Melange No. 3 - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Melange No. 3Melange No. 3

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

239 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 239
Hads: 1,669
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 831
Gots: 697 | FT: 75
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  15.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Floydster on 02-14-2009

A blend of Black Tuesday, anniversary ale, and White Oak Sap.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 239 | Hads: 1,669
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My bottle shared with Andrew and Nick. Rich and complex. Dark bottled with bubbly head. Above average mouthfeel. The imperial stout, the Black Tuesday is the centerpiece, some chocolate, A sour finish. Somewhat like a good red wine (though with tannins).A sipper and one I would have again. (290 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles, CA as part of their Jingle Bell Jubilee.

Pours a murky dark brown with a 1/2 inch foamy khaki cap that settles to an oily film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly slide back into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of bourbon, wood, malt, brown sugar, toffee, and dark fruits. Taste is of bourbon, wood, malt, brown sugar, toffee, plums, and figs. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. A definite alcohol warmth in the back of the throat with each sip. Overall, this is a fantastic beer with very complex aromas and flavors. I am really glad I was able to try this one. (682 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to bmanning for opening this bottle.

A: Pours a very deep brown bordering on black with a fairly nice head and whisps of lacing as it goes down.

S: Quite sweet. Amazing how all the different components of the three beers come out. Can absolutely simultaneously sniff out the Black Tuesday, Papier, and White Oak, all of which are great beers in their own right.

T: Sweet, caramel malt alongside dark, roasted chocolate malt and a good dose of bourbon and oak. Surprisingly not hot at all in the flavor department; however, my nose feels the slightest alcohol burn after swallowing.

M: Thick and fairly chewy. Remarkable how little alcohol presence there is for a beer of this strength.

D: Only gets better as it warms up. Delicious all around. Great to savor its complexity throughout and keep discovering new flavors. (835 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Burnt caramel color with a thin foam that quickly fades to a ringlet; while there is not much lacing, there are legs (not unexpected for 15.5%)

Smell: Very boozy, with bourbon, vanilla, caramel, honey and cinnamon elements

Taste: At the outset, the bourbon, rum-soaked raisin, prune, honey, pear, caramel, vanilla and cinnamon elements lay down the gauntlet and build in alcoholic intensity by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors meld together, with a mouth-puckering, oaky intensity in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with low carbonation and considerable warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Considerable complexity and a fascinating range of flavor; while not particularly drinkable I am very impressed

Thanks, ptykozoon, for the opportunity and to sj3324, for the opportunity to revisit (814 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pretty wild beer here, their version of a black and tan, what a gas! the color is red and caramel mixed together, very thick like sludge, dense, minimal but lasting light brown head. I smell everything, no joke. rich malts, darker grains than the color shows, aggressive sugars, whiskey barrel, vanilla, clove, rye malt, booze, and molasses. what I don't smell or taste in this, is yeast. it is mysteriously absent from the flavor profile, not that this beer is hurting for complexity, this is a hell of a blend. dried fruit and sugar, as well as the best richest elements of black Tuesday are what I taste here. its oaky and rich, almost too much really, but the booze is not that obvious for something so high. this goes way beyond beer to something else entirely, more of a barleywine than anything, just so much happening, and such a heavy buzz from even small quantities of this. good carbonation for the size, and about all the body you can pack in. this is not my favorite beer from the bruery, but it is yet another example of their expertise in all aspects of beer making. a blend like no other, worth trying for lovers of huge brews and the bruery more generally. (1,173 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured a dark cloudy brown color ale with a relatively large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with sweet notes, some bourbon and some vinous notes makes for a unique mix. Taste is a mix between bourbon and vanilla notes with some oak, dark fruit and some vinous notes which feels more or less balanced with the rest of the mix. Body is full with limited filtration and light warming alcohol. I didn’t really dig the mix between rich stout/old ale sweet notes and the dark fruit and also vinous feels of the beer. (559 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 batch.

Melange No. 3 pours a dark opaque brown with ruby highlights. A small tan head tops it and doesn't last long, quickly receding to a crown.

The aroma is an intense and alcoholic mix of bourbon and caramel, stonefruit and vanilla, chocolate and dates. Very deep and complex. Some earthiness shines through the sweetness. As it warms the fruitiness comes out more, balancing the powerful bourbon character. 

