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Billy The Mountain - Upright Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Billy The MountainBilly The Mountain

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

90 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 17.93%
Wants: 33
Gots: 22 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Upright Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Inspired by the great Prize Old Ale once brewed by Gales in England, this beer is deeply malty and full of ripe fruit, leather, wine and oak flavors. The Billy is partially barrel aged with brettanomyces yeast, lending a distinct twang and developing unique aromas over time. Bottled still and best served at about 55F to be finished at room temperature. Cellar for up to five years.

"Billy the Mountain - A traditional English-style Old Ale, having undergone over five months of oak barrel aging and another several months in the bottle."

Malts: organic pale, ashburne mild, caramel
Unmalted: black barley
Also: molasses
Yeasts: London ESB and brettanomyces clausennii

First Release - January 2010
Second Release - January 2011
Third Release - December 2011

(Beer added by: jdense on 12-23-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yuichituba
1.7/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bought this early July at the brewery. Brewey-only release.

Smells like a good old ale.
Tastes like an infected old ale with a veggie after taste.
Finishes overly dry like bad wine, extremely carbonated and boozy.

I regret buying two of these...I highly recommend not to buy it.

yuichituba, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of cpetrone84
1.85/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pour is murky and muddy dark brown with virtually no head. Nose is heavy dark malt, molasses, caramel, brown sugar, dark berries all mixed together and not really working well as a group. Taste is brutal, overly sweet and messy. Malts sugars with burnt grain and burnt caramel, overly sweet berries with just way too much sugar. Body is full adding to the unpleasantly with virtually no carbonation.

cpetrone84, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of barleywinefiend
1.85/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: Poured a lighter brownish color with no carbonation leaving two bubbles, no lacing and for get the head. This beer is flatter than a board!

S: Funky notes, hints of old wood, molasses and toffee but rather mute

T: I am completely disappointed in this beer. Flat mouthfeel, no carbonation leaves funk, sugar and old musty caramel notes with two year old chocolates. Tannins, cardboard coming. Old wood, molasses is subdued and dirt rounds it out.

M: No carbonation, nothing to feel out, thin with booze

O: Extremely disappointed. I snagged this bottle from Apex's cooler just three days ago.

barleywinefiend, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of Arbitrator
1.88/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Chilled 750mL bottle into a glass. Purchased at the brewery with ramnuts' help back in March, I think. Thanks, Frank.

A: Pours a murky brown body, translucent at the edges but dark in the center. The head is two fingers of light tan foam that recedes quickly into a short-lived cap and then a moderate collar at the edges. Some lacing as I sip.

S: This beer evolves quite a bit as it warms. At first, it's molasses and nuts; the beer later adopts a light leather character, then finally nuts once more. It's not altogether pungent, though.

T: Wood, molasses. Some caramel and leather, with a touch of hay (funk) and tannins in the finish. The flavors are not well integrated, piling on in random orders and wavering strengths. In the finish, the flavors simply drop out and leave a small, lingering alcohol burn that isn't particularly pleasant.

M: The beer is thin, with a watery flavor that is accentuated by the strong tannic character as it warms. Well carbed. There is an alcohol burn in the finish that detracts from the experience. If it were thicker, it would mute the burn, but its thinness makes the experience harsh overall.

D: It's not undrinkable, but it's uninteresting. Kind of has an experimental homebrew vibe right now.

