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3 French Hens - The Bruery

Not Rated.
3 French Hens3 French Hens

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

371 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 371
Reviews: 227
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 98
Gots: 373 | FT: 21
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:
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 added by: claspada on 10-08-2010)
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Ratings: 371 | Reviews: 227 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark, taupe brown color, with a one finger head that quickly withered away into an off-white froth.

S: Belgian funk for sure, followed by alcohol, and a dark fruit presence that was softened by oak. The candy-Christmasy sweetness was abundant.

T: The oak added SO much to this brew, especially on the very soft, velvety finish. The body itself was very typically of many Strong Dark Ales that I've tried, but the way the brew exits, and even cleanses the palate is remarkable.

M: Even though I got some booze on the nose, the oak softened that blow when it got to the taste portion. Sure there was some alcohol burn, but nothing offensive. The lacing was minimal, and the sugar didn't linger... at least not in a bad way.

D: Despite the octane level, I was able to take fairly good sized sips without wincing. This was my favorite of the Bruery Christmas series for sure. Also, this is the one in the series that I'm willing to endorse as an "it's fine to drink now as opposed to waiting for it to mellow."

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 04:35:02 | More by Chaney
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a fairly dark, slightly cloudy amber color with fairly good head retention and not much lacing. The nose is attractive, albeit pretty sweet. I get some noticeable sweet cherry, vanilla, rootbeer, orange citrus and considerable underlying spice. While the flavor profile tends to replicate the nose, I also pick up some light sour and a hint of bourbon. The finish is fairly long, with a slightly tart, spice infused ending. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and drinkability is OK. I can tell the abv. is up there in this, but it's not too intrusive or obtrusive.

While a very solid beer, not sure how much of this I could drink on any given evening. Nevertheless, this is another well made beer from Bruery.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2010 23:06:59 | More by John_M
Photo of rdickey
rdickey

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 02:26:34 | More by rdickey
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

54th review on BA
Bottle to tulip

App- Caramel dark brown with mahogany highlights, 3 finger foamy head with nice color. Head lasted quite a bit but failed to leave a pertinant lace.

Smell- Belgian spicy with molasses and alcohol. I thought it was very balanced on the nose though.

Taste- It's a blend of tart, dark black cherry and a warming feeling as all the flavors come together to play well together.

Mouth- A medium bodied not overly sweet or dry based on the spice and alcohol content.

Drink- I think after all 3 this is my favorite so far. The adventure continues to keep the 1st 3 in the cellar for 9 years and have one hell of a party with 12 bruery bottles.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 03:31:04 | More by FosterJM
Photo of fear025
fear025

Illinois

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

Aroma:Dark fruit and spices in the nose. Nice Belgian yeast notes.

Appearance:Dark brown and nearly opaque. Nice light tan head with good retention.

Taste:More dark fruits and spices in the foretaste. Maybe some savory chestnuts. The aftertaste has some metallic/copper notes.

Mouthfeel:Medium body, good carbonation. A little bit harsh.

Drinkability:This beer is very good, lots of complexity. It will probably age very well over the next 9 years.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 01:06:27 | More by fear025
Photo of ferrari29
ferrari29

Illinois

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

Poured into over-sized wine glass from bottle

A - Dark coffee/brown color body; creamy & bubbly 1 finger head formed; moderate carbonation & lacing

S - Fruit (grape); high ABV content aroma; champagne, muscat fruit smell

T - Caramel notes; with coriander & spices coming out as it washed over the tongue; dry hop aftertaste

M - Effervescent feel; like most Belgian ales; smooth feel and moderate viscosity

D - Surprisingly enough it does not taste like it smell; smooth drink and definitely enjoyable with a few friends; good beer to pair up with foods and cheeses; doesn't come off as being to heavy and you can have a few of these drinks during one evening without feeling like you are going to topple over

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 06:52:52 | More by ferrari29
Photo of mwilbur
mwilbur

