Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Robinson's Chocolate Old Tom Strong Ale | Robinsons Family Brewers

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
16 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Robinson's Chocolate Old Tom Strong AleRobinson's Chocolate Old Tom Strong Ale

Brewed by:
Robinsons Family Brewers
United Kingdom (England)

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Brad007 on 09-10-2012

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 48
Photo of kitschiguy
4.44/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle given to me by a supplier into 350ml beer glass. Big fluffy off-white head which lasted a while and left a lot of lacing.

Nose is lovely with lots of chocolate some caramel and a little dark fruit.

Palate is coffee, toffee, caramel and some stone fruit with a little vanilla. Great stuff.

Mouth is good but a little thin.

Overall a wonderful beer. Rich, complex and lots and lots of flavour.

Highly recommended.

 429 characters

Photo of Davey-C
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Style note: Robinson's Old Tom is listed as a commercial example of an English Barleywine (17D) in the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines. I can see how it is listed here as an Old Ale (17B) as it has 6% ABV.

Sampled on 2/16/16 from a plastic sample cup poured from a bottle at my BJCP tasting class. Aroma: initial aroma of rich dark malts. Aroma developed to reveal esters and malt aromas of dried dark fruit, prunes, and cherries at moderate levels. No hop aroma. Hint of malt balls (ovaltine) as beer warms. Appearance: light brown color. Moderately-heavy cloudiness with larger (just less that 1mm chunks) that do not precipitate out. Light head retention with half moon of light tan rocky bubbles on surface. Heavy fine lacing. Flavor: balance is malt forward with malt flavors of rich bread crust. Very little hop flavor perceived and very low hop bitterness present in late palate. Yeast esters of English strain. Malt and esters produce substantial dark fruit notes. Malt ball (ovaltine) notes at aftertaste at light levels. Mouthfeel: medium-heavy body. Moderate carbonation. Low to moderate alcohol warmth. Low creaminess. Low astringency in late palate through aftertaste. Overall: standard English Barleywine that I would gladly finish at a bar. Enjoyed dark fruit aromas and flavors very much. Malt ball flavor detracts from flavor and finish. Suggestion for improvement may be to remove or lower chocolate or arrive at desired chocolate flavors in another manner that does not detract from nuanced dark fruit notes by tasting like malt balls. 35-50.

 1,560 characters

Photo of josanguapo
4.89/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From hipercor, last unit. In duvel glass. after dinner. Amazing aroma, with soft smell and taste to chocolate of the finest kind. Alcohol isnt noticeable. Even with the chocolate is sweetnrss and bitterness are very well balanced, making it very comfortable to drink. A pity that the chocolatier simon dun had to close its business as Ive read in google. Probably wont be able to tase another of this exquisite beverage again

 426 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

330 ml bottle with an undecipherable code stamped on the neck. Served in a snifter after some warming. Clear red-brown body with a somewhat weak head but nice lacing.
Unusual and dynamic flavor profile. Sweet toffee dominates up front but cocoa comes out on top in the finish and lingers on in the mildly bitter aftertaste.

Feel: full body with medium carbonation.

 367 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber/light brown in color, with a moderate cap of off-white foam.
Aroma-Faint milk chocolate, cocoa note
Taste-Toasted malt, a light touch of chocolate and toffee. Subtle and easy-drinking.

 190 characters

Photo of Andrewziggy
3.04/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

medium-light and smooth; brief flash of chalk; modest carbonation, more bitter than sweet
use of chocolate is subtle, bitterness prominent over bittersweetness

 160 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%

A: mahogany brown ale with obvious floaties - two fingers of tan foam atop

S: roasty cocoa malts; something woodsy and herbal

T: mild brown ale flavors accented with cocoa and a faint, washed out molasses sweetness; something like shellac lurks in the background

M: medium-light and smooth; brief flash of chalk; modest carbonation, more bitter than sweet

O: not sure what to make of a low abv strong ale; use of chocolate is subtle, bitterness prominent over bittersweetness - interesting and worth a try.

 510 characters

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into pint glass, bottled on 3/21/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, light raisin/plum, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of chocolate, dark/bready malt, and light-moderate hop/yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, light raisin/plum, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, toast, brown bread, herbal, grass, light raisin/plum, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and robustness of chocolate, dark/bready malts, and light-moderate hop/yeast ester flavors; with a good sweetness/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice flavored old ale. All around good robustness and balance of chocolate, dark/bready malt, and light-moderate hop/yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,521 characters

Photo of seedyone
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

02/19/14 From bottle at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Great chocolate taste. Because it's a brown ale & not a stout/porter that I'm used to as a vehicle for chocolate, it's a bit loose viscosity-wise, but the flavor is there.

