonation to it. This is a good beer and a style that I would like to delve into just a little more.

 520 characters

Photo of scottoale
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very classy looking 500ml. brown bottle and labels (3), with a code stamped on the neck. It pours burgundy to mahogany in color with just a 1/4" of disappering off-white head. Very mild carbonation visibly and caramel color added is noted on the front label. Good looking brew.

Smells mildly sweet with lots of oak up front, some vanilla, ripe fruit, toffee and alcohol. It has a vintage oaky must that fits the bill.

Light sweetness with oak and toffee, that tastes more nutty than fruity like the smell. Some nice tannins in there that add to the flavor, but step down the mouthfeel. The carbonation is fine, the alcohol not to noticeable for an Old Ale. Overall it's very tasty and easily consumed. I would definetely enjoy this one again in the future.

 758 characters

Photo of MagyarPuska
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Looks like a dark pop/soda. A little lacing with a quickly dissipating head. What head there was had an off white/cream color.

Aroma: Fruit, raisins. Well rounded scent, with other smells in there. Hoping that the raisin is lying, as I am not a big fan of beers that aspire to be raisins.

Taste: Following the aroma in suite, it tastes like fruit. I noticed raisins as well, too bad.

Mouthfeel: Not as heavy as I thought it would be, slightly watery, with little reminder of beer after it goes down.

Drinkability: Ehh, not that great. Kind of fruity for my liking so I couldn't see myself enjoying one of these on a regular basis.

Overall Impressions: Not a great big fan. The raisins really chase me away from this beer. If you like that sort of thing then give it a try. Rating this beer higher than I enjoyed it for the complexity of the taste.

 864 characters

Photo of watchnerd
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle serving, got from Draeger's in San Mateo.

Poured a medium brown, cola color. Not much of a head, no lacing.

Aroma is of malt, caramel, and a bit of toastiness. Not a strong nose, overall, and a rather subdued aroma. Not that that's a bad thing.

Taste is smooth, not very bitter dispite being labeled as such, and dominated by the caramel flavors. The bitter flavor doesn't really hit until the end, and it's not even close to being a high IBU beer. Nice and balanced, though.

Drinkability is fairly good, although it somehow tastes and feels stronger on the alcohol than one would expect for 4.5% ABV.

 612 characters

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

purchased at a supermercado in Lima, Peru

pours a burgundy body with a decently retained off-white head. average retention and lacing, but overall an attractive beer. the aroma was a pleasant mix of black cherries, paprika, oak, and toffee, with a bit of spicy hops thrown in the mix.

i was really surprised by the flavor on this one, especially after tasting my friend´s disgusting greene king ipa (made by the same brewers). lots of dark fruits like plum, currant, and apple, with a big malty backbone that delivered notes of sweet, sugary caramel and butterscotch. the alcohol could´ve used a bit more oomph, however, but the 2 yr oak aging threw in a bit of a bite to the finish. i´d definately have this again, and probably will have another bottle on this trip.

 772 characters

Photo of froghop
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a clear burgundy with a small tan head, good lacing.

smell is of sour malt, dark fruit, touch of caramel, and some woodiness.

taste is dry up front, caramel, prunes, raisins, sour malt, and a little hop bitterness in the end.

overall a nice old ale that improves as it warms.

 284 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 KarlHungus
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a sheer brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is of molasses, milk chocolate, and hints of wood. The taste is of caramel, nuts, and tannins. It is rather weak when compared to the aroma. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a watery texture. Overall, this is a nice beer that I could drink again.

 369 characters

Photo of Tilley4
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wow, this is much darker than I expected. A very dark brown with a snall rapidly dissapating head..

Aroma seems sweet and fruity.. Perhaps some sweet malts as well and I can actually smell the booze in this... Weird..

Very dark and fruity taste.. Where are the rich roasted malts? Its not bad but something just isn't where its supposed to be...

Weird review...I expected to like this quite a bit more but I have to say I was dissapointed... Just ok to me..

 460 characters

Photo of jamiejohnson
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes I get in a London pubish mood and buy a few English ales for home enjoyment (wish my Thai wife would learn how to drive me from pub to pub - she almost rear-ended a Mercedes the last time I let her drive a quarter mile!) I'm a cask fanatic so I'm always comparing my store bought selections to past Britain real ale pub holidays, apples and oranges as they say. This Olde Suffolk is a heckuva beer. They say part of it is aged in oak for two years. All I know is I'll be buying lots more of this stuff so I'm prepared for any British ale craving that may strike. This flowing from a cask would be an unbelievable treat. Impressed.

