Robinson's Old Tom Strong Ale | Robinsons Family Brewers

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very good
42 Reviews
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Robinson's Old Tom Strong AleRobinson's Old Tom Strong Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Robinsons Family Brewers
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mora2000 on 10-12-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
42
Ratings:
136
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
25.13%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
34
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 136
Photo of popery
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark and clear. It's a burgundy-maroon sort of color, like a brown-toned red wine. The small tan head dissipates to wisps within a minute or so.

The aroma is all fruit and caramel. Raspberries, plums, raisins, cherries - it's in that general area. The malt is sugary caramel and toffee. There's a little bit of toastiness to it.

Sweet with more fruitiness and some notes of earthy yeast and chocolate. It has a somewhat Belgian flavor that's more apparent in the taste than aroma, though it's still definitely English in character. There's some nuttiness to the malt and light spicy hops in the finish.

The mouthfeel could be a little fuller and smoother. It's not bad, just a bit thin and sticky.

This is a pretty good beer, but it could use a fuller, more robust sweetness.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle served in a Celebrator glass. Poured a deep reddish brown with a finger of light tan head. Fruit, molasses and a light hop aroma. Nice and malty with more molasses, caramel and some dark fruit. Fair amount of carbonation. Medium bodied. Hoppier finish than I would have expected from a British beer. Nice example of a British Old Ale.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11.2oz brown pop top bottle with classy raised letters and nice, simple label. Best before June 2012. Picked this up at Sainsbury's in Gateshead. Damnit, how I miss Northumberland...

Appearance: Into my New Belgium Globe, this pours a beautiful dark walnut with bright garnet highlights, crowned by a thick, immensely creamy (almost like nitro) cap of dark ivory foam that shows great retention.

Smell: Near room temperature this shows attractive notes of juicy, almost wine-like dark fruit overlaying a subtle, sweet caramelly malt backbone. Swirling brings out toasty pale malt and a ghostly hint of smoke, which is a bit surprising. This is quintessentially British, and it's quite inviting, even if it's not immensely complex.

Taste: More malt than suggested in the nose. This is actually toasty malt-forward at first. A bit of sugar as well, both in a brown-sugar sort of flavor, and the fact that this feels significantly lighter than a beer of this gravity should. Winey dark fruit takes over the flavors almost immediately, and while I have no reason to believe this has any kind of bugs (esp. Brett) in it, as does Gale's Prize Old Ale, there's just a hint of acidity.

Mouthfeel: Feels like about 6.5%, rather than 8.5%. This aids in drinkability, yes, but I'd like just a bit more malt chewiness here.

Overall: This was on my "gotta find" list for several years, as I love traditional English Old Ales and Barleywines, so I was stoked to find it at Sainsbury's on our first night in Gateshead. Is it all that I hoped for? Well, not quite. I'd opened a bottle of this across the pond and was flat-out disappointed. Seems like I drank that bottle far too cool. At room temperature, this is much better. The booze is wonderfully warming, the dark fruit/winey esters are much nicer than in some examples of this style, melding with the sweet, soft malt background, and the dark caramel is nice as well. Do I love it? No. That being said, it's probably coming up on 9-10 months old (at least) now, and it's aged very nicely. The mouthfeel's a bit thin, but the flavors are nice, and for what I paid for this (about $3.60 US), I would definitely pick up 2-3 of these each winter. Game changer? No. But definitely a well-crafted, ultra-traditional, and quite tasty English Old Ale.

Solid B (84-85)

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Photo of CrazyDavros
2.8/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with a small, fading head.
Nose shows stale malt, cardboard, golden syrup, port notes and bready malt.
Similar problems with the flavours, more stale and grainy malt. Over-the-top oxidised notes. Not many other flavours to distract from these flaws.
Too much carbonation threatens to overwhelm any redeeming flavours.

 334 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased from Half Time Beverage.

It's a gorgeous looking brew; deep golden brown with a 1 finger head of white foam and very impressive lacing.

I also love the smell; loads of dark pitted fruit, a bit of bread, some sweet malt, absolutely nothing bitter in the aroma at all. Well, the style doesn't call for bitterness..

Plums and raisins hit me on my first sip and then, a lot of alcohol. Some caramel sweet working its way in, more fruit and more bread and yes, more alcohol.

This is going to sound weird but sometimes there seems to be a blank area where I can't really taste anything. They are very brief but I'm sure they are there after sensing them more than a few times. Here, I find the aromas of the beer were not lived up to compared to the taste..

The body of this Old Ale is pretty darned light; a major disappointment I have with Old Tom. I'm sure? the cask version, if there is one, would take care of that.

All in all, there are positives than negatives to my way of thinking so I'm glad I bought 4, drank 1, and am saving the other 3 bottles for another time.

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Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice fluffy head of about 1 finger fades at a med pace with a bit of lacing and finishes with nice groups of bubbles floating on the top, very dark murky molasses cola brown color with hints of maroon light.

Nose is nice, soft aged brown malts, various toasty brown malts, molasses, toasted nuts, light biscuit, light fruity aroma, almost hazelnut like earthy root. Then some herbal hops, not a lot but enough to give a light bitterness and let you know its there. Some caramel, touch of booze, light esters, and a hint of cocoa.

Taste is similar, toasty brown malts, plenty of biscuit and caramel, toffee, toasted nuts with a hint of hazelnut. Herbal earthy root like tastes with that herbal hop bitterness as well, earthy and slight salty. Slightly syrupy with a bit of a booze kick. Soft aged brown malts are there but drowned out by the other flavors. Finish is a bit drier but slightly sticky, but of herbal hops and earthy root and nut like flavors linger with a hint of syrupy flavors.

