Sheephead Ale | Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC

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Sheephead AleSheephead Ale
202 Ratings
Sheephead AleSheephead Ale

Brewed by:
Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
Minnesota, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Sheephead is a bitter card game. It deserves a bitter beer. Brewed with loads of caramel malt and too many cascade hops, this crimson colored ale straddles the line between a malty amber and tongue bruising IPA.

Added by morimech on 03-26-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 202 |  Reviews: 80
Reviews by fitzgerald88:
Photo of fitzgerald88
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of MinnesotaIPAGuy
5/5  rDev +36.6%

Wonderful bitter beer

21 characters

Photo of equinox1
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Torey
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of Mugenlude
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of bsp77
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Pours an orange amber with a very large head. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Citrus and pine hops with some toasted malt.

Taste: Begins with a very nice balance of strong citrus/pine hop taste (but not too much bitterness) and semi-sweet toasted malts, then suddenly turns very dry and bitter towards the finish.

Feel: Very smooth and dry. Medium body and carbonation.

Drinkability: Exceedingly drinkable due to the smooth body and great balance.

I personally don't see the confusion regarding the style of this beer. It seems to be very much an American IPA, albeit in the Torpedo "Extra" IPA direction based on the higher alcohol, smooth body and more balanced malt.

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Photo of NilocRellim
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of sgttibbs
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of DruC4
4.14/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

One of six varieties in a Brau Brothers Brewing sampler 12-pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. brown long neck bottle into a standard clear pint glass.

Appearance: Clear deep amber/copper color with a one-finger tan foam head that laced nicely.

Smell: Very floral citrus and pine hops with some toasted malt.

Taste: A nice hops bite up front with bitter pine and grapefruit flavors, then the sweet malts kick in and smooth out the finish. Well balanced for a hoppy IPA.

Feel: Medium-body, very smooth and dry. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and well balanced, a good ABV and a great hop presence. Very easy to session with.

 639 characters

Photo of rossracing
4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Don't always get a chance to drink it but love it

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Photo of alphagnome
3.39/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown oak-ish colored body, very hazy. Topped by a thin, bone-white head. Carbonation is practically non-existent and lacing is light.

Hoppy aroma - mostly pine and citrus. A bit of caramel breaks through. It's clean and zesty.

Burnt caramel upfront ushers in a wave of bitterness via thick pine. Very earthy. No balance.

Pretty thick body for an IPA and no detectable carbonation. Desert dry finish.

For me, this is just not an enjoyable IPA. It's brutally bitter and hardly a hint of balance.

 549 characters

Photo of Snow81
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light Amber hazy

Head: Very small white head

Smell: Deep malty citric with a light grassiness

Taste: A Bitter Hop hits then a overwhelming malt then a deep citric layers the palate with a small grassy note that lingers

Weight: Medium on the body with the carbonation on the high side

Finish: Grassy malts with a dark citric lingering on the palate

 364 characters

Photo of tempest
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Princeton Liquors. Eh, this is disappointing and I keep hoping the Brau Brothers will kick up their beer from decent to a beer really worth talking about. This just tastes like a hoppy amber, but not that hoppy. The malts are dark bread crust with a hint of cocoa and the hops are a plain citrus punch. The hops dominate the aroma, thought that's not to say any of the flavors are that great. OK so the hops are pleasant and the malt has a little depth, but there's nothing that stands out here. Meh to this beer.

 535 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle as an extra in a trade with deliriumfest on BA.

Pours a hazy golden-copper color with a one-finger white head.

Aroma is really nice - lots of tropical fruits (pineapple, mango) and orange, somewhat hoppy, along with sweet caramel malt.

Flavor is also good but not quite as smooth as I hoped from the aroma. Tropical fruits are in there, pineapple mostly, as well as orange and grapefruit. Sweet caramel malt and pale malt balance, along with some noticeable booze (wow, this is 7.7% I see now!).

Medium-bodied and just a little boozy for the style with average carbonation and some hop oils.

Good drinkability. Overall a pretty solid almost imperial pale ale.

 676 characters

Photo of djschnabel
5/5  rDev +36.6%

Photo of zoolou
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of stpjames
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of zonker17
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Faunland
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of morimech
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The latest in the Brau Brothers Single Batch Series. Pours a clear amber color with two fingers of white head that has good retention. The head settles to a thin cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. The aroma consists of biscuit and toasted malt with some citrus, grass, and earthy hop aroma. Has a strong malt flavor foundation. The hops add a complimentory grassy and spicy flavor and moderate bitterness. Not nearly as hoppy and bitter as I was led to believe. Carbonation is present without being overbearing. Has a nice texture. I liked the malt profile in this beer. A nice APA that I would drink again.

 612 characters

Photo of brianjs711
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Photo of pBRale
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From tasting notes 9-28-11
Poured into a snifter

Appearance: Clear amber pour with a 2-finger off-white head that settles quickly. Head retention is mild, but there is a delicate lace left behind that is thick and coating initially (a big thick ring at the top) but has some spotty blobs here and there down the glass and fades to virtually nothing even further down the glass.

Smell: A nice bready and caramel malt backbone with some hops on the nose (herbaceous and grassy).

Taste: The malts hit initially, but the bitter, earthy and slightly grassy hops follow closely behind, and they linger well into the finish. After taste is bold, earthy, and bitter. Even an one hour and 3 glasses of water later, the bitterness of this beer still lingers faintly (but distinctly) on my palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation with a biting finish that is both crisp and bitter.

Overall: This beer hides its alcohol in its bitterness. Not the typical American IPA aromas and flavors--this one is very earthy and has a nice lingering bitterness afterward that is distinct from most other IPAs.

 1,104 characters

Photo of rsdaugherty
3.32/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle into pint glass
A - Brown amber with no head at all, slightly hazy 3
S - toasted malts and florals dominate; semi-sweet chocolate and coffee notes as well 3.5
T - Lots of toasted malts and hops, caramel, florals and hop bitterness 3.5
M - Medium body with a milky mouthfeel 3
O - A unique tasting brew IMO, not a beer that I would classify as an IPA... the malt load here is quite significant. Noteworthy, but otherwise average 3

 436 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.06/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a fine two finger cream colored head with great retention and lots of thick lacing. Great aroma of caramel malt, citrus spicy hops with a hint of pine; the hops smell really good. Flavor follows aroma with nice semisweet caramel and bready malt and citrus, resinous piney hops, finishing with a lingering spicy pine bitterness. I don't know if they used rye in this, but there is light spiciness reminiscent of rye. Great medium to heavy creamy body. They advertise this as "tons of caramel malt and too many Cascade hops", and although disagreeing with the latter (how could you have too much cascade hops?), I think they nailed it. A very tasty, malty IPA with a nice hop bill that both smelled and tasted great. Even more to their credit, this was a bottle brought home to me by my sister and arrived after a month long road trip. Held up well and makes me hope I can try it fresh some time. Enjoyable.

 983 characters

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Sheephead Ale from Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 202 ratings