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Mountain Ale - The Shed Brewery

Not Rated.
Mountain AleMountain Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

476 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 476
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 12
Gots: 94 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Shed Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 05-07-2012

An English-style strong ale. This brown ale has great malt depth and drinks like a session beer.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 476 | Reviews: 77
Reviews by dexterk1:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #71 (December 2012):

A resuscitated beer, as The Shed brand was purchased from Otter Creek Brewery last year. Expressive from start to finish, more complex than expected. An enjoyable sipper, perhaps a bit too drinkable for its size … brawny at that. Definitely a type of brew most will craver in the cooler months.

STYLE: English Strong Ale
ABV: 7.4%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

LOOK: Hazed rusty brown, thin lacing

SMELL: Biscuity, wild berries, yeast, birch sap, faint caramel, estery

TASTE: Medium body, herbal, mineral, buttery, peppery, black berries, earthy, green peppercorn, alcoholic warmth, bread crust, minty, custard, nutty yeast, herbal drying finish

Photo of LongTrailer
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into an nonic. Pours a dark, opaque brown with a 2-finger off-white head. Nice wispy lacing. Aroma is mostly caramel malts and a bit fruity.

Taste upfront is bready, caramel and some toastiness; nutty with just a hint of chocolate on the back end. The description on the bottle claims a 'pronounced hop finish' but I can't say that I'm getting it. The malt sweetness and bitterness are nicely balanced here. Medium, slightly chewy mouthfeel and a soft carbonation that does a nice job rounding out the flavors.

Overall I was pretty pleased with this beer. Hearty yet drinkable.

Photo of ThisLadyLovesBeer
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A = A deep, clear, maple syrup amber tone. A short-lived head with minimal lacing.

S = Nice and malty, with a slight alcohol lift courtesy of the 7.4% level.

T = A rich ale, with a slight malty sweetness and an agreeable hop finish.

M = As expected, smooth and a bit chewy, but clean on the palate due to the 7.4% alcohol.

O = I like this one and would drink again. I wish there was a website for the brewer, Otter Creek, so I could read their take on this ale, but it's currently "under construction." I would enjoy this again occasionally and can imagine it pairing with a hearty beef stew and crusty dark bread.

Photo of Ryanm1
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with moderate white lacing. Unfiltered as labeled on the bottle. Sweet in smell.Tastes slightly carmely. definite malt flavor, not coffee or chocolate but a lighter malt. Sweet with a touch a hoppy, piney bitterness at the finish.

This is great tasting beer. Very smooth. I pegged it for a standard "brown ale" as stated on the bottle, but later found it was classified as an English Strong Ale weighing in at 7.4% abv. You can barely taste the alcohol in this thing which is a great thing.

One of the better brown ales on the scene. Crafted with care to produce a palatable taste.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.44/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

3/7/13

A deep amber color with a bit of reddish hues. Tough, thick lace from the off-white creamy foam cap.

A minty, smokey and earthy hop pops out first with a hard wood and maple syrup malt with a touch of cedar aroma.

A very full, and hearty feel, Smooth going down and the 2", well-retained foam cap continues to provide extra fluff and smoothness going down. dry in the finish.

A wonderful balance of slightly smokey, woody, light maple malt, light smoke and wild honey. Pretty darn complex here. The hops keep it earthy, crisp, dry and slightly tangy, earthy, medium-level bitterness, dry in the end.

Complex with an easy-breezy vibe.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.12/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Murky brown with no head to speak of. A few bubbles stray to the surface after a vigorous pour. Some lacing manages to stick around.

Smell - Cola with a nutty brown ale aroma. Nothing as deep as chocolate, but getting close.

Taste - Similar to the smell, without being as inviting. More pronounced cola flavor, with a little bit of astringency. Flavor drops off leaving just a little bit of caramel malt and not a lot else.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation and nothing by way of a finish. Clean, though, and very drinkable. Stunned to see 7.4%.

Overall - Middle of the road in nearly every category. The nose held a faint promise, but nothing really delivered here.

Photo of DavidGross
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a bottle of this great beer. great pour with a nice dark red body with nice thick cap. Was nice an malty brown and very drinkable with 7.4% ABV. Really wish I had more than just one of these and look forward to finding a few more.

Photo of chessiejackson
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really enjoyed this. Honestly tasted more like a stout, but that was a kind of pleasant surprise considering the color.

Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Semi-hazed deep chestnut color with a thin tan head that recedes real quick. Smells really really good. Roasted barley, morning blend coffee, hazelnuts, and an overall earthiness.

Rather mild flavor for a bigger brew. Roasted barley, toffee, hazelnuts, slight touch of chocolate and an earthy bitterness that is just there to balance allowing the malt to really shine. Medium body with a rolling smoothness and thin carbonation.

Really good flavors with none of that fruitiness that can sometimes take away from a good malty brew. Really clean with flavors that go well together and an incredible balance. 7.4%? tastes like it should be lower, could be dangerous.

