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

very good
460 Ratings
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

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Reviews: 303 | Ratings: 460
Photo of Mark
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep clear mahogany color, head was good at first but shrunk away to near nothing. lacing was a few wisps here and there. Aroma was of sweet malts and fruity hops, classic English aroma. Very smooth malty taste that was both slightly sweet and a tad roasty at the same time. Fruitty hops so typical of fine English ale were in perfect balance with the maltiness. Full bodied and rounded, very drinkable on this coolish September day (not normal) here in California. Outstanding, and bring on winter so I can enjoy more of these types of brews again.

 549 characters

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

Thick, barley-wine-style aroma, sweet and deep. Clear mahogany body with a short, tan, reluctant head. Good lacing.

Slick and slightly chewy in the mouth. Roasted and malty but more bitter than sweet. Refreshing and raspy. Slightly sour and foamy, with an undercurrent of Scotch and peat. Mellow and wide in the mouth.

This is a wonderful beer. It is reminiscent of holiday ales but without the sweetness; yet, it is slicker and sweeter than most English bitters. Eminently drinkable.

 490 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

Photo of bobes
3.37/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rich deep amber/ brown with a minimal head that dissapated quickly. Initial nose was very floral but gave way to a rich roasted malt aroma. Taste is dominated by malt but with a minor hop component. A rich roast after taste lingers in the back of the mouth just long enough to let you know its there, but passes in reasonable time. Mouthfeel is moderately velvety based on the rich malt character, but finishes sort of dry.

On the bottle it is claimed that this is a blened beer, using an oak barrel aged beer and cutting it with a younger beer, a BPA. In this beer I think this works. The roast character is not overpowering and seems well placed in the beer. The blend of the fresh beer definately adds a youth to the final beer that makes it enjoyable. A bit more flavoring hops would make this beer stand out, but that might not be to style.

 858 characters

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

Sampled at From The Vine monthly beer tasting Aug 4th, 2003: Pours a dark amber-brown with a medium beige head and thin lacing. Aroma of smoke, caramel and malt. Smooth drinking with a nice caramel/maple and malt character. There is also a nice spiced aspect to the flavor that offsets the sweetness. The finish is semi-sweet fruit and malt. Good stuff.

 353 characters

Photo of fattychubs
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish colorful dark brown with a nice large tan head. Aroma is complex, malty, with a touch of smoke. Medium body with a complex flavor starting malty, but rounds out with chocolate, molasses moves to wood like notes maybe a little wheat and yeast in there, finishes delicious and crisp.

I really enjoyed this beer and mix of flavors, gets better as it warms, complexity and balanced seemed right on.

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

It's dark amber with a solid thick coating atop. A strong malty aroma is very pleasant and full of caramel notes. Flavors are dominated by malts at first and it's wonderfully toasty and sweet. Hops come through just enough for an awesome finish. This stuff is friggin awesome, kind of similar to some Scotch Ales I have tried, but smoother.

 340 characters

Photo of dwarbi
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thin, small-bubbled head. The beer very dark and murky... cloudy and dark brown. Smells like honey and woods. Not too sweet. I really like the oaken flavor. It really tastes and feels well-aged. Smooth, with a little bite. No lingering sweet aftertaste. wonderful beer.

 269 characters

Photo of sponberg
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown. When I popped the cap, this sucker foamed - but when I poured it, it had little if any head. Weird. Aroma of butter and molasses, toasted wheat toast - appetizing.

Very buttery on the palate - smooth, oily, hints of diacetyl but not from Ringwood. Then the flavors expand - coffee, chocolate, bitter hop, molasses, and a certain hardness that I can't put my finger on. Undercurrents of alcohol are also present. Finishes with a molasses and toffelike flavor that works well. Simply unbeatable with a well-aged cheddar. Very drinkable, as I keep trying to nurse another sip out of my empty glass. Very complex, eminently drinkable brew - three of these, a fire in the fireplace, and a hunk of 5 year old Balderson's cheddar would be an evening fit for a king.

 789 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice hazy brownish color with a thick, tight tan head with small bubbles. The smell is very complex with lots of levels. Its a sniffer.
You can smell the alcoholic grains right away, even as it pours out. Has a strong musty bread aroma, yeasty but perhaps more like a burgundy or whiskey. Has some molasses, citrus fruit, and wood-like notes. The taste echos the smell, very complex and multi layered. Its smooth and mellow with a nice fruity dryness that speaks volumes of fresh grains, lets see, had sweet caramel maltyness, some molasses, fresh bread, flour, citrus fruits, small woody and hop notes dance around helping balance out the citrus and alcohol. It has a wine-like feel in the finish and feel, sweet citrusy and dry. Highly drinkable with its complex smell and flavor you'd expect it to knock you on your ass. But its so mellow and smooth. It reminded me sort of a dry lemonade spiked with whiskey. It became more drinkable and dry as it warmed, I liked it a little more when it was colder, but had to drink slowly when it was cold. Packs a good punch when cold.

 1,077 characters

Photo of stegmakk
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown with rud tint...thin tan head
Aroma: slight alcohol, wine?, and malt are mixing in here
Taste: Nice...winey...toffee...malty...finish a little bitter...complex in my opinion...
mouthfeel a bit thin
Drinkability...with the nice flavor and a little alcohol warmth...I could drink many of these

 318 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 Denali
3.23/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Opaque brown. Very thick tan head that, although dissipated slightly, still remained for the entire beer. Bubbles attached to the glass.