Arbitrator, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of codynevels
2/5  rDev -44%

codynevels, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of lighthabit
2.14/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a sampler from my bro, i suspect something went wrong. thin pour, weak head dies down to nil, just a bit around the edges. leaves a decent bit of lacing. nose is cherry/bit of leather/vinegar. appears a bit hazy, a deep reddish brown. a dry mouth feel makes me think of wine more than beer, and again i pick up a tartness that say "vinegar and old cardboard" far more than anything pleasant. maybe it's supposed to be like this, but i'm not finishing it.

update 5/5/13 seems this isn't my style, as friends of my brother are saying what i got was representative of the brew, and they like it, so . . . ymmv.

lighthabit, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of wisrarebeer
2.34/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

I was expecting interesting tastes from this brew but Upright missed the mark. I've read countless articles of tart/sour English porters but an old ale? And this sour? The beer was incredibly unbalanced and, unfortunately, non-drinkable. Hints of something lurking behind the sourness was evident, my suggestion, leave the sourness to the Belgians.

wisrarebeer, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of rowbow
2.5/5  rDev -30%

rowbow, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of hopsbreath
2.63/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

TulipSnifter and I each had a glass on tap at Grain & Gristle on New Years Eve. Paired with the burger served with house made pickles. The burger was great! The beer... Not so much.

A: Dark brown prune juice, wisp ring, no lacing. 2.5/5

S: Alcoholic raisins, a touch of smoke, lightly tart. Its not typical to the style, but not bad either. 3/5

T: More of the sweet prunes that the appearance promised, black tea, and tart cherry juice fermented in oak. Its not as complex as I like, and perhaps a little boring. 2/5

M: Lowly carbonated, moderate body, dry on the tongue but a little sticky on the soft palate. 3/5

D: The drinkability is highly enhanced by boring nature of this beer. The lack of complexities makes this easy to drink without thinking about it. That and the 9.1% ABV never really shows up in all its glory. Since the alcohol is well hidden, I'm going to call this "slightly above average". 3.5/5

hopsbreath, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of sweemzander
2.8/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750mL bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to Jason for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a very murky/cloudy cola brown color. Produced some good tan froth. Some lace.

(S)- Alot going on with this. A dense woody dryness with equally dense malty profile: cocoa, raisin, and dark fruits. Mildly yeasty.

(T)- Similar to the smell in the malt profile. Very very dense in a raisin, cocoa, clay, and a bit heavier yeast presence than in the smell. Alot of dry wood too somehow.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Very dense overall. Its really too heavy in a coarse/grainy core; abrasive really.

(D)- I appreciated the effort, but not exactly Upright's best. A little disjointed and coarse. Also, a bit different than your average old ale.

sweemzander, May 24, 2012
Photo of funkel81
3/5  rDev -16%

funkel81, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of PZBREW
3/5  rDev -16%

PZBREW, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of pmarlowe
3/5  rDev -16%

pmarlowe, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of Kelton
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First & Second batch tasted over two nights.

Batch 2 first:
Poured dark amber, no head, light body, little bubbles... uh oh, looks to be infected. Hold the phone, I know Billy has Brett, but this is truly infected & first sip confirmed it. Bummer

Not good, taste did not fair well with infection. Hopefully the second bottle I have wlll be OK.

Batch 1:
Now we're talking. Much better. Similar color, body is thicker, taste is definetly old ale w/ a nice slight sourness. Will keep my second bottle for some time to come.

Overall, this beer is unique, but I didn't love either batch enough to buy it again. Will look forward to a draft version for Batch 3.

Kelton, May 20, 2011
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle courtesy of fthomasl. Pours a clear copper color with a small tan foam. Light lacing to a nice collar.

Nose is sugary and fruity with some spicy yeast esters. Cinnamon, caramel and toffee. Malty brew, but the sugar aromas are killing me.

Taste is lightly tart with a dark fruit and caramel flavor. Bitter on the finish...and I dont think it is the hops. I want to say some spices are involved here, but I cant be entirely sure. By far my least favorite of the (usually outstanding) Upright beers I have had. Tough for me to even finish my half of the 750.

twiggamortis420, May 01, 2011
Photo of Ale-ienation
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque dark brown with amber highlights, with a tan head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruit esters abound; figs, prunes, stewed red apples. Rich malts blend with a potent acidic tartness; rather vinous.

T: Very tart and acidic throughout, with notes of sour cherries and prunes. Very sharp finish where a strong presence of brett comes to the fore.

