LongShot Old Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

LongShot Old AleLongShot Old Ale
232 Ratings
LongShot Old AleLongShot Old Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by billybob on 01-20-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 232 |  Reviews: 207
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine April 2007.

Cheers to Don Oliver for this win, and for bringing such an underrated beer style to the forefront. We set aside a few bottles of this simply to see how it ages. At 10.6 percent ABV, we're sure it will age quite well over the next year or so.

Viscous, rolling head leaves a cream-colored lace to wrap around the inside of the glass; not much stickage, though the lace does hold its ground. Deep, tawny brown brew has a glowing clarity when put up to the light. Rich and fragrant aroma of ripe figs, spicy, flowery hops, caramel and a candied-fruit ester from the alcohol. Thick, creamy mouthfeel from a syrupy body with mild carbonation. The taste buds bask in maltiness as the brew reaches cellar temperature; an adequate amount of hops helps balance things. Dark bread, brown sugar, figs, ripe pears and a hint of apple skin. Substantial but mellow alcohol warms the mouth and throat after each sip. Clean, with a kiss of fruity esters. More of a toasted-grain flavor middle to end, with a lingering maltiness.

This is such an incredible brew, and one to sip and savor. Throw any kind of veined cheese at this beer with some ripe figs, tart apples and a fresh baguette.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Reading some of the classics (the experiments of Stern and Gerlach, Thompson and others) made me want something old, and this seemed fitting. I had my other bottle shortly after the release and I have no recollection of how it tasted.

Clear ruby red with a dense, light brown head with solid retention and a little lace, this looks good. Giving it a swirl results in a coating of the glass, suggesting that the sweetness might be a bit high.

The nose is big and rich, with a blend of light smoke, vanilla, a little butterscotch and a fairly strong brown sugar and caramel sweetness. A little tobacco is also noticeable; this beer was meant to be aged. Fruity with some pear and plums. Great stuff

The palate opens quite sweet with plenty of grainy and caramel sweetness, there's also a certain harshness to the palate, with honey and molasses-like character. Plenty of fruitiness is perceived, with a mellow fruity tartness present as well. Fruit-character brings to mind apples and pears, no real oxidation is noticeable. A mild tobacco character is noticeable mid-palate, with the sweetness almost making this taste like shisha.The finish is disappointing, mildly sweet with no real lingering flavors of note, just some grainy character and sweetness. A little alcohol is also noted. Full in body with a moderate level of carbonation, this beer is decent. Not the most drinkable beer, but still, a solid effort.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, best-by 06/07 notched on the label, sampled 10 months past that date. It pours a crystal-clear deep maroon, with moderate carbonation and a half-inch light-brown head that leaves light lacing. Lots of esters in the nose, supported by caramel, molasses and chocolate. Similar flavor, with notes of apples and grassy/spicy hops that impart a medium bitterness; the alcohol is fairly well-hidden, but detectable. Pretty good carbonation level, with a thick, almost chewy body. Not too shabby; this one has aged, and will continue to age, very well. The numbers represent this review.

This one has not aged as well as I thought it would and it has officially turned; if you still have it, drink it now or risk a drain pour. The aroma is still pleasant, but on the palate, the melanoidins have become very brothy (like drinking meat drippings) and it has an unpleasant, soy sauce linger.
A-4, S-3.5, T-2.5, M-3, D-2, Overall - 3.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 26, 2007
This beer pours a deep crystal-clear ruby-brown with a small creamy off-white head that quickly fades. The aroma is of very strong malt, a twang of sourness and spicy alcohol. On the tongue, it's thick, creamy and full-bodied. The carbonation is soft. The flavor starts sour and turns sweet. The rich malt flavor ends with a delicate hop bite. The aftertaste is not as drawn out as I thought it might be. Great drinkability!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black cherry with bright raspberry highlights. The upper third of the snifter is filled with a large scoop of golden beige colored whipped cream that is leaving a surprising amount of fine, feathery lace. This is one lovely looking old ale.

