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

Subscribe now!

Old Boy Ale | Parallel 49 Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
22 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Old Boy AleOld Boy Ale

Brewed by:
Parallel 49 Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by canucklehead on 08-21-2012

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 110
Reviews by thehyperduck:
Photo of thehyperduck
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

341 mL bottle from the LCBO, pulled from their Unparalleled sampler pack. No packaging date given - there's a spot for this information provided on the six-pack box, but it was left blank. I didn't mind the Hoparazzi I tried last night, but let's see how this brewery fares with a style whose base flavours can't simply be obscured with a dump truck full of hops. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a deep mahogany hue with some ruby red tinges under the light, and topped at first with two fingers of loose, puffy, light beige-coloured head. It recedes steadily over the next few minutes, leaving in its place a modest, dense cap about 1 cm thick. Not much in the way of lacing. The aroma is decidedly malty, but rather subdued. Hints of almond, chocolate and toasted bread/biscuits are noticeable, as well as a respectable dose of earthy, English-style hoppage.

Seems promising enough so far, but my first sip leaves me disappointed and confused. There is a lot of fruity, almost sour raisin-and-plum-like character in this flavour profile, and it is irritatingly noticeable from start to finish. This flavour mingles with the malts initially, which provide some notes of brown sugar sweetness, milk chocolate and toasted nuts. The hops become prominent toward the finish, providing an earthy bitterness that sufficiently counters the malts. Mildly earthy aftertaste that meekly clings to the palate. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation and very fine bubbles that gently prickle the tongue. Fairly balanced in flavour and reasonably drinkable, but not an inspiring English-style ale at all.

Final Grade: 3.38, a serviceable B-. I generally like English bitters and brown ales, but Parallel 49's Old Boy Ale just isn't doing it for me. The flavours aren't awful, but the fruity sourness clashes intensely with the rest of the profile, and it all adds up to a brew that is less than the sum of its parts. Suffice it to say, I'm not impressed, nor am I inclined to purchase this again. I agree with the other reviewers who consider this more of a brown ale than a bitter, although in all honesty it's not a great example of either style. There are plenty of imported British bitters that I would greatly prefer over this stuff, and I would recommend that you stick with them, too.

NOTE: The second bottle of this was consumed at (air-conditioned basement) room temperature, and it actually came together much more nicely. I'm not changing the score (since the bottle itself suggests serving this chilled to 4-7 degrees C), but it's a fact worth considering.

 2,562 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Caleb_Mandrake
2.12/5  rDev -40.9%

Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of MJ63
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of JonnyBeers
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of biboergosum
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341ml, corporately embossed bottle, another single from my craft six-pack from a heretofore unfathomable Whyte Ave booze purveyor. A Mr. Peanut parody, obviously involving a pint glass, holds the fort on the actual label.

This beer pours a clear, dark ruby amber tint, with two fingers of tightly foamy, and somewhat creamy beige head, which renders a decent string of broad webbed lace around the glass as it eases its way out of existence.

It smells of biscuity caramel malt, some further toffee nougat, a subtle oily nuttiness, and soft earthy, leafy hops. The taste is lightly toasted bready caramel malt, some mild crackery biscuit notes, further indistinct bar-top nuts, a slight twinge of bittersweet chocolate, and more forest floor, somewhat herbaceous hops.

The bubbles are fairly restrained in their ardor, the body a solid medium weight, and rather smooth by any measure. It finishes on the sweet side, the dark bread, toffee, and roasted biscuits basically lording it over those punk-ass, underachieving hops.

A decent enough ale, with a hell of a lot more to recommend it as an English Brown Ale, than the current ESB designation, a style otherwise close to my heart and/or palate. Anyways, approach this as the former, and you will be adequately, if not pleasantly, satisfied.

 1,296 characters

Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of CWVegas
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - clear deep brown, finger of head slowly settled at a half finger covering, no significant lacing
S - very nutty with some caramel and light dark fruity notes
T - big cashew and almond nuttiness, mild notes of caramel and brown sugar
M - biggish body and very creamy, finishes full
O - this is definitely better characterized as an english/nut brown rather than ESB, and in that light it makes a rich malty treat

 415 characters

Photo of cletetron
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of 1stOffender
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of souvenirs
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of KevinGordon
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of LJWalker
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of ThinkAgain
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of jaydoc
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%

Photo of CookstLiquor
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 355ml bottle. Pours a brown-orange colour with a thin head. The nose is all about cereal malt notes with hints of chocolate and coffee. The mouthfeel is pretty soft and smooth. On the palate there are chocolate, grain and cracker notes with a slight bitterness on the finish.

 289 characters

Photo of findango
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A clear rudy brown with active streams of carbonation that pored with a thin finger of creamy head, that left just a scant lacy scattering of tiny bubbles.

S: Hints of toffee malts followed by minerals, fairly mild on the smell while cool, but developed as it warmed.

T: a flush of bitters that quickly followed up by notes of pleasant malty brown ale, then to be followed again by more bitters. The tug of war between bitters & malts are complex and intriguing, and the warmer the brew gets the better it tastes.

M: Light to medium mouth feel, very mild carbonation.

O: Easy drinking brew that would go great with pub fare & sports. Much better warmed a bit, be sure to be patient when tring it the first time.

 721 characters

Photo of Jeremy7
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Boy Ale from Parallel 49 Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 110 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 FestĀ® 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!