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5 Golden Rings - The Bruery

Not Rated.
5 Golden Rings5 Golden Rings

Educational use only; do not reuse.

127 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 127
Hads: 576
Avg: 3.51
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 22
Gots: 199 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Halcyondays on 11-03-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

5 Golden Rings is the 5th verse in our ‘12 Days of Christmas’ winter seasonal ale series. The only golden ale in the bunch, we spiced up the natural pause in the classic song with cinnamon, allspice and ginger along with the delicious sweet and tangy flavor of pineapple. The resulting ale is a true holiday treat that can be enjoyed fresh or cellared until 2019, when 12 Drummers Drumming will be released.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 127 | Hads: 576
Photo of Dope
2.9/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a clear, amber-gold pour. Big fluffy and frothy white head. Head fades away at a moderate pace but leaves only the smallest bits of lacing behind.

S: Spicy. Ginger and cinnamon maybe? Touch of breadiness and a little tropical fruit.

T: Whoa. Very strong flavors up front. Lots of ginger primarily. Swear I get a little cinnamon maybe but I'm not sure. Some other spices I can't identify. A bit of yeasty bread in the middle. Some pineapple in the finish that mixes in. Long lingering spicy finish. Flavor and spices are strong enough that I shudder at every sip. Not in a good way, either.

M: Heavy, thick.

O: Whew, tough one to drink. Just a mess of super strong spices and fruit. No real indication of alcohol but super harsh nonetheless. I could not drink this one and ended up drainpouring it. Just an unpleasant combination of strong flavors. Maybe with some age on it it would be decent. For reference, I love some of the stronger beers like 120min, Chocolate Rain, etc but this was just ...bleh. A mess of a beer.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.99/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ML bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass

Appearance- Truely a hazy golden color with about a half finger of small white bubbly head. It dissipates to apmost nothing and leaves no lacing.

Smell- Tons of clove, cinnamon and other heavy spice notes. Also, lots of fruit and big pineapple notes.

Taste- Wow, palate explosion. Seriously my paoate almost couldnt handpe the explosion. The front of the tongue is hit will all the big spices and then quickly transitions to sweet fruitty flavors and then with 1 foul swoop is cut down with a sour pineapple and lemon finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with nice amiunts of carbonation that pairs well with the flavor profile.

Overall- Pardon my french, but this beer is a kick in the ass to the palate. My downside is that because its so extreme, it is kind of hard to drink. This is probably served best as a 6oz sipper to share with a bunch of friends on a cold winter night.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow-ish to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, pineapple citrus and smokey ham. In the taste, well, it tastes of the pineapple rings that came off a ham after it was cooked. A light spice and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry pineapple and salty smoke in the aftertaste. It is seriously just like the pineapple off of a cooked ham. Sweet, salty, smokey, and touches of spice.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

P: Dark golden apricot body with a decent crown of white creamy head that bubbles down to a thin silky layer. Wet lacing around the edges.

S: Overpowering pineapple booze, tropical bubblicious gum, powdery yeast, ginger, white grapes, hints of honey, black pepper, allspice and cinnamon. Banana esters appear once agitated.

T/M: Odd! Pineapple juice, lemon zest, a hefty dose of allspice, pickled ginger, clove and black pepper. Mouthfeel is amazingly smooth and creamy with just a pinch if stinging carbonation. Finish is semidry with cinnamon apple peels lingering in the back of the throat. Similar to drinking hot apple cider. Booze was not as abrupt as the smell and highlights the flavors.

O: 5 rings of oddness. At first I hated this beer. The first smell and taste almost caused me to grab something else. But it really opened up once it warmed and had a chance to breathe. The pineapple is the elephant in the room that actually works to an extent. This is an interesting take on the style and I can't say I hate it. I would like to see how this one ages for the next 7 years. May have to hunt another one down. Cheers!

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Mundelein Craft Beer Festival shaker pint glass.

