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 ngeunit1
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice hazy amber-brown color with a nice amount of off-white head. The head had pretty nice retention and leaves behind some nice lacing.

S - The strongest smell is of the sweet carmel malts with a some toffee aroma. Just a touch of deep dried fruits (raisins).

T - Starts off with the carmel malt flavor and dark fruit flavors, mostly raisin and dates. There is a bit of brown sugar flavor that comes in toward the end with a finish that is bit of alcohol flavor.

M - Medium-full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Very powerful overall, and kind of think without losing smoothness.

D - Very nice flavors that are very complex and interesting, but stay balanced. The alcohol finish can be a bit intimidating, but it really is the end of a very solid beer. Not the most purely drinkable, but very tasty.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly cloudy bronze color with a grayish beige head that fades quickly but leaves pretty decent lace for a high ABV beer.

The aroma is malty with a nice fruity caramel character to it. There is a pretty good amount of alcohol, and I would say that the booze character is mostly brandy like. The more I stuff my nose into the snifter, the more I pick up on a bit of a toffee and an aroma that reminds me of my parents food dehydrator when they were drying light sweet cherries from the farm.

The flavor is super sweet with an explosion of caramel, brown sugar and rich sweet cherry. This beer has a lot of flavors going on, but they all seem to melt together quite well. There is some toffee and toasted bread in there, a bit of earthiness and perhaps some apricot. The more toasty flavors come through as the beer finishes, and at times they almost reach the point of being what I would even call roasty.

The mouthfeel is on the medium side of full with, in my opinion, way too much carbonation. This is not smooth like most of the good old ales I have had lately, and the finish is super dry despite all that malt, leaving some unflattering hoppy bitterness on my palate.

Even as far as old ales go I don't find this to be terribly drinkable. The carbonation, sweetness and finish really do it in. It is a shame because it has some very nice flavors. I would be willing to be that this was way better in homebrew form.

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Photo of Jayli
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Acquired this from TheManiacalOne so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to a pint glass
Consumed 11/16

A: This beer pours a deep hazy copper color with a 1/2 inch of khaki color head. Head recedes quickly and leaves spotty wisps of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is toasty malts, brown sugar, and bit of caramel.

T: Taste starts incredibly sweet. Caramel malt and brown sugar. Decent alcohol bite hits in the middle when the dar fruit flavoring comes in. Finish has a mild hop bite that I just can't quite place.

M: Medium body, low carbonation, somewhat thin and clean.

D: Goes down relatively easily, big kick, somewhat filling, ok representation of style.

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Photo of rembrant
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks- Golden brown with a beige 2 finger head
Aroma - Fruits and breads,some scent of yeast,port soaked dried fruits like an old style home made fruitcake.
Taste- Follows the nose. There's an earthy,bready flavor,a toffee lead,sweet dark fruits,a hint of sherry or port. A bit busy and saturated but the complexity is very interesting.

Mouthfeel- Nice viscosity and overall good. The aftertaste is just okay,a rather dry and quick finish...which isn't unusual for the style.

Drinkable,Lots of flavors happening,maybe a bit heavy handed but a different and complex beer worth exploring.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into SABL glass.

A. 1 finger head. Average retention. Not much lacing. Rich dark brown color.

S. Caramel malt, spices, clove, yeast. Has a bit of a fruity smell, almost like banana and dark fruit. Some brown sugar.

T. Taste is pretty rich. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, honey seetness. Maybe a little vanilla. Has a lot of tastes that are hard to pin down.

M. Medium/full bodied. Medium carbonation. Chewy mouthfeel. Lingering sweetness.

D. An interesting beer. One of the better ones I have had from SA. Not all that familiar with the style.

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Photo of billab914
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured brown in color with some nice ruby highlights to it when held up to the light. It started with a moderate creamy and dense tan head to it. The head retreated to the edges of the glass but left some decent lacing.

The aroma shows a lot of caramel malts to it. A little bit of a dark fruit flavor is present along with a moderate alcohol presence. Not much really standing out in the nose for me.

The taste shows some nice dark fruits to it right off the bat. Raisins and figs both come through with a malty, caramel sweetness coming through more towards the finish. A moderate hop bitterness in the finish prevents it from becoming too sweet though. A little bit of a warming alcohol is there but not bad. Pretty good flavors overall.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it had some nice malty, caramel and fruity flavors to it overall. It was pretty easy drinking for a big beer as well. Not a bad beer at all and a pretty good old Ale overall.

