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Cuir - The Bruery

Not Rated.
CuirCuir

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

544 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 544
Reviews: 188
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 12.05%
Wants: 76
Gots: 428 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  14.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: Halcyondays on 05-07-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 544 | Reviews: 188 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours with one finger of light tan head on top of a clear, deep amber body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves decent lace.

S - a spicy aroma of plums, sandalwood, leather, smoke and anise.

T - sweet caramel and brown sugar up front with a distinct, fruity note of plum. Cherry and oak in the middle with some more dark fruit character. The beer finishes with more oak, some vanilla and a smoky cherry note that lingers with a slightly warming alcohol.

M - a thick, syrupy body, moderately high carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D complex and enjoyable, this beer is even bigger than I expected. While it was nice, I couldn't help but think about the statement in the bottle that suggested cellaring the beer for up to 20 years; not only does that seem reasonable now that I've tasted it, but I expect that it could actually improve for 15 years if given the chance.

Photo of oline73
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Max's.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark reddish brown color with a finger of tan head that leaves a ring around the glass.

Smell: Sweet with some spices and smoke coming through. Reminds me a little of a bbq sauce. I'm also picking up some dark fruit.

Taste: Very sweet. Hints of smoke, brown sugar, dark fruit, and some spice. The finish has quite a lot of alcohol in it.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with smooth carbonation. The finish is slick.

Overall: This beer would benefit from some aging in my opinion. I enjoyed it, but I don't know that I could drink more than a few ounces right now. Still a good beer.

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of drabmuh
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer served in my Bruery tulip, bottle 03479 for what it is worth. Beer is brown and hazy with a big off white head of small bubbles, nice retention, lots of lacing and moderate to high carbonation.

Beer smells sweet, molasses, bready, yeast, brown sugar. Smells good.

Beer is very sweet, lots of booze but tolerable. Tobacco, mild, nice yeast character. Smooth alcohol sweetness, mildly dry finish. Beer is really creamy and flavorful. I am really feeling this beer. Much better than Coton was last year. I really like it.

Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap today at Galaxy Hut today in Arlington, VA. Poured into a 10 oz. snifter.

a - Pours a deep reddish brown color with less than an inch of light tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, cherries, oak, molasses, sweet fruit, plums, toffee, and very light vanilla. Little bit of alcohol but not a ton considering 14.5% ABV. A lot fruitier and sweeter than I was expecting. Little more alcohol came out in the nose as it warmed up.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, alcohol, sweet cherries and fruits, oak, toffee, caramel malts, and roasted malts. More toffee and caramel than the nose, as well as more alcohol. No real vanilla in the taste and plenty of sweet fruit again.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. You can notice some alcohol in the taste but this beer isn't hot like Coton was. Surprisingly easy to drink for 14.5% ABV.

o - Overall I liked this one. It didn't blow me away but it was a ton better than Coton, which I did not really like. It was a lot fruitier and sweeter than I was expecting. I've got two bottles of this and considering the high ABV I'll be interested to see what happens to this one after some time in the cellar.

EDIT: 11/04/13 - Had this one again tonight, about 2.5 years later from my initial review. I've had it once since, and the 100% BBA Cuir a few times since (which is one of my favorite Bruery beers ever), and the alcohol has definitely died down a bit. While it is still not as good as Fruet or Bois, it is better than it was fresh (slightly), and still has a lot of sweet fruit. Bumping the Overall from a 4.00 to a 4.25.

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of kojevergas
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.

B-

Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Bruery,

A: Pours brown with a soft white head, good retention, nice lace.

S: Lots of malt with a hint of oxidation, sweet caramel.

T: Dominated by sweet toffee and caramel with some good barrel notes. Really no ethanol flavours, much more like the original Papier fresh.

M: Full-bodied with an easy soft carbonation on the palate, very smooth.

O: Much more of a delight fresh than Coton which was an alcohol bomb. Good structure and well integrated flavours. Drinks well know, but can certainly age.

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of yourefragile
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of superspak
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter; bottle number 5180, bottled in spring 2011. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a small dense light khaki colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, pear, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, oak, bourbon, tobacco, leather, vanilla, brown sugar, light roast, light clove, and toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with big complexity and balance of malt and fruity notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, pear, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, tobacco, oak, bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, leather, light clove, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruits, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, oak, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, tobacco, leather, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible balance and complexity of malt and dark fruit flavors; with moderate barrel presence and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is extremely well hidden for 14.5%, with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible old ale! Huge complexity and depth of dark fruit and dark malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for 14.5%. An insanely delicious offering.

