Owd Rodger – robust centenarian 1

Today’s tasting promises to be quite interesting. This is dark strong ale from Marston’s brewery was brewed since one hundred year, based on even older recipe. The name of beer is – Owd Rodger.


Owd Rodger – we do not know who shows the figure on the label, but it is known that the beer was brewed by the brewery at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Reportedly, it was based on an old recipe, believed to be over 500 years old.
The fact is, however, that beer gave fame native town of the Marston’s brewery being an excellent representative of so-called Burton Ales. It is interesting that for some time it was known at that time as barley wine, recommended as a remedy for various ailments, such insomnia or neurosis.

This is really strong ale with an alcohol content 7,6% ABV.
The beer is not in the regular offer of the brewery – is brewed occasionally. On the website of’s Marston about this beer practically has no information.

Some details gives known British promoter of beer – Roger Protz, on his own website.
He mentions malts used to brew Owd Rodger. These are: light Cassata malt (British variety, willingly used by Marston’s) and caramel malt.
As regards the hops, are used several varieties: Bobek, Fuggles, Goldings, Pilgrim, Progress and Sovereign.

The beer has won Bronze in the category of dark beers on World Beer Awards – Europe 2013.


Name: OWD RODGER (English Strong Ale, alc. 7,4% ABV)
Brewery: Marston’s Plc (Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire, England)

Expiration date: 30/11/2016 (bottle 500ml)

Owd Rodger from Marston's - beer (1)
Owd Rodger from Marston's - labels


Owd Rodger from Marston's - beer (2)


test-look-small Very dark, in ruby-cherry colour.
Foam beige, medium high, quickly falling.
test-sniff-small The aroma of dark fruits, brown sugar, treacle.
Light hint of alcohol.
Noticeable notes of sulphate.
test-drink-small The taste pronounced sweetness of dark fruits (plums, figs, raisins).
This sweetness is velvety, fairly dense, it propagates pleasantly in the mouth.
Next come notes of bittersweet chocolate, coffee.
Bitterness is rolled back, not very intense, covered with sweet fruits.
The finish is a dry bitterness, reminiscent of bitter cocoa or coffee,
it is short – just after it returns again fruity sweetness.
Slightly noticeable alcohol, but it is a pleasant, warming up, a bit like port wine.
Beer is quite bodied.


Owd Rodger from Marston's - beer (3)


Marston’s Owd Rodger gives moments of tasty relaxation.
Pleasant fruity-sweet aroma. In taste similar – dark fruits (plums, figs) combined with dark chocolate and a hint of coffee. The beer is sweet, but not cloying.
Bitterness small, hidden – makes itself felt at the finish, but in a tactful way.
Owd Rodger is bodied, like a good sweet porto.



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One thought on “Owd Rodger – robust centenarian

  • Dan Kissane

    I remember, with great enjoyment, going into a country pub in north Bedfordshire (I think) with my father some forty years ago. We had a couple of pints of the local brew and then we overheard the landlord talking to a customer who had just ordered a pint of owd roger. “I have to point out to you, sir, that we only ever serve a maximum of two pints of this beer to any customer – because of its strength.” When my dad heard this, he swallowed the pint he had and shot up to the bar and ordered a pint of owd roger. He didn’t get as far as his second pint – the one was enough He reckoned it was the best beer he ever drank!!