Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Mercy - Ale Asylum

Not Rated.
MercyMercy

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

59 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 134
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 17
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ale Asylum visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: spointon on 11-30-2008

Our Belgian-style Grand Cru is a full bodied winter warmer. A slightly spicy aroma and flavors of dark fruit and caramel are harmonious with the classic Belgian-style finish. Part of our seasonal series, Mercy is available on tap and in six packs at your favorite Wisconsin craft beer outlet from mid-November through January-ish.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 59 | Hads: 134
Photo of delmarnate
4.75/5  rDev +28%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance of Mercy is dark amber with a fluffy, creamy head that takes a while to settle. the carbonation is evident by the dancing bubbles at the top of the head. First sip is exceptionally smooth with a warming alcohol presence. The beer holds up well after numerous servings, never getting tiresome. Very complex mixture of malts and hops. Very spicy. A good beer to swish around your mouth and get the full effect of the flavors. (438 characters)

Photo of madnick
4.52/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this brew on tap at the brewery and have bought a bunch more in the bottle variety as it will soon be gone. I've always been a big fan of the brewmasters creations dating back to the angelic days. pours a nice caramel or copper color. smells quite good with a hint of alcohol. taste is very good..slightly sweet. goes down very well...maybe too well! I would recommend this grand cru for sure..I look forward to more seasonals from the ale asylum! (456 characters)

Photo of spointon
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at Brasserie V in Madison, WI on 11/28/2008.

A= This ale arrived in a Chimay goblet and was a lightly cloudy, dark copper color with a 1/2" soapy white head. The head retained well and left lots of sheet lace down my glass.

S= The aromas of this ale were filled with malty caramel sweetness underneath some nice yeasty-musty notes and undisclosed spices.

T= The flavors were if anything, even more complex than the aromas. Lots of caramel malty sweetness in the front end, but that was quickly leveled out by a short burst of hops and a deliciously funky yeast character. I also detected the faint spice quality as I found in the aroma. The finish was more of the same, with barely any of the alcohol apparent. Very nice.

MF= Medium bodied with a relatively soft carbonation for the style. This worked well with the sweet/funk/spice notes though.

D= A really terrific beer. I was visiting Madison from out of town and happened into a bar that had a keg of this. To my great pleasure, I unexpectedly discovered an outstanding beer. Highly recommended! (1,089 characters)

Photo of Atron67
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just had this at the Library on university in Madison, boy is this a solid beer.

pretty heavy beer, it has a full body, but some of that may be the low carbonation which i was unaccostomed to. its a tan bodyied beer, pretty foggy. the yeasty characteristics which are generally pretty large in a dubble, were well under control and very tasty (not a big fan of big yeast flavors.

very smooth, malty, slightly dark, and all around another great beer that ranks up there with the big slick stout, ambergeddon and the rest. (524 characters)

Photo of wryepicures
4.37/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Monroe Street Bistro in Madison. Very excited to be one of the first to try!

Served in a Val-Dieu goblet/chalice, the Mercy looks like a slightly more ruby-tinted version of your average strong ale. Poured a medium head that drank down fast and was thick rather than wispy.

Initially not a huge mouthfeel as I expected from a 'gran cru', but my initial tastes were positive. The smell was amazing; yeasty, sugar, alcohol, good fruitcake...

Tastes: pear, caramel, honey, citrus, mulling spice and slight hops. Not very malty, and not as complex as most Belgians but extremely drinkable for the abv, and the hops prevented it from being too sweet.

Overall a very nice ale, lacking the serious mouthfeel and complexity of some, the Mercy is a very good alternative to jaded palates. (793 characters)

Photo of Sconnie
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first special release from Ale Asylum. Most of their beers fit pretty well into style categories, but what is "Grand Cru" exactly? Not a style per se, but the biggest beer from a Belgian style brewer. Not sure what to expect then, and excited to see what Dean came up with.
Copper in color, small head, not much lacing on the glass. Smell is caramel with a bit of Belgian phenolic character. Taste is just the same, nice and caramely but dry at the same time, with the Belgian yeast character in there as well. Unlike a lot of Belgian styles, the malt takes center stage in front of the yeast character. Very drinkable.
Great beer, Ale Asylum! (647 characters)

Photo of robbyc1
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light brown, with blood orange highlights. Minimal head, no lacing to speak of, clear looking.

Plenty of dark fruit raisins and plums, with hefty with a touch of Belgian yeast.

Very fruit forward with a spicy hit in the middle, finishes slightly sweet with an almost balanced finish. Definitely figs and raisins with the plums. Warming for sure, but the abv is well hidden, not over the top.

Medium mouthfeel, very soft with limited carbonation. Very drinkable. Becomes very interesting as it warms up. I am liking this as a high abv session beer, if that's possible, could have serveral for sure. (608 characters)

Photo of dancinwillie
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Jennifer Street Market in Madison, WI.

