Praecocia - The Bruery

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

156 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 156
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 19.16%
Wants: 6
Gots: 19 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: coreyfmcdonald on 10-09-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The great philosopher Pliny the Elder referred to the early blooming peach tree as Praecocia; years later these fruit were recognized not as peaches, but apricots. We took those apricots and added them to a bold, bourbon barrel aged old-ale. The beer, rich in flavors of burnt sugar and toffee, blends seamlessly with the musky, summer-like experience that the apricots supply.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 156 | Reviews: 16
Reviews by 2beerdogs:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.35/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml capped bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
10.5% ABV, 2013 edition

A - Murky dark brown, Praecocia pours with a frenzy of ivory foam that settles to a thin ring of bubbles leaving little lace in it's wake.

S - Dried Turkish apricots, juicy tangerines, and delicious little clementines burst from the nose with a fruity chorus that overlaps the complimentary base of rich bready malt soaked briefly in bourbon barrels. As the beer warms, exceptional nuances of brown rock sugar, vanilla bean, and Cap'n Crunch Berries (yeah, you read that right) pull through the depths.

T - Rustic, earthy malts present a cocoa-dusted bread profile that warms up to include oak paneling before relinquishing flavor to subtle bourbon-soaked apricots misted with vanilla essence.

M - Strong effervescence (so strong that after sitting for 10 minutes, the beer spurted some from from the top of the bottle) cuts through the beer's rich, malty body to even the playing field for a smooth start that finishes with a touch of tartness, oaky dryness, and subtle lingering alcohol warmth.

O - The initial blend of flavors might read with a little speculation attached but apricot essence plays a part in every aspect of Praecocia, blending wonderfully throughout for a fruitiness that works beautifully with the Old Ale base and bourbon barrel aging!

Photo of ThickNStout
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle acquired through the Reserve Society. Bottled 7/19/13. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours murky mahogany brown with a lively three fingers of dirty cream head. The head recedes, leaving a substantial cap and a fair bit of lace.

Smells of sweet apricots, mild vanilla, yeast and light barrel funk. Interesting and it keeps drawing me back.

Tastes lightly sour with those apricots out front. Sweet fruit, caramel/toffee, bittersweet earthy petals, musty oak, mild bourbon and a healthy kick of alcohol.

Medium light, slick feel with peppy carbonation. Earthy, musty, bittetsweet apricot and bourbon finish.

A very different old ale. I could appreciate the pronounced apricot, the subtle bourbon and the caramelly toffee base old ale but together they seemed a bit disjointed. Still overall an enjoyable experience and I'm interested to try the rest every few months to see if age blends and smoothes things.

Photo of jlindros
2.77/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Split with rudzud.

Nice creamy head thick lacing dark with little sediment dark murky brown color.

Nose is sour sadness with lots of bourbon on the side. Great oak barrel with bourbon sweet candy malts and great toffee caramel vanilla like. But then lots of sour malts and infection. Great soft aged malts too and little apricot. Actually not as bad as it seemed.

Taste is even more sour infection. Sour malts and acetic acid lots of alcohol burn. Nice bourbon and vanilla buttery barrel though. Sour fruit and fig paste mild apricot. Sticky flemmy finish long sour but mild bourbon barrel. Mild bitterness and stone fruit infused water.

Mouth slimy sour infection acidic mess boozy little carb.

Overall just very sad. I can get all the flashes of what would have been awesome with the complex aged soft malts, great barrel notes, and fruit, but just all destroyed by the infection. I really hope they do this again but without infection.

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.56/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to fellow BA ThickNStout for sending this one along as part of a trade. This wasn't the beer that I was specifically seeking out, but I'm a bit of a sucker for the use of peaches and apricots in beer, so I had to try it in spite of the mixed reviews. Bottle is etched with a bottling date of 7/19/2013. Poured into a large 20 oz snifter.

Appearance - While mine isn't the gusher that I've read from other reviews, it's certainly aggressively carbonated. Initial pour builds a massive three-finger head of dense, frothy foam the color of ecru with an uneven surface up top. After several minutes, the cap shrinks to a thin layer of foam across part of the surface of the liquid, forming the impression of a yin-yang (minus the dots) between the tan foam and the sepia liquid, which has an opaque haze to it. Inside the bottle, the carbonation continues to churn away, maintaining a permanent half-finger rim of foam.

