DrnkMcDermott (2870) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - JUL 23, 2010
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz. bottle from HyVee, Storm Lake, IA. My first encounter with these brewers. Sure, there was a pils and a dark ale on the shelves, but when you see "single batch series" on a label, thatís what you gotta grab. Claims four "spicy" varieties of hops besides the dry-hopping. Pours a rich-looking amber color with a lot of bubbles at the start. Doesnít kick up much of a head. Smell says "pale ale" indeed, a bit more peppery and hoppy than malty. But the taste is pretty big. I get the impression of German hops, it seems, balanced by a little bit of American piny hops. Slight ale fruitiness noted in this hop-forward beer. Ends up with more malt in the finish.
Getbetter (939) - East Palo Alto, California, USA - JUN 15, 2010
3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
From a 12oz bottle,shared by CapnCali,strong smell and taste of Carmel,light brown color,lightly bitter.
capncali (12) - USA - JUN 15, 2010
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
caramel, chocolate, roasty, earthy, brown, minimal head, medium sweetness, medium bitterness, lightly sour, medium body, average carbonation, bitter finish,
islay (1376) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 16, 2010
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz. bottle. Biscuity aroma features orange, peach, yellow plum, and golden raisin fruit scents. Barley wine-esque smell. Also reminiscent of white wine. Smacks the nostrils with its power. Highly appetizing aroma. Pours a bronze to light amber color. The liquid is clear and effervescent. Moderate amount of yellowish, cream-colored head. Good, long-lasting lacing. Dry taste. The taste is less complex than is the aroma. Interesting finish that is heard to describe beyond being spicy, and Iím of mixed opinion as to its desirability. Light grape flavors, but mainly dusty dryness. Mostly English barley wine-like, but some dry Belgian, saison-like notes. Dry finish. Medium body. Easy to drink, especially given its strength. The palate effects generally are not remarkable. Low on the liveliness scale. Itís remarkable how different the flavor is from the aroma. The fruity notes of the aroma are barely present at all in the taste. Enjoyable and interesting, though not great (but good indeed). Iím glad I tried it.
badnewsbeers (2312) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - APR 12, 2010
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Golden pour with small head. Aroma of sweet malt, lemon zest and grass. Flavor is quite funky and sour. Citrus hops initially, leading to a slightly sticky, sweet finish. Hints of diacetyl.
allendodd (115) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 4, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a thin, slightly yellow head over a coppery-brown clear beer. Nose is a big malty sweetness that is tempered just enough with a floral hop that I was ready to like this before I tasted it. First trip over the lips was a big malty sweetness, followed by a dusty grain depth, followed by a slight hop bitterness. Maybe coming on the heels of a Furious is making me appreciate the malt flavors a bit more than I normally would in an apa, but Iím liking this beer just fine. The finish is a bit sweet: there is a caramelized sugar flavor that lingers a bit long at the finish, but the beer is a keeper. Iíd serve this to a non-geek guest with confidence that I was giving them a treat and something that wouldnít turn them from craft beers. And Iíd drink it because I liked it as well.
The last Brau Bros beer I offered to a guest was a Scotch Ale or Brown ale that was horribly infected. My guest turned up her nose at my offering and I had to apologize for the bad bottle. That experience left me reluctant to buy their beers, and this Sheep Head is reassuring me that they might be OK to serve.
Nuffield (3754) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - MAR 15, 2010
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
I thought this was rather good in sum even if not in its parts. I can see why some would have said that this seems like a homebrew--Iíve had homebrews (admittedly from award-winning homebrewers) that are more polished and sophisticated than this, but despite being a bit noticeably strong (alcohol) in the flavor, and lacking complexity in hops, it strikes a rather nice balance between hops and malts--itís plain in the aroma and then in the flavor it carries through with a rounded woody caramel. Sweetish finish without any hop unpleasantries. Decent and drinkable.
undsioux7 (835) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - FEB 20, 2010
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours copper/brown. It is a sweet malty beer with some fruity hop highlights. Very malt forward for a pale. Alchohol is very present. A bit too sweet for me. I will have to say they are getting better. The first Brau beers I tried tasted like extracts that could be done at home.
13mikey (503) - New Hope, Minnesota, USA - FEB 19, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
12 oz bottle from TC Craft. Dark golden pour with a nice big white head and excellent lacing. Aroma and flavor are malty and hoppy, very nicely balanced. Finish has a nice hoppy bite.
nickd717 (3600) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 9, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12oz bottle as an extra in a trade with deliriumfest on BA. Pours a hazy golden-copper color with a one-finger white head. Aroma is really nice - lots of tropical fruits (pineapple, mango) and orange, somewhat hoppy, along with sweet caramel malt. Flavor is also good but not quite as smooth as I hoped from the aroma. Tropical fruits are in there, pineapple mostly, as well as orange and grapefruit. Sweet caramel malt and pale malt balance, along with some noticeable booze (wow, this is 7.7% I see now!). Medium-bodied and just a little boozy for the style with average carbonation and some hop oils. Overall a pretty solid pale ale.