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Burton Ale - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Burton AleBurton Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

55 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 55
Hads: 90
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 7.35%
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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Reviews: 55 | Hads: 90
Photo of tewaris
2.98/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

8% ABV
60 IBUs
12 oz bottle with a best by date of 03/2012 poured into a Duvel tulip.

Poured a deep and clear orange-rust-brown hue with a medium light khaki colored creamy head. The head was rather small for the pour but the head retention and lacing look alright.

Earthy, but weak hop aroma. Malty sweetness, hint of fruity esters, and a note of dessert. Certainly sweet in taste, with subtle breadiness as advertised, and characterful caramel and dessert. Hard to say if it's the malts or the candi sugars, but it seems to work alright. The bitterness appears only at the back and the finish is indeed dry for the medium body. I think it could have used lesser carbonation.

Frankly, this beer at this point seems rather uninteresting to me, "revival" or not. It gives the impression of either old Arrogant Bastard et al., or of an old/strong/barleywine ale that's not ready yet... rather muddled if I may say so. Seems like a good candidate for aging, just to see if the malt character develops any more/optimal oxidation takes hold. Can't hurt to lay a couple down.

3.5, 3, 3, 3.5, 2.5 (1,096 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.04/5  rDev -25.5%
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. (1,244 characters)

Photo of Greggy
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
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. (555 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
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 (717 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a deep copper color with a slight collared tannish head. The aroma is a mixture of biscuit, malt, banana, honey, with a touch of citrus. Medium mouthfeel. Dark fruit, bread, with a building bitterness in the end. Bitterness lingers for a little. Very drinkable for 8%. Nice to see an older style brewed again. A little sweet for my tastes but overall pretty enjoyable. (382 characters)

Photo of AshleyMiller
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to MasterSki for this extra, poured into my snifter

a - pours a very reddish copper with small head the recedes and leaves minimal tracings, alcoholic esters

s - nothing special in the aroma at first but definitely improves, sort of tastes like watered-down beer, as it warms i get more barleywineish qualities - some caramel, and roasted malts as i go on

t - first sip was amazing. huge hop-blast both piney and floral. but unfortunately the hops didn't last long and by my third sip i was getting a lot of english yeast and some alcoholic heat. finishes bitter.

d - medium carbonation and lighter-bodied for it's strength

o - nothing too special on the aroma front but actually tastes pretty nice. (711 characters)

Photo of jsanford
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (664 characters)

Photo of birchstick
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a chestnut brown with a nice head that dissipates to form a thin layer over the top of this beer

S - smells is sweet caramel malts with a little bit of sweet spiciness and dark fruit

T - taste is full of malts all of the way through. Starts with caramel flavors that mix in with some toasty breadiness. There is a modicum of toffee throughout as well. No real hop presence detectable on the palate as the malts dominate this one.

M - a little light, but creamy and smooth

D - this is a malt bomb all the way. Very delicious and enjoyable throughout. Perfect for the fall weather I am currently experiencing outside. Recommended if you can find it! (661 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stag Series #4

Pours a beige head. Decent retention. Color is an amber copper.

Aroma: Bananas, cloves, caramel, toffee, and light chocolate. Very malty with some fruits showing. Interesting.

Taste: Bready and biscuit malts. Caramel with a light tofffee. Bananas and some fruitiness. It tastes like an English style ale (at the time of review, I was unaware of the ba listing). Sweet.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and dry. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry with a touch of heat.

Overall, a very interesting offering from Schells. It definitely tastes English. A lot of flavors here. However, I couldn't drink too much of this. (646 characters)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: HUGE thanks to Seth T. for bringing this back from MN for me. 12oz brown pop-top, with simple, nice label. Best by date of 3-9-12. Poured into snifter. Awesome to see an attempt at reviving this once-ubiquitous style. Brewed with a Maris Otter base, two English crystal malts, torrefied wheat, and two brewing sugars. Hopped with Nugget and Goldings, dry-hopped, and aged three months prior to release. Heck yes!

Appearance: Gorgeous bright deep burnt orange/amber brew with lazy carbonation and an attractive light tan cap which shows good retention. Really nice looking beer.

Smell: Vinous notes and dark, fruity alcohol up front. It's lacking the intense, toasty caramel notes I was expecting from the malt bill, just a bit of sweet, toasty caramel/nougat. These become more prominent as this nears room temperature, so I feel I can justify the above score. Bit of hot booze in the back, but not unpleasant.

