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Papier - The Bruery

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

193 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 193
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 14.68%
Wants: 215
Gots: 69 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  14.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Papier is our first anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain. The traditional first anniversary gift is something made of paper. The Bruery is giving their loyal fans the gift of Papier, their first anniversary ale. Layered with complex flavors of dark fruit,vanilla, oak, and burnt sugar, Papier is a robust ale, surely the perfect beer to mark our first big milestone. Best for sharing, this beer is ideal for cellaring until you have a celebration of your own…if you can wait.

(Beer added by: Halcyondays on 05-16-2009)
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Ratings: 193 | Reviews: 100 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of patmcd

New York

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, 750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Poured a very, dead black with hints of a ruby-Bordeaux accents if you looked at the edge close enough in the light. There was basically no carbonation, and I thought *maybe* I had a dud, it wasn't the case though.

Smells consisted of bourbon, dark fruits, and a black licoricey-brown sugar.

Taste was ridiculous...in a good way. So many complex flavors, my pallete was jumping all over the place. I found a heavy taste of darker fruits, there was a definitley a heavy burning okay note, but it was offset by sweets (sugar, caramels, vanilla) and bourbon. I should have let this cellar some, but I was too excited right away. I think some of the 'oak monster' might have gone away and he beer would age nicely. I'm going to try and get another bottle and let it age.

Mouthfeel was heavy and spicy, but definitely a bit hot, like a liquid fruitcake (but more tasty).

Drinkability on this was definitley like drinking an after dinner cognac or single malt scotch, it has to be sipped, but the silkiness was very pleasureful, but the ABV will bite your head off if you're not careful. I tried drinking the entire 750ml bottle myself, I'd advise against that and share with a friend.

Once again, let this age so you can experience it in it's peak. Still a wonderful brew though.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2009 22:07:07 | More by patmcd
Photo of scray24


4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served colder than bottle recommended into non-beer ware (on vacation at a condo).

Low carbonation and no significant head, although there was a little lacing as you drank. Dark copper mahogany with hints of black. Rich smell with vanilla, bourbon, caramel, and possibly some maple. Taste is excellent with much of the same from the smell (vanilla, dark caramel and toffee, some darker fruits) but it is strong with a slight hint of alcohol bite, could probably have used a little more cellaring (2009 bottling)... glad I've got 2 more to lay down for a while.

Would be hard pressed to drink more than a full bottle by myself but it is an excellent sipper and great to share.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 15:06:15 | More by scray24
Photo of damienblack


4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Couldn't wait until later to try this beer, cracked a bottle as soon as we got it in. Disclaimer: the way BA scales the points, this beer will be scoring a lot lower from people than if appearance were lower on the chart, with more on taste.

Pours jet black. Like to me, it looks like if you melted down pure anise black licorice, and swirled it around, this is what you get. Ominous, spooky onyx black, like it wants to devour you instead of the other way around. But the biggest flaw is that it is very very low in carbonation. A thin layer of bubbles from an aggressive pour. Almost like a huge thick port in this regard. Thick and murky, but not very lifelike.

The smell off this beer is simply outstanding. I think this might be the only 5 for smell I've given thus far. Bourbon is the prevalent smell, with a good deal of dark fruit mingling with leathery tobacco, caramel, toffee, some vanilla/licorice coming through also. Hugely complex nose for a beer just as complex. Other people describe burnt sugar, there's a bit of that, but I don't get that as much in the nose as the taste.

The taste is just supermassive and supercomplex. I can still feel it on my taste buds. Dark, harsh burnt malts, but in a sweet way, like that crossed with plums or dates soaked in bourbon. Sweet and harsh at the same time, with a big helping of smokey tobacco from the oaking (I don't smoke, but I'd imagine this is why people like expensive cigars). I'm glad this blend is only 25% bourbon barrel, as any more would be way overpowering. Right now, it's got a bit of a harsh bite to it on top of the other deep roasted characteristics, but that is more of an alcoholic, boozey but warming bite. Like a high-end scotch or bourbon. It tingles, is the best way to put it. All of these things leave a slightly burnt but sweet, while tingly sensation on my tongue. I could still feel it after I went to bed. I tried to take the bottle myself, but regretfully fell a few ounces short, less than the difference between a 22 and a 750, though. Keep in mind, it took 2.5 or 3 hours to get to that point. This would do quite well shared, and everyone taking a few ounces. Split it 3 ways, $7 for an 8 ounce poor isn't too bad for what you get. It is absolutely sludgy and massive, sweet and harsh at the same time, like bittersweet burnt vanilla or butterscotch. Overwhelming and extremely satisfying simultaneously. It loses a lot for drinkability because of what it is, but for what it is, it is not too bad. My only other Old Ale, for the sake of comparison, was Founders Curmudgeon, and that was undrinkable for me. But this is a great experience, quite a trip fresh, and I will definitely be burying some bottles for a few years down the road. Given a few years to open up some, it will be legendary.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 01:33:07 | More by damienblack
Photo of glid02