Pours a deep shade of rust, with a quickly diminishing white head.

As I poured it, I got hit with a bready yeasty aroma. Upon closer inspection, a sweet candi sugar scent is there as well.

Slightly caramelized sugar flavor, as well as just a brown sugar sweetness. General fruitiness, but can pick out a bit of banana, which surprisingly works here. Alcohol bite is present, but far from overwhelming. Some warm spiciness too. This is like comfort food. I will call it my comfort beer!

Full bodied, slightly chewy, and very smooth. Low carbonation really let's the flavors themselves shine through.

Overall, very drinkable. More than a few though, and I would be at their mercy. Really happy to see their bottling expanded beyond their year round offerings. Keep 'em coming guys, and we'll keep buying them! (866 characters)

Photo of bound4er
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first Ale Asylum beer - talk about making a great first impression. This beer pours light brown with ruby highlights. I got about 1.5 fingers of head that faded to a well covered foam.
Smells yeasty, fruity (black cherry) and spicy with a bit of C2H5OH poking through from time-to-time - nicely done. Mercy tastes a lot like it smells with caramel-like malts playing center stage and just a hit of warming alcohol. Medium to medium-heavy in body and low carbonation really gives this beer a round, smooth mouthfeel making it very drinkable. All-in-all well crafted beer. I will definitely be trying more offerings from this brewery. (636 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least."

--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Fiery apricot orange that is almost dark enough to be considered burnt orange. A massive mousse-like crown of golden ecru colored foam was produced on the pour, melts in slow motion and deposits more than a smattering of suds as it does so. With respect to the appearance, this beer could be any of a dozen different styles.

The aroma follows the look... in that it's darker than pale (BSPA) and more pale than dark (BSDA). Ale Asylum calls Mercy a Grand Cru, which says next to nothing about the style. To me, it smells like a Belgian strong amber ale. Quadrupel would work too. Plenty of fruit and spice from the yeast allows the above score to be chosen with no qualms whatsoever.

While it doesn't give Belgium's best a serious run for their money, Mercy Grand Cru is tasty stuff and is a wonderful effort from an American craft brewery that probably doesn't have much experience with beer of this sort. Authenticity is something that I always look for in a Belgian-style ale. This seasonal has it in spades.

Mucho malt holds down the bottom end with plenty of ballast. Toasted bready and steely caramel dominates and adds a respectable sweetness. For my money, a darker direction would have been preferable. Rather than apricots and brandy-soaked peaches, figs and dates (or even anise and raisins) would have been killer. It's a testament to the beer's quality that I'm still enjoying the hell out of it.

The brewer has stated that this is the highest gravity ale that he's ever brewed. I believe it. The mouthfeel is on the full side of medium-full and is as polished glassy smooth as they come. Perfect carbonation doesn't hurt either.

Warming *almost* elevates Mercy Grand Cru to classic status. Ale Asylum kicks out some pretty impressive beer, so maybe I shouldn't be quite so surprised that this Belgian-style <something> is so impressively delicious. This is one of those times when I regret not having come home with more than a single bottle. (2,082 characters)

Photo of martyl1000
4.14/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Light brown pour into a tulip glass, with an off-white fluffy creamy head.

Banana taffy hits the nose first, plus booze and rye bread.

Not very complex in the mouth. Caramel malt, honey, and fruit-cake sweetness. Some indeterminate spice. Stone fruit presence, dried fruit, prune, date. Alcohol wafts on the breath in a lilting brightness, keeping things refreshing.

Medium-full bodied, creaminess, cut by med-high carbonation. Lovely mouthfeel. Serious body but still crisp.

It doesn't measure up to Gulden Draak or La Terrible or Brasserie des Rocs. But at $12 a six pack, it's perfectly serviceable, even pleasurable. (626 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Kentucky Breakfast Stout Stem glass. No date or info on the bottle.

A - Carbonation keeps flowing up the center through the clear coppery amber color to an initially finger-high tan head. It lowered kinda quickly to a ring. Little bits of lacing left of the glass.

S - Sweet toast malts and fruit abound in the aroma of this Grand Cru. Evident right away is it's potency from the warm and spicy alcohol on the nose. Rich and inviting, not solvent-like at all. There is also a sweet, heavy toasty caramel malt nose behind the alcohol that pairs well with the lingering fruity aromas of raisin and plum with a sweet melon hint. An ever-so-slight kiss of hops towards the finish.

T - The booziness is a bit sharper and solvent-like on the aroma but not a whole lot. It's followed up quickly by a lightly yeasty, very caramel-rich toasted malt flavor with a sweet kick. The fruits in the nose finish the beer out and are a b it more prevalent on the tongue. It's a deep, complex brew that grows in complexity as it warms.

