Sheep Eater Scotch Ale | Grand Teton Brewing Co.

45 Reviews
Sheep Eater Scotch AleSheep Eater Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Idaho, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Scotch Ales are some of the world's most flavorful beers. Scotland's cold, blustery climate lends itself to the growing of barley and oats, but not to the production of hops, which are almost always added sparingly.

The yeast must work at cooler temperatures than is customary for ales, resulting in maltier, cleaner, less fruity or estery, beers. The color often comes from black roasted malt, which imparts some dryness, but because of the lower attenuation and hopping rates, Scottish ales are almost always slightly sweet and incredibly drinkable.

Ours was brewed with black roasted barley, biscuit and peat-smoked malt. It was gently hopped, fermented cool and aged cold for weeks for smoothness. It is copper-brown in color, with some sweet maltiness and plenty of body.

Added by brownbeer on 01-13-2010

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Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 102
Photo of stevoj
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage bomber.Rough pour into a thistle glass, yields a nice foamy billowing head, nutty, peaty aroma, very earthy . Taste brings in some malt sweetness, roast grains. Slick mouth feel , lingering sweetness.

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Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear dark brown colored beer with a small tan colored head.

Smells malty and fruity with a bit of smoke to it. Scent of melon and banana. Caramel and some burnt sugar scent.

Starts out mildly sweet with a big malt flavor and a fair taste of banana. Caramel and smoke flavors. Fairly sweet with a noticeable level of bitterness. Complex burned sugars and smoke mix together with some banana and faint bubblegum flavors. Very complex, definitely a sipper and not a chugger.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Overall a damn nice example of the style. Highly recommended.

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Photo of EliColburn
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Initially smelling and immediately tasting of olives while as it rests on the palette bitterness and sourness fades, and the beer becomes sweet and refreshing.

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Photo of stortore
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Have been looking forward to this one. Nice color, low carbonation with no head at all. Great aroma- smoky and sweet. Good taste, not as malty as many for the style. Kind of bland, to me. The mouthfeel isn't bad, but seems kind of flat. Maybe because of the low carbonation.

Not a bad beer, but less so than what I expected.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Tap House Grill - Des Plaines, IL
Served in a snifter glass
A - mahogany in color with a foamy tan head that holds good retention
S - earth, peat, smoke, caramel, bread crust
T - sweet, smoky, peat, earthy, caramel, faint roast, molasses, brown sugar, raisin; excellent balance
M - very smooth, sticky, fuller bodied, exceptionally clean finish, easy to drink
O - really good Scotch ale. I'd drink this again if given the opportunity.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big scotch malt nose, a hint of sour, spice, anise, cardamom.
Pours brilliant chestnut under a 2” finely bubbled foam cap with a light tan tint. Excellent lace.
Palate: Rich malts, caramel to toffee, sweet spicy English malt flavors, cardamom with a hint of Dr. Pepper, not a lot of hops.
Chewy, very creamy and smooth. Medium to medium low carbonation.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

these beers from grand teton have let me down lately, but not sheep eater, its a perfect early fall beer and looks gorgeous molasses to mahogany red colored from the tap with a fizzy tan head. rich earthy malt base hits butterscotch for me, with a slight peach thing thats either genius or from a dirty line. there is a fruit element here though, dried and sweet, raisins and dates, its autumnal and welcoming. a touch of light alder smoke or something in the finish with the sweetness is a nice balance and the alcohol on this comes out just enough to tie it all together and be a warmer, without getting too hot. carbonation is also high for the style, but i appreciate its contribution to keeping it swift moving. these beers can stagnate, and sheep eater never does. its the peach that baffles me, is it in there or was something fruity pouring on this line before this went on? i may never know, but i like the whole package, its successful and different, im back on board with grand teton after this one.

