Burton Ale - August Schell Brewing Company

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Burton AleBurton Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

90 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.76%
Wants: 16
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jera1350 on 10-14-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 55
Reviews by icefisherman:
More User Reviews:
Photo of bsp77
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is Stag Series #4, a Burton Ale which does not fit any of today's styles, but the higher abv (8%) makes this seem best fitted for English Strong Ale.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear reddish-amber with moderate off-white head and slight lacing.

Smell: Very bready and hoppy, with toast, caramel, cherry, tea, citrus and a strong herbal character. Pretty fragrant for an English-style ale.

Taste: Fairly sweet malt backbone of bread, toast, caramel, toffee, cherry and tea. The hops are pretty strong, but not particularly bitter, with floral, herbal, spicy and citrusy components.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium to full body, semi-dry finish. A little bit warming.

Overall: This is simply a kick ass English Ale, similar to many non-spiced "Winter Warmers". This is by far the most impressive non-German-style beer Schell has made. Actually, along with the reformulated Bock and the Rauchbier, this is among their very best, period.

Photo of MattyG85
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Deep and clear brownish amber orange with lots of bubbles. Big four finger off white head with very good retention and lots of sticky lacing.

Smell: Big malt profile here. Lots of lightly toasted caramel and toffee throughout. Very bready and sweet. Earthy hops are also quite noticeable in the background. Light hints of dark cherry , prune, and sugar.

Taste: Starts with some bready malts with lots of caramel, toffee, and yeast. Midway through a pretty noticeable taste of dark fruits comes through with some dark cherries and prunes. Finishes with more bready malts and some hints of earthy hops that help balance out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy and very smooth.

Overall: A great brew from Schell's. Very good use of malts and the dark fruit is a nice touch. Lots of tasty bready goodness without becoming too sweet.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.04/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Big hearty brown and amber pour, has more brown to it than amber, ploughy off white head, 2" is the forecast. Aroma was definitely that England Burton type of old school mothballs and English toffee wood flavors. The hopping discussed on the ringneck label does not in fact present itself on the nose.

Taste, not my favorite style, bitter yeast tones, warm dubbel like sugar existence. I feel like the beer is aged on wood from dirty bars that have had decades or even centuries of use from these parts, part of it is no doubt the gritty toffee and tea like aspect with some waterlogged wood. And a banana someone dropped on the ground.

What I can say this was amazing at was making 8% drinkable. When I read that on the website, I was floored. Figured this was standard 4-5% stuff. Hopping is pretty traditional to style, adds some bitterness to the beer, nothing in real mouthfeel of hops. Bready musty aspect, I can't say this beer missed the mark, it did what it was aiming for probably, but it turned me off.

Nothing I would seek out, but thank you to the generous trader who threw this in as an extra. Ultimately, this beer was too difficult for me to continue to peruse all 12oz of it, and the last 3oz met its demise down the sink.

Photo of ChopperSmith
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Pours a clear medium brown with a reddish tint. One and a half finger of tan foam that receded slowly and left nice sticky lacing.

Smell: Sweet and malty with hints of fried fruits, like raisins and figs. Some earthy hops in the mix and a slight whiff of medicinal yeast phenols and alcohol. Very interesting and inviting aroma.

Taste: Wow, what a unique and great tasting ale. The sweet malt is up front, but followed quickly by the dried fruits and then the Noble and Golding hops to add a slight bitter bite. Then it all finishes smooth and semi-dry. Outstanding.

Mouth feel: Medium body and good crisp carbonation.

Overall: I love this beer. I've never had the style before (Burton Ale), but it seems to embody the best of both British and Belgian styles. The sweet malts and fruit-like flavors, mixed with a great yeast profile and excellent hops flavors for balance. This is easily my favorite of the Schell's Stag series so far. They should make this a seasonal regular in their lineup!

Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I figured this was a decent beer to age (it's about 8 mo old), but had to break it out for a steak dinner. Damn I'm glad I did.

This strong ale has a rich bready caramel aroma with a toffee edge. The flavor follows up with more big smooth barley and a touch of fruit, that's balanced but subtle spicy hops. There's a little lemon rind and earthy apricot, but it's hard to tell where the hops end and the malt and esters begin. A fine English strong ale. I hope to see this around again.