M - Very smooth and a bit creamy starting out which changes up a bit with the finish of carbonation down the throat. The finish features a nice warming sensation from the alcohol too. It's a fuller-bodied beer that has a soothing softness to it.

D - Mighty, mighty tasty here. It's a good beer I certainly would never turn down. It goes down very well for the flavor punch it packs and the alcohol level it has. I'm enjoying sipping at it as it warms up. A good winter-warming beer. (1,532 characters)

Photo of Yojimbo1941
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Rochefort goblet.

A- Light brown with red highlights and a thin, wispy head.

S- Brown sugar, tangerine, clove, dark honey, plum, light cereal, malt, golden raisins

T- Malt, dark fruit, raisins, dates, the wife thinks there's a Moroccan taste to it (not sure what that means), little bit of wheat

M- Heavy, lingers on the tongue, not much bitterness at all followed by an ever so slight alcohol burn - just enough to let you know that it's beer.

D- At 9.5% it's heavy enough to be a sipper but nowhere near the all day for one bottle drinking session that is The Beast. (607 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%

From notes on 11/15/13

Sweet smelling. Banana smell. Medium orange in color. Lots of flavor. Hints of banana with a rich caramel yeast flavor. Really tasty. Slightly expensive at $12 a sixer, but worth it. Buy it before its gone. (230 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, BOTTLE, the first ever bottled seasonal/one-off from ale asylum i believe...picked up a 4 pack at sadhanna last week

appearance: demonic label that fits the rest of the ale asylum bill....poured into a hop leaf tulip glass - dark amber body with a big foamy white cap and great letention. This is a wonderful looking beer

smell: fresh yeast, candied sugars, caramel, dark tropical fruits, brown sugar and booze

taste: very nice to see ale asylum diversify their bottle selection - their belgian interpretations have always been great on tap at the brewery. this ale is well layered and extremely smooth - dark cherry, red fruit, booze and brown sugar, dark yeasts. nice belgian from AA!

mouthfeel: smooth and full bodied, great

drinkability: good, alcohol a bit hot (783 characters)

Photo of Soneast
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in one of Ale Asylums non-descript chalices. Poured a dark copper color with some ruby highlights. The light brown head was subdued intentionally, but was a good 1/2 inch thick, looked quite creamy. I'm guessing were I to pour this myself I could coax a good 3 finger head out of it. The head itself dissipated fairly quickly leaving minor lace by the end.

The aroma on this is a sweetened malt with fruity undertones. A nice caramel aroma is evident. I can pick up a hint of alcohol.

The taste is some intense dark fruit background and a hint of citrus. A very mild hop bitterness right towards the end which is ultimately overpowered by the sweet brown sugar-ish after taste. Definitely some caramelized malt undertones in this as well.

For the 9.5% ABV, I found this beer to be very smooth and quite drinkable. I guess Ale Asylum also found it to be overly drinkable, considering they have a three drink max on this, and their Tripel Nova. I can pick up some alcohol on the nose, but I found it to be well hidden on the tongue. (1,040 characters)

Photo of grub
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

another bottle from EliteDigger. thanks scott!

12oz bottle. sampled may 18/09.

pours crystal clear reddish orange. the small dense off-white head quickly recedes to a ring around the glass and leaves spotty lace. looks pretty light for a strong dark.

aroma is good. smells more like a belgian strong pale than a strong dark, but a good one at that. bright and floral. orange peel and fruit. light spice - maybe coriander and cardamom? there's a nice non-specific yeasty spice too. light caramel and honey. white bread and cracker. light alcohol.

taste is good. here it seems to still be straddling the pale/dark divide, except leaning more to the dark side. it's got the raisin and bit of dark fruit from the dark, but some orange and tropical fruit from the light. there's also a little more spice than you'd typically find in a dark. bit of orange peel. light alcohol. lightly toasted white bread. cracker. hints of biscuit. honey and light caramel again.

mouthfeel is good. just above medium body, leaning more to the dark side here too. well integrated medium carbonation.

drinkability is good. well balanced and quite tasty. is it more of a belgian strong dark or belgian strong pale? i'm still undecided. either way, it's a complex and interesting beer that i'm definitely enjoying. (1,294 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, thanks to EliteDigger for hooking up grub at DLD. Seems like more of a BSPA rather than a dark.

