Name of beer
Stockport, Lancashire, UK
What the brewer says:
"Old Tom is a legend amongst beers. First created by the Robinson family in 1899. It is a wonderfully warming dark strong ale, with aromas of dark fruit and a palate booming with ripe malt and hops, slowly followed by a deep port wine finish. Not surprisingly, Old Tom has won almost every brewing accolade including being voted The World’s Best Ale."
Well, if you’re going to start blogging about beer, you might as well start by treating yourself to one that has been hailed as the best in the world. Does it live up to that title?
Old Tom smells like that first time you walked into a pub or Workingmen’s Club and hits you like a brick from the first sip.
Robinsons calls it The Original and Old Tom carries the World Beer Awards title of The World’s Best Ale as a badge of honour, as well as its SIBA NW Gold Medal from 2014. These people do know what they’re talking about. Since it was first brewed in 1899, it’s safe to say these accolades represent just a fraction of the good things that have been said of Old Tom.
The World’s Best? Maybe. If you like that sort of thing. That’s not to be negative, but this real dark ale isn’t something I would make a first choice at the bar or supermarket shelf, purely based upon my own stylistic preferences.
It’s one of those quiet night in ales, with an 8.5% ABV that deserves respect (as should be the case with all good beers).
The overwhelming taste is one of a strong malt ale and this isn’t a beer on which to start your ale-drinking journey; and it’s definitely not one to pick if you’re going rounds. What Old Tom is, is a beer to go for when you are already comfortable with ales and are looking for something to savour. It’s a good friend on a cold night and an occasional treat.
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I’m 44, I don’t (always) have a beard (partly because when I try it is patchy, has gaps, with ginger and grey bits) and don’t take a clipboard to the pub. So, I’m not the stereotypical real ale fan of old, in the style that I was always told to look out for...read more