4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Bruery.

Pours a purplish-black color with a very thin tan head. The head recedes into a thin ring around the glass leaving almost no lacing.

Smells of bourbon with good amounts of caramel, dark fruits, vanilla, and hints of toffee. As it warms very small whiffs of milk chocolate escape the glass.

Tastes great. Bourbon and vanilla flavors start things off but soften as caramel and butterscotch flavors join in. Midway through the sip the dark fruit flavors - figs and plums - manage to sneak in before a syrupy finish leaving a bourbon and toffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a very nice thickness with light carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my (admittedly small) glass and could have another (as long as it were no larger).

Overall this was a very interesting beer and I hope to try the 100% BA versions at one point. This is worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2009 20:34:18 | More by glid02
Photo of Patrick999


4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened up at a recent tasting. Super dark, little carbonation. Many "damn"s and "holy s***"s could be heard as we sniffed the mercifully small portions in our tasting glasses. Tons of whiskey, vanilla, burnt caramel, butterscotch.

Taste features big woody vanilla along with chocolate, caramel, coffee, and big booze (how could it not). Lot of whiskey. All of these flavors seem so concentrated, too. Some sweetness, but really nowhere near as sweet as I thought it might be. Feel is thick and syrupy, but look at what you're drinking - this is one of those beers you could probably pour over your pancakes.

Drinkability gets thrown out the window. The desire to drink a whole bottle is there, yet I don't think I have the physical capability to do so. I'm thankful I have a couple bottles of this, but they will be brought out only when I can share them with interested parties. Definitely one for sharing.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 12:54:42 | More by Patrick999
Photo of ATPete

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

capped/waxed 750ml

I absolutely love the color, a warm brown orange color with just about zero head or head retention, just a sticky coating covering the glass it touched. Big, big aroma coming from this one, booze soaked raison, prune and fig notes, port soaked wood and some bourbon barrel, in seperate layers. Large body, near flat with some light carbonaion. Sweet caramel, toffe and wood initially on the palate, an almost out of place bitter vegetable note of steamed carrot hits the tongue briefly mid palate and then settles in for a long sweet finish paired with a very non offensive alcohol wave. Very well made beer, although 'young' right now it drinks very well for the power house that it is, i look forward to this bottle with a year or 2 of age on it but i think it will keep improving for many more to come.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 21:23:48 | More by ATPete
Photo of mikey711

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Unfortunately this review will be short. Just before I pressed sent my power went out due to hail, and the beer was gone. It was almost brown in color with minimal head little lacing. It smelled great though with lots of smoky peat, bourbon. It tasted very much as it smelled, but the bourbon was not overwhelming and nice vanilla notes were present as well. There is some sweetness present too enjoyable. The mouthfeel was boozy yet lighter than expected Definitely would benefit from aging, but I dont know if I can make it a decade, which the bottle suggests, before trying it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 22:32:47 | More by mikey711
Photo of FtownThrowDown


4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of RoyMunson.

Pours a ruby brown in color that is still as night. No head to be form, still as can be.
Smells slightly of bourbon notes, some alcohol and some dark fruits. Taste is very nice bourbon flavors, some caramel malts. This is just a tad bit flat feeling. The carbonation is non-existent right now. The flavors are more than making up for it, but I would like just a little more lively mouthfeel. Medium mouthfeel, and it wants to be a world class beer, but it just doesn't bring the carbonation or is ready to. Decent beer, but the finish is off.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 04:10:19 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of flannelman808


4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: This bottle sais 75% oak aged 25% bourbon aged. 2009 anniversary. bottle number 0781.
This beer pours with a few very large bubbles, but has little or no head (not surprising given the 14.5% ABV). The color is sort of a deep murky brown/ocher hue.

