Mountain Ale - The Shed Brewery

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Mountain AleMountain Ale

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BA SCORE
86
very good

70 Reviews
THE BROS
88
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 70
Hads: 495
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 9.92%
Wants: 13
Gots: 105 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 70 | Hads: 495
Photo of muffiewolf
5/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After last week's disaster with Trout River Choclate Stout, I was a little gun shy about adventuring into something else. I have seen Shed around but never triied it until tonite. The suprise I got tonite was one I would welcome anytime. I spent the same money (about ($9.00 for 6) but this time instead of anemic, flat, disgusting ,rusty barrel water, I discovered an amazing beer. Everything is right here. Pours dark with a beautiful creamy head. Full bodied high quality malt with a light hop finish. This is an amazing beer. They don't get any better. 7.4 % what else could one want? (588 characters)

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.63/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Shed - Mountain Ale - 12fl oz bottle

Look - Nice looking 6-pack, fresh marketing from Shed, was surprised to find this at the grocery store, although it is a local brew so it makes sense. Pours a dark brown sugar with a minimal head.

Smell - Malty and bitter, but appetizing.

Taste - An interesting bite, a tasty malt and cocoa attack, slight hop wave finish.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and casual, surprisingly tasty bite with a "throat bomb" at the end. So drinkable.

Overall - This brew is deceptively smooth for a 7.2%, it goes down with grace. Enjoyed wholeheartedly. (569 characters)

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.44/5  rDev +15.9%
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. (652 characters)

Photo of ravisingh
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L: The color is about a 13-14 on the SRM. Definitely cloudy in appearance when held up to the light with some of the ingredients visibly floating around. The head did not last too long and it had a lightish foaminess to it. There was some lacing though not a lot.

S: There is a definite alcohol kick to the aroma, but considering its 7.4% ABV not bad. With a breadiness like generic store bought wheat bread. A little sweetish with stone fruit notes and some woodiness kind of cedarish. Definitely some pepper not much clove and a little bit of orange.

T: The flavor had spiciness to it and a woodiness to the aftertaste. There was a toasted flavor, almost burnt at first but giving way to the former. If there was any fruit flavor it would be grapefruit and maybe a little banana, but not much. There was a nuttiness, like pistachio and macadamia at the end.

F: It was creamy in mouthfeel not very astringent at all with a warmth on the tongue. The finish had a little bite IMO.

O: Overall it's a nice beer and the creaminess balanced with the warmth was really nice. The bitterness of the grapefruit didn't linger long. I would recommend it, felt like the people that made it put a lot of heart into it. (1,220 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
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. (1,261 characters)

Photo of digitalflood
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy amber to a very dark almost ruby black color. Head builds to excellent level and shows good lacing retention. Some carbonation can be seen towards the bottom where the color is lightest. Smells of fresh biscuits, caramel, and faint Scotch like alcohol scents. Mouth is all malted bread and caramel. Good alcohol bite at the mid=palate with light hop notes. A little bitter on the back side of the flavor profile. Just enough to let you know there is some hops there. Whiskey barrel flavors of smoke, leather, and oak linger. Not sure where that comes from but it's pleasant and complimentary. Very good. 4.25 out of 5. (631 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz.

Pours a slightly hazy medium brown with a little bit of white lacing.

Smells of caramel, vanilla, cocoa, and buttered toast.

Flavor is of light cocoa, vanilla, molasses, and a little bit of maple with a nutty oakey bitterness that is very mild.

Medium to full body with prickly carbonation on the tongue.

This is a really good tasty brown ale, very nice balance and flavor, goes down smooth, a definite must-try. (425 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
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. (666 characters)

Photo of Jonbearr
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit that brown ale is among my favorite beer varieties, and I am therefor biased. However, even among a genre of which I am inclined, this beer sticks out. Its flavor is not only rich, but it is distinct among brown ales. It is not too harsh , and is remarkably smooth for such a strong flavor. I usually like to explore new beers and breweries, and don't often buy the same thing twice, however, this will certainly be an exception. (445 characters)

Photo of youngs11
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a dark amber like real maple syrup. Small, visible carbonation bubbles offer thin film of off-white froth. Nice lacing.

Smells like sweet butter bread, mead, malty.

No real surprises in taste, but that's a good thing. There is a little bit of bitterness, but the sweetness of the malt is the main component on the palate.

There is a lot of beer in this glass. Medium heavy body is a little more chewy than expected. Really smooth with a subtle prickle. Nice warming component.

This strong ale could wear the "winter warmer" label in my opinion. Hearty, malty, and high ABV will make this even better later in the year. Recommend (683 characters)

Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark, lustrous, earthy brown. Journey to the center of the Earth. A small but lingering tan head with good lacing along the sides of the glass.

Aroma: A bit weak, actually, but I can detect some soft hints of caramel. Not much else.

Taste: Earthy with a bit of toasty maltiness. It's not overpowering. It has a kind of natural passivity about it, like the Dao. And like Dao, there is a strength to that passivity. Okay, all silly philosophical banter aside, it tastes good.

Mouthfeel: Decent, medium body, with good aftertaste.

Overall: I found myself liking this beer and craving more almost right away. It's unassuming, and gently flavorful. (668 characters)

Photo of horshack7
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown in color with a dark beige head one inch high.