Taste: The flavors follow suit. Notes of cherry and vinous fruit up front, with some boozy, dark fruit flavors (from the sugar, I'm assuming). BIG, clean, bitterness on the finish (60 IBUs). A little bit of dryish caramel, but again, not nearly as much as I was expecting. To be fair though, the brewery's website says this is light on the caramel flavor, so I guess I shouldn't fault them too much if this is the way it was intended to taste. Considering the flavor of the dark fruit flavors, I'd be curious to know the % of sugars present in the wort. Definitely a good kick of boozy sweetness in there, but the balance between alcohol, biterness, and sweetness, combined with the lighter-than-8% body (likely due to the sugars) make for a pretty easy-drinking beer (and that's a good thing).

Mouthfeel: Firm, and lighter than 8%, but it works here

Overall: I've got another sixer of this coming in a trade, and I think (though the head brewer didn't particularly suggest it) aging a few of these. At 8%, I think it's a viable candidate for aging, and I wonder what that might do to the malt character. Overall, while I didn't absolutely love this the way I was anticipating, it's quite tasty and nicely balanced between booze, malt, and hops. (2,178 characters)

Photo of THECPJ
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes: Thanks goes out to Ty for sending this one my way.

appearance: copper red orange with 1 finger off white head

smell: hops, caramel, malt, toffee,

taste: hops, caramel, toffee, malts, smooth

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a very smooth drinkable beer for being 8% abv. Glad I got a chance to try it.

Cheers,
The CPJ (361 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cherry-wood brown, quite clear, with a big two-finger cream-colored head. Great retention and lacing. Biggest strike against it is the lack of visible carbonation.

Smell is quite malty, slightly toasted, with some grassy hops in the background. A little spritz of citrus in the back end tickles the nose. A bit faint, but what's there is good.

This is different, and quite tasty. Has a great fruit-forward sweetness, balanced nicely by hop bitterness that flows in later. Drinks a lot like a barleywine to me. Nutty, fruity malts, with some fig and walnut. The finish is even more bitter, as the alcohol comes through with a kick to remind me it's there.

Medium-bodied, pretty sticky, but drying up in the middle. Low carbonation. It works.

This is like a barleywine-light. I like it. Solid flavor, well-balanced, and with a hefty chunk of alcohol that doesn't knock me over. (892 characters)

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one in a shaker pint.

Appearance- The body is an auburn-red. The head gets to about one finger of white foam. The cap is smooth with very few bubbles.

Smell- There is some roasted malt, a little earthy quality, and some vanilla sweetness. Not much else is going on.

Taste- This is so malty with almost no bitterness or any trace of hops. The malt sweetness is like white bread or imitation vanilla; it is even a little smokey. This is an interesting malt bomb.

Mouth feel- This is a good medium body but a little watery. There is not much in the way of coating either.

Overall- This interesting ale has a sweet, smokey flavor. The mouth feel could be creamier. The beer is not trying to do anything really special.The malt flavor is acceptable, but not great.

So this goes down as an acceptable beer, good, but nothing more. (843 characters)

Photo of Mdog
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Red-amber, good head and lacing.

Smell: Pretty light, some toffee.

Taste: First hits me with a fruity dark cherry, then moves more into a toffee sweetness. Balanced out with a earthy hop finish.

Drinkability: Tasty, balanced, not overly strong.

Pretty substantial, not quite a English barleywine in strength but similar in feel and flavor. Nicely balanced beer. Keep the Stag series coming, very interesting beers! (430 characters)

Photo of doucmehu
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (908 characters)

Photo of match1112
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: dark copper, see thru bdy, inch of off white head, decent retention and lacing.

s: sweet, bready, caramel, toffee apples and earthy hops.

t: fruits and breads up front, followed by caramel and spicy hops on the finish.

m: medium body, good carbonation, slight oily and sticky, spicy finish.

o: this is my first of the style so i dont have anything to compare it to, but this is a very drinkable beer. (407 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours a cloudy, amber with a 1 finger off-white head. Small ring of lacing on the glass.

S- sweet dark fruits, belgian yeast, bread.

T- toffee, dark fruits, Belgian yeast, sligh metallic taste.

M- medium body and carbonation. Very effervescent and slightly acidic.

O- good beer but nothing special. Taste lacks in comparison to the aroma. (410 characters)

Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Tulip.

