Burton Ale | August Schell Brewing Company

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Burton AleBurton Ale

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 10-14-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 91
Photo of ZAP
4.97/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just read the brewery description of this after having a six pack over the weekend and for once a brewery description is spot on....I could just as easily copy and paste that....one thing that stood out to me while reading it was the 8% ABV...drinks more like a 5 % session beer....that is a compliment...

I'm not a huge fan of German Brewers straying from their roots....(Sprecher has had some colossal failures) but this is a walkoff grand slam home run for Schell.

it is very malty but not cloying at all....very bready...some woody impressions....very noticable hard water mineral feel to it which is what I was hoping for...a bit of candy caramel chewiness as well...

Just as fantastic beer and unique (how many other Burton Ales have you had?).

By far my favorite of the esteemed Stag Series. I could just as well give this a 5.0 and might do that after I finish the next sixer I have...

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Photo of Kjendahl
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Overall a great great beer--perhaps the best special brew Schell's has ever done. It's very flavorful from start to finish. Not overly hoppy and not overly malty. It's a nicely balanced brew. I liked it so much, I refused to share it with any of my beer snob buddies. Well done, Schell's. Please make it again some time.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Scarlet red body. Crystal clear. Thick, rocky nicotine stained head. Lacing is beautiful. Aroma is malt dominated. Sweet with overtones of caramel and nougat. Incredible taste. There is such an agreeable, sweet malt center to this beer. It's really almost beyond description. So unique and flavorful. Just saying caramel and nougat doesn't do the malt flavor profile justice. Add in some toasted malt and bready flavors. There's also a nice minerally presence that leaves a bit of a bitter linger. Nice. Hops add just a touch of earthiness. This is a beauty.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My bottles are here! Yes! A Burton Ale in the 21st Century? Indeed.

It pours a clear deep copper colour with a 2 finger head of billowy foam with some very impressive lacing.

The smell is so inviting. Lots of malty goodness; caramel malt sweets, some light toasted and fresh bread aromas. Too sweet you might ask? Nope, lingering in the background are some definite hop notes that add just the right dash of bitterness. On to the taste...

My oh my. Everything I noted in the smell is right there in the taste. Absolutely beautifully malt execution if I say so myself. Maybe the best use of malt in a beer that I've ever tasted and I've tasted a few. Carmel malt is so darn candy like with nice sprinkling of toasted malt and a fresh bread kind of flavour that doesn't go overboard. You know, beers that have the bread and it just dominates and sometimes ruins the overall flavour?

Anywho,. it's not that way in this big bad boy, 8%abv is nothing to sneeze at and the colder temps in town make it even more enjoyable. Nice warming...

I almost forgot, the hops play a smaller role, giving the beer a bit of a zap of bitterness here and there and I find that works very well for the style. (English Pale Ale or my preferred English Strong Ale) Either way you look at it, this is definitely a beer characteristic of English brewers.

The mouthfeel is, well, silky smooth. I guess this Burton Ale can do no wrong. ;^)

I just finished my glass and I'm thinking about opening another bottle. Thinking's over, pop goes the cap!

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Photo of MattyG85
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Deep and clear brownish amber orange with lots of bubbles. Big four finger off white head with very good retention and lots of sticky lacing.

Smell: Big malt profile here. Lots of lightly toasted caramel and toffee throughout. Very bready and sweet. Earthy hops are also quite noticeable in the background. Light hints of dark cherry , prune, and sugar.

Taste: Starts with some bready malts with lots of caramel, toffee, and yeast. Midway through a pretty noticeable taste of dark fruits comes through with some dark cherries and prunes. Finishes with more bready malts and some hints of earthy hops that help balance out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy and very smooth.

Overall: A great brew from Schell's. Very good use of malts and the dark fruit is a nice touch. Lots of tasty bready goodness without becoming too sweet.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one heck of a beer.
It takes a little to open up, so be patient with it. The nose is a little tame and tight. Mild malt with evidence of earthy hops. I experience the aroma on this beer very much through my mouth as I'm about to take a drink
Brilliantly clear with a pretty brown/gold amber. The small dense tan head that leaves quite a bit of lacing and lasts throughout the drink.
The flavor is where this is a winner. The complexity of just the malt bill is fun, and then add the wonderful earthy hop character. Yum! The alcohol is tough to detect, except when it pings the frontal lobe and warms the torso. A nice richness to the malt without excess. That nice crisp/crackly quality of some British ales is fully evident - I suppose that could be in part from the higher mineral profile. The blending of the hop flavors and the hop bitterness is so well done. All the flavors move smoothly one to the next in a seamless manner lending a smoothness to the drink that supersedes the mouthfeel.
The carbonation is exquisite. So very soft and smooth and enhances a moderately light body.
This is a really nice beer. Drinks like a beer lighter than what is true, so it could be dangerous. That's what would keep the numbers down in a session. All other aspects call for "I'll have another".
Had this on tap at Old Mill in Austin. Still very good. On tap seemed to have lost a little of the crispness of the malt I noted in the bottle - maybe is the age. Either way, still a very delicious beer that I felt lucky to find on tap.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been anticipating the release of this beer for some time now. This latest Stag Series brew sounds the most exciting out of all of them so far.

