LongShot Old Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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LongShot Old AleLongShot Old Ale
Very Good
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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 232 |  Reviews: 207
Photo of balconybrew
3.42/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Posted from notes.

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a deep golden amber with minimal head that didn't leave any lacing. The aroma is of dark fruits and sweet. Plums, cherries, figs, a hint of cinnamon. The taste is of dark sweet malts. The alcohol warms all the way down. Very heavy body that sticks to your tounge. This was a one glass beer for me.

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

Thanks to Alkey for this brew.

Poured into the new SA glass a nice dark golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice creamy tannish head, which then leaves some nice sticky lacing/islands throughout the drink. The nose is malty, bannans, plums, raisins, figs, cherries, and some caramel. The taste is malty, with a good dose of dark fruit/caramel. The alcohol is hidden pretty well. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very nice tasty brew, glad to finally score some, recommended.

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Photo of BeardedSquash
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought these in North Carolina because the mixed ABV's disallows the sale of the pack in my home state of Tennessee. (side note, the Boysenberry Wheat tastes like Frankenberry) Anyway, getting to it.

A: Deep mahogany that captures and reflects the light beautifully. Thin head dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Sweet spiced figs, almost cinnamon. Smells invitingly warming.

T: Toffee and brown sugar malts, balanced with an earthy hop presence. The alcohol shows itself more in the chest than on the tongue. Lots of big flavors make this a fine example of the style.

M: Full mouthfeel that still bubbles up to keep this interesting. Nicely done.

D: An all around awesome beer. A good night cap, or even a mid day break. I get the feeling it would compliment cantaloupe nicely.

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

Pours nearly a finger of bright tan head over a gorgeous dark red mahogeny liquid. Clear and gorgeous. Smells wonderful malty sweet and dark fruity. Plum and some raisin. A bit of cherry and a brandy character, too. Whoa, this is really promising.

Tastes great. Heavy wet sweet malty with dark fruits (plum and raisin) and leather. Cherry is light and a touch of smoke. Chocolate is mild, mixed with the dark caramel it comes out toffee. Heavy body keeps the sweet on the tongue long into the aftertaste. Mild carbonation fails to clear much from the tongue and the minimal acrid it creates is just a minor player in the flavor profile. IMO, a bit sticky sweet, but not quite cloying. This would be good on a cold winter night, but not on this August evening.

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Photo of mynie
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very deep, dark red, like old furniture that I wouldn't be allowed to sit in.

Smells of intense malt balanced by light fruit esters and a subtle wisp of hop. Nice and caramelly.

Tastes really amazingly smooth for its strength. Big caramel, huge syrupy maltiness, and then a little tiny kiss of spice at the end.

Old ales aren't my favorite style in the world, but a good one does what this one does: mask the alcohol burn and not destroy the pallete. Would maybe have like a little more adventure instead of a straight up heavy malt/light hop, but this is nonethless a wonderfully crafted beer.

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Photo of Damian
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle which was part of the Sam Adams 2006 LongShot American Homebrew Contest Winner collection
Best before JUN 2007

Poured a clear, dark mahogany with crimson highlights. There was no head but rather a thin film of caramel-colored fizz.

The aroma was rich, sweet and potent. Notes of maple syrup came through strong along with alcohol, raisins and a slight metallic tinge. As the beer warmed, the alcohol became very fumy.

The taste was dark, fruity, sweet (yet not as sweet as the nose) and quite intense. This beer was very malty rich (caramel and toasted malts), oaky and nutty. Charred wood, burnt raisins, brown sugar, toffee and caramel were apparent as well. The big, alcohol-rich finish left plenty of maple syrup flavor and residual sweetness in the aftertaste. The alcohol made its presence known throughout this beer, yet it never overwhelmed.

Mouthfeel was average (I was expected a more syrupy and viscous body to compliment the bold flavor).

At 10.6% ABV, this beer was amazingly drinkable. I simply could not get over how well the alcohol was hidden. Furthermore, as "big" as this beer was in certain aspects, it remained well balanced.

Overall, this was a terrific old ale. It was definitely the best of the three beers from the LongShot collection and is currently the top-rated Sam Adams beer on BA for good reason. I really hope it becomes a regular part of the Boston Beer Co.'s product line.

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Photo of GeneralZod
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A strong reddish brown slightly opaque color with good head retention.

Has a sweet malty aroma.

It is exactly what the brewer expected it to become. Bitter with a hint of sweetness.

A bit coarsed, not too watery.

This one is ok, but i wouldn't go out of my way to purchase another. It is my 2nd favorite of the Sam Adams Longshot winners.
Good Job!

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Photo of bushbeer75
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle from the Samuel Adams Longshot 6 pack.

