Straight To Ale

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Straight To Ale
Alabama, United States
Old Ale
Ranked #10
Ranked #1,956
4.29 | pDev: 9.09%
Apr 04, 2021
Jan 09, 2014
Notes: English-style Old Ale aged in Cognac barrels.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
4.08 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois on Apr 04, 2021
Photo of JohnnyHopps
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

Appearance - The beer poured a murky brown color with off white bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell - The nose was rich with red grapes and boozy hint.

Taste - The cognac with its lucious grapes is where the magic starts. I was immediately blown away by the maple that followed. Other notes included Welch’s grape juice, fruit leather, toffee, and a pleasant warm cognac finish. Everything works so well together.

Mouthfeel - With low carbonation, the beer is allowed to be sticky and warm.

Overall - I don’t give out many perfect scores. This is my 4th in about 1,000 reviews. This is real good. I need more.

Nov 23, 2017
4.54 by lupercmda from North Carolina on Jul 27, 2017
4.88 by WesSwift from Alabama on Jun 27, 2017
4.72 by JintheHam from Alabama on Jun 08, 2017
4.25 by Narthax from Texas on Mar 13, 2017
Photo of larryi86
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by larryi86 from Delaware

Big thanks to richj1970 for this
22 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Dark brown with a small tan head.

S- Rich, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, plums, oaky, cognac, alcohol stings the nose slightly but it's good.

T- Dark fruits, cherries, pulms, oak, a little earthy, toffee, some cognac, caramel, little bit of heat, definitely sweet.

M- Smooth, medium body, a little on the syrupy side.

O- A tasty Old Ale, barrel works well with this. Worth seeking out if you like sweeter barelywines.

Oct 25, 2016
4.25 by Zekenyce from New Jersey on Jun 17, 2016
4.83 by Copperstripes from Alabama on Jun 05, 2016
3.77 by T_Hass from Georgia on Apr 19, 2016
Photo of BBThunderbolt
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

Thanks to RichJ1970 for this one from his box in NBS BIF #3. 22oz bottle poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a dark, almost opaque brown, with just a this cap of light brown head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing.

The aroma was very rich and full, featured some dark stone fruits (dark cherry, plum), a bit of alcohol, some leather, and solid malt. That is also a mostly accurate description of the flavor profile. There was a bit of lingering alcohol heat at the back of the palate.

The body was solid, but not heavy. Drinkability was very good for such a big, solid brew. Overall, a pretty nice example of one of my favorite styles. Certainly worth your time if you see it.

Apr 13, 2016
4 by Houser from Pennsylvania on Apr 11, 2016
4 by rspauldi from Texas on Mar 24, 2016
4.15 by Duff27 from Illinois on Mar 06, 2016
4.99 by Zachb4au from Alabama on Feb 11, 2016
4.25 by StoutAtTheDevil from Alabama on Feb 07, 2016
Photo of ccg
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by ccg from Virginia

Initial pour is surprisingly fizzy, like a cola. It's an opaque, murky, dark brown with minimal lacing and retention.
The smell is full of sweet malt and sticky caramel and booze, but also slight earthiness and a subtle citrus note.
The flavor is initially huge sweet malt, toffee, and caramel, then giving way to a sweet but tangier flavor. There are no notes on the labor to indicate what this beer actually is. According to BA, it's cognac barrel aged. I might have guessed apple brandy.
The carbonation is light, and it's medium-bodied. It has a bit of sugary stickiness.
The cognac barrel aging was a good idea on this old ale. Straight to Ale is doing interesting things with their barrel-aged beers.

Feb 07, 2016
Photo of Jadjunk
3.71/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Jadjunk from Georgia

No label information. Illudium is brewed in the style of an Old Ale, available in 22 oz. bottles and on rotating draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, foamy head of a light tan color over a very dark brown body. Retention is below average and lacing is light and spotty. 3

(Smell) Earthy, biscuity caramel, syrupy fruits and light roast malts with a moderately potent cognac nose. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Toasted caramel grains, lightly roasted malts, earthy toffee, viscous fruit syrups and alcohol. A bit rough around the edges. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly residual, medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a moderate frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium/heavy for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is slightly grainy and earthy bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) I find that, like most of Straight To Ale's high gravity releases, Illudium has a bit more exposed graininess and alcohol presence than necessary, which holds this ale back a notch from outstanding status for me. 3.75

Straight To Ale's

Jan 09, 2016
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.59/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

Thanks Yanik.

Dark mahogany body with a thin beige collar. Bourbon, French toast, sweet malt, light fruit, booze. Medium bodied, mild to medium sweetness. Tasty.

Dec 30, 2015
4.5 by elkinbrown from Tennessee on Dec 13, 2015
4.69 by Patric65 from Tennessee on Nov 27, 2015
Photo of AgentMunky
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by AgentMunky from New York

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku glass. From notes. Reviewed 28 September 2015.
A: Ruby-dark red. Mostly opaque.
S: Stale yeast. Blueberries.
T: It's really good! This is a great example of old ale, with the stale balanced by the bourbon. Remarkably fruity. Long aftertaste.
M: Smooth and almost flat.
O: Highest recommendation. I want to drink this all the time.

Oct 16, 2015
4 by jaymo18 from Virginia on Oct 05, 2015
4.6 by mattreitz49 from Florida on Sep 12, 2015
Photo of FlandersNed
4.76/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by FlandersNed from Indiana

22oz bottle of cognac BA English-style old ale. Dark brown hue with blood red highlights. Spot on with a malty/cognac nose and delicious dark, ripe stone fruit, sweet malt, aged wine, oak and chocolate notes and a nice boozy finish. Full+ body and medium carbonation - excellent!

Sep 06, 2015
4 by atrocity from Virginia on Sep 04, 2015
4.35 by TheBeard89 from Alabama on Jun 24, 2015
Photo of cvm4
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by cvm4 from Mississippi

A - Pours a dark, deep brown, almost black and has a half finger tan head that dissipates quickly. Not really much lacing or retention on the head.

S - Dark fruits of raisins/plums with lots of caramel. Good amount of malt, some graininess and oak. I'm not getting much cognac, but then again it's not as harsh or standout a liquor as bourbon.

T - Oh man... Rich, sweet cognac with an awesome bready malt quality that delves into dark fruits and finishes with a caramel/cognac finish.

F - Medium body and low carbonation. The smooth, easy body has a bit of alcohol heat on the tongue.

O - Great balance all around on this beer. Rich & sweet with the perfect amount of cognac barrel notes that don't overpower the base beer.

Jun 21, 2015
4.09 by djgustafson from North Carolina on Jun 20, 2015
Photo of GodlessInDixie
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by GodlessInDixie

Rich, barrel-aged English-style old ale. Strong, yet sweet and dark...just the way I like 'em!

Jun 17, 2015
4.48 by snakebit8 from Alabama on Jun 09, 2015
4.21 by myteam24 from Indiana on Jun 09, 2015
4.81 by Purduechris13 from Indiana on Jun 09, 2015
Photo of Wowcoolman
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Wowcoolman from California

Decent mouthfeel, leathery, butterscotch shellac. Very old world- let it come to temp for full experience

May 03, 2015
4.06 by GTJayG from Georgia on May 01, 2015
4.4 by JAXLOU from Florida on Apr 20, 2015
4.25 by bcm75 from Illinois on Apr 13, 2015
4.12 by DangerDawg from Ohio on Apr 11, 2015
4.27 by Sanderson from Washington on Mar 26, 2015
4.37 by itracy63 from Washington on Mar 21, 2015
Illudium from Straight To Ale
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 89 ratings