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3 French Hens - The Bruery

Not Rated.
3 French Hens3 French Hens

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

387 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 387
Reviews: 229
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.3%
Wants: 103
Gots: 368 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: claspada on 10-08-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Three French Hens is the third in the 12 Days/Years of Christmas Series. We again drew some inspiration from the name and decided that at least a portion of this beer had to be aged in French oak barrels. What we came out with is a bold and spicy Belgian Dark Strong Ale, 25% aged in oak. This beer is designed to take the journey through time until 12 Drummers Drumming, but is a delightful holiday treat right off the shelf.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 387 | Reviews: 229 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lackenhauser
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clean and clear looking, deep bronze color. Decent carbonation but not much head. Nice aroma of dried fruits, caramel, bready and yeasty. Huge spicy malt flavors. Sulfury/earthy. Caramel like sweetness with a bevy of dried fruits. Orange/cloves/cinnamon...Viscuos mouthfeel. Came out of the gate very boozy and sweet but having now nursed this for close to an hour it has turned into quite the nice, very sippable beer. I have gone from not impressed to quite enjoying it.

Photo of mexikrainian
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

720ml poured into a Stone tulip.

Appearance: dark brown amber with thick, foamy tan head and smooth lacing.

Aroma: dark fruits, sweet malts, vanilla, caramel and molasses.

Flavor: caramel, raisin, molasses, candi sugar and Belgian spices.

Mouthfeel: SMOOTH, crisp medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall impression: smooth, sweet and malty beer that warm you from the inside out.

Photo of Chadpaq
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap over at Vintner in The Arboretum. Excellent spot. I'd been wanting to sample this stuff for quite some time and was excited to see it flowing from one of Vintner's always eclectic sixteen taps.

The beer had a fairly dark hue, but allowed minimal light penetration. I'd call this beer "Indian brown." I'm really not attempting to be verbose in such a description; I merely feel that the term's necessary to illustrate the dark brown and extremely dark reddish qualities that are shown to one's eye through the glass. All this aside: This is one pretty beer. The head itself, however, is a little lack-luster. I'm sure it would be bigger if I were pouring from the bottle, but because this beer's pretty cold coming off the tap, the head formation's hindered a bit. Trivial, really.

This beer has an extremely complex aroma, not unlike most BSDAs. I smell a lot of sugars: Dates, cinnamon, apples and pears. Hardly any alcohol lingers in my nostrils whatsoever.

My experience with this style of beer is limited, but I know what tastes good to me, and although I've been pretty skeptical of most BSDAs in the past based upon prior tastings, this one's really pleasing me. It's sweet, but not sugary or syrupy. There's a lot of Belgian yeast present, especially as the beer warms. The alcohol makes no appearance mid-sip, only appearing slightly in the beer's aftertaste.

This beer is smooth. It feels smooth on the palate and it goes down smoothly. It's extremely drinkable for a high-alcohol, huge beer. Hell, it's extremely drinkable for any beer. Scary. But excellent.

Photo of chumba526
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears full-bodied brown with a small off-white looking head.

It smells, of cherries, plumbs, raisons, brown sugar, and bready malts. There is a bold peppery clove like yeast quality to this beer as well.

It tastes initially slightly fruity. I get notes of cherries, pears, plumbs and various dry dark fruit. There is a nice subdued sweet brown sugar to the beer. The yeast in this beer adds a nice subdued peppery flavor to this beer. There is a nice earthy quality to this beer and dry bread like malt taste. There are a lot of flavors to this beer but all of them blend perfectly with each other. The finish of this beer is semi-dry due to the yeasty and earthy flavor of this beer.

The carbonation is moderate low and complements the taste of the beer.

The drinkability of this is pretty good because the beer has a nice balance to it.

Overall a very good ale, that is worth seeking out.

Photo of tpd975
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice ruddy reddish brown. Small tan head.

S: Nice sweet fruit, toffee, chocolate, and spice. Subtle oaky notes as well.

T: Really like this one. Sweet malty goodness. Dark fruits, with nice subtle oak. Hints of vanilla, and a dash of xmas spice goodness.

M: Rather full in body, rich, smooth, good.

D: great my favorite of the series one of the best Bruery beers to date.

Photo of GregSVT
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle into a snifter

A: Pours dark brown with a beige head that fades to a small layer and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is very good with lots of sweet malt and belgian yeast esters with a nice oak and wine aroma in the background.

T: Flavors of vanilla, bready malt, toffee, and grape/wine are on the forefront with that belgian flavor on the finish. Very tasty.

M: The feel is medium bodied and nice and creamy.

D: The wine barrel aging in this one really adds a nice touch. I'm glad I have another one to age because I plan on having this again.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep maroon color with good carbonation and a dirty white head

S: Candy sugar, dark fruits, spice

T: Has elements of warming booze, caramelized sugar, candy, dark fruits(yams, raisins, figs) some maple. I felt a big presence of grapes in this as well

M: Nice, warm, medium body, booze sting

D: Pretty tasty and good overall

Photo of slayer3604
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Murky brown with a hint of mahogany middle ground. Nice beige head, with some spotty lacing and formidable head retention.

S- Spice, dark fruit, bready-biscuity and herbaceous notes here and there.

T-Creamy, firm and complex with a lot of dark fruit emphasis and a nice zap of spice at the end. Just a tad of booziness, and a well balanced finish.

