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Cuir - The Bruery

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

553 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 553
Reviews: 189
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 75
Gots: 426 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  14.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Halcyondays on 05-07-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Cuir is our third anniversary ale. It is the same recipe as Papier, but again created using the Solera method. Each year we will continue to blend old barrels of anniversary ale with a new batch of the same beer, adding an additional layer of complexity that will grow over time as we continue to age and blend with each anniversary, creating an older average age to the ale.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 553 | Reviews: 189 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of schwaeh
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared by Mbpbugeye.

A: Pours a dark tobacco brown. Nice light beige half inch head that fades into some nice lace.

S: Smells somewhat hot with tobacco, rum soaked fruit, sugar, and molasses. Smells like bourbon syrup. I get mesquite BBQ sauce once it warms all the way up.

T: The taste starts as leather, molasses, tobacco, and raisins. The alcohol is very noticable but not off-putting. The bourbon notes are very minimal in this blended version but add to the complexity.

M: Small amount of carbonation. Thick and viscous mouthfeel. Somewhat hot, but not overly so at 14.5%.

O: This is a slow complex sipper with plenty to offer. I'm very happy that I got to try this behemoth of a beer. Consume near room temperature to get the most out of this one.

Photo of jrallen34
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Small Bar... pours a dark mahogany, good seductive color, light tan head, very creamy, great lacing... the nose is a bit weird but grows on me, lots of star anise and other spices, brown sugar, basically spice and malt... the nose is the same malty and spicy, theres a slight medicinal note that's a bit distracting but this is very drinkable and much better than Coton

Photo of homebrew311
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: deep brown, ruby highlights, thin white head, little lacing

S: lactic acid, almond, maple, and cherry. A whole lot I going on here, subtle vanilla comes through at the end

T: starts off with fig, cherry, and tobacco. A little tartness starts gaining momentum, the end is very acidic with a bit of booziness

Mf: thick syrupy body, low carbonation

O: lots of flavor, nice flavors, heavy on the booziness

Photo of axeman9182
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, #5098 was allowed to warm for 20+ minutes before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Cuir pours a hazy rust color. There's a voluminous khaki colored head, must top out at over four fingers in height. There's above average head retention, and plenty of lacing left all over the glass. Especially given the high ABV it's all quite impressive, and if not for the slightly unattractive color I'd probably give it a 5 for appearance. The nose highlights the barrel aging, even though only 25% of the beer spent time in bourbon barrels. Oak and vanilla are dominant, with bourbon and slightly burnt sugar providing background support. The flavor adds a pronounced fruitiness to the proceedings, plum and raisin notes that I'm guessing come from some highly kilned crystal malts, and that sweet, brown sugary flavor has more of a central role this time around. There's also a slight warming from the alcohol, but it's not nearly as much as I might have anticipated from a nearly 15% beer. Just as the lack of booziness is a pleasant surprise, so is the absence of a syrupy body. I only had about a half pour of Coton on tap last year, but I remember the body coming across as quite thick. The attenuation seems a bit better this time around, as with the low level of carbonation the mouthfeel comes across as full, but not overbearing. Cuir is a very well brewed beer for being such a big Old Ale, and remarkably smooth for its youth. I may have to grab more than the one bottle I already have set aside for my cellar.

Photo of marqoid
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at 1702 in Tucson, reviewed from memory.

Poured a deep red amber with minimal head and light carbonation. The smell is molasses, brown sugar, and dried fruits. The taste is...WOW... fruity, tons of dark fruit, figs, plum, raisin, and just a pleasant bit of sweetness. Mouthfeel is appropriate to style and carbonation is fairly light (this concerns me a bit for aging in a bottle). Overall this is very good, hides the 14.5% very well, I will seek out some bottles for aging.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep clear reddish brown color with a good three finger head that lasts a good long time but leaves very little lace in its wake. First pour gave lambic like sour cherry aromas that subsided as the beer was allowed to breathe. Smells of caramel, brown sugar, alcohol and lots of tart fruit. Taste is sweet with a bit of an alcohol burn. Brown sugar coated raisins and cherries toasted then dipped in light rum sums this one up for me. Sweet sticky mouthfeel, medium body and carbonation level. I liked this one, its a bit harsh with alcohol right now, but I think with a bit of age this one will mellow quite nicely.

