Sugar Shack | Third Street Brewhouse

very good
23 Reviews
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Sugar ShackSugar Shack

Brewed by:
Third Street Brewhouse
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by morimech on 12-16-2012

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 137
Photo of ZAP
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Out of 16 oz cans this year.

L-Black..minimal head

S-Roasted malts with a fruity (apples) like note that seems out of place.

T-Nice roasted maltiness....maple is evident but subtle....blends nicely....better as it warms.

F-More of a dry stout feel. At best on the light side of medium. Closer to high side of light bodied. If you drink it cold it feels too thin. As it warms it feels about right for a basic stout.

O-Personally I think they had a bigger maple impression a few years back but this is decent enough. I got an eight pack of sixteen ounce cans and I'll happily drink them all but won't go back for more. Nice enough winter beer from a Minnesota brewery whose beers I don't typically seek out.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl. It pours brilliant chestnut with very little cap. Has a big maple nose. The palate begins sweet and suggests root beer before emerging as maple and alcohol. A hint of smoke. Carbonation is medium and the body is slightly below medium. Much better than I expected.

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Photo of MNAle
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown / black, with a 3/4 inch tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving a sticky lacing. Roasted malts with a hint of pine in aroma. Roasted malt initial taste, a bit sweet. This transitions maple bitterness in the finish. Light carbonation. A nice creamy and thick mouth feel. Pretty good overall. Third House brews this with a deft touch. The complex flavors of the malt and maple are in a nice balance. In other words, the maple does not dominate. The sweetness is there, but also controlled to not be overbearing. The finish is just a little bitter and dry.

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Photo of mnredsoxfan69
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I really wanted to like this stout.

It starts with a dark brown body and a 1 finger head of rocky foam that dissolves into a 1/8th inch ring around the edge and moderate lacing along the sides. The smell is roasted malt with light coffee notes. The flavor is solid if unspectacular, roasted malt, low hoppiness and a faint taste of maple bitterness. The mouthfeel is thin for a stout, closer to a schwartzbier or black ale. I wanted more body. Overall, it's a good, not great stout. I've got three more in the fridge that I'll drink, but I won't search it out again.

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Photo of Chizzzy
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Sugar Shack is a beer I respect. This is one I can't wait for to come out every year. Insanely drinkable with a great maple taste that does not overwhelm by any means. My favorite Third Street brew by far.

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Photo of enjambed
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Serving: Fridge temp bottle (undated) poured into hefeweizen glass.

Look: Opaque black with ruby highlights. Moderate pour produces a sizable tan head that settles down to a cap that stays all the way down to the bottom of the glass. Lacing is relatively clingy.

Aroma: Well roasted malts with and a subtle but very apparent undercurrent of sweet 'sticky' (yes it smells sticky) maple syrup, and maybe some vanilla.

Taste: Begins with mostly roasted malts, and a pronounced wooden(?) flavor with a bit of the sweet syrup on the back end. Finish doesn't linger too long, but leaves you wanting another sip.

Feel: Medium, maybe a little on the light side. Finish is dry but not sticky.

Overall: Being from St. John's I was really excited to try this beer! (Yes, the maple syrup is real, and does come from an abbey, but it isn't really harvested by monks anymore, it's mostly students and professors.) I was expecting the maple syrup to be as present in the flavor as it was in the aroma, but I haven't had much experience with beers of this type. The result is a wonderful stout that shows off the maple syrup without letting it steal the show. Those expecting something super sweet and syrupy may be disappointed, but I loved it!

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Photo of jimmah120
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a date into tulip. given to me by a relative who acquired it in a sampler. review from notes.

dark brown color, small head. smell is sweet creamy maple syrup and malt. taste isn't heavy on maple, but it's there. good mix between the sweet and the roast, but the sweet wins out.

better than i expected

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Sugar Shack pours a black color with a very small head. There is a very mellow and almost not noticeable roasted malty aroma. The taste has a nice mellow roasted flavor, with good hints of maple, and has very nice mellow maple aftertaste. Good feel, but flavors are just too weak. Overall its a good beer, BUT just TOO WEAK.

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Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Love the story about the monks making maple syrup that they use in this beer.

