Old Man (Winter Ale) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

562 Reviews
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Old Man (Winter Ale)Old Man (Winter Ale)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 12-17-2003

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Reviews: 562 | Ratings: 1,572
Photo of bobhits
1.8/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This is amazingly clear orange/reddish colored beer. That said head is lacking and no lace in my glass at all. Just some hints of foam around the edges.

The aroma is subtle with hints of grain and perhaps a touch of hop spice.

There is a lot of cereal grain with a finish of coy hops. There is a flavor here of an almost plastic/metallic nature I really do not like.

A bit under carbonated but acceptable for the style.

I really dislike this one. It is nearly to the point where I may just drain pour it. This isn't for me at all.

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Photo of Aberration
1.9/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served from a bottle

Looks pretty good! Smell is a little weak however...

Taste is like the smell...I get nothing of value here. The mouthfeel is pretty good, but the lack of any flavor was a real detriment to me drinking the entire bottle.

Maybe I'll revisit this one someday, but for now I feel as if it isn't even worth drinking the rest of it....hopefully this is just a bad batch...

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Photo of mlockman
2.14/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

There is no malt profile evident to this beer, as both the aroma and palate are dominated by overassertive bitter hop flavor. Perhaps if it was aged for ten years this would make for a decent old ale, but fresh it is undrinkable.

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Photo of ajm5108
2.17/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Aroma is fine, but it doesn't fit the style at all. It's pretty much pilsner malt, very straw-like and mealy, which is a distance from the more robust, darker malt you get in many old ales. Taste is a little heftier but still flat & pale malt forward, which isn't bad per say, but a stretch in this style. A whimper of fusel alcohol creeps in at the end, but is also faint. There is some hops but they are bland and bitter, not really fitting the rest of the make-up. It has s stale malt flavor, dry and timid, really not much flavor at all.

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.21/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a snifter. The beer pours dark mahogany with a no head. Real nice color on this though. Lots of malts up front but there is kind of an off smell that I can't quite put my finger on. It's kind of fishy. It ruins it for me. Not a lot going on in this one. Slightly bitter in the end but the big malt profile I was expecting really seems to get lost in there somewhere. This really doesn't seem to have the characteristics I've come to expect in an old ale. The mouthfeel is a bit watery. Just a weak example of the style. There isn't much of a chance that I'll finish this one.

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Photo of theBubba
2.24/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

If you're expecting a typical winter ale...malt, spice, a little bit of hop, forget it. This beer is more like a dark IPA. Bitter and with a nasty aftertaste. If you're into hops then go for it. But if you're looking for a traditional winter ale you won't find it here. A miss leading label and description from Southern Tier. Maybe they should mention the IBU's on the label.

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Photo of adamette
2.25/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I purchased as a single at Save-On in Mentor for $1.68 two days ago into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. No observed "best by" date.

A Off white creamy head that leaves minimal lacing over a translucent and slightly dark caramel (just a bit darker than average caramel) colored body. Not really that impressive. 2.5

S Distant barley malt and very little hops in my opinion. This smells like a rather barley-centric beer but whatever it is there is not a strong smell. Again, not really that impressive. 2.5

T Dull, bitter taste of hops and much barley with a lingering, bitter aftertaste on the back of my tongue that I do not really appreciate very much. I do not like that kind of lingering bitterness. I am sure that it is consistent with the style, an Old Ale, but it is not to my liking. 2.0

M Full, big with the bitterness of the hops in front and then that lingering feeling on the back 1/3 of my tongue. I will say that the feel was much bigger than the look suggested. The feel is appropriate to the style and even though I do not necessarily like it I will not score it below average because I think that it hits the style correctly. 3.0

D Not good. I will finish the 12 ounces but not likely seek it out again. 2.0

Notes: Even though I am not a big fan of the style, this is not the best example of the style. The better ones, again in my opinion, have a heavier sweet malt profile to them.

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Photo of CortexBomb
2.46/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm reviewing this based on the style listing here, which frankly annoys me. This is more of an APA or an IPA...it has no old ale characteristics that I can discern.

Pour is amber, nice looking brew. Mild head. Nose is citrus twang and malts. Fairly classic pale.

The flavour on this is two major things: ruby red grapefruit and casual caramel malts. The grapefruit is not particularly aggressive and fades off the palette pretty quickly though.

The bottom line: This would be an across the board average beer if it was listed as an APA or IPA, as an old ale though? Overhopped, undermalted, and extremely shallow. Pick this up if you're looking for something mildly hoppy for the winter, but avoid if you actually want an old ale.

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Photo of Landar
2.5/5  rDev -33%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Aroma 6/12
Strong citrus hops bitterness and nutmeg hits immediately. This is followed by a cinnamon and a hint of a caramel malt profile. A strong hops bitterness dominates. As it warms the sharp hop bitterness is subdued somehwat and the caramel malt profile comes more into play. Fermented raisins begin to dominate with a sweet caramel malt profile and there
are hints of citrus peel, a hint of nutmeg and cloves. The citrus hops is still overpowering and makes the rest of the aromas difficult to differentiate.