Memories of Eddie Izzard come flowing back to me here... This stuff pours a hazy amber-gold (how appropriate) topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises white grapes, mango, orange sherbet, light banana, and light maple syrup. The taste holds notes of white wine (I got the sense of oaked chardonnay here, though this particular specificity seemed particular to me this evening), pineapple, honey, light Belgian yeast, and very light clove. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda syrupy feel. Overall, a surprisingly tasty brew. Frankly, when I read the label, I was sure this was gonna be a substantial mess, but the ingredients worked very well together, a sign that cooperation amongst disparate and seemingly inevitably clashing views can indeed coexist peacefully and productively.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.06/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Golden amber with a white head and little lacing.

S - Christmas ham, over ripe pineapple, allspice, light cinnamon. Can't tell you the last time I had fruitcake but reminds me of ham and fruitcake.

T - Sweet malt with an alcohol kick followed by clove like spice. Pineapple juice, allspice, yeasty phenols.

M - Medium body and almost syrupy which makes it feel more like a ham with pineapple and clove the more you drink it.

D - A bit late on the advice but do not drink with a xmas ham dinner or you might not be able to tell the two apart. Served this one at about 50-55F and it either became more tolerable as it warmed or as my tongue went numb to the flavor. Have heard from homebrewers that have tried that it is impossible to make a decent pineapple beer. Thought I would give this one a try to prove them wrong but alas it might be true.

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Photo of Oakenator
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep colored orange with a healthy head that lingers throughout the beer. Smell is sweet - smells like a Belgian triple with some spice and fruit. Taste is very sweet. Definite pineapple, spices, and kumquat or some other strong citrus flavor. Didn't notice the high ABV initially but as you drink more of this beer it becomes apparent. Also the sweetness of this brew wears on you after a bit. Different.

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Photo of KAP1356
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle my brother brought home for Christmas. Poured into a Delirium Noel snifter...

A - Pours a pretty hazy, orange-gold color. A big, frothy eggshell white head forms about 2 fingers tall. The head recedes and leaves some nice lacing along the glass.

S - Wow. There is a pretty sweet aroma right off the bat. Sweet notes of candi sugar and malts first. Sweet pineapple, mango, and white grape come next. The spices are mixed in with ginger bein the strongest component of the mix.

T - Sweet flavors just as sweet as the nose. Pale malts, candi sugar and sugary fruits all come out. Pineapple, lemon, and white grape are very strong. Syrupy and sugary meet spices like ginger and all-spice. Yeasty esters add a hint of banana to the overall mix.

M - Sweet and syrupy body here. The syrupy body adds a bit of heft to an orherwise medium bodied beer. The alcohol is a bit hot as well.

O - Not a bad beer, but this one had a lot more going on than I think it needed. It was a bit sweeter than I had hoped. A nice addition to the lineup, but I'm not sure how this one will last until the 12th year.

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Photo of socon67
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opened on Christmas Day

A - Golden colored pour with some active foam that retains. Cloudy look. Some lacing.

S - Clearly can make out fresh pineapple and spice. Smells like a caribbean punch.

T - Flavors of sweet pineapple and cake are dominant. Great cocktail\dessert beer. Sugary sweetness bears out in each sip. Bready notes from the yeast give a pastry cake flavor.

M - Balance is incredible to hold all thi ssweetness and ABV into a smooth drinking ale. The only gripe I can think of is that this is too sweet to have mor than a glass of.

O - Wonderful holiday drink to share among guests. Might be a bit of a novelty but easily a beer for a casual beer drinker to enjoy.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium golden amber with a one finger white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma is fruit forward with pineapple and peach; sweet caramel malt, spicy. Flavor of well integrated mixed fruit, light citrus, holiday spices. Finishes with pineapple, honey, cloves and allspice. Light to medium bodied. Warming and somewhat alcohol forward. Similar to a sweet trippel. An interesting take on a Belgian strong pale with the pineapple blending nicely with the other fruit flavors. I will probably cellar one of these to check it out at the end of the cycle.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy dark orange color with a nice foamy off-white head on top. Decent retention with a small cap forming on top. Lots of lacing all around the glass.