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 mL bottle into NBB snifter.
A: Pours a smooth extremely dark brown (very little light comes through with backlighting). 2+ inch tan head with great retention. Very nice.
S: Bready yeast, sweet and warm spices, dark dried fruit, molasses. With warming, a strong note of oak (honestly very close to sticking your head inside an oak barrel) and a hint of chocolate come through.
T: Very interesting...not what I was expecting...spicy pumpernickel, dark toast, dry chocolate, and a vinous oak quality comes through especially with warming. Hints of citrus, bready yeast, and vanilla pop up every now and then.
M: Fairly light body considering the style. Smooth and light on the palate. Slightly sticky sweet. With warming, a bitter note starts to emerge.
D: Good drinkability especially for style and ABV (I will say the alcohol is well hidden). Definitely a different take on the Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Worth a try, but don't expend too much energy to seek it out. This one is supposed to last up to 9 years. I'm thinking it will be well past peak then.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 04:47:01 | More by mwilbur
Photo of bonkers
bonkers

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a bomber into a snifter. It pours an opaque, ruddy, brown with a thin white head. The aroma is dark fruit, and hints of alcohol. The flavor is strong dark fruit notes, and some spices, finishes with a light lingering alcohol. The beer is really smooth and the carbonation is just right. A nice BSDA, very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 00:04:15 | More by bonkers
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a crystal clear deep, dark copper red with burgundy tints; thick, firm and bold off white head.

Nose is big sweet plums, ripe pears and sweet cooked peaches with light spice - big, full, rich and assertive with big candi sugar tones.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with an elegant carbonation.

Flavors are very complex and layered. Front palate is sweet spiced cola and compote cooked fruit that goes to a dull bitter mid palate and finish.

The front end of this beer is wonderful but the flavors then back off and the wood and barrel aging come into play and goes to a bitter, almost bitter/sour carmel finish.

The mid palate on this beer is a strange spice/herbal character, almost a sour chocolate character, that prevents this brew from really shining. The high alcohol is well hidden!

Personally, I don't see this beer doing very well 9 years from now when we all do our "12 year vertical" for the "12 Days of Christmas." However, time will tell.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 07:13:35 | More by GRG1313
Photo of WestValleyIPA
WestValleyIPA

California

4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
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%.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2010 04:23:21 | More by WestValleyIPA
Photo of Mooch273
Mooch273

California

2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Amber brown body with slight head with fine bubbles. Looks inviting.

A: Smells like Rugbrod. Sugary sweet and a bit grassy.

T: Rye hits immediately with a hint of some unidentifiable spice. Not boozy at all.

M: Way too dry to be enjoyable. It's like instant cotton mouth after each sip. Not what I expected.

D: It was alright, but really dry and not refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 05:31:27 | More by Mooch273
Photo of slayer3604
slayer3604

California

4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 03:51:25 | More by slayer3604
Photo of jminsc76
jminsc76

Texas

4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Serving type: cask

11-07-2010 17:46:22 | More by jminsc76
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown and red appearance, kinda cool looking, good head, sticks around forever. Smells like cinammon and sugar cookies.

Dark fruity flavor, more spice, mahogany wood effect to it, the mo, another complex, but amazing beer so far. I don't even like these styles I kept thinking. This one was good enough on tap that I bought a bottle afterwards. Lots of caramel underneath the darker aspect of the beer. Not overly sweet, strong, but alcohol is hidden for its actual might. I liked it quite a bit. Be interesting to see how it is in a decade out of a bottle. Although I have a feeling I'll have it at least one more time this year.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2010 06:25:19 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Bruery tulip. Beer is brown and hazy with a big brown head on top of it. Carbonation moderate and the head leaves some lacing on the glass.

Beer smells like a big Belgium beer but its not roasty in the nose at all. Lots of esters, lots of biscuit, some stone fruits, smells good.

Beer is lead off sweetness with a medium body that gives way to an almost weizenbock kind of roast in the back. There is a ton of fruit esters in the midpalate region. Beer is pretty drinkable, I don't recall the other releases from this series but this one is fine.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2010 19:34:25 | More by drabmuh
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark brown color with some hints of blood red and a finger's worth of khaki colored head.

S: A fair amount of dark malts without much roast character, but a nice toast. Very bready and heavy on the yeast with some dark fruits, but I can't quite pick out what they are.

T: The sweetness is moderate with a bit of subtle roast. Dark and malty with a bit of sugar (caramel and toffee) and lots of yeastiness like the nose indicates.

M: The body is medium with a soft, rolling carbonation.

