Melange No. 3 - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Melange No. 3Melange No. 3

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

1,653 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,653
Reviews: 251
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 829
Gots: 693 | FT: 73
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,653 | Reviews: 251
Photo of stephenjmoore
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%

A- Dark, muddy brown body that let's some light shine through. Thin ring of off-white bubbles coat the edge of the glass, but virtually no head to speak of.

S- Lots of toffee and booze on the nose. Hints of caramel and bourbon. Big, full nose that has a lot of strong aromas and a lot of alcohol.

T- Big flavors that really come out and hit you. Bourbon, caramel, toffee, sugary syrup, roasted malts, some roasted coconut, hints of dark fruits. A really huge sipper.

M- Full bodied, boozy, low carbonation, sugary and syrupy.

O- Just a huge beer that has a lot of complex flavors. I thought it would be slightly darker and more roasty, but it really does not disappoint.

Photo of macrosmatic
4.14/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. 2013 vintage. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Peg's snifter.

A: Pours a caramelly brown color with a thin off-white head and low visible carbonation. Very hazy.

S: Bourbon, caramel, vanilla. Quite sweet, moderately boozy. Some sticky malts, dry tannins from the barrel.

T: Bourbon and barrel character with huge vanilla and dry tannins. Toasted caramel, sweet roasted malts, a moderate dark fruit character. As it warms, some mixed sticky fruit flavors come out - reminds me of what I would expect a fruitcake would taste like, although I've never tried one. Finishes drier/less sweet than expected, but still possesses some ethanol sweet burning character.

M: Medium-bodied, carbonation sensation on the low side. Alcohol presence is obvious but seems well-hidden with respect to the listed ABV.

O: I enjoyed this one. It was a surprisingly easy driver for such a huge beer. Nothing I'd always need on hand, but a nice blend for sure. Glad to have tried it finally.

Photo of charlzm
3.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed at Haven Gastropub, Pasadena CA on December 28, 2011.

Beer presents as an extremely dark brown (not quite black) topped with an extremely fine one-finger tan head that provides outstanding sheeting.

Aroma is rumlike and strongly alcoholic. Vanilla and oak also present.

Beer is sweet and strong with alcohol (my guess is bourbon). Dark, wheat bread and lots of booze. Touches of wood and vanilla. Lots and lots of brown sugar, rum and a touch of toffee.

Beer is thick but not excessively so.

A tough one to drink due to its sweetness and alcohol content, this is the beer equivalent of a port wine. Sip and relax and don't make any plans.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.88/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Most recent vintage. 750ml waxed and capped bottle poured into a Darkness snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1 finger frothy cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer is opaque dark brown. Lacing is spotty and sparse with low cling but thick, oily legs. Good looking beer. Nice head for the style.

Nose is hot, boozy. Notes of vanilla, chocolate, molasses, and fudge. Incredibly sweet and decadent. A bit over-the-top in my opinion but that's to be expected here. Decent. But I would've preferred a little more complexity and the subtlety to detect that complexity.

Opens vanilla beans, syrup, and maple. Very sweet and hot. Some chocolate and cocoa powder in the middle. Fudge too. A touch of rubbing alcohol appears as this one warms to room temperature but it smooths out nicely into more chocolate and vanilla. End is molasses and hazelnut. Finish is sweet with a vanilla cream aftertaste. The blend is very apparent in this beer.

Medium to full bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Silky, heavy, oily, and viscous in the mouth and hot but smooth going down. Finish is messy with a long, lingering aftertaste. Unmistakably a big beer. Nice.

Unlike Melange 1 which I thought was a disaster, Melange 3 is a beer that seems to be a sum bigger than its parts. The vanilla of White Oak perfectly complements the Black Tuesday and makes it a touch thinner. Good complexity and although its a bit hot, this is a solid beer nonetheless. Worth seeking out.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A 750 mL waxed and capped bottle courtesy of a great trader - thanks! Split with two friends and poured in to a Bruery tulip.

Appearance:  Pours a dark molasses, brown and ruddy but not quite black, capped initially by a foamy, jumpy, fizzy head, approximately one finger high.  Retention isn't fantastic, but the level of carbonation - relatively high, visible through the sides of the glass - keeps the collar thick and foamy, present throughout.

