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Cuir (100% Bourbon Barrel Aged) - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Cuir (100% Bourbon Barrel Aged)Cuir (100% Bourbon Barrel Aged)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

73 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 73
Hads: 277
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 9.75%
Wants: 226
Gots: 185 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  17.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 05-30-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Hads: 277
Photo of nmbr0ne
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter from bottle.

Appearance: Dark wood color. Dark brown and red combination. Strong off-white head retention and a lot of lacing.

Smell: Smells great. A lot of bourbon smell that included caramel and vanilla notes. Oak notes present as well. Some chocolate notes and toffee.

Taste: A lot of sugars. Very sweet. The caramel notes are very present along with the toffee. Bourbon. The chocolate is more recognizable in the taste than in the smell.

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied with a good amount of carbonation. A definite dessert beer.

Overall: It's a delicious old ale. Not my favorite beer because it is too sweet for me. The bourbon flavors are amazing.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep clear reddish brown color with a decent head that lasts a while leaves a little lace. Smells of caramel, brown sugar, alcohol and lots of tart fruit. Bourbon vanilla and oak tannins round this beer out nicely. Taste is sweet with brown sugar coated raisins and cherries, oak vanilla and bourbon. Smooth bit of alcohol burn reminds you this one is big. Sweet sticky mouthfeel, medium body and carbonation level. I enjoyed the hell out of this one. This is a fantastic barrel aged beer, if it just wasn't so pricey and hard to get...

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Photo of jegross2
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the 100% Bourbon Barrel Aged Cuir from The Bruery. A hearty thank you to BeerAdvocate user FrankenBrew for sharing this one with me!
Score: 97

2011 vintage bottle served in a CBS snifter glass.

Appearance: Cuir is a dark caramel, mostly opaque color with yellow-brown highlights at the top of the body. Pours a thin foggy layer of cream-colored head that quickly settles into a thin bubbly ring around the glass. Minimal lacing. 4/5

Smell: Oak, red grapes and maple. Bourbon and vanilla too. A little boozy. 4.5/5

Taste: Very complex and sweet, but not overly sweet. This is a very balanced brew. Brown sugar and red grape hit up front. Then lots of bourbon flavors without the alcohol bite coat the mid-palate. Yum! As the beer layers, dark fruits flavors gradually grow, with lots of fig and raisin on the mid-palate. Lots of raisin flavor! A little oaky too. The finish is bourbon without the alcohol bite, raisins and a twist of vanilla. This is absolutely one of the most delicious tasting beers that I have ever had and it is surprisingly smooth and balanced for a barrel aged beer -- especially one that is 14.5% ABV. The alcohol was apparent in the nose, but is hidden in the flavor. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, minimal carbonation. Thick and tasty. Finishes sweet. 4.5/5

Overall: An absolutely brilliant beer -- possibly the best Old Ale that I have ever had. Cuir is a bit pricey, but it is well worth the cost.

Recommendation: Even casual beer drinkers will be able to appreciate this brew. Beer geeks need to seek this limited-release brew out and wallow in its robust complexities.

Pairings: Chocolate and caramel brownies.

Cost: $35 for a 750 ml bottle.

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Photo of mothman
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 0966

Pours a layer of beige head. Leaves a little lace. Color is a caramel copper brown.

Aroma: a nice amount of warming bourbon. Chocolate, vanilla, toffee, caramel, raisins, dark fruits, oaky. Very sweet and warming.

Taste: Very sweet. Vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Caramel and toffee with chocolate notes. Dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Warming, smooth, and creamy. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer. It has a lot of great flavors and is very drinkable, especially for the abv. It definitely tastes like the bruery's barrels.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a dark brown color, slightly murky, with a fan light head. Carmel in the nose, vanilla, and brown sugar. Surpisingly little if any booze notes. The sweetness in the nose pretty much overpowers any barrel that I can notice. Very appealing aroma though. Very smooth medium mouthfeel. Very luscious taste with notes of caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla. Some barrel makes its way into the taste. Again, surprised how drinkable this is given the abv. Very good.

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Photo of maximum12
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to msulinski for this bottle, a great trader in a state that seems to breed a lot of 'em. I loved the regular version of Cuir, so I've been looking forward to this one, & have an option on two more bottles (from another fine Pennsylvania trader, oddly enough). Big, expensive 750 ML bottle poured into a small glass, other half goes into the fridge for my hard-working wife.

Let me say that the gold wax was perfect...not like the finger-slicing Cuir waxing. THIS is how you wax a bottle, well enough to serve & protect, but not so much that you need a bowie knife to get the junk off, or have it crumble into three thousand pieces. Pour is dark muddy with crimson flaring around the edges; surprisingly persistent head given the high ABV. The smell, oh, the lovely, ass-grabbing smell. Bourbon & vanilla are apparent at arm's length, or more. Sweet malts, brown sugar, caramel, molasses. Freakin' beautiful. This must be what a threesome smells like.

