1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Melange No. 8 - The Bruery

Melange No. 8Melange No. 8

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

115 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 115
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.64%

Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  14.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
The eighth in our Mélange series of blended beers - this robust ale is a marriage of our bourbon barrel aged anniversary ale along with White Oak Sap (our bourbon barrel aged wheat wine), along with locally roasted Geisha coffee from our friends at Portola Coffee Lab.

(Beer added by: UCLABrewN84 on 02-24-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 115 | Reviews: 15 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served alongside Melange No. 3.

The beer is light brown with a small beige cap. Watery coffee appearance. Much lighter and thinner looking than Melange No. 3. The aroma brings a healthy dose of java along with prominent alcohol. Oak and vanilla play supporting roles. Coffee and rich, heavy beer. Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Not as amazing as I had hoped, but alas, my expectations were too high. While I do prefer Melange No. 3 over 8, this is certainly a tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 03:09:21 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of stakem


4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew appears a muddy brown clouded color of pond water with a finger of tan head that fades back to a thin film supported by rising bubbles.

The aroma is sweet like vanilla, caramel, toffee, coconut, oak and has some earthy coffee notes. It smells almost like cotton candy with some tangy booze notes.

The taste is boozy, mildly tangy with oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee and an earthy coffee inclusion. Coconut is present before getting to a solvent/neutral burning alcohol character. A little molasses and raison character emerges as it warms.

Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Quite a boozy enjoyable sipper that is very unique. It has that big alcohol/barrel aged wheatwine feel with just enough coffee to mix things up and be perplexing. I dont love this but it sure is interesting.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 16:25:55 | More by stakem
Photo of Alieniloquium


4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown. Medium khaki head. Medium collar.

Smell - Coffee, a very green coffee. Bourbon and sweet caramel.

Taste - Sweet caramel and bourbon up front. The coffee blends well. Very sweet. Less green on the coffee. Darker, almost chocolatey malt.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and sweet, as always, but not as much as the other diabetes bombs.

Overall - Yummy. As always, I'm a sucker for Bruery sugar.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 02:26:08 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of siege06nd


3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into my Great Lakes 25th Anniversary Tulip...

A. Melange No. 8 pours a cloudy chestnut brown with a little bit of ruby on the edges. Did I mention it's cloudy? It's very cloudy, and in the light it vaguely resembles that dirty toilet water look that I love to hate. But only vaguely. The head is another story. Three fingers popped out of a careful pour. While it has settled to 3/4 of a finger, it has lingered. The head and lacing are very tightly beaded and consistent. Excellent.

S. Coffee grounds are most apparent and then chocolate, stone fruit, and caramel. While the coffee is quite prominent, it's integrated well with the other notes of the bouquet. Blended together, it almost gives this a nutty quality, with faint traces of booze and fruit. Not the most complex of noses, but a pleasing combination nonetheless.

T. Initially, it's quite sweet. Lots of brown sugar and sweet fruit juice. Some plum and currant. Warming alcohol on the mid and the finish. Coffee notes never really erupt as much as they linger in the background throughout the sip. Really nice coffee bean backbone to this beer. The finish is all barrel and booze, and is a little rough IMO. Taste is much more complex than the nose. This is a bruiser and lets itself be felt across the palate. Very good.

M. Syrupy, sweet, with some biting roastiness and ashiness from the coffee bean. This beer is coating, full bodied, with moderate carbonation. Flavors are very well-integrated. The finish is touched up slightly with an overriding booze and barrel quality that distracts somewhat. My tongue is singed.