Appearance: Dark brown with a toffee tannish foam, it does not foam easy, so I recommend a slightly aggressive non-tipped pour to get a proper head on this beer.

Smell: A slight maple sweetness with a earthy nut like smell.

Taste: Slight biter maple stout like flavor, unique in it's stout with dry maple taste. Stout like bitterness and mouth feel.

Mouthfeel: the maple completes this beer as it is lighter in body then most stouts yet the maple dryness completes this beer profile nicely.

Overall: A nicely done stout with a nice dry maple flavor that completes this great beer.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a very dark brown color. Some tan froth and lacing.

(S)- Slightly woody/bark-like with a rustic nuttiness meets some maple sweetness.

(T)- Almost smoky with a woody maple and vanilla sweetness. Very root beer-like only much darker with the subtle roasted qualities of the base stout.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level. A lighter body and mouthfeel even for an american style stout but it has a nice sweetness profile with the added richness of the maple.

(O)- A fun and enjoyable stout with an authentic maple addition that really drives this home for me.

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Photo of maximum12
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the things I like as much as good beer is small-batch, real maple syrup, so I had to pick up a single of this beer; I'll buy pretty much anything with both beer & syrup! 12 oz. bottle.

Pour is a few minutes to red midnight. Smell is excellent, just like a Sunday morning pour over my famous Belgian waffles, along with the smell of my wife's coffee. Damn, that's good! This smells like my kitchen on the weekend. And I like my kitchen.

Sugar Shack's syrup makers can put up a hut behind my house anytime. The maple sweetness is front-n-center, quickly followed by a quick chop of roast. Mild hop bitterness surprises on the end. The only downside is a vague artificial, almost medicinal impression that sticks around in the aftertaste. Not sure where that's coming from. Easy to pour down the throat, nice to have a tasty, 'lighter' stout once in a while.

This weighs in at 'good' for me, & if it weren't for that tinge of artificial sweeteners (& there probably aren't any), this could go up, easily. Nicely done, & I'll try another of their beers based on this one.

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Photo of yamar68
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The darkest single stout I've ever encountered... pitch black with a half finger of khaki brown head that sinks to a thin collar pretty quickly.

Loads of maple, caramel, molasses... very aromatic for the genre. Toffee and leather. Brown ale aromas and sugar.

Dry brown sugar flavors, french toast and dull coffee bean, earthy peat and cola. Unique.

This is pretty damn interesting, not like any other straight up single stout I can think of.

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Photo of budgood1
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

pours out an opaque dark brown. no light seems to be able to penetrate this brew. short lived tan head appears and disapates quickly to some sparse lace. aromas of dark molten chocolate malts...accents of anise, coffee, caramel, nougat, toffee and maple syrup. the taste is typical of the stout style...dark roasted and black patent malts. the malt profile presents flavours of dark roasted coffee, charred malt, dark unsweetened chocolate with undertones of black currants and blackberries. the maple syrup aspect only adds a complexity around the edges and melds strikingly well in this stout. think one of those valentines day box of chocolates. like a liquid candy bar. all this slightly cloying sweetness makes for a slick, sweet, syrupy mouthfeel...which i do not find detracting since this IS a winter seasonal. appropriate i suppose. any hopping present is for show only and adds just the slightest touch of bitterness to balance out the overall sweetness and is a touch buried in the burnt malt bitterness. the body of this stout is also appropriate...rather full and lush. a nice foundation for the sugar shack which it's built upon. drinkability is does get a tad sweet and cloying at times...but makes for a nice winter time quaffer...even into March when our winter season seems to be hanging on with a vengeance.

overall i'm utterly impressed with this offering from the town of Cold Spring, MN. most beers, craft and not, in the past 13-14 years, have been absolutely horrible and a terrible embarrasment to the state of Minnesota. this one is a giant step in the right direction.

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Photo of Mdog
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black, ok head but not very good retention.

Smell: Roasted malt, sweetness--maple syrup.

Taste: Heavily sweetened coffee, almost to the point of cloying sweetness. There's just enough coffee flavor to keep it from going over the edge.

Mouthfeel: Light feel, slick.