Aroma: Figs, dark fruits, molasses, brown bread, raisins, grape notes. Lots of malty sweetness.

Taste: Quite a malty sweetness in front. Raisins, dark fruits all through it. Very bready and chewy, molasses mild traces of brown sugar.

Notes: A very large malty backbone but still very smooth and drinkable. Cheers. (386 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (819 characters)

Photo of Haydn-Juby
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 341ml bottle

A: Dark brown color with some ruby red tinges coming through in the light. One finger head that died rather quickly into a little ring. Moderate lacing.

S: Nutty perhaps toffee like smell. If you really search in the smell you can find the booze but its pretty undetectable.

T: Nutty flavors typical of a Northern English brown ale. Mild hop bitterness in the beginning of the sip but it finishes with nice toasty malts. Caramel and toffee are slightly evident but far less present then the nutty backbone of the beer. Alcohol is masked very well and is barely noticeable after the first couple sips.

M: Nice body to it. Not too thin and a nice feel going down.

O: Third time I've had this beer now. They were all given to me as gifts. Its a pretty good beer. Nothing that astounded me or made me want to go out and get some but the experience was enjoyable and memorable. (904 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (657 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Mildly hazy, red-brown in color. A half inch of creamy tan head retains fairly well, but settles after a bit. Thin rings of lacing are left in its wake.

S: Bready, caramel, molasses, slight brown cocoa. Toffee. Wild berry esters. Very faint earthy hop backing.

T: Bread crust and cocoa. Nutty and a little yeasty. Cocoa and toasted crust. Berries. Oily hops on the mid palate. Toasted nuts and cocoa powder on the finish.

M: On the thicker side of medium bodied. Slight weighted presence in the mouth. Very creamy and very smooth. Moderately low carbonation. Very slight warming sensation.

O: Nice to see this brand brought back from the dead. This is a good beer. Rich, flavorful, and smooth. Highly drinkable despite its size. You would not know that this is 7.4% abv. A great fall beer, though I'm glad it's offered year round. (877 characters)

Photo of PGRADY
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My go-to-beer. Simple, readily available, 7.4% brown ale for a good price. I enjoying having a variety of beer and tend to not buy 12 packs of anything with the exception of Shed because I could go for one after a long workday (226 characters)

Photo of twosheds
4.02/5  rDev +5%
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. (379 characters)

Photo of Ryanm1
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (610 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a dark, vibrant, ruby-highlighted brown coloring that looks dark and deep. A thin, sparse, filmy coating on the surface of the beer is all you get for head. Aromas of rich toffee, molasses, and a touch of roasty qualities. Smells very heavy/big, but not overpowering on the nose. Flavors are much more roasted than the nose lets on, with the rich, dark, sweet flavors entering in after the forward punch of earth and roast. Malty profiles overall, with a touch of bitter coffee at the end to draw a bitter close to the palate. Roasty and blended aftertaste, with hints of the dark, earthy sweetness you just tasted, as well as the bitterness that brought everything to a close. Smooth and clean in mouth, with a slight effervescence at the end of the drink. Very easy to drink, with a rich, roasty finish that hangs on just long enough to bring you back for more. (917 characters)

Photo of ithacabaron
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep walnut. Little or no head, which soon becomes a thin halo around the edges. No lacing evident.

Smell is subtle -- unsweetened chocolate, cherries (both the fruit and the stone), untoasted sesame, milk caramels. Although it's hidden well, what's there is nice.

Taste is complex and malty. Notes of raw pecans start, with allspice and brûléed sugar soon behind. Carefully implemented hops keep things dry, but never assert themselves beyond that. Skillful, mellow, and superb.

Mouthfeel is nice and full, if a bit too foamy. This is really a matter of taste; the carbonation could be taken down a touch, but then the sweetness might become too dominant and the balance of the beer would be lost.

Overall, a nicely done beer, and perfect for a night by the fire. These kinds of brown ales are rapidly being lost under the influences of more hop-forward examples, so it's nice to see the New England style come out to shine. Recommended. (957 characters)

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper brown with a tan head.

In the nose is caramel, blackberry, roasted malt, backed by an earthy, herbal punch.

Taste is caramel malt with a chewy biscuity mouthfeel balanced by herbal hop hit. Finish is dry, a little oaky with slight earthy undertones. (268 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

definitely one of the better American browns ive come across in awhile. this, from right across the lake in Vermont, is a hopped up version like few ive had. it pours as red as it does brown, especially in the light. its got over an inch off tan head, but the retention is rather poor. still, a creamy rich liquid beckons. the nose is a great balance between sweeter English and American malts, and fresh east coast hops, with mild acidity. a little woody, a little sweet, and a lot yummy. the taste is the best parts of the nose, rich chocolate and caramel malts do their thing, while the beer finished on the bitter end of the spectrum with a wide variety of hop flavors and feels, including pine and sticky ganja. easy drinking for a beer of this alcoholic strength, its fuller in body and the carbonation is pretty good. its got a creamy texture and seems like a nitro tap would make this elite. I like this better than the shed ipa, and I look forward to more of their beers. this is excellent, and its even better on tap. (1,027 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (1,306 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%

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 (702 characters)

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Mountain Ale from The Shed Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.