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is nutty, some hops. Taste is well balanced hops and malts, some nuts are present, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer but unspectacular.

Photo of puboflyons
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. sampled on November 29, 2012

The pour is a handsome looking mahogany brown with a soft, silky beige head and considerable carbonation rising up toward it.

The aroma is sweet and malty up front with a slight earthy hop note on the end. It is subtle yet noticeable and pleasant.

The body is medium to bold.

This is one of those beers that I really like because it moves through several sensations as I drink it. It begins sweet and slightly malty, coats the tongue in a creamy way, and then ends with a low to moderate bitterness which lingers and finishes dry. I had this on tap once in Vermont but the bottle is just as nice.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: An orangish-brown exit sits a dark ice tea coloring in the glass. Creamy-frothy tan head is an inch high with good standing. Carbonation creeps up along the inner walls at a moderate pace. Lace coverage is about half volume.

S: Roasty dark nuttiness, nice maltiness with some dried tree bark. Some natural tea grind earthiness.

T: Roasty flavor with a fresh nuttiness, dried walnuts and almonds and some caramel toast nut. Earthy tea, dried spruce and some spicy hops with a sweetness of dried honey-toffee. Tea like leave, woody cardamon with a slight hint of dried cypress.

M: creamy, light-medium malt base with a warm nuttiness and tea grinds on the hold. Some presence of carbonation.

O: Overall warm nuttiness with earthy silty tea stands out making this pretty good. decent complexity.

Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Really nice looking brew, dark copper red, with walnut brown hints and a real ruby hue. Head is creamy off white and light tan, almost coffee like in appearance. Settles to a good one finger puck and nicely coats and clumps the glass.

Faint biscuit, and chewy walnuts and hazelnut like aromas. Very dense biscuity malts and sweet brown sugar and dough. Almost like a dark cookie. Smells real solid.

Palate coats slightly watery but with plenty of coating action on the palate. Low carbonation with a big mix of toasty malts and nuts. Clean but large finish, and semi-dry. Creamy like sweetness just a bit with the sugar angles kind of buried. A nice mix of floral and faint tea like herbality on this also.

Overall, pretty decent and real easy drinking for 7.4% also.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%

On tap at the Reservoir in Waterbury, VT.

Pours a murky reddish brown, with a small half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells nutty and caramelly, big malty aroma on this one. There's a slight bit of warming alcohol that hits the nose as well. Smells like a lower alcohol barleywine, kind of.

Tastes pretty good, reminds me at times of a scotch ale mixed with a brown ale mixed with a low alcohol barleywine. Caramel, chocolate, and nuts all meld into a rich malt flavor. Though I smelled a little bit of booze, I don't taste any. There's no hop or yeast flavors that I can discern.

There's a medium body on this, wish it was a little burlier. There is a low amount of carbonation, which leaves a velvety smooth mouthfeel.

A solid wintery ale. This would certainly be a good choice to keep warm in the colder months.

Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear but very dark reddish brown in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation when it is held up to a bright light (but appears black when viewed from afar). It poured with a finger and a half high dense beige head that gradually died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark and nutty malts are present in the nose along with notes of dark fruits.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a light amount of bitterness and bits of initial malty sweetness. Plums seem to stand out in particular among the flavors of dark fruits.
M: It feels medium-bodied, a little smooth and a bit creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This wouldn’t be a bad beer to sip on a cold day. It definitely lives up to being described as "a rugged brown ale" on the label.

Photo of HattedClassic
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance:
The beer has some light head that does not last very long. The beer itself is a dark, red copper that seems to have hints of brown.

Smell:
The beer smells smoky and a bit roasted. However, underneath all of that, there is the sweetness of caramel malts that seems to dominate the smell.

Taste:
Caramel sweetness dominates the taste buds. Underneath it are smoky notes and roastedness. The beer has some interesting undertones such a tea-like and honey combination but not strong enough to be very noticeable except to the most careful drinker.

Mouthfeel:
Medium bodied but feels a little bit watery. Still good though.

Overall:
A decent English style beer and worthwhile. I'm glad that my roommate shared this with me.

Photo of brewtus
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber. Had it on tap at JAX right off Killington mountial. Tastes great, a boarder line American Pale ale but had a hint of dark Belgian after taste. I had never never heard of this brewery before coming to VT but this was a great ale and I'd love to try some of their happier offerings

Photo of Etan
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz into an MBC tumbler.

A: Pours a honey-hued amber with a thick off-white head.

S: Yeasty, dried fruit esters, apricot, brown sugar, multigrain bread, slightly buttery.

T: Caramelized grain, fruity British yeastiness, very light roastiness, toffee, a hint of alcohol, plum.

M: Medium-bodied with active carbonation.

O: This is ok. A very yeasty English brown ale.

Photo of twosheds
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Brown with a slight golden hue

Smells sweet and biscuity with a kind of bitterness of dark bread.