Aroma: Strong burgundy and alcohol smell. Initially there was a musty-bready smell that I did not like at all. The aroma improved a little as the beer warmed and was replaced a little bit by a molasses smell. The musty smell did not go away completely though.

Taste: Roasted caramel and molasses taste up front. Finishes with sweet malt taste and a very slight bitter aftertaste. I enjoyed the taste of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Very little carbonation. A little chewy with a dry and tingly finish.

Drinkability: A sipping beer. A little alcohol warmth.

Comments: Unfortunately the aroma ruined the enjoyment of this beer for me.

 790 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 brakspear
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very interesting English strong ale that would quickly become part of my stable of regular beers if it was more readily available in my area. I love the quasi-Victorian label with its "Illustration of Oak Vat No. 6." This beer is a blend of 5x, a 12% apv beer that is aged for two years in oak vats, and a fresh green beer called BPA, right before bottling. The result is a rich and mellow ale that is perfect for sipping long into the night.

The beer pours a deep mahogany with a slight tan head forming and then reducing to a collar around the inside of the glass. Slight lacing occurs.

The aroma deepens as the glass warms (hint serve this beer at warmer 55 degree temperatures). I detect a warm inviting bread-like malt base, with slight raisin and nutty caramel notes coming to the forefront. If the hops are present they are lingering deep in the background.

The taste develops as the beer warms. Nice caramel and bread flavors, with a winelike acidity biting the tongue slightly, or perhaps it is the tannins from the oak vats. Nonetheless, this is a very mellow and smooth beer, that has a very nice body behind it. A real winner if you can find it in your area.

 1,181 characters

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 mzwolinski
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep ruby in color with a thin, tan head. First aroma open opening is sherry-like with a medium-strong alcohol nose. As it sits, the malt comes to dominate with hints of molasses, a bit of cinamon-like spiciness, and a noticeable tartness. The flavor starts smooth and malty, but then quickly develops some spicy hop notes. A very light fruitness as though from an English pale ale is detectable mid-palate, but soon yields to a re-assertive spiciness as the finish develops with a moderate hop bitterness and a roasty malt character which lingers on to the aftertaste. Medium-full in body with a slightly dry finish, but *very* well-balanced. Quite pleasant.

 659 characters

Photo of Realale
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep purple black. Close to opaque, even though there is no notation that this is bottle-conditioned. Very thick, small-beaded inch thick head, that's not going anywhere.

Nose is initially a brief whiff of molasses, following by a slightly nauseating sour milk stench that almost takes one's breath away. Yick. Thankfully, the sour milk disappears after about 10 minutes (just before I was going to pour it down the drain). Replacing it is the rich molasses that was originally there.

The palate is much better than the nose (yeah, I tasted it during the sour milk nose too). There is rich bready licorice, and molasses. Although this was initially served at cellar temp (today 55F) it got better and more complex as it warmed. The finish is long and winey, and there seems to be some tannins giving structure. An interesting brew that I'll try again to see if that sour milk thing was an abberation.

 914 characters

Photo of mjohn27603
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A deep brownish ruby color when held up to to the light in a glass. Smell of faint oak. I taste a hint of caramel with a sweet aftertaste that remains a while. The most noticeable thing I get is the mouthfeel with a syrupy coating. It will cause you to sip the beer rather than gulp it. There is some biting alcohol presence if you allow the beer to sit still on your tongue for a bit. I let the beer warm up some because it seemed so subtle but it didn't change too much. A subtle beer other than the mouthfeel.

 512 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If my notes are correct, this beer was stashed about 3 years ago, so let’s see how the “Bad Boy” has aged, hopefully better than I have.

The beer pours an amphibological reddish-purple color, the head creamy in its consistency, the size modest and the lace left behind, thick sticky sheets that meld with the glass. Maple syrup and molasses come to mind as I imbibe the aromas of this brew, malt, hints of bubble gum as in fusel alcohol, robust another term for this nose. Lightly sweet on the start, the top skimpy, and the finish pertinently hopped, sparingly acidic, dry long lasting aftertaste. Still quite tasty after all this time, and the last of my 12 bottles, “Good-Bye Olde Friend”.

(Note) It is now available in the states, and I’ve found it at two local “Beer Palaces”!

 795 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 inebrius
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smashing! Dark and lacy without much head. Malty black currant nose. Caramel and light chocolate balanced with some mossy hop. An odd style, nonetheless tasty. Indeed, quite tasty.

 180 characters

Photo of ADR
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark ruby-brown color, nice 1/2 inch head that holds an elevated "ring" inside the pint glass. Dank aroma, a little molasses. Nice roasty flavors that persist to the swallow. Coffee flavors, a little raisin, and chocolate. Some sense of grape, as well. Nice complex malt flavor. A blend of an "Old" Ale with a new batch, this brew reminds me of the blended beers of "yore"...very nice stuff.

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Photo of packetknife
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid beer. Dark with a brownish-tan head. Smells of roasted chocolate and caramel, hints of coffee. Very unique taste, all of it good and just sweet enough. Definatly a keeper.

 177 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.

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Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
4 out of 5 based on 460 ratings.
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