Photo of Rizalini
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at Khoury's in Las Vegas into a Chimay tulip, reviewed from memory...

Pours a cloudy, murky brown color with a 1 finger off-white head. Smells sweet, like honey and rum raisins. The taste is sweet and slightly smokey. Caramel and brown sugar really comes thru as it warmed up. On the final sip, it took on a barleywine flavor. Very complex, and changed with the temprature. Very happy I got to try this one on tap!

Photo of Cavery
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Shared with SundaySour @ Provisions

Taster #2 into tasters

A: Woody grenadine with mahogany in its genes. Really implies old rustic woods and unpolished coppers. Manzanita reds complete a rather complex appearance. A small bit of froth creates a thin layer of separation between the liquid and open air.

S: Dark dried fruits that really show some age. Smells sweet without being too overbearing. Alcohol complicates the matter in taking this to a funky barrel aged dimension. The smell almost seems to fight itself, the young battles the old with a consequentially dusty dialectic.

T: Old Dried fruits really come through. A tart sun dried element to the overall sniffing profile reigns supreme. Deliciously forward tart plums, cherries, and raisins. A slightly syrupy aspect to the alcohol. This is like a cocktail made of grenadine and maple syrup. Sweet and alcohol dominant.

M: Mouth is medium/light bodied. I'd say that it comes off to light for the flavor and alcohol. It's not flat, but the tart flavor and syrupy viscosity needs some help from the mouth.

O: The flavors are quite good, but it's not anything worth screaming about. The mouth really needs to tame this tart syrupy beast. A good beer that may benefit from the 100% barrel aging version, but I'm not sure it will help the drinkability of this diabetic coma.

Photo of foogerd
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark caramel brown body with a small white head.

S- Burnt caramelized brown sugar, sugary oatmeal malts, dark fruits all mixed into a puree.

T- Boozy raisins with brown sugar sprinkled on top, alcohol is strong without being overpowering.

M- Moderate carbonation, nice oily slick feel

O- For the price point there are better barrel aged old ales, namely north coasts old ale i would pick any day over this brew.

Photo of John_M
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a reddish amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, showcasing sweet grape, some smokey oak and considerable vanilla. The flavor profile generally replicates the nose, except for me, the over the top sweetness is more than I can handle. This level of sweetness, coupled with the obviously high alcohol, make drinking this beer in anything other than very small portions impossible. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a fairly long, very sweet and rich finish. There's some noticeable bourbon in this beer as well, but given the sweetness in this beer, it was hard for me to really notice or appreciate. The alcohol is actually pretty well integrated into the flavor profile, and there's no heat or alcoholic bite in the finish.

I don't know... this is an interesting beer, with some attractive flavor, but the sweetness and high alcohol are just too much for me. Really wish I had tried this beer before spluring on a bottle that is currently sitting in my fridge, where it will undoubtedly remain for some time.

Photo of DaveHS
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle # 08977

A-Pours molasses brown with a thin ring of khaki bubbles. No lacing.

S-Tart cherries, oak, bourbon, tannic grape skins, leather.

T/M-Wow. Have to say I haven't been a huge fan of the first two beers in this series, but Cuir is damn good. Plenty of bourbon oak up front, giving way to a delicate, bright fruity acidity. The finish is oaky, warming, and drawn out. Delicate carbonation holds the silky, lush body together and separates the flavors exquisitely. Carbonation had been my main issue with the previous two beers.

O-Was not expecting to love this, but here we are. Will buy another few, as I will want to have this around for a couple of years.

Photo of sweemzander
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a deep mahogany; almost crimson color. Produced a rather large tan colored frothy head that stuck around for awhile. Some lace too; very impressed considering the ABV.

(S)- Nicely rich and sweet. Bits of honey, toffee, brown sugar, and candied figs. Some boozy warmth and dry oak in the background.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Wonderfully rich and sweet with layers of honey, fig, dry oak, and some nice darker fruits that remind me of a sherry or tawny port.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. A nice balance too of rich/oak/and sweet fruits. The booze is there, but nowhere near like 14.5%ABV.