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Photo of portia99
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a deep amber color with excellent clarity. A sparse cap of white foam dies quickly and leaves a loose, bubbly collar around the glass.

S - Fruity and floral hops, sweet malt and alcohol. Overall gives a sweet impression.

T - Boozy - alcohol, floral and perfumey, malty sweet. Spicy and fruity...tastes almost like its trying to be Belgian, raisiny with some brown sugar kicked in for good measure.

M - Medium-full bodied with a mid-level carbonation. Alcohol warmth...quite boozy all around. Spicy flavors last well past the swallow into the aftertaste.

D - Not a bad beer at all. Pretty enjoyable but definitely one of those beers where a single 12oz bottle is enough in a sitting. A worthy offering that I'm glad to have tried.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
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 chaz01
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a thin pilsner type glass.

A: Deep amber, copper color beer with a nice foamy white head, although it recedes quickly.

S: Fruity, earthy, alcohol and caramel malts in the aroma

T: The taste if very malty, caramel-like with a dates/raisins/fig fruity flavors. There is also some alcohol notes, especially as the beer goes down the throat.

M: Rich, thick syrupy mouthfeel, with just enough carbonation.

D: There's a bit too much alcholol and boozy presence to drink a lot of this, but it's a nice heavy sipping beer. I'll be putting a few bottles away to see how this one ages.

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Photo of July2Nov
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured with one inch of head that quickly disappeared to a thin lace. Orange-red amber color with slight carbonation.

Smell: Slightly, but not overtly sweet with hints of dates/raisins.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Big, big alcohol mouthfeel at the beginning that lingers on for awhile. Still tingles throughout it all with a "chewy" spicy middle. The aftertaste has a sweet raisin bread pudding flavor shine to it.

Drinkability: The Longshot series is great for sampling styles that normally I wouldn't buy a 6-pack of and the Old Ben Ale is just that type of beer. Kudos to the Boston Beer Company for sharing these brewer's delights with the rest of the country.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy reddish brown color. A fairly small tan head. Head becomes a few bubbles and leaves almost no lacing.

S- Smells is very fruity, bit of alcohol and dark fruits.

T- Taste is quite a bit of malts here and darker fruits. Picking up raisins, apples and plums.

M- Fuller side of medium in body and lighter side of medium in carbonation.

D- Not to bad to drink. Probably my favorite of this years Longshot.

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

12 oz. A ruby amber pour, maybe a finger of off white head.

Very malty, caramel/toffee laden aroma. Some yellow raisin.

Taste is equally caramelly. There is a large amount of pale malt I'm guessing, which detracts quite a bit for me. Give it a bit of a bmc twang. It recovers though back to toffee and brown sugar. Just a nip of peat, oak, citrus and pine.

Mouthfeel is good medium and quite coating. Carb is good. Drinks all right, though a bit warming. No abv comes through though.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for this bad boy

This beer pours a nice amber color with a finger of fluffy white foam that fades to a nice film on the surface. There are lots of caramel notes in the aroma. I do also detect a hint of cinnamon spice, bourbon, and orange zest citrus. The taste is a rich caramel flavor, there is a hint of booze in the background but it is reserved and subtle. Hints of bitterness do linger in the back There is a buttery feel for an old ale, but it goes down relatively smooth and hides the alcohol quite well. The syrupy nature of it does linger in the mouth. But for an old ale this one does drink very well. Too bad it's a limited release this would be a go to old ale.

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Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Old Ben Ale's body appears a bright brown-orange hue and slightly translucent. The head is light beige and has little retention.

The smell is slightly fruity and roasted, reminiscent of maple syrup. There is very little to no hop characteristic. It also has a very mellow heat character for a beer with a higher ABV.

This beer starts off very sweet. On the mid palate the dried fruit and maple syrup flavors come forward. It finishes with a fruity twang and some roasted notes. There is a lot going on with this beer, but it is nicely complex and balanced.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy in body with light carbonation.

Old Ben Ale is not very sessionable, but it is a fun beet to taste. And as the label says it is perfect for an after dinner drink, or by itself on a coold day.

