Mountain Ale | The Shed Restaurant & Brewery

very good
42 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
The Shed Restaurant & Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottum on 03-24-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 60
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a clear-glass Shed growler into a tumbler pint glass.

A: Murky, amber brown with reddish highlights beneath a thin head of creamy white foam which faded fast, leaving a touch of soapy lace.

S: Sweet smelling, fruity ale esters, an earthy hop aroma and hints of dark, baked bread.

T: Fruity, smooth and malty ale flavors hit the palate first with a mellow, buttery caramel and toffee like flavor. Some earthy, fruity hops hit the palate with low, nutty bitterness before washing down smooth and slightly spicy with a lingering boozy sweetness.

M: Medium-full bodied with a certain chewiness and initial creaminess. Sort of an odd, watery effect around mid-palate raised some questions about the brew.

O: A pretty nice, mellow American strong ale with modest bitterness and booziness. Pretty drinkable at 7% ABV, although I think the drinkability was upped a bit because the brew was served at about 55 degrees and took on an English bitter feeling for me. Clear growler and no bottle on date made freshness and overall taste suspect, however. Bottom line, glad I tried it.

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Photo of u2carew
3.03/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A) Pours with a finger thick head then settles to a thin lacing at the edge of the glass. The body is dark mahogany and allows some light through. Lacing is thin and semi-sticky.
S) Noticeable hop aroma - perhaps a dry hop? Hints of brown sugar. Has an earthy pungency, smells a bit like a a wet dog.
T) Hints of caramel and roasted grain up front. Then shifts to a subtle sweetness with some nuttiness. There's a mild hop bitterness in the finish. In the aftertaste dry grains and alcohol.
M) A bit flat - has a carbonation feel similar to a stout. Alcohol effervescence and the warming sensation. A bit dry in the finish. Medium body.
D) An alright beer. I'd have another in a pinch.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got a keg of this for a ski trip last week. This review is post trip, enjoyed in my home from the remainder of the keg. 4 days after tapping it, it hasn't changed in quality.

A: Dark brown. 2 fingers off-white head. It was spewing out rather fast and I'm surprised there wasn't a lot more head.

S: Very mild, barely there aroma of sweet malts with some roasty spice maybe a little fig.

T: More pronounced sweetness and more depth to the sweetness, smooth, can barely taste any carbonation. Roasty character seems even more subdued in taste than smell. Its hard to put my finger on everything... it seems to have some bock creaminess. also doesn't taste quite like the ABV is as high as 7.0%. Overall a very unique flavor.

M: Mild and pleasant, true to its style.

D: Good drinkability but can be extremely filling as I recall from pounding a few cups on the trip

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Photo of mdfb79
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 08/27/10 notes. Had on tap at The Shed in Vermont.

a - Pours a dark brown color with light carbonation evident and a hint of white head.

s - Smells of dark fruits, spices, roasted malts, and toasted malts.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, dark fruits, fruity malts, and toasted malts.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth and very easy to drink.

d - A pretty good strong ale. Lots of nice dark fruits in the smell and taste. Would try again.

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Photo of Viggo
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler, picked up while in Vermont. Grub shared this one.

Pours a mostly clear reddish brown, thin off white head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, a few lace spots stick.

Smell is alright, very malty, some caramel, lightly toasty, a bit of fruit, biscuit, pretty neat malt character, a bit of light chocolate and roast comes through.

Taste is good too, a touch of iron, some caramel, very fruity, grape skins, lightly toasty, biscuit, just a hint of some roast and a bit of chocolate, balanced finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Nothing fancy but a pretty easy drinking ale, drinks well for the ABV. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of grub
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64oz growler purchased june 1/2010 at the market in burlington, sampled june 1/2010.

pours hazy deep red, nearly brown, with a small dense off-white head. the head drops fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. light alcohol. woody and earthy. light herbal character. touch of dark chocolate and coffee. bit of lager character?

taste is neat. dark chocolate. bit of coffee. date, fig, raisin. lightly toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. lightly sweet caramel and toffee. earthy and woody.

mouthfeel is good. just under medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance. good depth and complexity. upon tasting i had no idea what the style was. initially i thought it was a brown ale based on the appearance and aroma, but there was a hint of lager that came through more in the taste. seems to borrow elements from a few different styles, including brown ale and perhaps doppelbock. i don't know that it fits as an "american strong ale" as it's neither strong nor really showing much american character, but it was tasty none the less.

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Photo of McKibben25
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a favorite of mine every time I go out. Ive enjoyed via growler and on tap although I prefer it on tap. I really don't have many complaints about this one. I love the reddish color the beer pours. And the name suggests the exact way it smells and tastes-of the mountains. Pine, smoke, caramel, toffee, and the perfect balance of hops. It can be a little filling to drink all night. In fact I wouldn't recommend it. But a wonderful beer to enjoy with dinner and start off the night.

