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Three - Surly Brewing Company

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Three
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BA SCORE
88
very good

39 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 39
Hads: 70
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.87%
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.
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 70
Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (454 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Luckily got to try this at Hopleaf - served in a pint glass.

A - When I got the glass there was maybe a half finger of foam that dissipated quickly and left a thin ring of lace. Not sure if this was due to how the bartender poured it, so I'm going to give Surly the benefit of the doubt. Dark brown with some red highlights.

S - Reminds me a little of the Kuhnhenn Braggot. Sweet malt, berries, raisins, caramel, and honey. There's also a slight booziness to it.

T - Plenty of honey, caramel, sweet malts, and a slight sour cherry & Belgian yeast flavor. The high ABV is very well hidden, and the main flavor is a brown sugary sweetness. It drinks like a cross between a braggot & a quad. Very unique.

M - Thick, full-bodied, creamy, with slight carbonation. Very velvety and warming.

D - This is a one & done. It's high in ABV, and the sweetness gets a little exhausting - definitely a sipper, and probably best shared with a friend. If you're a mead/braggot lover this is a must try - otherwise it's more of a novelty. (1,025 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Black Braggot" they're calling it, and it's pretty damned black, under a creamy tanned head, about a 1/4 inch, long lasting in my Darkness goblet.

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

Tasting it, and the honey hits again. It leaps up and slides all over the palate, coating the tongue, and dripping delight all over the mouth. I like honey, and I like honey beers. The taste starts off with loads of honey, then leans back, as caramel and cocoa malt flavors fill in and temper the sweet stuff some. Still sweet, but far from treacly. Very mellow.

Full bodied, to say the least, finish is solid, sweet and mellow, not too short, not too long...doesn't overstay it's welcome. I find this one irresistible, but it be wisest to control consumption and keep this as a lovely nightcap.

Cheers to Todd and Omar for another remarkable, utterly unique brew, and to three great years of Surly beers! (994 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (725 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Bavarian Lodge - Lisle, IL

Poured a deep chestnut brown with limited transparency when held to the light. Head was foamy and light beige in color. Aromas were malty and sweet with hints of ripe fruit and raisins. Mouth-feel is medium bodied and smooth. Tastes seem to go back and forth between the malt characteristics (mild roasted malt, slightly smoky, dried dark fruits) and the mead (sweet honey with notes of brown sugar). These two aspects compliment each other very nicely. Overall, this was pleasant, but it is very sweet, which limits my max to no more than one. Alcohol was very well concealed - couldn't even tell it was 10%. (651 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (872 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
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'. (960 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.23/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft. Pours a cloudy brown with no real head. Aroma of sweet sweet malt, beets, and stew-like notes. Flavor of sweet caramel. Very sugary. Not terrible flavor-wise, but so sweet and hard to manage more than a couple sips of. This was my first braggot, and it doesn't seem to be a favorite style of mine... (306 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
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. (474 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
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 (639 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
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! (512 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
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. (1,379 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of Mdog
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky brown, decent head, good lacing.

Smell: I have trouble smelling on-tap beers, but three did give a sweet honey aroma.

Taste: Starts with some honey sweetness and then I get a tart cherry flavor. Not overly sweet, but on the sweet side.

Drinkability: Tasty but too strong to have much at the bar.

Congrats to Surly on anniversary #3! This beer reminds me somewhat of a Belgian quad, with its sweet, tart, and fruity flavors. Good stuff. (458 characters)

Photo of jwinship83
3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
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. (779 characters)

Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (558 characters)

Photo of rtepiak
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pour is dark dark amber. something shy of a porter but reddish in tint. small head. smell is mellow sweet, a bit sour cherry with a lace of alcohol. caramel apple malt, with hint of candied pineapple citrus. palate is heavy toffee, caramel. tastes like a very good english style barley wine with a cirtus quality similar to over sweetened tea... sweet mead like finish. pollen with a hint of sour cherry quality. not bitter finish. just a distinct molasses like bbq sauce. a very nice light lemon zest, honey comb mead sweet, with a very light sour kick. its hides the alcohol well.

pollen but not floral. clean. an english barley wine form with a unique finish similar to that of mead.

another great beer by this brewery. worth trying. (740 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
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. (374 characters)

Photo of dfillius
4.78/5  rDev +21%
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%!) (929 characters)

Photo of younger35
3.09/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had this at the Bavarian Lodge for their special Surly release party. I basically went for the 16 Grit but had to try this too! Drank from a small tulip.

Appearance- Pours a jet ass black with a nice two finger plus head that is thick and creamy. A smallish cap remains the entire duration of the "beer" along with thick rings of creamy lacing.
Smell- Starts with a very lightly charred smokiness with a light sort of honey sweetness that perfumes the background. Lightly floral and uniquely spicy as a light bit of caramel peaks its head in. Some red licorice and candied orange peel are also readily noticeable.
Taste- Starts lightly sweet with a sort of cherry start and that distinctly dry sticky earthiness I get from honey. Figs and a touch of dried raisins add a very dark earthy aspect. Some spiciness (white pepper and cinnamon) add a different aspect that I'm not sure I've experienced before. Finishes slightly sweet, slightly dry with a fruity sort of mellowness.
Mouthfeel- Fairly stout body with some zesty carbonation but unfortunately it gets cloying.
Drinkability- Way to sweet as it makes this brew hard to finish. This is the 3rd Surly brew that I've had that they age on White Ash and honestly I have no idea what the Ash brings to the table. I will say that this is interesting but it's also a Black Braggot (and has no business being on BA but whatever) so it's fun to try odd styles like this. Fun to try but only once. (1,443 characters)

Photo of KeefD
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
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. (996 characters)

Photo of tewaris
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into ABR 2011 glass by Todd Haug.

Clear and dark brown with medium head that fell into a nice collar. Aroma is honey and ginger; sweet and spicy. Tastes sweet at front with plenty of honey flavor with malts in the background and little hops. Finishes very clean. Well carbonated with a medium body. (307 characters)

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (851 characters)

Photo of robbyc1
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (903 characters)

Photo of brewdoc75
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this was long gone in the cities, but I found some by chance last night when having dinner at the Groveland Tap.

A: Beautiful mahogany with amber hues. Very little carbonation.

S: Really not a lot at first. I let the beer warm up and thne I got some strong sweet caramel aromas backed up by a nice honey aroma. There was a slight herbal character and some fruitiness as well. I did get a hint of acidic almost vinegar like aroma at the end.

T: Sweetness predominates, but not just honey here. There is a vast complexity of flavors with honey, caramel, toffee, plum, and a slight fruitiness. You do get some mild alcohol flavors, but it adds to the complexity. Faint hops in the end that balance the brew out nicely. Very flavorfull and unique. Almost belgian quad-esque. Somewhat wine like.

M: Really quite light bodied and thin. Not what I was expecting, but still pretty darn nice. No carbonation felt.

D: This was a very interesting beer (braggot) to say the least. I've had mead, I've had beer, but never a braggot. I thought I would hate it, but I really liked it. I may have to brew one of these sometime. This is a definite must try for any Surly fan or anyone who is adventurous. (1,203 characters)

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Three from Surly Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.