Appearance 3/3
Deep reddish brown, almost blood ruby. Clear. Just a few bubbles rising. Thick, creamy off-white head with excellent retention.
Even after it sits a good while the head retention is still foamy and covers the entire surface and then some.
It sticks thickly to the sides and stays there.

Taste 9/20
The strong bitterness hits immediately, this is followed by the nutmeg. Strong bitter aftertaste.
As it warms an orange citrus bitterness still dominates but the sweetness of the malt comes through. It is just a tad watery, demonstrating a clean soft mineral profile. Some caramel tries to make its way through but the bitterness interferes with the balance.
None of the interesting spices in the aroma are here at all, as the bitterness overpowers.

Mouthfeel 3/5
Crisp and dry finish. Astringent to the point of leaving my tongue and lips slightly numb. Very low carbonation.

Overall Impression 4/10
This is more like an IPA with a touch of spices than a winter ale. Perhaps reconsider classifying this as an IPA for a stronger score.
To make it more appropriate to the style, I recommend downplaying the hops more. It would be great if the flavors that are in the aroma would be allowed to take a stronger tone in the balance to make this feel more in season. This might also solve the astringency concerns and give it the comforting feel one looks to in a Christmas/Winter Ale.
Whatever was done to make this fantastic frothy head that just lasts forever, keep doing it.


Note: BeerAdvocate has this incorrectly classified as an Old Ale. If it were, this rating would be even lower, as it bears absolutely no resemblance to an Old Ale.

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Photo of salamiwagon
2.5/5  rDev -33%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Very bitter. No sweetness. No malt. I even let the beer warm a little hoping additional flavors would come through but all I taste are the hops. I did not find the lingering taste on the tongue pleasant at all.

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Photo of BWH3
2.57/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Amber with faintly beige head. Retention is good. The amber is more on the brown side and a bit peculiar. Crystal clear. A sticky head on a swirl.

S: Not much. A grainy somewhat malty aroma. Not much hops aroma to speak of.

T: Initially a bit of Marzen malt then the bitterness comes as a mineral/metallic flavor. The grain almost tart astringent flavor fades in at the end. I guess I expected some nutty and sweet or spicy notes that just never surfaced in the nose or on the palate.

M: Somewhat creamy from the head. Good retention. Fairly still.

D: A holiday offering that is just okay.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.58/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On-tap 2/4/07 at Pitcher’s Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a decent-sized off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, spice and a good amount of hops.

T: Pale hops along with some dark fruits are the most prevalent flavors in the taste. I found it to be quite bitter, but it was not a pleasant hops bitterness. It was more like a bitterness that comes from a lack of flavor. Some vanilla flavor comes out a bit in the after-taste, which is also mainly bitter.

M: Very crisp but not very smooth at all, medium body, medium carbonation, very dry finish.

D: Not very tasty and doesn’t go down very easily, this one just seems to fall short on many levels. I just didn’t like it, which surprises me because I’ve really liked everything else that I’ve had from Southern Tier.

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Photo of cbless97
2.63/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Transparent amber color. Finger width of fluffy head.

S- clean, crisp, grapefruit

T- light citrus flavor, sparingly hopped.

M- A bit rusty taste, significant staying power on the tongue.

O- I was duped a bit into thinking Old Man Winter would be a darker more stout like beer. Very light for what I had been expecting. A decent beer, though if I knew it were going to be so light I would want some heavier hop to it. I would drink it again if I see it on top, but I would not buy a six pack again.

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Photo of q33jeff
2.63/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Aroma Is hops, flowers . Red-brown color. Taste is bitter hops, ash, grains. Not a pleasant drinking beer. Nice kick, but otherwise unimpressive. On tap at Blend."

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Photo of mcnabb0001
2.71/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle no freshness date on the bottle

A- Pours a murky light brown looks like cedar water with a moderate white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S - Smell of citris hops and sugar cookie, also a little pine

T - Orange Peel, pine, lemon citris. The hops leave a nice bitter aftertaste. Hop bitterness begins to fade a little as this beer warms. But not spiced like I would have thought. Malt character is not what I thought it would be either. Maybe I am not familar enough with this style so I'm missing something???

M - Good carbonation and moderate body.

D - Its ok I probably wouldn't drink more than one and glad I only bought two.

Overall worth trying but nothing to write home about in my opinion much rather have a Rogue SPR.

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Photo of beachbum1975
2.74/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

My buddy Davo had one of these sitting in his fridge and I hadn't had it yet. Reviewing this one on the fly.

Pours a dark root beer in color with reddish highlights. Nice bone colored head with decent retention, leaving a nice skimming and legs as it settles.