Aroma:  Sweet, estery, blooming with bright, floral stone fruit notes.  Tons of springy, ephemeral sweetness, but it's largely devoid of identifiable "individual" fruit notes, suggesting more a sugar variety than a yeast variety.  Green and flashy, but with a few darker notes, even hinting at cocoa at points, with toastiness.  Anise, brown sugar.

Taste:  Incredibly sweet, with a ton of molasses, dark fruit sugars, and other caramelized sugars.  Raisins, digs, dates, plums, and cherries run rampant over the tongue, or perhaps more accurately their juices, because of the sweetness factor.  It's honey-like at points, saccharine, with hints of darker malts mingling with toffee, and also other barrel notes - vanilla, boubon, caramel notes, hints of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel:  Incredibly smooth and creamy, even, moderately carbonated, lessso than one would imagine based upon the image.  Perfect part of this beer.

Drinkability:  The above represent a somewhat jumbled set of notes - I was playing Settlers of Catan while reviewing this one. That being said, this is an intriguing beer, a hot beer, and a testatment to the magic of blending. Who would have thought that a wheatwine, a barrel aged imperial stout, and an old ale could combine to give you this array of flavors? That being said, it's a sipper, and a slow one, lest you inadvertently build yourself in to a corner while playing Catan without realizing it, but, that's neither here nor there.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, 2011 vintage
5oz mini snifter

A: This pours out a dirty reddish, brown color. Faint light tan head. Fades really quickly. Forms a ring around edges. Carbonation is ok considering the ABV on this monster. Definitely some alcohol feet are showing through here.

S: Big nose here. Pulling some booze. Caramel. Toffee. Vanilla. Sweet malts leading to dark fruits. As it warms, the nose opens up even more.

T: First and foremost, still getting booze in this beer. High octane is right, as others have mentioned. I let it warm up a little bit. Big toffee and vanilla notes. Almost butterscotch like. Definitely taste some of the barrel. VERY sweet beer, but I like it in moderation. Long lingering finish. This is a bottle to be split with many and enjoyed over dessert of some sort.

M: Full bodied and sweet as hell.

Photo of jvillefan
3.9/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

A: It is a very hazy muddy brown with a very minimal head.

S: Very hot on the front end and throughout. There are hints of bourbon, cherries, and caramel.

T: Alcohol is first unfortunately. Followed by bourbon, cherries, caramel, and a pleasant tart.

M: Very slightly carbonated but very heavy and viscous.

O: Very good, very heavy. This is a once in a while beer.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour was fairly black with some cola brown mixed in. nice creamy head covered it.

very sweet with an abundance of vanilla, plum, fig, and raisin. nice bourbon mixed in.

very sweet up front with the dark fruit kicking in. some faint tobacco and oak. lots of vanilla and bourbon. with this was some alcohol as the booze kicked in. very boozy in the finish.

fairly smooth up front with a mild carbonation that turned to alcohol burn through out the mouth.

pretty delicious but tasted young, really could use a good few more years to mellow out a bit.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

A - Pours a nice rich mahogany with some nice dark caramel edges. There is a nice dense 0.5 inch head that is a light ecru color. The head recedes to a nice ring around the glass with some thicker bubbles.

S - Starts off with some nice strong sweetness. Pure molasses and carmel with brown sugar on top. There is definitely some woody notes and some extreme and awesome Bourbon in the nose. Tons of vanilla is present as well as slight maple syrup notes and some oak. Delicious Bourbon aroma with some butterscotch as well.

T & M - Starts off with an extremely sweet and boozy but at the same time delicious and smooth note. It is sooo rich and delicious with tons of toffee and some nice caramel and extreme Bourbon notes. Wow. I am quite impressed with this offering. Tons of vanilla in there as well. Some slight oak character to it but mostly sweet smooth Bourbon. The booze notes are more on the sweetness side than the hot side. The 15% is definitely not noticeable at all. Extremely surprising and delicious. this beer is rich, silky, smooth, creamy all at the same time. The sweet toffee, vanilla and Bourbon are layered well with some slight wood notes that make this a delight.