Bourbon and caramel hit the tongue first. Chocolate candies, surprisingly a lot of fruitiness too, stonefruit and dates. Molasses-like sweetness, mellow alcohol, a bit of tannic oak. While it tastes quite strong and rich, it's actually very mellow and easy to drink. It finishes semi-sweet with a leathery, bourbon-toffee aftertaste. The sheer viscosity of it is impressive, a few ounces is plenty, but I wouldn't complain if I could drink this regularly. Nice job, Bruery. (894 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.97/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy hell I get to try this one. A 22oz bomber/growler that was sent my way that literally could not make me happier. Served up at cellar temp, this beast was poured into the appropriate Darkness snifter and consumed on 10/02/2009.

Dark as night this one pours out of the bottle, looking as daunting as it can it is just pitch black. Small tan head, maybe an inch hangs for a bit and then slowly fades into the abyss leaving a dark, ominous looking oil like liquid in front of me. As I lean in and try to get a whiff of this, I fall back, drowning in a sea of vanilla and butterscotch. It is bourbon overload, everything I have ever dreamed a barrel aged stout could be is coming to me now. Rich notes of vanilla, toffee, caramel, butterscotch are all surrounding a huge boozy middle. Its like some sick and twisted candy bar only I could enjoy. Each sip now becomes its own voyage into a realm of sweet boozy bliss that few have gotten a chance to be near. Rich is not even the right word to describe this flavor. Soo sweet, with a barely noticeable booziness in the flavor, 15%? Where? Rich notes of vanilla and woody textures combine and wrap around that sweet bourbon flavor, just absolutly sublime. Smooth, delicate, complex, perfect.

Overall I can make this real simple. This beer has made me rethink all other big beers I have ever had. The deep and rich flavor of butterscotch and toffee that I so try to find is rediscovered here. This beer is sublime, please, do yourself a favor and go find this. (1,509 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Bruery

A: The pour is a slightly muddy dark brown color with a some reddish highlights and a thin layer of tan head.

S: The nose is quite sweet with plenty caramel and dark fruit notes with a touch of chocolate. The bourbon really comes through providing lots of vanilla and a bit of oak.

T: The flavor is quite sweet with the White Oak Sap really holding it's own against the beast that is Black Tuesday. Between the White Oak Sap and Papier, the beer has quite a bit of sweet caramel and vanilla with just a touch of chocolate to it. Both the bourbon, and alcohol flavors come through, but even at such a high ABV, it's not all that hot.

M: The body on this beer is massive, as you would expect from its components. Still, the low carbonation helps it from becoming too syrupy.

D: This beer is boozy and the flavor keeps you from forgetting it. However, it's still quite easy to drink--dangerously, even. I can't wait for the bottles to come out. (967 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.7/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet. I was very excited to get to try this at Jackie O's, shared by a generous BA.

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany with a small layer of off white head. The head fades to a very thin ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet with lots of cherry and dark fruit. The malt dominates and is joined by some warm alcohol.

Taste: This one is uber sweet and loaded with dark fruit notes. Some maple like notes and brown sugar with some warm alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side and a bit syrupy. There is hardly any carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: The abv is really high so it may be unavoidable, but even so it was still a bit too sweet for me. I enjoyed sipping on my pour and would probably have it again if I have enough people around to share a bottle. (829 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at The Bruery tasting room on 3/21/09. Served in a tulip glass.

Pours a deep and dark cranberry with a 1/2 finger of angry, reddish, burnt mocha colored head. Thin creamy retention that flares up beautifully, just absolutely COATING the sides of the glass with sticky lacing. This just has an awesome dark & stormy look to it but I don't think that it fully prepares you for what's next. HOLY SH*T! The aroma on this is just freaking outrageous! Bourbon, dark fruits, vanilla, smoke, brown sugars, toffee, molasses, oaky tannins, wet tobacco, and a stiff waft of heat. Do I need to continue? Seriously?

