Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Greene King Olde Suffolk

This is one more beer from my recent travel to the Big Spec's up in Houston. Such a great store, great wine selection and a really good selection of craft and import beers. This beer is a first for me as I have never tried this style of ale before.
The Style: Old Ales, formerly called Stock Ales, are blended ales. This does not mean blends of two different types of beers like a Black and Tan, but instead of age. Similar to the tradition of blended whiskey or scotch, two ales, one usually over 2 years of age, the other just brewed are blended together to create an incredibly unique beer. These beers usually present high malt flavors and are dark in color. This is a very traditional English ale with a long history.
The Brewery: Greene King is located in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk in England. Over 200 years ago it started as a brewer and Pub. It has grown into a large corporation that runs both breweries and pubs around the UK. The Greene King brewery is still very traditional and continues to create Cask ales. They also export one of the more popular British ales...Old Speckled Hen.
The Beer: This beer came in a 16.9 fl Oz bottle. As is tradition this is a blended ale. The first called Old 5X is aged in giant oak casks for 2 years, the other named BPA is a fresh ale. Neither of these are ever bottled separately. It pours a dark reddish brown almost opaque in the glass. A thin tan head. The nose is full of sweet malty flavors with a mild bit of floral hops. In the mouth there is a hit of sweet malts, with some coffeeish bitterness. Undertones of caramel show on the afteraste. The mouthfeel is somewhat light for my tastes, almost watery. This is not a 'thick' beer. The beer is a reasonable 6.0% alcohol, however I consider this a sipping beer as to me this is a very rich beer, maybe due to the Maltiness, I can't see myself drinking more than one of these in a night. Again since I am not the biggest fan of Malty beers, I felt this was ok. I can appreciate the work that goes into creating a beer of this complexity but not my favorite. Here is what people at BA say.

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