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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 Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a caramel amber color with a small white head. Nose brings forward some caramel, brown sugar, and a low dose of hops. The taste is brown sugar, caramel, some lighter dark fruits, and some booze. Medium body with a nice warming effect from the alcohol. Drinkability is pretty good; looking forward to seeing how this ages.

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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 aerozeppl
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes.

A: Super clear reddish amber color. Poured with a quarter finger of white head with really nice lacing.

S: Caramel toffee some dark fruit. Tons of malt. The alcohol really did not come across in the nose as it does for many examples of the style. Raisins more as it warmed.

T: The taste is nice but not as complex as the nose. Nice sweetness. No real hint of the ABV from the nose. Caramel toffee. Just to style.

M: A little syrupy but not thick. Carbonation is low but really works with this beer.

D: Fairly easy drinker for the style and ABV. Not something I would reach for everyday but I think this one has some legs to age

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A= Pours a dark amber color. Nice head pretty good lacing.

S= To me it smelled pretty sweet. It smelled a little nutty like pecans. It also smelled sweet like it had some brown sugar in with a hint a carmel. I also noticed a little hint of some type of fruit like it had some cherries in it.

T= The taste was really similar to the nose to me more of the cherry taste came out while drinking it was a lot stronger in the taste rather than smelling it.

M= Medium body, carbonation seems a little high. Pretty nice beer here. Still warming.

D= These went down really nice enjoyed them and overall I think this years Longshot's where a lot better than last years.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another set of notes that I found recently, This one was alright.

Old ben comes out looking dark, a very dark shade of red that has some brown intertwined in there as well. Small cap on top, weak legs for lacing. Smell is very fruity and malty. Kinda rotting fruit but not fully spoiled yet. Plums. Taste is on the fruity side as well, kinda strange for a young old ale, although the bottle does not recommend aging it. Plums, apples, pear, berries, and a lot of malt that is somewhat peaty and unrefined. This one is sort of all over the place. Feel is above medium with light carb, this goes down easy enough with no intrusion from hot alcohol. Taste is pretty good but I am not wowed by it. Good for a gander.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber with a slight head that fades to a swirly cap. Not too bad for the style or the abv. Smells sweet with lots of molasses notes, and some firmer malt in the background. Some light vinous notes and earthy hops round it out. The taste is more balanced and integrated. Nice earthy hoppiness throughout, as well as some more restrained molasses, some slightly spicy notes and some more firm malt. Some chewiness in the mouth, but not overly sweet. I've always been a fan of the Long Shot beers, and this one is pretty nice.

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Photo of claspada
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aromas are quite sweet with notes of toffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar and some dark fruits. Slight hints of alcohol as well.

The taste is good, but nothing to write home about. All the expected flavors appear on the palette, but in a much more muddled and one dimensional way, kind of a staple for Sam Adams beers in my opinion. You get the malty sweetness of toffee, caramel, and brown sugar but they aren't distinct and are slightly disjointed. The aroma is far too enticing for the lack of dominant Old Ale flavor I desire. Some notes of dark fruit and a slight alcohol, but don't really add to the overall flavor profile. Also has a slightly dry alcoholic warmth on the finish, while at the same time is a little sticky from either the ABV or the hops but I really can't tell unfortunately.

This is a solid all around Old Ale, but nothing spectacular. I wish I could have had the original from the homebrewer because I bet it was much more flavorful and to standard for Old Ales. Good appearance and aroma, and average in all other facets. Still an easily drinkable offering that the brewer can be proud of; heck I wish I won the Long Shot Comp.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
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 Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
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 scottyb88
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a semi-clear dark amber color with a nice off white head that has good lacing

S- pecans, brown sugar, and a touch of fruitiness (cherry, maybe), a hint of toasted caramel

T- very similar to the nose with a slightly sour twang at the end of the sip which kind of balances out the nice sweetness; definitely a cherry flavor in there with a hint of alcohol...not sure how well this beer would age because it's starting to lean towards a cherry Robitussin type flavor

M- really nice mouth feel that is medium to full with the right amount of carbonation; aftertaste is toasted malt with a little bit of apple skin bitterness

D- alcohol content is fairly well hidden and it's a solid old ale; not sure if it differs much from the brewer's original idea; a nice beer for a cool evening

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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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