A. Poured 2 finger head. Good retention. Decent lacing. Color is a light amber.

S. Smell is a malt explosion. Smells of sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, some raisins, dark fruit.

T. Caramel, raisins, brown sugar, fruity. Pretty complex array of malty flavors going on. Very easy drinking. A little bit of bitterness, but not much.

M. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Some lingering sweetness.

O. Really solid beer. Schell's should consider adding this to their regular lineup. Not quite as flavorful or complex as a barleywine, but really a very good beer. Extremely easy drinking for 8%. (635 characters)

Photo of pdoran10
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a translucent amber color into a snifter. I get a finger of white head that doesn't leave much lacing.

The smell is slight booze, dark candi sugar, caramel, and plum

The taste is cloying caramel sweetness up front. I get notes of cashews, dark fruit and slight cognac. There is a super complex malt profile going on that really works well as a cold weather beer. Not much hop presence.

Mouthfeel is reasonably thick with moderate carbonation. Pretty creamy and well done.

This is a beer I can appreciate as being really well executed, but the specific taste profile isn't my favorite. Impressive layers of flavor and interesting for sure. (654 characters)

Photo of jera1350
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Schell's Brewery:

Stag Series #4, The Burton Ale

Before India Pale Ales were synonymous with Burton upon Trent, there was Burton Ale, a darker, sweeter beer. Burton Ales were so popular, in fact, that as recent as 1948, it was considered one of the four main types of British draught beer, sitting beside mild, pale ale, and stout.
More so than perhaps any other beer style in history, the demise of Burton Ales happened amazingly fast. Brewers, faced with the consumer preference for bitters and lagers saw sales of Burton and mild ales plummet. By the end of the 1960s Burton ales were virtually gone.
Schell’s Burton Ale is a nod to a forgotten style of beer. It has a soothing blend of bready malt and hop bitterness. A mild woodsy character is prevalent. A hint of dark pitted fruit and a trace of caramel give the beer a subtle sweetness. The pleasant hop bitterness at the end gives Schell’s Burton Ale a smooth, dry finish.
To begin crafting this brew, we used traditional floor malted Fawcett Maris Otter as a base. The malt bill also includes torrified wheat and two different British Crystal malts. As is traditional for British brewers, we added sugar in the kettle, in our case turbinado and some Dark Candi Syrup. Our Burton Ale is hopped with Nugget and Goldings, fermented with a British ale yeast, dry-hopped, and aged for 3 months prior to release.
IBU: 60 | Calories: 275 | Alcohol by Volume: 8%

Pours a dark copper/amber color with red hues. The head is tan and tight and leaves some nice rings of lace around the glass.

The smell is a bit light, but very unique. Getting notes of bread crust, toast, wood, candy sweetness and malt. Some mild hopping follows along with spices. Almost pumpkin pie like spicing, but very light. The predominant aroma however is the home made bread crust.

Very unique taste too. Can't say I've had anything like this before. Starts out with some earthy and spicy hops and then the big baked bread/bread crust malt flavor comes in. Just a touch of warm alcohol and earthy hopping towards the end. Has some spicy rye notes and perhaps smoke mixed in as well. A pretty complex beer when you break it down.

Very rich and smooth malt feel. Medium bodied and a bit chewy feeling.

This makes a perfect fall into winter beer. Quite warming and satisfying maltiness. Not shy on the hopping either. Glad to have tried this historical style. A well made beer with some history to boot. (2,462 characters)

Photo of charliedvrs
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a clear copper with a small, bubbling off-white head that stuck around for the entire glass. The aroma is rather weak, with faint hints of sweet, bready malts when you really look for it. Taste is similar to the nose but comes through much bigger. The same bread notes that meddled in the nose come through much stronger now, with more thn a a touch of biscuit and cereal grains. The bread flavors blend well with a sweet caramel, toffee undertone. There's a toasted wood and slightly smokey characteristic to the malts as well. No obviously discernable hop flavor or bitterness, though just enough to take the edge off of the large malt bill. That's fine though, as the incredibly complex malt bill gives this beer more than enough flavor. Smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel with a dry finish and absolutely no hint of the 8% ABV. Really glad I got to try this one. Thanks, toker! (888 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (406 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (1,175 characters)

Photo of dbossman
4/5  rDev -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 (616 characters)

Photo of BasementBer
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
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 (511 characters)

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Burton Ale from August Schell Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.