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Photo of tigg924
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, no head, clear

Smell: toasted malt and wood. Not an overpowering smell

Taste: toasted malt, wood, small hops towards the end, a bit of alcohol

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, dry, rich, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is a strong brown ale. It is above average for the style. I could see myself drinking several after a good hike.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This was a quite solid dark ale. It was fairly mild, low carbonation, no head. The aroma was quite malty with some earthy tones. It was fairly light in the mouth but a nice easy drink with dinner.

You really don't notice the extra abv at all, it drinks really well. Overall I'd say this is a quite solid beer.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For my second bier of the night (18APR09) with dinner, I opted for a 1/2 pint of Mountain Ale.

Poured a clear, deep shade of chestnut, with steady carbo working its way up. Head was thin and tight, off-white and wispy, with a little lace. Aroma had some light floral hopping, some malty sweetness, and intimations of dark fruit. Pretty much a very restrained nose, altogether. Mouthfeel was made up of a slightly less-than-medium body, with a fairly smooth pass over the tongue.

Flavor? Start off with a bit of a vinous character; some raisin, some sweetness, almost a bit oaky. Some floral hop action rounds things out. Reminds me of a lesser version of Old Peculiar. Decent, but I've had much better biers over the course of the long weekend. Prosit!!

look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drink: 3.5


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Photo of shanem
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark copper brown with small light head

S: little bit of sweet caramel smell on top of a nice roastiness

T: carries the smell with an addition of a little bit of alcohol heat, sort of like some bourbon beers, but not much at all. slight bit of dark fruit also noticeable. Well balanced bitterness but the sweet roasted malt flavor is most prevalent

M: Slightly to the fuller side of medium bodied with a little hint of alcohol heat

D: a great beer that makes me a proud vermonter. much more drinkable than you would expect from a strong ale

my favorite $2 draft on Thursdays at Drink. One of the best values you can ever get

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this flagship brew on tap at my favorite Mexican restaurant on the waterfront. My pint was delivered to my table a deep copper color with a thin white head. Weak retention but decent lacing. The nose was sweet, caramel malt, toffee and roasted malt and something slightly woody. A hearty malty sweetness first hit my tongue, dried fruit, some vanilla and a twinge of smoke at the end. Finish gets a little more hoppy with time. Medium to heavy body and a rich mouthfeel. A great flagship and much more deserving of local tap space than Switchback or some others...

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Photo of almychristopher
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

this beer pours a clear dark brown with a small off white head. the aroma presents a bit of chocolate malt with pine hops in the background. the taste is much the same with a warm, roasted malt flavor balanced out with the pine hop taste. this beer has a good full body with adequate co2 it's a little heavy for more than a pint.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the bar.

I had a pint of their Mountain Ale with lunch. Pours a hazed, amber-brown. Topped by a thin, wispy, beige head. Lace clings to the side of the glass as the beer moves, but it only leaves sporadic patches. Toffee and caramel on the nose, notes of dates and prunes, and a hint of roastiness.

A malty, but not cloying, sweetness is predominant upfront. There are toffee and caramel flavors on top of a nice toasty flavor. Hints of dates and raisins in the center. The finosh is a mix of alcoholic spice and a light, but lingering, roasty bitterness. Medium-bodied, smooth, with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Deuane
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Shed's flagship brew.

A-Slightly hazy deep, dark brown with a medium light tan head that reduced to a thin cap. Left decent amounts of lace behind.

S-Light at the start but improved as the beer warmed. Sweet caramel and roasted malts meld nicely with bourbon-esque notes. Slight hints of smoke in the background.

T-Big and malty sweet with a pleasant blend of toffee, vanilla and that twinge of smoke again. A bit of a hop bite in the finish.

M-Medium to medium-heavy body with a ever so rich smoothness. This is a most pleasant malt bomb.

D-Very nice for a big, rich malty brew. Like a sweet, liquid toffee candy bar. Never reaches the point of being to sweet and cloying. Finishes well with the hints of smoke and a nice hop kick.

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Photo of albern
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate to have had this beer on tap at the brewpub, in the growler bought at the brewpub, on tap at a restaurant in Jay, VT that served it, and in the growler that I bought from Sylvester's Market in Montgomery Ctr. I couldn't distinguish the differences in freshness, so the beer holds up well off the premises. Since this beer isn't available in the bottle, I have covered all the iterations of its availability. The beer does not have a wide distribution, so it may be hard to find outside of a 50 mile radius of Northern VT.

This beer is exceptional and very enjoyable in all of its forms. It pours a nice tawny brown with an off white, creamy head. There is definite lacing to the beer, although in growler form, the head dissipated pretty quickly.

For what it's worth, the beer is advertised as having been voted #1 by Ski Magazine. What that means is hard to say since I have no idea of Ski Magazine's criticality towards reviewing beer. But an accolade is an accolade so why not.

