Friday, May 30, 2014

Tyranena Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale Review

Note: Since this photo was taken, my Tyranena glass broke
Name: Tyranena Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale
Style: Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy
ABV: 7.5%

Based out of a sleepy little town called Lake Mills, Wisconsin, which is just 15 miles west of Madison, Tyranena Brewing was one the many craft breweries I dabbled in when I first got into craft beer. They are also the makers of, in my opinion, one of the best pumpkin beers out there: Painted Ladies Pumpkin Spice Ale.

However I'm here to look at their Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale, which to my knowledge is a seasonal beer. Beer Advocate claims it's a fall seasonal but I've always seen this beer come out around March/April. Now some of you are probably wondering: Why such a bizarre (disturbing) name? Well according to Tyranena's website, the term "shagging" means retrieving and sure enough, the dictionary can back up that claim, though they refer to it as "pursuing."

Sheep Shagger pours cloudy dark brown color with a thin light-khaki colored head and some sparse lacing.

Aroma-wise, it starts off with a nice caramel maltiness, peated scotch and some vanilla notes. There's also a subtle roastiness and a light hint of maple syrup on the back of the nose.

In the flavor, the vanilla and peated scotch characteristics take more of a center stage. These are backed up with a solid caramel maltiness, some roasted barley and there are even some floral hoppiness thrown in for good measure. The aftertaste is mainly caramel and toffee sweetness with a hint of smoke on the back of the palate.

When it comes to the overall mouthfeel, it's pretty thick bodied almost to being chewy but the carbonation is very subdued so it's easy to drink. All of this gives this beer a nice creamy texture.

At the end of the day, Sheep Shagger is a quality scotch ale that possesses a vibrant flavor and some easy drinkability to boot. If this were a year-round offering, this would be a regular visitor in my fridge. If you're able to get Tyranena in your area, this is a beer worth checking out!

Tyranena Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale - 8.5/10

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