100% Barrel Aged Cuir singes & burns like a shot of liquor; I lost nose hairs. The alcohol is searing to the point of distraction. The bourbon & vanilla in the nose run roughshod through the taste. Underneath that is a riot of complexity. Strong sherry flirting with the beginnings of oxidation. Dates, or figs, or raisins. Malty? Yeah, I suppose. Plenty of caramel. Finish is maddeningly sweet, like a honey-based maple syrup. Despite the obvious carbonation, this is a heavyweight of a beer in the stomach. I shouldn't have eaten dinner. Just like the regular Cuir, terrifyingly drinkable for a huge beer. If my wife isn't home soon, I'm going to finish the whole bottle.

Mmmm. Belly warm. Happy. This is an excellent beer, simply superb. I'll be interested to see how this blend ages, I'd love to try it again in a year when the alcohol starts to trim sail, but the early notes of oxidation are alarming.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.09/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

this beer pours a dark dark amber to reddish brown color with a decent head. the smell is absolutel phnomenal vanilla tons of caramel bourbon light oak and a hug boozy sweetness. the flavor follows suit with a bit to much of the sweetness and boooziness. the mouthfeel is to thick and sweet. overall the beer is still deliscious

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to drabmuh for opening this one up before the Fantome tasting. Served in a Fantome glass.

Pours a dark mahogany with a good tan head. Bubbly foam and some spotty lacing. The nose brings strong bourbon with oak and vanilla. Some candied pineapple and light cherry as well. Great integration with dark fruits and a bit of sherry. Cherry and coconut come through especially as it warms. Medium body with low carbonation. No boozy; chewy and delicious. Incredible.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle... damn you top 100, and damn rb for not allowing me to tick this way back when I had this originally... I was quite impressed with this beer, its better than Coton when Coton first came, but I would say they are both similar at this point... super smooth aroma and taste, the barrel aging does wonders... this is a great beer worth getting

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Photo of mdfb79
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From 11/05/11 notes. Big thanks to drabmuh for sharing this one; thanks a ton Matt. One of my favorite beers from the tasting. Poured into my Cigar City snifter.

a - Pours a reddish mahogany brown color with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident. Looks pretty good, exactly like what I remember the normal base Cuir looking like.

s - Smells of bourbon, vanilla, oak, sweet dark fruits, raisins, and caramel malts. Ton of bourbon but the sweetness comes through as well. Great nose.

t - Tastes of vanilla, bourbon, oak, caramel malts, sweet dark fruits, and liquor. More vanilla here than the nose, which I like a lot, and stilla ton of bourbon. Once again, very nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth and just a tiny bit hot, but considering the barrel aging and ABV it isn't bad at all. Scarily easy going down.

o - Overall I thought this was an awesome barrel aged old ale, and thought it was a TON better than the base Cuir. I found it the tiniest bit hot, but I liked that, and think it must be close to its peak already. A ton of bourbon and vanilla in the nose and taste, which I always love. Huge fan of this one and looking to the future variations; would love to get a bottle and have again.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At the time of this review, this is the #3 top Old Ale on the beeradvocate.com Top Beers - Old Ale list. Additionally it is the #2 beer on the Top Beers - New and the #79 beer on the Top Beers - United States, this will be on the top 100 soon, it is that good. Served in a Bruery tulip because I can.

Beer is mildly hazy and brown, dark brown but not black, thin off white head of small bubbles, low carbonation but decent retention, minimal lacing, looks fine.

Aroma is wow, bourbon, sweetness, candy, strength, vanilla, alcohol but not boozy. Smells awesome.

These barrel aged anniversary beers keep getting better and better. Seriously. I love this beer. Medium bodied, a little thin on the back, but the flavors are liquor, oak, vanilla, sweet candy, caramel, it all plays together so well, it is deserving of this praise.

On a side note, you need a blow torch to get through the wax.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

The beer is chestnut brown with an oily, tan head. The beer looks viscous. The head settles to an eighth inch or so and holds, leaving a thick sheet of lacing that gently cascades down the sides of the glass.

The aroma is fabulous. A huge blast of bourbon and vanilla, with some sweet malts, toffee, caramel, booze, and oak. Sublime.

The taste is equally fabulous. Delicious vanilla and bourbon flavors take center stage. Just effortless to drink. I could imagine finishing the bottle solo.

Silky smooth feel. It's shocking that this beer is 14.5% abv, as it certainly doesn't come off as hot in any way.

Overall, stellar. Highly recommended.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Ruby and brown, not much lace. Not much head, small ring.

S - Bright, sharp, fruity and malty.

