- ABV: 8.5%, Style: Strong Ale
- Best before end July 2013
- Brewed in Stockport, UK
- Served: 330ml bottle poured into Anchor Steam US pint shaker
- £2.09 from Tesco
Continuing my survey of Robinson’s beer, I picked up an Old Tom. Despite winning a prize at the 2009 World Beer Awards, any beer which proudly claims “The World’s Best Ale” will struggle to be taken seriously. Old Tom is one of the few Robinson’s beers which strays away from the category of standard English bitter and so it’s interesting.
Robinson’s is the closest brewery to my house and one of the few old town centre breweries that’s still functioning in it’s original location, although they’ve only achieved this by putting an additional facility out in an industrial estate in Bredbury.
The Old Tom bottle claims that the recipe goes back to 1899. I’ve only been aware of it for about 5 years when I saw it on tap at The Castle. The barstaff were always somewhat nervous of it’s strength and would only serve it in half pint measures. I think I had one, found it to be a bit strange and moved on. Since I’m paying a bit more attention to what I think of beer now, I figured it’d be worth a revisit in the privacy of my own home.
Aroma: Molasses, treacle and spice. Smells like it’s going to be very sweet.
Taste: Very heavy malt, molasses, hint of liquorice. Not that sweet considering the abv. The liquorice grows in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, rounded. Very drying finish.
Overall: While not a beer that I’d ever want more than 1/2 of, I think it’s got much more to recommend it by way of flavour than anything else that I’ve tried from Robinsons. It’s got a lot more flavour than most beers from a lot of the older English brewers for that matter.
I think if someone was excited by malt as I was by hops they’d be very happy with this beer. As it is, I appreciate that it’s a good beer but it’s far to malty for me. 4/5
The good news is that the overtones that the Unicorn had aren’t present in this beer. Since my Brew #2 is aiming for about 7.5% abv I’m hoping that it might have overcome the off tastes that Brew #1 shared with Unicorn!
- 27th March 2012, Sustainable Alcoholic