Photo of dbossman
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear reddish/ruby hue with a thin but steady head and great lacing

S: So sweet and bready; some darker fruits but mostly lots of grainy, bready, toasty malts

T: Wow, this is sweet and bready and a bit boozy--the alcohol gives an immediate warming quality; lots of grassy grains with a touch of a earthy sourness; bready, toasty, malt heaven with just a touch of toffee and caramel to finish; this really grows on you

F: It felt a touch thin initially but the beer's body seems to develop as the beer continues to coat the inside of the mouth

O: This is a wintery bliss; such warming, boozy, malty awesomeness

Photo of morimech
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Clear copper colored with a nice two fingered head that had good retention. The head has excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left down the glass.

Smells like a musty grainery. Brings me back to my earlier life. Not much else is going on. Not particular interesting.

The flavor is much more interesting. Tastes very English but like no other English Ale I have ever had. Grainy and musty malt predominate. Hints of caramel and I think I can actually taste the turbinado sugar. Has a sweet brown sugar kick midway through. Hops come in the finish with some grass and spice. Does not taste like 60 IBUs but that is probably due to the sugar additions. A little alcohol flavor and warmth in the finish. Just too sweet for me.

Love the mouthfeel. I think Schell's hit the bullseye with English tradition here. Low, soft, creamy carbonation that is at a level to just lift the flavor. Such a great texture.

So Englishmen drank this beer 70+ years ago? Hard to believe. I am no beer historian but I imagine beers back then not being anything like this. Leave it to Schell's to revive these extinct or near extinct styles. Keep it up.

Photo of emerge077
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Schell's Burton Ale pours a deeply saturated copper amber color. Brightly clear with some bubbly foam on top at first, that fades to a thin ring and broken wispy skim across the surface. Random spotty flecks of foam in the glass.

Mellow bready aroma, yeast, tea leaves, shortbread.

Flavorful and malt driven taste, bready biscuits and honey, sweet pipe tobacco, light herbal hop nuance in the background, lingering into the dry (and momentarily bitter) finish. Medium bodied and malty, medium carbonation levels also. Alcohol really doesn't emerge until it eventually warms, but even then it's fairly well integrated.

It was very interesting to see Schell's attempt a nearly lost historical style, hopefully more breweries will follow suit.

Photo of RISky
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass from bottle, left standard head very minor lacing.

Light amber color, average carbonation rising.

Initial sour notes of fruit up front followed by smells of warm candy; brown sugar. Followed by obligatory boozy smell due to full 8%.

Strong English are taste right away, can identify the English style yeast in taste. Towards end of beer the alcohol taste becomes more apparent on the pallet. More towards the mouth feel portion do you begin to notice the fruity taste, and the though of wine comes to mind.

Minor carbonation leaves plenty of room for flavors to develop without much distracting sting for this style.

Over all... No wonder the Burton Ale is a relative of the Barley Wine... Eat something before indulging in this one, zounds!

The buzz came on slowly and gave a nice heavy feeling in the feet. Made my roommate tired again after almost immediately waking up from 8 hrs of sleep. There's something in that MN water!

Photo of jsanford
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a hazy dark copper with a creamy khaki-colored head that settles to a slight haze, leaving sheets of lacing behinds as it recedes.
S - Sweet at bready, with a strong caramel malt bill, baked brown bread, and some floral English hops.
T - Similar to the nose. Bread, caramel malt, and toasted biscuits with a touch of banana, dried fruit, and floral hops. No real bitterness in the finish, quite smooth and balanced.
M - Moderately creamy, with a smooth, touch-over-medium body and good carbonation.
O - Probably a tad sweet for my taste, but a good English-style beer that was surprisingly drinkable for the 8% ABV.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

amber color..Great clarity hear as it was sparkling clear. Very nice. Lots of carbonation apparent trickling up toward the surface. A very nice three finger high head of foam capped off the top and hung around for a good few minutes before settling back to a half inch layer which stayed with it throughout the rest of the session.