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Photo of brentk56
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a root beer brown color with modest head that still leaves some splashes of lacing behind

Smell: Treacle and peat with just a hint of smoke

Taste: Balanced between the treacle and peat from start to finish; undertones of fig, dusted chocolate and smoke throughout

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and slightly chewy; low carbonation

Overall: Been looking for this one for a while and glad to finally get a chance to try it when I had just about given up hope; remarkable how well this is drinking 3 1/2 years after it was released

Thanks, Tenchi221, for the opportunity

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on Jan 14, 2010

A: Pours a very lightly hazy medium brown in color with garnet highlights and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some yeast sediment in suspension. The beer has a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer that reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate peat smoke notes over the sweet caramel and toffee malts.

T: Very similar to the smell with bready and sweet toffee malts. There is a light presence of the peat smoke as well as some dark fruit (plum).

M: Medium to full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate alcohol warming and some dryness in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable example of a style that is not necessarily one of my favorites - I would even consider having this one again. I really enjoy the lingering smoke smells and tastes but this is one to sip.

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Photo of oline73
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at Imminent Liquidation. Poured into my tasting glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany color with a finger of off white head and very good retention.

Smell: This one is sweet with caramel malt and some dark fruit.

Taste: A lot like the smell. The malt really dominates, but I wouldn't call the taste overly sweet at all. The ages has smoothed this one out. Definitely enjoying this.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the syrupy side, but it seems to fit. The carbonation is smooth and the finish is dry.

Overall: I haven't had this beer fresh, but the age seems to have done this beer well. I'm a big fan and would definitely enjoy more.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.61/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with ruby-hued edges underneath a small, beige head that’s rather on the sudsy side.

Smell: A grainy edge atop sweetish caramel, figs, and, oddly enough, a hint of orange peel. Moistened cardboard and spirits round out the Sheep Eater.

Taste: A similar grainy start to the taste, some caramel brushed toast slices, and that papery, oxidized element jumping right in. Lightly fruity. Some alcohol hints, seemingly more than one would expect given the listed ABV percentage. Faint spiciness, some curious woodsy tones, and a smidgen of peat. All these things are butting their heads, disjointedly vying for your attention in finish. It culminates into just an odd taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall: He’s dead, Jim.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a 1 L bottle with Stopper at cellar temp. The beer is poured into a snifter and exhibits a deep mahogany hue with light beige head of .5cm that fades to an edge layer quickly after pouring.
Aroma is brown sugar and caramel with a bit of raisin and dark fruit mixed in the nose. I dont get any real hops or booze but the malt profile is fairly complex and appealing to me.
First sip reveals an average body with slightly syrupy texture and mild carbonation.
The flavor is as the nose advertised with big malt and little hops. I get toffee and caramel with some brown sugar and maybe a little heat. I think a bit of earthy hop notes are in the background but certainly arent featured in this beer.
The beer is complex and fairly enjoyable, I was hoping for a little more from the bottle, but I dont walk away unsatisfied.

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Photo of Mako82
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter

A - Very dark brown in color. Dark tan colored head that was foamy and lasted fairly long

S - Strong barley smell, almost like hay inside of a barn. Dark malts, no sense of alcohol esters, slight hint of whiskey

T - Initial taste of caramel malts, but quickly taken over by strong barley/hay type taste. Hint of coffee, strong alcohol bitter aftertaste that stays well into the aftertaste.

M - Low carbonation, dry body

Comes in a pretty cool quart bottle

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Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear and dark burgundy in color. It poured into a snifter glass with lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are sweet aromas of malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is very malty and bready. It has some malty sweetness and notes of caramel, plums and smoke.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied, smooth and somewhat thick on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. The finish has some alcohol warming as well as a slight amount of dryness.
D: Despite all of the malty flavors, the beer is quite easy to drink. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

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Photo of Radome
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was labeled "2009 Cellar Reserve". Poured from a large flip-top bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Beer is almost black but shows as dark reddish brown and slightly cloudy when held up to the light. Initial head is about 3/4" and beige colored. It fades quickly, but maintains a circle around the glass and some lacing.

S - Nice aroma of sweet malt, peat smoke and oak. There is a fruity note in the end that could be from hops or yeast.

T - The taste is a great mix of nutty malt, then the peat smoke, then a lingering sweet finish that reminds me of chocolate milk. Delicious and complex.

M - The body is moderate to thick, accompanied by a creamy feel from the moderate carbonation. Hop bitterness and alcohol are not noticeable.

