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 BlackHaddock
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml brown bottle, unable to find a best before date, drank on 11th march 2007.

Poured into a straight sleeve pint glass. Dark, very dark ruby red colour with a good foam light brown head. it looks healthy and heavy, a fine, clear sparkling liquid.

Spices like corriander and some cloves in the aroma, mixed with hops and dark almost burnt malts. Nothing to strong though.

I like the taste, woody with tones of caramel and toffee combine to give it a Christmas like flavour, very pleasant. The label claims some of the beer (which is a blend) has been aged for two years in oak. Which is where the woody flavour obviously comes from.

Full bodied is too strong to use, but it is a well rounded beer and the aftertase and mouthfeel are impressive, the flavours stay, with a burnt feeling becoming more prominent.

Green King get a lot of stick from some of British real ale drinkers, but this is a fine beer and they should be applauded for producing it.

 967 characters

Photo of Hampton73
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a pretty dark amber color, and with a short-lived head.

The aroma is of English noble hops, with oak and a nice floral accent coming through.

The taste is somewhat complex, with oak and floral hops and a bready malt combining to delight the taste buds.

I think I will have another.

 310 characters

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

Pours a beautiful mahogany body with a tightly knit finger of foam collar. Nose is of damp, earthy malts.

Entry is quiet with a midtaste of woody, damp-earth malt. Finish is caramel malt goodness with a slightly acidic overtone.

Clarity is excellent and the mouthfeel palate-pleasing.

This style is a holdover from the days when beer was aged in wood for up to and over a year. Olde Suffolk is a prime, tasty example worthy of recommendation.

 452 characters

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

Olde Suffolk pours a dark garnet color with a one-finger high tan head that falls to a thin, but rather persistent cap. The aroma is has hints of malt, alcohol, but is dominated by the dark fruit. The taste is even heavier with the flavor of dark fruit some oak and a hint of roastiness is present.

Mouthfeel is very good, filling the mouth, but not too much so and a crisp finish. The beer is very drinkable. I will keep this one in mind when I was a solid old ale. Recommended.

 482 characters

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

This poured rather flat, not much head to speak of, wonderful aroma,....fruity, and a hint of tea aroma as well.Taste is interesting, some tea flavor here, but just as aroma, some ghost-like fruits in the back ground, actually a very bold flavor, hard to describe, but pleasant, well balanced hop bitterness, with a nice touch of malt, but leaning towards the hops..mouthfeel is crisp and satisfying..drinkability is fine!..this is a well crafted beer, that I will certainly have again.

 486 characters

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

I dont remember picking this up at the store but i saw it in my DBF and thought it was time to quaff it. I'm glad i did... a true unlooked for gem.

Appeared a bronzy amber color with a soda pop colored head and nice bubbles dancing up the glass. Aromas of toffee, molasses and candy corn solidly fill the nose. The taste of butterscotch and caramel corn mixed with a mild sourness make for quite an exquisite flavor. Very delicious. The flavors just play on the tongue and it's very memorable. Medium bodied with nice carbonation and on the tad dry side. I can drink this then have another one. I picture myself reading a book by the fireplace just widdling the time away with a constant pints of this. Very tasty!

 717 characters

Photo of soulgrowl
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark yet somehow bright amber cola brown. Coffee-stained head stands tall despite the huge, airy bubbles that compose it. Fair retention. No lacing.

Smell: Kind of like a kicked-up ESB, lightly buttery and fruity. Floral hops, burnt sugar notes, an undercurrent of alcohol, and overtones of robust, oaky red wine make for a very complex and appealing nose.

Taste: Lots of buttery toffee sweetness, mild whiskey notes, burnt bitterness, dark chocolate, and a light vinous background. Dry finish. Flavorful, interesting, and balanced.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin, sloshy. Not bad, but this is not on par with the beer's flavor.

Drinkability: This is a very nice ale, easy to drink and fun to savor. Goes very well with tangy foods like pickles or olives.