Mouth is a bit bigger bodied, semi soft, decent carb, some warning and tingly booze.

Overall nice, good malts, a bit syrupy but not too much, bit too much booze, nice flavors, not what I expected from a UK beer with how big it is, but the hops remind me it is.

 1,265 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce stubby brown bottle, no freshness/bottling date info to be had.

Pours dark mahogony, darker tan head, leaves a thicker film, collar and some minor bits of lace.

Sweat nose of caramel, molasses, and some light chocolate.

Malty, bready and tasty offering. More caramel, bananas, vanilla, with smooth malty sweetness carrying the weight throughout this one. Decent sipper, higher complexity would lead me give higher ratings for this beer.

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Photo of bark
3.02/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The liquid is clear; the colour deep wine red with a tint of brown (30 EBC). The low head quickly sinks down to a pale brown lid.

The smell is rich, nutty and a little roasted. Raisins, marzipan, and plums. Some smooth alcohol. Ripe raspberries.

The taste is quite dry and bitter. It is, to be honest, quite thin. Marzipan, nuts and some raisins. Somewhat metallic dry astringent flavours. They are overall raw and not very mature. The short aftertaste got notes of chocolate, marzipan, raspberry candy and beef stock. The finish is dry. No noticeable alcohol at all.

The carbonation is light, the bubbles small. The liquid is light and dry.

I remember this one as considerable richer and full-bodied. Goes well with dark chocolate, though.

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Photo of grapetonix
2.57/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Super dark, clear amber with many bubbles. This is good.

S: Weak. Some tones of coffee and walnut but that's it.

T: Surprisingly weak and watery considering the ABV strength. Not bad, Tastes walnut and some bitter hops but once again, too weak!

MF: Quite harsh, but this is not said in an entirely bad tone. Some harshness is unavoidable with alco strengths like this. Unlike cheap strong lagers the aftertaste is not metallic nor unpleasant.

O: Nah, didn't work out for me. Not a horrible beer but this price and alcoholic strength makes me crave for more.

 564 characters

Photo of Daredevil
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

review is for OLD TOM ORIGINAL

nose: dark fruit cocktail, some mahagony wood in the nose as well

palate: full bodied, smooth yet very dry and quite bitter in the aftertaste, port-wine notes with some hints of dark fruits and light notes of sesame

very classy and distinctive strong ale

 288 characters

Photo of allergictomacros
3.47/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear, dark ruby red with a quickly clearing head.

S - Nose is heavy caramel and fruit, dark sugar and heavy alcohol.

T - Big dark, caramelized sugars and muted apple. A little dried fruit, quite sweet and middling bitterness. Definitely on the boozy side.

M - Some heft in the body and a lively, short-lived carbonation.

D - Not really my cup of tea. A little heavy on the dark sugars for me, but if you like that sort of thing...

 439 characters

Photo of salvo
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours murky chestnut brown under a khaki head. Red highlights in a dark brown beer. Very strongly and richly malts with a significant peppery alcohol burn. Very little hop character.

I dunno. I guess it's just not my thing. I'm hoping that the claim to have ben voted "World's Best Ale" happened long before I was drinking ale.

 329 characters

Photo of thierrynantes
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.), tasted in 2011.

Appearance : reddish amber color, with tan foamy head.
Smell : dark fruit aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : alcohol presence, with sherry notes and a dry finish.
Drinkability : a nice beer in the English style Old Ale.

 255 characters

Photo of paxton1978
4.58/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent beer. I left it in the cellar for a year or so to let it calm down and I'd strongly recommend doing this to take the edge off it. Had all the sticky toffee puddingness and caramelised fruit notes that you'd want from this kind of beer, but without being overly-sweet. What i should've done is put two away because i wanted another one straight after and now i have to wait for a year!

 397 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a wine glass. Best before 11 November.

A: Pours very dark, too dark to see through unless directly in the light, when it glows red. Nice frothy head sticks around at the edges of the surface.

S: Sour and strange, almost lambic-like. Traces of seaweed or salt. Some sweeter smells from alcohol or malts underneath. Soured apples and burnt brown sugar? A sweaty orchard? Very difficult to describe. The only other aroma as interestingly bizarre I can recall is that of Orval. [Edit: After I drank a little bit and poured the last third of the bottle, the funkiness became muted. Now I only smell fruity malt and a distant background sourness. Pity; I quite liked the earlier, quirkier scents.]

T: Taste follows smell. Mostly malty-sweet, light caramelised notes, a hint of raisin, and an unfamiliar flavour I attribute to the port finish. Ever-lurking in the background is the lambic-esque sourness. The aftertaste is very wine-like; dry, puckery, and very nice.

M: Smooth, with a bit of tartness. Pleasant.

D: Definitely an interesting -- and enjoyable -- experience, which I hope to repeat sooner rather than later. Recommended.

 1,164 characters

Photo of MM3
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bottle had a best before date of February 2011.

The beer has a red/brown color with a small head and low carbonation.

The smell is complex. It is sweet combined with notes of alcohol and mocha/chocolate.

The taste of the beer is similar to the smell. It is sweet, but it is nicely compensated by hints of roasted malt and hop bitterness.

This is a beer to enjoy for a longer period of time. The taste changes as the drink goes warmer. Hints of dark fruit get noticeable.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of dark fruit with some sweet toffee notes. The flavor is a mix of toffee, earthy hops, a touch of caramel and chocolate malts and a little bit of hop bitterness. The alcohol is very well hidden. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Robinson's Old Tom Strong Ale from Robinsons Family Brewers
85 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.
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