Longshot Old Ale poured a deep mahogany color with a 1” tan head. Has a rich malty taste with dark fruits, a balanced bitterness, and a little sweetness at the finish. Full body, heavy ale that is a “sipper.” Has a creamy mouth feel with sherry like characteristics. A very good Old Ale.

This Old Ale is the best in the Longshot series. I hope this is added as a regular brew by Samuel Adams.

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Photo of Franchise
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering from the SA longshot series pours a dark ruby brown leaving a thin quarter inch frothy tan head. The aroma is cooked sugar, dark caramel, coffee, vanilla, earthy hop aroma. The taste starts super sweet upfront caramel, toffee, bready, syrupy mouthfeel sweetness followed by just enough spicy hops to take back some of the sweetness but this is def a brew on the sweet side. The finish is deep toffee like in the end with just a kiss of heat from that 10% abv fantastic!

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Photo of boblog
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Apperance: Very dark amber color. Small head, moderate amount of lacing.
Smell: Roasted malt is very strong, slight hop bitterness. Slight hint of a cider/vinegar ester scent.
Taste: Fairly bitter, strong alcohol warmth, nice roasted malt hints.
Mouthfeel: This is a heavy bodied beer, with a good proportion of carbonation.
Drinkability: This is a good beer, but to damn strong and heavy to really drink much of.
Overall: A pretty good beer. Love the concept of commerical homebrew. Give it a try if you love big beers.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.51/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a clear brownish-amber color. The head is small, white, and recedes quickly into thin lacing. The aroma is of malt, caramel, candy, with a hint of alcohol. The taste is of caramel, toffee, peat, and alcohol. There is also a slight hint of butter. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a high level of carbonation. Overall, this is a very good old ale. I would certainly buy this again.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in late Winter '06 from the Longshot mixed bag, I'm enjoying this beer in an oversize brandy snifter at just under cellar temperature. Best by June '07.

Paired with a few ounces of aged Thomas Stevenson Stilton.

Appearance- Pours a rich, clear mahogany color into the glass... it supports a rusty, off-white head that reduces from a centimenter-thick mat to a splattering of sporadic patches. Lacing is clearly evident and it hangs loosely within.

Smell- Notes of port wine and leather, with ensuing aromas of tobacco and dark fruit following closely behind. The alcohol is clearly obvious, but the rich, earthy, grapey fruits and subtle hop nose keep all the elements in check.

Taste- With the malts dripping and cascading across the tongue, the initial sweetness proves deliciously satisfying. Somewhere in the middle there is a candy-like cloying, not terrible but just out of place... it happens quickly and therefore it's quite noticable. I find the finish to be excellent because it's smooth and balanced... this is where the beer comes together. The resulting aftertaste is a calm, pleasant marriage of all ingredients.

Mouthfeel- One of the high points of this tasting is the sublime texture of this beer. It's on the thin side... but the whooshy, infinitessimal carbonation is just enough to carry the whole package across town. Damn near a perfect mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Old ales are among my very favorite choices when it comes to a nightcap or a sipper amongst friends during the cooler months... while this beer is very good, it does lack some essential character. I love the aromas and atmosphere surrounding an exceptional old ale, i.e. old books, paper, and musty leather. This delivers with the fruit and overall balance, and the phenomenal humility regarding the ABV. Well done.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My third & final try of the three 2006 LongShot Homebrew Contest Winners. 12 oz bottle poured to a pint glass. Best by: June 2007. Cheers to Don Oliver of CA for crafting this one.

A: Nice, rich mahogany color, maybe a little lighter than expected. 1-finger of creamy light tan head, sticking to the glass and leaving beautiful lace, fading to a minimal film of tiny bubbles. Very clear complexion, no rising carbonation.

S: Big sweet, malty aroma. Full of sugar and a subdued spice. Light cherries and raisins, exceedingly sweet & syrupy. I'm having a hard time finding the hops in this 'old ale', just so damn sweet!

T: Lovely fruity sweetness. Lots of cherry sweet/sour flavor, cocoa powder and caramel. Malts win out in this old ale, but there's a good hop/bitter balance to steady things a bit. I love the maltiness, rich and slightly toasted grain, big fruit and herbal hop bitterness. Very nice.

M: Medium bodied, with alcohol well-concealed. Hardly any carbonation and a lingering spicy/fruity/grainy texture in the mouth. Pleasant warmth.

D: An ale evocative of 'winter' in many ways, one I'm glad to have tried and one I'd seek out again. Regardless of season. Good job, Don & Sam Adams/BBC, this is a nice brew.

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Photo of k3n
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from Tangfoot because my distributor sold all of their Longshots to BevMo and I'd rather ask my good friend to ship me one from the East Coast than buy from BevMo (whew).

