Old Man (Winter Ale) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

558 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 558 | Ratings: 1,566
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nicely hopped old ale. The hops first come forth, than a bit of roastiness, mollasses like a porter , and then the full old ale. Satisfying finish.Spicey aftertaste. Caramel and sugar. Medium plus mouthfeel. Another good one from this brewery. Very drinkable with food.

 271 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: 1.5 finger frothy head with nice lacing on a deep amber mildly hazy body.

S: nice sweet caramel malt aroma, gingerbread notes.

T: a little spicey with mild musty, dry hop notes. Touch of lemon.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: A nice drinkable beer, a little dry in the finish. Nothing special but an easy to enjoy beer

 343 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

unique beer for sure, and excellent for winter. pours a dark copper color, like a tarnished penny, with a small vanishing head. smells a touch smokey, and strong. my brother described the taste to me as "what an old man's hat would smell like" in a good way. he was right, it has a sort of dusty burlap malty base with brighter winter flavors like pipe tobacco peppered throughout much like an old man's cap might have a fishing fly on the brim, a feather in the band, and some funny stain inside, this beer cannot be described in any other way now. its got a full bodied low carbonation mouthfeel which makes it quite easy to appreciate its complex character. my favorite winter beer of the season so far.

 706 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Man Winter in my opinion was very good. The beer poured out as a reddish brown color, pretty dark looking. The smell was sweet with malts and perhaps some brown sugar. The taste was sweet also with a slight spice to it. There is a really nice caramel flavor upfront in this beer that realy keeps me going back for the next sip. The mouthfeel is a bit thick which I enjoy too. Overall I like this brew a lot and I look forward to having it again some day.

 458 characters

Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin head that quickly faded into lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of toasted malts and caramel in the nose.
T: The overall taste is rather malty and has flavors of caramel with notes of spices and some hints of alcohol and malty sweetness. There is a mild amount of bitterness in the aftertaste.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly thick on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is rather dry and has some warming from the alcohol.
D: Drinking this beer isn't that difficult because the alcohol is well masked.

 694 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I saw this beer was 8% ABV I didn't believe it.. when having it for dinner today I could have sworn that it couldn't be more than 5%. This thing is too drinkable for that high of an ABV... but hey this is a damn good beer. Great mouthfeel and finish, nice hoppy flavors to it. Goes down nice and easy and I almost drank it too quickly to enjoy it. A nice winter seasonal here from Southern Tier.

 400 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer truly worth warming up with. Pronounced malt flavors and feel, but balanced and spiced with flavoring and bittering hops (I'm guessing English?) The malt presence is firm and shares flavors of caramel, dates, nuts, pecans, and toffee. These are equally present in aromas as flavor. However the hops lurk in the background aromas, but are bold in their bittering. A medium grassy / piney hop flavor spices up the flavors and linger a bit longer than the malts. The beer is bold, solid, and firm, yet not heavy, cloying, or chewy. A good beer that eats like a meal. I do recommend.

 586 characters

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

This beer pours a clear dark amber hue, with one finger of soapy ecru head, which leaves a ring of lace around the glass as it dissipates. It smells of caramel/toffee malt, and citrus hops. The taste is citrus and pine hops, bready, crackery caramel malt, and a bit of nuttiness. The carbonation is moderate, the body thick, smooth, and somewhat oily, and it finishes fairly off-dry, with a slightly bitter nuttiness.

A pretty good winter warmer, as it's pissing down rain outside - and the ABV is nicely hidden.

 513 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a clear, caramel/burgundy color with a one-finger, thick, firm head of tan foam. It left some thick rings of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel, toffee, vanilla and some floral notes. It smells like a great old ale.

T - It starts off with a grassy bitter hop bite and is matched by sweet malty caramel. There were touches of vanilla.

M - It was soft and smooth with a dry finish. A medium bodied ale that is very easy drinking.

D - This just didn't deliver what I expect out of an old ale, in terms of strong malty sweet flavor. It just tasted like a strong ale that isn't that strong.

 601 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark copper color with a bit of a tan head. Some staying power, though not much lacing after it recedes. The nose brings some citrus, toasted bread, caramel, earth, and some light herbal notes. The taste is a bit sweet with citrus and herbs, then yielding to some toasted bread and earth. Nice feel and a good body. The beer lacks cohesion and doesn't end up finishing all that well, though I'd like to see how it ages.

 449 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer pours with one finger of light tan head on top of a clear, medium-brown body. The foam settles rapidly and leaves light lace.

S - Toasted malt and some brown sugar with a note of musty molasses. Some herbal hops lurk in the background.