Smell - Predominantly a combination of apricot and other essence of stone fruit, with an underlying sweet grainy base. I'm disappointed that there isn't a bigger presence of toffee or caramel, or even bourbon barrel, for that matter. It's a nice, with notes of prune and raisin hiding subtly beneath the brighter apricot aromas, but I don't get much of anything that resembles my expectations for an old ale--especially one that's been aged in bourbon barrels. With some warmth, the bourbon astringency and hints of wood finally come out, but it's far too much work to detect them.

Taste - Here, the malt gives a bit more richness to the fruity brightness, and there's even a slight tartness that I didn't really get from the aroma. It's not a puckering, sharp tartness, but more of a sense that fresh peach juice was blended with the beer. It's not unpleasant, but unexpected. Unfortunately, the bourbon and softer notes of burnt caramel and vanilla are not nearly as strong as I'd like. The fruit is really doing a bang-up job of shrouding them from my tastebuds. Again, with warmth, it becomes easier to detect those sweeter elements.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, with high, foamy carbonation that gives the impression of a fuller mouthfeel. Lingering sweetness on the finish.

Overall, a good beer, but one that I was excited to be great, based on the description and knowledge of the ingredients. There is too much fruit characteristic if you're looking for a more traditional old ale, but there is still enough of the richer components to probably scare off anyone who is a fruit beer fanatic. All the same, I'm glad to have sampled it, and had no problem finishing it off.

Photo of portia99
3.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

750ml bottle (07/19/13) poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a dark brown in color with medium clarity and carbonation steadily wafting up the glass in a continuous fashion. A huge, very densely bubbled head, nearly four fingers tall rises from the surface and holds steady for several minutes showing a tannish color that shows hints of least in the lighting I have available. Webs of lacing streak the surface of the glass.

S - Interesting aroma, a bit funky in a bretty way - earthy, mildly tart, horse blankets. Nice layers of fruit with peaches and apricots coming through very well and melding with the funk nicely. Bourbon...not so much - struggling to find it in the aroma. Malt base is mild, a bit of brown sugar maybe.

T - Not really what I expected from the aroma. Rather tart up front, mixed with some boozy bourbon notes and some oaky vanilla. Apricot and peach character show up, but are blurred/obscured by the far more intense bourbon flavors, wood, and a weird medicinal bitterness that lingers far too long after the swallow. Phenolic flavors rise up towards the finish too, further complicating the flavor profile of this beer. Actually the flavor of the foam of this beer isn't half bad - peach and apricot fruitiness are more intense and pleasant. Unfortunately the liquid is rather rough.

M - Tart, high carbonation, weird medicinal character that just won't go away...odd for sure. Throw in boozy, bourbon character that doesn't mix well, tons of woody-ness, high phenolic content and a base beer that hardly decides to show up...this one really isn't very satisfying at all.

O - Pleasant appearance although hinting at possible infection with the persistent, tall and foamy head that appears. A bit funky and fruity on the nose give pleasant anticipation of the first sip, and...downhill from there. I am going to stop short of calling this undrinkable (especially considering the price of this bottle...I am perhaps in a bit of denial and trying to make myself like this enough to feel I got some value out of this bottle), but it is pretty rough. Flavors are quite disjointed, harsh and overbearing at times. Some sips yield a pleasant fruitiness only at first only to be decimated by a finishing medicinal quality that overpowers and leaves a negative impression of each sip overall. The bourbon is funny here - clashing with the fruit with neither coming out a winner. I applaud the attempt but the finished product was not successful. In the end, some of this bottle will likely end up down the drain, unless I can come up with a great, last minute idea for cooking with this.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 12.23.13
Bottled 07/09/13

A - Pours a murky dark brown with a huge dark tan head that fades slowly.

S - Bourbon, apricot, oaky, wierd, but nice and welcoming.

T - Acidic apricot and subtle bourbon. DIfferent, but it works for me.

D - Tons of carbonation with a medium body.

O - Wierd and kinda odd, but somehow it works. This one was very over carbonated, but I likd this beer, and I know a lot of people don't.

Photo of DefenCorps
2.73/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Thank you, Abraham.