Smell: I smell candied malts, and caramel. Brown sugar and bourbon barrel come through as well. With no head Im not getting a huge bouquet on this one.

mouthfeel: This beer has a oil slick quality on the tongue. It is a very long finishing brew as well.

Taste: Wow lots of complexity here. sweet malty goodness followed by a woody taste and then a nice hoppy bitterness. This beer works the entire palate over...twice. The finish is very long and ever changing. I also get some deep dark fruit with perhaps a little sour cherry as well.

At 14.5% I couldn't have to many of these, but its rather drinkable for its strength.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2009 23:45:15 | More by flannelman808
Photo of Floydster


3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle purchased at Hi-Time Wines in Costa Mesa, decided to open this up with Dave tonight but plan on aging the rest of my bottles, this is the third time I have had it now, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter, color is a medium to dark brown with a lot of red in it, 1/2 inch creamy off white head, some decent retention, not much lacing, aroma consists of brown sugar, oak, vanilla, dark fruits, burned malts, molasses, butterscoth milk chocolate, and barely any bourbon which was a little disappointing but I guess it was only twenty five percent barrel aged in the blend, taste starts with burnt sugat and booze, toffee and caramel in the middle, finish has a hint of roast but mostly feeds off its huge malt base, also lots of alcohol in the aftertaste, gets more apparent the warmer it gets, some sweet caramel comes out later on, lots of vanilla in the finish by the end, hot, sweet, and fruity mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, light carbonation, taste lingers forever, could possibly drink the bottle but it is filling stuff and is sweet, booze are out in the open, some flavors are very pronounced right now, drinkability should improve as the years come, plan on drinking again, this stuff needs to mellow out a bit and I think it will be even better, recommended now and later

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2009 03:55:08 | More by Floydster
Photo of hoppymeal


4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark cola brown, thick and somewhat murky looking, no head, just a small gathering of medium tan bubbles around the edge of the glass. Aroma is some soft and sweet sugar and prunes. Also a good deal of coconut, as well as a large amount of fruitiness, like a fruit juice or orange juice, much like a pina colada. Taste follows with pina colada tropical fruit drink flavor, oranges, vanilla, woodiness, a hint of bourbon, some alcohol. Very rich and sweet, cut though by the alcohol strength, some prunes in the finish. Mouthfeel is fairly heavy in body, low carbonation, some dryness creeps in mid taste and grows towards a strong warming bite of alcohol at the back of the throat towards the finish. A very good beer, I think this could use some time in the bottle to let things settle out a little. Big and flavorful now though, congrats to the bruery on their 1st year. Thanks Carlos and Kyle for the opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2009 02:49:07 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of ArrogantB


4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark chestnut color with scant head but it still looks good. The smell is a little alcoholic but also quite intriguing because I can't place it but its good. The flavors were fruits, sweet, delicious old ale without a hint of the high alcohol. The alcohol is well masked but i was still glad I split the bottle. I usually don't like beers with this much alcohol but this was good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 06:11:55 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of GRG1313


4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a smooth tan head. Nose is complex and inviting. Sweet whiskey hits you first and yields to sweet fruit, molasses, vanilla and hints of sweet cherry.

Mouthfeel is big and full although some age will make it a bit "thicker." A bit thinner than one might expect but, again, age will improve this characteristic.

Flavors follow the nose with dark cooked fruit, plums and figs, brown sugar/malt and full of whiskey tones. Big, full bodied and expressive flavors with a full rich finish. This is going to be superb with some age. One can only imagine the rarer barrell aged versions which I will open as part of a tasting...a tasting soon since I'm one who likely won't be able to wait!

This is a brew worth trying now and very much worth following for as long as you can discipline yourself to hold some bottles. This is clearly one of the best quality beers from The Bruery.

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2009 05:41:21 | More by GRG1313
Photo of HopHead84


4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at the Bruery on Saturday. I decided I'd drink a 750ml 14% beer tonight. It's not going to be good for tomorrow, but so be it.

