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

very good
229 Reviews
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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 barczar
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
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 brewdlyhooked13
3.39/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - a reddish peachy cast to the sunset orange brew. A thin but sticky manila cover on top with an impressive bead underneath.

Aroma - caramel and biscuit malt, nice but not overly complex.

Taste - licorice and grain up front, sweet but not sugary. The hops provide a little balance - they are quite faded at this point to do much else. Really shows off the malts. Somewhat shallow to me, like the malt bill was retrained, resulting in a dryer tasting ale. Finishes clean as a result, hints of anise and abv heat in the wake.

Mouthfeel - fluffy, light on the body, I'm cool with it.

Overall - it's good but it doesn't show depth of flavor. Despite, one of the better longshots.

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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 Gueuzedude
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best by date of September 2010; Sampled April 2012 & stored in my fridge the whole time
A steady pour into my tulip glass produces a four finger thic, lightly amber tinged, dark tan colored head that leaves an expansive, though light, layer of lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is a concentrated amber color that shows a lightly hazed, golden red-amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of savory malt (that is boosted by age / oxidation), lots of caramelized malt character, some slightly nutty toasted whole grain character, and an interesting bright cherry character that comes out as you take a deep draught of the nose. The cherry / fruit note adds an unexpected, though still balanced, dimension that I wasn’t expecting.

Fairly thick and viscous feeling as it first hits my palate, but it isn’t really all that sweet. The malt has a richness to it more than a sweetness, there is a significant toasted brown grain character, complex caramelized notes that are significantly rounded by a light oxidation (this is purely positive at this point as it helps cut the percieved sweetness). There is something like a light tartness here that doesn’t seem out of place. The fruit character seems to have more of a prune like leaning to it rather than the cherry note that was in the aroma. The oxidation also boosts a rich nuttiness in this beer, though the oxidation itself remains well in check.

The age on this beer seems to fit it quite well at this point; I can’t say for sure that it will improve any more after this, and if you have been storing this warmer than at 50°F it might be over-the-hill, though I would expect this particular bottle to be quite drinkable for at least a couple more years if I had not opened it.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been sitting on this for a while, I'm surprised I haven't already reviewed it.
Served at room temperature it pours a medium copper color with a huge milky white head that takes forever to retreat and sticks lots of lace on the way down. Lots of dark sugar and sweet dark fruits fill the aroma. There's a hint of sherry and a touch of alcohol, but they meld nicely. The flavor is sweet and malty with a solid warming alcohol that I can trace as it flows southward. Lots of sweet dark sugars with light citrus and darker dried fruits in the flavor. Almost like a marmalade thing going on too. Medium to thick body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. Nice beer, but a bit sweet and still a bit hot which is odd.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a darkish amber color with an off-white head. Strong aromas of caramel and toffee. There is a good brown sugar and toasted bread note to it and perhaps a little bit of dark fruit character. Pretty nice nose to this. The flavor is a bit less robust, but still enjoyable. A hint of vanilla to go along with the caramel and toffee. Mild molasses and brown sugar and just a touch of black cherry.

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Photo of jsanford
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Snifter.

Pours a clear copper with a thin, creamy off-white head that settles to a slight ring and spotty haze. Aromas of sweet caramel, toffee, raisins, and baked bread with some piney, resinous hops. Taste is similar to the nose, pleasantly sweet and nicely balanced between the caramel, raisins and fairly pungent pine and citrus hops. Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly sticky, with a touch-over-medium bodied and good carbonation. Overall a very nice surprise from the SA Longshot pack, I'm glad I have another to age a bit longer!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains raisins and other fruits, caramelized malts, brown sugar and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and raisins. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with a touch of an alcohol bite. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, not too filling, decent representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are others in the style that I would choose first.

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Photo of yankeej13
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A nice heavy redish color, kinda cloudy with a mellow carbonation with a small rim of foam.

S- Has a pretty potent smell, can most def pick out the caramel and raisen.

T- It truly packs a nice punch right off. Has a heavy carmael taste with a mellow raisen finish. Has a hearty full body taste to it.

M- Drinkability is ok def take you a bit to finish. A heavy flow that comes along. More on the heavy side. Very enjoyable

Overall great beer, took a little while for my tastebuds to fully register all the malts.

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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 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 Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This old ale pours out as a copperish red color with a decent head on it. The lacing is pretty nice looking at first but faded with time. The smell was sweet with some sugar aromas and fruit on the nose. The taste had a light boozey warmth with the sugary dark fruity keeping it alive. There was a slight hoppiness to it but not much. The mouthfeel was a little thick. Overall it was a pretty nice brew.

