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Mercy - Ale Asylum

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MercyMercy

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BA SCORE
85
very good

123 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 123
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.98%
Wants: 17
Gots: 12 | 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: 123 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
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 orbitalr0x
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
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 prototypic
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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 +6.9%
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 Viggo
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
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 ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
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 Onslow
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
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!?!?

Photo of delmarnate
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%
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.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of blackie
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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 Sconnie
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
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!

Photo of madnick
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
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!

Photo of u2carew
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(A) Reddish blond. Clear pour with a good aroma producing head.
(S) Definitely a Belgian style, but not too overpowering... more pleasant.
(T) A smooth, Belgian taste. Not too sour or bitter.
(M) Very clean. Covers the palate completely and there is definitely girth to the body of this beer.
(D) Great drinkability. I'd take a swig, and say, "This is a really good beer. I don't usually like Belgian beers."Before I knew it I was finished with my glass and the ABV was catching up to me.

Photo of Pauly2X
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of Soneast
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of cokes
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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 Flyer
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice beer. Essentially a maltier belgian dubbel, but that description doesn't do it justice. Pours a beautiful copper coloer with a frothy head. Aroma of spices and fruitcake. Flavors of classic dubbel, spiciness, some hints of fruit, wrapped around a toffee malt center. Nicely balanced. Just the right alcohol burn, with a slightly sharp fruit finish.

Photo of bound4er
4.17/5  rDev +10%
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.

Photo of Atron67
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Photo of wryepicures
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Photo of dancinwillie
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
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!

Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
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 spointon
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
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!

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Mercy from Ale Asylum
85 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.