Enjoy by June 2007.

A: Rich mahogany, like the color of that really ornate yet supremely uncomfortable Asian furniture. This beer definitely doesn't look uncomfortable, though...

S: Sweet. Malty. Figgy and dried-fruity.

T: Ahh... Sweet malt, almost like maple syrup, which eases into a mild bitterness. The bitterness is followed by lots of raisin and dried fruit flavors, a bit thick. The finish is a bit of hot alcohol and some sweetness, almost like almonds.

M/D: Not too much carbonation, and smooth and drinkable. The balance is quite nice, and the alcohol is fairly well hidden. Quite nice. I wonder how long I can save this for? I'd like to try my 2nd one in about 6 months, and see if it develops further.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - deep reddish amber, a finger's worth of beige head. It's disappearing fast but holding at a thin cover. Some rivulets of lace run down the glass like streamers off of a fireworks flower.

Aroma - caramel, roasted malt, a bock-like sweet breadiness. Not very aromatic strengthwise.

Taste - starts with a hearty roasted grain flavor. The swallow unleashes some warm alcohol and malty sweetness. Finishes with a throatful of vapory warmth and a late dry bitterness that is not nearly so subtle as the label states. Almost a peppery ending with unending alcohol heat. Well tamed for as strong as it is. Went fairly well with some dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel - a good solid feel, moderately carbonated, supporting the flavor well.

Drinkability - a fairly safe old ale despite its alcohol strength. Not a show stopper for me, but it drinks well.

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Photo of BuckSpin
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz bottle (Best By of 6/07) in a classic conical pint glass

Poured with a little vigor, yet also a wee bit thick. Wonderfully deep fruited nose full of oak, black cherry, black currant, ripe raisins. Lush, rich caramelized malts and even some faint chocolate tones add yet more sweet depth. With some air & time it grows darker, more leathery, tannins, fall foliage and a peek of the alcohol...a very nice nose. The pencil's worth of loose, cream hued foam faded rather quickly to some see-through sheen with an edge ring that laced in sheer curtains. The body is stunning - a warm, brassy, rhubarb/port colored hue, rich looking, some solitary bubbles rise slowly through it. Thus far a great smelling & looking beer.

Oh my. This is wonderful. Lush, sweet with stone fruits from the nose accented by the rich, deep & almost burnt caramels. I can immediately tell this is going to be a sipper out of respect & desire to savor. Its smooth on the tongue with a leathery feel that adds character & balance.

It grows more syrupy, thicker, richer on the palate but also a wee bit drier to help with overall balance, the warmth of the alcohol beginning to glow & softly burn. The finish is warm, bittersweet, a little leathery with earthy malts, leaving a lovely, chewy, candy cordialesque aftertaste like popping a dark chocolate covered caramel with kirsk & Grand Marnier inside....lovely.

A damn fine, no, an outstanding Old Ale. I love this genre and this blew me away. I only lament I did not seek out more of this while it was ready available. Incredibly deep & lush, rich, nicely complex, sweet, just wonderful. I can only hope I get to see this again in some sort of "Encore". Highly recommended!

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Photo of Bigjay1584
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

First sip was a shock.. I wasn't thinking "Barley Wine" but it sure tasted like it. (Wasn't expecting it to be 10.6% abv.. damn..) At first it was a bit too cold for all the flavor to emerge. Muuuch better when it warms up above fridge temperature. Beautiful Mahogany color.. looks black until you hold it up to the light.. then looks sort of reddish. Moderate lacing. Smells pretty nice. Definitely an alcoholic warmness even in the smell. Taste is rich and full.. Definitely sweetness is the dominant flavor (due to the alcohol). The bitterness is sufficient to keep it in check though. Mouthfeel is very pleasant.. Not overcarbonated, not sticky.. nicely textured.
I wish I could have another one but then I'd be stumbling around.. Kudos to Sam Adams for having these homebrew contests.. I'm sure this will lead to a lot more experimental brews having a chance to get more exposure.

