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Sheephead Ale - Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC

Not Rated.
Sheephead AleSheephead Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

75 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 75
Hads: 183
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 20.87%
Wants: 6
Gots: 17 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 75 | Hads: 183
Photo of TheDudeRules
2.41/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bought a 6 pack from my local bottle shop. I was eager to try this offering out.

Pours a copper red with a thick foam head. Lacing lasts after the foam dies down.

Smells a bit of citrus hops but the malt dominates.

The hop presence is there,but quickly steps aside for malt and plenty of it. Really that is all I could taste. Wish I could be more subjective but this offering left me flat.

Moderate carbonation and easy on the tongue.

As I said I was excited to try this. Sadly I was disappointed. For a beer close to 8% it really didn't come across like that. If this was your taste palate it seemed like you could down several with no problem. I drank two just to make sure I felt the same about the first one. I was looking for some hops and maybe a little bite or hopefully a lot. Really not my style but worth a shot. Oh well.

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Photo of maximum12
2.57/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Picked up a single of this recently at Blue Max, in my quest to find a Brau brew that I'm fond of. C'mon guys, I'm willing, convert me! Let's hope this is the one.

Well, the pour is promising, gorgeous amber brew with a nice ring of foam. Damn. The label mentioned bitter twice, & I don't think it was kidding. Like a mix of bitter, ass-kicking roses, hops & pollen. Original, haven't had a nose like that in my bus before.

Well. This had some promise. The bitterness of the hops up front is nice, unbalanced & aggressive for a hop-head like me. Then comes the Brau aftertaste. Honestly, I don't know what it is. The water? Yeast strains? Contamination? But the sub-taste is unpleasantness underneath this promising start. It's musty, moldy, blech.

Dammit. This seems like a pretty doggone good beer. But I won't be able to finish it. The aftertaste simply doesn't agree with me.

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Photo of Buebie
2.79/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown long kneck 12 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. The head forms an inch of white foam, leaving behind thick lace drapes. A thin color of retention is left behind as well.
The color is a pale hazey amber.

Aroma is of solvent alcahol, which is not desireable, pine and malty sweetness.

The beer itself is thin and watery with an abundance of carbonation. Some hop bittering, also some off flavors here.
Very dsipleased with the mouthfeel. Its one sided with carbonation and hops, lots of watery thin feel. Its almost like drinking air that has been sparayed with arosal of a hop flavor.

For an american pale ale I would expect alot more from a beer. I'd give it a well hopped pilsner profile before apa.

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Photo of JackieTH
2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
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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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.09/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Coincidentally, my boss was going to be playing sheephead with some friends tonight.

A-Quite clear amber brew. Tannish head reduced slowly, leaving a thin, at times sparse bubble layer.

S-Butterscotch. Toffee malts. A resiny, bright hoppiness comes in and out, perhaps a bit too faint.

T-Bright hoppiness, spicy and earthy with a hint of resinous goodness. Hearty biscuit malt, with a nuance of toast, provides a solid base, with a bit of butterscotch detracting from the otherwise clean flavor. Bitterness adds a pleasing balance to the brew.

M-Drab, medium-bodied beer. Carbonation is enjoyable and appropriate.

D-Decent. A slightly hoppy sessionable brew, to be sure. I once had this brew on cask, which I thought was better than from the bottle.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.12/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Sheephead pours a reddish darker color with a small non lacing head. There is a hoppy aroma, with big earthy notes. The taste is very earthy, some hops come through, a funky earthy aftertaste. A bit flat. Overall its strong, but very earthy, malty, with a funky hop flavor that doesn't fit well

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Photo of Greggy
3.13/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a reddish amber with a one finger offwhite head that leaves about five little wisps of lacing.
S- Not as hoppy on the nose as the style suggests, as well as the bottle. There is a floral and slightly pithy note, but it's primarily biscuit and caramel malt.
T- The hops come through even less so here. There is a bit of that floral, slightly citrus, note in the finish. But the hops are overwhelmed by a toasted malt, caramel note. It also leans pretty heavily on the sugary side.
M- Full bodied for an IPA. Sugary at times, with a bit of astringentness in the finish.
O- At 7.7 and as much malt as went in this, it's almost like a IIPA but without enough hop flavor to make it a regular IPA. It's an ok beer, but it just doesn't seem to have a firm direction with where it wants to go.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer pours a rich reddish amber. The aroma leads with a sweet, toasty malt, followed by the accent of tropical and piney hops. The flavor is malt forward, very reminiscent of a red ale. The pineapple and vaguely piney hops are accents here. The mouthfeel is pleasant and coating. T\his is a good beer. It is not a great beer. It is something I am very glad I got in a single, as it just does not have the flavor clarity I am looking for. If you approach this as a hoppy red, you may like it more.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of Florida9
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep copper in color. Very clear. Forms about an inch of off-white head. Decent retention and lots of lacing.

S: Lots of caramel malt. Some citrus hops and a faint tinge of pine.

T: Starts off with an appreciable earthy hop bitterness. Some pine. A little citrus. But really the malt dominates on this one - lots of caramel malt. Some burnt toast on the finish.

M: Heavier side of medium with appropriate carbonation. Moderate bitterness.

O: A decent beer, but more like a Red Ale than an IPA.

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Photo of rsdaugherty
3.32/5  rDev -10%
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

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Photo of alphagnome
3.39/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of tempest
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of beagle75
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic glass.