M: Medium bodied with light carbonation.

O: An interesting beer, but could benefit from some balance to round out the very sharp tartness.

Ale-ienation, May 07, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -9%

acurtis, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of NRo
3.25/5  rDev -9%

NRo, May 29, 2014
Photo of Docer
3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased at The Beer Mongers some months back.... grading based on memory here... have a grade, not too much to say.

- Nice dark and super foamy brew... can't see much through it, murky brown with a huge light mocha fuzz... had to wait quite awhile to get it to calm down.... must have still been working hard in the bottle...

- Yeast and brett character dominates... bready, biscuit.. farmhouse funk.... and subtle sweetness, herbal qualities... grassy.

- Smooth, slightly sweet... biscuit, and yeast madness. Little bit of funk, tart quality.... slight spice, and more herbal hops.. grassy,.

- Medium bodied, and plenty well carbonated. Let it warm a bit too... and it is just kind of a wild drink.

- Overall the Saison qualities sat heavy, while the other qualities I was looking for... weren't there... like a more barleywine dominance. Overall it was too carbonated for my liking... and the yeast/brett took over. Worth the try, but I can't see giving this an A. Sofar I am a much bigger fan of Uprights lighter brews... 4... Alcohol was well hidden though I might add.

Docer, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of kamikazeokami
3.25/5  rDev -9%

kamikazeokami, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of AlexFields
3.25/5  rDev -9%

AlexFields, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -9%

spycow, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of spdyfire83
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

281st Review
75cl bottle poured into a tulip glass
Vintage: January 2011

From notes. Enjoyed a while back at a tasting hosted by Doodler (whom probably supplied this as well). Cheers, amigo!

A: Hazy medium brown; almost a tint of burgundy. Single (tan) fingernail head on gentle pour.

S: Smells of dark cherry, tannins, slight funk, and touch of leather. Very interesting. Can’t decide if the nose is enjoyable or the opposite, but that’s how it goes with experiments like this.

T: Nearly prune juice-esque with mix of mashed dark cherry and currants. Oak. Nice tart funkiness here with a touch of sweet brown sugar the fades to the finish. Dies quickly and leaves a weird after taste as well. This beer changed quite a bit as it warmed. ABV is well hidden though.

M: Medium/full bodied with medium carbonation.

O: An interesting beer to say the least. I enjoyed the slight funk, but I think the fruits could stand to be a bit more balanced. Maybe it’ll get more rounded (and better) with age, but I’m not sure that we’ll cross paths again. Either way, fun to try.

spdyfire83, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of clearlydiluted
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

8 oz glass @ Grain & Gristle

Pours a dark brown with ruby hints. smells slightly funky with hints of dark fruit. the taste is slightly sweet with hints sherry, balsamic notes, and an sour acetic hit in the finish. the aftertaste is anchored by an earthy bittering with hints of dark fruit and some fruity funky notes from the brett. the body is medium-thin with no hint of the 9.1% alcohol.

truthfully I think this leans more towards an oud bruin rather than a brett inflected English old ale, which is too bad as I was expecting more dark fruits and malt in the beer overall. still, I'd love to see how it ages out in the bottle.

clearlydiluted, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of Phelps
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

Murky cola-brown, with almost no head. Not a lot of carbonation here. A glassful of mud.

This doesn't smell much like an old ale -- more like an oud bruin. Nice cola sweetness, brown sugar, toffee, a bit of sour cherry.

Caramel, toffee and alcohol in the front, plus touches of vanilla and dark chocolate. The swallow brings a flash of sour cherries and a hint of balsamic. Some sips are great, a nice blend of sweet and sour. Others are too sour. Tartness grabs onto the back sides of the tongue between sips.

As thought, there's almost no carbonation. Body is medium light; alcohol is just a bit of heat on the tongue.

Not good as an old ale, but good as a beer.

Phelps, Jul 28, 2014
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Billy The Mountain from Upright Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.