Smooth and complex flavor. Very malty, but with a nice balance of bitterness. The slightly higher abv for the style is somewhat noticeable as is isn't quite as smooth as other browns ales.

This is great affordable brown ale that I can't believe I had been overlooking until now.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

One of the beers I obtained on an Easter Sunday beer swap.

Dark hazelnut to auburn in color with a thin beige head. Horseshoe shaped retention.

Smells like pumpernickel. Brownie batter peaks out a little as it warms.

Bread crust and orange rind with a swamp hop tea finish. Burnt brownie edges emerge after it's been sitting in my glass awhile. A 7.4% it's a big brown and it's got a big brown body. Full and creamy and just plain thicker than most browns.

Toasty and tea-like like a Northern English brown but big and full like an American brown. Neat genre straddler but not something I'd buy again. Or buy in the first place technically.

Photo of cbutova
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a tall, slim pint glass with a dark brown body. Light tan head forms to a size of about two fingers and retains decently but falls to a foamy cloud and ring. Lace starts with some nice patches at the top of the glass and just a few small spots down at the bottom.

S- Nutty malts lead the way to my nose along with some roast, molasses and caramel hints from the grains. Really not a big aroma for any English Strong Ale, stressing to pick it up sometimes. Hints of toffee and dark fruit.

T- A mixture of nuts and raisins starts things off on the palate with notes of caramel and substantial dark fruits right behind them. There is a roast, milk chocolate hint but it is fairly tame as well as hints of spices (sort of like Belgian yeasts). Hops add earthy, floral and a fairly substantial bitterness. Alcohol well hidden.

MF- The first thing I noticed about this beer is the silky and creamy feel that the body carries. It is moderately thick, somewhere where it feels great and still doesn't drink too heavily. Carbonation is like silk and at a medium level.

Feels like an English Brown Ale with a slight Belgian influence thrown in there and a decent amount of hops. I would be very interested in what yeast strain they used. Interesting beer for sure and not what I expected going in.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 12/19/2012 at The Gridiron Bar & Grill in Warwick, RI served in a becker pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, fruit, honey and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, honey and fruit. The malt character is a bit thin. The hops presence is mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp but a bit watery, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, it’s a decent beer but there are other similar beers that I would choose first.

Photo of greenengineer
2.67/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into my authentic UK pint glass.

A- medium brown, clear. Decent yeasty head disappears quickly.
S- faint malty aroma, old milk?
T- malt, cola, sweetness, little bitterness at the end
M - a little thin
O- drinkable, but not my favorite. A little flat, a little watery. Reminds me of a can of cola left open overnight.

Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light creamy fizzy 1/3 finger head that rises up on the sides of the glass with some lacing, over murky dark mahogany cranberry reddish brown color.

Nose seems like a robust ale, some slight earthy little herbal bitter like hops, touch grassy, then semi sweet malts, reddish toasty malts, little candy like, caramel, little toffee, light aromatic juicy malt, and just a bit of a darker brownish malt.

Taste starts malty, some darker malts, toasty reddish and some darker brown malts, bit of caramel, toffee, sweet molasses flavors, little creamy. Some hops kick in, little earthy and herbal, slight grassy, slight chewy. It brings a little booze like warmth but just a bit, as well as some light esters from the big booze warmth yeast additions. There is a light creamy caramel almost cocoa like flavor from some darker malt. Finish is still a bit creamy, some interesting tartness in the back end with a bit more bitterness, some more earthy hops, plenty more toffee, candy flavors, and a slight candied apple flavor lingering.

Mouth is med to slightly fuller bodied, decent carb, hint of warming booze.

Overall pretty good, nice overall robust winter like ale. I could see downing a few of these while up in the cold mountains, keep me warm and decent flavor, and for what it is it has a big flavor but still fairly drinkable.

Photo of woodychandler
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Another of my local, in-person trader, tone77's latest drop-off.

From the bottle: "A deep Stowe, Vermont heritage, this small batch classic now makes its home in Middlebury, Vermont. Smooth, malty overtones with a pronounced hop finish."; "Born in Stowe, Vermont at the legendary Shed Restaurant & Brewery, moved to Midddlebury to to raise up a family of Vermont ales."; "Unfiltered, Brewed fresh since 1995, established in Stowe, Vermont, a rugged brown ale."

It is early, so I decided to go with a heavy-handed pour that ended up producing some cascading action in the glass. It also produced two-plus fingers of dense, foamy deep-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep-brown with burnt orange highlights and just a touch of haze in terms of clarity. Nose had an interesting mix of chocolate malt and minty, evergreen hops. It is Girl Scout cookie season and this made me think of Thin Mints. The lacing that had begun to form was wonderfully sticky. Mouthfeel was medium, approaching full and the chocolate malt was immediate on the tongue with the minty hops following as I breathed in. This was really good, much more than I was expecting and the finish really did have a Thin Mint cookie quality to it. I will be recommending this one to others.

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Mountain Ale from The Shed Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 476 ratings.