Old Man (Winter Ale) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

1,574 Ratings
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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: 563 | Ratings: 1,574
Photo of BethanyB
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: A clear chestnut color, with a big white head of glistening, uniform bubbles. Snowy lace scatters across the glass. The look is the most wintery thing about this ale, which is more of an APA (read on).

Smell: Lots of herbaceous hops on the nose: peppermint tea, fresh earth, and dried sage. Well-toasted malt provides a warm backdrop. It's a nice scent, but the hoppiness is unusual for a winter ale, and foretells of a beer that may not fit its billing.

Taste: Grainy, toasted malt up front, with the herbal hop flavors bursting through in the middle,like an American hop volcano. At this point, it's confirmed: A winter ale, this is not. The bitterness grows, but does not extend beyond a medium-high level. Even if this were an APA, it's not terribly diverse in terms of flavor. All in all, however, it is enjoyable in its own right.

Mouthfeel: A good, standard mouthfeel for a beer of this size. Medium body and carbonation make this brew drinkable, but not too light.

Overall: Undoubtedly unusual for the style, and not a jewel under any category , as the complexity is wanting. There are some interesting upsides, however, particularly when it comes to the high level of flavor coming from hp varieties that are typically more subdued.

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Photo of ClePaul
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Old Man Ale

Look 9/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 37/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 18/20

Overall 89/100

Super nice and easy to drink old ale. Has great balance and surprisingly better taste than expected. Nice blend of hops and malts. Covers the 7% pretty good. Got it as a gift, wouldn't usually pick it up for myself. Although after a few I have to admit I will seek it out next year~

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.54/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber with a creamy, lingering khaki head.

S: Aromas of caramel, biscuit, nougat, cream, herbs, spices, and grass fill the nose.

T: Notes of caramel, biscuit, nougat, cream, medicinal herbs, grass, candied orange peel, lemon rind, and baking spices wash across the palate. The finish is fruity and spicy, with notes of citrus, caramel, and of course, baking spices most noticeable.

M: On the fuller side of medium in terms of body and fairly dry. Carbonation is crisp and firm.

O: This ale is not bad at all, but then again, it does not really stand out either. If the aromas and flavors separated a bit more, this ale would potentially display a little more depth and character. As is, it is a solid old ale that falls short of being a great one.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a pretty, cloudy, golden, copper/amber color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic. Lots of floral, grassy, piney hops, blending with the bready aromas of toasted malt.

Taste: Hoppy up front and slightly bitter, but the hops quickly fade to a malty backbone, which imparts notes of freshly baked bread, some brown sugar and caramel-like sweetness. The hops returns at the finish to provide a slightly bitter finish. It’s ok, but not really my cup of tea, or rather, my pint of beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with some ok carbonation. With an ABV of 7.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is not one of my preferred beers from Southern Tier, or in general, in fact. It just has too much hoppy bitterness for my tastes. Hop heads should love it, though.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L - Light dull amber. Hazy. Short, white, short-lived head.
S - Light. Medium roasted malts. Caramel and raisin.
T - Rich malts. Dark fruit and toffee and nuts. Citrusy hops.

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Photo of JPowell712
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Again I am confused by Southern Tier with the styling of this seasonal ale. It taste more like an IPA than an ale. I had this problem with their KRAMPUS beer as well. Infact, I am having trouble separating the taste of this and KRAMPUS. They taste way too similar in my opinion. Anyway, this is the second sampling from Southern Tier that is a good beer, but I am not tasting anything different or distinguishable. They all taste like IPA's even though they are supposed to be a different style. I am not saying that this OLD MAN is a bad beer. It is a good beer. I find it to be very bitter and hoppy which I like. I wouldn't call it an ale or old ale though. I guess my expectation from this company is to always blow me away since my first two Southern Tier samplings were their PUMKING and WARLOCK which are phenomenal! This is a solid beer if you like hoppy, bitter beers with all the characteristics of an IPA. I just wished for more of a creamy ale.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a MD snifter

A: Clear dirty brown with a slight head, tiny collar and no lacing.
S: Very light flavors, mostly of some sweet malt.
T: StoutHunter was right in that this really tastes just like an old IPA. Mostly malts and doesn't have any of the regular Old Ale characteristics.
M: Nice bit of carbonation here.
O: Not what it is advertised as, but an ok beer.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a bottle of Southern Tier's Old Man Winter Ale a couple weeks ago for $1.69 at The lager Mill. I've never had this beer before and it caught my eye while i was looking for some new beers to try, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it goes with the season and i think it's just a little eye catching. It poured a hazy caramel color that took on more of an amber red color when held to the light with almost two fingers worth of creamy and slightly bubbly very light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice rings of patchy lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the malts being the first to show up and they impart a sweet malt, light toasted malt, bready, caramel malt and bread crust like aromas with a good amount of doughy yeast coming through in the background. Up next comes the hops which impart a mixture of citrus rind and herbal hops aromas with the citrus rind hop aromas sticking out the most. This beer had a nice aroma, but I wish it had a little more complexity.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the malts still being the first to show up and they impart the same malty aspects that they did in the aroma with the bready and bread crust like aspects sticking out the most. Up next comes some doughy yeast that goes right into the hops which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma with no single aspect sticking out the most. On the finish there's a medium amount of bitterness with a bready and herbal hop and a little watery aftertaste. This was a decent tasting beer, but I thought it was a little bland for the style.

