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

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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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 229 | Ratings: 260
Photo of joefuzz
2.45/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Pours very nice clear amber with a small white head, looks very nice in a snifter.

S - A nice warming sugary caramel smell comes to mind.

T - brown sugar up front with a strange metallic aftertaste, i dont know if it is suppose to taste like this but its not very enjoyable.

M- a little on the light side for this style with alot of carbonation, not really looking for that in a old ale

D - really couldn't drink the whole thing the taste put me off.

Overall a beer that looks and smells very nice but tasted off, im not going to write it off just yet. If i ever get another chance to try it ill have to take it, it might just be my bottle.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.72/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to light brown color with a small off white head. In the aroma, small malt and a hint of earth. In the taste, malty and earthy, with small hints of fruit. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry fruit in the aftertaste. Mellow and hides ABV, quite fruity and easy to drink.

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Photo of deadliest
2.73/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Crystal clear dark amber with big off-white head that quickly begins to settle but stops halfway before condensing into 1-finger and lasting.

S/T: Sugary sweet smell, heavy molasses. Tastes just as sweet if not more so. Maybe a little more complex than I give it credit for, but the sugary taste is overwhelming.

F/D: Doesn't feel very thick and sticky, but leaves behind an odd, thin, icky coating anyway. A chore to get through, but didn't have to pour it.

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Photo of harrymel
2.77/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Let's see what a year did for this...

A: Pours a burnt copper ale with a single finger of peanut head which falls quickly to a sheet of the same. Rare spotting lacing. Excellent clarity.

S: Caramel, toffee, sugar, subdued hops. Hints of butterscotch, butter, candy. Although not strong, intriguing.

T: Too bad, the taste doesn't follow the nose. A bit astringent, alcoholic, sharp. Not as much sweetness and complexity as adverted in the nose.

M: Thin for the style. Medium carb. Slightly slicking.

O: Not aging gracefully.

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Photo of nickd717
2.79/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle from Whole Foods Los Altos.

Great clear deep amber appearance with a one-finger, lasting off-white head.

Aroma is very sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, and...um...sugar. Crazy sweet.

Flavor is also amazingly sweet. Caramel malt and toffee, brown sugar, and not too much else.

Sweet and medium-bodied on the palate with average carbonation.

Not very impressive overall, and pretty undrinkable. Couldn't finish the glass.

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Photo of goblue3509
2.81/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark clear amber color with a one finger frothy head. The aroma is of caramel malt and a hint of floral hops, raisin smell is also present with other dark fruits. The taste is a little on the weak side, there is a caramel malt backbone and a slight grain taste, there is a medium amount of dark fruits through the middle but not very complex. The mouthfeel has low carbonation and is watery in nature. Overall you could drink this beer, but it is a little weak for the style. There needs to be more substance to the middle of the taste.

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Photo of BeefyMee
2.93/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brilliant ruby amber hue. Head didn't want to come out but once it did, it was pillowy white. Smells of molasses, raisins and dates and is generally a little overboard on the sweetness. Tastes even sweeter at first but seems to mellow out rapidly. After the initial rush of sickly sweet dark fruit, there's some interesting pumpkin spice flavor and a nice little alcohol warmth without being boozy. Feels nice and full in the mouth and turned out to be much more drinkable than I thought.

Kind of a roller coaster ride. I was excited to try it, dissapointed when I did, and pleasantly surprised as I kept drinking. That doesn't happen too often.

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Photo of pandashaver
2.95/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a 1/2 inch white to off white head, atop a golden reddish amber body that i can see my hand through. Smells incredibly malty, a kick in the face of sweetness, with some fruit undertones.

First taste is the same as the nose, except with a somewhat bitter finish lingering on the palate after the initial Dopplebock smack-in-the-face sweetness. I detect some honey as well. It also gets some spice/alcohol as it warms. Overall, a bit cloying, moreso than any other "old ale" I've had to date. For me the taste is a miss - there are several dimensions, but they are mostly sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium, not super thick but not watery at all. Kinda sticky.