Poured into my Darkness snifter, the beer is the color of Cabernet Sauvignon (it's roughly the same alcohol % too) with a small fizzy and tan head that quickly recedes.

The aroma is toffee with plum notes and dried fruits. There's a lot of brown and candied sugar in the nose, as well as a hint of molasses. A swirl of the glass really reanimates the aroma, bringing out vanilla, maple, oak, and almonds, as well as some tannins. There's just a touch of Bourbon in the nose.

The flavor is initially sweet. In fact, it's just sweet, not just initially but throughout. Notes of Belgian candied sugar and brown sugar are evident, as well as angel tears and toffee. Nutty and boozy, the flavor oozes with dark and dried fruits. It exhibits oak character and tannins. At 25% of the blend, the Bourbon is barely noticeable but it's there nonetheless, screaming in defiance, yet barely audible. This is very hot right now. The alcohol is something to be reckoned with. You taste every bit of the 14.5% right now. I need to get my hands on one more to cellar. The heat is holding back the flavor rating, but I have no doubt that will change in a few months.

The beer is medium bodied with a low level of carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and vinous.

Congratulations to Patrick and The Bruery on an amazingly successful first year. They've made remarkable progress in a very short time. I'm going to have to lock up my Rye and Brandy versions of Papier and throw away the key or I'll drink them tonight.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2009 04:38:47 | More by HopHead84
Photo of Overlord


4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Have a few of these, along with a bunch of the barrel aged versions. Those "in the know" tell me the barrel aged versions are much superior, but I'll reserve judgment until all have been consumed in my gullet. I wasn't that excited about the papier release until I tried Melange #3, which was phenomenal.

Pours a slightly ruddy deep brown. Basically a thin crust of off-white, maybe tan-nish foam.

Smells like a f***-load of brown sugar, vanilla, and a hint of bourbon. Some dark fruits apparent in the nose. Also in the nose: alcohol. Big, boozy heat.

The taste is similarly boozy. It assaults you with a club. Thankfully, the flavors are equally strong. More vanilla, more brown sugar, a hint of leather and molasses, and some dark fruit. Very strong flavor, high quality ... just a bit hot. Even for me.

Mouthfeel is good, but a tad thin for a beer of this ABV and flavor-strength. A good brew, but I'm looking forward to trying the barrel aged versions ... this one, price-wise, is a bit too expensive for what it is.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2009 09:17:58 | More by Overlord
Photo of DoubleJ


4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the source in an 8 ounce serving, on to the beer:

Dark chestnut color in appearance with no head on top. The beer's aroma hits the nose with a fruity porfile at first, but then with hints of oak and vanilla. There is some alcohol felt in this beer, but this beer hides much of the 14.5%. Oak and vanilla flavors tease the palate at first. As it warms, it starts to have a more dark fruity flavor profile.

A good beer for sure. A sipper, make sure it warms up and you'll be in for a good time.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2009 05:14:07 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of bulletrain76


4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at the anniversary party. This was probably the best version of papier, as the barrel aging seemed just about right in the flavor profile. The non-aged version was a bit unfocused, and the 100% barrel versions were all pretty intense on the spirit character, though the rye was very smooth. Deep brown color with a small head. Maintained the fruity, yeast esters of the virgin version in the aroma and flavor, but added a very smooth wood, vanilla and light booze character, on top of a deep and rich brown sugar malt flavor. Full bodied and smooth, with lighter carbonation. Balance was the key to this one with just enough barrel and rich, fruity malt and yeast flavors. I can't wait for the bottles to come out.

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2009 20:58:16 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of Halcyondays


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Bruery's 1st,

A: Pours brown with a soft bubbling of light brown bubbles.

S: Smooth and refined, with great notes of oak and vanilla, almond, noticable banana the last time I had it, quite interesting.

T: More barrel aged goodness in the flavour. Chocolate and a light roasted note. The heavy brash tannic character is done away with in the aging with some great oak notes, vanilla, caramel candy.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, viscous, though only mildly alcoholic at this high ABV.

D: This is really good just by itself. I've already gotten to try some of Papier in other barrels and am lucky to have a bottle of each to try on their own. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a bottle of the regular Papier soon, just outstanding.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2009 23:28:30 | More by Halcyondays
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Papier from The Bruery
90 out of 100 based on 193 ratings.