Old Rag Mountain Ale | Shenandoah Brewing Co.

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Old Rag Mountain AleOld Rag Mountain Ale
Very Good
20 Ratings
Old Rag Mountain AleOld Rag Mountain Ale

Brewed by:
Shenandoah Brewing Co.
Virginia, United States

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 07-17-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 19
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a a deep dark brown with hints of ruby with a tight light brown one finger head that settles but leaving a creamy top.Very fruity aromas over top of caramel with a hint of smokey peat underneath.Scottish ale flavors going on here starts out sweet and caramelly with hints of bitter chocolate finishes nice and earthy with that touch of peat again showing thru.I would say a little light for a bigger Scottish ale in the mouthfeel but a nice Scottish ale is hard to find and this fits the bill,ejoyable and a nice find.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jjfoodie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is chocolate with some smoke and dirt mixed in. The flavor is chocolate, roasted malt and some astringency. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of tempest
2.61/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Man, this beer smells great but tastes like, well, it's bad. It looks normal enough with deep red and brown color. The aroma is great mixture of roasted caramel and cocoa, but then comes the flavor. The first description that comes to mind is plastic. Maybe it's a little spoiled, as there's a tart edge. There is some chocolate caramel flavor, but it's overwhelmed but everything that's going wrong.

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Photo of Darkale
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite a range of opinion on this beer!

Dark brown, almost black body. Thin but resilient pocked head. Aroma is SWEET with an undercurrent of yeast. Very chewy in the mouth -- sticks to the teeth like candy. Taste is very complex, with coffee, chocolate, molasses, cocoa, cherry... whew!

Shouldn't we call this an imperial stout or perhaps an out of bounds black and tan (imperial stout and strong ale?)?

I don't care whether it hits the "scottish ale" mark. A fun beer to sip.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Very dark brown, nearly black color. Two fingers of frothy tan head. At first, much of the head falls, but the last 1/4 inch sticks around a bit longer. Touches of lacing.

4.5 S: Very grainy with a nice mixture of toastiness, nuts, and coffee. A touch of caramel. Really great smelling brew here.

4.5 T: Again, very grainy. Roasty toastiness second along with coffee. There's also a decent amount of caramel and toffee sweetness, but it isn't overbearing and because of that, this beer tastes great as well. Medium hop bitterness to balance.

4.0 M: Medium body. Carbonation is a bit high, but still okay. Reasonably creamy with a bitter and burnt aftertaste.

4.5 D: I received this as an extra and it is definitely a great find. I can see this brew getting easily overlooked since it comes from a little known brewery and has as stupid a label as some of the shitty breweries out there. Flavors are bold and work well together and no real flaws. This one is quite easy to want more of.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle purchased as a single somewhere in NoVA, either WF/Vienna, WF/Annadale, Norm's, or Rick's.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a big ol' 2+" head over the barely translucent dark brown brew. Head is super-thick, and long-lasting, with heavy, frothy lacing. Aroma is malty, with peat character apparent. Taste is upfront sweet chocolatey malt, again with light smokey peat influence present. Mouthfeel and drinkability are smooth, creamy, excellent. Look forward to enjoying this one again sometime.

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Photo of jlindros
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My second Shenandoah thanks to tmoney2591.

A fluffy off-white head rises to a finger and fades at a medium pace, over very dark brown, essentially black colored beer.

The nose is erupting from the pour with plenty of malts, brown sugar and molasses, crystal malt, a slight dark fruit, plenty of sweetness. Also a little almost candi sugar with the other sweey syrupy aromas. A touch of dark fruit and even a little black patent malt, and perhaps chocolate malt. A touch of an earthy bitter hop I think.

The taste is similar to the aroma, more like a porter than anything. It brings plenty of sweetness, but not overly sweet, with some brown sugar, molasses, little candi sugar, touch of roast and toffee. Also some malts, little caramel, touch of black patent, hint of smoke?, and more dark fruit. Actually, the fruit gets a little over powering. A slight boozy taste and tingle, perhaps a little hotter than it should be for 7%. Slightly creamy. It finishes with more lingering sweetness, a slight bitterness with a little earthy taste. Some long lingering fruit, and a little sticky sweetness lingering.

Mouth is medium to slightly heavier body with lower but decent carbonation.

It has a lower but decent drinkability too. Lots of lingering syrupy sweetness, sticky too. It has a little warming and tingly booze, not sure if it's too much for 7%.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

I know when I think of good names for beers, "Old Rag" jumps to the top o' the list. Right. It pours a ruby-brown so dark it borders on opacity, capped by a finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises dark malts, spruce, coffee, and a very light wisp of smoke. The taste holds notes of those elements, along with some green apple flesh and some maple syrup in the aftertaste. The body is medium, with a moderate carbonation and a light bit o' coating on the mouth. Overall, not bad for a Scottish ale. Worth a recommendation, but not quite worthy of a search.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Usually poured in a dimple glass. I get this directly every once in a while from my local brewery (Shenandoah Brewing Co); I would like to buy more and trade this with my fellow Ba members so they can sample my local favorite brew. Pours a very dark, cola-brown color; medium-tan head with solid, fine-bubbled lacing. Basic nougat, caramel, and brown sugar maltiness in the aroma; a bit bland, but solid otherwise with a pleasant chocolate note. Medium mouthfeel: basic for a 7% beer: chewy chocolate, nougat, and soft brown sugar; good presence in the mouth, like a lot of Shenandoah's beer: solid chocolate and sweet malty core without coming off as syrupy or underattenuated; basic, very drinkable scottish ale with just a touch of mineral bitterness balancing things out nicely. Medium finish: chocolate, chewy malts, brown sugar, and some dry breadiness. Not heavy on the hops either and lacks some carbonation however. Overall, a nice sweet drinking Scottish Ale perfect for a crisp Fall or Winter season.

