Three - Surly Brewing Company

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Three
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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

70 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 70
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 13.02%
Wants: 23
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Braggot |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-19-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Tap only.
View: Beers (48) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by beerad666:
Photo of beerad666
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Small Bar in Chicago, IL.

It pours a very murky dark dark amber, it was really dark inside the bar so may have looked darker then it was. There was almost no head, just some white lacing on the glass. In the aroma honey and sugar comes through right away, also some cherry. I was worried this was going to be too sweet and undrinkable. It almost smells like a mead. But the taste is more tart with honey. Don't get me wrong, this is a sweet beverage. But it is well balanced with the malts and fruit. This one is a sipper and a sharer, I wasn't able to tackle a whole pint alone. The booze was getting to me and I was just starting to feel sticky. This is a different beer and worth trying if you see it on tap.

More User Reviews:
Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a special keg sent from the brewery for Dennis Brother's 10th anniversary store event. Poured into a clear plastic cup.

Appearance: A very dark brownish black with a light hint of amber. About a couple fingers of off white head that fades into a thin patchy layer. Decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A pretty sweet and fruity aroma. Dark roasted malts with some hints of dark bread, chocolate, toffee, and burnt caramel. Huge presence of dark fruits with hints of raisin, dark cherry, plums, and fig. A good amount of molasses and brown sugar. Also some hints of honey, apple, and vanilla.

Taste: Like it smells, a pretty sweet taste that is very forward with the dark fruits and sugar, but not cloying. Some dark malts with fairly mild notes of chocolate, caramel, toffee, and dark biscuit. A good dose of molasses and brown sugar. Really big taste of dark and ripe fruits. Notes of raisin, cherries, plums, figs, apple, and pear. Honey is actually kind of tame compared to the fruits. A little bit of vanilla. Very good taste here.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy and slick. Somewhat sticky. Alcohol is hidden very well considering how high it is.

Overall: A very good and interesting brew. My first experience with this style. With a couple years of age the dark fruits really shine. Nice to be able to try this.

Photo of wedgie9
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Sheffield's. Due to poor lighting, it is difficult to get a good grasp on what I am seeing, but I think that it looks like a cloudy dark brown almost black color. As I drink more, I can see that there is a red tint to the beer. The head is minimal and off white. The initial aroma is of light caramel malt. There is a fruitiness as well, let's call it prune juice-like. It also smells slightly sour. As far as flavor is concerned, I have never tasted anything like this before. It starts off like a very malty but friendly amber ale. On the middle palate, this beer really shows off how big it is, coating my whole mouth while chocolate notes come through. On the back of the palate the sour fruit flavors kick in and stick around for quite a while on the finish. As mentioned, this is a big oily coating beer with lighter carbonation. Overall, this is an extremely unique beer with great balance and drinkability. The complexity is not huge, but I still love it.

Photo of GbVDave
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at Small Bar 4/30/09. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Served a deep, dark chestnut with a tiny head that quickly melted to a small ring and a small amount of lace.

S: Aromas of fresh honey, berries, homemade caramel, and toasted nuts.

T: See above with the addition of sweet caramel drenched berries and apples.

M: Sweet, sticky, and smooth. No trace of alcohol was detected! Sweet with a slightly dry tartness.

D: I didn't know what to expect and boy was I surprised. Excellent!

Photo of MPLS
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Waited patiently @ the Blue Nile to try this, lots of Surly sheep running around.

A: Dark syrup, with little head that was poured into a D Tremens tulip.

S: Smells like alcohol, what have I gotten myself into? There is also some good-natured sweetness and dark malts.

T: Unique and intense. A domineering sweetness makes me realize that this beer is not to my extreme liking. The uniqueness and bright molasses-like notes make it pleasant though.

M: This thing felt like Nyuil-lite, good coating of the mouth, yes um.

D: Domineering sweetness led me to drink another beer, of course it was a Surly still :p

Photo of natasharai
4.59/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with almost no head and what was there dissipated in a minute or two. The beer is a clear beautiful dark brown color.

Smell: The honey is very prevalent in the smell there are fruity aromas and a little alcohol smell.