The aroma was rather weak for me. Typical English ale with a huge malt bill attached to it. Lotso of bready notes here coing through now with that deep musty like smell, like wet hey it would seem at times. The flavor followed it up almost perfectl with a solid offering of english malts, and a nice little bit of hop bitterness, albeit not much, but just enough to give it some depth

Photo of tvv375ia
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz botlle into pint glass

A-nice auburn color with a 2 finger head that stayed around quite a while and left a lot of lacing as it faded

S-rosted malts carmel some toast and a little bit of dark fruit/raisins

T-much like the smell some carmel and some raisin bread toast

M-nice carbonation witha sweet finish

O-pretty good maybe they will make this a rotating beer at least and not just a one time offering

Photo of bwiechmann
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Schell's Stag Series #4. Had this on tap at Pub 500 in Mankato for $5 a pint. According to the brewer, this is a one-time brew.

A- deep amber with minimal head (most likely the fault of the glass). Not a drop of cloudiness to be seen. Attractive beer, wish it had a head.

S- muted bread, malt, and toast. Soft hops can be found if you look. Some caramel sweetness is present as well.

T- Multi-faceted unlike almost any other beer I've had. Has so many different stages of flavors as it crosses the palate that it's hard to pin down individual aspects. Starts out with the strong malt and toasted bread. Then, the middle hits you with the sweetness which is more intense than I had thought it would be, it finishes up with those soft hops which try their hardest to balance everything out and do a decent job at that. The sweetness is pleasant and welcomed at first but after a while becomes somewhat taxing as the beer warms.

Overall, an extremely interesting beer and one that is perfect if you're looking for a change of pace. A great beer and an education to boot- can't argue with that.

Photo of FreshHawk
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark copper color with a hint of rust red. Full, thick, creamy, foamy white head. Very good retention that finally settles into a nice layer of lace.

S - Nice aroma. Sweet, bready malt and loads of fruit (both orchard and golden fruit). Some floral and spicy hops and a hint of a mineral characteristic.

T - Starts with some rich, ripe fruit flavors. Apple, pear, golden raisin stand out most. Gives way to a sweet bread and caramel malt flavor. There is a faint tinge of hard water minerals and floral, spicy hops. The hops come out a bit more at the end although they are never too strong. Everything blends together well without anything jumping out too much. It's a nice, smooth drinking beer.

M - Medium body with average or slightly below average carbonation. Full, thick and slightly sticky feel.

D - Alcohol is well hidden and it drinks smooth and mellow. Everything works well together.

Notes: I really liked this beer. Given that it is a bit of a lost style, I didn't know what to expect. Nice typical "English" flavors and it makes for a very smooth enjoyable beer to sip on. A little heavy but for a big ale such as this, it is very easy to drink. Definitely worth a try and all around it was a joy to drink.

Photo of beachscrat
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dumped in to a footed glass.

Brilliantly clarity, tawny amber.

Boozy, woodsy aroma with some caramel.

Heavy caramel flavors up front, clean slight earth bitter finish.

Overall I like this one. It's like a small english barleywine, without the sherry oxidized stuff going on and without the cloying sweetness. Very good.

Photo of gatornation
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from 12 oz bottle BB date 03/09/12

A- pours a clear dark copper color with a 1 finger tan head and nice lacing

S-was toasty and malty with some toffee and ginger

T- roasted malts and sweet malts,nice caramel and toffee baked bread tasty hops, a touch of ginger and smoke,lots going on here very delicious, i want another sip

M-medium carbonation with a sweet/dry finish

O- an awesome brew,this is great..its sweet and malty has characteristics of a brown a wee heavy,and a hoppy red

Photo of BasementBer
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great Beer!

A: Healthy, though pouring it near room temp probably helped it out a bit.

S: This is my only gripe with the beer, the abv definitely came through in this aspect. Kinda filled the room actually. Smelled like water that had been sitting in a glass for far too long and just boozy.

T/M: Taste was fantastic though, the abv was really well concealed and a great spicy character with a generous hopping had this beer going down with ease.

O: Great beer! My favorite Schell's for sure! keep it coming

Photo of AgentZero
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A red/gold beer with a fringe of white head that faded to a thin ring and not much else. Really rich looking color on this beer.