O. An interesting beer. This one will put you on your ass from a sheer strength standpoint. The alcohol content is high, sure, but the flavors in play here are just as forceful. It's enjoyable in small quantities, but I'm already looking at this bottle and wishing I had saved it to open with one or two other people. There is no way I can finish this by myself. That said, it's well-crafted and is a great example of The Bruery's creativity. For all their complexity, the Anniversary Ales continue to be remarkably malleable in concocting crazy new creations. The addition of coffee here is a nice touch and provides a strong backbone to stand up to the other flavors. Drinking this beer is like watching a group of heavyweights battle it out. You don't know who's going to win, but you know you're going to be thoroughly entertained by the competition. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2013 18:39:49 | More by siege06nd
Photo of jeonseh


4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark reddish brown ale with no head

S - Caramel, coffee, syrupy sweet, oak, maple, light booze, and brown sugar

T - Caramely, light dark fruit, vanilla, and brown sugar sweetness. Coffee lingers in the back with a good malt presence. Slight booziness and orange peel in the finish

M - Thick syrupy body with little carbonation to it.

O - Really interesting old / strong ale that tastes like a Bois with coffee added. Definitely works better than expected

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 20:56:48 | More by jeonseh
Photo of MasterSki


3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by Sean I think. Served in a snifter.

A - White foam settles to a thick collar, leaving behind a few specks of lace. Murky dark brown-amber body. Impressive head for the ABV, but a bit homely body-wise.

S - Massive coffee, oak, and bourbon. I don't think I would have ever guessed the base beers from the aroma, although it's pretty obvious that it's a few of Bruery's high ABV offerings. Potent, and borderline rough; this beer actually singes the nostrils. Subtle this is not.

T - The taste is significantly better for me, as some of the sweet malt characters from White Oak Sap and the anniversary Old Ale balance out the intense wood and coffee flavors. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit, and booze-soaked honey cake mingle with bourbon, coffee, oak and vanillin.

M - Full-bodied, chewy, with medium-low carbonation, and an oaky, dry finish. There's some lingering coffee grit amid the residual stickiness. Pretty hot at this stage.

D - A bit too much for me out of the gate; needs more than a month of age I guess? A definite slow sipper. I'd like to revisit this in six months and then a year to see how the alcohol and coffee flavors subside and other flavors emerge. Complex for sure, but not as enjoyable as Melange No. 3.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 03:14:22 | More by MasterSki
Photo of DefenCorps


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thank you, Abraham.

Pouring a hazy , murky, muddy brown with a thin beige head that falls of to a ring. The nose is excellent. The coffee character Is potent. Medium in roast with mild acidity and a cocoa note that pairs well with the base beer. Now the base beer is great. Close to mélange 3 with raisins, bourbon, some port, as well as Vanilla, brown sugar, toffee and buckwheat honey. Unabashedly sweet, this beer, when fresh, has a very nice coffee character. Rather delicate, It is soft, fruity and mildly sweet.

The palate opens sweet with coffee and the mélange 3 base. Brown sugar, toffee, raisins, port, Honey and coffee are present in pretty good balance. Big, bourbony and sweet, there's quite a bit of vanilla here. Full in body with low carbonation, this beer has a long finish with plenty of complex sweetness. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 05:22:09 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of jlindros


4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Shared with rudzud.

Pours a big 1 finger head, that fades semi slowly, very little lacing which disappears quickly too, dark murky cranberry chestnut solid like cartoony color.

Nose has lots of fresh coffee to start, nice great roasted espresso, not over roasted either, nice dark choc cocoa like, plenty of vanilla barrel, light bourbon and coconut, dark caramel, some dark fruits like fig raisin, more of the melange 3 coming through the more it warms and the more I nose, it starts to get a bit nutty, and boozy too,

Taste stats with big malts again, stats more with melange 3 again, big sweet syrupy malts, dark toffee, caramel, nutty, chewy, etc. Coffee comes through nicely, fresh roasted espresso beans freshly ground and brewed but not heavy either, with light bitterness. A bit if cocoa, dark dried fruits with fig and touch of bourbon soaked raisins, more barrel with bourbon and nice vanilla barrel flavours, hint if coconut too. Booze cuts in with warning slightly tingly but part for course in the melange, light alcohol taste even but clean booze. Nice fresh coffee lingering in the finish, quite a bit of tingly booze lingering, plenty of dark malts, little syrupy but not too sweet, bit if dark fruit and bourbon barrel still lingering.