A: Mahogany in color, with two fingers worth of cream-colored head that has great retention. Sticky lacing coats the glass. Very fine carbonation.

S: This beer's malt profile stands out above anything else. Caramel, toffee, and dark fruit on the nose, followed by an earthy hop undertone. Alcohol is quite apparent on the nose as well.

T: This beer is sweet, but not overly so that it can be put into the "dessert" class. Tons of caramel, toffee, raisin, and butterscotch dominate, with a hint of cherry in the middle. Hops show up with a grassy, earthy tone to help balance it out.

Notes: Medium in body, with complex flavor and superior drinkability. Alcohol is only noticeable on the finish, with a warming feeling. The folks at Schell's have outdone themselves. This beer is outstanding!

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Photo of budgood1
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a relatively clear garnet colour with a thin light tan head with much staying power. sugary aroma of raisins, figs, dates, brown sugar, some boozy spice and floral hops. smells really inviting, like fresh baked corn bread drizzled in maple syrup. taste pretty much follows suit...sort of a booze soaked date and banana bread crossed with a rum soaked fruit cake. almost a bit decadent in all it boozy sweetness. there is just enough flowery hoppiness providing just enough bitterness to keep this from being cloying. having not had a Burton ale before, i can only say that i've had barley wines which share similar characteristics to this. this has a rich, luxurious body on it; soft and supple with syrupy edges. the mouthfeel is silky smooth...with just enough carbonation/bitterness dancing on the tongue to keep the flavours lingering. drinkability is dangerous...i recommend sipping this by the fire curled up in a blanket on a cold winters eve.

overall i'm quite impressed with this. the malt character is out of this world and it actually drinks bigger than it's realtivley high ABV, which leads me to believe that unique offering has the potential to be cellared and aged. definitely recommended! a great job Schell's!!

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Photo of hardy008
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper with a 2 finger foamy light tan head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has caramel, toffee, toasted malt, and grassy hops.

The taste has caramel, toasted malt, bread, toasted malt, and grassy hops. Comes together very nicely. Sweet, but not overly sweet. The grassy hops provide some balance. Very nicely made.

Medium bodied, somewhat creamy, mild carbonation, and finishes dry. There is a lightly sweet aftertaste. The alcohol is well disguised, which I appreciate. This is another nice offering in the August Schell Stag Series. Keep them coming.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from session notes.

A. Medium dark coppery amber, no significant head at all, although there is carbonation present in the glass...

S. Nutty toffee, morning buns, light booziness in the background.

T. Initial earthy and spice hop attack rushes in and out like a well organized task force. Mid-flavor is a brown sugared doppelbock-like breadiness mixed with English Barleywine styled noble hopping profile. Finish has a remarkably sudden drop-off in hopping flavor that leaves me with a lingering hearty multigrain loaf of bread finish. As it warms up towards room temperature, it gains an additional undertone of brioche loaf. I’m absolutely in love with this flavor, it has won me over completely!

M. Hearty thick yet smooth and creamy, similar to the body of a good roggenbier, the gentle carbonation keeps things moving around on the palate quite nicely without being a distraction.

Very much recommended, and not just for the historical curiosity’s sake of trying a nigh-extinct beer style; it is a wonderful beer even when judged with a blind eye to its endangered species status. If only there was a better head presentation....

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear ruby color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes slowly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of toffee, burnt caramel, and a very faint hint of smoke. The taste is full of malty complexities. There is a nice interplay between the toffee, and caramel with a nice mineral quality in the background. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a somewhat chewy texture, and appropriately lower carbonation. Overall, this is a really good beer that I sincerely hope Schell's considers making a permanent offering.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of joshuaseresse. Served in a Surly pint glass.

A - Pale ale? Not so much. A gorgeous transparent mahogany-gold body, topped by a generous two fingers of soapy light tan foam. The head eventually settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and a few stray fingers of lace.

S - Quintessentially English. Floral and grassy hops, fruity yeast, toffee, toasted malts and cereal grains, and a faint whiff of alcohol as it warms up to traditional serving temperature.

T - The taste has a heavier dose of earthy hop character mingling with toasted bread. Not overly sweet, with a kiss of caramel that lingers through the finish and well into the aftertaste. The alcohol found in the aroma disappears here completely, but some of the depth is lost with it.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium-full body, lower cask-like carbonation, dry finish, and no alcohol heat. Absolutely perfect for an English-style beer.

