Robinson's Old Tom Strong Ale
Robinsons Family Brewers

Robinson's Old Tom Strong AleRobinson's Old Tom Strong Ale
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English Old Ale
Ranked #91
Ranked #19,163
3.86 | pDev: 13.99%
Robinsons Family Brewers
England, United Kingdom
Very Good
Robinson's Old Tom Strong AleRobinson's Old Tom Strong Ale
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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 155 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of KooVee
2.85/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

33cl bottle, bb in 9m.

Dark clear ruby brown, light beige lace-sticky head.

Aroma brings to mind the recent revelation Rochefort yeast is actually related to British ones. That is, a very Belgian aroma of a strong dubbel. Dark dried fruits, especially prunes, molasses a bit, plenty alcohol and some cinnamon or nutmeg. There is a lighter fruitiness floating on top that does remind you of British ales, but overall the aroma leads you across the Channel.

Taste has a very strong alcohol component wrt strength. The thin body might be a partial factor. The booziness is tempered by an unusually prominent flavor that is moderately astringent. It is hard to pin down, I think of cork, rotten apple, cellar. A slightly spoiled strong drink that has oxidized in a cellar. Not really pleasant and strange for the style. A metallic aftertaste pointing at significant sugar.

For me, a failure. That unusual flavour is too dominant and signalling spoilage. And while the aroma is interesting, the taste would be very simple and thin without the idiosyncracy. And the alcohol...this is 8.5%, no technical reason to feel like you are drinking 18,5%. .. this is what you get when you use too much sugar/syrup without anything to balance it. It was not done here to make the beer light on its feet, it was done for artificial strength.

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Photo of Bruno74200
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This old ale shows an amber body with a very thin head

Notes of toffee, caramel malts and a lot of esters all around

The mouthfeel is silky with a moderate carbonation

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Photo of davidperez
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Tulip, it pours a very dark brown, deep, opaque, with a beige one-finger head with very good retention.
After the head dissipates, a brown ring remains right on the fringes of the glass, adorning the aesthetics with a frothy and creamy texture. Beautiful and long-lasting lacing.

The bouquet is nothing short of exquisite. So rich and complex.
Prunes, dates, vanilla, cinnamon, slight hint of coffee and toffee, sweet malts, booze.

This beer is better enjoyed slightly chilled, as it is the best way to showcase some of its bouquet complexity. Sweet malts, dark fruits, and some molasses, spices, brown sugar. A very peculiar overripe apple note appears, which is actually overpowering.
Nice balanced beer, you can sense both the bitterness and the sweetness without any struggle for protagonism, although the bitterness slightly prevails. Nice, vively carbonation. The finish is long and has a hint of booze.
A bit of a downside is its watery mouthfeel, contrary to what one would expect.

Still, overall, a very nice beer.

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Photo of Snowcrash000
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep/dark brown, almost black coloration with a faint reddish tint and a medium, creamy head. Smell is dominated by caramel malt and dark fruit: rasin, fig, with a hint of toffee and brown sugar. Taste follows the nose, being dominated by dark, bready, caramel malt and dark fruits: raisin, fig, with hints of red berries: redcurrant, toffee, chocolate and tobacco as well. There's also a slight mineral note to this. Finishes with a medium bitterness and some toffee/chocolate notes lingering in the aftertaste. Slightly thin mouthfeel with a rich body and medium carbonation.

This kinda reminds me of a cross between an American Barleywine and a Doppelbock with its rich, malty character and notes of dark/red fruits, but also good bitterness, which prevents it from becoming too sweet. Quite nicely balanced, actually, but the mouthfeel could be better.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Saveur Biere. In Teku glass. Playing Avernum 3. Sweet, with a brown sugar, molasses profile that is really sniffable Alcohol is a bit noteceable but improves it instead of being a fault

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter.

L: Dark dark brown, unfiltered flecks in the light.

S: Currant, chocolate, dark malt.

T: Chocolate, caramel, some grape and dried fruit.

F: Creamy and smooth

Great dark ale, rich and complex from start to finish.

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Photo of SABERG
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle dated not so sure, L4174 11:48
A - Dark Mahogany, backdrop. gently carbonated, quick to dissipate cap and thin rings of evidence.
S - Dark fruit, Figs, raisin, wet leather, warm tobacco barn, a bit of booze, and warm toffee.
T -Burnt dark sugar, warm caramel, a bit of cigar wrap, (yes I have picked broad leaf) , dark brown sugar, toasted malt, and wonderful spiciness.
M - Smooth feel, lightly coated palate, jumps to the sweet introduction, then the bitter snap waltzes in to balance things out. The linger is of a fine cigar, or Canadian maple pie. Wonderful either way
O - This offering is rich in the best ways, malts on display, a touch of hop bitterness, the fullness of the palate, offers cover to the 8.5% broadcast on the label. A wonderfully crafted ale worth exploring

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Photo of monkist
5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is really one of the best strong ales! Very well made, this was the first one that started me off on the pursuit for stronger and complex ales. Although tasting it again after a few years it might not overwhelm me as much as it did the first time, it is still a noteworthy, very good strong ale.
It has a quite remarkable aroma, stronger than of a normal strong ale/imperial porter/double stout or whatever you might call it. Its body is also full of flavors, coffee and sweet caramel malts, although the sweetness is not overpresent in this case. Rather the 8+ % ABV that really adds distinctiveness to its taste.
I am totally satisfied with this Old Tom, nothing more to add. A refined, precious bottle of heavy malt liquor, that's what it is.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

S: prune and molasses on the nose with traces of treacle, dried fruit, spice, sweet malt, and faint alcohol.