S: A little bit of fruity pineapple upfront, with a lot of spice mixed in. As it warms a bit of alcohol comes out. There is also a little ginger and light bready malt.

T: A bit fruitier than the aroma. Some pineapple and a little bit of apple. The spice flavor was the exact opposite of the fruit, not very present. Slightly herbal and citrusy.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Alcohol pretty well hidden on the taste.

O: Decent, I think it has some potential for the future.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a hazy amber/orange color with about a inch off-white head that stayed around for a while. There's a small amount of lacing. The brew smells like pineapples, sweet spices (allspice, cinnamon), bready/grainy malt, and some hay. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some peppery spice, white grapes, Belgian yeast, pears and some cloves. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit syrupy and has low/moderate carbonation. I liked this brew, but after a while the pineapple and spices started to be a little much. Luckily by that point I was mostly done drinking the bottle. Definitely worth a try if you come across it. $10.99 a bottle.

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Photo of hurleymanvw
3.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pint glass

A: Golden color with a slight haze. Little to no lace.

S: Spices (cinnamon, ginger), citrus (pineapple)

T: Very strong spice notes (ginger, cinnamon), slight pineapple, wheat. Alot of alcohol almost hot.

M: Medium body, very warm on the tongue due to the alcohol content. little to no carbonation.

Spices dominate the beer with a hint of citrus, mainly pineapple. Alcohol is very forward and makes it almost hard to drink. Look forward to thing mellowing out for my next try in 2019.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was a little surprised that I liked this one based on the lukewarm reviews. The scores on BA are one of the reasons that I have been reluctant to try this one. Much to my surprise, I sort of like it.

The beer poured a reddish-orange hue with a soft white head. The foam left behind a noticeable lacing in the glass, as if to say beer was here. The aroma was big time pineapple with a layer of spices in the background. The pineapple was also very present in the initial taste. I do not think I have every had such a dose of pineapple in a beer before. Cinnamon and clove were also noticeable with the Belgian yeast laying the backbone. The thick mouthfeel on this one allowed the flavors to linger. The added benefit of this occurs with the nice warming sensation that begins in the aftertaste. This holiday beer not only warms the cockles of your heart, it lights up your digestive track. Many of the non-craft beer drinkers around me also enjoyed this unique brew.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.42/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a Bell's tulip on 12/23/12

Golden brown and tangerine hued; look mighty similar to honey. Foam rises rapidly, cresting at two and a half fingers before dissipating to a thin layer. Some lace, halfway down the glass. Decent, considering the abv.

The aroma has a lot of pineapple juice follow by toasty grains, hay and prairie grass. Overtones of pepper and perhaps a little ginger. There are also notions of pear and alcohol. The grass becomes more appreciable over time, which is probably a good thing. Smells good, though there seems to be an underlying heaviness.

Yup, the aroma tried but wasn't able to bluff it's way out of the reality that this is one mess of a beer. This is floored with slick alcohol heat. Pineapple juice, fermenting fruits, spices and grains are muddled together in this sticky, boozy glob. The flavor (alcohol) is too closely tied to the feel to warrant separate paragraphs. Heavy, cloying and with a penchant for causing weary palates. Carbonation is very low which makes the sluggish feel that much worse.

My fiance doesn't like beer so, of course, I asked for her take on this. She took not one, not two, but three sips before asking me if I don't like it. Then she said it's like a mesquite hot wassail. Then she drank more.

If this were cut down by about 4-5% abv, it might be alright. As it stands, I'm glad this is the only bottle I'll ever come across.

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Photo of bambam2517
3.07/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into a tulip glass, poured at 45F.

A - Really appealing golden orange in color, very little froth formed and body is very still. Instantly regretting not letting this age a couple of years minimum.

