Old Man | Tree House Brewing Company

Old ManOld Man
154 Ratings
Old ManOld Man

Brewed by:
Tree House Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our classic English-style Bitter returns to pay homage to a great man and an integral part of the Tree House team - Nate’s father, Dan! Dan has been spent his work-tirement assisting Tree House on the canning line and in many other ways both physically and spiritually. This beer is an homage and a thanks to a great man - and more broadly to fathers everywhere. Thanks, ‘Da’.

Don’t be fooled by the name - our interpretation of an Extra Special Bitter carries light bitterness and a gentle earthy noble hop character from Fuggles hops. The hops are balanced by an airy fruitiness and a rich base of flavors evoking caramel malts, brown sugar, and hazelnut. It is a wonderful and simple beer we find best paired with fish and chips, smoked meat, roasted chicken or, ideally, a day on the river.

Added by ppoitras on 10-27-2012

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 154 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of Duvalldo1
3.47/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of RickyBfromCT
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Reginald_Dunlop
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is ridiculously good. Move past the IPA obsession and realize there is more to beer than hop smoothies. Excellent work by treehouse. Like a fresh loaf of sweet light molasses bread in a glass.

 205 characters

Photo of robrio89
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sulldaddy
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampling a cold 16 oz can poured into a snifter. The beer pours a mostly clear amber to copper hue with some creamy eggshell white head foaming up about 2 cm and fading to a sturdy surface layer of foam. One large island floats in the center of my glass throughout the sampling.
The aroma is a nice dose of malt with caramel and some brown sugar mixing with a bit of toasted grain and hints of cherry. A little bit of earthy hop character gives the nose some balance.
First sip reveals an average body with fine and slightly tingly carbonation. The texture is smooth with just a little bit of a coating effect across my palate.
The flavor is similar to the nose with a nice balance of malt and some earthy hop character. I get a dose of caramel and toasted grains, light brown sugar with a bit of nutty flavor, maybe almonds. This is mixed with the hops which are not the centerpiece, and give some earthy and a bit of spicy hop note, before the beer finishes toasty and cracker grain flavor. I dont get any of the low ABV and find this beer very easy to drink.
A nice balanced easy drinking beer from TH!

 1,113 characters

Photo of BHDLCC
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a really good beer!!!! The BA score seems low to me. It’s not an IPA, but its really good. Highly recommend this beer.

130 characters

Photo of Jrodsmrs51
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Rub_This_BBQ
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: deep copper with a slight haze but clear for TH light head with a small amount of lacing
S: bread and caramel followed by mellow hop notes of earth / grass
T: light mouthfeel and taste follows nose a stong malt carmel body with earth undertones, light bitterness
O: a good beer done well to style and like seeing a clear beer from TH, fuggles and the earth tones is hop flavor I personally like

 399 characters

Photo of TylerGray27
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's not a true esb. Wrong color, doesn't smell like an esb, but still very good

80 characters

Photo of ScaryEd
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy copper color with 2 fingers of fluffy tan head. The head settles into a film, leaving some nice cobweb lacing along the way.

The aroma is very doughy up front, followed by a sweet orange marmalade character. The middle brings some grassy notes before sweet caramel and spicy hops come up the rear *giggles*.

The flavor is full of sweet bread and caramel. Some brown sugar and toffee comes through in the middle. The finish is subtly citrusy with a faint touch of bitter hops. Lots going on here. Not bad for the style.

The feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Quite smooth and dry.

Overall, a good, well-balanced beer that is definitely perfect for autumn weather. I'm not too familiar with the ESB style but from what I've had this seems like a solid representation. Not the best Tree House has to offer, but it's nice to try something different. Would definitely drink this again.