6% should be flagged as an adult beverage, for sure.

Thumbs up on this one.

 295 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the embossed 330 ml. bottle. Sampled on March 30, 2014.

The pour is medium amber leading up to a tremendous, puffy off-white head. Plenty of lacing.

The aroma has a British malt character with a more cocoa note rather than chocolate. To me there is a difference. Caramel sweetness too.

Medium body.

The taste has a clean, pale malt character like I normally expect from a British brew but the chocolate seems to be downplayed. Mild bitterness to follow.

 462 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml, mirror-world stubbie bottle, apparently only available in Alberta through the good graces of the local liquor monopoly concern.

This beer pours a clear, bright bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of frothy, bubbly pale beige head, which leaves a prominent swath of imminent storm cloud lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of rich bready, slightly Christmas cake-like malt, musty, dusty, department store milk chocolate, further spider-web strewn cellar dank, a hint of juicy red fruit, ethereal earthy and weedy hops, and a wee sprig of warming alcohol. The taste is again a pleasant meeting of grainy, bready caramelized malt, and a respectful dose of now mildly bittersweet melted chocolate, with some restrained musty, sort of stale essences muddling about, and a still gently soused leafy hoppiness.

The bubbles are unsurprisingly lacking in involvement, the body on the far side of medium weight, and mostly smooth, but for a late-arriving, but still low-key vegetal astringency. It finishes off-dry, the malt, cocoa, and alcohol now facing that odd sense of overripe greens - huh.

Old Tom's chocolate incarnation starts off well enough, but sadly devolves into a weirdly off-putting blending of worlds - hard to say which party is culpable here, but I doubt that chocolate has the same capacity for unpleasant off-flavours as do rogue hops, or ill-bred grain. Hard to tell here, but in the end, I just won't be returning to this one.

 1,474 characters

Photo of Fuzzycranium
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

I was expecting a little bit darker ale. Not diasappointed, just surprised. The aroma is unlike most anything I have had. I'm not sure I have the right words for it, but raw chocolate mixed with sweet phenols. Really intriguing. Lacing was exceptional, head not so much. Flavor Warming, light in roastiness, slightly malty, Definately is flavored like a malty amber (obviously) with a twinge of tang moving into almost minty malt sweetness.

 440 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

June 2011: 330ml Brown bottle , best before Sep 2012, poured into a ’Hoegaarden Grand Cu’ stemmed tulip.

Good reddy brown colour, head soon left leaving a tan coloured collar and a few pieces of lacing as the beer level fell.

Pleasant chocolate aroma is given off which carries on into the taste, true chocolate flavours throughout make this an interesting blend.

Different and well made, good carbonisation and thoroughly enjoyable. Really for a winters night, but equally as good as a summer nightcap.

 513 characters

Photo of Jetulio
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

330 ml bottle poured into a Pint glass
Appearance... muddy brown beer with head colour beige of almost 1,5 fingers
Aroma... grass, floral, cocoa. Fresh and not too strong smell with a touch of malty aroma
Taste... malt and chocolate, sweetness appears soon lasting all the time,
Mouthfeel... medium body and medium/soft carbonation
Overall... nothing special or spectacular but nothing wrong with this peculiar ale.

 416 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer pours a dirty, hazy, caramel color. Oatmeal head with little retention and hardly any lacing.

The beer smells like a European lager coated on chocolate.

The taste is the same, but there's a caramel note in there as well.

Mouthfeel is medium-light.

Overall, I was expecting more, just tastes like a chocky euro lager.

 364 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't had anything from this brewery yet and the description on the label was tempting (chocolate?).

Pours a nice reddish brown with a thin head. It bears a strong resemblance to an old ale and also its' American counterpart (strong ale).

There's a decent cocoa tint to this strong ale. It seems odd considering that it's not a darker beer. There's also a good hint of plum.

The taste is where this shines. Lots of cocoa upfront and it adds a fruity, spicy texture to what would otherwise be a bland ale. Very respectful mix of flavors.

Lingering cocoa/spice notes pepper the mouthfeel. Carbonation is just right.

Don't be confused by the description. This isn't a darker ale. However, it is quite tasty.

 723 characters

Robinson's Chocolate Old Tom Strong Ale from Robinsons Family Brewers
3.76 out of 5 based on 48 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!