An interesting nose that reminds me of yams, light caramel and peat. There's definitely a green vegetable-type presence is the nose, as well - almost like green beans... I don't mean to paint a bad picture from the description as it's actually quiet interesting.

Nice and complex malt variety. Definitely a noticeable hops presence in here, as well.

The mouthfeel is too carbonated for me and I really feel that the flavor is diluted. It's a shame, as it had a lot of promise.

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Photo of BMoney575
2.85/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled on 11-23-08

Pours a clear deep amber color, with a quickly fading head that leaves creamy rings of lacing.

Smell is malty, with an odd quality I can't place. Maybe a little smoky, and just a slight hint of dark fruit.

Taste is thin and adjuncty. Sweet, with little hop character. At least the booze is well masked.

Mouthfeel is good, thick and creamy.

Drinkability is poor, but at least you'll get a buzz quickly.

Overall, I don't know where the rating comes from. Southern Tier has once again made a steaming failure of a beer.

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Photo of klewis
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a drak copper with a small bubbly head. Specks of lacing on the glass.

S: Yeasty phenols and a bit of citrus.

T: Overall, the taste is bland bitter with a slightly spicy taste that reminds me of oxidation.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: This is definitely not an old ale. Drinks more like an overly hopped winter warmer. Drinkable, but nothing special.

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Photo of mully
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a -- thick head leaves a nice lace on the glass, beer pours dark clear amber color

s -- wool blanket like earthy hops a little sweet malt undertone

t -- hoppy, almost tart/crisp nutty malt underneath -- over hopped

m -- thin not big enough for an old ale

I don't mind beers that aren't to style, but this is not a good interpretation of an old ale, not a well balanced beer

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean yellow to orange-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, a small caramel and gingerbread like smell. In the taste, coriander and cinnamon spices, and a malty gingerbread like flavor underneath it. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry cinnamon to clean aftertaste. Spicy and malty, with a nice spice blend.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a very easy to drink winter seasonal ale. The taste is not bold, but subtle. The bottle says it is brewed with 3 kinds of hops and 2 kinds of malts, but overall the malt, smoky taste comes through over the hops.

There is a slight bitter aftertaste, but there are hints of fruit too. For the decent abv, there is not event he slightest hint of alcohol in the aroma or taste and that's a big plus.

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Photo of paco1029384756
2.93/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark orange color, but there is no head and very little carbonation.

Scent of malts, oats, and some fruit. Pretty shallow for and Old Ale.

Taste is grainy, with some malts and oats coming in, not good. This is the least impressive offering from Southern Tier I have had.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but lack of carbonation hurts it.

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Photo of donniecuffs
2.95/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

At the Mohawk House in Sparta, NJ. Poured a transparent amber into a tulip, with less than a finger of white; average retention and lacing. Very little visible carbonation. The nose consisted of distant spices and some candy fruit; almost like a bland fruitcake. The taste revealed a very subtle sour fruit and candi sugar midpalate, with a weak, semi-sweet finish. The body was surprisingly thin as well; borderline watery, with no carbonation. While this beer seems non-offensive enough to session, I was actually very disappointed with the lack of flavor after hearing so much hype about it.

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Photo of fropones
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A nice copper brown with about 3 fingers of crème head that dissipates with some lacing.

S - Very hop forward aroma for an old ale. A little more than I would like. Some citrus fruit, currant, a hint of molasses.

T - Flavor again, is pretty hop forward. A good malt profile in back, maybe a hint of raisins. Some caramel malt shining through as well. All in all, this tastes more like a well balanced APA than an old ale. I find the hop bitterness too overpowering for the style and am having trouble enjoying it thoroughly, since I wasn't expecting or hoping for it being this hoppy.

M - Nice medium-full body and creamy. Low carbonation.

D - Drinks fine for an APA, but I was hoping for an old ale, and as such, it's quite sub par. The alcohol is decently masked, which keeps this score from being too low.

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Photo of anyhoodle
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pouring this beer reveals a deep burnt orange or copper colored brew with a nice tan head that quickley diassapates, leaving minimal lacing down the glass.

The smell is overwellingly hoppy, not particularly citruscy, but definitiely not grassy either.

Unlike most winter seasonals, this beer is very hoppy with no spiciness. While I'm a hop head by nature, the lack of spice and malt flavor and the overwelming hoppiness leave me underwhelmed. I keep thinking that this is more an IPA or heavily hopped APA.

At 8%,and the lack of spiciness I'd expect the alcohol to stand out more, but somehow it doesn't.

I'm a fan of most of the other ST products that I've tried, however this brew leaves me luke warm. Perhaps because I expected that it would be more similar to other winter seasonals with a spiciness or mild fruit inclusion. You won't find any of that here however. Now when when the hop mood strikes...

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Old Man (Winter Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 1,572 ratings.
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