As for drinkability, I struggled through one and could not have another. Just too sweet for me, but could possibly be paired with food. Alcohol content is well hidden, at least until it warms.

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Photo of angrybabboon
2.96/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review adapted from notes taken 10/1/10

Appearance: An interesting brown/red/amber, clear with some white head

Smell: Tons of malts and alcohol in the nose - lots of caramel, too - smells way too sweet, and it doesn't get much better, even at room temperature

Taste: Much like the smell, there is way too much sweetness and alcohol - I used the phrase "overcooked malt bomb" in my notes, but in retrospect that seems harsh - this was not a bad beer, but I personally would not call it good - the high level of sweetness is only increased by some interesting fruity esters - malts are on the dark side, kind of reminds me of a brown ale in terms of flavor - not exactly what I was looking for

Mouthfeel: Too thin to handle the copious malt sweetness - otherwise, the carbonation is good

Overall: Too sweet for me, I wouldn't call this drinkable

This is one of those beers that I could imagine someone enjoying... But I personally did not love it. It kind of tasted like a barleywine gone wrong. Maybe I should have let it sit for a year or two.

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Photo of cbutova
2.96/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours out red with a frothy off-white head that has good retention. The head leaves behind a thick, creamy cloud and ring on top of the beer. Thick lace is left behind by the head. A great looking beer.

S- Lots of caramel malts up front. Some grainy notes come through as well. Some sweet dark fruit hints are present and round out a decent smell. The strength of the aroma is good. Smells slightly medicinal, kind of like cough syrup or cepacol.
Some earthy hops in the background as well.

T- Way to sweet and somewhat medicinal. It really does remind me of sore throat medicine/cepacol a bit. I think it is the combination of the alcohol warmth and the sugary caramel dark fruit aspects, it doesn't balance out and taste that good to me. Lots of caramel malt. I have had much better Old Ales. A bit of alcohol makes it through. Some nuttiness and mineral aspects as well.

MF- Lower carbonation and a somewhat creamy moderate body. Really warm from the alcohol that seems to actually be 9%. A coat of hot caramel medicine coats the tongue and is not too pleasant.

DB- I can hardly get through the first glass. The cepacol taste is just getting to me too much. Old Stock at 13% hides alcohol much better than this one. Maybe this one needs to be aged and some sugar taken out. A good appearance that led to a disappointing beer.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.06/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Best before Sept 2010.

Pours a clear copper color with two fingers of head that coats the glass and leaves a thin ring of foam at the top. Aroma is candied fruits, so plum, and a little boozy.

There is a lot of sweetness in this beer, but it comes off pretty "hot" and a bit of a mineral aftertaste. Another sip confirms that there is a LOT of residual sweetness in this beer

I just went and read the style description of an Old Ale, and this beer is a very good representation of that style. Problem is, I don't think I like the style very much! Everything I don't like about this beer - the sweetness, booziness, and low hop profile - are characteristics of an Old Ale.

So I won't kill this beer in the scoring, but this is IMO, by far the worst of this year's Longshot pack... the other two were very good!

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Photo of Goliath
3.06/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear dark amber/rust color with a very pretty inch and a half light tan head. There is nice head retention and a nice collar of lace.

The aroma is quite nice. There is a great caramel sweetness with a nice dose of grain. There is also a decent showing of fruit.

The taste is ok. It's lightly sweet, and a bit phenolic. There's a touch of caramel and indeed a bit of raisin. It's also a bit watery and the flavor profile is on the weak side.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, yet watery. The carbonation is low, almost appearing flat. Normally I prefer less carbonation in my old ales, but something about the feel of this one just isn't adding up.

Drinkability is moderate. The flavor profile is a bit boring for an old ale and the mouthfeel is too watery. I'm not in love with this beer by any means.