O - I was a bit skeptical of this beer as I kind off get turned off by overly sweet beers but this was just right. Very sweet but still manageable brew with some awesome Bourbon and butterscotch notes that don't overwhelm but are intense. Awesome brew.

Photo of bonbini26
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Rattle n Hum 03-13-09

Wow very dark brown with a brown head that fades pretty quickly. So much going on in the smell department, definitely bourbon coming through, but not overpowering, along with almond, vanilla, coco, oak, dried fruit, some alcohol, but not much. (i probably smelt this beer 5 times before even taking a sip). 1st sip, wow so much going on roasted malts, oak and vanilla, dry finish, with a caramel coating. I could definitely feel the alcohol in the 1st sip. After drinking more the alcohol wasn't as strong and you couldn't really tell you were drinking a 15% beer. Really a nice sipping beer, would love to try more from this brewery. Glad i had the chance to try it, SEEK IT OUT

Photo of SpdKilz
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Alex for letting me buy some of his allotment. Cheers friend! 2011 version, taken on alone.

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a ruddy, reddish hue. An interesting thing I notice (and haven’t before when using this glass) is there is a “ball” of beer in the center of the glass which light does not pass through, though it does penetrate about ½” all the way around the glass giving a nifty light/dark contrast I’ve not seen before. About half a finger of tan head is achieved with a moderate pour that dissipates at a mellow pace, leaving slight lacing.

Smell – As with most big –bal aged Bruery beers, heavy oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Sweet candied sugar, figs and raisins, and slight cocoa.

Taste – Loads of sweetness up front coming from both brown sugar and the dark fruits. The vanilla kicks in mixed with the oak and a bit of char. Very little roasted flavors though, however, I do pick up slight cocoa, toffee, and cherries at the end. Oh, and of course a massive amount of bourbon presence.

Mouthfeel – Insanely thick body; reminds me of syrup. Lower carbonation, chewy.

Overall – Honestly the mouthfeel and heat of this beer does it in. The feel is just too heavy and syrup like for this beer to be enjoyable to me. In addition, while this is still a young beer and high ABV, the alcohol het (in both taste and feel) is higher than I remember BT or BA Cuir (or regular Cuir for that matter). Lastly, it is sooo cloyingly sweet. This is a beer I feel has potential to age, however, as of now I find it somewhat of a hot mess. I should not have opened this bottle by myself...

Photo of Phelps
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage, enjoyed in a snifter.

Glugs from the bottle light caramel that, interestingly, becomes a deep black in the glass. Seems dichotomous until a hold to the light reveals a deep scarlet, with clarity and hue like red wine. A small, very fizzy head the color of beach sand pops away quickly, making the top layer thinner, yet more dense.

Black Tuesday is the major component reflected in the nose — layers of oak, bourbon, booze and chocolate are thick and difficult to peel away. Maybe some deep, sugary orange from the White Oak, but picking it up is work.

Wowzers. The strata I couldn’t pick up before have been revealed in the flavor. I’m met first by the anniversary ale component — big scoops of tangy dark fruits, butterscotch and chocolate syrup blend perfectly with overripe oranges, vanilla, top-shelf bourbon, caramel and brown sugar. There’s a fair amount of alcohol in here, but the sweetness and surprising bitter notes cover it up nicely. The balance of each component is perfect.

Carbonation is very soft, kneading the tongue with its gentle touch. The body’s a tiny notch under medium, but it’s nicely creamy and enlivened by heat-lending, tongue-numbing booze.

Love triangles usually end in heartbreak, but Black Tuesday, White Oak and Cuir are making it work. The balance is perfect, the flavors enticing, the booze big enough to let your know you’re drinking something big yet not big enough to turn you off. I love it.

Photo of pmarlowe
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the tasting room.

A: Pours dark brown with a bare tint of burgundy, a ring of dense sand colored head. No lacing but good retention.

S: Loads of brown sugar, dark chocolate and dark fruit, rich caramel, barrel spice, bourbon and coconut, and bourbon soaked raisin.
The oak backbone supports the nose very well. Intense graham cracker as it reaches room temp.

