Old Empire | Marston, Thompson & Evershed, Plc.

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Old EmpireOld Empire
163 Ratings
Old EmpireOld Empire

Brewed by:
Marston, Thompson & Evershed, Plc.
England, United Kingdom

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2003

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 163 |  Reviews: 101
Photo of foles
1.98/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Maybe I'm not very experienced with IPA's, but this wasn't a nice experience for me. There may have been other flavours present - but all I could taste was a overpowering, burning hop presence, in a medicinal way.

I tried very hard to get used to it and enjoy some of the flavours potentially hidden, but I just ended up forcing my way 3/4 of the way through the beer, and pouring the rest out.

Unlikely that I will retry it.

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Photo of cfalovo97
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.06/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Light, almost completely pale yellow colour with half a finger of foamy white head. Does not look like a typical IPA.

S - The nose offers nothing even remotely close to any IPA that I have had. There is a slight hop bitterness present but it is not a typical IPA hop nose. No floral, citrus or pine. The hops resemble a typical European pils/lager hop. There is a bready contribution from the malts but, again, no sweetness that I would expect from an IPA. I would have guessed this was a pilsener had I not read the label.

T - Follows the nose. Slight hop bite with a flavour profile typical of a pils. Some bready malts in the middle and the hops rerutn in the finish. Not reminiscent of an IPA at all. Disappointing.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation. More of a pils mouthfeel than an IPA one.

D - A decent enough beer, but not even close to resembling the style.

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Photo of Daniellobo
2.13/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Quite a forgettable IPA

Presentation: 500 ml clear glass bottle. Somewhat old fashion label design with emblem, name of the brew, and a sailing boat dominating the image. Back notes imported nature and basic ingredients in several languages. Shows best by date (01 Oct 10) Notes Alc. by Vol. (5.7%) Served on a pint glass.

A - Medium amber pour with a short frothy head, short retention, little lacing, and a faint surface memory. Certainly subpar for the style, and the final appearance is totally flat but to be fair that was due to the long time that it remained sitting untouched before being disregarded.

S - Only skunky bitterness. Talking about a hoppy profile or malt hints is a bit delusional. Not terrible since the skunk whiff seems minimal but not a good aroma either.

T - The taste expands the aroma, which really is not good news in this case. There is predominating harsh bitterness woven with an unavoidable skunky sense early on. Minimal hop and malt notes that is are not coated by the overall roughness.

M - Light-medium body, with fading carbonation.

D - Nah, bitterness with skunk notes barely reaching out IPA land and the following flatness make this one brew that one does not really feel eager to finish.

Notes: I don´t know it it is typically this bad, and frankly I don´t feel inclined to give it another try. Sure enough in all fairness this might be a bad bottle, badly stored, badly bottled, badly imported, or badly brewed... And I sure hope there is a better version of this out there.

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Photo of gnz
2.29/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

500 ml served in a tankard.

A: Lovely golden shimmer. Pours with a seizable head.

S: Very aromatic, unfortunately not too good. The hop smell is nice but there are some undertones that leaves to desire.

T&M: The hop in the smell certainly reflected in the taste. It didn't taste as much as I was expecting and I somehow caught myself thinking I was drinking a Sol. Unexpected for an English IPA, but might be expected due to the 'lightness' of the beer.

O: I wouldn't go for this beer again.

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Photo of Tiny_Tim
2.5/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of Twal
2.5/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.53/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a clear orangey color ale with a medium bubbly head with minimal retention and no lacing. Aroma of dry caramel malt with lightly dry and astringent hoppy notes. Taste is dominated by weak dry caramel malt notes with a dry finish. Body is average with OK carbonation. Lacking complexity or floral notes of English hops to be a beer I would drink again.

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Photo of flyingpig
2.58/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Crystal clear orange amber colour with a bubbly looking head that settles to a thick soapy lacing.

Sweet earthy hops and background malts. The aroma is very muted but there is a sweet, citrus sort of a aroma right at the end.

Some soft hops and bitter malts to begin with although I feel the finish should be a nice caramel one but this is overshadowed by too much sunk and a lot of bitterness.

Smooth & light-medium with mild carbonation and semi-bitter, skuny finish to the beer.

I'd be struggling to tell this beer apart for countless other English ales that I have tried, it is quite frankly nothing to write home about.

1001 Beers Blog: http://abarwithnoname.wordpress.com

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Photo of Roke87
2.63/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle, chilled and poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- Poured an amber almost yellowish colour with a finger of fluffy white head that very quickly dissipates to a nice bubbly top, leaving

Smell- uh oh I’m getting a skunky aroma from the second I opened this one, smells a lot like typical American macro, to be honest I usually have a couple lines for each category but this one really does not have a lot going on in terms of the aromas, I am worried.