D: I'd say this is probably better than Partidge but not quite as good as Turtle Doves. It'll be interesting to see how this one ages over the next ten years.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 23:07:55 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy-ish brown with an inch or so of foam.

Smells like dark malts, a bit of ... oak? Woodsiness, at least. And a bunch of spices and bready yeastiness. A hint of fruit to the nose. Raisins?

Taste is all bready, yeasty malt with more than a bit of spices and oak/wood on the aftertaste. Kind of an odd duck, actually. Interesting, chewy, but the spices are a bit wearying after a while.

Nice robust mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 08:01:35 | More by Overlord
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a medium brown with a moderate off-white head, good lace.

S: Quite yeasty, dark Belgian style fruit, with a hint of cinnamon, dark sweet breads.

T: Dark brown sugar and molasses, not as fruity as the nose. A straight up dark malt flavour with the Belgian yeast to round it off, very tasty.

M: Full-bodied, very smooth, soft carbonation on the palate, an elegant beverage.

D: Easily the best of the 12 Beers of Christmas so far right out of the gate. It will be interesting to see how this ages, and how The Bruery will add some new twist to this in the coming weeks.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2010 03:54:29 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of IKR
IKR

California

3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Bottle into a tulip glass

A: Dark Brown with half an inch of very light brown head. Noticeable lacing on the glass.

S: upfront Belgian Yeast aroma with a bit of toffee/caramel smell. Slight roast aroma.

T: Slight Belgian funk, caramel and dark sugar elements.

M: Good body with medium carbonation.

D: Good flavor with hidden alcohol.

To me this tastes like the base for last year's Autumn Maple which, off topic, I preferred to this year's batch. The majority of people will find this preferable to 2 Turtle Doves but I'm missing 2 Turtle Doves' bolder, more complex flavors. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Trappiste Rochefort 8 listed as one of the top beers for this style. I found the Trappiste Rochefort 8 to be a far more complex flavorful beer. That being said this isn't a bad beer it just doesn't overwhelm me like some of the other Bruery's offerings.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 16:48:35 | More by IKR
Photo of domtronzero
domtronzero

California

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear reddish copper brown with a long lasting frothy off white head that leaves quite a bit of lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet caramel malts, a little bit of vanilla and rich malty goodness. Light alcohol is perfumy and pleasant. Dark fruity esters and melanoidins.

F/M - Caramelly bready sweet malts with lots of dark fruity flavors. Very much a malt-forward beer with moderately low bitterness behind it. Vanilla and very light oaky flavors are pleasant and add complexity. Slightly sweet finish, with a nice drying alcohol warmth. Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Lingering sweet malty bready toffee flavor.

D - Good but the sweetish finish make it difficult to put down more than a glass or two at a time. Very flavorful and enjoyable. Nice seasonal offering for winter time.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 06:21:44 | More by domtronzero
Photo of RaulMatisse
RaulMatisse

California

3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up one of the last bottles at Provisions in what is presumably an early release. Or at least it seems early because it's still 86 degrees outside.

Poured gingerly from a 750ml bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. Briefly considered if Tecate residue can impart botulism on future pours.

A: A tea-like mahogany liquid babbles happily out of the bottle. No glug-glug here, folks. More on that later in the 'mouthfeel' section, you impatient, pot-bellied, toothy-grinned, sticky-fingered 5th grader.

S: It kind of smells like your house on Christmas morning. Mom slaving away in the kitchen where she should be; Dad stretched across the sofa in flannel whilst scratching his crotch and yelling at some football team; yes, this is liquid Christmas and you'd have it no other way.

T: The taste is rather nebulous, much like your recollection of last Friday when you challenged the bartender to 'Nastiest Shot', committed more regrettable acts than a Nazi war crimes defendant, and woke up on the couch of an itinerant gypsy with a medical marijuana license. Seasonal spices, buttered rum, and sweet figs, was her taste.

M: You read ahead, you dastardly devil. I can't even be mad at you. You're cunning like serpent, but gentle as dove.

D: I'd revisit this bottle as quickly as I revisited the men's room after the Nastiest Shot competition. And that is pretty damn quick.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2010 07:31:17 | More by RaulMatisse
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3 French Hens from The Bruery
86 out of 100 based on 371 ratings.