Pours a pretty clear dark orange, some golden highlights, pretty cool colour, thin soapy white head forms, quickly settles down to a loose ring around the glass, some lace spots stick to the glass. Smell is neat, pretty fruity, rhubarb and apricots, some caramel and biscuity malt, light candi sugar, orange peel and citrus, touch of alcohol, some raisin, quite malty, lightly spicy, pretty cool. Taste is similar, honey and biscuits, quite toasty, some candi sugar sweetness, lots of fruit, raisins, alcohol comes through a bit, some toastiness and spice in the finish, with a very thick maltiness, some orange peel as well, pretty cool. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, maybe a touch too high in the body department, some warmth from alcohol but pretty well hidden. Nice beer that encompasses quite a few Belgian styles, I like it. Thanks Scott! (985 characters)

Photo of Pauly2X
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Slightly hazy ruby chesnut color with a thin wispy head.

S- Light hints of clean malt and even lighter hints of dried fruit.

T- Simple sweet malt taste up front accompanied by some vinous notes. The middle is mostly clean with some toasted malt notes which seemed a bit out of place but work well. Dried fruits come through mildly in the finish.

M- Rich, with a nice but overpowering carbonic bite.

D- Considering how much cheaper this is than it's belgian counterparts, I'll prolly buy this again.

One of the better Belgain style ales this side of the pond, and considering the price difference it's a no brainer. (622 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mar for sharing this bottle. This is my first Ale Asylum beer.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is sweet oranges with some caramel malt. The flavor is more of the same with the orange and caramel being joined by some Belgian yeast. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (310 characters)

Photo of MPLS
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first offering from Ale Asylum, I have no idea how long this brewery has been around even though I live in the neighboring state.

A: Poured somewhat aggressively into my Chimay goblet. Underneath the somewhat bright lights this beer is pale carmine in color with a bubbly white head that has little to no retention. Lacing is minimal and there certainly isn't any ring stuck to the glass. There is however a yeast ring that formed around the bottle.

S: I ah smells yeast, pear/apple fruits, alcohol, and cinnamon.

T: This beer has a good amount of fruitiness and definitely dominated by it's malt structure and yeast. The fruitiness comes on first, followed by the breadier aspects of the beer that collide with a touch of spice and alcohol discernible only at the back of the throat or if you concentrate on the finish.

M: Not visually impressive, but a good medium bodied brew that has for all intents and purpose a good amount of carbonation.

D: This beer is a great beer from a brewery that is I had not heard of until I received a few beers from them. The flavor will not know your advocate socks off, but is pleasing; however I wish the finish of this beer had a smoother finish and it would be more enjoyable. (1,233 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, dark copper color with a small, thin, off-white head. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruits (pear and apple). It also had some nice malty and caramel aromas.

T - It tasted quite spicy/peppery with a nice dried fruit backbone. Also, a good deal of sweet malty flavors.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a smooth, dry finish. A medium to full bodied beer.

D - This did not look like it was going to be a good bottle, but it tasted far better than it looked. (509 characters)

Photo of cokes
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep copper in color at it's heart as it fades in gradients towards toasted golden near the edges. The head is short and beige, then endures as a milky skim across the surface.
It smells of toasted wheat, ginger, allspice, black cherry, kiwi, and then thoroughly glazed in a sherry and brown sugar reduction.
In the mouth, it begins with a honeyed cereal graininess. Caramel enters and expands in the confectionary, nougat sense. Yeast brings a load of wet doughiness, and more modest spicing (ginger, cinnamon, clove) and banana bread. Fruitiness is certainly here, but meshed and a bit indistinct, though black cherry and golden raisins both make impressions as it warms. Figs too, and whispers of grilled pineapple. Hopping is more-or-less a nonfactor, but some tea-like notes materialize late. Alcohol comes in with more vinic, grapey notes than actual heat.
Full bodied with a stunted carbonation. It's a bit syrupy but without any big booze sting.
As a Belgian-styled Winter Warmer, it accomplishes what it sets out to do. (1,030 characters)

Photo of pagriley
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - Pours mid amber with a thin white head that dissipated quickly. Not much lacing, but thick syrupy legs
S - Light estery notes are in the background with sweet caramel malts and dried fruit up front. Notes of sauvignon blanc meld nicely and hint at the yeasts
T - light and fruity with the alcohol well hidden. I am generally not a fan of Belgians and was given this by a friend and he was right on the money - not a ton of Belgian yeast in your face - this is subtle and delicate with great caramel malt and raisin flavors.
M - rich and creamy with a touch more carbonation than I like, but still very nice

Overall a very enjoyable beer with a lighter less in your face profile that belies the alcohol and horsepower underneath (736 characters)

Photo of Onslow
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to John, you rock sir! ... pours a ;ight tawny red -copper ... nice firm coco cola head ... light fruit, sugar, raison bread, light rum smells and flavours ... abv is A-OK ... great lacing ... do people even get excited about the old firm derby? ... wow, i feel this warming my belly on this cold night ... a very enjoyable way WAY to easy to drink brew! This brewery has great promise with their bottled beers if this is what they put out... who you callin a syko!?!? (475 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Mercy from Ale Asylum
84 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.