M- Fairly smooth, a little watery, pretty crisp, slightly prickly, on the light side of being medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was ok, but I wish it was a little thicker with a little less carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer and I thought it was pretty close to being an average example of the style, I know this style always doesn't have to be on the stronger side, but i felt like this beer was missing some of that complexity that I look for in the style and when it came down to it I didn't find it to be too memorable. This beer had ok drinkability, it was fairly smooth, a little watery, pretty crisp, slight prickly, not too filling and the taste didn't do a great job of holding my attention, one is enough for me any more than that and I would start to get bored with it. What I like the most about this beer was the appearance, this was a pretty good looking beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the mouthfeel and that it was jut a little bland and not to memorable, those aspects held this beer back. I don't think I would buy this beer again, but I wouldn't turn one down. I can't say I would recommend this as a good Old Ale, but it may be worth a try to see what you think of it. All in all I wasn't impressed with this beer, it didn't really have anything that made it stick out to me and it reminded me a lot of how an IPA tastes when it get too old without that stale malt aspect. This one was falls right in the middle for Southern Tier and it's very average for an Old Ale. I just wasn't that into this beer, better luck next time guys.

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

This just hit me as really damn good. Nice deep amber in the glass, and nice hints of pine on the nose. Many of the same notes (IMHO) as Brown Shugga, just not as sweet or strong. Really set off a nice winter evening with the wife. I am really glad I tried this one!

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle (no date) served in a Libby globe porter glass.

Appearance: Deep copper-amber with a slight haze due to some sediment coming along with pour. Very thin ring of foam - no lacing.

Smell: Hints of lemon and pine with a hint of solvent.

Taste: Pine and citrus up front. There is a sweet malty middle which is bready and has aspects of pastry and raisins to it. The finish is again hoppy with lemon zest, pine, and some tea-like bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation and very sticky on the teeth, but nicely thick.

Overall / Drinkability: Overall this isn't like any Old Ale I've had. The hops and malts play very nicely together but I'd have a hard time calling this an Old Ale. Maybe a very hoppy Amber or just an APA with some unique malt / hop combos. So while overall it isn't an Old Ale to style, it is a beer that grew on me over the course of the glass. It went quite well with food (pork chops with roasted potatoes & sweet potatoes) and by itself was rather tasty. I think if another one was offered I'd probably take it telling me its drinkability is actually pretty good, and dangerously so at 7% ABV.

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Photo of cbutova
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Somehow I have not gotten around to reviewing this. I see it is categorized as an Old Ale and I wonder how true it is to style, there is only one way to find out.

A- 12oz bottle from 09/2014 poured to a tall chalice with a mostly clear, deep amber body. The cap atop the beer forms to just under a finger with a medium thick frothy texture. Crown down to a massive ring with sheets and drizzly webs of lace.

S- Mostly malty but the hops are actually quite strong for this style. Caramel, dates, raisin and toasted nuts make up most of what I get being balanced off by hops carrying pine and citrus character.

T- Same general idea carrying over well from the nose with a spiced, dried dark fruit and caramel malt sweetness prevalent. Spicy figs, raisins, toasted grains, Crystal malts, slight musty Barleywine sugars all show up with pine, earthy and dried citrus peel hops rounding it out.

MF- Medium bodied and perhaps just a tad over that with a hint of chewiness and a frothy consistency. The bubbles fall on the palate at a moderate level with a substantial hop bitterness in the very end.

I feel like this is a pretty solid brew but serving it as an Old Ale is just a bit of a stretch to me. It has some Old Ale characteristics but to me it drinks like a balanced sweet Amber. That being said, the interplay between the toasted sweet malts and the hops is pulled off quite nicely.