L: pours bright dark brown under a thin light cream foam cap that reduces to a thick film.

T: very creamy on the tongue with fruit, nuts, molasses, complex malt, dark dried fruit, and a little red wine to sherry. It finishes moderately bitter joined by a mild touch of sweet molasses and very faint chocolate.

F: very creamy with a medium full body and medium low carbonation.

O: big, full flavored beer

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Photo of Djspectral
2.24/5  rDev -42%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Very traditional and old school design of the bottle looks very nice and stylish in hand but the beer itself has a cocacola-like look, it feels good and creamy in mouth, has a very interesting smell but the beer has a veeeery bitter and aromatic heavy taste which I did not enjoy at all :(

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Photo of woomThomas
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer is unclear and very dark brown almost black. The foam is dirty white and will properly. The foam has medium to large bubbles that hang around for a while. The foam leave direct track in the glass. Here you are met by quite malty aromas and a little toasted. With hints of dried fruits such as dates, raisins, a little chocolate. Some herbs and brown sugar, nuts and a little molasses. Something small wet wood tar echo. The flavors reminiscent of the scents of roasted malt in the beginning. Here are some more sweetness and more chocolate and a little caramel. Some dried fruits of dates and raisins. Certain orange towards the end. Medium to full body. Moderate Carbonic. A little sweetness and soft bitterness. A little alcohol on the end.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Smell: sherry, rum, roast, phenols, dark fruits, molasses
Taste: roast, cherries, rum, stone fruit, slight astrigent
Feel: smooth, a little chalky, finishes a little dry

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Tom has a thin, cream-colored head, some scattered lacing left on the glass, and an opaque, red-brown appearance, with noticeable tight bubble streams and tan chunks suspended throughout. The aroma is of dates, sweet fruit cake, strong, bready malt, and a touch of chocolate. Taste is the same, and the mouthfeel is high medium. Old Tom finishes on the wet side. Smooth, though.


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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampling right now on 10/3/15. Picked this up today at the Hy-Vee on 132nd & Dodge (West Omaha) for $4.99. Comes in a nice 11.2 ounce (330ml) bottle. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" pint glass.

Brew pours a very deep brownish-black in color that is very close to a pitch black actually. Just a very thin beige cap is seen as well as some creamy lacing that slides back down the sides of the glass when sipped. Aroma is of roasted malts with some sweet molasses. Bit more going on with the taste as there is a light hint of some red wine (?) which is probably just some dark fruits and like a barley wine. Actually pretty smooth despite the high alcohol content. Doesn't taste 'boozy' either. Pretty much a sipping brew. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. Overall a tasty brew and lucky I didn't have another one of these or I would of been toasted. :D

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Photo of chinchill
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark red brown with a decent head.
Toffee and medium malts on the nose.
Rich and pleasant but not very complex malty flavor.
Way better than Chocolate Old Tom.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

A: Very dark ruby. Small light beige head.
S: Mmm, so good. Loads of rum-like dried fruit and bubblegum.
T: Echoes the nose. Full-flavoured although nothing like the gaudiest of barley wines. Reasonably sweet and particularly bitter. Plenty of bread in the finish. Resembles St Bernardus yet it's quite a different animal.
M: Smooth but frothy.
O: At £1.50 a bottle it gets extra marks for the price.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +3.6%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color with ruby tints and a cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head. OK lacing.

S: A strong aroma of malt, dark fruit, and sweet elements.

T: Tasted of caramel, dark fruit (plums), molasses, malt, and a vinous quality. A pretty solid flavor, with a nice amount of complexity. There's a slight booziness, but it's pretty well masked. A good flavor.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a sharp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, this is a well made beer. Not without some minor flaws, but definitely drinkable.

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Photo of charlatan
3.49/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a dark brown beer with a red tint and relatively little head. The nose is fairly strong treacle. The taste is reflective of that, treacle, becoming sweeter after a while and then slightly more minty before a more bitter finish. Simple, but good.

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Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping
4.59/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can't recall what I paid up for this brew. But would say that it was no more than the average Belgian dark/strong ale. This will come in to play later. Bear with me.

Pours quite dark with a khaki head that hangs around the edges and whisky along the top as it calms. What is really spectacular about the appearance is the very lovely burgundy/mahogany hue to it. I was surprised it was as dark as it was. It looks very nice.

The smell is quite nice. I get a lot of earthy hops and malts, a dusty, dried fruit. You can really pick out the dried cherry note that is nearly sour. It has a slight wine like quality to it. Maybe a touch of chocolate and caramel. You pick up a bit of the booze toward the end as well.

