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

BA SCORE
89
very good
462 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay
Read the review
Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) AleOlde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Greene King / Morland Brewery
England, United Kingdom
greenekingbeers.co.uk

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
462
Reviews:
304
Avg:
4
pDev:
11%
 
 
Wants:
33
Gots:
27
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 462 |  Reviews: 304
Photo of HoustonTX
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

-Olde Suffolk English Ale-

Wonderful pour, poured a dark brown, deep and enticing. Nice large cream white head. The first whiff smelled of lovely aged bourban- alot of oak in the nose. I procedded to take many other sniffs. The next one was a nice roasted malt smell, along with some nice dark fruit notes. Now on to the taste, the taste is incredible. Mellow and incredibly smooth. Upfront has a flavorful roasted malt taste, with a caress of a light nuttiness. This is closely followed by a blast of nice dark fruits. The flavor is semi-sweet at this point. Shortly after a strong beautiful oak taste comes creeping in. Giving the drink a sherry/cognac sipping sense about it. Which leads us to the hops in this brew. In my opinion they are balanced to perfection, and there is no denying that. Perfect balance overall, delightfully mellow and smooth, and the balance is right on. The aftertaste leaves a light fruit/hops/alcohol note, which lingers for a second.

This is one beer that makes me proud to be a Beer Advocate. A must try!

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

16.9 fl. oz. bottle, served at room temp.

Appearance - Dark red/ruby color. Poured clear with a two-finger head formation. Minimal carbonation present. Retention of head was minimal with a lacey adherance to the sides of the glass.

Smell - A detect a sour-sweet aroma with a bit of fruity presence. I would say cherry if I had to place a particular fruit with the aroma. That would make sense with an ale due to the aromatic esters. Overall this has a very clean, crisp aroma.

Taste - The carbonation was very light which complimented the light taste of the first deep swig. The taste I can equate this to is a tea-like or simple malt taste. Not a strong overall presence of any one flavor, nor did I taste a change over time.

Mouthfeel - Wonderful mouthfeel! When I rolled this beer around my mouth and allowed for the taste to mature, the fullness of the beer was quite evident. Great amout of carbonation.

Drinkability - Oh my, this was a pleasure to drink. So very smooth, so clearly representing what an English Ale should be. Except for the price, I would often say, pass me another.

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Photo of belias
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, had a half inch off-white/khaki head which dissipated soon after the first sip and left decent lacing. The smell was complex, albiet not very strong, with notes of caramel/chocolate malts, and an almost berry-like fruit aroma that reminded me of red wine (specifically some cabernet cavingions i've had). I really enjoyed the taste, the caramel and chocolate malts stand out again firstly, and a berry/grape taste follows, ending with a dry finish. There are a lot of flavours going on, but they all seem a little subdued, however this didnt hamper my enjoyment of the beer. It is medium bodied and the carbonation is perfect so it actually feels very light. Would definately drink this again.

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

I was impressed by the age stuff, so i was wondering if this one was something like a blurred Porto wine, Jerez or something like that. No, it's a dark beer, with strong (but not as much as i expected) body, nice concentration of malt, smell and taste. But nothing soooo special. It's a good beer. Good, good, good. But that´s all. It works as an ordinary black ale, crafted far away from the barrels.