Holy gusher, batman! I thought after 3 de Garde beers this weekend I'd seen the last gusher, but this one put them to shame. Gushing uncontrollably, churning up the yeast, this beer is a very dark brown with a voluminous beige foam head. The nose is a blend of brown sugar, toffee, burnt toast, a moderate vanilla character (from the barrel), along with a little bourbon. The apricot character is bright, floral and refreshing. Lots of caramel, a pleasing butterscotch aroma and some fig notes are present as well. Nice.

The palate is, eh, strange. Massively oak, this is quite tannic, lending a bitterness and tartness to the flavor profile. This gets in the way of the base beer, rendering moot the blend of toffee, caramel, toast and buckwheat honey that could have been enjoyable. The apricot character here is really nice - rich, fleshy, ripe and fragrant, it is really nicely done. The booziness gets in the way of this, though, as it appears on the finish as a blend of vanilla, burn and some oak. Drying on the finish with a carbonic acid bite, this beer finishes a little smoky, tart, sugary and very oaky. An old ale this big should not be so thin. Disappointing.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.9/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Gooooddd...amnit! Only after hosing off the keyboard and shampooing the carpet am I able to finally sit down in a wet f'ing chair and get to assess the beer. Without even tasting the beer, it has become lots of work. If I were to personify the beer- it would definitely be a woman.

Once the thing finally settles the hell down, it starts to show off a dark and hazy brown body. With garnet and rust hues projecting, the ale is equipped with yeast floaties and a billowing head that has pissed me off from the get-go. Once it finally settles, the froth stretches end to end across the glass with a tarnish stain and long retention. Clumping the glass wit random lacing, the glass is highly decorated.

As the nose reaches the rim, it's conflicted with twangy tartness but also malty sweetness. These aromas rarely manifest in the same scent so its balsamic, cider and sour grape tendencies are in somewhat juxtoposition to its maple, caramel, vanilla and savory fruits. Lightly stale, its sherry character comes to life and highlights the date, fig, raisin and prune earthen and savory notes.

Candied in its sweetness, the taste of pulled confectioner's sweetness and marmalade is front and center. However, the middle palate brings about acidic medium tones of balsamic vinegar, dry apple cider, twangy red wine, sherry and peppery brandy. Its sourish tendencies balance out its sweetness in the absence of meaningful hops while its spicy and alcoholic finish reinforce a vanilla, caramel and oaken barrel character.

Medium-full in mouthfeel, the beer continues to confuse the palate with an oily coat of sweetness, but then slices right through all that with acidity, sourness, and tannin character. Its peppery late texture is due to a mixture of wood spices, high alcohol warmth, and merlot dries the ale rather easily even though an aura of malt-forward texture lives on.

The ale really does seem to have that "stock" character where the beer's utter strength would suggest Barleywine. But its fruit additions are lost on all the other bolder complexities going on. Appricots aren't needed if you can get that marmalade character from yeast alone. Its bourbon complexities and soft, smooth but do offer a sweet booziness that jazzies up the taste to perfection.

Photo of Matty123
2.58/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Infected batch. I didn't know until after I opened the bottle.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle pour at the DTLA bottle share held at Beer Belly in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to skelliott for sharing this one.

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, apricot, and dried apricot aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, earth, and slight apricot flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earthy bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that displays a much better apricot presence in the smell.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.02/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a frothy raisin brown with massive overflowing head when opened. I poured gently and had this one chilled pretty well before opening knowing that it could be a gusher. Visible sediment floating around in the glass and carbonation pouring to the top. A head that could last for days.

S: Aroma of very fresh apricots, brown sugar, cocoa and light American oak. Having grown apricots and eaten them directly off a tree in an orchard, I can really appreciate the fresh apricot flavor and I was skeptical that it would even present itself among english barleywine and bourbon barrel aging. Its there! along with a light english ale flavor and very mild (happily) hop presence that goes with English barleywines.

T: Well after the offer of credit from the Bruery and having ordered additional bottles of this at the release time, today was the day I finally tried this beer. And after having nearly written it off along with the two other beers that they apologized for.... I still like it actually 8 months after its release.

Mostly flavored with the notes from the Apricots, a fruit that I really enjoy fresh , and mainly fresh. After Apricots and other fruits are conditioned without oxygen, I feel they lose a lot of their flavor as do a lot of other fruits... Still good, but usually not quite as good.
Anyway... figs, light toffee, caramelized sugar, peaches and vanilla blending with light American oak and bourbon. Without knowing the type of bourbon that was in here, it is hard to judge what exactly caused some of the harshness that others have spoken about. I think more likely the bourbon aging with an English barleywine seems to have caught some offguard compared to American barleywines with more esters. Honestly, at 10.5% I do not find this beer harsh. Maybe the time is right on this bottle, or maybe my perception of harshness is different. In any case, I am currently glad that I bought 5 bottles of this. I would probably buy more if I could but will see if every bottle seems to make me feel the same as the first.