The aroma of the beer is a nice floral, sweetish malt. There is a touch of the higher ABV in the nose of the beer. The consistency is quite thick and syrupy, but not cloyingly so. This is a full bodied beer, very modest carbonation, more so on tap. I would have pegged this beer as having been made with brown sugar, but after consulting the brewmaster, alas I was wrong. The beer has a nice caramel, toasted, slightly charred but warming middle, with an increasingly creamy feel towards the finish. The beer is made with oats, which explains some of the creaminess. This is a fairly complex beer with lots going on.

The mouthfeel is a bit oily, but very nice. There are warming alcohol notes in the finish, but you won't experience the throaty burn with other Strong ales. I enjoyed this beer both on tap and in the growler. Good luck finding it, but if you do, drink up! L'Chaim.

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Photo of cookin420
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into pubglass
very dark brown with a lasting head which is impressive since it was in a growler for several weeks.
smell is of burnt sugar and slightly fruity notes.
taste is wonderful. smooth but roasty and a bit smokey. I would've guessed this to be a strong scotch of some sort but was enlightened by BA.
fairly slick mouthfeel and mild carbonation. very pleasing.
very drinkable and refreshing even on a hot Independence eve.
this is a big winner.

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Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A rotating ale, commercial description an English old. Drinkable, amber with a white crown to it. Chocolate malts in taste, sourness follows. Odd but fruitiness, barley and malt. Not significant hop here.Best described as a brown ale with tuned up a.b.v.

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Photo of mnj21655
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

Pours an opaque medium brown with a minimal off-white head that is fairly short lived. Aroma is a bit sweet with caramel and a bit roasty. The most assertive aroma and flavor is definitely molasses. There is some bitterness and a good dose of roasted malts in the finish. Some earthy hops can be found as a accent in the aroma and a bit more towards the forefront in the flavor. Good mouthfeel, medium-ish body with low-moderate carbonation. The beer drinks pretty well, its 7% ABV is rather deceptive. I quite enjoyed the flavors and how well they melded together. Overall a pretty darn solid beer, not quite sessionable but with enough nuances to make drinking a few pints quite enjoyable.

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Photo of abriggs1
5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers anywhere. It tastes great and it gets you DRUNK! I had a growler the night before skiing and I was yaking all over the goddamn mountain. At least my vomit tasted a little bit like sweet sweet mountain ale (mixed with bacon and eggs) I've had a lot of beers and I really believe this is one of the world's greatest brews. I don't know if the Shed Brewery will start making this for mass consumption anytime soon, but many Vermonters know this beer well and I think they could make a great go at it. The taste is sort of like Bass but you can taste the higher alcohol content.

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Photo of sraimondi
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a pint on draught at Manhattan Pizza in Burlington, VT (see separate review). Deep amber/mahogany color, not much aroma. Good head, with some spot lacing throughout the drink. Malt upfront with some rounding hops in the finish. I enjoyed this one. Mouthfeel was average. ABV was well masked. This is the first time I have had a Shed product. I was expecting a bit more, but not a bad brew.

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Photo of Brad007
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark color, barely transparent. Aroma is strong and malty with just a hint of hop bitterness. The taste is somewhat interesting as there seems to be more of a hop bitterness than malt in it. Somewhat hoppier than I expected but that's not a bad thing. Strong of course and there are still hints of malt and even a bit of coffee at the back of the throat (though not much). Dark, strong and handsome and definitely not a session ale.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pre-packaged screw-top growler purchased at Winooski Beverage, Winooski, VT.

First imperial pint pours with a 1/4" tan head, which held on rather nicely, with plentiful lingering lace. Brew is clear and burgundy brown, with an aroma of grains topped with vanilla and a touch of alcohol. Taste starts with malt sweetness, comes on rather strong with fruitiness in the middle, and shows a glimpse of booze at the end, with some warmth after it's all said and done. Mouthfeel is soft on the tongue, but maybe not as smooth as I would hope, and drinkability follows in line. Hope to try more of their stuff, but get distracted by another establishment closer to the highway... :-)

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Photo of BillyB
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- One inch off white/beige head. Dark brown, murky color.

Aroma- Sweet malt, caramel, roasted malt. Vanilla, oak, molasses. Flowery hops.

Taste-Toffee, caramel, vanilla, sweet rich maltiness. Some hoppy kicks at the finish.

Mouthfeel- Strong alcohol warmth. Bitterness from hops and a slight syrupy mouth coating from the sweet malt.

Interesting beer.

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Photo of ericj551
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mountain Ale pours a deep brown, with a small head, as expected from the growler. Smell is a lot of toffee and diacetyl, with a hint of malt and hops. Definitely a ringwood yeast in this one. Taste is rich and malty, the ringwood is there but balenced. Flavors of caramel, with a nice background of some darker malts, maybe even a smokey taste in there. This beer is really drinkable and mistakeable for a session beer, we were surprised to find it to be 7% abv!

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Mountain Ale from The Shed Restaurant & Brewery
3.88 out of 5 based on 60 ratings.
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