(D)- I am impressed with this one. I had serious doubts after the massively disappointing 2nd Anniversary(Coton), but this one has turned out to be far superior. Great stuff.

Photo of bs870621345
3.11/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared with a friend.

Pours a hazy brown with a 2 inches of off white head. Nice lacing.

Smells like molasses, alcohol, sour cherries, and a hint of bourbon.

Taste is really strong molasses, alcohol and a strong sour tinge on the end. Its pretty horrible on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, but the carbonation really doesn't come through in the taste.

Overall, its really not good. The sourness really kills it for me.

Photo of RSchaeffer
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #12
750 mL bottle
A kind gift from my brother.

A - Pours dark brown, slight red hue from the light. About a finger of light tan head with nice retention.

S - I really enjoyed the smell of this. Picked up vanilla, oak, bourbon, and leather. Dark fruits, prunes, and brown sugar. Slight sour character.

T - Fairly complex. Faint tartness, oak, malt, dark fruits, and leather. Finish is oak, bourbon, and a touch of vanilla. I definitely pick up on the booze, but feel it's hidden fairly well.

M - I had initially imagined for this beer to be heavier than it was. Surprisingly easy to drink, slightly chewy. Coats the mouth with alcohol warmth, but not syrupy.

O - This was the first beer that I have tried from The Bruery and I was very impressed. I thank my brother (who isn't too into beer) for picking up a bottle. Definitely in the right place at the right time. Would love to try the 100% BA version.

Photo of rudzud
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes taken at the armsby abbey.

A - Poured into a snifter a rich crystal clear hazelnut with a great creamy one finger head that slowly fades to leave a nice halo.

S - holy cow! Massive buttery rum raisin. Great malts...the abv os shockingly hidden!

T - possibly the best old ale I have ever had. Glorious buttery malts and barrels. My god this ia delicious.

M - low carbonation but not syrupy. This feels aligtly hot in the mouth. Very good though.

O - Overall I would buy this again in a heartbeat. Wish I could get a bottle of this!

Photo of Streckfuss
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It took a server, a busser, and a soon-to-be and a certified cicerone to open the bottle--no joke, the pull tab about the wax seal broke, so that alone was just about worth the price.

750ml bottle served at cellar temperature at Meridian Pint in Washington, DC. Poured into a brandy snifter, about 1-2 fingers creamy head. Thin lacing.

The bourbon barrel is the first thing I smell and taste with this beer. It's boozy, but not hot. Very nice carbonation. I was expecting less when I smelled the beer and was not looking forward to a high viscus beer and was very pleasantly surprised by the mouthfeel. I like the tart yeast qualities and am looking forward to how those qualities come out more after the barrels age and some of the bourbon fades in the anniversary beers to come.

Photo of zep9865
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium snifter in another badass tasting with aasher. Pours a dark brown with a slight shade of ruby. The 3 fingers of foam head are white with some shades of red.

Smells buttery and malty with some hints of cherry. Some kinda pastry that just came out of the oven.

Taste is similar to the smell for once with my review. Sweet dark malt with a tart slightly hoppy backbone.

Bombers like this are expensive for a reason...They're really good

Photo of aasher
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I highly regret not buying a Coton when I could so I had to buy Cuir asap. It pours a dark, syrupy brown in color with a light beige lacing around my Founders snifter. It smells of buttered biscuits initially, like buttered Bisquik biscuits (my grandma's specialty). Add a little honey, molasses, and oak and you've got Cuir. The biscuity malt smells delicious. The flavors consist of biscuity malt, lightly salty butter, brown sugar, molasses, oak, oak again, dark fruits, figs, and biscuits! Alcohol? I couldn't find any. Holy shit this beer is ready for consumption, which isn't what I heard about Coton. It drinks a little sticky, which was to be expected, and is medium in body. It's extremely drinkable and you would honestly have no idea that this beer is even above 10%. It's definitely drinking well for just arriving some four days ago. I'm really beside myself at how good this is, in all facets. I never expected Cuir to be this outstanding so young. I'm really, really interesting in seeing how this one ages. The Bruery has only disappointed me a couple times. Beers like this are why people are set up for disappointment in the first place, because they make some world class beers. This is one of them.

