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 AshleyMiller
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to MasterSki for this extra, poured into my snifter

a - pours a very reddish copper with small head the recedes and leaves minimal tracings, alcoholic esters

s - nothing special in the aroma at first but definitely improves, sort of tastes like watered-down beer, as it warms i get more barleywineish qualities - some caramel, and roasted malts as i go on

t - first sip was amazing. huge hop-blast both piney and floral. but unfortunately the hops didn't last long and by my third sip i was getting a lot of english yeast and some alcoholic heat. finishes bitter.

d - medium carbonation and lighter-bodied for it's strength

o - nothing too special on the aroma front but actually tastes pretty nice.

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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 BedetheVenerable
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: HUGE thanks to Seth T. for bringing this back from MN for me. 12oz brown pop-top, with simple, nice label. Best by date of 3-9-12. Poured into snifter. Awesome to see an attempt at reviving this once-ubiquitous style. Brewed with a Maris Otter base, two English crystal malts, torrefied wheat, and two brewing sugars. Hopped with Nugget and Goldings, dry-hopped, and aged three months prior to release. Heck yes!

Appearance: Gorgeous bright deep burnt orange/amber brew with lazy carbonation and an attractive light tan cap which shows good retention. Really nice looking beer.

Smell: Vinous notes and dark, fruity alcohol up front. It's lacking the intense, toasty caramel notes I was expecting from the malt bill, just a bit of sweet, toasty caramel/nougat. These become more prominent as this nears room temperature, so I feel I can justify the above score. Bit of hot booze in the back, but not unpleasant.

Taste: The flavors follow suit. Notes of cherry and vinous fruit up front, with some boozy, dark fruit flavors (from the sugar, I'm assuming). BIG, clean, bitterness on the finish (60 IBUs). A little bit of dryish caramel, but again, not nearly as much as I was expecting. To be fair though, the brewery's website says this is light on the caramel flavor, so I guess I shouldn't fault them too much if this is the way it was intended to taste. Considering the flavor of the dark fruit flavors, I'd be curious to know the % of sugars present in the wort. Definitely a good kick of boozy sweetness in there, but the balance between alcohol, biterness, and sweetness, combined with the lighter-than-8% body (likely due to the sugars) make for a pretty easy-drinking beer (and that's a good thing).

Mouthfeel: Firm, and lighter than 8%, but it works here

Overall: I've got another sixer of this coming in a trade, and I think (though the head brewer didn't particularly suggest it) aging a few of these. At 8%, I think it's a viable candidate for aging, and I wonder what that might do to the malt character. Overall, while I didn't absolutely love this the way I was anticipating, it's quite tasty and nicely balanced between booze, malt, and hops.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a deep copper color with a slight collared tannish head. The aroma is a mixture of biscuit, malt, banana, honey, with a touch of citrus. Medium mouthfeel. Dark fruit, bread, with a building bitterness in the end. Bitterness lingers for a little. Very drinkable for 8%. Nice to see an older style brewed again. A little sweet for my tastes but overall pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

amber color..Great clarity hear as it was sparkling clear. Very nice. Lots of carbonation apparent trickling up toward the surface. A very nice three finger high head of foam capped off the top and hung around for a good few minutes before settling back to a half inch layer which stayed with it throughout the rest of the session.

The aroma was rather weak for me. Typical English ale with a huge malt bill attached to it. Lotso of bready notes here coing through now with that deep musty like smell, like wet hey it would seem at times. The flavor followed it up almost perfectl with a solid offering of english malts, and a nice little bit of hop bitterness, albeit not much, but just enough to give it some depth

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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 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 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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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 birchstick
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a chestnut brown with a nice head that dissipates to form a thin layer over the top of this beer

S - smells is sweet caramel malts with a little bit of sweet spiciness and dark fruit

T - taste is full of malts all of the way through. Starts with caramel flavors that mix in with some toasty breadiness. There is a modicum of toffee throughout as well. No real hop presence detectable on the palate as the malts dominate this one.

M - a little light, but creamy and smooth

D - this is a malt bomb all the way. Very delicious and enjoyable throughout. Perfect for the fall weather I am currently experiencing outside. Recommended if you can find it!

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Photo of Chaz
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant, golden amber ("chestnut") in color, topped with a billowy medium-tan head which exhibits excellent lacing and a reasonably-lengthy duration.