T - Dry caramel malt up front with lots of toasted grain. Herbal hop flavors come out in the middle with some toffee and molasses. The beer dries out towards the finish with more toasted malt flavor and some resinous hop character as well as moderate bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Not bad, this is very toasty and malty with some burnt sugar undertones. The toast gets a little bit overly dry in the finish with a burnt bread character that lingers on the palate. The herbal hop flavors blend nicely with the brown, malty notes though the bitterness doesn't quite manage to keep the rich malt subdued. A decent and drinkable beer, though one is enough for me.

 961 characters

Photo of oberon
4.11/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice clear bronze with a very tight,sticky white head that very slowly dropped leaving a sheet of lace behind.Aromas were not as big as I thought they might be brown sugar hard water and caramel mainly appetizing but not assertive.Great complexities and more assertive flavors though starts out with notes of brown sugar and roasted malt I noticed a hint of molasses but its not strong the flavors meld into a spicey,dry earthy finish showing off some hop muscle.Quite warming,yeah I know its a little late in the season for this beer but on a cold blustery damp day here in the Buffalo area it really hits the spot Iam gonna pair with some hearty meatloaf in mushroom gravy and mashed red skins Iam sure it will hit the spot.

 735 characters

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/30/2013. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, toffee, orange zest, floral, grass, light pine, light raisin, nuttiness, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity of dark/bready malt and moderate hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, brown sugar, biscuit, toffee, orange zest, floral, grass, pine, herbal, light raisin, nuttiness, and toasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy pine/floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, brown sugar, biscuit, toffee, orange zest, floral, grass, herbal, light pine, nuttiness, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of dark/bready malt and earthy/piney hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a light creamy and moderately sticky/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good Old ale. Good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and earthy/piney hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,449 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Middle of Tropical Storm Irene, feels like a good time for Old Man Winter ale.

Pours a fizzy 1 finger head tart fades at a med pace with sticky lacing, over semi clear auburn tan brown colored beer.

Nose has sweet malts, almost barleywine level, maple syrup, light caramel, molasses, syrupy sweetness, and a birt of earthy hops.

Taste starts bitter with some earthy holds and hint of a spicy rye like taste, then sweet malts, syrupy again, light molasses, maple candy, touch of caramel and toffee. Hint of oxidation as well. Plenty of earthy hops start to come through and get strong as well. Finishes drier as the sweet malts dry it gets more bitter with earthy hops and rye like taste, bit sticky.

Mouth is med to slightly heavier bodied, dec carb, hint if warming booze.

Overall not bad, interesting malts and syrup sweet flavors, nothing spectacular though, a nice would be winter ale mid hurricane without power.

 922 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A crystal-clear chestnut body glows with auburn highlights beneath a good sized head of ivory colored froth. The head retention is fair and it leaves some nice, small, splashes and spots of lace about the glass. The nose is somewhat limited in comparison to the richer flavor inside; yet bright notes of floral and grassy hops swirl over a burnt-caramel maltiness and yeasty fruitiness. It's very smooth, and even lightly creamy across the palate with a medium-full body and restrained, fine-bubbled carbonation. Mildly sweet and deeply caramelized malt appears upfront in the flavor; accented by some yeasty, berry-like fruitiness. Grassy, floral, and piney/spicy hops rise almost immediately; and are then overtaken by a powerful, quick-rising bitterness. It finishes extremely dry and dusty, with a burnt-malt acidity and long lasting, bone-dry bitterness. The combination of rich malt, bold hops, and forceful bitterness is impressive; but at the same time it seems to lose some complexity as everything becomes muddled. Additionally, the brute assault of its bitterness eventually dampens the palate and a good bit of drinkability is lost. Still, it's an impressive, bold beer when enjoyed at just below cellar temperature on a cold winter's day.

 1,251 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear brown with a thin off-white head. The head has rather poor retention and leaves almost no lacing lacing on the glass.

A fine mix of malts and earthy hops, There's a hint of cannabis in both the aroma and the flavor -- a reflection of the biological affinity of hops and cannabis? This "winter ale" is not spiced, at least not perceptibly so. Good, lingering, hoppy aftertaste.

 430 characters

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.

 921 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

Poured a coppery amber color with a nice, solid white head, that receded to a patchy layer and left some spotty lacing. Aroma of fresh hops, mildly bready, and somewhat vegetal...I almost get hints of peas and carrots? Crisp taste, initial tones of toffee, quickly overcome by fresh piney hops, pith, and wood-roasted malts. Pleasantly bitter, providing a rather dry finish. Medium body, and quite drinkable. Not what I'd have expected from something labeled a "winter ale," but there you go.

 551 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. DOB 11/07/11.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, very light brown body with a small, slimming, whitish head.

Smell: Lightly smelling notes of biscuit tops, toasted sugars, everyday fruit, spice, and old citrus peels.