S - Fruity yeast, a lot of sweet caramel, some toasted malts. A lot of candy on this one, little bit of earthy hops breaks it up a bit.

T - Lot of caramel and sweet sugar. There is initially a good bit of alcohol burn on this one. Sweet toasted malts, light bit of hops on the tongue. The alcohol tastes fades away to nothing as you continue to drink this, making it go down quite easily.

M - Smooth, slight burn on the end, syrupy, medium bodied.

O - Went down easily at 8%, and is a very good beer that I could do a couple bottles of. Not a style I have enough experience with, but would love to try more beers like this.

Photo of shadow1961
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

August Schell's Stag Series Burton Ale pours a couple stiff fingers of foam over a chrystal-clear rosy brew. Carbonation is moderate but steady, the nose English Ale yeast funk, barley husk with notes of sweet rummy/butterscotch and earthy, spicy hops. The flavour is English ale all the way- sweet malt up front with, again, butterscotch notes, and a bright, spicy, earthy hop finish. Mouthfeel is likewise bright, crisp, light, and semidry, due to those hops, and the smallest bite of alcohol.

Schell's, of course, is well-known for their mastery of German styles- it's good to see them showing the flag, as it were, with this delicious English-style brew.

Photo of Greggy
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a red colored body, crystal clear. The head is slightly soapy and light tan in color. No lace.

S- Very bready on the nose. Biscuit, some dark fruit and earthy hops come through.

T- Starts out very malty... almost syrup like. Big maple syrup note right off the bad and ample breadiness. The finish is slightly drying... after a long while slightly astringent but still holds onto the sweetness.

M- Huge. Sweet. Low carbonation. Sweetness a bit cloying
O- I've never had a Burton Ale but it's pretty tasty. I would love to try this on cask.

Photo of doucmehu
3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle to New Glarus footed pilsener glass.

A: Beautiful pour, looking very full bodied with an impressively formed 2 finger head and a deep amber color.

S: Smells of cereal grains, yeast, fresh white bread and maybe a bit of sweetness.

T: Belgian-like yeast and bread flavors up front, followed by some estery alcohol and dark fruit notes. Some hop bitterness is also present, but fairly muted. Reminiscent of a doppelbock or a dubbel, depending on the style presentation.

M: Creamy and smooth, a bit heavier than expected, with mellow carbonation to keep things lively. Finishes smooth and clean, very mild bitterness. Alcohol heat is present.

O: This is a fine beer from Schell's, one of their better in my opinion. Overall, I would say it drinks a lot like an American brewed Dubbel, which to me is slightly subdued on the yeast and has more of a hop presence. Solid, if not my favorite style.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear ruby color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes slowly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of toffee, burnt caramel, and a very faint hint of smoke. The taste is full of malty complexities. There is a nice interplay between the toffee, and caramel with a nice mineral quality in the background. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a somewhat chewy texture, and appropriately lower carbonation. Overall, this is a really good beer that I sincerely hope Schell's considers making a permanent offering.

Photo of Kjendahl
4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Overall a great great beer--perhaps the best special brew Schell's has ever done. It's very flavorful from start to finish. Not overly hoppy and not overly malty. It's a nicely balanced brew. I liked it so much, I refused to share it with any of my beer snob buddies. Well done, Schell's. Please make it again some time.

Photo of herman77
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep copper with hints of rust color. Cream colored head with nice retention and excellent lacing.

S: Intense toffee and rich carmel with lots of bready notes. A hint of earthy hops and minerals.

T: Rich bready maltiness with sweet toffee and carmel. A touch of english hops on the backend. There's not that much hops, but it still pretty balanced.

M: A little over medium body, soft and smooth carbonation makes it feel a bit creamy. Very nice.

O: Never had a Burton Ale before since it's pretty much a lost style. Gotta say I like it or at least this one is really well done. ABV is about on par for the taste. Tastes different than anything I have ever had before. Not the best drinkability, but I'm really glad I got to have some of this.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear copper color with a one finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled floral with a nice malty presence.

T - It tasted of rich bready malts with a grassy and floral hop bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a great brew in the Stag Series. I really enjoyed this one.

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Burton Ale from August Schell Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.