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

very good
261 Ratings
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LongShot Old Ben AleLongShot Old Ben Ale

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

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by smcolw on 04-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 229 | Ratings: 261
Photo of CanadaBlue
4.75/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I really like this Longshot winner!
A few nights ago I had another Old Ale, and this is almost as good. Very malty, a little sweet, nice aroma, good mouthfeel. The alcohol (9%) sure makes it's presence felt. A great sipper.

I wish I could get a few six-packs of this one. Better yet, Mr. Koch, put this one in your seasonal line up!

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.64/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a gorgeous dark amber with a paper thin offwhite head that quickly fades and leaves nice lacing. The beer looks like a high quality maple syrup...my taste buds are already smacking.

S- smells real good...can't put my finger on what I'm getting, so let me try. Almost...nutty and a little sweetness in there too. Maybe some caramel. Absolutely delicious

T- this is quite tasty. Theres an innate sweetness to it...delicious. Then it gets a little bitter while retaining that sweetness...the most prevalent taste I'm getting is some nuttiness. I've fallen in love.

M- feel is good. Mild carbonation...almost has the feel of a very thin stout or a heavier amber ale. The sweetness doesn't bog anything down.

D- very drinkable, ABV be damned. No real hit of alcohol, its got some hops, has nuttiness...a real nice blend of various styles. I'd love to see this get a wider release

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Photo of ZAP
4.57/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep, regal amber color

S-Dark fruits....raisins..caramel...toffee...vanilla...nuts....

T-This tastes great...a lot of sweeter notes but not cloying at all....nougat, vanilla, toffee, nuts...raisins....like a fucking candy bar (and that is a compliment!).

M-Perhaps a little thin for the ABV and sweetness...not horrible but a bit thin in body....smooth though...

D-This is a hell of a beer. I'd love to see this enter their regular lineup. Old Ales are hard to find in the U.S and this is a dandy. By far the best of the bunch this year and all three are decent or better.

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Photo of malty
4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my stemmed Whitbread Extra Stout tulip glass a brilliantly clear perfect copper color with a dense settled 1" light beige head. Thanks to the etching in the bottom center of my glass, there is a moderate amount of visible uprising carbonation, and the bubbles are fine. Thick, uninterrupted even rings of protruding lace all the way down.

The smell is similar to a fresh raisin bread coming right out of the toaster. Imagine slathering some apple butter on top and inhaling as it melts. There are some brandish notes.

Bright and attentive fresh hops greet my palate straight off. Another quaff and the rounded, warm and sweet malty goodness shake hands with it's good friend from the vine...now we're dancing. Dark fruits (raisin, fig, lush concord grape) take center stage while the hops sing the lulled chorus. The crowd is pleased and signals back with a boozy grin. The warming 9% ABV is not tasted, but is felt - like a fleece blanket around your feet. Molasses mixes with toffee and bids farewell with a slight peppery nod.

Mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated - fine, delicate and tongue tingling. It's slighter than medium body is a bit oily and graces itself into the mouth. The sweet and long lasting warming finish is a pleasure.

Drinkability is superb. Creamy, somewhat sweet, spicy and hoppy make for a great combination. Not at all syrupy.

Overall a great malty ale with a generous (not quite to Bigfoot standards) hop representation. This ale sways rather than rocks. Very smooth and not at all rigid or abrupt. I really did enjoy this offering. Michael Robinson from NH, (creator od said ale) I salute you!

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.52/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A = Clear topaz liquid with a firm light tan head of foam that slowly recedes leaving behind a heavy amount of lacing.

S = Caramel, toffee, butterscotch, almond syrup, vanilla. A very good smelling English old ale.

T = Wow! Rich nutty flavors are the first thing I think when I take a drink, very sweet tastes of caramel, maple fudge, underneath there are some smoky flavors reminiscent if a good Scotch ale, prunes. This is a very good beer. I wish I had more of these to age as it would be interesting to see how it develops over a period of years.

M = Full bodied, great mouthcoating, luscious creamy feeling.

D = This is just a wonderful beer that I really enjoyed drinking. I think it would be fun to mix it half and half with a nice English bitter so you could enjoy more of the flavor in an evening. Great beer.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sam adams longshot old ben ale poured a dark amber color, with a smaller head. It smelt bitter, and there were other smells present that I couldnt put my finger on. It was a bitter taste, with other strong flavors. It was easy to drink, but heavy. Overall one of my favorite longshot, very good beer, wish it was produced more then once.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, dark coppery amber with a thick off-white head - rather appetizing. Aroma is strongly spicy, mainly cloves with hints of cinnamon and a malty undertone. Flavor is quite spicy, mainly cinnamon and cloves, with a malty underpinning and a strong hint of honey. Texture is lively, edgy and tingly, leaving a nice fizzy and spicy finish. No wonder this was one of the winners!