 956 characters

Photo of Coltron23
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of crobinso
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BEEPOP
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of madelf66
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of HopHunter19
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - nice brown color that's hazy and has a tan head that sticks
S - bready and caramel malts and grassy hops
T - big bready malts, some of that creamy/bubblegum TH yeast character, grassy and earthy hops
M - light mouthfeel, alc covered, aftertaste is earthy bitter hops and bready malts
O - not really my style but like everything from treehouse its one of the best of its kind

 379 characters

Photo of heatmiser18
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of billab914
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wellsnb
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of knicks19947
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of eagle109
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BigMFDaddy
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jaydoc
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BEER88
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

You have to go into this beer open minded because for the style it is good! I am a hop lover for sure but I appreciate all styles so i started my night with this beer as the first and it was delicious. By no means a hoppy juice bomb but a nice cracker, subtle caramel malt beer with some bitterness and light earthy hop notes in the back. Feel was sharp and smooth. Another style well done by TH!

 396 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ScottKramer, I'm able to give my first detailed review of a Tree House brewing beer. Thanks, ScottKramer!

CAN: Love the label design. Has a classily understated label on a silver can; label is pea green and depicts a man fly flishing. Standard pull-tab top. 16 fl oz format. Canned 07/07/17.

5.4% ABV. Extra Special Bitter. Brewed with European hops.

Served cold into a nonic pint glass.

HEAD: ~6-7cm worth of head. Frothy and off-white. Thick. Creamy. Robust. Leaves gorgeous lacing on the sides of my nonic as it slowly recedes. Retention is superb - ~10 minutes.

BODY: Dark copper-amber. A bit lacking in terms of vibrance. Seems filtered; I observe neither yeast/lees nor sediment within. Nontransparent. Quasitranslucent; it has a glow to it.

Style appropriate in appearance with no immediate flaws. Still, more vibrance to its body would help make it still more attractive.

AROMA: Fruity sweet, hinting at candied orange peel/citrus peel. Marmalade. It's clearly in the Fullers camp of ESB brewing, eschewing the American hop approach favored by many American breweries in favour of a return to tradition.

Caramelization is evident throughout. Pale malt, caramalt, maybe even crystal malt.

No diacetyl or other off-notes are present aromatically.

Hop presence is mild - just floral character or maybe some complementary citrusy character, but none of the earthy character I'd expect.

Suggests a balanced yet sweet brew with a nice citrus peel emphasis. Certainly true to style.

Aromatic intensity is moderate. Certainly an inviting aroma; I often hate the diacetyl in ESBs, and this seems to be diacetyl-free. No buttery aromatics whatsoever.

TASTE: Candied orange, orange marmalade, caramelized citrus, moderate malty sweetness. Pale malt and caramel are at the heart of this brew, but there's not much competing bitterness from the hops, which provide floral and slightly earthy flavours.

Definitely a fruity sweet expression of the style firmly in the Fullers camp of ESB brewing. No diacetyl off-flavour or American hop nonsense here...just true-to-tradition balance and nice depth of flavour.

Has a bit of a toasty edge to it which plays well with the marmalade-like flavour. Has an English vibe in that respect, and I could see this pairing well with an orange marmalade biscuit.

Good flavour duration, with some of the pleasant sweetness lingering past the finish. Apt flavour intensity.

TEXTURE: A bit gooey. Smooth, wet, unrefreshing, medium-bodied. Has apt heft and weight on the palate given its flavours and the style. No booziness here (or diacetyl butter). It's a bit crisp in its carbonation, but overall this mouthfeel complements the taste nicely.

Not syrupy, harsh, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Restraint and balance aren't often observed in American approaches to more delicate styles, but Tree House succeeds in the English ale arena with this true-to-form ESB. It's a highly drinkable expression of the style and might be the best American attempt at an ESB I've yet tried. Still, there's room for a bit more hop nuance; I'd like more of an earthy or peppery hop flavour in keeping with Fuller's' and it could do with a bit more dryness in terms of mouthfeel. Still, I love that this doesn't go for the diacetyl-emphatic ESB profile that seems to have gripped contemporary attempts at the style and it's a very enjoyable brew. I don't often buy ESBs, but if I was craving the style this would be my pick.

Huge thanks to ScottKramer for the chance to try this!

Drinks great from a nonic pint glass. Pair with rye bread, English biscuits, and/or buttered pretzels.

B (3.57) / GOOD

 3,669 characters

Photo of Nichols33
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Old Man from Tree House Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 154 ratings
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