Cuir - The Bruery
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Ratings: 525 | Reviews: 188 | Display Reviews Only:
4.18/5 rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
"Cuir" is the French word for leather and, indeed, this Old Ale looks slightly worn but still tough; despite a very murky complexion a beautiful, glistening amber colour persists. Even its head is firm and durable - an incredibly impressive feat given its makeup (blended and barrel-aged), age (2 years), and strength (a whopping 14.5%).
The Bruery's anniversary ales (such as this one) are made using the Solera method, which is a process of retaining some liquid from every batch or vintage and blending it into the next one. Over the years, the average age of the product - and, by association, its complexity and uniqueness - is gradually increased.
For those keeping count, Cuir is the third release made in this fashion and, as result, certainly gives us lots to ponder over. The aroma alone is a dizzying (somewhat literally given the alcohol) array of candied fruits, cherries, dark toffee, nut brittle, and vinous esters of a very sherry-like nature.
The taste doesn't quite live up to the excitement stirred up by the bouquet but does introduce a slight tartness in the form of a prominent choke cherry flavour. The burnt sugar and dark fruit profile continues but truthfully isn't as tasty as it sounds. Still, if there were scores for uniqueness and intensity, this would certainly earn the highest marks in those categories.
There are some techniques in the brewing process (i.e., decoction mash) that can be quite demanding. Tossing your beer in a bourbon barrel, however, is incredibly easy relative to how much complexity it affords; the effort-to-pay out ratio is huge. It makes for a beer that's strong but sublime. This one shows off oaky, slightly oxidated nuances of vanilla and sherry.
Cuir is a beer of technical virtuosity and inspired brilliance. I not only think the 'solera anniversary' offerings is a neat project, I know from trying a few that it makes for notably interesting and special ales as well. These beers come with a hefty price tag but they're worth it (and also worthy of a spot in the cellar next to your prized Bordeaux or vintage Champagne).
Serving type: bottle
02-22-2014 20:44:19 | More by biegaman
4.28/5 rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Appearance- Received with very little head which obviously can't have much retention. The head is a light beige while the body is a mix of burgundy and chestnut brown that appears as a dark amber/maroon when held up to the light.
Nose- Very mild. Some light peach, mango perhaps, a hint of mustiness. Even leather. Swirling doesn't reveal much except a certain creaminess. Peach is almost apricot or pear. I'm sure this reveals nothing about the actual profile but it's interesting in its subtlety nonetheless.
Taste- The nose is somewhat of an indication of what this beer is going to be like- starts off with subtle fruit esters that pretty much pinpoint the fruit flavors I enjoy- peach, apricot, and pear. But pear seems to be at the forefront which is almost a godsend for me. Even the pear ciders and pear brandies I've had seem to pale in regard to the actual but this expresses the delightful sublimity of that fruit. What's more is that I wasn't expecting this flavor profile. Even more surprising is that this beer expresses absolutely no booze. Some light cherry, a continued bit of peach, but this seems pear dominated. Slight notes of woodiness but this doesn't match the given description at all and I don't care. This beer isn't all that complex but the delicacy is amazing. Such great balance and integration with a flavor note that I find irresistible. Some hints of spice on the finish. Pepper, cinnamon, coriander. The woodiness is almost pine, suggestions of cedar. It's just enough of a contrasting note to prevent this beer from devolving into pure decadence. Easily a great beer. Too bad that this is probably the only time I will ever drink it, but what can you do? As it opens, slight notions of the real heat start to appear but not as much as it should.
Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with very heavy notes of syrup. It drinks light juice and has some creaminess. Light carbonation. A tad bit of zing. Great overall structure.
Drinkability- It's a good thing this beer costs so much- it's that good. At points, it's not even recognizable as a beer. Slight tangy notes and tiny indications of heat separate it from a blend of pear/apricot/peach juice but not by much. 9 bucks is the highest price I've ever paid for so small a pour but I understand. Not only are these beers 30 bucks a 750mL but this beer also has some age on it. To simplify: it's worth it.
Overall- Great beer- I'm glad that I saved the best for last. I wasn't sure when I saw the rather slight rating of about 4.2 for a Bruery Anniversary beer but now I know it's partially because of the flavor profile. My favored tastes are not others but finally, a beer hits my really specific favorites. Plus it'll get you really drunk. How can you lose? A must try- as in, it's a must if you come across it. When will you get another chance?
Serving type: on-tap
01-25-2014 21:39:29 | More by artoolemomo
4.29/5 rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
750mL (bottle 02505) into a snifter. Pours a crystal-clear ruby mahogany w/ a surprisingly big khaki head that settles to a velvety film. Moderate carbonation.