T: Lots of red cherry and dark chocolate syrup, raisin, a little oak and vanilla, caramel. Wonderful stuff, finishing with some sweetness on a long, elegant finish.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation, high for the style but it seems to work. Imparts a warming sensation from the alcohol, which is noticeable but mild.
Texture reminds me of cough syrup even though it's not particularly full bodied.

O: Delicious, complex, and dangerously drinkable. The fruit and complexity moderate the sweetness, but like Black Tuesday the sweetness is a limiting factor.

Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage - might not have aged so well. Would love to try it fresher.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml waxed and capped bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours out a murky chestnut dark, deep red / brown color. A nice layer of light tan colored head with some tight, retentive bubbles. Bits of spotty lace and some nice sticky legs left on the glass after a swirl.

Big sweet aromas. Big caramel, maple sweetness. A range of different dark fruits; plum, fig, vanilla, maybe a bit of butterscotch. Some nice smooth bourbon barrel aromas, becomes pretty boozey as it warms.

Follows the aroma. Lots of caramel and maple sweetness that blends so nicely with a range of dark fruit/ stone fruit, figs and bourbon barrel. Such a nice sipping beer, never becomes astringent.

Thick, and very sweet. Smooth, light carbonation which helps on the overall smoothness of the beer.

What a beer, so thick, sweet, and full of flavor. The bourbon mingles with the sweetness of the beer so nicely, very rounded flavors. A top notch beer.

Photo of WillCarrera
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, no bottled-on date, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a deep, opaque mahogany brown, produces a thin, wispy beige head, leaves no lacing, but does leave some nice legs when it's swirled.

S- Wonderful aroma of figs, raisins, burnt sugar, chocolate, toffee, vanilla and sweet bourbon. It's boozy and sweet but not overly so, the aroma is complex and incredible. As it warms a rich dark chocolate aroma becomes more evident.

T- Lots of sweet flavors of bourbon, vanilla, fruit and molasses. The finish has some really great chocolate and vanilla flavors, with a bit of wood tannins drying it out. The sweetness is nice and sticky but doesn't overpower the other flavors or become cloying, the bourbon and alcohol is similarly handled, everything is kept in perfect proportion.

M- Full-bodied, low carbonation with a thick, rich, decadent feel. The finish has a mix of tannins and boozy warmth.

O- A damn delicious beer, has a lot of the best aspects of the Bruery's big, rich beers. This stuff is a real treat and is an awesome, complex sipping beer.

Photo of BarrytheBear
2/5  rDev -54.8%

Courtesy of Kyle..thanks for the chance bud!

In a few words...a complete mess. Silly abv, cloying bomb of sweet syrupy alcohol that rockets then crash lands in spectacular disunion. A blend not worth a celebration...a bottle worthy of the drain. Not good...

Photo of Brabander
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was brought into a tasting by Mar02x. We had a Westvleteren tasting of different Westvleteren 12 bottle dates, end 2013 beginning 2013. After those bottles were gone the bigger work started. Tasted at the restaurant of the best beerbrewer in Holland: De Molen in Bodegraven on the first Easterday 2013.

This was the best beer of the tasting without a doubt. What a well balanced beer and what a depth. Sweet with almost no carbonation.

Photo of augustgarage
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap a few times starting with one of the first kegs to ever make it out of the brewery when Blue Palms was still young. Never thought I'd see it in a bottle. Let's see if it lives up to my memories...

Poured from a waxed-and-capped 750mL bottle into my Bruery tulip.

A vigorous pour fills the glass with a rich cordovan tinted bole, more or less opaque with a small but surprisingly persistent beige head. Creamy, fine, even lacing. Very good retention.

The aroma glows with toffee, vanilla, caramel, spices, tobacco, and a long list of barrel notes...fully intoxicating.

The flavors deliver all the same as the nose from red velvet cake to cinnamon to toasted artisan bread to prunes to rosewater...and on and on...jammy esters and a gentle roastiness emerge next. The finish is perhaps the only flaw, being rather too sweet (almost like a brandy).

Smooth, not-quite-full-bodied mouthfeel...not at all hot despite the sky high ABV.

A stunning desert drink, and a little goes a long way. A shame about the sweetness...I feel like the blend could be tweaked just a bit to achieve a more perfect balance.