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

An agressive pour led to a nice cascading effect and two fingers of dense mocha colored foam head. The liquid was a seemingly murky reddish brown, lace was thick and hung in sheets.
The smell was sweet roasted caramel malts, a bit of ripened dark fruits with an inviting subtle earthiness.
The taste was a delightful blend of sweet caramel malts, traces of chocolate and peppery spicy hops that bring perfect balance with their bold bitterness.
Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Crisp, dry, wine-like mouthfeel.
Very well done. Exceptional drinkability. Worth the effort to find and try this fine Old Ale.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.27/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Didn't quite know what to make of this one. Its colour, smell, and taste were all totally different from what I was expecting. It poured a crystal clear dark reddish brown colour. The head was khaki in colour and approximately 4mm thick. It subsided to nothing in less than 45 seconds. The smell was very interesting, and also unexpected. Very wine-like. It actually had a fruity / grape smell. There was a substantial amount of roasted malt in the background, clearly identifiable, but the wine - grape - alcohol smell was easily noticeable and right up front. Peculiar. The taste was reminiscent of wine, as well. Malty for but a moment when you take a sip, then turning tart and very wine like. Odd indeed as I have never had an ale with these characteristics, though I have read of them. Mouthfeel seemed light and was much more carbonated than I was expecting. I didn't think this was awful, but I certainly wasn't impressed. Very peculiar brew.

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Photo of saintwarrick
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark red which has been typical of most of the old ales I've tried. Brandy-ish scent is very heavy in the smell. Taste doesn't overhwelm, but hints of brandy and raisins are easily detectable. Much more drinkable than my other favorite old ale, Thomas Hardy. Not quite a session beer, of course, but if you're looking to have 1-2 beers one night, this is definitely recommended. An all-around solid old ale that's easy to find.

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

16.9 oz bottle without intelligible freshness date.

Pours clear red-edged brown with thin head that quickly evaporates. Smells of fruity and somewhat sour wine; something like a belgian red sour ale. An unusual mix of flavors; well-toasted grainy bread and chocolate malts and vanilla intermix with a refreshing oak sourness. A bit phenolic, alternately sweet & sour in the finish. Medium body, but pretty light due to the steady carbonation.

Not entirely successful, but worth a try.

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

Pours a dark ruby with a tan two finger head, that settles slowly to a thin swirling cap, leaving behind a very nice webbing of lace.

Smell; caramel, chocolate and cherries all come out up front. There's a nice touch of an oakey dryness, and slightly vinous.

Taste; theres's chocolate covered cherries, caramel malts and dried figs. The oakiness is really blended well, and doesn't become overpowering. A bit of a sourness comes out as this gets warmer along with some vinous qualities, and a little alcohol burn in the finish. A very nice, relaxing beer. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, but this is still very easy to drink.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out nicely, with a pillowy head and lacing that falls into almost nothing over time.

The smell is sour and has a litte bit of apple in it. If it was supposed to be fruity at all that's gone.

Taste is slightly sour with molasses and coffee flavors, the nose has an almost metalic cinnamon flavor to it.

Mouthfeel isn't quite watery, but not far off, still enjoyeable.

Drinkability would be good if I was able to get a fresh batch, but I don't think it survived the trip over very well.

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Photo of wl0307
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This ale, is allegedly a blend of Green King’s old oak-aged stale ale Old 5X (12%abv.) and a lighter beer, called the Best Pale Ale (5%abv.). A few years back when I first tried this beer, it was bottle-conditioned, but this version now is filtered, and possibly pasteurised as well. BB FEB 2007, served cool in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.

Appearance: deep dark ruby hue coming with a beige frothy beer head slowly dissipating and leaving uneven sheets of lacing along the way; very gentle and constant carbonation.
Smell: enticing sour-sweet aroma of ripe plums and dried berry-fruits, on top of a mildly lactic-sour aroma from old oak barrels (like a more creamy version of Rodenbach's oaky-sourness), creamy/buttery diacetyl notes and toffee-ish dark malts, coconut milk, fruit cake, perfumy and a little winey touch... Overall, the nose is deeply fruity and complex, while the freshness and liveliness are also retained.
Taste: surprisingly light in contrast to the rich aroma, the foretaste is almost… tea-ish, where a bitter-sweet taste of dark malts is supported by a flow of dried dark fruits with its sour-sweet edge, slightly bitter, burnt maltiness, then turning fast to a dry-ish bitter palate full of dry herbs, bitter licorice, and slightly tannic tea-leaves; surprisingly clean finish in the end with a subtle, lingering echo of bitterness (from hops?) and old sherry like palate.
Mouthfeel: the texture sustains well, with refreshingly mild fizz sitting underneath a rather clean and light body – this is an ultra-light old ale, and there's a lovely contrast b/w the rich aroma and feather-light palate, while complexity reveals in the most subtle manner.
Overall: I remember my last bottle (bottle-conditioned, as I remember it) being much richer on the palate, but that was four years ago. I'm not sure if the recipe has been changed, but the beer as it is now is quite drinkable and thirst-quenching even. But why has it been changed to the pasteurised+filtered(?) version? Or is my memory a bit too hazy to get this fact right?