The taste is quite frankly...HUGE. Warming bourbon mixed with dark fruits, vanilla, and oak up front, smoked meat and tobacco leaves in the middle, with a sticky finish of blackstrap molasses and brown sugars that just STICKS straight in the mouth. Unbelievable power and complexity here. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with an enormous creamy carbonated feel up front and then a more viscous layer underneath which carries all of that tangy tasting sweetness along. And I still can't get over that this beer is 15% ABV. It literally drinks more like it's in the 9-10% range. Oh, it's definitely warm and a sipper for sure but I've had 15% beers that have had some really low drinkibility because of it. This luckily isn't one of them.

Wow! Just wow! It's been a while since I've awarded three 5's to a beer (only three beers prior to this that I've reviewed) and this one is real close to four for me, with between a 4.5-5 on the mouthfeel as well. This is just a TREMENDOUS blend, one of the best beers that I've ever had, and is hands down my early pick for favorite of 2009. Two weeks later and I can still taste the tang in my mouth. Patrick Rue and this brewery are the real f**king deal folks. (1,815 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the huge whale-ish tasting at Chris's. Thanks a ton to portia99 for cracking this. batch #1.

Light fizzy head covering, actually a decent head for 15+%,, dark murky coke brown colored beer.

Nose brings lots of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, candi sugar, sweet dark malts, little chocolate, light roast, touch of booze and a sweet awesome malt.

Taste brings sweet malts, lots of malts esp darker malts, little nutty, bit boozy, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate, little roasty flavors, caramel, candy and candi sugar, molasses, bit of brandy soaked raisin, light fig, and a rich toffee, with more bourbon on the finish. It's fairly sweet and a bit boozy, but hits right on for what it presents, and is surprisingly drinkable.

mouth is heavier bodied, a little syrupy, decent carb and a bit boozy.

Overall an awesome beer! lots of great flavors, rich and malty, a bit syrupy, chewy, great vanilla, caramel, chocolate, bourbon, etc. And surprsingly drinkable for what it is. (978 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby-brown pour into a snifter, a half-finger of dense tan head sank to a ringlet, leaving some spots on the glass. A lot of sweetness in the nose, fruit and sugars, notes of burnt caramel, black cherry, with a decent vanilla component, woody, though not overly boozy. Taste of dark sugars--brown sugar, caramel--sweet and artificially fruity, cherry cough syrup, rum raisin, notes of vanilla, slight coconut, pretty thick with booze. Kind of messy, and though while there was some heat, it didn't nearly feel like a 15% beer. Body was medium, mouthfeel was slick. A decent offering. (583 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

750ml brown glass bottle with waxed-over pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me friend's gaff in low altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. 15% ABV confirmed. Expectations are high given its current position in the top 250.

Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger wide khaki colour head. Decent creaminess. Nice thickness. Retention is bad. Decent lacing.

Body colour is a dark nontransparent brown with some red hues. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Murky.

Overall, it's a bit mundane for the style.

Sm: Oak. Vanilla. Caramel. Molasses. Brown sugar. Wood. Raisin. Plum. Cherry. Booze. Some burnt notes. I like the dark fruit. Sweet.

Not getting any yeast character.

T: Plum, dark fruit. Caramel. Molasses. Brown sugar. Wood. Raisin. Cherry. Some booze. Oak. Brown sugar. Vanilla. Light bourbon. Complex, with light subtlety. I don't know that it's top 250 quality, but I do like it. The barrel aging notes aren't as evocative or well-executed as I'd like; the oak is one note. Bourbon lacks evocative-ness.

Fairly balanced, but the booze does come through. I like the dark fruit notes, but they could be more evocative.

No yeast character or hops come through. I'm not getting much in the way of malts.

Mf: Viscous and syrupy, but enjoyable for what it is. Smooth and wet. Nicely carbonated. Too thick and overbearing. a bit vinous. Hot.

Dr: The booziness limits the drinkability. I'm glad I have others to share it with. I honestly wouldn't pay its hefty pricetag again, but I'm glad to have tried it once. A nice little blended beer from The Bruery, but its reputation isn't warranted. I like it, but it's not fantastic.

High B- (1,809 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to bkrefetz for trading me a 1L swing-top growler of this stuff. I thought it was extinct so it was a huge surprise when his ISO came up. There was a nice pop and gunsmoke while opening this up - shared with Jay & Dave. Served in my Utopias glass.

