Partridge In A Pear Tree - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Partridge In A Pear TreePartridge In A Pear Tree

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

139 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 139
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 13.96%
Wants: 440
Gots: 82 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DoubleJ on 12-07-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Partridge in a Pear Tree is the first in the 12 Days/Years of Christmas Series. Brewed in the style of a Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale, brewed with our brewery-made dark candi sugar, Munich and Vienna malts. Dark brown in color, fruity and complex with a rich malt backbone. This is a simple yet immensely complex beer meant to be savored and shared with friends and family.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 139 | Reviews: 76
Reviews by roblowther:
Photo of roblowther
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on a trip to San Diego. A malty oasis in a sea of hops.

a - Cloudy dark copper brown w/ minimal tan head.
s - caramel, spice, vanilla. But very subtle.
t - sweet. sweet, sweet, sweet. Tastes of sugar (big shock), pears, and grapes
m - flat. Not surprising for the strength but almost more like an old ale or a barleywine than a quadrupel
d - definite alcohol warmth on the finish. This is just two sweet to drink a lot.

All in all a decent beer but not my favorite quadrupel.

More User Reviews:
Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky brown-mahogany with a thick, creamy off-white head. Aroma of sugar, brown sugar, pears, apples, nutmeg, yeast, and boozy malt. Sour-sweet taste, very bretty at first. Soon, turns into a sweet, spiced wine concoction. Lots of fruit, mostly pears and apricots, but an underlying grapey/vinuous tanginess. Alcohol is decently masked, but there is a warming and a bit of ethyl at times. Flat mouthfeel, but full. Easy drinker, though definitely a sipper with its ABV. Dare I say, and knowing this is a quad, but it is one of the better holiday beers out there.

Photo of nickd717
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Bruery many times. Figured I'd finally review this after all the crazy hype around it.

Pours a cloudy brown color with an off-white head.

Aroma of sweet malt, candi sugar, pears, yeast, and alcohol.

Flavor is dominated by sweet fruitiness, spices, and nuts. Very sweet and somewhat complex.

Fairly full and syrupy mouthfeel. Maybe a little too rich if anything, which slightly detracts from the drinkability, but it is a pretty enjoyable beer overall.

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.95/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown body. A little transparent. Small head.

Smell - Dark fruits. Oxidation, kinda cardboardy. Caramel.

Taste - Just like the smell. Dark fruitiness. Sweet caramel malts. Cardboard oxidation.

Mouthfeel - It's big and boozy. Medium carbonation. Oxidized.

Overall - Yeah, it's old. Interesting to try, though.

Photo of scootny
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a Jekyll and Hyde beer. One personality with food one without. The scores are in the interest of fairness without.

Appearance is a burnt orangey brown with moderate carbonation. A ring is left after a somewhat quick fade. A touch of lace here or there. Decent clinging as you drink.

Smell is better, with a multifaceted structure of malt, a forward yeasty fruitiness, and mild floral hops. Orange is a feature and it recalls the scent of holiday fruit bowls for me as I sniff. Multilayered and complex sweetness in the makeup of this one. Caramel, toffee, Belgian candi sugar.

Taste is the J&H. The roasted and bready malt characters take a back seat to the almost cloying sweetness. The traditional quad malt bomb has a syrup like stowaway. The orange from the nose is a firm presence here becoming more like a liqueur. The alcohol while not hidden is very well integrated. The sweetness of it accentuates the sugary facet of this flavor profile. There are Port wine like aspects that I noted in the Papier. This one as well. Mild hops to dry the mouth and cut the sweetness. I was beginning to wonder what kind of holiday beer this is when it hit me. It IS a holiday beer. Holidays have food and friends. This is not a quad for one man to tackle. You need friends. This is not a taste meant to stand alone. It was constructed for food. Holiday foods. I opened the fridge and pulled out a few things to test my theory. Taste goes up to 4, maybe more. With a decade of age on it this could mellow wonderfully. Right now it's a bit... brash and touch too much like sweet wine for me. Feel is gently effervescent in carbonation and a touch syrupy. Light syrup but syrup nonetheless. Somehow in spite of this a touch thin for a quad. This is probably the biggest letdown. I was looking for a beer I could sink my teeth in. A rich and somewhat chewy experience. It's falling short of that

This is not a quaffer by any stretch. This is a beer built for sips with the family and friends around the dinner table. Drinkability goes up then. By itself I would need three others to finish the bottle.

