Best Old Ale

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by dmb2890, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. dmb2890

    dmb2890 Sep 26, 2011 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Was at Kuhnhen last week and enjoyed their Fourth Dementia old ale, most likely my favorite non-barrel aged old ale. What are your favorites?
    BierGartenok and josephwa like this.
  2. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Mar 1, 2009 California

    Hair of the Dog ADAM

    Easily the best non barrel aged old ale I've had.
  3. Catchy_Name

    Catchy_Name Dec 21, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    HotD Adam or 4D get my vote. Both are stellar.
    HopsHopenstein likes this.
  4. MrKennedy

    MrKennedy Dec 29, 2006 Australia
    Beer Trader

    Its retired, but Eldridge Pope Thomas Hardy's Ale for me
  5. WYVYRN527

    WYVYRN527 Jan 8, 2007 Minnesota

    Adam. However, I do love some Founders Curmudgeon and North coast Old Stock.
  6. Trevor

    Trevor Mar 1, 2012 Oregon

    HOTD Adam hands down.
  7. Lutter

    Lutter Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    The best I've ever had was Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia.

    That stuff is just amazing.

    Founders Old Curmudgeon is probably my favorite non-barrel aged old ale (as well as regular 4D).

    I hear a lot of great things about Adam from the Wood too... but I haven't had the chance to try it.
  8. Etan

    Etan Jul 11, 2011 Wisconsin

    Cherry Adam from the Wood is my highest-rated old ale on this site. But considering nothing really distinguishes an old ale from a barleywine besides what the brewer decides to call the beer in the end, I have higher-rated barleywines.
  9. ArchEnemyBrew

    ArchEnemyBrew Mar 21, 2010 Washington

    Oh so true. Like how FFF calls zombie dust a "pale ale". Derp
    Sneers and Etan like this.
  10. edproctor

    edproctor Feb 25, 2011 California

    The Bruery's anniversary beers are categorized as old ales and I personally think that those beers (at least cuir and fruet) kick some old ale ass.
    homebrewer88 likes this.
  11. 4DAloveofSTOUT

    4DAloveofSTOUT Nov 28, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    HotD Adam for the win! All other Old Ales are inferior. As far as a non-barrel aged old ale goes...
  12. mintjellie

    mintjellie Oct 2, 2005 Ontario (Canada)

    Old ale is old ale because it's aged, right? Like Thomas Hardys was an old ale because it spent 9 months on oak before bottling, right?
  13. aasher

    aasher Jan 27, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Hair of the Dog Adam and Thomas Hardy are my top two.
  14. BedetheVenerable

    BedetheVenerable Sep 5, 2008 Missouri

    Aged Founders Curmudgeon and North Coast Old Stock are magical. Miss me some Thomas Hardy's as well.

    Also have a soft spot for Old Tom and Theakston's Old Peculier.

    The accidentally-Brettified 2011 (enjoyed late 2012) Figgy Pudding from Block 15 was stellar as well, though the beer was perhaps not what was intended upon release.
    Premo88 and cavedave like this.
  15. jpmclaug

    jpmclaug Jun 6, 2008 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Adam is really good.

    But I think Billy the Mountain is my favorite. I wish I could get some more of that.
  16. xnicknj

    xnicknj May 25, 2009 Pennsylvania

    BA4D or 100% BA Cuir are the first two that come to my mind.
    ChiTownPackFan likes this.
  17. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Jan 12, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Fuller's Vintage Ale
  18. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Nov 21, 2008 Texas

    Fuller's Vintage Ale - great to drink on release and ages well for a few years
    tronester and kwakwhore like this.
  19. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 May 30, 2005 Michigan

    'Probably not' is the best answer to your question, although historically this style was aged, thus its name. I think some examples in this style are aged nowadays, but many are 'probably not' in the brewer's haste to get the beer to market.