The nose is right on the money as well. The dominant aromas are dark berries soaked in tawny port, with earthy and woody underpinnings. Having said that, it's extremely doubtful that this LongShot offering saw the inside of a port cask.

Old Ale is an excellent version of the style. Despite my fears that old age had resulted in some amount of deterioration, the beer has held up expectionally well. Of course, not having tasted it prior to today, it's impossible to know how well. It might even have another year on it yet.

Let's go with plump black raspberries, raisins, port wine, dark toffee and maybe even a little bittersweet chocolate. It's amazing how the various flavors are so well-integrated, yet how they combine seamlessly into a unified whole. Warming increases flavor intensity, but it was pretty damn good right out of the gate.

Drinkability is a definite strong suit. The alcohol is expertly buried and there are no rough edges. Those who want to dip a toe into the style would do well to start here. The boys from Boston should seriously consider releasing some of these LongShots on a regular (or a seasonal) basis.

The mouthfeel is medium, silky smooth and slightly underbubbled. Just as it should be. Gulping is possible, but is not advised. Sipping is the way to go so that each and every nuance can be appreciated.

Old Ale is good beer that deserves to see the light of day again. It's too bad that I only have this single bottle because I could use a few dozen more to warm my bones during the coming winter months. Thanks to Georgiabeer for hooking me up.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into snifter.
A: Dark garnet with thin tan head.
S: Malt, alcohol, banana, and clove.
T: Excellent mix of sweet malt, banana, and clove. Alcohol starts to hit the warmer this gets and the further you get into this one. Nice sipper!
M: Medium body with lingering taste...helped by the high ABV.
D: Very drinkable. You will want to take your time with this one. An excellent offering from Don Oliver and Sam Adams. I hope they bring this one back!! (Unfortunately, time is starting to take it's toll on this beer. My review is based upon a previous tasting...today the alcohol is starting to overpower and notes of bourbon are coming through...not as good as when it is fresh.) My favorite of the Longshot brews to date!

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Photo of JDV
1.7/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

bottle from ford9719. Thanks!
Porus dark maroon with mostly clear body and a short lived tan head. Smell is soy and malt and pretty odd. Taste is tart, and old malt. Not sure this one aged so well. Definitely has that "soy" character strongly about it. A bit thin as well. Lingering awful taste. Drink this now before it gets worse!

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Photo of rowew
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, drawing of the brewer on the label. Obviously this one has been around a while, but its been in the fridge since (and before) purchase.

Appearance: Dark reddish brown, nice sized tan colored head.

Smell: Dark fruit, alcohol - smells like a brandy.

Taste: Lots of malt sweetness, some good dark fruit flavors. Mouthfeel is good - smooth and just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall impression: This one is a great offering, and hides the high ABV really well. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing this make it into the regular line up.

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Photo of Deuane
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Deep clear mahogany with a light tan head that settles quickly leaving some nice lacing.

S-Very malty, with some molasses, nutty and dark friut.

T- A sweet malt bomb with dark fruits and alcohol warming. A bit to sweet for me and just a touch of bitterness in the finish. It is nicely complex.

M-Medium bodied and smooth. A very warming brew. A good sipper.

D-Good, but too sweet overall for me to enjoy more than a bottle. The alcohol is well hidden though and I have a tough time thinking that this is 10+% abv!

A well done beer....just not my favorite style.

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Photo of tronester
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with a hint of red. There is a medium tan head. Smells of cinnamon alcohol and sugar. Taste is quite malty, with hints of oak and vanilla. Somewhat dry finish as well. Hint of hops and bitterness. Mouthfeel is full, carbonation levels are medium. Quite smooth, drinkable considering the alcohol content. Too bad it's not made anymore and this will probably be the last one I get to drink.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Taken from my limited notes almost a year ago.

Pours a copper color leaning more toward the brown end, good size head with some lacing.