The nose is a little more complex. Notes of yeast and malt, hops, and some other elements which are harder to pin down -- minerals? I know that this brew includes a sugar addition and there's a smell that reminds me of a high ferment, almost vegetal but different (and no, it's distinct from the yeast). There's a very faint hint of alcohol here, but it doesn't betray an 8% beer!

Rich, lightly-sweet and with a complex malt profile on the first sip. Nice sharp hop bite and bitterness takes hold almost from the first sip, and hands around on the back of the palate, never quite letting go. Plummy, with notes of bittersweet ripe apple and pear, along with a touch of anise! Alcohol creeps up slowly, but presents itself in the aroma during the drink -- this seems to correspond to the high ferment in the nose, and yet there's a character to the beer (mineral) which seems almost like seltzer or quinine, quite remarkable. Finish is quite dry and clean.

For a bigger beer this seems lighter-bodied at first, but begins to feel a bit fuller-bodied as it warms. Definitely an easy drinker for its strength, even deceptively-drinkable.

This is not-quite a British Pale Ale, not quite a barleywine, but somewhere in between. Reminds me of some of the stronger examples of bottled British Old Ales and even vintage-style ales (Lee's Harvest Ale and the like). As this style is a little out of the ordinary it is harder to rate using the existing scale, especially as there are no other examples by which to readily compare it.

Overall Schell's Burton Ale is worth a try and might even be worth seeking-out if you're interested in trying a contemporary example of a rare-r, almost-extinct style. I'll attempt to keep some back for later, but it's drinking great right now . . .

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Photo of tewaris
2.98/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

8% ABV
60 IBUs
12 oz bottle with a best by date of 03/2012 poured into a Duvel tulip.

Poured a deep and clear orange-rust-brown hue with a medium light khaki colored creamy head. The head was rather small for the pour but the head retention and lacing look alright.

Earthy, but weak hop aroma. Malty sweetness, hint of fruity esters, and a note of dessert. Certainly sweet in taste, with subtle breadiness as advertised, and characterful caramel and dessert. Hard to say if it's the malts or the candi sugars, but it seems to work alright. The bitterness appears only at the back and the finish is indeed dry for the medium body. I think it could have used lesser carbonation.

Frankly, this beer at this point seems rather uninteresting to me, "revival" or not. It gives the impression of either old Arrogant Bastard et al., or of an old/strong/barleywine ale that's not ready yet... rather muddled if I may say so. Seems like a good candidate for aging, just to see if the malt character develops any more/optimal oxidation takes hold. Can't hurt to lay a couple down.

3.5, 3, 3, 3.5, 2.5

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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 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 JoeyBeerBelly
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this beer from Bitterbill. Thanks Bill!

12oz bottle served in a Newcastle Geordie Schooner.

L - clear amber color with a beige head that left a nice sheet of lacing.

S - somewhat sweet smelling with a whiff of grassy hops.

T - sweet and malty with a light touch of bitterness before finishing sticky sweet.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation that goes down smooth and easy.

O - a comfortable beer.

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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 THECPJ
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes: Thanks goes out to Ty for sending this one my way.

appearance: copper red orange with 1 finger off white head

smell: hops, caramel, malt, toffee,

taste: hops, caramel, toffee, malts, smooth

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a very smooth drinkable beer for being 8% abv. Glad I got a chance to try it.


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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 pdoran10
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a translucent amber color into a snifter. I get a finger of white head that doesn't leave much lacing.

The smell is slight booze, dark candi sugar, caramel, and plum

The taste is cloying caramel sweetness up front. I get notes of cashews, dark fruit and slight cognac. There is a super complex malt profile going on that really works well as a cold weather beer. Not much hop presence.

Mouthfeel is reasonably thick with moderate carbonation. Pretty creamy and well done.

This is a beer I can appreciate as being really well executed, but the specific taste profile isn't my favorite. Impressive layers of flavor and interesting for sure.

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Photo of Mdog
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Red-amber, good head and lacing.

Smell: Pretty light, some toffee.

Taste: First hits me with a fruity dark cherry, then moves more into a toffee sweetness. Balanced out with a earthy hop finish.

Drinkability: Tasty, balanced, not overly strong.

Pretty substantial, not quite a English barleywine in strength but similar in feel and flavor. Nicely balanced beer. Keep the Stag series coming, very interesting beers!

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