    To the OP: I'll add Arcadia's Big Dick's Old Ale to the list. It's not widely distributed, but worth seeking out.
  20. Holmes698

    Holmes698 Mar 7, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Adam & Curmudgeon's
    e30todamax likes this.
  21. Andygirl

    Andygirl Jan 3, 2013 Michigan

    4d is my favorite by far. I have had better cellared old ales, but I can't wait 5-10 years everytime I want a beer.
    Marti403 likes this.
  22. braugon

    braugon Mar 14, 2013 Connecticut

  23. 1up

    1up Mar 5, 2013 District of Columbia

    You crazy
  24. KWMiles

    KWMiles Oct 23, 2012 Minnesota

    Bell's Third Coast is mighty tasty.
  25. RochefortChris

    RochefortChris Oct 2, 2012 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Olde Suffolk and Olde Peculiar. Both are on my all time favorite beer list and I wish more breweries would emulate them. Cooper's Vintage and Haverstion Old Engine Oil gets honorable mention.
    Zimbo likes this.
  26. YaKnowBrady

    YaKnowBrady Jul 23, 2010 New Jersey

    North Coast Old Stock. Extra points for availability.
    RattleheadKV2, Handle, Zimbo and 6 others like this.
  27. ao125

    ao125 Dec 1, 2010 Virginia

    Knocked back a 2011 4D over the weekend and it was fantastic - though not nearly as fantastic as Fruet.
  28. SpeedwayJim

    SpeedwayJim Jun 19, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

  29. BeerKangaroo

    BeerKangaroo May 30, 2011 Alaska

    Best one I`ve had so far is Smuttynose`s Really Old Brown Dog, but then again there`s a lot of supposedly really good old ales that I haven't had yet.
  30. Andygirl

    Andygirl Jan 3, 2013 Michigan

    Crazy for liking 4d or for cellared old ales? Both seem pretty sane to me.
  31. mmikey8

    mmikey8 Aug 2, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

  32. 1up

    1up Mar 5, 2013 District of Columbia

    I was being sarcastic about your not wanting to wait 5 to 10 years every time you want a beer.
  33. TheBrewo

    TheBrewo Nov 11, 2010 New York

    For something entirely different, I very much enjoyed Nissefar by HaandBryggeriet when I had it on tap about a year ago.
  34. Andygirl

    Andygirl Jan 3, 2013 Michigan

    Ah, sorry.
  35. ThickNStout

    ThickNStout Mar 8, 2011 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    It's been mentioned. But Bruery's Fruet by far exceeds every other old ale I've tried.
    I enjoy the occasional Old Ale but it's not a go-to style of mine. That said, Fruet is one of the best 5 beers I've ever had. Phenominal.
    fujindemon74 and ChanChan like this.
  36. totalbangover

    totalbangover Jul 3, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    The first time I had Kuhnhenn's regular 4D it was from the 2004 batch. It was phenomenal, the beer that got me into looking for Old Ales. For the past few years though the normal version has been too sweet in my opinion. I love sweet beers, really for an old ale or barleywine I feel like the beer needs the sweetness, but recent 4D has been too much, like cloyingly sweet and hard to drink. I disliked past years enough I didn't even try any of the normal variety this year.

    The BA 4D on the other hand is an almost perfect beer.

    I love Bell's Third Coast Old Ale... but it's listed as a barleywine on this site...

    To me Curmudgeon is overrated, I don't think it's that great of a beer.
  37. ChanChan

    ChanChan Dec 12, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Non barrel aged:
    Fourth Dementia (4D)

    Barrel aged: I wouldn't know, I haven't had the pleasure :(
  38. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    Bobby McGee's OldTimer Old Ale is good stuff.
  39. kecarl7

    kecarl7 Feb 6, 2010 California

    Kuhnhenn is king.

    HOTD, Bruery, and Founders are all capable of making good Old Ales, but they're just not in the same league as Kuhnhenn.
    Marti403 and Benny3000 like this.
  40. ChanChan

    ChanChan Dec 12, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    I just realized I have this in the cellar. I can't wait to crack it open!!! :)
    fujindemon74 likes this.
  • 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.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!