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Photo of adamette
3.08/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Live review from the 12 oz. bottle that I bought as a part of the "LongShot Series" 6-pack at Reider's in Painesville, Ohio yesterday for $9.99. That local grocery store has quite a few cool beer selections and should be visited by anyone in the area. Notched stamped on the left side of the label is the "enjoy by" date of Sept. 2010. Poured into my Ommegang Witte tumbler.

A Nice light brown creamy head rides on top of a dark caramel but translucent body in a classic look for the style. I really appreciate the long lasting, creamy head that leaves good lacing. 4.0

S Malty sweetness, dark fruits (raisins, dates) dominate the smell of this apparently classic old ale. What hops there are are muted quite a bit by every thing else in the smell. 3.5

T Yes, a big, heavy Old Ale with all of the dark fruit, malty goodness that you expect from the style. The taste lingers for a quite a long time, maybe 5 minutes after your last sip. To me, this is a classic, to the style Old Ale. 3.0

M There is an appropriate sticky, syrupy feel. Indeed, some spilled out when the head overflowed and after I tried to dry it up it was sticky on the table several minutes later. This is the correct feel for the style. 3.0

D Not that great. The bigness of the beer really drives down the drinkability for me. I would not drink more than one of these I think in a night. I did finish the 12 ounces, mind you, tonight. 2.5

Notes: Congrats to Michael Robinson who created this beer and was one of the winners of the LongShot Homebrew Contest.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.12/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I haven't been impressed with the LongShot brews...

A - Pours a ruby-caramel hue, translucent, wispy white head.

S - Cinnamon buns at IKEA. Again. Similar to Flying Dog's Horn Dog. Needless to say, cinnamon, raisin, bready, toffee and caramel aromas abound. Also, legitimate 'oldness'.

T - This is the only Longshot that I am even remotely impressed with thus far. Lots of caramel and toffee malt, some big booze. Starts out better than it finishes.

M - Too much lingering heat.

D - Mehhh strikes again.

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Photo of Norfawkers
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

If you like big malty beers, this may be worth a try...not for us though

Appearance: Deep copper, clear, minimal head

Smell: Sweet malt

Taste: Unsurprisingly malty sweetness with a slight metallic undertone

Mouthfeel: A bit thick

Drinkability: The syrupy maltiness is a bit much, perhaps a meal would tone it down

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Photo of BMoney575
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 4-25-10
Best before 2010

Pours a clear, dark amber color, with a slight head and just a few wisps of lacing.

Smell is all dark fruit and sweet malt, lots of caramel, toffee and booze. The only thing lacking is an aged quality.

Taste is extremely sweet and syrupy, tons of brown sugar and fermented fruit flavors. The sweetness, coupled with the alcohol, quickly becomes cloying and not enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, given the sweetness and heavy flavors.

Drinkability suffers from the sweetness mentioned above.

Overall, I won't be having this again without some serious cellar time.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I poured the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. I has a nice dark amber color with a light egg white color head that lay down to a nice lace around the top of the body. The smell is of molassas and caramel. The taste is very strong and fruity like raisins and very nice hop taste. It coats the tongue. It is very drinkable for a high abv. beer. One is enough for me.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.21/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Ben Ale is a nice-looking beer, a deep slightly cloudy mahogany body with ruby trim; a fat finger of tan froth leaving nice lacing. The smell...hmmm. Honestly, I had to wait until drinking the second Old Ben Ale to properly judge this, for the first time I tried it, I discerned little to no aroma. After the second, I detected mild scents of plum, raisin, and a dash of ginger. Yet the smell is still rather faint and, consequently, disappointing.

Ditto with the taste, which is reclusive. The caramel malt is nice and well represented, the dried fruit is present but secondary at best, and hops are scarcely detectable in both taste and texture. The malty mouthfeel is nice, but a bit thin and could use a little more lifting from a hop infusion.

