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3 French Hens - The Bruery

Not Rated.
3 French Hens3 French Hens

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

384 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 384
Reviews: 228
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.3%
Wants: 103
Gots: 374 | FT: 23
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: 384 | Reviews: 228 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Faina
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

Photo of Verecund
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opened on 03.09.2011 with the lady friend while vacationing in the mountains. Wanted to try this one before going the long haul with my other bottle.

Pours a dark cherry red with a half finger barely tanned head. Pretty attractive sitting in its wine glass.

Sweet grape, plum, and poached pear, with some spicy phenol character. Oak doesn't jump out. There's some heat on it.

A nice blend of sweet and vinous fruitiness on the front of the palate: dark sugar, grape, pear, (soft) caramel maltiness. Then there's a spicy, almost peppery kick, supplemented by some phenols. A tiny bit of tartness and heat on the finish, though it works better than on the nose.

Medium bodied with medium-low carbonation. Fairly silky, nicely warming while sitting beside a fire.

Slightly better than I expected, really. It's a little spicier and yeasty than I would have liked, but the fruity and (slightly) vinous character works. Still, a half bottle is all I want.

Photo of Janderson91
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to caroberts for sending me this one in a trade. One to drink now and one for 2018! Enjoyed on 03/05/11.

A - Pours darker than expected. Dark purple with some ruby red around the edges. Two finger cream colored head that leaves good lacing.

S - Aroma is quite unique. Belgian yeast, some dark fruits, candy sugar, an interesting sour woody character as well. Somewhat of a grape/bubblegum aroma as well. Very nice, kind of champagne-like.

T - The taste is also unlike any beer I've had. Very dark fruity and sweet malt with some Belgian yeast fruitiness. Waves of different flavors come toward the end. An oaky, vanilla flavor, followed by a tart cherry-like character. Leaves a fruity sugary sweetness on the tongue. An extremely complex beer.

M/D - Carbonation may be just a tad too high on this one. Highly drinkable, this stuff is delicious.

A very good beer from The Bruery once again. It's going to be hard to hold on to the other bottle for 8.5 more years....

Photo of BigV
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of boomer31
3.36/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had 2 Turtle Doves not too long ago and enjoyed it. Looking forward to this.

A - Pours a deep brown with a light tan head that looks almost like soap. Holding the beer up to the light you see red come thru

S - Sweet caramel and candi sugar

T - Sweet malts and candi sugar with a touch of oak drying it out in the back. Notes of dark fruits as well. Though the sweetness lingers the spice lingers even longer. There is an odd spice in this beer that keeps it from being overly enjoyable.

M - Very sweet, high carb and sticky

D - Too sweet to be easily drinkable.

Overall a bit disappointing. Way too sweet for me. Perhaps more oak would balance this out.

Photo of crashoveride
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of clegolfski
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25 oz bottle into my Zatec Fluted glass. Short pour resulting in about a finger of very light brown colored head. Dark amber body. Head dies reasonably slowly, a little bit of lacing. Not much. Smells ungodly good. That sort of bubblegummy spice of Belgian yeast, chocolate, caramel sweetness, oak and a bit of alcohol. Sweet up front on the palate. Some dried dark fruit (raisins and such). Sort of rum-ish. Vanilla. I wish I could put into words how complex it is on my tongue. Finishes with a nice tartness. Nice kinda chalky mouthfeel. Drinks like a champ for 10%.

Photo of bierguru
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A -
head poured thick laced out to pretty much nothing within a mintue or so boady was darkish brown

sweet malty fuitiness up front with a finishing spice alcohol backend

T -
sweet vanilla malt up front mild of fruit dates/figs in the middle finishes witha slight spice nd smoothness from the oak

M -
very smooth and well balanced however kind of dry

D -
very tastey worth a try thinking about getting another bottle

Photo of rpaul2012
2/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of rdickey
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown into my Chimay tulip. The small amount of light that gets through on the edges shows a reddish cast. A large rocky off-white head lingers. This is a nice-looking beer.

Smell: Belgian yeast spices pair with a certain element of tartness. It's not funky, just a little tart. Bready malt notes come through as well, and there is a hint of the ABV.

Taste: Classic Belgian spiciness leads, with candy sugar surrounding it - so far, pretty typical for the style. As it warms, though, mellow oaky notes develop, rounding this into a really very nice beer.

