Mercy - Ale Asylum

Not Rated.
MercyMercy

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

134 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 134
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 14.32%
Wants: 17
Gots: 13 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 61
Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a moderately dark brown with some rusty red highlights. Has a tan head that brings just a tad of lacing with it. Nose brigs some orange peel, caramel, dark fruits, and a bit of a generic yeast characteristic. Taste is similar but adds in a good dose of alcohol heat which turns into a bit too much, affecting the mouthfeel quite a bit. Drinks okay, but not something I need a whole bottle of.

Photo of largadeer
1.9/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Foggy amber, little clarity and little head. Smells strongly of soggy diaper, spice, dried fruit and sugar; overly sweet with a chemical overtone. Taste is equally bad, horribly sweet with cardboard, mineral, prunes and sugar. Syrupy sweet with a short finish, this is tough to choke down. Terrible.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of jwc215
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on the same date as the freshness date - 05/19/15:

Pours copper with a thin lasting off-white head. Traiing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is of dark and tropical (banana) fruits with caramel and peppery alcohol.

The taste is sweet - caramel with restrained banana and some dark fruit. Lingering pepper from the alcohol in the finish.

A bit sticky and slightly raw. Carbonation hovers around medium. Caramel and booze linger.

While I didn't find it to be the most complex of the style - the caramel and booze are strong - there's enough to keep it interesting. A slow sipper.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of yourefragile
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz stubby bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a still light brown with amber highlights. Vigorous pour produces a thin creamy tan head that fades to a thin crown and some thin streaks and specs of lacing. Potent, warming aroma of yeast, clove, brown sugar, toasted malt, ripe fruits and booze. Flavor is similar to nose, but milder, slightly watery in the finish and a little sloppy all together. Initially strong yeast and mark flavors before strong fine carbonation scrubs away the yeast sweetness and finishes with a slightly bitter dark fruit and bready flavor. I enjoyed this beer a lot more than my scores would suggest, but something was off in the balance and mouthfeel resulting in a less than coherent overall experience.

Photo of akorsak
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of eyncognito.

A: The grand cru ale a full amber color, much darker at the wider mouth of the glass than at the base. On pour, the head overflowed out of the glass, requiring a minor clean up.

S: The nose has a candi sugar edge that is darkly sweet. Boozy heat is present, as are caramel malts.

T: The ale is sweet with a heavy finish. Candi sugars and licorice are strong, leading the way with a good bit of flavor. Hints of fruit dot the the taste, darker and juicier as the ale warms. Caramel malts are evident, a nice pairing with the fruity flavors. Anise is a key aspect of the end of each sip.

M: The mouthfeel starts out rocky before picking up. The fruit and anise are big selling points for the ale.

D: The ale is a little too boozy to be a go-to. That coupled with an okay flavor makes this an average one.

Photo of Wasatch
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to beerwolf77 for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a cloudy amberish color, nice carbonation, little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some yeast notes, slight figs, plums, raisins, and some caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, yeasty, with some dark fruits. Medium body. Drinkable, not too bad. My first from this brewery.

Photo of ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained in the No BS 4 BIF via dirtylou. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/8" beige head over the clear copper brew. Head is instantly down to an uneven swirl of bubbles, leggy with average lacing. Aroma is sweet and lightly fruity. Taste begins sweet, prickles fruity in the middle, and goes sweet again with alcohol warmth at the close. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft, and drinkability is pretty good for the style. A little more excitement would be cool, but this brew is good overall.

Photo of Viggo
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
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!

Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
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

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of ZAP
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Burnt orange..no head

S-Nice sweet fruity aroma...some spicy esters.

T-A bit fruitt...melons...some banana...bready malt back bone....orange peel....some spiciness....I like the way this tastes...becomes a bit one dimensional and fades as you drink it..

M-Low side of full bodied...a little syrupy....sticky sweet in spots but the abv and spicy qualities do a nice job of keeping it in check.

O-Bottom line....is this an all-time great? No...but it is a niice effort by Ale Asylum. Good but not great...enjoyable...

