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Beer Reviews

Sheep Shagger

Tyranena Brewing Company
Lake Mills, WI

Style: Scotch Ale

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

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I seem to have a lot of Scotch ales in the beer fridge at the moment. Small wonder, that, since Scotch ales, being big, malty, and meaty, make great winter warmers. And tonight is a prime candidate for such soothing pursuits, what with the mercury creeping down toward the projected single digits.

Of the plethora of Scotch ales (also known as Scottish style ales and wee heavies) in my fridge, tonight I yanked out a little number from Tyranena called Sheep Shagger.

A dark amber it pours, swirling around in the giant mug while sporting a thick, sticky, off-white head. The aroma is rich maltiness, exceedingly typical for a Scotch ale, although I need to jam my beak deep into the glass to get at it.

The sip starts right off the bat with earthy maltiness, and the entire rest of the sip is just one big, long finish: the rich sweetness just slowly fades out without anything to interfere. No hop nips, no fruitiness you’d find in a stout or porter. No smoked or peaty notes, like some American brewers—a little irreverently—like to throw in. Just clean, thick, dark malt. Well, almost. On some sips I caught a very tiny metallic bite, although it was so small and sporadic I couldn’t tell you for sure what it was, or, for that matter, what it means.

Sheep Shagger is a straightforward take on the style, a rich and chewy Scotch ale that is more than apt for the snowy season. With a medium-heavy body and an inviting mouthfeel just on the pillowy side of that soft-hard line, it makes for some soothing sipping on a cold winter’s night.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on December 15, 2009.
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