Oh yeah yeah,
A British ale.
All aboard,
Let's set sail.

 698 characters

Photo of Beerzebub
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, served in a big wine glass at 59 F/ 15 C.

Bright red-amber color, medium sized beige head that mostly goes away, spots of lace of varied size.

Smells like cidery red and green apple, grape juice, toffee, light roast coffee, oak, some musty leaves, and mild solvent. Cohesive and good.

Tastes like apple, grape, toffee, light coffee, herbal leafy hops with discernible bitterness, and underlying wood. Mild acidity. Some ironlike mineral flavor. Tasty and well balanced. Lingering coffee, wood, herbs.

Lush texture. Watery when sipped, but this is best not sipped. Very drinkable, thirst quenching.

Good interesting beer, I enjoyed this.

 656 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 JayTheFinn
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a tasty brew from Greene King. I was just over in London recently and had one of their Abbot Ales and liked it, so I thought I'd try their old ale. Very tasty indeed! Nice dark brown body with a decent tannish head. Nice malty scent and flavor. It's right in between a bitter and a stout, with the notion of a brown not far off. Delicious from first to last sip!

 370 characters

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.

 458 characters

Photo of bkilpatr
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a pint glass. No freshness or ABV info on the bottle. 04/26/08.

Pours a dark ruby color with about a finger of tan head. The head left some lacing around the glass as it faded. Not much in the aroma, mostly sour grape and raisin

Lots of flavor in this one, very malty. First sip is very much caramel. The next is toffee, followed by oak. Then there's sour dark fruit (raisin, fig, date, prune). Each sip has a different flavor, and each has a slight lingering bitterness at the back of the tongue.

Nice and thick and so smooth. The carbonation level is spot on, and it leaves a nice coating around the mouth. Drinkability is also good. Goes down easy for being rather heavy.

 710 characters

Photo of botham
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pint bottle poured into a tulip. pours a deep brown, almost black color with garnet highlights. a single finger of light tan head remains for a few minutes.

aroma is very malty, with a mild sour note, producing a vinous character throughout. reminiscent of wine mixed with barley, could pass as a weak flemish sour ale.

taste is quite malty up front, with notes of caramel and grape. finishes clean with only a bit of residual roasted malt. very soft on the palate, with no alcohol or CO2, and a perfectly proportioned profile. the oak aging is not present directly, but definitely contributes to the smoothness.

mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a brilliantly smooth texture and a clean finish.

drinkability is great. this brew is in a class of its own. the sourness from the aroma does not show on the palate, and the clean finish is rare among brews with dark malt complexity. cheers!

 897 characters

Photo of MusicaleMike
4.31/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I reviewed this beer while listening to some good olde English music: Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," a work he wrote after his style had matured quite a bit. I found that these two go together very well.

Poured into a red wine glass. 1 Pint bottle, no freshness date.

A: Olde Suffolk English Ale pours a dark brown capped by a frothy tan head which recedes to a thin lace. When held up to light, this ale appears to be a beautiful deep ruby color, with no trace of brown. There is a modest stream of carbonation. Also, it leaves some lace at the top.

S: This beer has an amazingly rich smell in which any beer drinker could pick out some familiar smells: plum/prune, raisin, ripe bananas, wood (oak?), sweet honey and a wine/grape smell. A very enticing and promising smell. Very mature.

T: The taste is not as strong in character as the smell (at first). The first thing I noticed was the carbonation. It was more than I expected. There is a hefty alcohol presence which warms the throat. As the beer coats the mouth, the flavors tend to stand out more. There is a similar taste as the smell, with raisins, honey and caramel. Sweet malts, with barely noticeable hops.

M: Smooth carbonation, with a syrupy mouthfeel after a few sips. It is similar in a way to port.

D: This old ale is very drinkable. The alcohol is not overpowering at all, and it didn't weigh me down despite the richness of it all. Also, with such complexity, there is always something to be appreciated, much like the War Requiem.

 1,509 characters

Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 468 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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