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Melange No. 1 | The Bruery

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Melange No. 1Melange No. 1

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Mélange #1 was the first in our line of barrel aged beer blends and continues to be one of our favorites. A curious blend of our bourbon barrel aged stout, Black Tuesday, along with our Flemish-style sour red ale, Oude Tart, this beer is unique and delightful. Forging flavors of toasty oak, vanilla and toffee along with notes of leather and dark fruit, both the full bodied essence of the bourbon barrel aged ale and the sour quality of our wild ale are present in this well rounded beer.

Mélange #1 was first released in a bottle in 2011, but was actually first served as cask ale back in 2008.

Added by Halcyondays on 09-07-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 547
Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured mostly dark black like you'd expect a stout to do, ruby-brown edges and a beige head. Aromas and flavors of bourbon barrel, chocolatey goodness, boozy fruit, and tart cherries and oak. Really great.

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Photo of Prince_Casual
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage, so about 18 months after bottling. East coast Bruery fan, this is my first Melange though. 750 ml at just below room temp, into Lickinghole teku.

Looks like a mix of BT and OT, unsurprisingly.

Smells a lot like Oude Tart. When I first cracked it, very strong vinegar, cherry, and leather notes. I noticed that thats all you get if your nose is deep in the glass, but if you back off you get almost exclusively bourbon, vanilla, coconut etc almost underneath it all. Pretty cool actually.

Mega sour bomb when first cracked. Really was hard to get anything else, considerably more sour than a fresh OT (or ToD). Once it mellowed/ I got warmed up to it, really picked up on some BT decadence.

I was interested to how much this would differ from tart of darkness, and I while I like that beer, this is much different. Benefits big time from the higher abv.

Fun beer. I didn't trade anything crazy for it, and am glad I was able to try this.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.81/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours out something thinner than Black Tuesday, but still hella dark, thin 1/5" dark brown head. Aroma was a perfect melange if you will. Bourbon and leathery tartness. Plenty of chocolate, a small amount of vanilla, oak, cherry.

Taste was top notch, melanged if you will again, great balance between the two. Not as sour as Oude Tart, not as boozy and huge as Black Tuesday. Make no mistake, its still a giant beer. Brought plenty of cherry out.

My favorite Melange, easy and simple, just straight up a blend of two of the best beers in the world.

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Photo of rudzud
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Split with JLindros. 2013 vintage

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown hue with a thin head that fades to leave thin wisps and a light halo.

S - Aromas of nice light chocolate, good sour tartness.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, nice tartness. There is good vinegar bite with nice faint chocolate.

M - Mouthfeel is brightly carbonated, crisp, lightly flemmy.

O - Overall this beer was nicely acidic with good stout balance. Solid.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of vfgccp
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Originally had a 2013 batch on tap in 2014 and reviewed as a 4.8

Full review of 2014 batch in 2015 from a bottle.

A - A beautiful looking beer. Deep ruby red mahogany body with 2 fingers of khaki head. OK retention and lace.

S - Soft prune, raisins, and figs, with a gentle woody vinegar funk. Touch of milk chocolate and coffee grinds on the backend.

T - Dark chocolate, black cherries, light coffee, chocolate cream, tart cranberries, toffee, soft bourbon, and warm pumpernickel bread.

M - Full, smooth body with great carbonation.

O - An outstanding blend showcasing the best of both beers.

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Photo of rand
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 mL waxed-sealed bottle poured into a snifter

Rather than listing all of the nebulous flavor descriptors, it's more interesting to note how the blending process has arced the flavor profile. The more lactic aspect of Oude Tart is a bit less puckering, bending sweeter. Black Tuesday's oaky-chocolatey richness is somewhat tempered; not quite pedestrian but easier to parse. The entire flavor spectrum isn't exactly streamlined, but not as disparate as one would guess.

The end result reminds of unsweetened yogurt flavored with vanilla bean.

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Photo of Resuin
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into an enlarged snifter.