D - This is a wonderful example of the style. I can't think of a genuine Scottish version that I like better. A big beer that is delicious and perfectly balanced.

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Photo of mwilbur
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 1 L bottle into shaker pint glass. 2009 vintage. The paper tag on the beer is dated Jan 27 2010 (best after?).
A: Pours a very dark brownish-red with the faintest of fizzy tan heads that quickly recedes. The red becomes more apparent with backlighting.
S: Caramel malts, smoke, and a whiff of non-citrus fruit.
T: Cascades of sweet caramel malt overlapped with mild gentle smoke (perfect balance here). Very thick and rich. Chocolate, grains, sweet honeydew, raisins, and hint of leather.
M: Smooth, silky, sweet, and oily. Faint burn from the alcohol (and smoke?). Medium to full body. Thick and creamy. Hint of dryness in the finish. Very nice.
D: Extremely drinkable. And even at 7.5%, I would say quite sessionable. A very enjoyable brew! Very fresh tasting even after being cellared this long. Looking forward to aging my other one a bit more.

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Photo of alexpkoehler
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled late December '09, poured out of a 1 quart swing-top bottle into an imperial pint glass mid-February '11.

A - Caramel brown with reddish hues upon being held up to a source of light. Creamy tan head thanks to bottle conditioning.

S - Biscuity, bunt-sugar aromas, very pleasing, foreshadowing the abundant malt about to hit your palate.

T - Very sweet and malty as is characteristic of the Scotch Ale and the Wee Heavy, turns into a flavour reminiscent of orange liquor, and finishes like a can of one of those malt drinks

M - Enigmatic. It is both light and creamy. You'd expect something that tastes this sweet to feel like syrup on your tongue but the body is light. However, the bottle conditioning and that creamy head lends Sheep Eater and velvety, mouth-coating sort of feel.

D - The incredible sweetness of this ale, combined with the creaminess of it, combined with the 7.5% abv, combined with the fact that this is sold in 1 quart portions means that you'll get two proper pints per bottle. In retrospect, would've rather shared it with a friend than enjoyed alone.

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Photo of robbyc1
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2009 Vintage in a 1 Liter Swing Top Bottle...

Looks is a nice dark brown, very murky, creamy off white head with quick dissipation, decent lacing. A solid looking Scotch.

Scent is malty, very deep, with nose of toffee and smoke, earthy, roasted nuts, touches of chocolate.

Taste reveals the smoked peat malt, perfectly sented, and well done not overly smoky. Some sweetness comes through the finish, but it is not a sweet bomb, just a slightly sweet finish. Superb with roasted meats. Hops do not dimish the malt, with additional notes of molasses, raisons, and bread with a slight alcohol bufn on the end. Veyr smooth and creamy, almost undercarbonated, but not a problem. Nicely balanced for all that is going on. One of the best I've had. A full liter is a bit much but not really.

Thick viscosity, syrupy and warming on the palate, with low carbonation.

I am a big lover of wee-heavies, and this one is very good.

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Photo of chicano4craft
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/ruby red with a slightly off white head. Crown sticks around the whole time with a wisp of head covering the top of the beer. Great looking beer.

Nose is really nice. The malt shows up in a sweet smokiness. Some what fruity.

Taste is awesome! The smokiness and sweetness are equal as they wake up your tastebuds. It has a biscuity finish that's kind of dry. Also a subtle nuttiness. Everything I enjoy in a Wee Heavy is right here. Some would say simple flavors, but these flavors are huge.

The mouthfeel is creamy with a little more carbonation than most Scotch ales. It's insanely drinkable and I had no problem polishing off the giant bottle by myself.

I'm a big fan of Scotch Ales and this may be the best I've had. It's a malt showcase with enough smokiness to please without feeling like the wind is blowing the campfire in your face. Highly recommended.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage in a 1 Liter Swing Top Bottle...