The taste launches forward pretty brilliant and bright with a citrusy taste but drops quickly into dried cherries and dark fruits. The dark chocolate comes in with a red wine like taste and then the caramel in the background. Quite dominated by the fruit qualities in the beer. There is just a smudge of brown sugar and vanilla in the sweetness with a breadiness as well that I find quite appealing and really helps bring the beer together and ease the booze.

The mouthfeel is on the lower medium side. Quite drinkable, not sticky at all. It remains bright and a bit dry and smooth. A bit of a spicy tingle. It really hits the spot. I was feeling like a drinkable dark ale tonight and the body was just what I was hoping for. The carbonation is not explosive. Very average but clinging. A good quality brew in that regards.

Overall, this is quite reminiscent of a Belgian dark ale. But a Belgian dark. It isn't quite as yeasty an stacked up with fruit esters as a Belgian dark ale, but one can easily find the similarities in the rich dark fruits, spiciness, breadiness, and booze. The ale is of a very good quality, you can easily tell and it is also quite a bit better than some belgian dark ales that I have had. I would drink this again and am actually pretty interested in having the chocolate beer they do as well.

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Photo of FLima
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown reddish color with a one finger beige head with medium retention and leaving some laces.
Aroma of molasses, Port Wine, licorice and mild chocolate.
Delicious flavor of nuts, roasted malts, peppery yeast, English earthy hops with a tangy citrusy, caramels, dark and red fruits, pears, chocolate, Port Wine, mild nice sourness and tobacco, licorice and home-made coffee. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with perfect carbonation. Alcohol of 8.5% abv is very well hidden.
This is a tasty, complex, bold and pleasant old ale. Surprisingly drinkable at 8.5% abv.

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Photo of janubio
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

500 ml. bottle. Dark colour, with a small off white head that vanishes soon, leaving a small lace. Smell of a damp cellar, chocolate, notes of caramel, red wine. Medium to light (too much light) body, soft palate. TAste of caramel, chocolate red grapes.

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Photo of Patrick_E_Sweeney
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a beer tulip, chilled. One finger of off-white head, dark brown/amber color. Aroma is very busy; strong malt with caramel, alcohol, and hints of prunes, dried cherries and pears. Also an herbal component that seems a bit metallic. The taste initially hits with a combination of malt and fruit, particularly cherry and pear. Sweetness dominates for the first half second, then a very slight hoppy bitterness follows.

This beer screams mustiness and age, without seeming stale or unpleasant. It is a very interesting combination of flavors that feels a bit disjointed. Still a good beer, and worth trying once. Seems like a hit-or-miss depending on your particular tastes.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a thin, brief, ivory-hued head.

Smell: A mingled of a surprising fruitiness of red berries, dates, cherry with sweetish malty accents of treacle, toffee, toasted biscuit tops. Also, some herbal, anise hints and a sniff of the alcohol.

Taste: A quick flush of sweet toffee and caramelized sugar with a lingering sweet-tart cherry fruitiness (with an additional handful of berries, dates). Faintly nutty, chocolatey. Herbal, leafy hops with a bitterness that melds to the alcohol warmth. A little licorice. A hint of soured treacle on the backhalf. Drying right at the last second of the finish.

Mouthfeel: Just a bit above medium-bodied.. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Quite decent. Would've preferred a bit more refinement and a slight, slight boost to the body for some desired chewiness.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330ml squat bottle, another Liquor Stores Intl/Depot/Barn/Emporium exclusive here in Wild Rose Country. Um, yay?

This beer pours a gently hazy, very dark ruddy amber hue, with two fingers of foamy, fizzy, and broadly bubbly pale beige head, which leaves some weirdly spooky Swiss cheese lace around the glass as things move southwards.

It smells of semi-sweet caramel malt, minor musty toffee notes, my seven-month old's pureed apple and pear mush, a decidedly un-infant-like plum wine booziness, a hint of gritty, stale chocolate, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is more of the same, complexly rendered, as it were - bready caramel malt, besotted prune, plum, and dried cherry fruit, a bit of cigar ash, ethereal dark chocolate, musty basement, and more earthy, leafy, and perfume-heavy floral hops.

The bubbles are present, but generally out for no more than a pleasant stroll, the body just on the lee side of medium weight, and tacitly smooth, as a certain metallic essence rears up as it warms. It finishes on the dry side, the fruit bleeding out, the malt packing for vacation, or something, and the noble hops holding down the fort, a fort replete with mellow sipping alcohol.

Definitely old-tasting, but not in the 'something might be dead and buried here' sense of Thomas Hardy's or the like. That is to say, more fruity, than musty and/or dusty, and lighter in bearing. At any rate, and agreeable enough strong English ale - ageism need not come into play here.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from Sadly not bottle conditioned 330ml dark glass bottle have drank on cask but to far back to give an accurate appraisal
Pours a rich darkish amber body with big but quickly disappearing white head
Nice boozy brown sugar aroma
Barley flavour

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Robinson's Old Tom Strong Ale from Robinsons Family Brewers
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 155 ratings