T - Nice malty center, good dark fruit quality. Barrel notes not as pronounced as some.

M - Medium body, creamy, good balance and carbonation.

D - An excellent find. Kicked my butt though. I was pretty much done after trying it.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Andrew. I was going to drink a saison, but we got snow here in DC, and this seemed more appropriate.

Clear deep mahogany with reddish brown highlights, this beer is capped with a thin, beige head that recedes to a ring leaving little lacing. Nice legs are present. As it typical for the series, the nose is quite excellent. Big and fruity up front with a blend of prunes, raisins,toffee, burnt sugar, caramel, this is followed by leather, oak and bourbon. The heat is actually quite mellow (on the nose, at least), though swirling the beer in my glass does bring out some of the rawer aspects of the barrel. For what is a blend of 3 vintages of the same beer, this seems surprisingly young, without much sherry or port notes which I'd expect given the plentiful brown sugar on the nose. Still, excellent.

The palate brings out some of the harsher flavors, especially the barrel component. A big dose of bourbon heat blended with brown sugar and caramel, up front, this is followed by plenty of fruit with raisins, some prunes. The caramel really does dominate the mid-palate, with an array of burnt and caramelizing sugar notes. Impressions of maple syrup are also present here. Oak appears on the finish, with a moderate tannic bite, along with just a little bit of sherry. Full in body with medium-low carbonation , this beer is big, sweet and boozy. Less boozy and less syrupy than the -bal Coton, I think I like this more. Packaging this in 750s is fucking stupid, I'm going to enjoy this beer over 3 nights.

*Edit* It took me 4 nights to finish the bottle, but if anything, it improved with the time in my fridge. Smoother and rounder, this is a treat in a glass, I'm upping the T score by 0.5

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Photo of woosterbill
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a snifter; big thanks to the generous gentleman who shared this at Spuyten Duyvil during Zwanze Day.

A: Clear, radiant orange-brown body with a wisp of fine brown foam. Light lace, nice legs. Solid.

S: Gigantic. Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, maple, nuts, coconut, toffee, figs, raisins, sherry, and alcohol. Hugely complex, endlessly amazing.

T: Sweet sweet sweet. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, bourbon, vanilla, and booze. Rich and delicious, but nowhere near as complex as the aroma. Too close to cloying.

M: Medium body + carbonation. A bit sticky, without really filling my mouth as much as I'd like.

O: What a beer. I don't want to know what the FG was on this one, although it's body wasn't nearly as syrupy as the flavor would lead you to expect. A bit more heft would have made this a truly spectacular dessert beer, easily the equal of a fine port or sherry. I'd still take it over dessert wine any day, of course, but I don't think it's quite as good as BB4D in the race for most awesome barrel-aged old ale. Here's hoping that the solera method makes these anniversary beers better and better for years to come. I'm definitely going to have to trade for the next one.


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Photo of Sean9689
4.19/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recently had this one twice. Bottle brought by me to WLV Pig Roast and another bottle brought over to a tasting by Mike (Agentzero). Really nice to be able to try this one twice! Poured into Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Pours a light brown color, cream-colored head that vanishes quickly, thin collar.

S - Big booze, burnt sugars, caramel, toffee. Smells like the monster it is...big in the booze department and big in the sweetness department.

T - Tastes like the nose, HUGE! Burnt sugars, booze, oak, caramel, toffee, slight cinnamon, vanilla. The booze is there, but it's not as overpowering as I was expecting. It's a sipper, for sure.

M - Medium, light carbonation, rich, syrupy sweet finish.

O - Really enjoyed this one...such a monster of a beer. Really sweet, really boozy, really good. Can't wait to crack another bottle in 6 months or so to see how this one is coming along. Recommend.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by the very generous Sean9689 at Zwanze Day 2011. Still trying to catch up with reviews. Taken from notes.

Appearance – Pours into a Cantillon tulip with a ruddy brown color that is reminiscent of sediment being stirred up in a muddy puddle. Slight off white head dissipates quickly leaving spotty lacing.

Smell – A wonderful vanilla and bourbon aroma are the first things I notice. Dark ripe plums and raisins, slight chocolate, and some nice brown sugar.

Taste – Quite similar to the taste. The vanilla and bourbon really do take over but then meld together with the dark fruits. Not much cocoa flavor, though plenty of molasses, toffee, and caramel. There is the slightest trace of oak.

Mouthfeel – Full bodied, creamy, decent carbonation.

Overall – I was thoroughly surprised by the regular Cuir so I was happy to try this. I will admit that I did not get as much barrel as I was expecting (and honestly I think most who tasted this with at Zwanze Day disagreed with me), however, besides that this beer was top notch. Slight alcohol burn, but it is not harsh but rather a nice mellow warmth. Very impressive.

