About Old Ale

About Old Ale
Old ales are amber to dark brown in color and range in alcohol from 6-9.5%. These beers are medium-to-full bodied malt-driven ales with aged examples showing light, sweet oxidative characteristics, with extended periods of wood-aging contributing lactic or Brettanomyces characteristics. Sometime referred to as “stock” or “keeping” ales, old ales are eponymously named for being aged for months, or even years, through bottle conditioning or bulk storage in wooden tuns. Originally brewed before the Industrial Revolution as a compliment to mild ales, these beers are still brewed today and have become a specialty in some US craft brewers’ portfolios. Noteworthy examples of this style include: Robinson’s Old Tom, Island Jubilee Ale, Moorehouse’s English Owd Ale, and Great Divide Hibernation Ale.

Top Picks for Old Ale

Vancouver Island Brewing Gladstone Brewing Collaboration Burton Ale
84 points
Murky brick red color. Aromas and flavors of roasted brussels sprouts and lardons, stewed okra, sourdough toast, and cardboard with a supple, bright, spritzy, dryish medium body and a peppery, odd, short-to-medium finish that exhibits accents of dried fruits, pepper, apple vinaigrette on radicchio, and ground baby aspirin finish. A challenging mature ale that may have seen better days.