My Bruery experiences to date display well crafted beers but so far none have really been refreshing or what I would open on a night buy myself when I want a nice Belgian or such. They seem to take too much work to enjoy. It's like a there's a disconnect from the more simple aspects of a good beer. I dunno just one man's musings and opinion. Still I think this one seems to be brewed to be interesting and tasty now with it fully maturing and showing it's stuff at the end of the series. Sort of a different approach from say a VE 020202 brewed to be enjoyed fresh and appreciated for what it becomes in 121212. Time will tell and I of course have my Bruery series cellaring as I write.

Photo of bum732
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found this in a liquor store in Frederick, MD

S: Strong raisins, figs, sweet toffee, nuttiness, caramel, rich.

L: Very dark brown, nice light tan head that dissipates.

T: Sweet sticky toffee like malt, undercurrent of bold dark fruits. Mild alcoholic bitterness leads to fading of fruits to chocolate dryness. Very mellow butter pecan flavor follows. Finishes quite neutral.

M: Rich velvety fullness.

A very rich and sweet beer, the alcohol actually works here to keep it from being a boozy mess. I really liked the flavors in this, very dessert like. Wish i had another one to age a bit, still a treat to try.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.32/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep clear copper color ale with a medium light brown foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some light dry fruits notes. Taste is dominated by sweet malt and is almost overly sweet with very subtle notes of dry fruits and a unrefined grain finish. Body is quite full with average carbonation and no noticeable alcohol. A bit deceiving overall with lacking complexity and some overly dominant sweetness.

Photo of abfraser
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice dark nut brown. This one has some carbonation, which is a good sign after the Autumn Maple.

S: Smells like a classic Belgian quad. Candi sugar, dark fruits, pears. Good stuff.

T/M: Just like the smell. Caramel, candi sugar, dark fruits. Mouthfeel is a bit thick, but that's pretty much par for the course with the style.

D: Nice sipping beer. Definitely needed to split this one. It'd be too much to drink an entire 750ml of this by yourself.

Overall, nice stuff. The best Bruery beer I've had.

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The day I received the Bruery's email announcement of this release, I excitedly went to my local (LaBodega in Riverside, CA.) and was very pleasantly surprised to find 750 ml bottles listed at $10.99. This was a surprise because this place usually is a week or two behind in stocking a given release, and also this is a fair price for a Quad out here in the boonies. So I picked up a few bottles to try; will get more to age if I like it.

Pours a semi-cloudy amber-brown without a lick of carbonation; not unusual for the style, but I would have liked a hint. This is at the other end of the scale from the Saison, which was crazy foamy.

Aroma is sweet dark fruits- plums and raisins and dark cherries and essence of Brandy. Flavor is also mostly sweet fruits, with a moderate alcohol kick that reminds one of the 11% ABV. Nice and tasty; would have liked a bit more complexity, but still pretty good. Pretty sugary too. Heavy rich mouthfeel. More drinkable than it should be for the alcohol content.

I usually don't mention other beers in a review, but for me the standards of this style are Rochefort 10 and Pannepot (admittedly in different ways). When I drink those, my mouth does the happy dance of flavor and all is well with the world. This beer is very good, but does not hit my mouth the same way. Very good, but not quite at their level.

I hope the suggested aging (can you say a 12 Days of Christmas "Vertical Epic"???) will reduce the sugars, build the complexity and tone down the alcohol burn a bit, and this one might be fantastic. I definitely will be buying more.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an exceptional beer, simply said this was the best thing I have had come out the bruery. Served chilled and poured into several wine glasses, this one was consumed with dinner at Grandma's tonight on 01/01/2009.