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Photo of spycow
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared at tasting. Thanks Agentzero. Pours a dark hazy brown with minimal lacing. Smells unbelievable of candy, raisin, tobacco, and vanilla. Immediately can taste the bourbon, dates, figs, other dark fruits but can't really taste the alcohol which hard to believe at such a high abv. A smooth and syrupy feel that goes down easily with a long finish of so many flavors. Overall, another good iteration of the 100% -bal anniversary version. A must try and definitely better than the regular version and a definite recommend!

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Caramel colored with surprising clarity compared to the previous iterations of this beer, this looks much more refined. It pours with a tall lasting head that slowly settles to a collar.

Aroma: The nose is loaded with caramelized sugar, bourbon and sherry. Surprisingly, very little noticeable heat from a fresh bottle. A little nuttiness, mellow oxidation. Very fruity. This doesn't seem as complex or rich as 100% barrel aged Coton, however.

Palate: And it doesn't taste as complex, either. It's great nonetheless, with big flavors of caramel and bourbon, vanilla and oak. Alcohol is surprisingly reigned-in. Sherry-like oxidation appears near the finish, and there's a strong stewed fruit sweetness that lingers. Full bodied, though it does seem thinner than 100% BA Coton and Papier. Finishes with lingering oak, toffee and a mild alcohol bite. Overall, I'm not sure that I like this as much as 100% bourbon barrel Papier or Coton, but it's still very good.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a murky dark red with a nice dark tan head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of dark fruits like figs & dates, a bit of vanilla, and a twangy almost rye aroma. The smell is not much different from the regular version.

T: The taste is pretty different from the regular though. Big flavors of butterscotch, dark fruits, vanilla, caramel, and that rye twang on the finish.

M: The feel is thick and creamy. The huge abv is nowhere to be seen which is impressive.

O: This is pretty close to the original without much difference. The only difference I can tell is a bit more of a vanilla presence. It's still a big Old Ale with loads of flavors. The ABV will catch up to you over the course of the bottle as well.

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Photo of ZX6Chris
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Dark brown, crisp caramel, tight white bubbles. Nice foam cap.

S-Caramel, toffee and a little heat.

T-Sweet dark fruits, bourbon, vanilla and heat. Tasty.

M-Thick, creamy and perfectly carbed.

O- Fucking delicious. The high ABV is well integrated into the beer.

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Photo of jamescain
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to who brought and shared this at the tasting

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber-yellow with a very thin head that forms a thin ring around the side of the glass.

Aroma: Oak, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, subtle dark fruit, cherries, and raisins.

Taste: Mixed dark fruit, raisins and cherries mostly, with oak, vanilla and bourbon, caramel and a touch of molasses.

Mouthfeel: The alcohol is incredibly well hidden and the beer is dangerously drinkable, medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Great beer for sure and a big help in reassuring my belief in the Bruery.

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Photo of Treebs
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle #0664, shared in line at the CBS release graciously by Koufax21. Thanks!! 750ml bottle poured into my Deschutes snifter.

A: Pours a hazy amber and yellow mixture with some nice legs up the glass. Little head the subsides into a thin ring and leaves some splotchy lace.

S: Oak and vanilla with a nice sweetness. Very subtle bourbon and some dark cherries. Great smell.

T: I was blown away. Sweet buttery caramel and subtly bourbon are the most present (no heat though). Slight dark fruit sweetness as well. Nice twinges of oak pop up as well.

M: So drinkable for being almost 15%! The heat was so well hidden and it really was nice. Just enough carbonation to be lively and left a great sweetness.

O: I was blown away. The drinkability was outstanding and the flavors in the taste were just so well balanced. The barrel really did wonders for this beer. This really was delicious and a big thanks to Koufax21 for sharing this bottle!

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into tulip glass, during a side by side comparison with the non BA version.

Appearance: Dark brown, tan head, minimal lacing. Was much darker than the regular version. Hardly a hint of the red/mahogany coloring that the regular version possessed.

Smell: Bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, oak, leather.

Taste: Just as it smells. Lots of brown sugar, bourbon, molasses, with more subtle hints of oak, leather and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, rich, decent carbonation.

Overall: Slightly more drinkable than the regular Cuir. Very complex. A wonderful beer.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again Chad! Can't wait til I'm an RS member. Pours a cloudy, dark brown color with a small tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is a ton of bourbon and vanilla. Lovely oak aromas with a bit of candied dark fruits and brown sugar. Taste is immediately sweet brown sugar...maybe a bit of maple syrup. Then I get a ton of delicious bourbon and oak...with mellowing vanilla...just to add nice balance. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Drinkability is fairly high for such a HUGE beer. Overall, this beer was well done. Wish I had some bottles of my own. DELICIOUS!

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Cuir (100% Bourbon Barrel Aged) from The Bruery
96 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.