D - This beer is dangerous at 8%. I finished my 12oz bottle in under 15 minutes, and could imagine drinking this all night at a pub in London. Probably better categorized as an English Strong Ale, but highly enjoyable no matter what it's called.

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Photo of bsp77
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is Stag Series #4, a Burton Ale which does not fit any of today's styles, but the higher abv (8%) makes this seem best fitted for English Strong Ale.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear reddish-amber with moderate off-white head and slight lacing.

Smell: Very bready and hoppy, with toast, caramel, cherry, tea, citrus and a strong herbal character. Pretty fragrant for an English-style ale.

Taste: Fairly sweet malt backbone of bread, toast, caramel, toffee, cherry and tea. The hops are pretty strong, but not particularly bitter, with floral, herbal, spicy and citrusy components.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium to full body, semi-dry finish. A little bit warming.

Overall: This is simply a kick ass English Ale, similar to many non-spiced "Winter Warmers". This is by far the most impressive non-German-style beer Schell has made. Actually, along with the reformulated Bock and the Rauchbier, this is among their very best, period.

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Photo of gatornation
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from 12 oz bottle BB date 03/09/12

A- pours a clear dark copper color with a 1 finger tan head and nice lacing

S-was toasty and malty with some toffee and ginger

T- roasted malts and sweet malts,nice caramel and toffee baked bread tasty hops, a touch of ginger and smoke,lots going on here very delicious, i want another sip

M-medium carbonation with a sweet/dry finish

O- an awesome brew,this is great..its sweet and malty has characteristics of a brown a wee heavy,and a hoppy red

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Photo of Duff27
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Inch-tall light tan head on a clear ruby red body. Really dig the color. Splotchy lacing, above average head retention.

S- Fresh toffee malts, caramels.

T- Lots of toffee notes. Alcohol sneaks through but isn't dominant, just enough. Bread, fruits (cherry). Low hop profile. Mmm, that is good.

M- Medium to medium-thick mouthfeel, somewhat syrupy actually. Adequate carbonation.

D/O- Well, I was looking forward to this beer a lot and it lived up to expectations...even though I didn't know what to expect! Very drinkable given the alcohol content. Full disclosure, I'm kind of a Schell's fanboy but I highly recommend this beer if you can get some. One of the better "English Ales" (minus stouts) I've ever had.

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Photo of tvv375ia
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz botlle into pint glass

A-nice auburn color with a 2 finger head that stayed around quite a while and left a lot of lacing as it faded

S-rosted malts carmel some toast and a little bit of dark fruit/raisins

T-much like the smell some carmel and some raisin bread toast

M-nice carbonation witha sweet finish

O-pretty good maybe they will make this a rotating beer at least and not just a one time offering

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

A - Dark copper color with a hint of rust red. Full, thick, creamy, foamy white head. Very good retention that finally settles into a nice layer of lace.

S - Nice aroma. Sweet, bready malt and loads of fruit (both orchard and golden fruit). Some floral and spicy hops and a hint of a mineral characteristic.

T - Starts with some rich, ripe fruit flavors. Apple, pear, golden raisin stand out most. Gives way to a sweet bread and caramel malt flavor. There is a faint tinge of hard water minerals and floral, spicy hops. The hops come out a bit more at the end although they are never too strong. Everything blends together well without anything jumping out too much. It's a nice, smooth drinking beer.

M - Medium body with average or slightly below average carbonation. Full, thick and slightly sticky feel.

D - Alcohol is well hidden and it drinks smooth and mellow. Everything works well together.

Notes: I really liked this beer. Given that it is a bit of a lost style, I didn't know what to expect. Nice typical "English" flavors and it makes for a very smooth enjoyable beer to sip on. A little heavy but for a big ale such as this, it is very easy to drink. Definitely worth a try and all around it was a joy to drink.

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

A - A red/gold beer with a fringe of white head that faded to a thin ring and not much else. Really rich looking color on this beer.

S - Fruity yeast, a lot of sweet caramel, some toasted malts. A lot of candy on this one, little bit of earthy hops breaks it up a bit.

T - Lot of caramel and sweet sugar. There is initially a good bit of alcohol burn on this one. Sweet toasted malts, light bit of hops on the tongue. The alcohol tastes fades away to nothing as you continue to drink this, making it go down quite easily.

M - Smooth, slight burn on the end, syrupy, medium bodied.

O - Went down easily at 8%, and is a very good beer that I could do a couple bottles of. Not a style I have enough experience with, but would love to try more beers like this.

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

12 oz bottle into a tulip

A: Deep amber, slightly cloudy. Small off-white head.

S: Rich bready malt. A light fruity element over a subdued hop aroma.

