Old Man Ale | Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd

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Old Man AleOld Man Ale
87 Ratings
Old Man AleOld Man Ale

Brewed by:
Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2003

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Ratings: 87 |  Reviews: 62
Reviews by mpf:
Photo of mpf
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle says a ruby in color the BA style has it as a brown ale I dont see either in the color profile,pours a clear light golden with a thin but well retained white head although I also see other BA's who have reviewed it as either ruby and or brown in color hmm odd.Subtle aromas of fruit and brown sugar with a touch of herb,flavors as well are not in your face but with somethings going on I picked up a real green apple mixed with a touch of spice flavor wich was nice finishing with a noticable dose of green leafy hop even more so as it warmed.A nice quaffing ale nothing to search all around for but if you see it pick it up.

 636 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a sligtly hazed, copper amber body with two fingers of lasting, beige head. Generous patch lacing is left on the glass and the rocky head has excellent staying power. Aroma has spicy herbal hops atop a restrained malt profile that boasts toffee and caramel notes. Accents of ginger and apple are also noted. Mouthfeel features a velvety medium body with lively carbonation. The taste is dominated by the Challenger hops which lend a spicy and herbal bitterness. Soft malt base has a toffee character. Lively and spicy, with a hint of ginger and green appleskins. Very well constructed, with excellent drinkability. Like most English ales, the price, unfortunately, is a bit steep.

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Photo of bsp77
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received September shipment of my BOTM club.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Very clear amber with large stark white head and nice lacing.

Smell: Dry spice, fruit, tea, sour bread and English hops.

Taste: Light fruit, bread and tea-like malts with some English spice counterbalance. Wow, very tea-like and somewhat tart and musty.

Feel: Low to moderate carbonation, relatively light body, exceedingly dry.

Drinkability: Great English pub ale, but I have absolutely no idea what style this is. But it is NOT a typical Brown Ale, closer to a Bitter but without much hops. Edit: this is an Old Ale, albeit a low abv one.

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Photo of ADR
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly yellowish chestnut color, murky and chill hazing. Big pillowy head, rocky and over an inch for more than a minute. Minimal lacing. malty aroma, chocolate, but with a grape sense that hints at more than expected hoppiness. Mouthfeel is charged with carbonation and leans on the thin side. Quite standard in the malt department, lightly sugary and somewhat non-descript -- but the beer swings quickly toward a large amount of skeletal dusty and flowery bitterness. Finishes somewhat gassy without the mouthfeel to temper it. For me, this struck a harsh note I wouldn't expect in a Brown and I don't find it as pleasant as Bluebird Bitter.

 645 characters

Photo of InfernoBoss
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of cokes
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazed decayed orange under a compact, yet alive bone skull.
Emits doughy rye bread, cardboard, buttered bagels and dried herbs.
Enters caramelly, yet dry. A little pasty even. Opens up with a fuller bready expression. Lightly toasty, topped with the perfect about of buttery diacetyl. Spice notes make this special (particularly because they don't exist in actuality). Cinnamon hits the back of the throat. Nods of ginger too. Toffee picks up and carries this into the crunchy leaf closure. Just bitter enough to seal the deal.
Moderately full, glassy textured. This is "real" ale. This won't make you soil yourself...or at least not until you've downed gallons.

This is the Brown that Newcastle should aspire to become.

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Photo of russpowell
3.42/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber/ice tea with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Average lacing & minimal head retention

S: Slight breadyness & leafy hops & then fruitty notes once warm

T: Leafy & metallic hops, a bit of brown sugar & slight biscuitty malt up front. Some jammy fruit & plenty of herbal & leafy hop notes as this warms. finishes fruitty with leafy hops, brown ale, I think not, English Pale Ale I reckon

MF: Thinnish with low carbonation, skews a bit hoppy. Body picks up a bit as it warms

Drinks alright, just not that flavor packed.

 531 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber brown color with a fluffy off-white head, left nice lacing as it dissipated. The smell is sweet, juicy fruit and granny smith apple. It has an overall earthy taste due to the bottle conditioning. Starts off sweet, then finishes tart and bitter. A taste of granny smith apples with a slight hop kick. A good range of flavors. Tightly carbonated, very fizzy feel, probably kills some of the flavor a bit. A very drinkable brew, I find it quite good, a tad too fizzy, but good range of flavors.

 510 characters

Photo of beer_bottle
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of fitzy84
3.17/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A slightly murky, amber appearance; little to no lacing and a very thin head. Aromas of grain and honey are noticeably strong. Besides a subtle sweetness, there is a dull sour aftertaste. The carbonation has somewhat of a crispness, but it does lack in giving it punch. Overall, not too bad.

 291 characters

Photo of Brolo75
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a very clear tea-like brown with an off white head, not much head, slight lacing, decent amount of carbonation. Lots of dark malts, dark wheat, subtle aromas of raisins and figs, touch of rye, lots of grain in the finish, no alcohol on the nose. Lots of grain throughout, otherwise it follows the nose but with much more subtlety on the taste, finish has lots of grain and toasted bread notes. Mouthfeel is light bodied with very little carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

This lacked a lot of the other characteristics I've found in other English brown ales, there's no roasted nuttiness and the flavor and aroma are mild.

