Billy The Mountain | Upright Brewing Company

Billy The MountainBilly The Mountain
Liked This Beer
3.59 w/ 104 ratings
Billy The MountainBilly The Mountain

Brewed by:
Upright Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Inspired by the great Prize Old Ale once brewed by Gales in England, this beer is deeply malty and full of ripe fruit, leather, wine and oak flavors. The Billy is partially barrel aged with brettanomyces yeast, lending a distinct twang and developing unique aromas over time. Bottled still and best served at about 55F to be finished at room temperature. Cellar for up to five years.

"Billy the Mountain - A traditional English-style Old Ale, having undergone over five months of oak barrel aging and another several months in the bottle."

Malts: organic pale, ashburne mild, caramel
Unmalted: black barley
Also: molasses
Yeasts: London ESB and brettanomyces clausennii

First Release - January 2010
Second Release - January 2011
Third Release - December 2011

Added by jdense on 12-23-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of DJMonroe
5/5  rDev +39.3%

Photo of CFL
4.64/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of jedwards
4.62/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to msubulldog25 for the trade!

Love the labels on these Upright seasonals. Active head that settles quickly into a dense, pillowy foam. The beer itself is a murky brown that doesn't settle out. Smell is unusual -- prune and caramel with slight brett funk. Taste leads with vanilla and a slight tartness followed by brown sugar/toffee, characteristic dark fruit, and a long vinous finish. Mouthfeel is smooth but not slick and carbonation is high but dense. This beer is really, really terrific -- almost like a Belgian old ale, whatever that might be. Will have to track down some more bottles, would love to see what another year or five does to this.

 664 characters

Photo of Quafftastic
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of Sanderson
4.49/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is what an old ale would probably taste like it brewed to actual style and thrown in a barrel. Natural barrel bugs, sweet but dry, but a little thin on the feel.

 166 characters

Photo of pgreenx
4.43/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Age has been kind to this beer; the Brett charter has brought dark fruits fwd while imparting leather and English saddle to nose

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Photo of vkv822
4.37/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into tulip snifter.
2011 release.

Pours near black with deep red hues and a frothy tan head.

The aroma is quite complex. It starts with a cherry and vinous tartness, followed by some caramel and molasses sweetness. Slight leathery notes.

Again, more vinous and lightly earthy, Bretty tartness, followed by dark fruits, a light leathery character. Notes of oak come through as well in the transition from tart and Brett to dark fruit.

A medium body, with fairly low carbonation.

A very unique and enjoyable beer. A seasonal I will definitely look forward to each year now.

 589 characters

Photo of shleepy
4.34/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass at The Trappist in Oakland.

A: Chocolate brown color. Small-ish head with big, off-white bubbles.

S: Lovely brett and barrel flavors... Similar to one or two Russian River beers.

T: Creamy chocolate, followed instantly by oakiness / sourness. There's some citrus in there, as well as some light toastiness. Pretty clean finish.

M: Fairly flat. But it does have a nice, creamy mouthfeel.

O: Unique, drinkable, and generally pleasant. Would buy again.

 492 characters

Photo of Pecorasc
4.29/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750mL green bottle poured into pint glasses and split two ways with Boothbeer. The bottle was almost filled to the cap. Like their other seasonal releases, this bottle has great artwork.

A- The head starts crackling and fizzing as soon as the beer hits the glass. It makes you think its going to fizzle down to nothing, but it eventually settles into a dark tan, dense foam that shows little activity. With no light behind this, it looks dark brown and murky, but when held to light it is actually deep orange to red with some haze and plenty of beading.

S- Brett character is dominant in the nose: tart and funky, wet horse blanket. There is almost a limoncello character to this, probably from the yeast and alcohol. The alcohol is restrained, but noticeable. Everything is layered on top of a flowery yeast character and a dark carmel-like malt backbone. Not your typical old ale, but wow does this have character!

T- Starts out with a very slight brett character, that is much more restrained than in the aroma, and a tangy lemon flavor. A moment later, dust and cardboard shows themselves along with a chewy carmel and toffee flavor. The next transition is to alcohol and a residual sweetness that clings to the palate. The sweetness in the aftertaste is a combination of toffee and chocolate malt. Judging by the aroma, I thought this would be more brett influenced; a fantastic transition of flavors.

M- Smooth with a medium body and a dry finish. This does have a high level of carbonation, but less than their other offerings. The mouthfeel really allows for the great drinkability.

D- 9%? Really? One of the most sessionable beers at this high level of alcohol that I've experienced. In hindsight, I didn't need to and shouldn't have split this one. The alcohol was so restrained, but did build moderately after 3/4 of the pint. Very nice beer, but I would like to see some age on it and find out what direction the brett goes... maybe next year!

 1,961 characters

Photo of mantissa
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of unclejazz
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of vande
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of popery
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy brown color with a tan head. The aroma is full of dark fruit with some nice toffee notes mixed in. The flavor is more of the same with a few welcome additions. I get a lot of dark fruit, but there is some nice tartness to it. I also get some toffee and alcohol. As the beer warms, I get some flavors that resemble dry red wine as well as some brett notes. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very nice.

 483 characters

Photo of ccrida
4.07/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is murky dark brown with a big, very tight, creamy light tan head that leaves scattered, foamy lace. Probably my favorite of Ezra's labels.

Smell is big raisiny malt (special b?), toffee, a little bretty funk. Major bourbon as it warms, huge caramel and vanilla, some fruity esters, grapes. Drastically improved as it warmed to room temp, but then again, I'm a bourbon lover. A total shift from the nose at fridge temp, with plenty of Belgian characteristics as well.

Taste is not as rich, the brett seems to have dulled it down a bit, although it's not overly funky, just a little horseblanket on the clean finish. The palate is not as drastically changed as it warmed, although the malts really come out more, a really nice slightly funked BSDA. Loving it quite a bit by the end, but still note as much as the nose.

Mouthfeel is medium light, not creamy or well carbonated though, which I expected from the pour.

Drinkability is good. It's a pretty smooth strong ale, more BSDA then old ale, but I realize that is how Upright billed it, so no really complaints about the style designation. I'd drink this one now if you're holding it in the cellar, the richness of the malt will only continue to thin by the brett. It started out kind of boring, but the depth increased as it warmed, and the smoothness speaks to the execution, particularly due to the obtuse style.

 1,386 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tasting glass. Thanks, Chris, for sharing this. I'm always excited to try a new Upright!

A: Clear dark brown body with a strange-looking head that mixes coarse big bubbles and finely-patterned wisps of foamy scum. Weird.

S: Pretty sour, with floral Brett and tart vinous oak. The wine barrels really dominate the aroma, with the Brett being the only other presence. Pungent, where's the Old Ale?

T: Follows the nose - dry, floral, barnyardy Brett and rich red wine barrels. Delicious, as long as you don't think too much about what the bottle says it's supposed to be.

M: Smooth medium body, lots of fine carbonation. Lovely.

O: This one should really be listed as an American Wild Ale: the intentional addition of Brett, plus maturation in freshly-emptied Pinot barrels, makes this entirely unlike any traditional Old Ale. For what it is, it's pretty good. It's certainly the least impressive Upright beer I've had so far, but I'd gladly drink it again.


 988 characters

Photo of dtx00
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of AnchorsAndAxes
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of thebouch01
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of HopStoopid120
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of ithinkimasofa
4/5  rDev +11.4%

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Billy The Mountain from Upright Brewing Company
Beer rating: 47.1% out of 100 with 104 ratings
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