M: Medium body , light for a 10.5%, and once you let it sit, the carbonation is heavenly , and I am not even joking. Gusher at first, let it sit and calm down and get to room temp.

O: Overall, I am pretty happy with this beer. Could it have been less carbonated upon opening? Of course it could have been and that would be ideal. Thing is... I don't know anybody else making an English barleywine aged in bourbon barrels with Apricots and I like this just like I thought I would 8 months ago when I bought it. If there is another out there, let me know, Id be glad to try it, but the carbonation issue is minor for me because I am not chugging a 750ML bottle and the carbonation settled to perfection after 20 minutes.

Photo of rudzud
2.44/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.25

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown hue with a thin light tan Hess that fades to leave light lacing and a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of sadness and bourbon. Sour apples, sweet, sticky, cloy apricot jam, tannic, wood and barrels. I smell what they were going for...too bad.

T - Taste is boozy, warm bourbon and then WHAM....acetic apricot, harsh and almost metallic. This is a shame because clearly this would have been a delicious old ale but now it's a harsh sour mess.

M - Mouthfeel is intensely over carbonated. Worse than a soda.

O - Overall this beer has tons of potential, only to be ruined by infection and the sort. Massive shame.

Photo of mdfb79
3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From 12/04/13 notes. Bought 1 bottle of this in the RS this year. Bottled on 07/19/13, poured into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a nut brown color with two fingers of fluffy medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Light lacing left on the glass and one inch of frothy head throughout drinking it.

s - Smells of sweet fresh apricots, bourbon, oak, toasted malts, roasted malts, dates, figs, raisins, sugar, and light caramel malts. A lot going on but the apricots are up front and very nice. Very good nose.

t - Tastes of harsh bourbon, alcohol, burnt malts, oak, toasted malts, apricots, roasted malts, toffee, and earthy malts. More dark fruits as it warms up. The bourbon is just way too harsh in the taste, and the apricots are much, much lighter, making the taste much more average.

m - Medium body and high carbonation . Some harsh alcohol heat and a touch over carbonated.

o - Overall a beer with some promise, but ultimately too harsh right now to be very good. Maybe over time it'll get better and less hot, but my fear would be that the apricots, the best part of the beer, would fade in that time. Not a great beer, glad I only bought one bottle of it.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Warning: this one's a gusher.

The beer is dark mahogany with a huge beige head. The aroma brings a heavy dose of oak, followed by bourbon and apricots. Exactly as advertised. Oaky and tannic with a surprisingly smooth finish. A bit of a light warming quality, but no harshness. Really interesting melding of fruit and booze. Certainly an interesting beer. With a try.

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.03/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a murky dark brown with some amber highlights. Three fingers of head form. They recede fairly quickly, but a thin film stays throughout drinking the beer.

S: Fairly faint in aroma. I get a nice fruity apricot sweetness upfront with a bit of toffee and a touch of oak in the background. A bit butter as well. The flavors don't really meld well together.

T: Apricot is still upfront with some bourbon and a hint of caramel. However, the beer is quite dry, which doesn't really work well with it at all. It's also a bit sour and buttery. Lots of odd flavors that don't work well together at all.

M: Very thin with good carbonation.

O: I'm not sure what they were going for here. The concept is not very good. The execution is also not very good. This is just a poor beer. Drainpour.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.15/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml, 2013
Mini snifter

A: Very murky reddish brown. Some lacing sheeting. Alcohol feet.

S: Apricot is there. You can pull that even through all the malt sweetness. It's actually nice to have. Some vanilla from the barrel aging. I like the nose on this beer.

T: Sweetness. Apricot. Slightly sour actually, which was a welcome surprise. Pretty tasty stuff. Drank less abv than I thought. After that burst of some sour fruit, you get the nice vanilla and toffee that you'd expect from the BA old ale base beer. Dark fruits and some traces of leather. Finish is long. Some lingering fruit.

M: Medium to full.

Praecocia from The Bruery
77 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.