Mouthfeel: Truly viscous to start (which is not a bad thing), but as it warms it seems to loosen up a little. I recognize that the immediately preceding sentence is not supported by, and in fact is probably contrary to, established laws of physics, but that's how it felt in my mouth.

Drinkability: Not high overall, but you wouldn't expect any beer of this style to be something you can swill for hours. It's good for the style and a late-night (probably a late winter night) sipper.

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 Sixofsigmas
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of NickT1218
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of TysonA
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of tjfinkle
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of pzymali
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of StarRaptor
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Moose34
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of chicano4craft
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Dark ruby with some brown in the light. Off white head that settles to a bubblt crown that sticks around.

Nose is sweet. Belgian yeast mixed with sweet plum, dark cherries, and dried raisins. Reminds me of a Quad.

Taste is quite sweet up front. Sugary fruit with a surprisingly spicey finish. Cherry flavor is somewhat tart. Complex. Alcohol is there without being hot.

Mouthfeel is nice. Creamy with the right amount of carbonation for me. Drinkability is brought down by the high alcohol. Wish I would have split the bottle.

Overall I was impressed. The Bruery is hit or miss with me and I like this one. Look forward to how much this will change with age.

Photo of BuckyFresh
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at a tasting party with TCHopCraver, TCgoalie, and zoso1967. Thanks to zoso1967 for sharing this beer!

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brown, with a one-finger head. Retention is decent and the lacing is good. There is a pretty significant bubbly film that remains on top of the beer after the head recedes. Very active carbonation can be seen through the dark recesses of this beery world.

Smell: The aroma of this one is like a funky, yeasty chardonnay. Sweet apple, pear, mineral water, and peppery spice abound. The alcohol is also fairly discernible and compliments the other aromas well.

Taste: Lots of tannins and fruity sweetness. Oak lends a dry astringency to the flavor and the spicy yeast adds depth and complexity. I find that most of the sweetness is up front in this one, but is eventually cut down by the dryer elements. The aftertaste is pretty dry and keeps your mouth in that state for quite a while.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light-bodied for a beer with this much alcohol. Sweet and smooth up front, with oak astringency coming through at the end.

Drinkability: Very delicious and funky. The ABV is well-hidden, making this one a fairly easy drinker. The spiciness is the only limiting factor with me, as that element always seems to compound over time.

Photo of waltersrj
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour: Dark brown as you would suspect for the style with a one fingered tan head that quickly dissipates into itself.

Nose: Belgian candy sugar, Belgian yeast, dates, figs, pepper, Belgian spices, vinous notes (from the barreling), and caramel.

Taste: Pepper at first, candy sugar, Belgian yeast, caramel, and dark fruits follow, ending with a vinous, oak driven palate, and caramel, and dark fruit aftertaste. I didn't get a huge alcohol presence like some have said.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated and somewhat creamy. If the carbonation can last 9 years is my biggest question.

Final Thoughts: a decent BSDA from a usually great American brewer. This isn't as good as 2TD.

Photo of clarkenstein
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of hippityhops85
2.8/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a beautiful 750 ml bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Pours a brown/amber with slight ruby/orange highlights and a spotty off white/light tan head that dissipates and forms spotty lacing on the glass. Alcohol legs visible.

The nose definitely has fruits on it but they smell more like strawberries and other red berries rather than the dark fruits I'm used to from Belgian Strong Darks. I don't really get any of the oak. There's definitely an almost "fake" sweetness going on here. It still holds a lot of the Belgian Yeast character though. Interesting.

The taste has a lot of that fake sweetness but the beer definitely finishes mostly dry. Lots of alcohol still on the taste a year later on this beer. It's seriously distracts from the brew especially at mid palate. This beer just starts a mess and totally falls apart. There's also a weird metallic "twang" right at the end of the sip. Bummed.

The mouth feel is medium bodied but again the alcohol just tears it a part.

Really not a fan of this beer at all which bums me out because I generally am a big fan of The Bruery. Can't win 'em all I guess. I don't see this getting any better in the cellar either.

Photo of jcone17
4/5  rDev +4.7%

3 French Hens from The Bruery
86 out of 100 based on 384 ratings.