Taste: Very sweet honey flavor, dark fruit like cherries and plum, and then a sweet malt flavor. I can taste molasses, and as it warms up the honey becomes stronger.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, a little syrupy, slight tingle on the tongue

Overall: Very strong bold flavors, predominantly sweet honey. Takes a little while to drink, but I enjoyed every last drop! A nice change for me, different and enjoyable beer!!

Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, IL.

A: Very dark with a deep tan head and plenty of lacing.

S: Lots of sweetness with both dark and ripe fruits; some dried raisins and a honey sweetness.

T: Over the top sweetness with honey, raisins, and other fruits coming to the fore.

M: Medium bodied and quite creamy; mild hints of alcohol throughout.

D: Not terribly drinkable, but this was my first of the style and I imagine most of them are this way.

Photo of RDAdams
1.96/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

The appearance is very inviting. Dark with a beautiful head.

As for the aroma, the honey and the Munich malt are both there, but there is no blending. It's like tha old McDonald's as where "the hot side is hot and the cold side is cold."

The taste is sickening sweet. It reminded me German Double Chocolate Cake with too much sugar added to the recipe.

The mouthfeel is full and smoth.

Drinkability: I couldn't finish it

Photo of AgentZero
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I didn't know what this was, but have had good experiences with Surly beers so ordered it. The bartender told me it was from a bottle they had in back, although looks like everyone else has had it on tap, so not sure.

A - Dark brown, red on the edges. Small head with a little lacing.

S - No idea what a braggot is, but it smells considerably different than most beers. Thing I really notice with this one is some sort of raisin/honey smell. Fruity.

T - Interesting taste, not sure how it is for the style but it is pretty good. Sharply sweet, with a deep honey/raisin taste and almost some darkly acidic berries. Lighter tasting than it looks. Alcohol does come through on this one which helps cut the sweetness.

M - Sticky and syrupy. Low carbonation.

D - Too sweet and sticky to drink a ton of, but I may just not be accustom to the style. Definately worth having.

Photo of KeefD
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Stub and Herb's. Pours a dark brown color with no head and no lacing. Some foam does pop as the tulip is given a swirl. Aroma is very strange, to say the least. Yes, there's honey, some chocolate, and a bit of spice, but for some reason I was smelling A1 Steak Sauce in the nose. Weird, right? Well, I passed it to my girlfriend and asked her what she thought, and she said the same thing. There was some funky stuff going in the nose, but I kind of liked it! Taste was marvelous! Light chocolate and honey mixed together nicely, with some tart cherry flavors in the background, citrus hops bitterness galore, lots of spiciness, very complex and well balanced. This was my first braggot and it was delicious to say the least. Medium body, decent carbonation, but it was lost pretty quickly as I had to keep swirling to get a head. Alcohol was pretty well hidden and I drank this bad boy down pretty fast. This was an excellent beer and I was glad I got to try it while I could.

Photo of robbyc1
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Hopleaf in Chicago.

Sampled a small glass, nice deep brown, clearish look with little head.

Sweetness hits the nose, you get the honey tone, then it opens up for vanilla and delicate spices. Very pleasant. Wow.

The deep malt hits on front, with chocolate tones, and then a massive honey sweetness finishes and coats and lasts on the pallet. I'm not sure they used enough hops to mellow the sweetness, my only real complaint.

Full bodied, with a heavy mouthfeel, stays around for sure. The drinkability suffers from the sweetness, you must be ready for this. It's a dessert sipper. Hard to think about finishing a full pint.

Forget the Strong Ale designation, it is strong but this is a true to style Braggot, with a great malt linked to the underlying Mead, I would love to try this mead on it's own. As a Braggot it is very well done, if a bit over the top on sweetness, Love ya Surly.

Photo of dfillius
4.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a stemless wine glass. Enjoyed with lunch at Common Roots Cafe just before the keg was kicked! Manager told me it was half honey, half black Munich malt - doesn't that make it Braggot (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style/114)?

