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Burton Ale | August Schell Brewing Company

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Burton AleBurton Ale
91 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 56
Photo of AshleyMiller
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
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 +3.7%
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 I2uss
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
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 accordselux
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
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 -13.5%
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 +2.9%
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%
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!

 1,081 characters

Photo of shadow1961
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
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 +9.1%
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 ben706
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of icefisherman
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of ballenc
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of sparx1100
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of dizztracted
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of Yulles
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of AndyH
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of birchstick
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
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 -1.5%
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 -27%
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%
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 +6.6%
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.

 1,157 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
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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Burton Ale from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 91 ratings
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