Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Shed Mountain Ale

The Shed Restaurant in Stow is closed. However, the brewery and its brand lives on through Otter Creek Brewing Co. It can be found on tap at a few various locations but is not as readily available as other local Vermont brands. I believe Otter Creek is actually brewing part or all of the production in Waterbury as well.

Alcohol Content: 7%
IBU: ?
Malts: ?
Hops: ?

Price: $3.50 at Manhattan's Pizza & Pub
Medium: Served in a pint glass

Aroma: Spicy yeast notes are combined with a pleasant maltiness characteristic of molasses. May also be described as a deep caramel sweetness with a complex fruity ale yeast character. I also detected a very lightly roasted character almost coffee-like in nature from the use of dark malts.
Appearance: Poured for a frothy, creamy, and contained tan to light brown colored head about one inch in thickness. Retention looks great with lots of residual lacing throughout the session. Appears to be a dark amber to brown with some ruby hints when held up to the glass. Moderate haziness makes the carbonation difficult to see
Flavor: The first thing that stood out most was its crisp finish with a balance of alcohol and semi-roasted drying effect lingering into the aftertaste. It seemed rather contradicting but they somehow play out very nicely. It starts out super molasses-like with a very mild bittersweet coffee grain character and deep caramel note. Hop aroma and flavors are light, pleasant, and earthy. Perceived bitterness is moderately low, but is enhanced with a slightly roasted malt finish. Well rounded and balanced.
Mouthfeel: Moderately-full bodied with an appropriate level of carbonation to follow. Almost a nuttiness to the malts. Some warming alcohol effect in the finish. Feel very clean otherwise.
Overall Impression: This was actually the first time I had ever tried the mountain ale - trying to pick away all of the layers was a delightful experience. A way better offering than their IPA if you're looking for a little more full-flavor experience. This is an "all-encompassing" strong ale for any season. I'm not sure what category this would fall under if it had to be placed in one - Red Ale/ Amber? Winer Red, Strong Ale, Mountain? I would love to have this with my next burger.

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