A: Pours a murky dark brown and leaves a couple fingers of light tan head. (3.75)

S: Tart cherries, leather, tobacco, caramel, brown sugar, plums. Smells like a flanders. As it warms some vanilla/bourbon comes out. (4)

T: Leather, tart cherry, raspberry, light toffee, vinegar. Not much bourbon presence in here. Pretty drinkable, mild tartness and acidity. (4)

M: Full body with a medium carb. Thick feel to it, definitely works. (4.25)

O: Interesting beer. I don't get much of the black Tuesday, I guess the oude tart takes over here. Leathery, tart berries, stone fruits and just a hint of sweetness. (4)

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Photo of chinchill
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Large shared 2014 bottle.
Dark red brown body. Clear with a good if bubbly off-white head.
Somewhat unappealing funky aroma.
Taste: Complex, moderately tart, strongly flavored.

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Photo of John_M
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Upper Lip (Bailey's) in PDX the other day. Am not a huge sour fan (and so didn't care for the regular Oude Tart all that much), but the combination of OT and BT made for a pretty interesting combination. The beer had something of a sour cherry, dipped in dark chocolate nose and flavor, which was pretty nice. Was surprised by the abv., as it really doesn't drink like a beer with nearly 10% abv. Not sure how much of this I'd want to buy or drink (as it was a bit spendy), but it was a treat to try it on draft the other day.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A- Black in the glass but clear brown around the edges, one finger off white head

S-Oak, sour, cherries, dark fruits.

T-Rather sour, dark fruits and cherries, oak and leather. Some chocolate.

M-Medium to heavy, semi sour and nice carbonation.

O-A good beer, might not be worth the money but worthy trying once.

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Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
3.26/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

must be the sour component. I just can't wrap my palate around this one. all 4 of us didn't finish our pour. Odd, because I liked both components individually...

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Photo of Domvan
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Black tuesday is such an awesome beer, this beer takes a twist as oude tart takes you on a sour ride. The body is definitely a lot thinner, but the tartness is quite enjoyable. A very interesting beer indeed

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
2.47/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Thick, viscous hybrid Black Tuesday / Oude Tart Sour? Both beers on their own are delicious and world class. This was all sorts or wrong. A muddled mess whereas no flavors from each beer complimented the other. Horrible mouthfeel for any addition of brett to a beer. Argueably the worst craft offering I've had to date.

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Photo of busternuggz
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip. 2013 edition, came in at 11% ABV.

Mostly opaque black with a slight burgundy tinge. Thick, creamy 1/2" beige head. Settles to 1/8" with some thick lacing, comes back nicely with a swirl.

Aromas of cherry pie filling, balsamic vinegar, plums, baking spices, chocolate. A little leathery funk.

Tastes of tart cherry, red wine vinegar, tangy dark chocolate, leather. Finishes bitter & sour with some red apple skin and cherry pit.

Thick, slightly viscous body. Smooth. Lingers on the tongue.

Love it. Tasty and complex, unique, rich for a sour beer. Bruery is my shit!

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Tampa Bay Brewing Company snifter.

A: Deep brown with garnet highlights around the rim. Basically opaque except around the edges. Forms a thin tan head that fades fairly quickly, and low visible carbonation.

S: Bourbon and oak, vinous, tart cherries and some acetic character, roasted malts with some chocolate notes.

T: Follows the nose well - tart cherry, acetic, restrained bourbon flavor, oak tannins, roasted malts, and a touch of chocolate. Finishes tart with lingering vinegar acidity.

M: Lighter body than the appearance suggested, but not at all watery. Carbonation sensation on the low side. Alcohol flavors are obvious, but certainly not overly hot.

O: Very tasty. The sour flavors from the Oude Tart dominate the Black Tuesday character, but it's a nice blend. Significantly easier to drink than I thought it might be. Recommended.

