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

very good
464 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 464 |  Reviews: 304
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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 Fl oz bottle into mug.

Pours a very very deep red, almost brown. Light brown thin head which quickly settles to a thin cap.

Bits of roasy malts, hints of cream, soft butterscotch aromas, mild raisin like scents. Some warming alcohol in the smell, which increases in strength as it warms, along with the dried fruit scents.

Dark coffee flavors in a thicker medium body. Light hops are experienced in the finish, and light alcohol makes its way through. Very complex mix of flavors, with the acohol presenting itself a little more than other 6.00%ABV beers, but not overpowering. Humble bits of hops and alcohol in the finish, but only slightly dry. It's mostly a smooth finish.

Complex and robust at the same time. This is a highly enjoyable beer, although a bit expensive (but that comes with the territory). Be sure to enjoy this one.

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

This Suffolk oldie pours a dark mahoghany, almost black, into my pint glass, with a decent tan head that settles and disappears quickly. Nose is sweet malt with strong coffee notes.

Taste is complex, with initial coffee and malt, followed by fruit and a winey, port favoring stage. Finish is oily and peppery and lingers on for quite a while. Mouthfeel could stand some thickening, although it is smooth and generally agreeable. I could drink these all night, if I didn't have to be up for work in seven hours.

This is a solid old ale, not quite on a par with the best, like TH or Engine Oil, but good in and of itself. Give it a go.

 640 characters

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

A- 1/4" tan head that faded into basically no lacing. a dark color then as it sits for awhile it goes to a dark amber color.
S- Alcohol comes through. Almost reminds me of a congac. Sweet, some darker fruits like plums. Maybe some light hops also.
T- Plums are first thing I notice. Some grassy hops balance that out. Bit of warming form alcohol. Cherries also make an apperance. Almost like a candy taste. Grapes also come through. Reminds me of a watered down light red wine.
M- Low carbonation, body on the thinner side, and a dry finish.
D- Bit to watery and laid back for me. I like stronger flavors and this was lacking that quite a bit.

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Photo of numenor1
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful garnet color with a decent tan head with some urging. Nose is reticent, deep malt is obvious but it's very stingy here. Smells a tad sour and dusty. Taste however is exceptional. Bits of dark fruit here and there, more than a touch of sourness, hints of vanilla, oak, some acidity, cocoa powder and mild earthy tealike hops drying it out. Good mineral aspect and very nice. Mouthfeel is full with soft, low carbonation. Very creamy. Very drinkable too.

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Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
4 out of 5 based on 464 ratings.
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