 770 characters

Photo of LarryV
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep red color with nary a head to be found. Smells of dark cherries, plums. Taste is slightly acidic with a big dark cherry flavor up front followed by a drying, slightly charred flavor. Somewhat tangy in nature. Mouthfeel is on the thinner side but doesn't detract from the enjoyment of this beer. A pretty interesting beer to say the least.

 343 characters

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

I give this a solid four because I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I like it, but it baffles me. It is somewhere between a Scottish ale and an old ale, I think.

Dark appearance and thin, dirty head tell of an old ale, as does the sour, "rust" scent.

Taste is again, a mixture. Certainly the sour, stale elements of an old ale are there. But this is somewhat more sour and not as malty as most old ales I've had.

Good body and easy to drink. Not an excellent old ale, but an all around decent one.

 511 characters

Photo of unklesyd
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting brew. Poured out into a straight-side Young's Pint. Small, short-lived dirty tan head. Once this is gone, the beer looks pretty for a while, but when there are no bubbles, it looks flat and overly calm, which belies the carbonic acidity of the beer's flavor. Dark chestnut and clear.

Molases, some rumminess, some dank/sour dried cherries in the nose. Nicely appealing.

Flavor is similar to the nose, a slightly mineral hop bitterness and the aforementioned tang from the oak aging. Nice lingering aftertaste, not cloying, but slightly sweet.

Body is fairly thin, which might have something to do with the acidity imparted by the aging.

Overall, the flavors and mouthfeel seem to be opposites one another, but combine to make for a very enjoyable and drinkable ale.

 794 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 Derek
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark ruby-black; tan head; only a little retention; initially leaves some lace.

S: Bread; toffee; caramalized brown-sugar; nuts; dark fruit & a little spice (pepper?).

T: Burnt toffee (just like it says on the label!); fresh wood; jaggery; dark fruit; spice; moderate bitterness. This is a really well-rounded blend.

M: Slightly acidic & dry (well-attenuated); moderate body and carbonation.

D: Blending the old ale with some fresh brew has made this quite drinkable. I could session this... but I'd be in trouble!

 529 characters

Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown, some red in the edges, thick off white head, some spots of lace, nice retention. Smell is sweet and malty, some iron and minerals, dark fruits, alcohol, not bad. Taste is sweet, some toffee, dark fruits, really malty and coating, brown sugar, little alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, almost thick, nice coating, decent sipper.

 385 characters

Photo of PCaravan
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This really is a beautiful beer with it's deep amber hues and dense mousey head that clings to the side of the glass. The aroma yields strong doses of caramel and oaky vanilla but mostly a very powerful citrus. The tast is really complex. For the most part, a sour citrusy taste dominates with oak in the background from start to finish with flashes of many other elements such as caramel, grain, vanilla, and dried fruit. Not sure if I cought it all as it seems with every sip I catch something else in a flash. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than what I would expect with a beer of this compexity but I like the moderate carbonation. Overall I have to put the drinkability just a little above average because, while it's a complex and interesting beer that I would have again if offered, the sour citric quality leaves an odd character to it that for just doesn't quite meld well with the other flavors... definitely worth a try though as I can see how someone else might rate this one much higher than I have.

 1,015 characters

Photo of TerryW
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In Ontario as Stong Suffolk Vintage Ale.

Very handsome beer, dark chesnut red, big chunky head. some lace. Looks very inviting.

Nose is lots of gently burned caramel and dark fruits. Quite malty. Nice woody earthy notes from oaking.

Flavour is dominated by caramel. Wood, grain, and smokiness throughout. Bitter hop finish contrasts sharply to sweetness of the malt. Some fruit as well. Fairly diverse flavour profile requires paying some attention.

Overall an enjoyable beer.

 488 characters

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

A - Clear dark red, with a solid, sticky head.

S - The teeniest bit funky with lots of floral and fruity tones, esp. raisins and prunes.

T - Rich fruity flavour and a mild bitterness backing it up. Graininess comes on strong in the aftertaste as does some coffee/roasted flavour. Doesn't feel overly sweet. Hop flavour is definitely subdued.

M - Good solid body with a nice carbonation level.