T: Big. Very rich with an almost tawny port over flavor over biscuity malt. Finishes bitter and very savory.

M: Full. Med-high carbonation. Viscous and a little syrupy.

O: Very good. My first exposure to this nearly extint style and I really like it. Very well done. Fits style very well.

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

Clear, reddish-copper coloring, slim, off-white head.

Aroma, grainy, malty, small hops. Nice. Clean, but rather quiet.

Taste: rich, malty, and slightly sweet. Very malt-driven, fruity, and scrumptious.

I'm not getting much hop bitterness, not even a little. Maybe there's just enough to tamp down the malt sweetness.

Soft, creamy, and satisfying. Not a chore, nor a challenge, nor terrible rewarding, either. Just satisfying. Good sessioner, though it's on the strong side.

I do find myself wishing for more hops, but that's wanting this to be something it never was supposed to be.Ain't nothing wrong with what it is.

(I also didn't detect the 8% alcohol, either.)

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Photo of bwiechmann
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Schell's Stag Series #4. Had this on tap at Pub 500 in Mankato for $5 a pint. According to the brewer, this is a one-time brew.

A- deep amber with minimal head (most likely the fault of the glass). Not a drop of cloudiness to be seen. Attractive beer, wish it had a head.

S- muted bread, malt, and toast. Soft hops can be found if you look. Some caramel sweetness is present as well.

T- Multi-faceted unlike almost any other beer I've had. Has so many different stages of flavors as it crosses the palate that it's hard to pin down individual aspects. Starts out with the strong malt and toasted bread. Then, the middle hits you with the sweetness which is more intense than I had thought it would be, it finishes up with those soft hops which try their hardest to balance everything out and do a decent job at that. The sweetness is pleasant and welcomed at first but after a while becomes somewhat taxing as the beer warms.

Overall, an extremely interesting beer and one that is perfect if you're looking for a change of pace. A great beer and an education to boot- can't argue with that.

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Photo of beachscrat
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dumped in to a footed glass.

Brilliantly clarity, tawny amber.

Boozy, woodsy aroma with some caramel.

Heavy caramel flavors up front, clean slight earth bitter finish.

Overall I like this one. It's like a small english barleywine, without the sherry oxidized stuff going on and without the cloying sweetness. Very good.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a long neck brown bottle into a clear standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear medium brown with a reddish tint. One and a half finger of tan foam that receded slowly and left nice sticky lacing.

Smell: Sweet and malty with hints of fried fruits, like raisins and figs. Some earthy hops in the mix and a slight whiff of medicinal yeast phenols and alcohol. Very interesting and inviting aroma.

Taste: Wow, what a unique and great tasting ale. The sweet malt is up front, but followed quickly by the dried fruits and then the Noble and Golding hops to add a slight bitter bite. Then it all finishes smooth and semi-dry. Outstanding.

Mouth feel: Medium body and good crisp carbonation.

Overall: I love this beer. I've never had the style before (Burton Ale), but it seems to embody the best of both British and Belgian styles. The sweet malts and fruit-like flavors, mixed with a great yeast profile and excellent hops flavors for balance. This is easily my favorite of the Schell's Stag series so far. They should make this a seasonal regular in their lineup!

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

Poured into pint glass from bottle, left standard head very minor lacing.

Light amber color, average carbonation rising.

Initial sour notes of fruit up front followed by smells of warm candy; brown sugar. Followed by obligatory boozy smell due to full 8%.

Strong English are taste right away, can identify the English style yeast in taste. Towards end of beer the alcohol taste becomes more apparent on the pallet. More towards the mouth feel portion do you begin to notice the fruity taste, and the though of wine comes to mind.

Minor carbonation leaves plenty of room for flavors to develop without much distracting sting for this style.

Over all... No wonder the Burton Ale is a relative of the Barley Wine... Eat something before indulging in this one, zounds!

The buzz came on slowly and gave a nice heavy feeling in the feet. Made my roommate tired again after almost immediately waking up from 8 hrs of sleep. There's something in that MN water!

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Photo of shadow1961
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

August Schell's Stag Series Burton Ale pours a couple stiff fingers of foam over a chrystal-clear rosy brew. Carbonation is moderate but steady, the nose English Ale yeast funk, barley husk with notes of sweet rummy/butterscotch and earthy, spicy hops. The flavour is English ale all the way- sweet malt up front with, again, butterscotch notes, and a bright, spicy, earthy hop finish. Mouthfeel is likewise bright, crisp, light, and semidry, due to those hops, and the smallest bite of alcohol.

Schell's, of course, is well-known for their mastery of German styles- it's good to see them showing the flag, as it were, with this delicious English-style brew.

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Burton Ale from August Schell Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 91 ratings.
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