The pour was very, very nice. A deep dark brown color with a nice amount of cloudiness and haze to it. Rich light tan colored head rose up to a height of around three inches before settling down with much side glass lacing and leaving still a nice inch high heado f foam.

The aroma was loaded down with light fruits, grains, touches of spice and a wonderful mixture of nutmeg and cinnamon. Deep, very deep profile here that got thicker with every single sip. Smooth, was an understatement here as the alcohol was a mere afterthought. Rich dark fruit notes, raisins, pears, lots of light spices just whirling around in a deep caramel base. Lots of nice grain notes here and a wonderful earthy hop finish to it. Really the most drinkable quad I have ever come across.

To say this is the best I have had from the bruery does not do it justice. This is a fantastic beer. One of the best I have had this holiday season.

Photo of largadeer
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at City Beer.

Caramel brown body with some chill haze, clears up as it warms. Lower-moderate carbonation, little in the way of head or lacing.

The nose is surprisingly nice. Toffee and strong fruity esters that are very pear-like. Pleasantly oxidized, nutty, some cocoa powder and molasses.

Palate is very similar, pear comes to mind again along with toffee and molasses. Oxidation lends a nutty note along with a touch of cocoa. Full body with low carbonation. To my surprise, this is aging very well and tastes much better than it did fresh.

Photo of Tdizzle
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a Chimay chalice, this beer pours a murky light brown color with minimal head that breaks apart to a thick ring that lines the inside of the glass, leaving only a few streaks of lacing behind.

S- Belgian yeast and Belgian candi sugar along with over-ripe fruits and caramelized dark fruits. A strong alcohol presence lingers in the background with some indiscernible spices.

T- Malty and sweet at first, but spices and alcohol take over before a dry and boozy finish that leaves lasting flavors of bready malts and maple syrup accompanied by a mild tobacco bitterness.

M- Slightly under-carbonated, but the mouthfeel is thick and full-bodied despite the overly syrupy texture. It seems like The Bruery has some issues with their beers being either way too carbonated or not enough.

D- Despite the 11% ABV being very up-front in this beer, I found it to be highly drinkable and enjoyable. I didn't try to finish the entire bottle, but I felt like I could have over the course of a few hours. Good stuff.

A really good Belgian-style Abbey Ale Quad, as the bottle describes. It's really boozy, but that can only work in favor of this beer's ability to be aged for many years, which is apparently what they are going for.

Photo of kbm
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stopped by the Bruery specifically to try this out. I'm glad I did.

A: Dark drown with a red tinge. Virtually no head on my glass, but that had more to do with the bartender than the beer.

S: My God, it smells like candy. Strong fruitiness.

T: Slightly less sweet than the smell. Nice upfront yeast with all kinds of fruity sweetness.

M: Low carbonation - which suits the beer. Like everyone else has already stated, the alcohol is hidden.

D: I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It went down well. A very good quadruple and an excellent winter beer. Probably my favorite Bruery brew to date.

Photo of RedBrewer83
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into wine glass...

A: Pours a dark amber brown with a one finger head that falls to a thin foam with a nice ring around the glass...pretty good lacing.

S: Big bready caramel malt, borderline maple syrup, plums, figs and an almost ciderlike aroma. Also very earthy with some spice on the finish. Good but not great...

T: Sweet caramel covered green apples with a hint of cinnamon spice...candy malt is heavy in this one with a bright green apple/fig fruitiness that has an underlying toffee element and the finish is long with an earthy depth that is much needed and desired. Overall an excellent flavor.

M: Medium body with nice carbonation...very fine bubbles and a long smooth finish that is sweet but not quite cloying.

D: The 11% is never noticed. Sweetness draws back somewhat but because it isn't cloying it is more drinkable than it would be. Overall this beer is delicious, not fantastic but a pretty good offering yet again from the Bruery...well done.

Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy, dark brown with an off white head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, brown sugar, raisins, poached pears, and a touch of spices and cracked, black pepper.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with more of a sugary, caramel flavor coming through in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is chewy, spritzy, sweet, and somewhat smooth considering the dangerous level of abv.

Photo of joecast
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

deep hazy amber color. low carbonation with a thin tan head that leaves good lacing on the glass.

after having a few beers from the Bruery now, they seem to have a similar belgian aromatic character. i guess thats to be expected as they probably use the same standard belgian yeast for most of their beers, if not all. this one has that same character which i find very appealing. dark fruits and some alcohol heat with a hin of barnyard thrown in.

smooth sweet dark fruits in the taste as well. light spice and yeast with a slight bitter finish. a really big beer but very well balanced.

seriously drinkable for 11%. the alcohol only just makes itself noticeable but its such a full and complex beer that you end up sipping it slowly anyway. very nice.

Photo of KevSal
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks goes out to Norcalgrowler for treating me to a bottle of piat at city beer store, needless to say I really owe you one marco, thank you!

3 years old, let's see how it holds up

750 poured into two tulips

A- looks pretty darn good so far. Murky reddish brown , half inch of reddish brown head. more carbonation than I was expecting.

S- smells really good! Sweet malts, brown sugar and a bit of Belgian yeast. a slight pear scent in the back ground. My only gripe with the nose is how faint it is, by it's there.

T- wow. I wasn't expecting much from this guy honestly, kept thinking it was going to be like cuadeuple, luckily it's not at all. The pears take a huge step forward that makes this guy taste spectacular! I love every sip. Tons of dark fruits, sweet malts, slight tartness in the finish. I was prepared for a big let down here but this is aging pretty freaking well. The second glass was even tastier.

M- nice thick body which is well carbonated. Works very well with the dark fruit. The body makes this beer excellent.

O- yoa, definitely an amazing surprise. I was expecting over hype to ruin this one for me but I really think we were lucky enough to catch this guy at its peak, I don't see it improving much more than this. Can it make 12 years? Doubtful, but I can tell you it delicious now. Is it worth wales? Depends but I'd drink it sooner rather than later.

Marco, again i appreciate it buddy!

Photo of IBUnit63
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Let this one sit out for about 20 minutes, fired off the cap (moderate fizz) and let it sit for a bit longer before pouring into Ommegang chalice. Git er dun...

Pours a turbid cloudy bourbon color reminiscent of raisins soaking in dark rum for rum raisin ice cream. Head is light powdered ginger color but goes quickly on the first pour, yielding merely yeast wisps.

There are sweet raisin notes for starters - there's little carbonation so the scent doesn't distribute as quickly as expected. There are significant rum and pear notes. This is calm but very complex. Spices really aren't prominent but more in background and that lends to the subtlety.

Well, there's some nice calm booze in this one for starters. Mostly rum but a little bit of bourbon. Excellent dark fruits - in this case mostly raisins, some cinnamon-baked and caramelized pears and apples. Carbonation emerges a bit to lend more diffusion across the taste buds, but intermittently. This needs time but it's quite flavor-packed. Off the beaten path a fair amount for a quad but quite enjoyable.

This is pure warmth. There's a nice booziness that's prominent but doesn't burn - it complements the raisins and plums and subtle brown sugar and cinnamon spice along with the pectin from the pear and apple fibers to create a velvety touch. Some more synergy would be ideal as the apple and pear feel gets a little hollow after a while. Overall it's still quite robust. Be sure to let this warm.

Good for an after-dinner, contemplative sipper. It coates, soothes and relieves. Not sure how many more of these I have (probably two) but I want to save 1 for quite a while if possible. It may be tough! Once again Patrick, the Rue family and the Bruery hit paydirt. Y'all do some awesome stuff.

Photo of GbVDave
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle into three snifters. Extra special thanks to HeatherAnn and StevePens for the assist!

A: Pours a deep, muddy, russet color with faintly lighter highlights towards the edges. An off-white head of about 1 finger lingered for a decent amount of time before melting down to a clumpy skim that left a surprising amount of lace behind.