D - Very tasty; I like this a lot.

 439 characters

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.

 392 characters

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

A beautiful dark ruby red with a lush tan head. Lots of complex flavour experience here. In fact it's hard to pin down as the taste goes through various transformations that I'm just not expert enough to characterize. All I can say is that this tastes like quality.Full bodied sayeth the label. This is a very smooth beer though with spicey aftertaste. I'm at a loss for descriptors but you should try it. If you like complexity in your beer this one will do it and it goes down like a river of melted butterscotch (with hops).

 527 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 CAMRAhardliner
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I think this might be the first blended beer Ive ever tried (other than lambics). There is a massive wooden tun on the label, apparently these are what they use to make the stronger beer in the mix.

SSA pours a rosewood color with a few cognac glints. The head is pretty minimal and leaves moderate lace ridges behind. aromas of doughy malts, spent grains, toasted oak and a little smoke abound. The taste is decidedly malty and much oakier than I was expecting. Caramel, dark berries and vanilla are present. An overarching toasty, smokey oak flavor is there from start to finish. Hops are very light, imparting an earthy flavor. The finish is sweetish and oaky. The mouthfeel is full and light in carbonation.

This isnt an 'oak bomb' by any means, but it has a very definite oak flavor. Tastey and complex, worth a try.

 827 characters

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


A brisk pour puts a dark cola colored ale with a 2 finger rocky cap into the pint glass. Good cap retention leaves a lace...mildly carbonated.

Aroma not unlike a good bock except for the overpowering caramel which has notes of toasted malts, some dried fruits a hint of "char" and an interesting woody- earthy smell from the oak barreling.

Decent roasted malt spine, sturdy body, silky smooth mouth feel, unique fruity-mellow "charred" character

Flavour profile starts with a big dose of toasted and caramel malts then these are blended into a very pronounced juicy fruit decernment like marmalade on dark. toasted treacle-soaked rye bread...then mid palate the hops strike and we get a nice stab of delicate bittering to this mixture ..finish is long and wet and slowly the sweet fuity-cocoa tones go mellow with metalic tones from goldings and the astrigency from the black malt char....a light clean almost citrus after taste.

A very interesting blend of flavors almost like a dark bock and a strong IPA. Seeing how this is a blended ale I think the amounts of the 2 original brews was delecately measured to produce as complex a flavour profile as posssible.

Three thumbs up on this awsome mellow smooth blended ale....wish I could taste this one unpasturized.

 1,290 characters

Photo of mrmanning
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

LCBO advanced tasting- This pours a faintly carbonated copper liquid, with just a petit amount of beige dusting. Nice malt based aroma(toasty, roasted malts, bready) with woody, nutty, burnt sugars. Flavours are a wonderfully balanced interpretation of the aromas. Lots of vanilla/wood, with sweet nutty malts, toasty, with a smidge of the ABV shining through. Very warming, and dangerously drinkable. Finishes with a big malt bang, and a wonderful warmth.

 456 characters

Photo of Minkybut
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pored this into a 16 oz tumbler with a wide top. Whew!!! this brew really has a smell that is like whiskey. Taste was strong and when you exhale that oak/whiskey smell was very evident. Was a decent different brew, but most likely will not buy one again.

 254 characters

Photo of tatterdash
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown-black with red in the light. The thin white head dissipates quite quickly, but the ale is obviously quite lively. Aroma of walnuts and bit of oak, and some malt as well. Lots of caramel appears as is warms and dark wood. Taste was very complex sweet, peppery, sappy, some piney hops, dry finish. Mouthfeel was spitzy, tastes like they used hard water to brew. This is very complex and takes some time to finish, which is great.

 446 characters

Photo of norwichboy
4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany with a quickly dissipating light brown head; no lacing.
Lovely malty (chocolate, toffee) and sweet dried fruit aromas. To taste, similar initial flavours, alcohol noticeable, but it has such a beautiful long lasting bitter finish that goes on and on. Overall everything comes together in this excellent English ale, which I'd be happy to drink all day long.

 367 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.