Old Man | Tree House Brewing Company

Old ManOld Man
Liked This Beer
3.88 w/ 146 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 146 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of Sk8sean86
1.5/5  rDev -61.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Photo of jakeyk12
1.83/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Photo of libeerguy23
2.8/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Photo of JohnParadee
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of von_kaiser
3.04/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Not a fan of the style...not a fan of this...this is not for me.

64 characters

Photo of LeeeMare
3.09/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of TheDudeFromTheThing
3.12/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of BRoweski30
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of curtis6290
3.27/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. can. Murky amber body. Small white head. Smells of caramel, some bready malts, and just a bit of banana. Tastes of caramel, bread, and the same banana. Moderate bitterness. Medium light body. Pretty good. Flavorful ESB, though heavy on the banana bread flavor.

 275 characters

Photo of bobbypaulson
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of emptyglassagain
3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TheChairman
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Sweffin
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of DelicateDelirium
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of DonFrap
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of rudzud
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BPK59 for sharing .

A - Poured into a Tree House tulip a crystal clear copper hue with a thin one finger head that faded to leave thin lacing and thin halo.

S - Aromas of grains light bread, and subtle hops.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with more hop bitter finish. Lightly floral finish. Not bad.

M - Mouthfeel is lowly carbonated but still refreshing.

O - Overall this was an okay esb. I'm not a huge esb fan and this was somewhat one dimensional.

 468 characters

Photo of MLaVioletteJr
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of ScaryEd
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | 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 malts. Some brown sugar and even black licorice comes through. The finish is subtly citrusy with a faint touch of bitter hops. Lots going on here, but a bit too sweet for my tastes. Not bad for the style.

The feel is medium bodied with very soft carbonation. Smooth, yet a touch on the oily side.

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

 975 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BostonDan
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a can and not my type of beer but pretty good and a smooth finish.

77 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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 Stinger80OH
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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Old Man from Tree House Brewing Company
Beer rating: 76.7% out of 100 with 146 ratings
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