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Photo of JISurfer
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer reminds me of a "lighter" version of Orkney's Skullsplitter. Now, Skullsplitter is by far one of my favs, if not my fav beer, so this was hard not to enjoy. It had all the characteristics of a solid Scotch Ale, but did have a lighter after taste, which made it not so hard to drink. The taste did have the regular thick maltiness of a Scotch Ale, but it also had a nice caramel taste along with it. This was a little different than most, but that's good to have difference from beer to beer. Next I look foward to trying the Barrel Aged edition.

Big Thanks to AKSmoked for hookin' me up with this one!

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Photo of jaluria
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought home a growler of this beer while checking out their firkin ale tapping which happened to be a nice ESB.

Poured a dark brown with slight burgundy undertones and a thin cream colored head leaving behind some lacing. Bubbles grace the surface liberally and seem to stay put throughout the session. Aromas of roasted malt, plums, and dates seemed to come out. The taste followed the scent with a rich and creamy texture dominated by roasted characteristics and malt flavors. A bit of honey flavor seemed to come out as the beer warmed. A nice bitter finish that was very coffee-like. This beer reminded me of a baltic porter in flavor and texture with a bit more subtle bitterness and a less astringent finish. Had no problem finishing the growler, so drinkability is very good.

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Photo of joepais
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Bboyshatter for sending this one along in the under 100 BIF
Poured this brew into a dogfish head snifter and I'm glad I did. The aroma is incredible a milk chocolate, coffee, and more roasted malts. The brew had a short lived tan head with almost no lace left behind on the dark brown bodied brew.

The flavor is sweet malts with some chocolate notes there as well. The peat flavor comes out as it warms up a bit. Almost no carbonation in this and it feels about medium in my mouth.

An interesting brew not what I expected in a Scottish Ale, but good none the less.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very deep brown-reddish color with miniscule tannish hed that quickly fell to a thin ring. Attractive lacing.
Smell is very alcoholic initially, but as the beer warms some scents of maple syrup appear.
Taste is exceptional. There is an enjoyable strong sweetness that has the same maple notes without being overpowering.
Left a pleasant taste in the mouth.
Very easy to drink. The alcohol begins to be felt after a while but still nice to drink.

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Photo of jawneyt
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of tsbuttry
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I enjoy this brew whenever I stop by the Shenandoah Brewing Company (required stop for DC area beer-lovers). Shenandoah doesn't filter their beers, so while that detracts somewhat from the lighter colored beers, it adds to the appearance of darker beers like this one and gives a more substantive flavor.

Appearance: Good, dark beer with excellent head retention.

Smell: Great malty aroma. Some good well roasted malts went into this one.

Taste: Excellent. If you enjoy malty beers or if you're not a hop-head, this may be the pinnacle. I always enjoy a good hopped-up beer, but even so this made me very happy.

Mouthfeel: Excellent except for a slight aftertaste. That's the only way that the lack of hops in this beer detracts from it.

Drinkability: Excellent with food or just to enjoy over the course of a ballgame. It gets to be a bit much over the course of an evening, though.

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Photo of DarthMalt
2.41/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

At a recent beer festival, I jumped at the chance to try some of this Scottish Ale on-tap, since most of the other booths were serving weizens and pale ales.

The esters from this beer nearly knocked me out. They pretty much overpowered the beer to the detriment of any other flavors and aromas.

I had to go back and double-check if they had indeed served me the Scottish ale.

This was an OK beer I guess (Hell, if I brewed it, I would think it was the best thing in the world.), but Scottish Ale???? Sorry.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured black with ruby highlights with a decent tan head that fell very quickly. Aroma is caramel, chocolate, sweet malt and higher alcohols. Flavor is slight caramel and chocolate with a chocolate aftertaste that finishes dry over time. The body is a little thin.

Beer was difficult to open. The must have a heck of a capper.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Pours a deep deep brown - very little light coming through. Almost no head or lacing. great smells of deep roasted malts mixed with sherry and bits of alcohol. Coffee and chocolate smells are also present. Complex sweet malts come ringing through. I expected a bit more roasted malt then I got but it is very nice that way. Much sweeter than a porter. Not a huge hop presence but it is detected. Slightly thick and has a spritzy carbonation. Very easy drinking considering the heavyness of it.

Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for this one.

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Photo of Pencible
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This smelled pretty heavy, like a porter or stout. The initial taste was much the same, although sweeter. There was tons of malt flavor with a hint of hops bitterness in the aftertaste. It was super easy to drink and great for dessert, more like a porter than an ale.

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Photo of nomad
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A great six-pack pick...

Pours black with a solid and perfectly even head, supported by tons of carbonation underneath. Left my glass with thick and wide stain and lacing. Smell was chock full of malt: shades of choclate, coffee, peat smoke, peanuts, heavy oak, and a bare bitterness. Hey, there is a lot going in there if you’re patient to sit around in its malty murk. Does settle into a mostly roasty and sweet peat scent.

Taste starts with an easy and thin sweetness, never even close to sticky or cloying though. Had shades of coffee, molasses, and plain ole peat-smoky dark malt. Great balancing bitterness toward the end, as some drying hops set in and a comforting roastiness gently taps my tastebuds with almost mocha-like complexity. Excellent.

Very thin mouthfeel yet covered in bubbly carbonation, this is a very good showing of the style. If you like the style you'll understand it. Much better close to 60F, its a refreshing and drinkable scottish ale with a little heft to warm you up. I can see how its an award-winner, I wonder why others don't...?

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Old Rag Mountain Ale from Shenandoah Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 20 ratings