Grumpy Old Time
Westbrook Brewing Co.

Grumpy Old TimeGrumpy Old Time
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
4.05 | pDev: 14.81%
Westbrook Brewing Co.
South Carolina, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Grumpy Old TimeGrumpy Old Time
Notes: Dark sour Belgian ale aged in apple brandy barrels.
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 141 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Jadjunk:
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Jadjunk from Georgia

3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"A collaboration between Westbrook Brewing and The Charleston Beer Exchange. The base beer for the Old Time series of barrel-aged beers (A Belgian-style strong dark ale) was originally brewed in July 2011 and shortly thereafter racked into a variety of oak barrels, where it spend 18 months maturing. Grumpy Old Time was aged in apple-brandy barrels with a blend of brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus." Brewed in the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, aged in apple brandy barrels. Available in 750 ml. bottles.

Poured from a 750 ml bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a biscuity caramel tan head of a frothy foam consistency over a densely hazy toffee brown body with garnet highlights. Retention is below average, lacing is light and spotty. 3

(Smell) Potent and tangy funk body of caramel grains and bready malts with a notable pinch of brandy for a distinctive twang of enhanced apple sourness. Slightly gruff at this stage, not a lot of sourness character in the nose particularly. Potency is high. 3.5

(Taste) I slightly prefer the flavor of this beer to the aroma- a satisfactory malt body sweetness and complexity of caramelized sugars, plum syrup and licorice meets an instant nip of tangy and drying sourness with slightly funky undertones, although distinctively lactobacillus takes the lead over brettanomyces for a lactic, tangy sourness prevailing. Slightly grainy and notably boozier than the average soured ale, although most sour ales don't come anywhere near 11% abv, so this is to be expected. Finishes with a long drag of bittersweet malt, yeast and culture blending in the most harmonious way they can. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is silky, slick, smooth, lightly chewy, briskly dry. Carbonation is mild, generating a light frothiness and a subtly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is moderately tangy and acidic over sweet and grainy. Alcohol presence is modest, and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) A quaint little experiment with mixed to desirable results. While I can't say I've experienced Apple Brandy barrel aging nor pediococcus cultures in a beer before, the end result of Grumpy Old Time is enjoyable- albeit slightly underwhelming for my expectations. Very dry, slightly grainier than I felt necessary and not too terribly complex outside of the souring impact. This is quite a big bottle to undertake for a single guy alone, and that helps me to be sure that I won't be feeling the urge to revisit this anytime soon. Hefty price tag for a beer with divisive results. 3.5

Westbrook Brewing Co.'s
Grumpy Old Time

Dec 07, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

1.77/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

Nov 09, 2016
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ystazi from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Jul 12, 2014
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zac16125 from South Carolina

4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle into a snifter
Bottled on 2/20/13, release a couple weeks ago

Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed in 2011, then aged for 18 months in Apple Brand Barrels with wild yeasts added.

A: Pours a dark mahogany with some reddish hues when held to light. No real head ever builds, just some spares bubbles that are off white in color. Leaves no lacing.

S: Apple brandy, tart dark fruits, lactic acidity, oak, toffee, licorice, a hint of funk and some booze. Complex and all the components are very well integrated.

T: More sour than I anticipated, a bit funky too. Tart dark fruits and sour citrus. The apple brandy barrel notes are certainly noticeable, and the base beer comes out as well with some licorice and toffee notes. I also get some booze, and a fairly big vinous component. Very nice lingering aftertaste of oaky vanilla.

M/D: Full bodied, moderate carbonation, ABV is well masked, drinkability is average.

O: I really enjoyed this one. I think the combo of the barrel and wild yeasts play well together, but are a bit dominate and not much of the base beer comes out. Thats in contrast to Rummy in which I feel the barrel played perfectly with the components of the base beer. Having tried all four in the series I would rank them as follow Rummy (by a lot)-> Grumpy -> (pretty big drop off) Brandy-> Funky. Overall, a really cool and unique series that Im glad I was able to try.

Oct 25, 2013
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zekeman17 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Jan 07, 2014
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petepiroc from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Jun 12, 2014
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jsanford from Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Nov 08, 2013
Photo of MacQ32
MacQ32 from South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours an almost purple tinted brown with a finger of tan head which dissipates rather quickly yet leaves pretty solid lacing.

S - a hefty bit of sourness and apple brandy. Vanilla wafers, dark fruits

T - Tons and tons of slur apple type funk, vanilla, booze, dark fruits and a bit of sugar peeks through the sour funk. A bit of chocolate type flavors. Finish is mostly sour and it continues through to the aftertaste. Decent bit of acidity as well.

M - Moderate carbonation yet quite smooth and drinks pretty well if the sour/tart isn't too much for you

Oct 19, 2013
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Skrypt from Florida

4/5  rDev -1.2%

Nov 12, 2013
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Crimsontider22 from Alabama

4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Oct 27, 2013
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eawolff99 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Dec 03, 2013
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twenty5 from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Nov 22, 2013
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ncaudle from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Nov 04, 2013
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kscaldef from Oregon

2.5/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is pretty acetic and cidery.

Jan 21, 2015
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kjkinsey from Texas

4/5  rDev -1.2%

Sep 28, 2014
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bsuedekum from Missouri

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Dec 28, 2013
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acurtis from New Jersey

3.49/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jul 03, 2016
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random846 from California

4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Oct 30, 2013
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WillCarrera from Ohio

4/5  rDev -1.2%

Mar 07, 2014
Photo of DVMin98
DVMin98 from North Carolina

4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bottle with some friends. I must have gotten a great bottle that aged well, because looking at the ratings, this was an anomaly. Great brandy flavor. Apples, sour with some (booze) heat. Get some vanilla as well. Was hoping to try this some time and a buddy brought it.

Dec 06, 2015
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pmarlowe from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Apr 20, 2014
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kiki3drt292 from California

2.92/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured totally flat and had an unpleasant soy sauce aroma. Upon putting it to my lips it was slightly oily and had a bit too much unbalanced tarting sharpness. Barrel was somewhat present, but this beer did not stick around in my mouth long enough for me to examine thoroughly.

Mar 20, 2015
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kbuzz from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -1.2%

May 17, 2014
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olradetbalder from Sweden

3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Nov 18, 2014
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TomTown from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Nov 04, 2013
Grumpy Old Time from Westbrook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 141 ratings