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Photo of Dawn30
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Pours In a pint glass from a 12oz bottle with a nice head and leaves good lacing. Pours a nice cooper color with nice spice notes. A little hoppy sort of a winter IPA. Nice on a cold winter day. Husband is having the great divide hibernation ale but I like mine better.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint pour: cloudy amber body, nice off-white head, terrific lacing shows as the head settles.
Smells like a nice blend of citrus/ piney hops and bready malts, with some caramel.
Wow what a pleasant surprise. This tastes of hops blended nicely with delicious cereal grains. Tasty. I don't pick up much spice, as the bitterness comes off as a citrus only bite. Finishes a bit dry, but feels medium and smooth.
Earthy. Later into this pint, I pick up some roasted notes and pepper spice.
I don't normally gravitate toward this style, but I'm glad I tried this one.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

BOD 9/24/14. Clear amber pour with a slight garnet cast. Outstanding massive head, lacing and retention. Very light nose of sweet malt (biscuit and caramel) with hints of tropical citrus and either plum or pear. Light medium body that has a nice oily texture. Normal carbonation with a bit of effervescence in the finish. The flavor profile is of normal intensity, fairly balanced and has a bit of complexity. It begins with hop flavor (pine and citrus rind) that flows into a medium bitterness. As the bitterness fades, mostly caramel sweetness is noted. This sweetness lingers through the finish and becomes totally caramel in nature. The finish leaves you with a nice alcohol burn at the back of the throat and a "peppery" note with a grain alcohol residual flavor.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear darker golden color with white head. Some hop aroma on the nose, a little grass and some floral notes; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a decent amount of malt. Not a bad winter ale.

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Photo of fps_dean
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Real solid winter brew... will update my review with more detail once I've tapped into one this winter season, but I didn't see any of these around last winter, and was quite disappointed about that.

Anyway, the beer itself is a darker ale, with a nice balance of dark roasted malts, and some slight but rather indistinct hops on the finish. Not really an old ale -- I think they classified that as an old ale for lack of a better ale classification (others have suggested strong ale, which would be suitable), but still very solid.

Overall, an all around solid offering for the winter season.

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Photo of dajerzy52
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Appearance: Dark brown deep copper hue with dark beige head.
Smell: dark roasted malts, sweet but not overbearing
Taste: this is where this beer surprises me I was expecting a beer that was generic but I found d this had the complexity of a dips but darker I got sweet raisin with apricot fruitiness ...its not a flavor bomb Luke dogfish head 120min IPA or Keegan ales super kitty but it has legs. I think this WL deff be my new go to winter beer...THANK YOU SOUTHERN TIER

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Photo of gonzo000
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Good tasting beer in the front and finish. Not too spiced for a winter, which is welcome. A bit of a lingering aftertaste which I credited to a OK feel. I would revisit this beer - another good - very good offering from southern tier.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on November 4, 2014.

The color of the pour is amber brown with a hazy appearance and a modest off-white head.

What is it with this aroma? Malts, check. Crisp hops, check. But I am getting something akin to peanut butter like a Reese's Cup. Seriously. The label describes the aroma as complex - that's for sure.

Medium body.

The malt characters play up first in the taste and the hop finish a mildly bitter and earthy. But I am also picking up that odd sort of peanut butter thing.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Brown, with orange and ruby highlights. One finger head that moves to a thin lace. Little retention.

S - Grains, pine.

T - Grains, faint malts, a slight hop/pine bitterness on the finish.

M - Below average carbonation, slightly watery, and finishes clean.

O - a decent brew, very drinkable, although nothing about it stands out.

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Photo of seedyone
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Mar'14. From bottle at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Not quite the enjoyment as from the tap, but still worthy...worthy of...worthy of my humble praise. God bless us one & all. (Step away from the computer, you're embarrassing everyone.)

11/20/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. My experience thus far w/So. Tier has been their Creme Brulee, Pumpking & Warlock...heavily flavored things. This is much more a straight ahead ale. Big bold flavor. Balance at it's best. Reassuring to know these guys know the basics as well as the slight-of-hand stuff. Nothing up the sleeve just a simple thumbs up.
At Rattle N Hum 10 months ago

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Soft nose of toasted malts under a thin, subtle blanket of piney hops. Much more hop-forward in the taste, with the malt and hints of caramel quickly surrendering to pine and dried floral hops along the sides of tongue. Too unbalanced, especially given the style.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%

Pours a clean copper color with plenty of sticky fizz. Piney hops , bitterness, tea leaf malt and a meaty smoky aroma. There's a good balance of bitter hops and biscuity malt with some backdrop of molasses and dark fruit. The hop character seems mostly bitter and the malt has that tea leaf, biscuit and caramel flavor. This is an Old Ale? Seems like a decent Pale Ale.

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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.

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Photo of dlcoblen
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is my first Old Ale style.

A: Mahogany in color. No head.

S: Floral, fruity (citrus), piney.

T: Hope Forward with a earthy malt back finish.

M: Nice mouth feel; oily feel with nice carbonation.

O: Southern Tier is one of my favorites and they produce some to quality brews but this old ale was an IPA in disguise. Maybe I need to try so more old ales to make sure im not confused. Nonetheless its a great beer.

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Old Man (Winter Ale) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 1,574 ratings.
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