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Photo of surfadelic23
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, what an interesting beer! On the label it says it's a blend of an older ale and a younger ale which for some reason made me think of the exorcist... It pours a nice mahogany brown with a hint of dark ruby too.Nice head and leaves a killer lace on my Pitfield pint glass.
It has a bigger nose on it than I thought as I figured the older blend would take out some of the scent but it did not. The hops aren't there in the smell to me but are there in the taste albeit mild.Wow, what a malt hit! It has mild bitterness and a somewhat oakey flavor. Very nice taste and mouthfeel. Regarding drinkability, while this is a great brew, I found it a bit heavy for a sessioner...
But overall, this is a nice complex brew that has a lot going on in it.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle shared at the March Michiana Coalition of the Drinking meeting. dark, very little head. dark amber colored. has a caramel, woody odor. Malty flavor that is syrupy and sweet. sweet caramel and molasses flavor is very strong. i can see drinking this but its really unlike anything else i see in the U.S.

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Photo of DrJay
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle, 12/2009: Looks pretty good, nice and clear with a reddish tint and tan cap. Fruity aroma, plum and raisin, malty, hint of oak. Similar flavour with more pronounced oak towards the end. Dry tannins in the finish were a little stronger than I would prefer. Smooth, nearly creamy, texture once the initial carbonation dissipated. I'm not getting the chocolate or toffee that was present in the aged bottle I tried, mainly just fruit and wood, so I'm a little less impressed. Still quite good though.

1998 Vintage: Clear ruby/mahogany with a short tan head that reduced to a thin wisp of bubbles. Some lace. There was a light vinous/sherry aroma that melded nicely with ripe/dried fruit and a hint of oakiness. Complex fruit and woody flavour with a light tartness, hint of cherry and a bit of chocolate/toffee in the finish. Medium body, low carbonation, smooth and slightly drying. Very tasty. This beer has aged well and the bottle I shared was in excellent shape. 4/4.5/4/4/4

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

Tasted this on 12.03.06, a 500ml bottle purchased from Redmonds, Ranelagh, Dublin. The labelling was a bit different to one shown on BA, calling itself "Strong Suffolk Vintage Ale". It says on the label "A unique blend of two classic ales BPA and Old 5X. Old 5X is aged in oak for 2 years. Brewed in limited quantities" What does blended mean?

Anyway, this poured a dark brown body with a lovely tan head. Slight haze.
Smelled of light hops.
Tasted of rust, and some malts; very good (clean finish).
Very smooth and drinkable, a very nice strong old ale.

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

this 11.2 oz bottle was bought from the MJ beer club at least 2 years ago. I was very fond of it at that time and will see how matters have developed. I have no idea if this bottle is filtered or bottle-conditioned at this point - there is some sediment in the bottom.

pours in pint glass with 30% light tan head in glass. oaken smell is very evident, and permeates area around glass. not many british ales touch wood now - it is quite distinct.

taste carries more of the oaky taste, with deep roasted malt and something resembling either a belgian lambic or flemish red character in the front end. not sure if this is an artifact of yeast or wood character. overall taste is subtle and very pleasant.

while this reminds me of the traquair beers (oak-fermented though pasteurized) it also has a lot of similarity to the flemish reds without the sourness. i recommend it to anyone who likes any of the above.

