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Sheephead Ale - Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC

Not Rated.
Sheephead AleSheephead Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

173 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 173
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 6
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: morimech on 03-26-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 173 | Reviews: 76
Reviews by drop6301:
More User Reviews:
Photo of bsp77
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Pours an orange amber with a very large head. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Citrus and pine hops with some toasted malt.

Taste: Begins with a very nice balance of strong citrus/pine hop taste (but not too much bitterness) and semi-sweet toasted malts, then suddenly turns very dry and bitter towards the finish.

Feel: Very smooth and dry. Medium body and carbonation.

Drinkability: Exceedingly drinkable due to the smooth body and great balance.

I personally don't see the confusion regarding the style of this beer. It seems to be very much an American IPA, albeit in the Torpedo "Extra" IPA direction based on the higher alcohol, smooth body and more balanced malt. It is very nice to have another high quality IPA in Minnesota other than Furious.

Photo of ChopperSmith
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of six varieties in a Brau Brothers Brewing sampler 12-pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. brown long neck bottle into a standard clear pint glass.

Appearance: Clear deep amber/copper color with a one-finger tan foam head that laced nicely.

Smell: Very floral citrus and pine hops with some toasted malt.

Taste: A nice hops bite up front with bitter pine and grapefruit flavors, then the sweet malts kick in and smooth out the finish. Well balanced for a hoppy IPA.

Feel: Medium-body, very smooth and dry. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and well balanced, a good ABV and a great hop presence. Very easy to session with.

Photo of rossracing
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Don't always get a chance to drink it but love it

Photo of alphagnome
3.39/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
Deep brown oak-ish colored body, very hazy. Topped by a thin, bone-white head. Carbonation is practically non-existent and lacing is light.

Aroma:
Hoppy aroma - mostly pine and citrus. A bit of caramel breaks through. It's clean and zesty.

Taste:
Burnt caramel upfront ushers in a wave of bitterness via thick pine. Very earthy. No balance.

Mouthfeel:
Pretty thick body for an IPA and no detectable carbonation. Desert dry finish.

Overall:
For me, this is just not an enjoyable IPA. It's brutally bitter and hardly a hint of balance.

Photo of Snow81
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light Amber hazy

Head: Very small white head

Smell: Deep malty citric with a light grassiness

Taste: A Bitter Hop hits then a overwhelming malt then a deep citric layers the palate with a small grassy note that lingers

Weight: Medium on the body with the carbonation on the high side

Finish: Grassy malts with a dark citric lingering on the palate

Photo of tempest
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Princeton Liquors. Eh, this is disappointing and I keep hoping the Brau Brothers will kick up their beer from decent to a beer really worth talking about. This just tastes like a hoppy amber, but not that hoppy. The malts are dark bread crust with a hint of cocoa and the hops are a plain citrus punch. The hops dominate the aroma, thought that's not to say any of the flavors are that great. OK so the hops are pleasant and the malt has a little depth, but there's nothing that stands out here. Meh to this beer.

Photo of nickd717
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle as an extra in a trade with deliriumfest on BA.

Pours a hazy golden-copper color with a one-finger white head.

Aroma is really nice - lots of tropical fruits (pineapple, mango) and orange, somewhat hoppy, along with sweet caramel malt.

Flavor is also good but not quite as smooth as I hoped from the aroma. Tropical fruits are in there, pineapple mostly, as well as orange and grapefruit. Sweet caramel malt and pale malt balance, along with some noticeable booze (wow, this is 7.7% I see now!).

Medium-bodied and just a little boozy for the style with average carbonation and some hop oils.

Good drinkability. Overall a pretty solid almost imperial pale ale.

Photo of morimech
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The latest in the Brau Brothers Single Batch Series. Pours a clear amber color with two fingers of white head that has good retention. The head settles to a thin cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. The aroma consists of biscuit and toasted malt with some citrus, grass, and earthy hop aroma. Has a strong malt flavor foundation. The hops add a complimentory grassy and spicy flavor and moderate bitterness. Not nearly as hoppy and bitter as I was led to believe. Carbonation is present without being overbearing. Has a nice texture. I liked the malt profile in this beer. A nice APA that I would drink again.

Photo of pBRale
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From tasting notes 9-28-11
Poured into a snifter

Appearance: Clear amber pour with a 2-finger off-white head that settles quickly. Head retention is mild, but there is a delicate lace left behind that is thick and coating initially (a big thick ring at the top) but has some spotty blobs here and there down the glass and fades to virtually nothing even further down the glass.

Smell: A nice bready and caramel malt backbone with some hops on the nose (herbaceous and grassy).

Taste: The malts hit initially, but the bitter, earthy and slightly grassy hops follow closely behind, and they linger well into the finish. After taste is bold, earthy, and bitter. Even an one hour and 3 glasses of water later, the bitterness of this beer still lingers faintly (but distinctly) on my palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation with a biting finish that is both crisp and bitter.