Photo of Chaney
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My wife and I are celebrating our third anniversary tonight. I honestly couldn't have thought of a better brew for this occasion!

Poured into our very expensive wedding champagne glasses.

A: About the color of leather actually. Dark brown, with a slight reddish hue when held up to a light source. About a half finger or so beige head after a hard pour with great retention.

S: Sort of a sweet, glorious, cherry tomato scent. My wife said it smells like a gourmet tomato soup. As for me, I got a mild hint of bourbon, but mostly brown sugar, tons of fruit (not always dark), and Belgian funk.

T: Sweet as hell, but with very much a "Sweet Tart" quality that made it fantastically gourmet. To be honest though, the very first thing to hit my palate was cherries. Next, I got a bit of a sweet tomato paste quality, followed by leather... which didn't really hit me until about the 4th sip or so. Extremely dry finish, but with a very caramel-like quality that coated the palate ten-fold.

M: Thick, but not as thick as I thought it was going to be. Much more fruity than I expected, and with tons of yeasty funkiness that comes damn near to defying description.

O: Not a trace of alcohol on this baby, which is dangerous for a brew that clocks in at 14.5%. This is one of the Bruery's crowning achievements IMO!

Photo of alpinebryant
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a massive head of light tan with a nice black iced tea colored body.

Aroma is vanilla, oak, bourbon, leather. Definitely a bit of sourness in smell, I can see where others have claimed that this is infected although I do not know that it is for sure yet. I would suggest drinking one now and see what happens to the others later.

Plenty of oak, booze, tons of leather flavor unsurprisingly and a tight bite on the tongue of booze at the end that is unmistakable. I am easily reminded of the sting of a strong bourbon from this bite. Lots of complexity and I can appreciate the Solera method and do not think there is a whole lot to worry about with this beer. It will have its prime time to drink just like any other beer, but I think it is drinking well right now. Burnt sugars, caramel, toffee, bourbon barrel flavors mixed together well. Most closely resembling Backwoods Bastard in taste from a beer that I have had a few times, I can definitely recommend it.

Mouthfeel is slick with a lot of carbonation. This will probably continue to carb a little more, it is probably a good thing that the bottles are waxed. Looking forward to the 4th anniversary to see how this beer progresses. Being that I love a well aged beer, I do not expect to be disappointed

Photo of SpdKilz
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at the local Binny’s for a wonderfully outrageous price of $22. Bottle number 4225.

Appearance – Pours a dirty, ruddy brown into my tulip glass. About a finger of slight tan head is achieved with a somewhat vigorous pour that dissipates momentarily leaving slight spotty lacing.

Smell – Lots of dark fruits such as figs, prunes, and dates. Brown sugar, maple syrup, and molasses. Slight sour character such as green grapes. Ends with a leather/earthy aroma.

Taste – A lot of sweetness up front from the dark fruits, though it is almost immediately taken over by an ever so slight tartness reminiscent of fruity sherry. This melds into brown sugar, vanilla, some oak and smokiness, and lastly bourbon. Honestly, I’m pretty impressed for how big this beer is, how nice it comes together. I did a search after starting to review this and saw others getting a slight tartness from this (which I am experiencing) but then read some saying there is almost an A-1 sauce flavor (which I do not detect, however, seeing as I use that damn sauce on everything I would like to try a bottle with those characteristics, haha).

Mouthfeel – Pretty creamy and thick, though the higher than average carbonation for this style works well by making it seem a bit lighter overall.

Overall – I will get another bottle of this for sure and sit on it for a while. If it is infected like people say, oh well. But from what I have experienced, while pretty damn pricy, this is a beer to sip and enjoy. I don’t taste alcohol (though I do get warming) and for being so “young” and such high ABV, that is pretty damn impressive. I really am enjoying this beer when I thought it would be more of a “meh” beer.

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this fine brew as a Father's Day gift. Thanks to the wife and kids, and thanks to my beer guys at Binny's in Plainfield (George and Keith) for hooking my wife with this one. Been chilling all day.

Poured into a snifter. Pours a deep garnet brown, clear, with a huge, light tan head that "sizzles" as it fades. Good level of carbonation, I think, with some light lacing.

Aromas of grapes, oak, and a sour funk. Definitely has a winy edge to it.