Photo of cokes
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of blackie
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: into my st. bernie chalice, the beer is a lovely orange-tinged amber in color, the head quickly fizzles to a small grouping of carbonation on the surface, no lace

s: subdued, fruity belgian malts, some mild phenols, papery-spice hops, white fig pulp, lightly caramelized sugars, this one has the makings of a great beer

m: carbonation on the low side of medium, not as smooth as many belgians but just fine, body a full-medium

t: lightly caramelized belgian grains and sugars, flavors of light honeyed fruit, aged hop flavors and a moderate bitterness that's just a bit harsh in this context, warming alcohol, enjoyable flavor...could be very good but is just a bit timid

d: easy given the high abv

bottle shipped by dirts

Photo of morimech
3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear crimson color with a thin head that quickly settled to a thin film. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left down the glass. A bit of a letdown looks wise.

Good Belgian aroma. A lot of fruity notes with a distinct vinous quality. Could pass itself off as an actual dark ale from Belgium.

Unfortunately the flavor does not live up to expectations. It is a little heavy on the phenols which distracts from the ester qualities of the yeast. Some dark fruit and caramel notes but finishes a little astringent.

Does not feel anywhere near 9.5% ABV. Feels much lighter than that and is a little harshly carbonated.

Has some good qualities and is almost there, but there is some flaws in the flavor and carbonation. Probably a beer that would benefit from bottle conditioning.

Photo of Florida9
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Fairly translucent orange-tinted chestnut brown in color. Forms a decent sized tannish colored head, but it quickly reduces to nothing but a thin ring around the edge. No lacing.

S: The aroma is sweet and malty, with hints of vanilla, fruits, and spice.

T: Wow. This is a seriously sweet beer, almost candy sweet. Actually, not almost - this beer IS candy sweet. Lots of sweet malts, with malty fruits, berries, and a flavor reminiscent of Fruit Loops. There is a little citrus in the mix as well, but it's not a hoppy citrus flavor. Rather it tastes like orange flavored Gatorade or that cheap orange juice from concentrate. Quick finish.

M: Medium in body, but just feels thin for the style. Lower carbonation and a very mild bitterness.

O: There just seems to be something off about this beer. It's certainly drinkable and it's not that's its a bad beer - it's not - it's just that something seems out of place. I'll admit I don't care for sweetness much and this is a very sweet beer. Got through the bottle just fine, but couldn't see having another.

Photo of Stevedore
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Best by 5/16/2015. Served in a snifter glass 3/19/2015.

A- Dark brown-reddish body, two finger thick white head with strong staying power, nice rings of lacing left over.

S- Sweet toffee and caramel, Belgian yeast esters, mild black pepper. Not much else, it smells quite sweet.

F- It also tastes quite sweet, but nicely balanced between the yeast esters, peppers versus the toffee and caramel. It has a mild dried seaweed like flavour on the finish. I've never quite learned what that flavour is, but it tastes an awful lot like the dried seaweed used to make sushi handrolls. That seems to disappear more as it warms up allowing more dark fruit to show up.

M- Medium bodied, smooth and velvety. Nice body on this one. Decent estery finish on this one.

O- Nowhere near my favourite as far as beers from Ale Asylum go. I think they should move away from trying to do interpretations on Belgian styles (is it going to ever be any better than the stuff on the Belgian import shelf?) and just focus on doing great, unique tastes on various American styles.

Photo of prototypic
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many, many thanks to PaleAl for this surprising extra. Great stuff, Alex. Thanks.

Mercy is clear and a nice deep copper color. It's topped with an off-white head that barely reaches a finger deep. It was extremely quick to dissipate and left light strands of lace on the glass. I'm guessing the abv was just a little too much for it. Not bad at all.

The nose is pretty impressive. It's fruity up front and features a nice mix of apple, pear, and a little cherry. A little brown sugar is noted. It definitely smells sweet. Spices are fairly prominent. Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg are noted. It definitely has a holiday vibe to it. I don't know if that's intentional or not, but I like it. It's a little grainy and has a nice malty scent that emerges with a little warming. This is good stuff. The only drawback is that alcohol seems too prominent. It is big at 9.5%, but it could be masked a little better.

