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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
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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 134
Photo of yourefragile
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (735 characters)

Photo of daledeee
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazelnut brown with a nice off white head and a little lacing. Nose is not very strong but has alcohol and dark fruits.

Taste is sweet at first then some dark cherry and plums. Some roasted malt in the finish. Mouth feel is pretty creamy. Alcohol is not very apparent. I would rate this beer higher if it had a little more nose and head which is more the characteristic of the type. However, the taste is good. (419 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 Wasatch
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (388 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 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 swizzlenuts
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a dark copper and almost brown. There is a white head that dissipates fairly quickly. I would want a little bit more. Its pretty clear too. The nose on the beer is dark plums and a slight bit of phenols. I want a bit more esters and less phenol, but I think this fits.There are hints of alchohol with a very sweet maltiness. Some esters come through with a bit of phenols.the balance is pretty good, but I think its a tad bit sweet. Maybe a bit more of bitterness would help. I don't know how drinkable the beer is because of the sweetness, but I enjoy it. There is a bit of spicy hops that surprised me, but it fits. (629 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 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 BeerBelcher
2.06/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I knew this beer and I were going to have a conflict when I first poured it in the glass. It was a bright red color, which I found attractive, but the beer looked thin and I had to pour it hard into the glass to get the least bit of head. Aroma didn't really make me feel any better or worse...it was fruity, like I'd expect a Grand Cru to smell, with some coffee and cocoa undernotes. Flavor was where the problem came in - flavor is diacetyl-y (buttery), vegetable-like, and doesn't really deliver a compelling reason to keep drinking this beer. I feel like flavors that should be caramel are grainy, and that there is something deeply unpleasant in the after-taste of this beer. Mouthfeel is quite watery as well, which is a fairly significant strike against a beer brewed to be this big.

Mark me down as not a fan of this beer.

I bought this bottle at Riley's Wines of the World in Madison, WI on 7 August 2009. (917 characters)

Photo of ibbjamin
2.91/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Paid $3.19 for a loose 12oz bottle from Riley's Wines of the World in Madison, WI. Poured into a standard pint glass to review (since I'm at my folk's house and they don't have the best glassware).

Pours rather thin for a grand cru. Head is very small, fizzy and off white in color. Despite the small head, this is well carbonated as suggested by the rising bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Transparent dark copper in color. Minimal lacing.

Smells of sweet candied fruits a la grape, fig and banana with hints of caramel malt. Quite pleasant on the nose without being much on the side of complex.

The taste seems a bit artificial for the style. It has a similar taste to the nose in regards to the fruitiness, but it is almost as if this was a concentrate that was added. Has similarities to a fake juice taste.

The mouthfeel is rather disappointing for the style and really is what separates this from a quality Belgian. Quite watery and light to medium bodied. Medium finish of artificial fruity sweetness.

Despite all of this, finishing this one beer was not a problem. Not a bad offering from such a young brewery from the US brewing in Belgian style. (1,165 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (846 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (840 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
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. (2,877 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 ppoitras
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (542 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)

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 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 blackie
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
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 (730 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 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 u2carew
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (489 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)

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Mercy from Ale Asylum
84 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.