I admit to being somewhat spoiled by the spate of downright delicious Old Ales I've had of late--Avery's Hibernation, North Coast's excellent Old Stock, the astounding Curmudgeon from Founders--all of which are first rate in good part because they bring diverse and bold flavors and aromas. Also, the dense malt and richly hopped taste and textures provide excellent balance while being true to the style as malt-forward, malt-rich beers. Old Ben Ale is decent beer, but did not strike me as nearly bold enough to be a front-line Old Ale. A good ale? Yes. A good Old Ale? Not so much.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a ruby color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes slowly into a nice cap of lacing. The aroma is of caramel, sugar, toffee and a hint of raisin. It is a pleasant aroma, but lacks depth. The taste has more raisin than the aroma, and it seems to mask the rest of the beer. There is a strong alcoholic presence too that is quite unpleasant. The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, I'll give this beer a pass. It has some nice aspects, but they aren't as well integrated within each other to make this a good beer.

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Photo of beagle75
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Murky, light amber color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Chewy treacle and concentrated grape fruit preside over a bready foundation. Yeast influences practically disappear between the bread and dark fruit. Qualities are predictable in quality, but show considerable depth. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins sweet, with toasted malt and rich toffee. Acidity is high into the middle where flavor qualities become saccharine and very shallow. The finish is fairly bitter for the style, but with enough dark crystal roast and vanilla hints to redeem the profile. No alcohol is detected.

M: Thick viscosity, acidic and slightly syrupy on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Aside from the pleasing and decadent smell, this strong ale underwhelms. The bottom seems to drop out of the flavor profile in the second act, which is unfortunate because up until that point the taste was fairly congruent (in a good way) with the smell. For the abv, a beer of this style ought to resonate with more consistent and interesting flavors.

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Photo of thisisxxmyIPA
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Off white head diminishes quickly. Pours a deep ruby red translucent shade. Truly a beautifully colored beer.

S- Almost no aroma. Subtle malt sweetness, raisins, caramel - that's it. All too subtle

T- Caramel malt dominates. This is my first ever Olde Ale. Not my favorite style evidentially. Like a very subdued barleywine with much less malt flavor but still high ABV.

M- Nice mouthfeel, carbonation is just a bit sharp.

D- It's very drinkable. I feel I could easily knock bad a few. Just not a flavorful enough beer for me.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a fairly clear reddish-copper color with a big off-white head with some decent lacing. Complex malty caramel, and nutty aroma. Fruity with raisin and banana aromas as well. Taste is sweet, malty. Dark fruits are prominent throughout, Notes of brown sugar, before a slightly bittering and alcohol warming finish comes through. Full-bodied and soft carbonation. Overall, not something I really love but I supposed a well rounded beer that has fairly interesting and complex features. It's a little sweet for me and does kind of put me to mind as a not so intense barleywine.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty impressed with the SA longshot line up this year... lets see what this one is like. Poured into a FFFs pint glass.

A: pours auburn and is extremely clear, a thin layer of head sits atop the beer and leaves significant lacing, very little head retention

S:the front features some fruity hops, a robust malt profile with notes of caramel and toast, some cereal grains in there as well

T: the front features some earthy hops and quickly switches gears to a sweet malt profile in the mid palate, notes of molasses and raisins, finish includes some bready grains and a noticeable presence from the abv. Something seems a bit out of balance here, the sweetness is somewhat off putting.

MF: high carbonation, medium body

D: well sadly this doesn't live up to the old ale from the '08 Longshot pack, a little sweet for my liking, perhaps some dry hopping could have balanced it out a bit.

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Photo of jpittman80
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper brown with an off-white, surprisingly lasting head.

S - Sweet malts and alcohol.

T - A little strong with the alcohol. Raisins and caramel. Hops are more present once it warms up a bit.

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of alcohol warmth.

D - Not too bad. Not really my style, but I do appreciate this effort. The amount of alcohol present may inhibit you from drinking more than one.

I always want to support these as a homebrewer. I think they usually pick some really solid beers. I look forward to sampling the other two in the pack.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
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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LongShot Old Ben Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.76 out of 5 based on 260 ratings.
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