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LongShot Old Ben Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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LongShot Old Ben AleLongShot Old Ben Ale
Very Good
261 Ratings
LongShot Old Ben AleLongShot Old Ben Ale

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

Style: English Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 261 |  Reviews: 229
Reviews by hu5om:
Photo of hu5om
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into New Belgium goblet
a- dark amber red/brown slight offwhite foam that disipates quickly

s- rich brown malts, sweet caramel

t- full malty and caramel, little to no bitterness, flavors stay on the palate, raisen?

m- light tingle of booze that doesn't hurt the tase, a bit thick, but pleasantly so.

d- a session beer it ain't. feels like a working mans big beer. better than the majority of SA that I've had. I'll have to try some more longshots for sure.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of barczar
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aged several years.

Aroma is dominated by raisin and prune.

Flavor is more floral than expected, with lots of caramel malt to back it. Dark fruit complements.

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Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice rich amber/bronze with a large fluff slightly off white head,it settled oh so slowly into a creamy froth leaving multiple rings of broken lace bahind.A nice micx of candied fruit,brown sugar,and alcohol dipped cake in the nose.Flavors are not nearly as sweet as expected,more of a mix of light nuttiness with a bit of leafy hop,it has an abrupt finish to it.Hmm the flavors have me a little baffled,its a pretty good old ale but leaves me wanting a bit more flavor.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a Sam Adams perfect pint glass, the beer was amber colored with a reddish tinge. Large tan head that dissipated quickly. Caramel and sweet fruit aroma. Big malt taste, caramel, and raisin. Substantial and filling. Nice old ale, would buy more of these.

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Photo of warnerry
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 8/28/10

Nice translucent amber with one finger of quickly dissipating head.

Smell is mostly caramel malts with faint aroma of raisins and a hint of alcohol.

Similar to the smell, taste is primarily sweet caramel malts with some raisin. A nice small amount of bitterness on the finish.

Very creamy mouthfeel, coats the mouth and lingers.

I am enjoying it, but one is enough. Then again, I seem to feel this way about most old ales. The heavy malt character makes it a filling brew. Enjoyable.

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Photo of 40451
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%

Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter. The bottle has a freshness date of the month and year notched on the label. The abv is also listed on the label at 9% and the back label has a short description of the beer.

Appearance: The body has a deep red/orange amber color with clarity and some visible carbonation. Its head is off white, thick and slow fading. This slow fading head makes some good spotty lacing that hangs on to the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is very sweet and malty. There are wonderful fruity notes with sweet cherry notes standing out.

Taste/Palate: There is a deep sticky sweetness with notes of caramel covered cherries, raisons and white grapes. As I drink and the beer warms I start to get some maple notes as well. This sweetness is the dominating character with hop flavor being almost lost until late into the finish. Here in the finish there is just a hint of hop bitterness and some light citrus/herbal notes. The palate has a medium to full body with a slick and sticky, but not too heavy, texture.

Notes: I like this beer right now as it is, fresh and young. I would love to try this one with some age on it. I also like how mellow the 9% abv is.

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Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, that came in a sixer that included 2 other Long shot brews from S.A. Best before dating notched onto the side of the label. Pours clear dark orangy amber, tight knit dark tan head, goes to a thicker film, collar and fairly typical scattered strands and bits of lace. Light whiff of a sweet malt/caramel nose. Sweet is the word for this brew, notes picked up of caramel, ripe fruit, a hint of woody smoke. Booze soaked raisins come to mind. Not cloying, with a hint of drying hops to balance things late. Good for a marinade (seems most sweet brews I try end up in this category!). Worth a try, more respectable "Long Shot" brew from S.A.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear amber color with a tan head. The aroma is strong with notes of brown sugar, dark fruit and alcohol. The flavor is similar with a lot of cherries and brown sugar. I also get some caramel malt and the alcohol is very present in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of bsp77
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very pretty orange-red, but minimal head and lacing.

Smell: Lots of figs, plum, toffee and English hops. Slightly earthy but mostly sweet.

Taste: Quite sweet, but not much distinct taste or complexity. Some plums and toffee. A little earthiness and alcohol.

Feel: Moderate carbonation. Thick and chewy, but slightly cloying.

Drinkability: Fairly enjoyable but mild Old Ale overall. This may make it easier to drink than some, but also makes it not quite worth returning to.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a hazy dark amber to brown with a nice one finger light brown thick and fine creamy head. Nose is sweet and malty with a light hint of booze.

Taste is pretty good, it's sweet and malty with a bit of hotness but not over the top. It's got some nice nutty and caramel notes along with some dark fruits and a light hope note on the finish. Very nice big mouthfeel, super luscious and creamy.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle - Best Before Sept. '10

Pours a nice rich amber with some red hues. Fairly clear, lots of carbonation. Head settles fairly quickly. Not a lot of lacing.