My first impression of Mercy is that it's a good, solid BSDA. Brown sugary sweetness is noted right off the bat. It's furthered by a nice honey flavor that's prominent throughout. It has a nice solid malt base and a bit of a yeasty flavor. You can tell it's Belgian yeast, but I'd like it be a little stronger. I can't seem to get enough of that great flavor. The spices are very flavorful and are a blend of holiday varieties. Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg are the most prominent. It works well and adds quite a bit to the overall flavor. It is a little grainy toward the end. Alcohol is noticeable, but seems to perform much better here. I was expecting it to be a tad hot, but it's not at all. It actually seems pretty well blended for a 9.5% beer. Nice job. It finishes spicy and a little sweet. I like it. It's not as refined as some of the world's best BSDAs, but it is a pretty impressive take on the style from Wisconsin.

Mercy has a medium body that's well built. Carbonation is a little buzzy, but it's still smooth and enjoyable. Drinkability is good. It's good stuff. It's a little big at 9.5%. I'd probably limit myself to a single bottle, but I've enjoyed the bottle.

This is my first go with Ale Asylum and it's been a good experience. It's one of those breweries I wasn't at all familiar with, but am now looking forward to trying more of their beer. The only real problem with this one is that it's a little too boozy on the nose. Not too big of a deal. Yeah, it could use a little refining. For example, a stronger Belgian yeast presence would help. I like the holiday vibe it has. I really don't know if it was designed for that or not, but it works well. All in all, this is good stuff. Definitely worth seeking out. You might as well go ahead and seek out some other Ale Asylum releases as well. If this one's any indication, they seem to have a pretty good thing going up there. Thanks for the thoughtful extra Alex. It was a very good choice.

Photo of grub
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of nickd717
1.94/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle.

Pours a cloudy amber color with a white head that leaves some thick bubbly foam.

Aroma is a little disturbing. Sulfur mixes with dirty diapers, and beyond that there is some sweet caramel malt.

The flavor is sweet malt and cardboardy oxidation, with diaper also coming through in the flavor along with iron and dirt. Some fruity apple and prune presence as well.

Boring mouthfeel with soft carbonation and medium body.

Dude, just no.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.36/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - brown, maroon, hint of orange body, paper-thin head, lacing

S - very faint sweet malt, alcohol, and fruits aroma

T - soft sweet malt, hints of spices, bread, and ripened fruit.

M - med/light body, mild amount of carbonation

D - Ok, I'm a tad disappointed, heard great things about Ale Asylum. Powerful alcohol warmth hits you, but not enough flavor for this style. Sip this one, guess the muted flavors make it go down slightly easier, but alcohol warmth will keep you at bay.

Hoping this is just a bad bottle or batch and want to give Ale Asylum another chance. I'm a big supporter of American craft beers and specifically in my own region of the Great Lakes/Midwest. Figure if I don't support them, the macros will just keep crushing the masses with their beers.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Snagged this last time I was in Madison. Pours into the glass a deep garnet hue with an inch of off white, almost khaki colored foam that sticks around for awhile. Banana bread is the first thing that comes to mind along with a swirl of spiciness and some caramel/toffee sweetness. Yeast esters entangled with a touch of fruitiness and cherry accents.

First sip brings spicy, bready malts upfront with a melange of fruity flavors and cherry accents. Spicy yeast tones kick in with a hint of cinnamon. Caramel throughout, the brew finishes a touch on the sweet side with a kiss of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and creamy with good carbonation that's more on the mellow side. Overall it's a bit on the sweet side for me and that hampers drinkability. I would probably have to stop after a couple, but it's still a tasty brew.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a darker amber color, with a small head. The smell consisted of malts and spices. The taste was also very malty and spicey, a bit of orange as well. A nice full flavor, and nice carbondation, and yet still easy to drink. Overall very enjoyable, would love to get another one.

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Mercy from Ale Asylum
85 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.