Photo of weeare138
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to warriorsoul...
Appears a chestnut toned amber with a small beige head that quickly fades into a thin collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of black grapes, vanilla, toffee, caramel, and bitter citrus.
Taste is sweet of beet sugar, prune juice, raisins, and brown sugar.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, viscous, hot, and slick in the finish.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from A&W Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA. Brought back to Sydney and shared with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a reddish, burnt ochre colour, quite cloudy and opaque. Head forms as an incredibly fine but incredibly voluminous majestic crown of yellowish off-white. Minimal lacing, but the body is exceptionally thick and silky. Really, it looks quite amazing, especially for a beer of this ABV.

Smell is deep, and boozy, and to be honest, not much else. There are hints of the oak, but it's hidden behind the almost vaporous boozy headiness coming off it. Some mild, slightly funky fruitiness, and a dusty or polleny character on the back. It's good, but it's unapologetically coarse and large.

Taste is also in that vein, with a big boozy astringency throughout almost the entire palate from start to finish, almost burning the throat as it goes down. There's fragrant sweetness all over it, but in some senses it's missing all the sweetness it needs, instead, you get the medicinal booziness with no substance. I can't help but feel that it's pointlessly large, and without real merit.

Feel is tight and silky, but pummelled with that pointless alcohol astringency on the back.

Overall...? I mean, it's an impressive beer. There's no getting away from its raw power. But it's also stupid. It's a beer that shouldn't really exist. You need something to warrant this high an alcohol content. And this just doesn't have it.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark copperish color with good carbonation leaving a dirty white cap

S: Nose is dark fruits, bourbon, old wood and booze

T: Molasses, brown sugar, bourbon, Earthiness, booze and some old wood. The blending that Bruery does is superb. They always have it right. Tastes a light a super powered Old Ale on an old, spent BB. Not to bland and not to overpowering. Hints of early funk, caramel.

M: Sweet, boozy, heaby and coating

O:Very good!

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of DoubleJ
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Bruery Provisions, on to the beer:

What is this color, brown violet? Ok, how about dark brown that is trying to cross over to violet? Regardless, not much head on top of this one. The nose features lots of brown sugar, dates, a little wood, and even a light tartness.

Have a glass of water nearby, because Cuir is a big bodied beer with a taste that will smuther your palate. No surprise given that this is over 14% ABV. The rush of brown sugar never seems to end. The sweetness of red grapes adds another dimension to this behemoth of a beer. There's a light amount of wood character present. The alcohol is hidden extremely well, which has become synonymous with The Bruery's big beers. Full bodied with a little stick, yet remains very easy to approach.

Not super complex among strong beer, yet remains a beer that is worth trying. I'm already imagining the possible added dimensions of the 100% barrel aged version.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of jdhilt
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage. Pours a two finger light tan head that fades very slowly to a thin layer leaving no lace. Medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Deep brown, hazy color with some yeast left in bottle. Nose is dark fruit and alcohol. Flavor is dark fruit, oak and alcohol. Nice old ale but not worth $23.95 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA. FWIW the bottle is wax sealed making the cap a pain in the rectal orifice to take off.

Photo of smakawhat
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Pizza Paradiso Dupont DC into a medium snifter, 10oz pour.. it's happy hour time!

A foamy tan head that is off yellow, with lots of stickyness. Cloudy body of dark somewhat murky brown is present. It's a real nice color and the head has incredible staying power.

First smell is table wine, then a big sense of caramel malts and sweetness. Concord like grape then cherry comes over with incredible fruit punch along with this malty backbone. Quite different.

Taste is at first a chocolate milk bent but more emphasis on a dry powdered malt almost Abuleta breakfast like. Grape sensation comes through with a dense body, almost... just a hint of citrus grapefruit wanting to peak out. Finish has a quinine tonic water sense but without the wetness, and ever so slight.

Overall very impressive, but kind of an odd mish mash of things. I think the brew is a little polarizing, I think people are either going to love this or hate it. It's high abv is incredibly masked and is still super drinkable, without a big boozy alcohol bomb in your stomach. For me this brew is great but also stupidly dangerous and sometimes, that's not a bad thing.

Cuir from The Bruery
93 out of 100 based on 544 ratings.