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Photo of bigone4
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a deep reddish brown color. Deep mahogany color is on way to describe it. It is quite ruby red when back lit. Nice off-white cream colored head. Mild lace left behind in the glass with decent head retention. The smell was rather sweet with hints of caramel malts. It seemed to be quite rich and inviting to the nose. It certainly has a strong malt profile with no real hop presence. The taste was rather sweet and caramel too toffee in flavor with some rather fruity notes and a hint of sourness. Tones of plum or some other fruit come to mind. There is light hop bitterness found throughout the back ground. Smooth malt taste with an array of complex flavors. Many layers of flavor make this an enjoyable brew. I can see why he won for this one. This brew must age quite well but too bad I only had one bottle. Nice full body with good carbonation. Certainly packs a punch at 10.6% ABV but no real alcohol taste was detected. Overall this beer is a great rendition of the style.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown color with a fairly small head that dissolves a little too fast. Nose is malty and spicy, some ginger maybe. Taste is alcoholic up front. After you get by that, though it's fairly complex. Caramel malt, lots of spices. A little coffee, roasted, shows up later. Feel is good, fairly full bodied, good carbonation. Overall, I really liked this beer. It's sweet and tasty, and pretty complicated and interesting. Definitely one to check out.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in the Longshot box and was very interested to try this. I've never had an Old Ale before, and even though I'm not accustomed to this style, I figured that a homebrewer's take on it would be a good introduction for me. After downing nearly half of what's in my pint glass, I can't say that I love this style, but I have to admit that it's very intriguing to me, and that this beer is indeed well-crafted!

The pour was very nice, since the head filled my glass up and the deep, mahagony color was a nice sight to behold. There wasn't a lot of carbonation to this and the lacing was nowhere to be found, but the taste and mouthfeel more than made up for this. There's a lot of caramel, molasses, and roastiness to this, and yes, the 10.6% ABV is pretty up-front. This is very malty and the burnt aspects of this linger on the palate for quite a while, after each sip. It's pretty warm out, and even though this strikes me as a beer for a cold winter's nice, I'm enjoying it...with all things considered!

This beer tastes like a cross between a double bock, a barleywine, and a nut brown ale. It has the kick of the former styles, with the depth of the latter. Even though it will probably be a while until I have another one of these again, I'm glad I gave this a shot, and like many other reviewers on here, think that Boston Beer should put this into it's regular rotation. It's certainly worthy considering...

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Just like the bottle says: Deep mahogany color, slightly cloudy, with a smaller head of foam. Minimal lacing in the glass. Lower levels of carbonation.

S: Rich notes of earthy grains and wood, with a evident note of caramel. Minor afterthoughts of candied sugar, and sweet fruits. Smells like it's some sort of vintage ale that should be sipped and throughly enjoyed....

T: WOW. I've never liked Old Ales. This is good. Not overpowering or cloying in anyway whatsoever, flavors of molasses blended with a rich note of dark fruits, mild roasted malt, a touch of dough, caramel, and a mild hoppy flavor. Complex, yet not overpowering or too heavy in any dimention.

M: Lighter than most Old Ale's, yet still maintains a nice level of density. Mild carbonation is present on the tongue. Not bad.

D: I've got one more bottle that I'm gonna cellar now, and see what a year does. If the other two match up to this, I think Sam Adams has some hiring to do. Recommended.

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

I used an oversized wine glass, just because.

It's really really dark brown, damn near black. Hold it to the light and some ruby hints will shine through. Head? Not really.

My impression of the scent was that of an oatmeal raison cookie with some additional tart berry of some sort.

It has an old taste and mouthfeel. That is to say it tastes like it had been aged for quite a while. It has (to me) a noticeable port quality to it. I'm picking up tart berries, raisons, and a sweet breadyness that reminds me of pound cake.

It's smooth, not too carbonated. To me, it's much more easily enjoyed than a port. It's well worth its acclaim.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It seems I save the best for last with this Long Shot series.

Into a pint glass, pours a clear but dark mahogany with ruby to amber hues around the edges, a thick creamy off-white to light tan head that settles to a thick foam, lacing coating half the glass as the beer recedes. Excellent.

The aroma and taste are very familiar, very nice, very warm and utterly delicious. There is brown sugar, cherries, a handful of those dark-skinned fruits (figs, raisin, plum, etc), and a bit of mustiness that smells like fall and tastes like right, doughy bread.

The mouth is creamy, full, and inviting, warmth but seemingly not from alcohol, though it must be. To be frank, I should have had this sooner, and grabbed a few more.

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Photo of badbeer
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark red color with an off-white head that leaves a nice sticky lacing. Aroma is vinous, bits of cherry, hint of nutmeg, brown sugar, and some alcohol is noticeable, too. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, some dark fruit, and a small amount of earthy hops.
Soft carbonation and full bodied, some alcohol in the finish. A solid brew from the folks at BBC; I'd like to see this one find its way to regular rotation.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is great! Thick and sweet, but not overly so. A lot of dark fruit with a surprising amount of cocoa/brownie. This is dessert. You can tell it will be that way from the aroma, which is huge malty cookie dough. Long lasting finish keeps me chewing on that mash. Not totally lucious in feel, a little "filtered" on the tongue, though it improves as it warms. Just enough alcohol presence to enhance things, but not as much as expected for this strength. Clean, complex, big, strong. Great beer.

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