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as part of this year's mixed sixer at McKinnon's in Salem. Pours a golden amber-red crystal-clear body with about a half inch of off-white head. Raisin, toffee, nut, graham cracker, and a hint of alcohol in the aroma. Tastes like raisin, graham cracker, toffee, with hints of alcohol warming. Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Very drinkable for what it is. Extremely tasty. I'd love to try and pair this with not only a course, but a whole meal, as this would pair equally well with an entree or dessert. Wow. Awesome.

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Photo of CJfromPhilly
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the 12 oz. bottle an iced-tea-ish brown with a foamy 1 1/2 finger head that settles into a thick collar. Modestly carbonated...there aren't that many bubbles rising in the glass. Aroma is malty and sweet..I detect notes of caramel & dark fruit. 1st sip is sweet, thick, malty & fruity. I get notes of caramel, toffee, raisins & figs. The mouth feel is sticky & a little on the heavy side, but quite drinkable. The alcohol is quite well hidden, but it's there...you'll start to feel it about halfway thru this beauty. I like this beer...a LOT!!! Michael Robinson, you've created a winner of a brew that I would love to see become part of the regular Sam Adams lineup!

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Photo of number1bum
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, reddish copper color with a billowing two plus inches of beige head. It's a fluffy, creamy head that keeps well and leaves some rings of stick on the sides as it falls.

Smells of sweet caramel, some fruit and floral aromas, a bit of nutty toffee. Just a hint of alcohol creeps in on occasion.

Taste is much fruitier than the smell and that's what takes it to another level. Still plenty of sweet caramel, but there are big fruity flavors of plum, maybe some figs or dates, and raisin. There is a nutty, slightly toasty flavor too as it warms. It's got plenty of character and is very flavorful. I got a whiff of booze from the nose but none here. There is some bitterness in the finish. It's quite smooth.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, smooth and pretty creamy. Moderate carbonation.

This is really tasty and I think very drinkable. Lots of flavor and it's very smooth. Even at 9% I could enjoy a number of these with ease. I'd be sleepy when I was done, but very happy as well. This is the best of the LongShot pack this year.

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Photo of tubacharlie
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The unmistakable aroma of roasted barley predominates the scent, with a whiff of the alcohol also apparent.

A frothy, three-finger head emerges from a strong pour, which slowly recedes to a healthy layer of creamy off-white foam with a tinge of ruddiness. Good viscosity leaves trails of lace on the glass as the ale is consumed. The exceedingly clear brew is a rust-brown color with a little tint of orange and alive with bubbles of carbonation rising randomly from the bottom.

The balanced combination of grains produces a well-developed flavor suggesting hot breakfast cereal on a cold winter day with butter and brown sugar, supplanted by toasted brown bread and set off by a mellow complement of hops. A meaty, caramel sweetness lingers on the palate.

Very nicely done. A beer worthy of being named a Longshot winner. I would love to cellar a case or two to enjoy over the next decade -- if only I had a cellar!

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Photo of Kegatron
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a brilliant clear ruby, topped with 1 ½ fingers of foamy light tan head. This retains with a rich ½ finger that showers the sides of the glass with a frothy cascade of lacing. The aroma has some sweet heft to it, with notes of toffee, cocoa, fusel alcohol, spice, fruity orange, leafy hops, a bit of roastiness, and a touch of tobacco. Lot of complexity here!

The taste is a smooth blend of citric orange, caramel, creamy vanilla, sweet alcohol, some light roasted malt character, and a bit of leafy hops on the backend. There’s a lot of dryness in the finish, with a lingering sweetness and warmth to this that sees some dark fruit emerge as well as this warms. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied and extremely slick feeling, which sits underneath a light creamy carbonation. This is just VERY smooth in the mouth, with no stinging alcohol present whatsoever besides the flavors here from the ABV.

This is another great entry from the Longshot Class of 2010, with a rich complexity and super easy feeling body for the size. This is another one that I would have loved to have squirreled some bottles away of!

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Photo of jdhilt
4.26/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one-finger cream head that fades to a thin layer, leaving some lace. Crystal clear, red/amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is dark fruit and alcohol. Flavor is dark fruit and sweet alcohol. And it tastes good with the temperature in the 90's. Another decent beer in the Long Shot series. $9.99 for a 6-pak of 12oz bottles from Barb's Beer Emporium Concord, NH.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle poured into my oversized wine glass. This beer pours a clear deep amber/copper color with a nice white head about an inch thick when poured. The head settles quickly to a nice surface coating with a good thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Good lacing. Aromas of nice sweet caramel malt and dark fruit such as raisins, plums, apples, etc. are all present. The smell of alcohol is also slightly present. Has a nice sweet caramel malt flavor along with a hint of spice. The flavors really come out more and gel together very nicely as the beer warms a bit. A slight hop presence rounds this out, but the hops are not very apparent at all. The taste of alcohol is also present. This beer has a crisp, smooth, frothy, creamy full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink. I was very impressed with this. I wish Sam Adams would make this one of their yearly seasonal offerings. The best Longspot beer I have had yet.