Smell is quite sweet with much going on, caramel, hints of honey and vanilla, cherry.

The taste has an evident alcohol feel that isn't completely masked by the caramel or malt or the many other additives, bit buttery and syrupy. If the alcohol burn was better concealed, this may have been much better.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had one of these a year ago when it came out and decided to hold on to the other for a year. The review is for the aged version.

A- Clear, dark amber in color with lots of streams of rising carbonation that give way to a modest, creamy head that leaves decent lacing.

S- Very aromatic, with quite a bit of fruit such as apples. Lots of brown sugar and caramel. Reminds me quite a bit of a St. Bernardus Abt 12.

T- Pretty complex with quite a bit of carmel and brown sugar flavors. Very smooth and well blended tasting. The alcohol is definitely apparent.

M- Pretty smooth, but the alcohol gives it a little bit of hot/ thin feeling, even though it is kind of sticky. Interesting.

D- This is a sipper for sure and the alcohol is apparent, but it is damn tasty.

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Photo of ikats
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This ale pours clear, deep mahogany in color. Absolutely beautiful. Off-white head disappeared too quickly, but this beer is still well deserving a 5 in the appearance department.

Aroma is full of candied sugar. Some caramel. Strong earthy notes. And this ale is sooo warming. I can taste molasses and maybe some dark, dried fruits. It is very sweet.

It's medium body. I think alcohol comes out a bit, so this affects the mouthfeel. Regardless, it's a very drinkable beer especially as a winter ale.

This is not my favorite out of the LongShot series, but it's an extremely strong series, and this beer is excellent.

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Photo of brantadid
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a wonderful mahogany color with a two finger white head. Good head retention and excellent lacing.

Smelled really sweet. Figs and raisins with notes of honey. Very pungent nose.

The usual flavors are here. Figs and honey. A plum flavor comes through. Some bitterness came across on the aback palate. There is a flavor and quality to this beer that totally reminds me of Boston Lager. Not a lot of residual sugar.

Mouthfeel isn't as viscous as other old ales I have had Low carbonation and completely masked alcohol makes this very drinkable.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Off notes 4/2007. Pours a darker ruby with a light tan head that sticks around. Nose is sticky sweet. Flavor is doughy and with a long sweet edge. Very firm caramel characters too. Feel is good. The feel has a talcy touch on the liquid and a low carbonation. Overall this is extremely drinkable. Definitely the winner out of the three beers in the LongShot series. Too bad it won’t be a permanent fixture on the lineup.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: June 2006 (Sampled Dec 2007), 10.6% abv.

Aroma: Mild grape soda note, mild fusel note as well.

Appearance: Very clear brown glass with a thin head that gives loopy lace.

Flavor: Grape, almost artificial, but not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body, moderate carbonation

Overall Impression: A simple beer, it’s good, just not great.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber to brown, crystal clear, with a small butter cream colored head that laces lightly. Aroma is big sweet maltiness, caramel sweetness, grapes and raisins and some alcohol as well. Taste follows with a marshmallow-y sweetness up front, big somewhat nutty malt content, flavors of molasses, sweet grapes and raisins, decent alcohol bite in the finish warms the throat. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, medium to heavy body, slightly cloying sweetness from the large malt presence, cut only in the finish by the dry and biting alcohol. Very nice beer, a malt heads delight. I am quite impressed and found this very enjoyeable, look forward to seeing how the other does with some further ageing.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"For Brewery Fresh Taste, Enjoy Before JUN 2007"
Whatever, its an Old Ale.