S - Strong pineapple dominates, brown sugar and spices right along with it. I agree that it smells cake-ish, alot like a pineapple upside-down cake to me.

T - Wow, really falls down for me here. Pineapple still present, but the sweetness overwhelms so much that its cloying. White wine flavors there too, right where I dont really want them, in my beer.

M - Comes on so strong, hits hard and then quickly dissipates with very little heat. Impressive for a beer this high in ABV. That is the only thing remarkable about it in this category though.

O - Bummer. Don't know if it would have improved with age, but I am so underwhelmed that I do not care to find out.

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Photo of StaveHooks
2.1/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

750ml split with my wife
Poured into a Duvel tulip

A - Slightly hazed golden amber with a white capped head. Little to no lacing

S - Smells like ham glaze, sweet, cooked pineapple, apples, pears, cinnamon, nutmeg

T - Tangy pineapple juice, tart white grape juice, tart apples, sweet malts, alcohol is very present and clashes with the strange sweet tangyness. There's a brief hint of spice but I can't hold it my mouth long enough let it play out.

M - Thick syrupy body, drinks pretty hot,

The first sip I couldn't help but to shudder. There's something not right here and it slaps you straight in the face. Nice aroma but the flavor is just not good.

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Photo of smcolw
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice thick head that leaves a blanket of lace. The liquid dark gold with an orange hue. Appropriately cloudy.

Plenty of "warm" spice aromas, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper. Notable alcohol.

Very true to the style. The body is chewy and the carbonation high. Lots of alcohol throughout. Lots of Scotch qualities. Plenty of lightly toasted pale ale malts. Oily finish with a long fortified liqueur aftertaste.

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Photo of scootny
3.72/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A prodigious head that recedes on the faster side but is quite lovely. Aroma is heavy with pale malt and a lovely tropical pineapple fruitiness. Bread and fruit. Nice. The slightest hint of alcohol. Taste is complex and artful. Dominant malt front gives way quickly to pineapple and toasted coconut with a coconut water finish. Clean and firm bitterness as you swallow blooms with a white wine vinous persona. Where is the booze? Oh, in the back of my throat in a balancing act to the heavy malt body. This is a complex and sophisticated beer that brings a lot to the table. Dry and quaffing it has a drinkability that belies its abv and position as a spiced holiday ale. That said it has an almost wine like persona but more complicated in its placement as a beer to respect. Feel is quenching and pleasingly dry. Hops are mild and well placed. A great hoiday beer that went well with several cheeses and veg pepperoni. A good solid brew for the holidays and I expect this one to turn into a highly coveted beer as the edges soften with age. Will be getting a few more of this one.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bpk59 for sharing.

Light fizzy head fades med pace, hazy reddish orange color.

Nose malty, light sweet malts, Belgian tripel like earthy spices, light fruity esters and floral fruits, light sweet malts.

Taste sweet candy malts, boozy, chewy almost doughy malts, Belgian malts, hot tingly booze, a bit of fruits and nuts, hint citrus like fruit and some fresh pineapple juice, with light Belgian esters, hint phenols. Finish is hot, boozy, more light phenols and esters, belgian tripel like spices lingering.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, decent carb for the high abv level, but quite boozy.

Overall decent but nothing special, fairly hot and boozy, typical Belgian strong flavors and aromas though.

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Photo of IamMe90
4.07/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a duvel tulip glass from a 750ml bottle ($11.99 at riley's in madison)

Appearance: Pretty standard; cloudy orange with minimal head, reminds me of a saison or other belgian styles.

Smell: The best part, strong pineapple with some clove and yeast.

Taste: Belgian yeast, clove, sweet malt, pineapple (great pineapple taste!) and alcohol spice on the finish. Very pleasant but the alcohol really helps to balance the sweetness of the malts and pineapple.