Overall: I like sweeter stouts, but this one almost goes too far to the sweet side. The maple is noticeable and an interesting note to this beer. A decent addition to the 3rd street lineup.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.47/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a deep brown color with a tan colored head. The head retention is minimal along with a very light lacing. The smell of the beer is malty and sweet with a subtle maple aroma on the nose. The taste of the beer is sweet like the nose, there is a light toasted flavor in there along with maple also. It's not bitter at all. It's mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Overall it's an enjoyable beer for the winter season.

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Photo of GoldHorde
4.31/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

AROMA: Faint caramel coffee.
APPEARANCE: Very black; edging color of red amber even has trouble penetrating.

The promise of maple in Third Street Brewhouse's offering of Sugar Shack Maple Stout does not fail - it is there AND I am happy that they kept it in the flute section rather than on the trombone or tuba sections: it is a accent, rather than a base. This is my third sampling from the Third Street Brewhouse (TSB) and I like this one one the best of the three I've had even though it is only in my second favorite consuming category. I think this is a fine introductory Stout Style for new consumers of stout - who can learn that the stout style has many personalities to explore. I admire the effort and the beer is nicely drinkable and can stand up to a cigar (but probably NOT a maduro!).

ONE ISSUE: This being my third sampling from TSB I am concerned about the glaring lack of head and head retention. While I did not expect this in their lighter offerings, I most certainly did expect it in their "black IPA" and this "maple Stout". The TSB pours had minimal head and all samplings have had zero lacing. I did NOT include this review reservation in ANY of my reviews of TSB beers thus far because it isn't a critical factor for me in most other styles, but on this, my third, I thought I should mention it as many place it highly on their expectations in style. And I too, most certainly DO EXPECT a two finger creamy tan head PLUS very stubborn lacing on ANY stout style.

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Photo of scot_chale
4.36/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Black, black, black. I couldn't see anything through it if I wanted to. A 1/2" brownish creamy head fades almost completely but very slowly.

S- Roasted coffee, chocolate, and caramel malt. It provides the same calming effect that my morning coffee does. It warms you up. It's not bursting out of the glass, but it's not faint either.

T- All the flavors of the aroma, plus a very well balanced malt sweetness with the maple syrup. The hop bitterness is present, but fades quickly in a very pleasant way.

M- The carbonation is mild, but it's silky on top of that. It's not sessionable, but it's friendly enough to want to have it again.

O- I love this beer. The third street brew house is off to a great start and this is a fine example of what west central minnesota has to offer. I would buy at least a six pack every winter if they continue to offer this. Can't wait to see what they come out with next.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown with a hint of ruby at the bottom. Lots of rising bubbles and a solid three fingers of tan head with decent retention. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A fairly sweet dark syrupy aroma. Sweet dark roasted malts with hints of chocolate, dark bread, coffee, milk, caramel, toffee, biscuit, and yeast. The maple syrup is pretty noticeable giving off a chocolate pancake like aroma. Sweet but not overly cloying. Hop presence is pretty light with subtle earthy hints in the background. A pretty decent sweet stout smell.

Taste: Like it smells, a dark syrup driven taste that is sweet but smooth and not overly thick. Sweet maple syrup mixes with dark roasted malts giving notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, cream, milk, and yeast. Literally tastes like liquid pancake with a topping of chocolate. A very subtle earthy presence of hops towards the finish. Pretty solid for a sweet/milk stout.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Very creamy and smooth. Moderately syrupy and slick.

Overall: A pretty good lighter sweet stout. Good use of syrupy maple sweetness that avoids becoming too sweet.

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Photo of zeledonia
2.79/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A new beer from a Minnesota brewery, so I had to try it. Released in the last couple weeks, I believe. Tasted 19 January 2013.

Pours quite dark, nearly black, looking more like an imperial stout than a 6.5% lightweight. One finger of medium-tan head, okay retention, some lacing. Dark brown at the edges, allowing just a bit of light through. Nice color, but light on the head.

Smell is a smooth base stout, which I can't actually tell all that much about, topped with a hunk of wood and a chunk of maple sugar. It's funny, I recently had a small taste of this beer, and found it much more woody. Here I'm getting quite a bit more maple sugar. Not sure if that's variation in my senses, or in the beer. But it certainly feels more maple sugary. I like that dark sweetness, and it's quite a nice complement to the stout.