A - Woah! There's some foam! I was expecting a totally flat pour a la Papier. Maybe a quarter-finger that dissipates to a thin ring and a touch of haze. There's actually some spotty lacing too. On first inspection it looks black, but when held to the light there's some ruby red, copper, and brown highlights and it's actually sort of transparent. Nice legs too when the foam goes away.

S - Damn - this is one bourbon bomb, with tons of butterscotch and toffee flavor coming out as well. Reminds me a little of Skor bar in the mix of roasty cocoa and butterscotch flavors. There's also some dark fruit flavors courtesy of the Papier - cherry, fig, dates, and raisins. It's obviously boozy, but that shouldn't surprise anyone.

T - The taste is pretty similar to the smell, although the balance is somewhat different. It's more old ale and less stout, with sweet dark fruits, roast malt, brown sugar, and obviously plenty of bourbon, vanilla, butterscotch, etc. I'm interested to see how this compares to bourbon Papier. The finish is slightly tannic but it isn't a wood bomb - it does mount a little bit though. The taste is more of a 4.75 - wish that was an option.

M - The body is thick and chewy - very viscous - with light carbonation. There's some definite heat, but it's at the back end and warms the chest. Just super smooth and not at all harsh considering the ABV.

D - Well - I went for a refill of what was probably a 4oz pour. I'm not sure about those guys giving out 5s to this, Papier, and Black Tuesday. It's gonna be trouble killing all 32oz but it'll be fun all the same. The knock isn't really on the booze but instead on the intensity of flavor - it's like trying to eat a super-rich chocolate cake.

I wasn't getting a ton of the wheatwine - I suspect pouring some bourbon Papier into a Black Tuesday would come pretty close. Not hating on this beer - it's f*@%ing awesome - but it's a sipper and a night cap. (2,191 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 03/12/11 notes. Had at EBF up in Boston, MA. Was excited to see this on the list.

a - Pours a dark brown color with a reddish tint, light carbonation evident, and one inch of white head.

s - Smells of chocolate, alcohol, bourbon, oak, alcohol, vanilla, roasted malts. Alcohol is pretty strong.

t - Tastes of sweet vanilla and fruit, alcohol, oak, chocolate, and roasted malts. Lots of alcohol and a little too sweet, but still decent.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Thick body.

d - A decent beer but nowhere near the level of Black Tuesday. I have a bottle of Papier but haven't had it yet as I've heard it is very boozy, and I imagine it would be like this. Would give this another shot but wouldn't seek it out again; I'd imagine with more time it will get better, whereas BT is good to go right now.

4/3.5/3.5/4/3.5
___

EDIT 09/25/12: Drinking a 2011 vintage in late 2012.

While there is a still a little bit of alcohol to it, it is nowhere near as boozy as it the first time I had it. Tons of vanilla, caramel, and chocolate to it, as well as bourbon. Nose is a tiny bit too sweet, but the taste and mouthfeel are amazing. Really nice beer; looking forward to getting a few more bottles of this this year and sitting on them a while.

4/4/4.5/4.5/4.5 (1,278 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At the time of this review, this is the #3 beer on the "Top Beers - American Strong Ale" list. Served in a Bruery tulip because the end of the world is coming and I want to go out in style. It should be stated that this is one of my longest and most elusive wants.

Beer is brown, hazy, thin tan head of small bubbles, head breaks and pulls to the walls of the glass. A little lazy looking but it is a blend of three barrel aged beers, what was I expecting?

Here we go! BOURBON! And brown sugar, caramel and roast, mild woodiness and oak and some booze / alcohol as well. Smells like awesome.

Beer is heavy in my hand, I can feel the density and the gravity as I raise my glass to my mouth, although the beer finishes a little thin and dry the forward flavors are sweet bourbon, mild spiciness on the late palate, sweet, dry finish, lingering sense of almost corriander and citrus. Heavy throughout, nice nutty oakiness on the backend as well. About as complex as a beer can get. I love it. And I should know, I'm a certified beer server. (1,040 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I brought this one to Imminent Liquidation II, not my first time having it, bottle is from 2011.