 667 characters

Photo of Spikester
3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber with a sizable cream colored head. Good amount of lacings. Aroma is somewhat sour apples. Taste is astringent, some brett like flavors, mildly bitter hops. Not much going on here. An O.K. English pub beer. I paid about $5 for this beer and I would be better off drinking almost any random West Coast micro and at about half the price. Drinkabilty is good due to the under 5% abv.

 391 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass. Pours a medium to dark bronze amber with a half finger off-white head with good retention and nice lacing. Aroma of dark malt, brown bread, very light figs and dates, slightly vegetal. Flavor is mild dark and bready malt, rye, hints of dates and nuts, very subdued. Finishes with a somewhat stark astringency with residual light malt and dark fruit flavors. Medium bodied with light creaminess. All the expected brown ale flavors are here, but very, very mild, doesn't taste watered down, but seems like it should be more robust. The initial flavor is good, but the subdued malt causes the hops, which are surprisingly forward for an English ale, to stand unsupported and a bit astringent. Not my favorite brown ale and may be a storage or freshness problem.

 797 characters

Photo of Traquairlover
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Clear amber, bone white frothy head that leaves heavy lacing.

S = Light grains, honey, earthy hops.

T = Bitter with a fair malt backbone, fresh grains, cracked wheat bread dough, grass, medium dry finish with a bitter tinge to it.

M = Medium-light body, good mouthcoating, nice level of carbonation.

D = This would make a decent session beer. Pretty steady and standard. At the time of this review it is categorized as an English Brown Ale, but I believe it is closer to a pale ale.

 531 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle with a best by date of 11/7/10, poured into a nonic. Brownish-amber with a moderate haze. Pours with a finger of off-white foam which settles to a thin cap. Fruity and mineral aroma, a bit of stone fruit and green apple, toasted malt, baking bread, light earthy hops. Mild but pleasant. Very crisp and rather dry, toasted malt and whole grain bread flavors are prominent, with undertones of green apple and buttery diacetyl, both of which are faint enough to be pleasant. Quite mineral with moderate earthy/spicy hop flavors that appear mid-palate, but there's little bitterness or bite. The finish is more toasty, dry, clean. Light-bodied, bordering on thin, but I don't know that more body would be to the beer's benefit. This has a lot going on for a 4.8% beer, I'd love to try this fresh on cask. Very enjoyable.

 829 characters

Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy light copper in color and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high foamy off white head that has good retention properties and took a long time to settle down.
S: The nose is surprisingly fruity and has aromas of apples and earthy malts.
T: The flavors in the taste are very similar to the smell but are slightly stronger in strength. There are some notes of roasted malts and bitterness in the finish along with some hints of sourness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, a bit thin and rather smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is easy to drink but nothing really sets it apart from others in the style that would make me want to try this again.

 786 characters

Photo of VoodooBrew
2.94/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well here's a pretty good-looking beer from those silly Brits. It's hazel in color, with a huge, rocky head.

But alas, this is where the goodness ends. The aroma is way off-- it's odd, musty, almost like corked wine. Bad bottle? What's the deal here? I wish I could say that all is redeemed by the flavor but it's no stunner either. Mineral, softly hopped, finishing with a malty touch... standard British fare.

I'm sad to say this beer really didn't do much for me.

 474 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of lesdemonsamaporte
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Sallerj
3.09/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This is a great example of a beer that might have been awesome when and where it was brewed, but is mediocre by the time it gets here. It smells of lemon and stale bread. It has a great, creamy mouthfeel. The flavor is a mix of fading malt and hop flavors, with citrus and caramel. I'd love to try this at the brewery, but I'll never buy it in the US again.

 357 characters

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orangeish/reddish amber with a thick off-white head that slowly descends to a lasting cover. Some foamy lacing sticks.

The smell is of fruits (tangerine?) with earthy/woody notes and some caramel/toffee.

The taste is of caramel/toffee maltiness and balancing, subtle fruitiness. There a buttery touch with woody, earthy, leafy, spicy bitterness in the finish.

To fully appreciate the body, serve at the temp. it recommends (58) or even a bit warmer - it reaches close to full-bodied, or even lower end of it, and has a nice smoothness, with carbonation laid-back but enough to keep things gliding along.

This is a nicely balanced English ale that has a nice maltiness with rounding hop bitterness (from the generous, but not overly-done) of Challenger. A "sessionable" English ale with nice subtle complexities.

 822 characters

Photo of twelvsies
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear amber, with a small to non existent head, but still highly carbonated apparantly, with a seemingly endless stream of rising bubbles. Faint in the nose, but it's possible to pick up on some fruity esters and some dusty, almost metallic notes. Much the same in the taste, a little disappointing, because the Bluebird Bitter is fantastic. A little roasted, carmel malt kicking around there, and a little dry, dusty hoppyness. The two don't really do much for each other however, and nothing really jumps out at me. That's fine, but if nothing is going to smack me in the face I'm looking for a little balance, which I don't think this beer has so much. Still, a nice toastyness, and a pretty smooth beer. Try some others from this brewery.

 750 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of rfgetz
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy yet bright copper color, frothy off white head, decnt lacing

S: unexpected whifs of lightly roasted malt, buttery bread and sour fruit

T: Bready malts up front followed by a sour and tart fruit like taste. Toasted malts and some bitterness on the back end.

M: Medium bodied, good carbonation, dry finish

D: Very pleased with this brew. Unique blend of flavors and feelings makes it stand out.

 407 characters

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Old Man Ale from Coniston Brewing Co. Ltd
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 87 ratings