Smells of strong malts, fruits and caramel are pretty apparent.

Similar to the taste, it is very flavorful, but a little one sided. Big notes of dark fruits and caramel, and a spicy ending that coincides with a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thick and wet, full bodied.

Can't drink past one, but overall not half bad.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ST: 12 oz bottle poured into a Tulip snifter

A: Thick half-finger with white head covered a rusted brown. When held to the light, the beer appeared cherry oak red, and slow carbonation could be seen.

S: Rich fruity malt, raisins, caramel, some piny notes underneath.

T: Begins with fruit and raisin, has a bit of vanilla, cookie dough, and finishes with some bitterness from hops.

M: Heavy and thick, the finish feels clingy.

D: High alcohol content and heavy profile keep this beer from being a more than one or two at a time beer.

Overall: A nice representation of an English Old Ale style that I would be happy to have in the winter. It could benefit from a bit more carbonation to lighten up the feel and perhaps keep the finish from being cloying. Also, it is bit to sweet, which I understand all comes down to preference, perhaps a bit more bitterness from hops would have balanced it a bit more.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer is clear but dense with a reddish-brown body and a thick bubble cream colored head. There are strands of tiny bubbles gliding to the surface.
S- The dry sugary aroma has a green woody bitterness in the finish. As the beer opens up, the sugary aroma turns into a pot caramel and nougat melanoidin aroma.
T- The dry caramel malt flavor is very muttled with a vinous quality and some alcohol spice to it. There is a dry bitter finish that lingers a bit. The caramel toasted malt flavor has a tangy quality to it that grows as the beer warms.
M- The medium mouthfeel is followed by a tight fizz and a soft alcohol spice.
D- The bitterness is really strong compared to the malt flavors and it tends to cover them up as the beer warms. This beer is pretty dry with not a lot of fruity notes or much depth.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of jbphoto88
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shellacked cherry wood that is deep rich and clear. The head is off white, starts about one finger high and fades quickly. All that's left is a thin hazy puddle of bubbles floating on a pond of beer. Mine is in the shape of a penguin.

The nose is slightly fruity with hints of an earthy woodiness. Caramel scorched grains with a booze note. Not bad but there isn't anything about this beer that makes me want to drink it yet.

The taste is much like the nose, a touch of fruity, rum soaked raisin with brown sugar and caramel. Each flavor is slight and doesn't really dominate over another.

Smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation and a touch of creaminess. This is a good beer but a little too sweet for my taste. The higher ABV is masked by the sweet flavors and makes this an easy drinking brew. The downside is that it's boring unless you love the style. I find that after a quarter way through I'm looking for something else. A solid beer but only in the average sense of things.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber/copper with a giant tan frothy head. Very nice looking with great lacing and a long lasting head. The smell is pungent with roasted malt,bread yeast,alcohol,and dark fruit. A tasty brew with nice bread yeast,dark fruit,alcohol,and roasted malt. The m/f is light with all the flavors mixing well. A very nice beer that really doesn't taste like 9%.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

"Brewery-fresh taste" before Sept. I would guess this beer could cellar for many more Septembers and might be even better!

Served cool into a pint glass, Old Ben Ale has a striking copper-red color with great clarity and creamy head. The head has great retention too with nice sticky lace down the side of the glass.

Aroma is sweet and malty, almost musky (maybe that's the 'old' part) with figs, raisins, apple, and caramel. Very pleasnt.

Flavor is much the same and very strong. Big malt backbone contributes all sorts of dark fruits, caramel, toffee, and cherries. Definately a sipper, this is not the beer I should've grabbed on a hot day in June. Maybe I'll save the other for December and see how it develops.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus in body and thankfully low in carbonation. I really believe all beers of this strength should be lower in carbonation and I'm glad the BBC didn't make it higher.

Overall a very solid version of the style. Cheers to Michael Robinson!

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Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkened bronze color; foamy head reduces to a respectable-sized skim/crown. Moderate lacing.

Very "English" smelling aroma, in that I could believe this was brewed in the UK countryside somewhere. Toffee like malt, gentle peat, overripe fruit--that sorta vibe. Hint of alcohol pushes everything into the nose nicely.

Flavor is a very well-balanced meld of toffee, lots of overripe fruits, toasted grains, faint alcohol, buttered toast and sweeter spices. Long-lasting finish only hints at hops, keeping the savory/malty characteristics rolling. Warming brings in milk/cream sweetness and vanilla. Found this best near room temp.

Mouthfeel seemed thin with my first bottle a week ago, but this time it was considerably less chilled and had a soft, silky, velvety texture.

Yeah, this is very good. Didn't drink like a 9-percenter, that's for sure. Not quite the mindblowing experience of the best old ales, but certainly no slouch. I love Boston Beer Co.'s Longshot series, and hope they continue doing this every year.