A: 1 finger of dense tan creamy foam with tremendous retention. Opaque black doesn't match the manager's description of it as a 'Bright ale'. Looks like Guinness.
S: Floral hops with a bright (there it is) alcohol smell behind the hops. Maybe honey.
T: Fruity, tangy, delicious. This is new territory for me, I haven't had anything like it before. I could not ask for any improvements on the flavor of this beer. Sweet, but not cloying. Sweetness is grounded by the roasted malt.
M: Impossibly creamy, like on Nitro-tap (but wasn't, I checked). Delightful. Tiny bit of bitterness. Smooth.
D: I would have many of these. Not a session beer though! (I was surprised to see it listed as 10.00%!)

Photo of mnstorm99
3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark brown pour with no head to speak of, which can be expected as this is true to style with very little carbonation. But it isn't the best looking brew in general. There is a lack of aroma, I get very small hints of honey and dark sweet malts, but they are hard to search for. Taste is extremely sweet, which is to style, but honestly a style I am not enamored with. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, with a definate coating of sugars on the way down. The aftertaste is something I can't quite pick out, but the taste as someone next to me put it "tastes like flat coke" which is somewhat true, but I don't get the coke, I get flat sweet malts, mostly caramel. The best of their anniversary beers to me, but again, just not a beer I will seek out.

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at ABR 2011. Served into a small tasting glass:

A - Pours a dark brown with amber hues. A little bit of head to start that dies to a thin foam head. Lacing is pretty good.

S - Dark roast with a touch of sweetness from the honey. Caramel and brown sugar.

T - Cherries, cranberries and other dark fruits mixed with a nice touch of honey. Those hints of brown sugar and caramel come back around to round out the taste. Quite tasty.

M - Decent amount of carbonation with that nice sugary sweetness. Really smooth and creamy.

O - Really, really nice treat. This was one of my favorite brews of the fest. Really nice, sweet and creamy and something that I could drink quite a bit of. I like this better than two, thats for sure. I'd like to get my hands on some of this if possible, but I don't see that happening. Lovely, though.

Photo of br3wmeister
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Small white head that dissipated quickly. Dark reddish brown beer, very dark.

S- Up front honey, and caramel. This is a very sweet smelling beer. Lots of sweet malt with very little hop presence. some nice alcohol comes through but is not overwhelming. This beer smells almost like a cognac.

T- Huge sweet flavors, mostly honey with hints of caramel, molasses and roasted almonds. A slight sour presence midway through that leads to a hop bitterness then back into a malty sweet base. plums, and pears make a small appearance in the flavor. Again the flavor reminded me of a cognac.

M- Thick oily mouth feel, that is more then welcome. This beer coats your mouth with nice sweet honey.

Overall- This is a very interesting beer. It taste like a liquor or a cognac, if you like sweet and like to get drunk quick this is the beer for you!

Photo of homebrew311
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a backlogged review from notes. Served at The Map Room.

A: pours very dark with an orange-ish hue, thin white head that disappears quickly

S: huge notes of honey which is overwhelming, notes of wild flowers and licorice, lots of sweetness

T: like the nose, the honey is very prominent and dominates the profile, some flowery notes, licorice, molasses, and again more honey. The sweetness is cloying and there is nothing that balances it

MF: this beer is thick and viscous in the mouth and leaves a stickiness on the palate

D: far too sweet for my liking. I'm not well versed on Braggots, but this beer just doesn't work for me

Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this so called "Black Braggot" at the Great Taste of the Midwest, poured into a sample glass.

Quite black, tan head, nice retention and lacing.
Aroma is sweetish, dark malts, honey as expected, vanilla, roasted notes lost in there, some earthiness, minimal alcohol odor.
Full bodied, and I thought I did not like braggots!
Sweet but not cloying, vanilla and honey, a few spices. Caramel, chocolate, and more sweetness, but still easy to drink, and alcohol nowhere to be found.
Another great Surly, better than Two, but not quite as spectacular as One.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a short off white head.

Scent of honey, sweet malts, wood, smoke and sugar. A nice amount of complexity, but the balance could be better.

Taste of sugars, honey, sweet malts, and a hint of smoke. A different beer, but not too different, I enjoyed this one.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and very smooth with a small amount of carbonation.

Photo of jwinship83
3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at the bavarian lodge. my first "black braggot" so im not really sure what to expect.

A- completely black body with a rather large mocha colored head that proved to be very sticky as well as long lasting.

S- very sweet and malty with lots of fruit, mostly raisin, in the nose. noticeable honey as well.