Aroma is fruity and sweet. Brown sugar, black cherries, molasses, rum-soaked pipe tobacco, caramel, vanilla.
Taste follows nose. Rich and complex, sweet and syrupy; maybe just a touch too sweet. Lots of sugars evident. Brown sugar, molasses, candied yams, raisins, caramel, toffee, bing cherries, pipe tobacco, and just a touch of alcohol heat... the list goes on, almost infinitely.
Mouthfeel is, not surprisingly, sticky and chewy, coating. Lingering aftertaste. The opposite of crisp and refreshing. A true sipper of a beer, dessert in a glass. This one will last the rest of the evening.
Overall about what I expected. I prefer Fruet, but this one is clearly in the same family. If it wasn't *so* sweet I'd probably give it higher marks, but it's still an interesting beer to carefully contemplate.
Serving type: bottle
01-05-2014 02:07:20 | More by draheim
3.3/5 rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3
750ml brown glass (black glass?) bottle with black wax-ed over branded pry-off pressure cap and classy brown/tan label acquired at a SoCal bottle shop over a year ago and served into a Verdugo Bar stem-tulip in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. The wax took some time to remove given its thickness. Reviewed live. Expectations are low; I hated Fruet and haven't been big on the other beers in this series that I've tried. Reviewed as an old ale. Bottle #01082. 14.5% ABV confirmed per the label.
Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
Yields a carbonation hiss upon opening.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Head retention is pretty good for the high ABV - about 5-6 minutes - pretty impressive. Uneven lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head has a nice even consistency, but could definitely be softer.
Body colour is a dull nontransparent vaguely translucent dark brown with amber hues. No yeast particles/sediment is visible.
Overall, it's sort of a mediocre appearance for an old ale. It don't look like much.
Sm: Toffee, caramel, heavy malty sweetness, and nice bourbon notes (vanilla, light oak, wood) are the first things I notice. I also pick up English malts, cream, milky notes, faint leather, tobacco, and burnt sugars. Some dark fruit does land - mainly plum, fig, and maybe raisin/grape.
Any hop character has definitely faded. I don't pick up any yeast character, in spite of its lack of filtration. It's certainly got some booziness, but I wouldn't call it hot. More a pleasant warmth - at least in the aroma.
It's an imposing, powerful aroma of mild strength. I'm a bit cautious going in given the alcohol and my experience with other beers in this series.
T: The bourbon notes are by far the highlight for me; I get some nice vanilla, reticent oak, and some intangible barrel notes that are enjoyable.
Sadly, the base beer isn't quite up to par. It's a loosely cohesive mess of caramel, toffee, cream, milky notes, biscuit malt, brown malts, English malts, bread crust, faint dark fruit (plum and fig), faint tobacco, and buried leather. A kiss of fruitcake. Sure, there's more going on here than in your typical brew, but it isn't well balanced, and there's certainly little subtlety. The tobacco and leather lend it some nuance. I wouldn't call it intricate. It isn't particularly well layered. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.
Any hop character is long gone. I also don't find any yeasty notes.
While I'm not sure I'd out and say I like it, I do think it's the most approachable of the anniversary series I've had so far. the sweetness isn't too out of control, but it is sugary as hell. I can almost feel my teeth rotting just drinking it.
Mf: Has some nice albeit sparse creaminess. Well-carbonated. It isn't as full-bodied as its anniversary brethren, nor is it quite as thick. Smooth and wet. Sticky, almost syrupy. It does have some boozy warmth which limits the drinkability.
Not at all stale, chewy, oily, gushed, harsh, or astringent.
Overall, the texture suits the taste pretty well, but doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to it.
Dr: Absolutely a sipper, but I'm actually not dreading killing this bottle like I thought I might. This is definitely the best Bruery anniversary beer I've tried so far, and renews my faith a bit in the series overall. That said, it's still far from world-class and I remain dumbfounded by its high ratings. Far from a stellar old ale; honestly, I prefer North Coast's Old Stock Ale. I'd never buy this again at its unreasonable price point and I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but it's a nice little old ale from The Bruery and will certainly get you drunk. I recommend splitting with friends.
A powerful old ale that will get you knackered but won't knock your socks off. The bourbon barrel notes offer infinitely more likable character than the base beer, begging the question - why use this base at all?
It does improve as it comes to temperature, and drinks as well as I can imagine from a tulip.
Serving type: bottle
12-31-2013 09:19:56 | More by kojevergas
Cuir from The Bruery
92 out of 100 based on 525 ratings.