Overall: This beer hides its alcohol in its bitterness. Not the typical American IPA aromas and flavors--this one is very earthy and has a nice lingering bitterness afterward that is distinct from most other IPAs.

Photo of rsdaugherty
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle into pint glass
A - Brown amber with no head at all, slightly hazy 3
S - toasted malts and florals dominate; semi-sweet chocolate and coffee notes as well 3.5
T - Lots of toasted malts and hops, caramel, florals and hop bitterness 3.5
M - Medium body with a milky mouthfeel 3
O - A unique tasting brew IMO, not a beer that I would classify as an IPA... the malt load here is quite significant. Noteworthy, but otherwise average 3

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a fine two finger cream colored head with great retention and lots of thick lacing. Great aroma of caramel malt, citrus spicy hops with a hint of pine; the hops smell really good. Flavor follows aroma with nice semisweet caramel and bready malt and citrus, resinous piney hops, finishing with a lingering spicy pine bitterness. I don't know if they used rye in this, but there is light spiciness reminiscent of rye. Great medium to heavy creamy body. They advertise this as "tons of caramel malt and too many Cascade hops", and although disagreeing with the latter (how could you have too much cascade hops?), I think they nailed it. A very tasty, malty IPA with a nice hop bill that both smelled and tasted great. Even more to their credit, this was a bottle brought home to me by my sister and arrived after a month long road trip. Held up well and makes me hope I can try it fresh some time. Enjoyable.

Photo of Ragingbull
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber in color with a nice foamy head with very good retention. The foam is a sort of off white perhaps muslin or a canvas. Very faint prickle. A picturesque beer. Nice nose of malt and hops with the hops sort of laying on top of the malt. I believe I can pick out the cascade hops, but there is more to it than that. Nice attack of hops that gives way to a tasty malt flavor with just a bit of cracked grain. Lots of great flavors. There are floral hops flavors, caramel malts and some nice grains. The grains are pronounced in a good way, which is saying something as I usually prefer my grains more muted. This is well crafted as it is a bitter beer with a wonderful malt flavor that finishes it off. I have really been missing out, as I haven't had that many Brau Bros. Beers. I hated the first two that I tried and it took about a year after each to try another. No joke. This one is finally a winner and in a big way. Well done, and oh, I am sorry for not trusting Brau Bros. more.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Slightly cloudy, dark amber with a large foamy, fairly thick, sticky, off-white head. Good retention leaving a sticky patchy lace.

S - A good amount of caramel and biscuity malt. Fair amount of pine, herbal, and citrus hops. Pretty sweet overall.

T - Taste somewhat like a weak English barleywine or strong ale. A lot of caramel and biscuity malt flavors provide a lot of sweet flavor. Along with this, there is a good amount of resinous pine and herbal/floral hops. Touches of dark citrus as well. Slightly bitter and astringent.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. A little sticky and astringent. A slight lingering bitterness.

D - The mix of astringency, bitterness and sweetness don't make this the most drinkable beer. Just a little off. Not exactly undrinkable, but I don't exactly want another.

Notes: Interesting IPA, a mix between a Dark ale, IPA, barleywine, and strong ale as well as a mix of English and American hops. It doesn't fully work, but it also isn't horrible. Intriguing, worth a try but probably not worth seeking out.

Photo of GeezLynn
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz single from Cellars Roseville

A: Light brown cider color with a thin, rapidly dissipating white head.

S: Lots of toasted brown malts with west coast hops. I think there's even a little chocolate malt and the smell is actually pretty similar to a hopped up nut brown. Not much in the way of your standard IPA characteristics.

T: Ahh, flavor is more in line with what I expected out of what BA labels an IPA (bottle label does not specify). Nice NW hops pack a good resiny pine punch that melds well with a light, toasty malt base. A few more sips bring some grapefruit and pepper. Just the right amount of sweetness. Finish is medium in length and ends with plenty of bitterness.

M: Crisp, medium to light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Alcohol contributes enough bite that any more carbonation would probably be overkill.

Initially the smell had me not knowing what to expect. But this turned out to be a nice hoppy ale somewhere between an IPA and APA. Could definitely enjoy a few of these in one sitting and will look for it again. Well done.

Photo of mdwalsh
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy golden brown with a clean, one finger white white head. Lot's of active carb in the Sam Adams sensory glass. Lacing looks pretty good and the head has some definite longevity to it.

S: Mix of floral and citrus, tending towards citrus, perhaps grapefruit. Some slight malty undertones but very much just the hops.

T: Bitter, cutting bitter rather than smooth. A little boozy even. I don't taste the citrusy hops from the nose, this is more floral. Still no malt and it leaves a dry aftertaste in my mouth.

M: Dry, as I said, but crisp and a little refreshing. Maybe if it was really really ice cold it would be better, but it's pretty cold now and just ok.