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Photo of JulioH
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This most likely is a variation of an oude tart. This one, however, has a strength that oude tart does not have. It makes it somewhat heady but very enjoyable. At the same time, this could be a regular ale, with a bit of a sour hit. Even though the flavors are different, they complement each other very well.

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Photo of stakem
3.79/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml poured into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew appears dark brown in color with lighter brown clarity around the edges. A khaki cap fades leaving stringy patchy lace.

The aroma is distincticely like oude tart with all sorts of bacterial tang that go to straight vinous notes with additional fruity sour complexity. There is a dry oak presence also felt blending to raisons. A faint dusty chocolate grain note is the last thing to cross the nose.

The taste is tart yet bitter with herbal hops contrasted by a warming alcohol feel. Some chocolate grain aftertaste starts to feel almost musty as it warms up. The alcohol imparts a warming feel to this straight out the gate but it never feels like it is as big as it is listed as.

This is medium to lighter bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. This is strangely 2 beers I enjoy on their own but sadly no good aspects of either come out in the blend. It is strangely herbal and bitter which I dont remember being present in the base beers. I would not be quick to revisit this one but I can see how some would really dig it.

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Photo of alaimoa
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Bottle poured cold and letting warm. Brown leather pour with ring of dirty brown head. Smell lacks of some dark fruit, leather and a hint of barrel. Taste is great but leans heavier on the oude tart than tuesday with crazy flavor mix of tart dark fruit, leather, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar leaning into a mild tart finish. Not puckering like Oude Tart. Feel is medium carb with a nice medium body.

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Photo of ISmith87
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A 4.25 - dark mahogany basically opaque color with some dark red at the edges where it clears up a bit. Ran head that leaves lumpy lacing.
S 3.75 - sour cherries, acetic acid, slight vinegar,
T 3.75 - sour cherries, vinegar, maybe a tiny bit of chocolate/roasted malts in the background? But that's a stretch... it really must be a very small percentage black Tuesday because I get basically no stout characteristics
M 4 - very sour, it does what its supposed to do. Alc completely covered. Medium mouth feel. Aftertaste still just sour cherries, lemon.
O 3.75- its OK. I wouldn't spend 20 bucks on it again.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from my trip to the brewery (Bruery?). Batch #3 (11% abv). Pours a dark and nearly opaque red with lots of cherry red light shining through the edges. Big sour cherry and vinegar aroma, chocolate, brown sugar. Flavor is black cherry skins, a little booze, tart vinegar, some strange flavors in the background I can't put my finger on that I assume comes from the Black Tuesday. Much more body that Oude Tart and not quite as much lactic tartness. Still sour but with an expected big sweetness to go along from the blend. Plenty of carbonation. Really neat blend that works despite sounding totally weird.

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Photo of Lucnifter
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Holy mother of god! This is super complex and indescribable, but I shall try. All of the best parts of Oude Tart infused with subtle wiskey,oak and roast notes from the addition of some Black Tuesday. Oh, my, word. Amazing.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

750 ml wax-dipped bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
11% ABV, #0096 09/27/13, "Mélange No. 1 will age gracefully for many years when cellared properly. Best stored and cellared around 55°F in a dark place. Ideal serving temperature is 50°F. Best served in a tulip glass."

A - Mélagne No. 1 pours ruby mahogany in color with a black drop shadow, filling the tulip with an inky beer that's topped with a long-lived ivory foam. Fingers of lace creep up the glass but are washed down by alcohol legs.

S - Oude Tart forward, Mélange No. 1 has the distinct aroma of a Flanders-like sour with strong tart acidity. Biting at the nostrils, the acidity brings sharp cherry skin and mild funk with it but no distinct characteristics of yeast and, as it warms, it's cut short by brown sugar-like sweetness from the Black Tuesday blend, creeping in the back. One quarter stout, three quarters #sourpower!

T - Extreme acidity dissolves the tongue with biting sourness! Toasted malt, distressed leather, and wet oak provide some balance while distant stout attributes of chocolate and faint sweetness give the beer a feel of conservatively cocoa-dusted sour cherries.