M-Full bodied, sweet, and spicy. Does not strike me as a necessarily "clean" finisher but it is no where near annoying. Almost just kicks back in your mouth for a bit and waits for the next drag!

D- Pretty nice beer, I don't see this evolving into a beast in 9 years when the Christmas song is complete but at the same time, its a damn good beer and very drinkable for 10%. Cheers, Bruery!

Photo of RickS95
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rich, dark brown fudge color. On top is an off-tan head, about a finger and a half thick. When the head dissipates, it leaves a creamy ring of bubbles around the edge.

Smells Belgian, with a funky yeast and ripe dark fruits (and some apple). There's a note of alcohol, almost a port-like scent. As the beer warms, a hint of anise develops.

Taste matches the smell. Dark fruits--grapes, apple, raisin, figs--dominate with the slightest mention of oak. Alcohol is only slightly present.

Very creamy mouthfeel. A bit like wine, particularly the adity, but a bit sweeter and more 'beer like' thanks to malt backbone and a bit of hoppy bitterness to balance.

Overall, this is a really good beer. It's a tad sweet and wine like, or I'd have given it a 4.5. I'm glad I tried this.

Photo of smithdc33
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into St Bernardus tulip glass and resulted in a nice off-white head that fades pretty quickly. Tasted this beer immediately after having a St. Bernardus Christmas; similar styles; very different beers.

A nice dark red-brown color with minimal lacing. A roasty smell with an array of spices, and definitely some caramel. The flavor is bold at first with an initial hit of alcohol, followed by cocoa and cherry flavors with a touch of oak on the finish. Smooth carbonation that supports the complex flavors in this beer rather than overpowering them. This is a very smooth, drinkable beer, which is impressive for how powerful it is.

I'm a big fan of Bruery beers, and 3 French Hens does not disappoint! Time to go out and stock up.

Photo of kels
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer looks great! It pours a warm golden-brown with some ruby highlights throughout. It is slightly translucent with visible viscosity. The initial head is an impressive 2 fingers of off-white fluffiness. It fades fairly quickly but not without leaving good creamy swirls atop the beer and nice spots of spitty lace along the glass walls.

Aroma is rich and spicy with notes of cinnamon, sweet and fruity yeast, and caramel malts. It is bright and clear, and it keeps any trace of the alcohol to a minimum.

The taste and feel come together to create a great balance between flavor and lightness. Great flavors of cinnamon, honey, nutmeg, ginger, caramelized grains, brown sugar, and prunes come through nicely and fade into a hint of sweet pears in the aftertaste. The feel is moderately viscous, and the finish is bubbly with light alcohol vapors left in the mouth. There's a hint of chocolate malt taste in the finish.

Very highly drinkable. The 10% abv is so well hidden, I had to look again to make sure the notation was correct. Really nice beer. Wonder what it would be like aged.

Photo of jminsc76
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, pours a dark brown, murky body. Exhibits some soapy head on top, about half a finger's measurement. This is cask, so I am not holding my breath for a large amount of head to emerge/re-emerge.

Aromas primarily of fried-bananas and other tropical fruits that yield a wonderfully intense and expansive bouquet. Pretty much perfect.

Flavors include an overall oaky mixture of the previously-mentioned bananas, cabernet sav (or franc; too miniscule to presently and properly determine), and even a bit of bourbon and pumpernickle. This is a deliciously intense version of 3 French Hens, far more intense than the more mellow version I had per the bottle.

Mouthfeel is fine, thin, and condusive to the flavors.

Overall, 3 French Hens on cask is wonderfully tasty. More flavors than I can shake a leg at in distinguishing (though the taste of fried bananas and other tropical fruits is unmistakable) with a bouquet that will not quit in lifting my nostrils to high heaven. Bravo Bruery.

Photo of Crazydaddyo
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of Sixofsigmas
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of Kmccabe33
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of mdlb44
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of Compton25
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of macrosmatic
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of nanobrew
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of smithj4
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of wvsabbath
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 25.9 oz bottle

Appearance - Dark tan/golden brown with a monster 3+ inch head and some nice lacing.

Smell - Malts, sweet fruits like cherry, apple, grapefruit. Lots of spices. Yeast and a biscuit aroma. Oak, vanilla and some added sugars. Alot going on here.

Taste - Nice mix of malts, yeast and oaked vanilla plus spices. Dark and sweet fruits add flavors, as does sugary mix of vanilla and molasses. Alcohol is present and fairly dominate but not overpowering. Has a nice earthy/grainy flavor at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Rather smooth and mild for such a big beer. Tounge gets fruits, malts, oak and booze, along with added sugars. Palette gets same flavors along with some mild hops and spices. Aftertaste is dry and warm from the alcohol.

OVerall - Really nice and smooth, yet a big beer that demains respect for its complex flavors. A sipper for sure but it is easy enough to have nice big mouthfulls in each drink. The oaked aspect of this beer truly shines and is a special beer to enjoy if you can get your hands on it now.

Photo of Avagadro
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: served in The Bruery's own snifter, 3FH is deep mahogany, bordering black, with a creamy head that fades to a film.

S: bouquet is quite shy, with only the faintest wisps of fig noticeable.

T: this brew is an onslaught of fruit; deep fig, apricot, and dried cherries meld with a balsamic sweetness. This is certainly a well made brew.

M: round mouthfeel, but a touch thin.

D: another great beer from the bruery!

3 French Hens from The Bruery
86 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.