From the inaugural SA LongShot 6-pack released in December of 2006.
Figures that the day I get around to reviewing this is the day the LongShot DIPA debate ignites on the forum, damn hop shortage.

a: Pours a deep mahogany as the label suggests. Light tan head swiftly settles depositing just a touch of lacing.

s: Molasses, maple syrup, very malty, nutty and slightly fruity.

t: Raisins, port wine and dark fruits. A bit sweet with some nice herbal hop bitterness in the finish. A complex and well made old ale.

m: Smooth going down, a bit syrupy, hop bitterness sticks on the tongue.
Alcohol produces an excellent warming effect, great brew for a cold winter night.

d: Drinkability is good, the alcohol is well masked, can't believe its 10.6 abv!
I think this stands up well to some of the better old ales out there.
Too bad this can't replace the Cranberry "lambic" in the SA Winter Classics box. Its just a shame we can't get any more of it.

Good work Don Oliver, I hope this isn't the last beer of yours I get to try.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A: Opaque dark brown with ruby hints under a very small head that doesn't stick around too long.

S: Excellent smell. Maple sugar, roasted nut, red liquorice, really excellent.

T: Nice sweetness up front followed by some roasted character and warming alcohol. Well balanced tastewise. The sweet red liquorice character shows up on the front of the tongue as well. Damn near excellent taste.

M/D: Big bodied, carbonation has held up well and it tends to stick around oh so subtlely in the finish. Drinkability suffers only due to ABV, but this is one that could be sipped a few at a time a cool night.

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer departs the 12 ounce bottle a bit hazy and a mahogany color with some ruby highlights at the edges, the head towers above the body, creamy in texture, and an off white color, as it ever so slowly fades to nothing but a seal on top the body, the lace forms a fine sheet to obscure the glass. Nose is steeped in lightly roasted malt with a nut like sweetness, hints of port wine, magnificent this nose. Front has a bountiful malt presence, hints of hops and a bit vinous, top is medium in feel. Finish has a perfect hop spiciness, the acidity tingles the palate, dry enduring aftertaste, and to me the best of the LongShot series and I look forward to more beers from the masterful home brewers.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a reddish-brown color with a thin off-white head that has decent retention. Spotty lacing. Malty aroma with a nice dark fruit presence. Medium, smooth body with earthy malt and raisin flavors, with a lightly hopped undertone. Alcohol is well-hidden, but it is there. The finish is malty at first but the hops and alcohol bite begin to sneak through. Solid all around.

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4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark brown body hosts a two finger rich tan head that develops from a strong pour. Very unique nose is a noticeable sweet spicey feel with hints of molasses, sour cherries, and smoke. At first sip you quickly relive this is a smooth drinking well made brew. It shows maturity with well rounded sweetness and nice smokey malt richness. Hops were used lightly but meld in well to balance. Molasses mouthfeel is present but not overpowering. Alchol is very well hidden. Well constructed and polished with dark rich drinkability throughout. Eaisly the best of the longshot ales.

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Photo of mshallah
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I let this particular sample age a bit. Best by june 07 on the label. Aged til sept 07. Pours clear ruby with a minimal head. Strong malt and fruit aromas. Malt smell is sweet and almost cloying. Fruit smell is of fruit punch with alcohol if you can believe it. Taste is a mellow version of the nose. Well rounded and smooth. Reminds me of a stronger(10.6%abv) scottish wee heavy. Mildly spritzy small bubble carbonation. More fruit punch emerges in both aroma and flavor as the beer warms and there is less of the near cloying sweetness. Hops have a subtle drying effect and balance well. Thanks to Don Oliver, the homebrew contest winner and creator of this fine old ale.

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Photo of
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Clear, dark brown with amber highlights. Large, creamy, light tan head. Good lacing and legs.

Scents of fruit - cherries and raisins. Bubblegum. Overall, a bit muted.

Taste was more sweet than bitter, even through finish. Bubblegum, again, not sure where I am getting that from. Raisins, dark fruits - cherries. A bit port like. Alcohol, just noticeable. Spices - cinammon. Touch of herbal hops. Whole lot going on!

Medium to heavy body. Medium + carbonation. A bit drying. Velvety smooth texture.

A big ol malt bomb! Not really my thing, but very well done and something I can enjoy every now and then.

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LongShot Old Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 232 ratings
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