S: Loads of caramel, toffee, and nuts. Dark fruit was present as was some booziness. Some spiciness, as well, but this smelled more like an English Barleywine and/or Old Ale than a Quad to us.

T: Hmmm. Tastes just as it smells with a suggestion of oxidation. Not a deal breaker, but not completely endearing either.

M: Far too slick, lifeless, and thin. Sorely lacking in the interesting facets of a true Quad that keep the palate engaged.

O: We were really hoping for so much more than what we got. This was the first beer of the evening (and before the food, too) so we couldn't chalk this up to palate fatigue. The oxidation has me wondering what people who collect these to do a 12 year vertical are going to get many years down the road.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Amyliz4 for sharing this bottle. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a moderately-dark brown with a good light tan head. Nice spotty lacing and a thin collar. The nose carries some strong dark fruits and a bit of sweet malt. Quite a bit of stuff going on there. I'm impressed, as I hadn't heard the best things about this. Malt provides a really nice backing presence. No discernible alcohol presence. Flavor is quite rich with a medley of dark fruits. Some very mild earth. Medium body and pretty chewy. Super smooth. Really excited to finally try this one and glad it lived up to the hype.

Photo of jlindros
2.16/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Andy for sharing this at my 30th birthday whale tasting.

Pours no head, dark mahogany murky ruby brown colored.

Nose has plenty of oxidation, cardboard city, then brown malts, molasses, raisin, candi sugar, BBQ sauce for some reason with ketchup and vinegar, weird, fruity apple, etc.

Taste brings plenty more oxidation and wet cardboard, raisin and fruit, molasses, light candi sugar and syrup, again a weird tomato based BBQ sauce taste which is not pleasant, chewy, light booze, soy sauce, this would make a great marinade for meat but terrible for a beer.

Mouth is thin and almost no carb.

Overall blech! I can't believe this has such a whale status to get, just to do a lousy vertical?! This beer was terrible and the only beer at the tasting we couldn't finish. Thanks for bringing it Andy so I could try it at least once, but wow was that bad!

Photo of hopdog
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle acquired in trade.

Poured a dark and clouidy brown with red edges and an averaged sized off whtie head. Aromas of raisins, pears, plums, caramel, and light spices. Tastes of the same fruits, spices, caramel, and nutty. Overall the alcohol was well hidden.. I look forward to this series continuing through the years.

Photo of waltonc
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rusty amber color, a little hazy, with nice white head. Carbonation in this is well done. A great improvement over the Autumn Maple I had on Thanksgiving. Smell is classic quad - sweet malts and dark fruit. Taste includes that as well as candi sugar, yeast. I don't taste any pear, not that I expected it. But I find it interesting that many other reviewers claim to taste pear. When the turtle dove edition comes out, will reviewers taste that too?

Mouthfeel is thick, sticky, and medium carbonation. Pretty drinkable, I can live with the decision to bottle this in 750 ml. Picked up an extra bottle to try with the subsequent verses.

Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two finger light tan head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color, lot of suspended yeast. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet and sour nose. Flavor is caramel, ginger and spice . High ABV is hidden. Pricey at $12.45 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

Photo of womencantsail
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found my notes for this in my old notebook. No date on the page, but sometime in the summer of 2009.

A: The beer pours a very dark amber color, some brownish qualities to it, with a finger and a half of off-white head.

S: Smells intensely sweet. Lots of raisins and plums, maybe a bit of fig. Some caramel and molasses notes to it. Also some prominent spice notes, maybe nutmeg and cinnamon.

T: More of the same on the palate. Sweet dark fruits and sugar overwhelm you. It's almost syrupy, in fact. Booze, spice, caramel, molasses, plums, and raisins sum up the different flavors well.

M: Quite full in body with a low carbonation which doesn't help.

O: Sort of a mess. Funny that at the time I didn't think much of this beer and as a result got rid of this beer for almost nothing in return.

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Partridge In A Pear Tree from The Bruery
88 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.