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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 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 RunForYourBeer
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown/red with a thin off white head.

S: Dark fruits. Raisin and some plumb with a hint of alcohol.

T: Some brown sugar along with the dark fruit from the smell. Finishes with some slight hop bitterness and alcohol warmth.

M: Medium, some noticeable carbonation.

O: Good beer, drinkable for the strength. Lots of sweet flavors from malts.

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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 BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated... it is finished when it surrenders."

--Ben Stein

Glowing topaz topped by a creamy crown of orangish ivory cream that filled the upper third of the snifter on the pour. Gradual meltage, splendid looks while doing so, and a high collar of thick lace all combine to earn the good score.

The aroma is less impressive. It's toasted and earthy, with some background contribution from caramel and almost no hoppiness. No alcohol is a plus, but there needs to be some sort of hook to draw the drinker in.

Old Ben is a little more accomplished on the palate. Time, and the next 11 ounces, will tell if it's enough to enter the realm of the soldily good. For whatever reason, this LongShot brew tastes English. Samuel Adams, as one of the leaders of the American revolution, was definitely anti-red coat, but I'm sure he'd still approve.

The passage of time and several more degrees have done wonderful things to the flavor profile. OBA has become deeper and more complex... which is the way it's supposed to work. Specifics include toasted brown bread, caramel, sugared pecans, medium-dark fruit, and hints of black tea leaves. Splendid job of alcohol masking as well.

The mouthfeel works well with either sipping or gulping. The former is recommended so that flavor transfer can be maximized. A luscious creaminess is more than hinted at on the suprisingly long finish. Very close to very good.

Michael Robinson's Old Ben Ale is another in a long line of LongShot successes. Whoever judges this competition knows what good beer is all about. And so will you if you're lucky enough to have cellared a few bottles of this enjoyable old ale.

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Photo of rlshep
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Dark fruit, plum, raisins. A lot of burnt caramel and breadiness, with a hint of dark chocolate.

Appearance: Dark Amber color. Pours thick, creamy, long lasting, off-white head, three-finger head. Lots of lacing. Lots of carbonation. Very clear.

Flavor: Plum and raisin stand out. Maltiness takes center stage wile citrusy American hops play in the background. Dark caramel leaves a burnt sugar taste. Low bitterness. Hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Sticky sweetness stays on tongue. Alcohol noticeable and warming. High mouthfeel, high carbonation.

Overall: A good beer. Caramel/sugary sweetness too cloyingly my tastes. I love the fruit and mixture of citrusy hops in background. I wish the whole Longshot six pack was of this beer.

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Photo of warnerry
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
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 sauron681
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby amber color, very clear with a thick head and nice sticky lacing. Very low carbonation. Aroma of malt, sour fruits and toast.
Very thick and syrupy in the mouth, with hints of caramel malt, burnt fruits and also an aftertaste of scorched caramel.
This is a nice winter warmer beer without the spices and harshness.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: nice copper color, good bubbles with nice head
S: I really liked the nose of this beer, malty, malty, malty, like it should be, reminded me a bit of a German doppelbock in maltiness, EtOH noticeable
T: very nice, chewy, chocolaty, burnt malt, with a correctly balanced amount of hops (read, not overly hopped like most American beers), true to style as an English Old Ale but the ABV is too high for contemporary old ales
M: very smooth with rounded malt qualities
D: drinkable but ABV is noticeable and hotness is slightly evident, a few notches down in ABV (7%) would probably be better

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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.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.49/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Narke glass...Medium clear copper with a light amber tint. A big tope head with great retention and lacing...The aroma is malty caramel with a hoppy finish, some dark fruits and alcohol, quadish. Not bad, average...Taste again is very malty with raisins, and dark fruits, light hop finish. A quad light, easy to drink but nothing is outstanding. Can't recommend it but I wouldn't pass on a free one.

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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 gpogo
4.11/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear brown amber. Almost a deep purple. Light on bubbles, small foam cap.

A- Sweet malt aromas, dark fruits, sweet caramel breadiness.

T- Sweet caramel malt right up front. Dark fruit notes with a slight hint of brown sugar.

M- Medium body, very sweet and coats the mouth. Low carbonation.

D- I couldn't imagine drinking more than one of these. Quite a sweet beer.

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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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