Taste is thin, woody, and with a bitterness that reminds me of over-steeped tea. The wood blends into nuts, a little like walnut shells, as someone astutely pointed out. Under-sweet, and just weird. I'm not liking this, and I don't know if I'll be finishing the glass. The main issue is that tannic bitterness, which really doesn't work for me. It blends into an over-roasted bitterness, and the combination is a problem.

Mouthfeel is okay. Medium-bodied, slick, medium-low carbonation. A little on the flat side, a little oily. Lasting, though I wish it weren't. Passable.

I'm not digging this beer. The flavor is just odd, and not enjoyable. That, combined with the mouthfeel, makes for a beer that I don't really find myself wanting to drink.

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Photo of jera1350
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled a mere four days ago. Gotta love local beer! At $6.49 for a sixer, really nicely priced too.

Deep, dark shade of brown, small ring of sandy colored foam gracing the edge of the glass. The ring of foam leaves some decent lacing.

Smell like chocolate chip covered pancakes, syrup and all. A mild roasted malt scent to go with the chocolate, but it's mostly fresh super sweet maple syrup. Mouthwatering.

A lighter roasted stout flavor with some chocolate and then maple syrup. The overall flavor is a balance of flavor between the three. A bit of an earthiness rounding out the flavor also. Really not as sweet as I was expecting it to be. At times, it's almost the flavor of a spiced pumpkin ale.

Close to a medium body, a bit thin for the abv, with some light prickly carbonation.

The drinkability is quite nice in this one. I would like a little more of the maple to come through, but it's still a nice take on a stout. I would call this another solid offering from Third Street.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First start off with a nice stout and this one does that.
Nice dark head. Drippy lacing. Black body with garnet highlight.
Aroma is a little tight but holds soft roast towards coffee and a light sweetness hinting at the flavors to follow.
The maple is done very nicely. It blends and accents but never dominates or overpowers. It is like a soft layer of maple brown sugar across a dark chocolate/coffee wafer. Enough bitterness to prevent any residual sweetness and also a crumbly drying on the finish.
Every so slightly larger than moderate body. Real smooth with soft yet ample carbonation.
I'm pretty impressed. A good drinking stout enhanced with a really well done addition of maple syrup. A nice winter ale. In contrast to the previous reviews, I'm on my second bottle without flinching.

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Photo of kristenrae8
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting all week to have this beer. Last night I found some and decided to start my Sunday off with this sweet breakfast beer.

A: Dark as coffee. Short-lived head, low carbonation in pour. Perfect for Sunday breakfast.

S: Sweetness, maple, carmel. It's smells sweeter than any beer I've smelled. But sort of what I expected with a name like Sugar Shack.

T: It's sweet but not as sweet as it smells. There are roasted malts hiding under the maple and hints of timid hops. This would be a good introduction to dark beers for your pal that is leary of them.

M: It's smooth however it's a little thin and pretty low in carbonation. I don't mind that, I'd rather have low carbonation than super fizzy beer.

O: It's another great beer from Third Street. I don't know if you could have two in a row of this particular brew, after trying this beer I had a balanced out my tastebuds with Third Street's Bitter Neighbor and that countered the sweetness. I was unable to find this in a six-pack, but found it in a 12 pack variety sampler.

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Photo of morimech
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Maple Stout brewed with maple syrup from Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN.

Pours dark brown with just over one finger of head that last for a little while before settling to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left down the glass.

Mostly maple syrup in the aroma. More subtle notes of malt with hints of roast, molassas, and caramel.

More rounded flavor. Still plenty of maple syrup upfront, but nice complimentary malt flavors. Could use more roast but hints of mocha and caramel. Some earthyness from hops but bitterness is not quite enough to balance this sweet brew.

A little thin for a stout of this ABV. Nicely carbonated however.

Interesting brew from Third Street. They have brewed another quality beer. Hope they keep up with interesting, modestly priced beers. Sugar Shack would pair well with many foods but as a stand alone beer, too sweet for more than one at a sitting.

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Sugar Shack from Third Street Brewhouse
3.78 out of 5 based on 137 ratings.
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