Mouth is full bod, rich, semi syrupy and thick, decent carb, plenty of warming tingly booze.

Overall awesome! Def an ugly duckling, great flavors and aromas, plenty of Melange 3 in there with great espresso on top. It took a little time to warm up, but once it did it was awesome. Glad I have more of this, but not sure if I should age since the coffee will die off, or the booze to quite down a bit and all the flavors meld like Melange 3. Tough decision, great beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 01:15:15 | More by jlindros
Photo of rudzud


4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Shared by JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a hazy dark amber hue with a thin light blanket that fades to leave a light halo. Looks much different than the regular melange.

S - Aromas of light coffee notes, coconut, bourbon, vanilla, light sweet malts, faint alcohol and nice melange notes. Quite appealing.

T - Taste is nice coffee, not quite a black coffee but nice lightly creamy. Good bourbon notes, coconut, vanilla, barrel notes, super melange 3 notes here, delicious and heavy this is not a one sitter.

M - Mouthfeel is quite nice for the style, alcohol is hidden nicely, good carbonation, dangerously drinkable.

O - Overall I really enjoyed this beer, really capitalized on the bar beer by adding coffee, I'd like a bit more on the flavor but still this is amazing.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2013 23:05:09 | More by rudzud
Photo of jegross2


3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing Melange 8 from The Bruery out of Placentia, California.

Score: 84

2013 vintage bottle served in an Upland snifter glass and enjoyed on 07/03/13.

Appearance: The color of the beer is a yellowish-green-brown caramel color that kind of looks like a melange of the colors on the label. Pours a thin ring around the glass of off-white head. Poor lacing, OK retention. 2.75/5

Smell: Coffee is the first thing I notice upfront, but it is ultimately not the most prominent or lasting element of the aroma. Immediately after the coffee is sweet caramel, sweet vanilla, toffee and a little oakiness. Nice medley of sweet aromas with some coffee to balance. The coffee is not very roasty, but it is appealingly pleasant. 4/5

Taste: Tastes just like it smells with substantially less coffee and more sugary sweetness. Quite malty. Some alcohol warmth and a little booziness too. At first, I thought the barrel and malty sweet flavors made for a nice mix, but the sweetness really layers and grows on you in a negative way. This beer quickly borderlines cloying. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, quite low carbonation. Unnecessarily sweet, but this is The Bruery. Sticky on palate. 3.75/5

Overall: Even by The Bruery's standards, this beer was a sweet mess. There was not nearly enough roasty/bitter coffee to offset the overbearing sweetness of the brew, and none of the people present when this bottle was opened could finish more than a few ounces before giving up. It is not a bad beer, but it's one that gets undrinkably sweet as it layers, and nearly a third of this bottle was ultimately donated to the drain at the end of the night. If you own a bottle, I would recommend trading it away. I wish I had my forty bucks back.

Cost: $40 for a 750 ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 04:53:54 | More by jegross2
Photo of DovaliHops


4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky, reddish-brown color with a medium-sized off-white head that goes down quick. Scent is very similar to the Anniversary beers and Melange 3, but with a strong coffee presence which is very intriguing. Maple syrup, dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, toffee, and sweet bourbon. The coffee overpowers the bourbon in the nose. Taste is just as coffee-forward. Sweet, boozy bourbon up front with a good amount of maple and toffee. Lots of caramel flavors and more fresh coffee. Definitely tastes like Melange 3, but with very tasty coffee added to it. Finishes with some oak and sweet bourbon. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, and not too syrupy at all. Not as boozy as one would think. Drinkability is high. Overall, this beer is damn tasty! Great coffee flavors added to a beer that is already fantastic without it. I suggest that people who only have one bottle of this, as I did, to drink it now...tasting great!