Photo of Damian
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz/750 ml wax dipped bottle acquired in a trade with surge1311
2012
Served in a tulip

The liquid poured a deep, translucent mahogany color and was topped by a one-finger, creamy, bubbly, light tan crown. Within seconds, the head faded to a clingy, frothy ring. Decent retention for something with such a high ABV. Spotty droplets of lacing trickled down the glass.

The nose was more subtle than I anticipated. Boozy, whiskey-like notes dominated initially. Lots of intense woodiness. Dark fruit notes (currants and raisins) were also quite apparent. With time, some sweet bourbon and brown sugar notes came forth as well. As the beer warmed, the aroma became much punchier and more interesting. The boozy, bourbon notes really intensified. Lots of vanilla, brown sugar and spices as well.

There was definitely more going on in the flavor profile than in the aroma. Loads of bourbon and vanilla goodness hit hard right off the bat. Intense brown sugar notes and dark fruit flavors. Raisins and plums came through strongest. Good dose of caramel and maple syrup as well. The finish was quite boozy but surprisingly mellow for a beer of this magnitude. All in all, super tasty and surprisingly drinkable.

The liquid contained a fine, mild effervescence and was creamy, smooth and supple on the palate. Given the beer's high ABV, I was expecting something much more syrupy and viscous.

In many ways, this beer seemed far "smaller" than its 15% ABV would indicate, but its intense and complex flavor profile was outstanding. The blending of three different beers in this "black & tan" seemed to lend a number of interesting characteristics to this brew. The folks at The Bruery really do know how to make consistently excellent high ABV beers better than anyone else.

Photo of brystmar
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mystery bottle at Jon's turned out to be Melange #3. Been waiting to review this.

Dark, caramely pour yields minimal head. White ring up top disappears quickly. Lots of malt and caramel in the nose carry through to the taste. Big booze component helps coat the mouth & soothes my throat as I drink. Thick, sticky body helps bring the complexity forward.

Tasty but not amazing, and I can't drink more than a couple ounces of this. Still enjoyable!

Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bruery Reserve Initiation party 2011. Pours a reddish hued mahagony dark brown murky color with a tan head. Oaky notes in the nose along with some roast, vanilla, with an odd mix of fruit notes. Not sure on the nose or not and if I like it. The taste to me is heavy on the Black Tuesday, either that of those flavors just dominate the whole thing. The blending works though and I am enjoying this. What I would say is that on a day like this, trying so many great beers, this one sort of gets lost in the mix and doesn't stand out for me. I'll have to try it again on its own and re-rate I think. Medium mouthfeel.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is a dark reddish brown, but did let a fair amount of light pass through. The head was brief and after a minute didn't even leave a trace.

The smell definitely showcases the bourbon with strong notes of vanilla and oak. There's also a sweet maple syrup undertone as well as some candied dates.

It's an extremely big beer. A sipper, to be sure. Heavy on the bourbon notes. It is extremely, extremely sweet and that's usually not to my liking but the boozy aspect of it cuts it. Vanilla is the strongest flavor in it and it's supported by the oak, dark fruit, and a bit of syrup.

Mouthfeel is sticky, almost like drinking syrup. In fact, I shared this at a neighborhood block party and there was a football "mishap" that caused only the slightest splash from my cup and I had to scrub my hands to make them less adhesive.

This was a fantastic, highly complex beer. I recommend sharing a bottle because the sweetness and high abv would make it hard to finish more than 12oz alone.

Photo of beerwolf77
3.48/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to adam for sharing this one.

A: Dark brown nearing black. No head no lace. Some legs form with swirls.

S: Bourbon dipped chocolate, booze soaked dark fruit, sweet and rich.

T: Pretty much a mirror of the nose. Loads of dark chocolate and roasty malt. Booze soaked dark fruits and wet wood.

M: Thick and syrupy body. Modest carbonation.

D: Just another big boozy beer to check off my list of big boozy beers I never have to drink again.

Photo of Kevinpitts
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super smooth beer considering alcohol%. Nice sweetness to this. Didn't taste barrel aging , but it didn't matter. Very good.

Melange No. 3 from The Bruery
98 out of 100 based on 1,653 ratings.