D: Ok, with the right food it would be better, but I'm not that into it.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A--Nice copper color with an off white head that rose a full finger in my 16 oz. snifter. Solid lacing was left on the glass.

S--Mostly hops...orange peel, lemon, floral

T--Taste is a nice balance between bready malts and bitter earthy hops. Good flavor for an APA....enough balance to attract everyone and enough flavor to make the hop heads happy.

M--Medium bodied but definitely full enough for the style

D--Nice easy to drink ale here although with this high ABV I would rather have something a little "bigger" tasting. If this was 5-6% I would give it a 4.5

Photo of gatornation
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from 12 oz bottle

A-pours a reddish brown color with an off white head with some nice lacing

S- bready malts caramel, baked bread pine/citrus hops

T- malt forward but pine and citrus hop are there with some earth and bread flavors

M-medium carbonation with crisp hops swet malts

O- solid ipa /apa good flavors nice drinkable tasty

Photo of TCMike
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Produced a 1 finger, off white head. Beer color is a very translucent light brown.

The smell was piney hops, light sweetness of caramel.

The taste was similar. Light-ish body, and medium carbonation.

This is an OK beer, but not great. Too many other good IPAs out there.

Photo of irrgalaxy
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Advertised as a "bitter beer", suitable for its eponymous card game. I'd agree with its characterization as a good beer for playing games - meaning that the beer itself won't take a lot of your attention. A nice, mellow hop flavor that's more laidback than many of the pale ales on the market. Extremely drinkable, but not likely to leave a lasting impression on the palate.

Photo of JamesMN
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber hue with a thin soapy off-white head despite an aggressive pour.

Aroma: Bready malt and english barley. Some sugary sweet hops with a hint of orange zest.

Taste: Some spicy character from an earthy hop blend or maybe a touch of rye malt. Reminiscent of Sam Adams IPA but with better balance. Definitely east coast influenced this the spiciness of the hops. Not all that bitter but leaves a bit of bitterness on the palate in the aftertaste. Finishes slightly dry with an orange peel flavor. Wouldn't have guessed this was 7.7% ABV because it feels much lighter than that.

Mouthfeel: Just below medium bodied with average carbonation. Pretty easy drinkability but just a little watery.

Final Thoughts: I wasn't expecting a whole lot from this beer and it basically met those expectations. Would call this more of an ESB than an IPA. Would I drink it again? Nah.

Photo of Demi
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A little too bitter and aftertaste wasn't terribly pleasant.

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.
40°F

$8.99 / 6-pk.

A: Bright copper body topped with a tight one finger head that quickly dissipates leaving light lacing, and only a modest ring of cover. I expect much more lacing from an IPA.

S: Piny hop aroma dominates with hints of lemon citrus.and a strong malt presence. Well balanced.

T: More malt forward than the nose would suggest, but again strong citrus and pine hops make an appearance. Aftertaste is subdued, and the overall quality of the beer is very well balanced between malt and hops.

M: Light body with high carbonation and a crisp finish. No oily hop residue on the tongue.

D: Very drinkable IPA and approachable to a wide audience. This one goes down easy and doesn't have an overpowering aftertaste.

O: Brau Brothers always seems to deliver. I have yet to have a bad beer from the brewery.

Photo of shadow1961
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brau Brother's Sheep Head Ale pours a couple of stiff fingers of foam over a cloudy deep orange brew. Carbonation is pretty low, and the nose is spicy pine and citrus hops. The flavor is sweet malt up front with notes of honey balanced by brisk sharp hops- I'm tasting grass and pine needles. Mouthfeel starts round and drys out because of the hopping. When I first had this I could have sworn it was an India Pale Ale but was surprised to see it listed as a Pale Ale on the Beer Advocate website. Could be I was thrown off by all that hop aroma from the dry-hopping mentioned on the label. One of their better special edition brews, I would put it just under Brau's outstanding Ring Neck Ale. Worth a first and second look for sure!

Photo of Greggy
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a creamy 1 finger white/light tan head. The color is orange to almost copper red. A very slight amount of yeast is in suspension.

S- Very bready on the nose with a good hit of citric hop notes. I get almost a tangerine note.

T- Starts out with a big malty notes, with some intertwined hoppiness. I get a good amount of raisin which is slightly out of place.

M- Alcohol can definitely be felt on the finish. No doubt.

D- Overall... not bad/not great. This really screams homebrew to me.

Photo of JackieTH
2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Rob for the sample. On the lighter side of reddish amber with a short pale head that disappeared with slight lacing. Smell was roasted malt with some subtle vanilla notes. Taste was earthy and watery, slightly bitter, heavily charred like burnt whole wheat toast. Medium body. I don't really find a lot to like about this IPA and quite frankly had no idea it was and IPA until now.

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Sheephead Ale from Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
83 out of 100 based on 173 ratings.