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Photo of Fnord
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Clear, light reddish-brown with a large, dense, and persistent off-white head.

Smell - Alcohol, brown sugar, dates, resin, and pine.

Taste - The alcohol and sweet toffee flavors come right out, and give way to a very warm sensation on the throat. I got some cherry and oak in the middle this time. Hops are present, but they're letting the malts have the spotlight. Rather kind of them, I think.

Mouthfeel - Thick and creamy with medium carbonation.

Drinkability - Good for the alcohol content.

Notes - It says on the bottle to enjoy it on a cool evening. Unfortunately, I waited until summer to buy it, I live in Texas, and I'm too poor to get my A/C fixed, so I'll never have the chance to try it when the warming sensation is welcome. However, everything else about this beer is extremely welcome, making this the best Longshot this year. It makes me wish we had more of the style around here.

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Photo of Tone
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. Two inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight alcohol, slight hops, and a hint of dark citrus. Fits the style of an Old Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of pale malt, hops, slight alcohol, hint of grain, and caramel. Ovearll, good appearance, feel and body.

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Photo of Radome
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into goblet.

A - Crystal clear, dark amber/red, but very bright. Head is off-white and low but well-sustained. This is a beautiful beer, but it looks more bright and delicate-looking than I expect from an old ale.

S - Aroma is of biscuits, brown sugar and sweet dark fruit. No hops or alcohol noticeable. One whiff and I know I'm going to like this beer.

T - This beer is all about the malt. It is rich and slightly sweet with taste of raisins and plums and brown sugar. There is a hop bitterness that is noticeable late in the taste. There is some hint of alcohol, but it is well-hidden. At the back of the mouth I get a crisp graininess just before the swallow.

M - Moderate body with just a hint of alcohol burn. Carbonation is apparent, but low. A slight amount of mouth-coating viscosity, but it seems a bit low for the alcohol level and malt sweetness.

D - Very nice, drinkable but flavor-packed beer. This one is deceptively easy-drinking for such a big beer. I would be very proud of it as a homebrewer.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Always love these Longshot beers.. always some solid beers in the pack. This is no different and at 9% ABV.. a nice sipper at the end of the night. Some great dark fruit aromas, nice balance of hops to this one... some raisin and dark fruit flavors really permeate. A tad strong on the finish but it's smooth, like a nice mixed drink. Nice stab at a rare style and it's well done; highly recommended.

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Photo of Pencible
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a clear, dark copper with moderate tan head. It smelled like roasted barley and caramel, with some bready yeast and vanilla and rich buttery toffee. It tasted like caramel and rich toffee, with roasted barley and vanilla and bready yeast, and a little copper hops. It was slightly thick with a little carbonation, and had a smooth bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this had a great clean and balanced scent and taste. It was almost like a scotch ale, to me. Nice body too, and hid the alcohol pretty well. So this was very drinkable, but still complex enough to enjoy sipping it. This could probably age fairly well too. I wouldn't call this my favorite old ale, but it's very good, and one of the better old ales while still fresh.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
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 bucklemyshoe
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 04/23/2010:

12 oz bottle at 48 degrees into a snifter.

A: It pours a mostly clear burgundy color with a finger of white fluff that has poor retention but laces well.

S: Cherries, raisins, dates, licorice, and brandy.

T: Molasses, sweet dark fruits, licorice, a mild hoppiness, and some smoke.

M: It has a very thick body texture with an oily feel and palate-sticking flavors.

D: This is actually quite drinkable. Unfortunately the sixer only comes with two of these in it.

 490 characters

Photo of jwhawkins81
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma - Bock malt sweetness with no real hop aromatic aromas that I could distinguish

Appearance - Dark amber red with tons of residual carbonation. Big light tan head that didn't dissipate quickly. This was a very nice looking beer'

Taste - Maybe the smoothest old ale I've ever had. There was a dominate sweetness upfront on the palate with just a hint of bitterness to balance it out. The sweetness had hints of caramel and a touch of brown sugar. Just a good smooth and sweet beer.

Notes - Medium mouthfeel with a good level of carbonation. The alcohol wasn't present in the taste but could be detected thanks to a nice warming as time went by.

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Photo of Mdog
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber, big head.

Smell: Fruity-raisins, booze.

Taste: Big dark fruit flavors-raisins and cherries. Lots of sweetness but not cloying.

Drinkability: Very tasty and goes down easier than a 9% beer should.

Probably my favorite of the Longshot series this year, nice big flavored old ale. Lots of dark fruit, hides the alcohol well. Sweet, but not too sweet. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
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 yemenmocha
4.16/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous beer! Deep mahogany color, translucent, with enormous head that is meringue-like and creamy. Nose has a musty caramel with a faint resemblance of wood polish (in a good way). On the palate is a toasted buttery flavor with caramel walnuts, fig flavors, and toffee. Yum. Old world character but on the sweet and easy drinking side of things.

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LongShot Old Ben Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.76 out of 5 based on 261 ratings.
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