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2013 06:00:25 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of IKR


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Cloudy dark-amber color with a modest light beige head that dissipated fairly quickly.

Smell: Brown sugar notes, vanilla and bourbon from the bal-aging, closely followed with coffee aromas. I also picked up some spicy/pepper aromas.

Taste: The brown sugar notes, vanilla and bourbon from the bal-aging, and coffee notes from the nose carries over to the taste. The barrel influences, base beers and coffee notes are well integrated. The beer is very clean tasting and has a crisp moderately dry finish. I was able to pick up the mild spiciness from the nose in the taste profile as well. I also picked up some mild fruity notes as well. Fairly dry compared to most high ABV Bruery beers, with the coffee lingering in the finish. The alcohol is well hidden, especially in light of it's listed ABV.

Mouth-feel: On the lighter side of medium-bodied with a medium level of carbonation, appropriate for the taste profile.

Overall: An interesting, tasty strong ale. the coffee addition is a unique touch and is well integrated in the taste profile. The high ABV should make it a sipper, but the well integrated and complex taste profile, along with the restrained alcohol presence make it go down too easy.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 23:00:40 | More by IKR
Photo of kojevergas


3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a goblet at 38 Degrees in Alhambra. Expectations were high. Reviewed from notes taken last weekend.

A: Pours no head at all. Body is a dull orange-brown. Translucent; nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Somewhat appealing, but it leaves a lot to be desired.

Sm: Clean yet musty. Peach, some alcohol. Tropical fruits. Mild tropical fruity hop character eliminates any opportunity for pleasant floral hop notes to surface. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. Estery. Some phenols. Pineapple. Mango.

T: Fusel alcohol is rampant. Peach. Mango. Tangerine. Light vague pineapple. Biscuit and grainy malts. Poorly integrated bourbon. But there is some nice oak and vanilla notes, which come through more as it warms. No yeast character comes through. Not getting any coffee character at all. ABV is poorly hidden. Acidic. I like it generally overall, but it's quite a mess. Lacks balance. There's complexity, but no subtlety. Unrefined.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and somewhat acidic. Boozy and hot. Good carbonation. Good thickness. Suits the flavour profile alright. A bit weak; the mouthfeel struggles to support the many notes resting upon it.

Dr: Drinkable for the high ABV, but alcohol is quite noticeable. Unrefreshing. Enjoyable for what it is. I'd like to get it again in a less crowded bar so I could go more in-depth.


Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2013 20:26:34 | More by kojevergas
Photo of HopHead84


4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


Bottle into a Bruery snifter.

A: Dark reddish brown and murky with a finger of beige froth.

S: Brown sugar and maple sweetness combine with nutty toffee, earthy coffee, bourbon, and a touch of spiciness. The coffee smells great with the sweet Anniversary and White Oak Sap mingling beneath. Big sweetness and big coffee. Honeysuckle and apple are evident as the beer warms and the coffee comes out.

T: Really heavy on the coffee, but in a good way. Roasty, earthy, nutty coffee combines with brown sugar, chocolate, maple, and bourbon. Caramel and earth are pervasive. Alcohol imparts warming and a subtle sting in the finish. The coffee cuts the sweetness and makes this more quaffable than you'd expect. By the end of the glass I'm stumbling over invisible obstacles as I make a nervous, drunken, slightly faster than socially acceptable beeline to the bottle to pour myself another.

M: Full body with upper medium carbonation. Sticky with alcohol warming.

Overall: This is great, but if you're not a fan of coffee I don't think you would like it. It's a combination of flavors you'd not expect to meld as well as they do. I hope The Bruery does more beers with Portola.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 03:13:07 | More by HopHead84
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap for the Bruery Initiation Celebration held at The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and lots of roasted coffee aromas. Taste is much the same with a lingering coffee flavor and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some very nice coffee aromas and flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2013 19:27:36 | More by UCLABrewN84
Melange No. 8 from The Bruery
92 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.