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Photo of emsroth
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

App: deep ruby red. Big tan head with great lace.

Smell: Fruitiness from the malt and hops, sweet chew malt, herbal hops as well. A hint of red wine/grape bite. Sharp alcoholic end.

Taste: bready malt, hunts if sweet cherries. A taste almost like what fruit cake should taste like. Subdued hop profile the roundabout out the earthy finish in tandem with a bite from the alcohol and carbonation.

Full body.

Good, but I'm glad its not a yearly offering.

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Photo of cokes
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Generally clear garnet brown colored with a tight ring of beige lace that fades rapidly but leaves some lacing in its wake.
It brings a nose full of brandy drenched fruit cake. Bready at its core, but more explicit with its boozy dates, figs, plums, and raisins. It's not balanced. It's not subtle. It's just a alcohol-fueled malt bath for the nose. Given what it is, I appreciate that.
Bracing myself for insulin shock, the first few sips are boozy, of course, but more so bready and benign. Over time, figs materialize, as do raisins, and plums. Grapey, Brandy-esque alcohol ripples in undercurrent throughout it all. Caramel and toffee surface at times. When it's over, it's sweet and it's boozy but it lacks a defining characteristic,
Likewise in the mouth, it's sometimes binding, cloyingly sweet, but equally vacant and washed away as the scant bubbles lay and scrape across the tongue.
More than anything, I want this to define itself. Grow some cojones and show some type of assertive personality, sometime, somehow.
And it just doesn't.
Everything else is fine. It's huge and vapid at the same time. Pluses and minuses both ways. It's sweet yet drinkable. Complex and simple. Stop hedging and choose, already. Sell out.
Do you.
Be something.
I'll drink this again. But I'm sure I'll feel the same.
So close to great, yet so far.

 1,354 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty sweet but very drinkable and enhoyable. Vanilla, above average mouthfeel. Dark cherry colour with some white head. Vanilla Malty, with a bit of cherry aromas and that was true in the aroma and the taste. Bitterness is very secondary.Some raisins, a tad woody. Suitably carbonated.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, goblet, enjoy before September 2010 notched on the front label.

A cute half inch head quickly recedes leaving the glowing red, syrupy yellow highlighted beer the main event. The head retention really is not good, I suspect the abv number is in play. The color is intense but not at all dark and very clear.

Booze (rum), raisins, bread pudding, English yeast, toffee, ripe red apples, and dates. Ok, this ramps up massively after even a little warming. It's like a sweet fortified wine. Solvent as warms more.

It's really making me think of that Italian raisin bread that is packaged and seems to pop up around the holidays. If you soaked that Italian raisin bread in several Tablespoons of sweet brandy. Definite bread with an English ale yeast edge. A soft edge. Bitter alcohol provides a sharper edge, but not too sharp. Bitter toffee. I don't think this is nearly as sweet as some reviews make it sound.

The mouthfeel seems to be lighter than such an underattenuated beer should produce. Carbonation is nicely under control.

I don't think I'd chase this with another of the same. Ok, I wouldn't. It verges on a complex delight.

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Photo of prototypic
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Ben Ale is an attractive copper color. It's crystal clear and looks perfectly crimson when held to light. A soft, off-white head covers the top and stands about a finger tall. It's quick to recede and leaves a moderate amount of lace in its wake. Perhaps too much abv?

The nose is alright, but doesn't have enough aromatic muscle. It does feature some nice dark fruit notes of raisin, plum, and fig. It also has a sweet, malty scent that's unmistakably caramel. Alcohol is certainly in the mix. Frankly, it smells a little too boozy for a beer clocking in at sub-10% abv. There's a slight earthy or floral scent that creeps in late. More strength would go a long way.

The flavor is certainly a notch above the nose. It is very malty and slightly sweet. Caramel is certainly in the mix, in addition to a light cocoa-like chocolate flavor. Very sturdy base. Dark fruit flavors are strong throughout. Raisin, plum, and fig are all noted. They give it a bit of a tangy flavor that is quite good. I like it. There's a subtle, but tasty, hop flavor. It's earthy and a little floral, and has a nice overall affect on the flavor. Alcohol is noted, but it isn't warm or as boozy as I was expecting. Much better all-around here.

The body is medium and feels a tad thin for its stature. Carbonation is light, and it has a smooth feel. Just needs a bit more body. Drinkability is good for a sizeable Old Ale. I'm enjoying the bottle, and am half tempted to crack the other.

Old Ben Ale is a nice addition to this year's LongShot release. It's quite tasty and is very satisfying. The nose could use a little work and more body would improve the overall experience. But those are small gripes. This is good stuff. If you're into Old Ales, you'll likely be a fan.

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LongShot Old Ben Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 261 ratings