Flavors of , wow! Complex, winy, light sourness, oakiness, sherry oxidation, huge aged maltiness. Love the mix of several vintages. The finish picks up the hints of bourbon, vanilla, and booziness.

Mouthfeel is huge, chewy, hot. Mouthcoating warmth with a light puckering sourness.

Overall an outstanding beer. Very well blended. Complex. Reminds me of an Amontillado sherry, dark, rich, with a light sweetness.

Photo of swthomas55
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample on tap at the tasting room.

A: oak, toffee, raisins and prunes, vanilla, some alcohol. A harbinger of things to come.
A: brown-orange, hazy, tan head that drops but lingers.
F: huge dried fruit, raisins, cherries, prunes. Oak and vanilla. Malt sweetness barely balanced by hop bitter. Finish is long and fruity / oaky. It just goes on and on,
M: full but not cloying or syrupy. A touch of carbonation keeps it lively. Definitely warming but not hot.
O: a big, flavorful, warming "sipping" beer.

Photo of ferrari29
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into Stemmed wine glass

A - Beer poured with an opaque brown maple body; caramel look; color scheme matches the label; crème colored one finger head; held well; leaves behind a layer of lacing; moderate visible carbonation

S - Maple syrup; caramelized malt scents; dark fruits, figs and dates; brown sugar; sweet; subtle licorice note at the end of the sniff, combination of scents

T - Dark fruits; figs and dates; maple syrup; brown sugar, sweet; caramelized malt flavors; sour apple and pear; raisin

M - Effervescent and slightly chewy; smooth with a dark fruit aftertaste, slightly bitter - licorice; leaves a nice lingering sweet, brown sugar, taste on the lips

D - Fantastic drink; great flavor and scent profile; love this, please have this if you're an advocate of beer

Photo of Phelps
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle number 03937.

Cuir marks The Bruery's third year in operation (Cuir is French for leather, the traditional gift of the third wedding anniversary). It makes use of the Solera method, a process for aging booze by fractional blending so the finished product is a mixture of ages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over many years.

It works like this: In the first year, a collection of oak barrels is filled with beer and allowed to age a year. At the end of the aging interval, the barrels are tapped and most of their contents put into bottles. These partially-empty barrels are then refilled with a new batch of beer of the same recipe, and the new batch mixes with the old.

The original anniversary ale, Papier, was brewed as an English-style old ale using The Bruery's house strain of Belgian yeast. Coton, the second anniversary ale, is the same recipe as Papier, but was blended with the older, aged brew. Cuir is, again, the same recipe, this time mixed with the Papier/Coton fusion that had been aging in oak barrels since Coton's release. Since none of the barrels is ever fully drained, some of the beer from previous years will always remain in each container, allowing the older beer to lend its maturity to the young and developing intricate, multifaceted flavors.

Poured into a tulip glass, Cuir shimmers a deep, opaque burgundy. A full two fingers of fluffy sandy tan head caps the liquid, but high alcohol content rarely allows bubbles to stay for long. The head soon pops away, becoming a thick and silky top layer.

The aroma is your first hint of the complexity Solera blending can deliver. Brown sugar, brandy and maple syrup dance among light hints of hoary oak, vanilla, figs and dark rye. The flavor expands further on this storyline. Take a sip and you're awash in brandy-soaked raisins, brown sugar, chocolate syrup and leather. The sweetness of the beer, paired with buttery notes and an impressive amount of booze, combine to remind of sugary bread pudding.

Lovers of port or dessert wines will appreciate Cuir -- it's a beer that lets you know it's boozy. The alcohol hits like heartburn, burns through the nostrils and numbs the tongue. Matching the intense ABV is an equally substantial body. Its full, buttery softness is a delight to roll across the tongue, letting the beer's minute bubbles massage the tongue before the swallow and long, sweet, tangy finish.

Cuir's bold flavors will overpower most dishes but would stand up well against the rich meatiness of roast duck or lamb. If you feel like breakfast for dinner, the beer would play perfectly off pancakes. Layered with flavors of dark fruit, vanilla and burnt sugar, Cuir's an excellent stand-in for fruit-based syrup. 

Cuir from The Bruery
92 out of 100 based on 553 ratings.