A: Clear, light amber color with less than one finger of off-white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Husky caramelized grain and carbon dioxide are both prominent, with some weak vinous fruit and earthy herbaceous plant stems also detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with malt that tastes surprisingly brown and roasty, despite the beer's pale appearance. Mild dark citrus fruit follows, but is never really able to move ahead of the intensely toasty malt presence. Acidity is moderate but restrained into the middle, where a flash of precocious bitterness flares then drops off. A whiff of butterscotch is detected late, seemingly spurred on by the savory malt. Bitterness returns at the back-end, tasting mild and herbaceous, then finishing clean.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and slightly acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This IPA is a fair contribution to the style that manages to distinguish itself not just by being malt-forward, but by presenting particularly robust roasted malt. The smell lacks the distinctive qualities of the favorable flavor, landing this beer in the position of being short of exceptional but still drinkable and food-friendly.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this IPA, which I would not have been able to tell from the bottle, in a nonic pint.

Appearance- The head was a frothy, puffy crown of off-white that managed almost a fingers width before receding, not really leaving behind any lace.

The cloudy and luminous amber-orange body shines brilliantly out of the glass. The bright copper highlights come out all over the place.

Smell- The hop oils are akin to resin. candied pineapple and passion fruit scents blending in almost imperceptibly. Sheephead has a good nose, but more of the fruity qualities would be appreciated.

Taste- Unfortunately, very little of the nose has transferred to the drink. I guess as a disclaimer I will say that no freshness date was available on the bottle, so this could be past recommended freshness.

Mostly what comes through is just a straight hop bitterness. It really hits the cheeks and holds on for a long time on the finish. But it is just that, a general hop bitterness.

There is just a touch of ruby red grapefruit and pineapple that leads into the back of the drink, but so hard to pick out. That resin is apparent mid-drink and really needs another flavor profile to compliment it, just too overwhelming by itself.

I also picked up some biscuit malt buried miles under the surface of the hop bitterness.

Mouth feel- A medium to light body is not really that impressive. I like my IPA's bigger and creamy, with some stick, to really have those hops build on the palate.

This is just a tad too watery to accomplish that, and just smooth enough.

Overall- The nose, while lacking slightly with the citrus hop scents, was a promise of better things to come. Alas! The overly bitter, and flavor hop-lacking palate was a real let down.

A little more biscuit malt and flavor hops would have made this a respectable IPA without a doubt. This is still a good beer, could just be so much better.

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Photo of Snow81
3.47/5  rDev -6%
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

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Photo of irrgalaxy
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of gatornation
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
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

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Photo of TCMike
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours brilliant orange a mild soapy head that slowly dissipates to a thin ring.

Aroma is toasty caramel malt and subdued citrus hop.

Taste is Similar to the nose. Plenty of toasted, grainy caramel malt. Hints of dry musty notes. A touch of bread crust. Hops offer balance with earthy and grapefruit bitterness that creates a spicy hop finish.

Mouthfeel is chewy, medium bodied.

An APA with very balanced malt in addition to the hops. A nice session beer, certainly worth a try.

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Photo of Viggo
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, extra in IP trade with deleriumfest at DLD.

Pours a cloudy dark orange/amber, some light reddish highlighting, pretty thick off white head forms, tight bubbles, slowly settles to a thin ring around the glass, a few lace spots but not much. Smell is alright, quite malty, very biscuity, some caramel sweetness, floral hops, a bit of grapefruit and orange peel, a touch yeasty, not a whole lot of complexity but decent enough. Taste is similar, very bready and dry up front, some toast/biscuit, light caramel sweetness comes through more in the middle, alcohol, some floral and citrus hopping, quite dry, but again solid though lacking in flavour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty nice in that department, medium to high carbonation, a bit much for the style, but pretty drinkable considering the ABV. Reminds me a bit of a not as good Hop Devil with the flavour profile. Thanks Brandon!

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Photo of Mdog
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear amber, good head and lacing.

Smell: Caramel, a little citrus.

Taste: Pretty balanced pale ale, caramel sweetness and a mix of earthy bitter hops.

Drinkability: Could be a session if I wasn't looking for bitterness.

I thought this was a balanced pale ale, not exactly the bitter monster described on the label. Not a lot of citrus bitterness, more earthy to my palate. A pretty good beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A robust IPA that straddles the fences of American IPA's, English IPA's and Amber Ales.

The pour delivers a strong amber-copper color with a very mild haze. The beer carries a glowing appearance. Great head formation, retention, and lacing give a very favorable appearance to the beer.

Toast, pine, and caramel immediately come to mind with the first sip. Resiny, spicy, and richly malty; the beer takes tone of strongly hopped English Ales. Fruity esters (much like the flavor of young Old Ales) further emphasize the point.

Malt flavors start with caramel, then grow into toffee like sweetness, and finish with a toasty or bread crust flavor- this gives a Strong Ale taste if not for the aggressive hop additions. Pine resins, strong bitterness, and heavy spice shys away from the classic citrus character of American hoppy ales and toward the more earthy English varieties. Moderately fruity throughout with yeasty, biscuity goodness.

The sweetness also ushers in a sugary weight, giving a fuller and richer flavor as if lower attenuated character prevails. hop bitterness and alcohol attempts to dry the beer in the finish, but it holds on to a lot of residual sweetness and weight going deep into the finish and aftertaste.

While a tasty beer, I cannot decide if it borrows what's best of these styles or if the beer is seriously confused. Better melding of flavor and lightening of body could have helped me make up my mind.

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Sheephead Ale from Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
83 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.