At 6% it is the strongest of the beers in their range and as the label states it is a vintage ale (old ale).
Here is how Greene King describe Strong Suffolk:
A blend of two ales: Old 5X , which is brewed to the maximum strength possible (around 12% abv) and left to mature in 100-barrel oak vats for a minimum of two years, and BPA, a dark, full-bodied freshly brewed beer which is added just before bottling. The result is a unique beer – strong (6% abv), dark, fruity, oaky and very, very special.”
The fact that this is a blend of what by themselves are both very fine beers should really start to set the scene that this really is a top notch drink.
Due to the size of Greene King it is quite easy to find Strong Suffolk available as a bottled beer in any number of supermarkets and off licenses throughout the UK and abroad, however if you are lucky enough to find it on draught than that is even more of a treat.
I had previously never seen Strong Suffolk on tap outside of Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding area (for a while I worked at the Greene King brewery in the town) However I have recently seen it on the ramp at a couple of Wetherspoons in London and Oxford; Wetherspoons always seem to have a large offering of Greene King beers with the usual culprits of Abbot Ale and IPA near enough always in residence.
&The bottle features the instantly recognisable Greene King Logo reminding us that they have been in the business of making beer since way back in 1799, the main image is of one the aforementioned oak vats being paid a visit by the brewmaster.
You can also find the vintage of the beer on the label, in this particular case a 2001 When poured it is a very clear dark brown colour with a slightly reddish tint to it, there isn’t really much of a head and it is only very very lightly carbonated so in that regards is very much like a traditional draught beer.
The first thing you will notice from this beer is that there isn’t really much of an aroma to it but the flavour is certainly there! It is a very fruity yet savoury beer with flavours of oak, malt, old sherry, banana and an almost leathery taste, the flavours develop as you are drinking it and there is a strong bitter / sweet taste with the bitterness proving to be very refreshing and remaining for quite a while afterwards
This is a beer that really packs a punch, both in terms of flavour and strength, at 6.0% A.B.V you wouldn’t want to have too many in one sitting! It is big and full bodied and goes really well with food, particularly traditional hearty British favourites such as a good strong cheddar or some nice roast beef.
Overall there is nothing disappointing about a pint of Strong Suffolk and it is a rewarding beer that will become a firm favourite.