Taste- Just like the smells and my sinking feeling returns (no pun intended from ship on the label). This one tastes exactly like a typical macro, actually it reminds me a lot of a labatt blue, I am also getting a slight metallic taste from this one, not a drainpour but very disappointed for sure.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied, to be honest the mouth feel is like your typical macro, over carbonated crap with no taste what so ever.

Overall- I’m in shock, I never thought the Brits would send us a British macro because that’s exactly what this one tastes like. I am getting a mild malt flavour as it warms up but wow am I ever disappointed, this one was almost an instant sell-out at my local LCBO so I thought I would pick up a couple of them before they were all gone, boy am I not looking forward to drinking this one again, might just have to give it away, hopefully someone will accept. Fail on all aspects.

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Photo of drmeto
2.73/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

-pours a clear golden-orange with a medium,frothy,white head
-low carbonation visible
-cereals,grainy,sweet,lemon curd
Nose is flat overall
-grassy,spicy,lemon zest,perfumy
-medium bitterniss
-low to medium carbonation
-light to medium body
More an english Bitter than an English IPA

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Photo of k3ve
2.74/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Photo of laituegonflable
2.74/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly orangey-golden colour with a little bit of head that disappears to leave a spit-like cloud on the top. Steady but light bead. Leaves some trails of white lace, looks pretty blah, really.

Smells very hoppy and English. Large bitterness with European hops - grassy and slightly citrussy. Aromas of tea, lemon and some caramelly malt, makes for a decent smelling hoppy beer, but ultimately (I think) has a bit of a pilsenery aroma. Lacks the fruity ale esters.

Taste starts off a bit buttery, with a fairly smooth malty front palate, bitterness comes in soon after, with the flavour of lemon rind followed by an astringent tea leaf character, quite grassy as well with a herbal edge. Bitterness eases off right towards the back to leave a slightly zesty finish, although it returns for the aftertaste. Slight yeasty edge to the aftertaste and very acerbic and distasteful, mediciney, like the taste of a crunched up headache tablet. Not much nuance to the aftertaste, just overly bitter. Rest of the palate is passable.

Mouthfeel quite thin and watery - slightly dry at the back, slight stickiness on there but mostly thin.

The hang really kills this beer for me. I sense a lot of Goldings hops, and I'm not really a fan, just needs more tempering of them, or a better blend.

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Photo of yen157
2.75/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Light caramel-colored beer with a foamy head without much retentive powers. Lightly sweet, fruity nose, some apple, some toast. Beer is very light in the mouth, seltzery, very thin body. Flavors are weak and watery. It’s a little toasty with hints of caramel. Bitterness is fine, right where I expected it to be.

Overall this was a disappointment.

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Photo of foamer
2.8/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I had heard that this beer was a revival of a nineteenth century English IPA, and as such I was curious as IPAs over here are rather lackluster compared to what they used to be (so I hear).

Pours a golden yellow with a bubbly and fizzy white head fed by some lively carbonation. Did I accidentally pour a lager into my glass? I'm afraid to put my nose up to the glass to be quite honest. I can smell the pungent sulphur and the glass is sitting two feet away...here it goes...it's actually not as bad as I thought. Some sweet and biscuits malts, slightly spicy and earthy hops, and some sulphur which seems to have dissipated a bit as the beer sits. Taste is almost all hops with a faint hint of malt, and the sulphur comes in from time to time. Not terribly pleasant but not terrible either. The mouthfeel is thin and crisp and carbonated. Again, an IPA or a lager?

I went into this beer with high expectations, hoping that it would be a carefully crafted IPA and be a refreshing change from the standard English IPA, but I was let down. The choice of selling this beer in clear bottles baffles me as it isn't terribly pretty, and it does the beer a disservice. Most unfortunate. Apparently this is offered on cask, but I'm not going to try it on bottle again.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.8/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Looks rather hazy in its clear bottle, but it pours a pleasantly bright orange golden colour, with a fine bubbled film of white forming the head, such as it is. Minimal carbonation and lacing - the carbonation is perhaps expected from the style, but the lack of lacing is disappointing. Eh, it's a decent look, but I've had better.

Nose is a little earthy and woody, with some slightly skunky crushed vegetation and a hint of pine bark. It's quite mild, and it's set against a light honey character, which again makes it milder from a hops point of view. Eh. It's pretty average.