T- overly sweet. tons of sugary honey and raisin in the taste. no trace of the alcohol, hard to believe that this one is 10% abv.

M- medium to full bodied and pretty creamy. small amount of warming from the alcohol on its way down.

D- an interesting choice for an anniversary beer. not really my thing, but im glad that they went with something different. something i dont think ill try again because its too sweet to drink regularly and a limited release beer.

Photo of Sean9689
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown/black with a light tannish head and a small amount of lacing. Smell is raisins, honey, plums, malts. Almost reminds me of a Westy 12 on the nose. On the palate, plums, raisins, malts, honey (very similar to the nose). Really wonderful finish that stays on the palate for quite some time after each sip. Medium on mouthfeel, small amount of carbonation (which is perfect). I would probably drink again but I prefer other beers to this, although I enjoyed it.

Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap last week during Surly Week at Busters on 28th.

Poured into a Surly Pint glass.

Pours a 1/2 finger slightly tanned head. Leaves some lace rings. Color is a dark brown/deep dried cherry color.

Aroma: Grapes, wine like. Dried fruits (cranberries, prunes). Bready malts. Very unique.

Taste: Dried fruits (again, cranberries and prunes). Very wine like. Bready malts. Tarty. A slight amount of booze.

Mouthfeel: Very tarty and a little bitter. Becomes very boozy after a while being on the palate. Full bodied. Slightly high carbonation.

Overall, this is a very hard pint to finish. Interesting, but not something to have all the time. Very unique and worth a shot. Maybe a smaller serving would be helpful.

Photo of kbutler1
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft. 2 year old keg at Common Roots on 10/27/10. Poured into a pint glass a dark brown rust color with a light tan 2 finger head that slowly recedes. Sweet fruit aromas waft from the nose like cinnamon apples and cider. Medium mouthfeel. Very, very sweet! The honey is very evident in the taste along with apple and fig fruit flavors. Almost mead like in taste. Nice lace as I drink this one down. Overall, very enjoyable but pretty sweet so if you don't like sweet beer, I would stay away from this one.

Photo of maximum12
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sipped glasses of this on-tap at both the Muddy Pig & the Blue Nile over the past week - had to have some Three before it joins One & Two in the world of lost beers.

Three is very dark, just how dark is hard to tell in a murky bar setting. The nose on it is very sweet.

So is the taste. This is what I hoped for when, in my fallow & fickle youth, I tried Leine's Honey Weiss for the first time. Ain't no flippin' honey in that! Here, however, there's honey. I don't know how much, but I wouldn't dare take it outside in the summer. Bees would come from miles around to swim in it.

It's thick. Surly doesn't seem to give a butt about style, but this tasted more along the lines of a Quad to me. Whatever it is, it's tasty, but I'd be hard-pressed to down more than one a night, given the ABV & the fact it takes me about an hour to get through a glass.

Very good beer. Wish I had a bottle to see what some months would do to it, but that's just wishin'.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at the Great Taste of the Midwest 2011. 5 oz pour into a tasting glass.

A- Pours a dark brown color, nice lacing on the side, ½ finger tan head that dissipates to a nice ring around the glass.
S- The aroma is very sweet, brown sugar, candy, dark fruits (raisins, plums) some honey, spice, caramel.
T- The taste is very similar to the aroma, sweet malts, brown sugar, tastes like sweet candy, dark fruits (raisins, plums) spice, honey in the background, this beer tastes very similar to a quad. A little too sweet for my taste.
M- Medium/big mouth feel, decent carbonation, rich and sweet, very drinkable for how high the abv is.
O- The is a decent beer, my least favorite of the anniversary beers, but still enjoyable. This beer was not announced in the program for the Great Taste, so I was very excited to be able to try this brew.

Photo of beckje01
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black color brown head with some lacing overall a nice looking beer.

S- Off putting smell but its the same as other braggots..

T- Great sweet mild flavor not over powering, with a nice almost semi tartness in there but goes away quick. A very nice taste and has a slight dryness that works well.

M- Nice thickness thin enough not to confuse the sweet flavors with a true mead and good activity to set it apart

D- Very nice to drink and a fun one, not something you find very often.

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Three from Surly Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.