Pours an attractrive dark brown with some red highlights, nice creamy khaki colored head, good retention and lacing. Scent is malt forward... big malt whiffs but controlled sweetness, toffee, smoke, peet, earthy, roasted nuts, touches of chocolate and oak. Taste is a superb and complex showcase for malt... again big malt presence but only moderate sweetness, notes of smoke, earth, toffee, molasses, chocolate, roasted nuts, rasin, prune, bread and a touch of warm alcohol on the end. Amazngly smooth, cask like from the bottle conditioning and blending, no limgering sweetness. Excellent suprise, best taste and body in style I have had the pleasure of trying, at no points do the aggressive malts become cloying, deep and complex taste.

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Photo of beagle75
4.46/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a one-liter bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, dark brown color with no foam head. No lacing remains on the glass. A significant amount of sediment is left at the bottom of the glass.

S: Darkly malty and complex, full of toffee and burnt caramel. Slightly briny and alcoholic, volatile fumes fill the sinuses with the memory of barbecue sauce and elevate expectations; this is the smell of a huge dark ale.

T: Begins sweet, with raisins, peat smoke, and booziness reaching the palate early. Dark, umami-laced grain emerges into the middle as flavors dry out somewhat and alcohol dissipates. Notes of whiskey are conjured as malt and ethanol vapors reach a perfect balance. The earthy finish features lingering molasses and cocoa.

M: Thick viscosity, syrupy and warming on the palate, with low carbonation.

D: This wonderful scotch ale suggests to the drinker that such "wee heavies" of quality deserve equal footing in the pantheon of strong dark ale styles. The conspicuous presence of alcohol in this beer's sensory qualities suggest a more potent brew than the modest 7.5% abv on the label, yet it brings out each layer more fully--enhancing the overall experience. Of the few bottled scotch ales, this compares most closely to that produced by Alesmith, yet is more drinkable; most other bottled scotch ales can't even be mentioned in the same sentence as Grand Teton's Sheep Eater.

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Photo of mentor
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a finger of dark tan head over a very dark brown-red liquid. Smells peaty smoke, caramel, dry red (like irish red ale), dehydrated cherries, mild whiskey.

Taste is sweeter malt than I was expecting. Caramel, biscuity, peat malt, and some butterscotch (not diacetyl, more like kettle carmelization). Esters are fig, pears, and light orange. Hop flavor works with the oranges. Lightly bitter hop character. Wet malt is dried a bit by the peat, but sweet wins the day in the aftertaste. Very heavy maple syrup accompanied by a dusting of chocolate. Md in the mouth with mild carbonation.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #41 (Jun 2010):

Part of their "Big Beers in a Big Bottle" series, hence the big bottle. A bit of a sloshy pour and light carbonation still gives a decent-looking head on this dark brew. Big malt nose, taffy and dried plums as well. Extremely smooth. Very malty, with a twang from the alcohol and a bite from the smoke. Hops are modest but help a little. Each sip pulls back another complex layer of malt and a long malt finish it is. This is an epic Scotch Ale.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for sharing this bottle. Bottled Dec. 17, 2009.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the toffee and peat-smoked malt. There is a lot more smoke than I was expecting, but it smells nice. The flavor is smoke, caramel and toffee malt, chocolate malt and earthy hops. As the beer warms I get a lot more tobacco and leather components in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of colts9016
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at 43 degrees.

Appearance: A solid one finger head that is tan. The head is creamy and foamy with good retention. The body of the beer is dark molasses brown color with a subtle garnet highlight. There is no clarity in the beer. The head is leaving some lacing on the glass.

Nose: The malt is has a deep rich aroma giving off caramel, toasty notes, and some bread. There are notes of yeast, phenols, peat, earthy, wood, floral, and some solvents.

Taste. A rich vibrant malt flavor with deep rich characters. There are notes of caramel, earthy, molasses, yeast, wood, phenols, solvent, peat, floral and toasty bread notes.

Mouth Feel: Thick chewy warming sensation that clings to the taste buds.

Overall: A very thick and chewy beer, the finish is full. This is a wonderful scotch ale, full body, rich, and vibrant. I feel that this is one of the better offering from Grand Teton. I need a couple more. Delicious!

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Sheep Eater Scotch Ale from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 102 ratings.
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