Taste is also quite light on, although here the hops give a prominent pine tolling on the mid to back. Finish is surprisingly malty, with a honeyed grain note sticking around on the back. Feel is smooth on entry, but soon has a twang like seawater, and a aridly dry finish.

Wow, quite underwhelmed by that overall. This beer gives both English ales and the IPA a bad name. I think it's hard to drink, overall, and has neither the mild pleasantness to be enjoyable, or the character to be interesting.

Leave it be. You can do better.

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Photo of Shroomster
2.81/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of djura
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got it from Italy.

A-Lighter amber with few bubbles and two finger foam lasting a minute.
S-Surprisingly nothing special,some grains.
T/M-Really huge hops aroma and aftertaste,which is typical for IPA's,but really nothing more then bitterness. Not that high abv,but i think it could hit you hard after 3+.
O-Expected much more from English IPA,but not sure i would like to drink it again.

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Photo of mrnobody
2.84/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a clear golden light amber with two fingers of soapy white head; leaves some lacing behind.

S: Smells of skunk backed with some light malt; hops? Damned if I can smell any.

T: A weird fruity sweetness followed by a bitter hop finish; certainly better than the aroma but not by a huge margin.

M: Light-medium mouthfeel with some prickly carbonation.

D: Drinkability is average. If the original IPA had travelled from England to India in clear glass bottles, this style would not have lasted long enough for US brewers to innovate on.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
2.86/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aroma: Skunk (stupid choice of packaging is to blame), Floral hops, caramel, butter (diacetyl), Lemon.

Looks: The Beer is a pretty copper colour. Average sized off-white head. Average to low head retention. The head fades away to a thin layer leaving some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

Taste: Floral/spicy hops, lemon rind,. Some shy biscuity malts are there, but hanging back and letting the hops take the spot light. Some diacetyl is there, but not as much as the aroma had lead me to believe. It has a nice clean bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Average carbonation.

Overall, I am PISSED OFF that these idiots put their Beer in clear bottles. Other than that, the Beer is alright. The diacetyl is definitely there, but not offensively. The skunk is unacceptable, but once you get passed that the underlying Beer is not too bad.

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Photo of soulgrowl
2.87/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bright, clear rouge-copper with a fizzy, weak, white head. Equally (un)impressive aroma, an impotent amalgam of lemon drops, caramel, mineral water (yes, water), lavenderesque floral hops, and some faint berry fruitiness. Zippy and quick on the palate, with a sharp sparkle of spicy hops that combines with effervescent carbonation and slightly too hot alcohol for a pretty rough landing. Cough syrup, stone fruit, and club soda with lemon are the main flavors that flare up in this far too light and abrupt ale. I had fairly high hopes for this beer and I am rather disappointed - it's hollow, needlessly rough, and uninteresting, like a Roman candle that fizzles out after two seconds. As an ale, it's mediocre - as an IPA, it's a failure.

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Photo of mjgarrett2
2.92/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Slightly 'paler' than most American IPA's I am used to. Still a decent orange/caramel, not the unappetizing neon yellow you sometimes see.

S-Very wild and somewhat floral, not unlike a damp pine forest.

T-Dry and a bit flat (flavour, not carbonation). You get a nod of hops but it doesn't follow through with that distinctive flavour. Mellow which leaves you wanting and expecting more from the aroma.

M-Pleasant and a delicate balance from start to finish, in contrast to the lack luster taste.

D-Easy to sip and enjoy, but does not tease you for more like the top notch IPA's always do.

Note: I suspect the hops have gone off a bit due to the age and storage of the bottle as the vendor is inconsistent at times.

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Photo of wordemupg
2.93/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle poured into pint glass 27/3/12

A clear golden copper with a few bubbles feeding a short lived thumbs width of foam that leaves no lace

S caramels and faint spicy hops, some fruity aspect but it also has a little skunk

T what I smell really, pretty basic with more hop character and less skunk then the nose but still pretty average

M medium bodied with decent carbonation, fairly clean finish perhaps the best part of this beer

O not overly impressed by this one, not a freshness issue but slightly skunked nose and basic flavor profile

I know its a English IPA but even so pretty basic, no part of this beer impressed me but still far from drain pour

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Photo of stevoj
2.98/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Decent looking beer with creamy head, light aroma of hops, pine, citrus. Taste is hoppy with a hint of citrus(grapefruit/pineapple) and an abrupt finish, kind of dry. the citrus tang keeps it interesting. Not as bad as I thought after some of the reviews below.

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Photo of Azpittil57
3/5  rDev -11.5%

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Old Empire from Marston, Thompson & Evershed, Plc.
Beer rating: 3.39 out of 5 with 163 ratings