Mouthfeel: Thick, very thick. Would prefer it slightly thinner with more carbonation, but I'm glad it's thicker rather than less thick.

Overall: I like it. I was apprehensive given the reviews, but I was pleasantly surprised. Reminds me of a good belgian strong pale but with some unique twists, especially the pineapple presence. Will be buying another to age for awhile and see how that makes it.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, a very cool idea for a decade-plus spanning release series. Muchas gracias to DoktorZee for schlepping this back from SoCal for me.

This beer pours a hazy, solid medium golden amber hue, with three fingers of foamy, puffy off-white head, which leaves some broad, random specks of spattered lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of dense, meaty Belgian yeast, black pepper, coriander, clove, nutmeg, and yes, yes, yes - musty, fruity, sugary pineapple! The taste is sweet, sugary pale malt, a touch of caramel, some rather encompassing, yet softly caring, and generally funk-free earthy yeast, reserved clove and allspice, um, spice, and a nicely integrated tropical pineapple fruitiness, sugary in its own special way. All very pleasant, to be sure, but that only distracts from the increasingly salient fact of - where be the booze, Balthazar?

The bubbles are agreeably tame, yet supportive in their finely fizzy way, the body a sure heavyweight, something I really don't encounter all that much, and not just for the style (and especially for the style), and smooth enough, the effect of the fruit, spice, and alcohol all having their say. It finishes definitely on the sweet side of things - malt, pineapple-dominant fruit, and seductive spice all contributing equally.

One large and in charge BSPA - it may be (sort of) pale, but honey, this ain't light. There's a thorough heaviness to all herein, a gravitas that, along with the pineapple, abounds in an 'Aloha from Hawaii' sensibility. Pretty balanced, given the big sugary inputs, and still crazily understated, with the 23 points of alcohol proof drawing little overt attention to itself.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark cloudy orange with a decent white head

S-oh wow. it smells like a strong belgian pale ale with pineapple juice. wow you can really smell the pineapple!! it has a certain funk to it as well. smells awesome!

T-comes in with a quite a warm taste of strong pale belgian malts. its a very thick and syrupy taste. definitely has a touch of pineapple juice to it. has a matching after-taste. really the flavors are very warm and thick, but not bold as they should be. this is meant for aging i think. actually, the after-taste is full of pineapple.

M-way too thick and syrupy.

O-this really is an okay beer, though maybe my least favorite of the past 4 Bruery christmas beers. i really think they made it way too strong. i think they should've made it more mellow, let the belgian flavors come out more. this hits fast and hard.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
2.91/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Toronado in San Diego.

A - Cloudy orange in color with absolutely no head. Obviously no lacing as the beer had no head, but a very pretty color indeed.

S - Belgian yeast, candy sugar, apricots, and granny smith apples. Smells very fresh and alive.

T - Very tart, almost bordering on a sour ale without the berry flavors you'd be used to. Very dry finish. Lots of sour apple, reminds me of a sour jolly rancher. Way too tart and dry! Not impressed in the slightest.

M - No carbonation at all. Leaves a lot of after taste.

O - Just a strange flavor. Strange blend of sour ale and Belgian ale that doesn't really work well together.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.9/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Another Bruery beer. Why do I do this to myself. At least I only got a sampler.

Bright, golden yellow pour, clear, or nearly so, with a moderate foamy head that receded to a ringlet and left a few dots of lacing on the glass. Lots of sweet fruit in the aroma, like canned fruit cocktail, almost; distant floral hop quality. Sweet taste, almost sickeningly so, again like fruit cocktail, complete with pineapple, pear, peach, cherry, some banana esters in there as well; notes of light clovey spice and corriander, with a touch of vodka-like booze that was more tasted than felt. Light-medium body, a bit sticky with sweetness, and just kind of messy all over. Not really sure what they were going for, nor am I sure it will hold up for another 7 years.

But I got the vertical going anyway, for whatever reason.

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5 Golden Rings from The Bruery
80 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.