Taste: Biscuit-toned malts with some nutty, sweetish toffee hints present. Light touches of charred bread crust and of cereal. Moderate fruitiness. Herbal, spicy hops with a medium amount of bitterness. Drying finish with a little citrus peel showing and some of the hop spiciness trailing into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Had it two years ago and thought it was fine. Two years later, it's still fine. I'd say I wouldn't revisit it, but, here I am, two years later.

 785 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystalline orange-bronze, heavy on the orange. The pale caramel colored head is densely creamy and is as stubborn as Old Man Winter himself. As it melts, it displays a rounded mesa of foam beneath thick, interconnected strands of lace.

The nose is hoppier than expected... which is exactly why I love Southern Tier beer. There's a nice admixture of caramel malt and sweet orange zesty hops, slanted ever so slightly toward the good guys. It's more than aromatic enough, but more is always better when the beer smells this good.

Appearance and smell are all well and good, but taste and mouthfeel are what count most as far as I'm concerned. Old Man's bold, brassy flavor calls to mind some of my favorite winter warmers. The beer is beautifully balanced and shows off a malt backbone of hardened steel that is countered by a flurry of citric hoppiness that slams into the taste buds and is sustained to and through the lingering finish. This brewery understands what makes good beer: quality ingredients and lots of them.

Sugary, pine sap-covered hop cones abound, but don't drown out the liquid caramel essence that keeps OMWA a member of the stated style (the brewery calls it an old ale however). Though the body/mouthfeel starts out at medium-full, it assumes a lush viscousness as it sits. It won't have a chance to sit that long, however, since it's finding its way into my mouth with alarming frequency.

I knew very little about Southern Tier prior to drinking my first bottle of their beer last fall. They've become one of my favorite breweries though, because each and every one of their offerings has impressed the hell out of me. Old Man Winter Ale proudly keeps that streak intact. It's a full-bodied, hoppy, flavor fest that I would look forward to each winter if I was lucky enough to live in the distribution area. Thanks yet again to HappyHourHero (although getting me hooked on an unavailable brewery wasn't a very nice thing to do).

 1,963 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear brown/burgundy color with a one finger slightly off-white head on top. Not much retention, but leaves a ring of foam around the edge and produces random spots of lacing.

S: A good amount of caramel and toffee. There is a little bit of spice and some vanilla. There is a rather faint grassy/floral aroma that is mostly masked by the caramel and toffee.

T: A nice combination of caramel, toffee, grassy hops that have a slight bite to it, and a little bit of vanilla. The hops are a bit more forward than the aroma indicated.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth and easy drinking for an Old Ale. No harshness at all.

O: Actually quite enjoyed this beer. Unlike most in the style was pretty easy drinking and smooth.

 756 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber/copper with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness & fruittyness

T: Breadyness, citrussy & piney hops up front, a touch of brown sugar too, along with dryness. Grapefruit & pine as this warms, dryness & pear notes as well, some biscuitty malt. Finishes with mineral hoppyness, grapefruit & woody dryness

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, good balance

Not truly an old ale to me but drinkable enough & certainly knocks the chill off ya

 493 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was nice, a bit lighter then I expected, but still very nice. Very hazy and cloudy amber color, which a rich, decadent looking head of white that just sat of the top for what seemed like forever. Decent carbonation coming up from the top, and overall a very good presentation.

The aroma was also very intresting, lots of fruit here, peaches, plums, hints of pear and a nice grain like base to it were all fairly evident. The flavor was a mix of grain like malts, light fruit, almost like a sour grape, but lighter then what I would have thought. Lots of odd flavors running through here, hard to nalil down the style really, but still very good. Smooth, medium bodied profile did wonders to really show it off and the overall presentation was very nice. A little bit easier to sip for me as it went down quite quickly to say the least.

Again overall not bad at all, I really enjoyed it, and while not being the best one of the night, was certaing more then deserving overall. Very solid offering here.

 1,012 characters

Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Poured a dark amber and slightly orange in color. Head settled to a thin ring after pouring with very nice lacing as I drank it.

Aroma is sweet with some notes of caramel malts and some other fruit flavors in there. Taste is surprisingly hoppy, I get a lot of the citrusness, and some pine from the hops. There is some sweet maltiness going on as well but this is definitely a hoppy beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good, I really like this one and could drink a few of these easily. I'm not a big fan of the heavily spiced winter ales and this one being a nice hoppy slightly darker ale is really enjoyable for me.

 725 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Modest off-white head with good ring lace. The color of the liquor is deep amber and quite clear.

Nice blend of darker malts and fresh hop. The hop wins the battle...barely.

Dry and astringent; the malt has a lip puckering effect on the aftertaste. Otherwise, I'd call this a bitter hop brew. Spritzy carbonation to an otherwise full body. Spicy in a peppery sort of way.

 373 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Man (Winter Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 1,566 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.