M - Mélagne No. 1 is so bone dry it becomes hard to swallow with the amount of thick saliva my throat is producing to counteract! This beer is crazy dry from the front to the back as bold sour acidity clamps onto the tongue with serious grip. Alcohol barely manages to poke through the complexity of this beer but it's dryness piles on everything else on the finish as it trails off with just a hint of warming, thinning heat.

O - Mélagne No. 1 is a barrel-aged blend of Oude Tart and Black Tuesday that, through and through, feels more like Oude Tart with a splash of Black Tuesday than a blended beer. Sharp cherry skin tartness and acidic sourness are at the forefront of every aspect of this brew, chiseling away at the enamel on your teeth and subduing your tongue into #sourpower submission. Expanding on the subtle chocolate and brown sugar-like sweet hints of Black Tuesday by adding a considerable amount more would be a welcome shift in the beer's blend, really opening up it's own uniqueness rather than a feeling like a half-assed cuveé. But, BUT! You won't hear me complaining about drinking this sour-as-hell beer; it's exactly what I live for; it could just be better.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

a blend of two of the most unique and delicious beers from the bruery, thanks to drlovemd87 for busting out some cellar treats for our new years eve party. this takes everything i didnt like about oude tart (its insane acidity, its front of tongue focus, and its intense carbonation) and smooths it out with black tuesday, one of the best big stouts going. the chocolate from the stout balances the acid quite a bit, and its relative heaviness settles the carbonation down enough to make a much more drinkable, let alone interesting, beverage. still rather red in color, i wonder what percentage the blend it, probably not fifty/fifty. i think its a little oude tart heavy, as the cherry notes and burgundy sour properties come through more i think in nose and taste than the bourbon and chocolate notes of the stout, although those are what tempers the intensity of oude tart and makes me like this blend better than it. a lot less body than black tuesday on its own, the balance between sour and sweet is right on the money, and the layers of flavor keep coming long after the swallow. maybe not quite as cohesive as it could be, i still taste both beers as individuals here, but this is downright awesome beer.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very aggressive head with audibles coming from the high carbonation. I expected carbonation since this is finished with a high attenuating yeast, but for some reason was still surprised at the high levels of carbonation..

A: Massive head pour and tons of bubbles that quickly settle to just the edges. Hazy Brown, not black, cloudy looking and dirty water blend of a sour ale with a stout.

S: Smells of sour lactose and American Oak, some light bourbon hints and vanilla. Some dark malts and bourbon scents are there in the background.

T: Extremely tart and green apple flavored. Sour Cherries, lemon rinds, leather. teeth lacquer removing sourness. This is much more carbonated than Oude Tart, slightly stinging the tongue on first taste, then later giving hints of a stout mixed in , but the sweetness that would be there from the Black Tuesday is eerily missing. Perhaps eaten by the Oude Tart yeast and leaving me with this tongue stinging finish.

M: Light , airy, tongue stinging highly carbonated.

O: Overall its a highly carbonated blend of Oude tart with a stout, but hardly recognizable as Black Tuesday having anything to do with this. Id drink it again, but not a whole bottle to myself.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Waxed 750mL bottle acquired through the Reserve Society. Bottled 9/28/13. Served in a Burnt Hickory snifter.

Pours opaque chestnut with a thin pale head. Thin halo and no lace.

Smells of tart cherry, acidic citrus, a little roast and faint barrel.

Taste follows the nose well - tart cherry skins, light lemon, tannis leather, roast malt, chocolate, dark fruit, bourbon, vanilla and a little booze. Interesting and enjoyable.

Oily, medium-heavy body with light carbonation. Tart, oaky and mildly roasty finish.

As others have mentioned this is very Oude Tart forward but has a nice Black Tuesday backing. The additional body, roast and sweetness imparted from the stout blend well with the tartness of the Flanders red. Worthy.

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Melange No. 1 from The Bruery
90 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.