A - Pours deep brown bordering on black with a nice one and a half finger tall tan head leaving small strings of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of dark roasted malts and bourbon, that would be the black tuesday, oaky syrup, white oak, and lots of dark fruits, the papier. They really do smell amazing together.

T - Starts off with a mix of sugary sweetness and dark roasted malt quickly giving way to hints of dark fruits, warm bourbon and plenty of dry oak tannins. The finish has plenty of sweet heat to it, lingering on the pallet long after consumption.

M - Big and boozy through and through with moderate carbonation. Plenty of sweet booze holding strong long after the finish.

O - I have always enjoyed this one. It has all the flavors I enjoy and the blend works very well. This one is still a little too boozy, can't wait to drink the others in the future. (967 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into Old Guardian Glass.

Pours an off white head. Color is a murky caramel brown.

Aroma: Rich and malty. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, cherries, plums, raisins, and other fruits. Very sweet and warm. Chocolate and caramel as well.

Taste: Cherries, bourbon, oak, chocolate, caramel. Reminds me a bit of an old ale (cherry adam). Then I get some raisins, plums, dried fruits, and vanilla. Very well done.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and warm. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends malty with bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Smooth.

Overall, this is simply an amazing beer. Reminded me of an old ale, but much bigger. Very good and extremely drinkable for being 17%. I was impressed. (706 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
2.96/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to SaucerSam for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a medium to dark brown color with some red highlights and a tan head. The aroma is extremely sweet. I get a ton of brown sugar and molasses notes, as well as some wood, maple and vanilla. Unfortunately the flavor is just as sweet as the aroma. I get a lot of dark fruit and oak, as well as some brown sugar. I get some maple notes as well. I know Black Tuesday is a part of the blend but I get no roasted malt or chocolate notes. Very boozy. Thick, syrupy mouthfeel and low carbonation. I am very glad I got to try this one, but it was way too sweet and messy for my liking. Still, definitely a unique brew. (668 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. The brew appears brown in color with ruby around the edges to more of a orange color when held to the light. A tan cap sits atop with spotty lace clinging to the glass as it fades.

The aromatics initially are all barrel characteristics. Sweet smelling like vanilla mixed with coconut and a mild tangy alcohol inclusion. Burnt sugars like caramel or toffee give way to almost a raisony feel.

The taste is sweet with burnt sugar before the onset of barrel presence. Vanilla gives way to tangy booze inclusion. Some coconut, oak and caramel to toffee round things out with a mild amount of raisony dark fruits.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A very nice brew that is so easy drinking I could probably tank a whole bottle myself. Only after the fact did I realize that Fruet is (I believe) a part of this blend and it makes sense as that brew is really felt in this and helps temper some of the more raw booze from black tuesday. (1,010 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml waxed, vintage 2011
Served into a tulip glass

A: Medium to dark brown with ruby hues throughout the body. A vigorous pour yields a thick bubbly light beige head. Some lacing is left behind but the head settles out into a thin ring around the edges.

S: Huge sweet caramel, toffee, rich malts, cocoa and touches of really sweet whiskey dance around the back. This is one big smelling beer, tons of complexity which is expected from a blend of this kind.

T: Like the nose, big sweet caramel and bourbon notes come through first. Toffee, Werther's Original candy, milk chocolate and some oak break through. This is over the top in its sweetness however, a signature trait I've come to expect from The Bruery.

M: Carbonation is kept right where it should be, not over the top or underdone. Feels sticky and viscous on the palate.

This was certainly a nice treat to open but it was very big, rich and sweet. A little too much in that aspect for me but a good beer as a whole. (981 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A beer I have been wanting to try for years. I cracked this open with a good buddy during the football games this weekend.

The beer appears walnut brown with subtle burgundy highlights. Small off white head that leaves minimal lacing on the goblet.

Smell is phenomenal. Oak, vanilla, bourbon, malt, sugar cookies...wow...yes, please.

Flavor = silky smooth. Staggering! What just happened?!? I am instantly convinced that I need to fill a portion of my cellar with this delectable concoction. Go Patrick! A vanilla and toffee bomb. Black Tuesday emerges more than the White Oak and Papier. Wonderfully complex and insanely delicious. Beautiful milk and dark chocolates. Likely the best strong ale I have ever had.