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Photo of Drew966
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle indicates that this is a blend of two ales that have been aged in oak for two years. This beer pours from a brown bottle a dark brown with ruby being evident with a decent head. Smell is malty and vinous. Taste is definitely vinous to some extent, malt is a strong part of the taste, notes of oak are also apparent. This is the second one I've had, I liked it more the first time, they were labeled differently, this is a review of Olde Suffolk, last time I had the Strong Suffolk. I'm not sure if there is any difference between the two, or if any differences could be attributed to how the beer was cared for or just my mood. Definitely an interesting beer, I doubt this will be the last time I try it.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured a dark ruby red colour... Creamy tan head poured big and foamy and then faded to a nice thin layer...

Aroma - Caramel malty sweetness, bisuity, dark fruits (raisins, prunes), peppery, treacle notes, brown sugar, chocolate notes...

Taste – Light toasted malts, coffee, bitter chocolate, nice light hop bitterness, traces of sherry, oaky...

Feel - Quite smooth.. Medium bodied.

Overall - A very good beer.... Recommended...

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

Pours clear dark brown, almost a deep purple with ruby highlights.

Smell is unusual. dark fruit, molasses, toffee, oak, and roasted malt.

Taste is very rich. Sweet malt and dark fruit up front. Pleasant aged oak bitterness in the finish. Slightly astringent and spicy.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and well balanced. Carbonation is slight.

Overall this is robust and interesting brew. I enjoy the character more as it warms. It is mild enough to be a session beer. I would recommend this one.

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Photo of whynot44
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Medium/full bodied, rich dark ruby/mahogany color with a moderate tan head.

Aroma is caramel malt, fruit, spices, whiskey and buttered biscuits.

Taste starts with slightly sweet caramel and toffee, plums, grapes, then spices - cinnamon, ginger, ? - hints of chocolate and smoke with am oak/whiskey overtone and a buttery, creamy smooth texture.

Very full, complex but well balanced and mellow flavor. This will go well with a variety of food but deserves to be appreciated by itself. Marvelous.

 506 characters

Photo of mclanem
4.56/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was one of the best beers I have ever tasted. It poured nice and dark with a good head. the smell was pleasing. the taste was the best part on taking a mouthful it covered all of the tastes perfectly in my opinion, slight coffee flavor. If you have a chance to try this beer do so it will not let you down.

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

A clean dark chestnut brown beer with some mahogony highlights. Has a nice creamy dark beige head with just a little bit of lace.. There is a nutty sweet malt aroma followed by an intrigueing oak note. Malty sweet down the middle of the tongue with a bit of roasted malt bitterness down the sides. good mouthfeel and a satisfiying finish.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.84/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured vigorously I managed to get a 2 finger head that eventually became no more than a thin white ring. Deep ruby color with hardly any carbonation. Beautiful aromas of brown sugar, dark fruit, vanilla, and butterscotch. Flavors of figs, raisins, cherries, oak, vanilla, and a touch of alcohol. Pleasant bitterness works with the sweetness of the beer quite nicely. Very smooth moutfeel, drying in the finish. The finish really reminded me of wine tannins.

Wonderful beer. One of the things I love I love about it is that the finishing bitterness is so subtle as not to totally and abrasively balance the malts out, rather the flavors flowed from sweet to mildly bitter. Fantastic.

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Photo of blackie
3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

apppearance: The pour into my snifter creates a small, dirty white head. The beer is mahogany in color. The marking L04-320 is printed on the back label.

smell: There is a considerable sour/tart characteristic to the aroma. A vinous oakiness is present. Hints of dark fruits and leather. Hops are pretty low.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is just slightly less than medium. The body is a moderate light.

taste: Dark fruits and an underlying sourness. Just a slight hop bitterness. Finish is astringent and bitter with a lingering sour flavor.

drinkability: pretty drinkable

Despite this beer's high ratings, I am not feeling it. Lacks complexity, especially on the tongue.

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Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
4 out of 5 based on 462 ratings.
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