Feel = give me more ASAP. Delicate and smooth. Hard to believe this is 15% abv. Lingering flavors of vanilla, bourbon and toffee.

Shocking. World class. So grateful to try it. My highest recommendation. (923 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.2/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 Release, Sampled March 2012
A soft pour into my small tulip glass produces a fat-two-finger thick, pale brown tinged, dirty tan colored head. The ber is a concentrated brown / amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, cranberry-ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells quite alcoholic, but has lots of other notes as well, but that is certainly prominent. Notes of vanillin, toasted coconut, Sherry, lots of nut like notes, toasted caramel, sweet caramelized brown bread. The sherry character is actually quite striking, both the alcohol, the rich, sweet nutty notes and the oxidized malt contribute to this really smelling quite a bit like sherry. This definitely smells like desert in a glass.

As expected, from the nose, this beer is quite sweet; the sweetness seems a touch simplistic / sugary as opposed to really rich, concentrated malt like in character, by which I mean there seems to be a fair amount of residual, simple sugars left in this beer. The body is certainly viscous, but actually somehow seems light for a beer of this strength; much of the, perceived, lightness is likely contributed by the amply noticeable, warming and even hot, alcohol notes that play a prominent role in the flavor. Ample flavors of sweet coconut, vanillin, sugar coated / toasted nuts, sweet sherry, amaretto, and perhaps a touch of brandy like fruit character are noticeable. Woody oak, with a touch of astringency and some spiciness comes into and lingers through the finish; the alcohol also lends to the spiciness and heat in the finish. There is a definite fruitiness here as well, it is sort of evocative of prune juice, perhaps a touch of fig and raisin as well. Other flavors of maple syrup, toasted oak, brown sugar syrup, touches of roasted bitterness in the finish, and a toasted, brown bread note add some character.

This is definitely a HOT beer, at this alcohol level that is not unexpected, but I can’t say that I necessarily appreciate that either. The sweetness is also a bit too simplistic in this beer; I would have been more appreciative if the malt character was less simple sugar focused and had more of a dense, almost savory, concentrated malt character. Interestingly enough, given how hot this beer is, I don’t get as much Bourbon character as I was expecting; more of the vanillin, spicy oak, and toasted oak come out individually rather than reminiscent of actual Bourbon. Not a bad beer if you are only having a couple ounces as a nightcap, but anything more for me is just a bit underwhelming (not complex enough in flavor) and overwhelming (in the hot alcohol and sugary sweetness) at the same time. I must say that I really like the oxidized malt character / sherry notes that are on display here (is this the anniversary old ale contribution), it really adds an extra dimension that keeps me much more interested than I otherwise would be. Drinkable and even enjoyable in small amounts if I am not critically evaluating the beer. Before cracking this beer, I had not reallized how strong it was going to be, I wish I had, as I would have planned to use the rest of the beer for cooking of some sort; I could imagine this being used quite well in a “rum” cake recipe, or even a dense fruit cake would likely be a perfect use (just make sure to reduce the level of sugar called out for in the recipe to account). I am planning on this already with the bottle of Black Tuesday that I am opening; in fact I am almost more excited about the Imperial chocolate stout cake that I am going to make than actually drinking the beer :-). (3,582 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled from a growler at The Bruery,

A: Pours a murky brown, small smattering of bubbles, really no head, not surprising though when I found out it was 15%. Looks good for a high alcohol beer.

S: Smell is just great. Beautiful aged malt, molasses, prune/raisin/dark fruit. Has the smell of fine English barleywine, outstanding.

T: Big on the malt for sure. Wheatwine is really most evident and stands out. Fermented brown sugar, hint of vanilla, caramelized dark fruit, butterrum candy.

M: Very light carbonation, very smooth, full-bodied for sure, really no alcohol.

D: If I thought Partridge in a Pear Tree held its alcohol well this is exceptional. I knew the blend of the beer so I was thinking 10%, but I found out it was 15% and was shocked. Really it drinks like a 5% beer. I hope they have this on cask at a later date, I'd really like to have it again. (868 characters)

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Melange No. 3 from The Bruery
96 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.