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Bois - The Bruery

BoisBois

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

932 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 932
Reviews: 110
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.45%


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

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
The traditional fifth anniversary gift is something made of wood, or "Bois" in French.

Bois is our fifth anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain and then blended using the solera method. A portion of each of our anniversary ales is saved in our barrels and blended in with the next year's production, providing more complexity and depth of character that comes with age. Layered with complex flavors of dark fruit,vanilla, oak, and burnt sugar, Bois is a robust ale, surely the perfect beer to mark this major milestone.

(Beer added by: OBeerMeGreatOne on 05-14-2013)
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Ratings: 932 | Reviews: 110 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

2.99/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle into a tulip. From notes.

A: Pours a murky dark brown color. There's a one finger khaki head that retains horribly - in other words, par for the course from a 15% monster. No lacing is left behind, either.

S: Very intense, mostly in a good way. The vanilla is huge, the bourbon is huge, the oaky notes are huge, and the dark fruits are huge. I even get some faint coconut touches. On the first whiffs, the booze is very intense, only to calm down as it warms up. My subconscious tells me the actual flavor is going to be WAY too sweet, but even still, this aroma works well.

T: Dark fruits open this one up in a big way. It doesn't take long, however, to realize just how fuckin' sweet this one is. Holy shit, this is like drinking bourbon spiked with brown sugar - about six tbsp's worth, to be precise. The finish tries to negate all dat sugar with some oaky and bourbon-y notes; it's not particularly successful. All it really does is inject a bit of unnecessary harshness into the massively cloying beer without really balancing it out. On the plus side, it *does* become slightly less harsh as more is imbibed. That does NOT make all the ridiculous sweetness any more palatable: it's far too moronic and out-of-wack throughout. It's not even that complex, either.

M: This practically burns going down. Cripes on a stick, this one feels rough. It's too carbonated, too thin, and too sweet all at the same time. It seems like The Bruery was trying to give this good drinkability for the style, and they honestly succeeded - but at what cost? The slender feel clashes badly with the incredible sweetness, so it's not like it's that drinkable.

O: When I sip this, I'm seriously contemplating dumping it - it's that overwhelming. This is a textbook example of a beer that's over-the-top big in all the wrong ways. A big beer that's structured well can be a beautiful thing (see: Black Albert), and this just isn't. It's not HORRIBLE per se, just hugely disappointing for over $30 (!) a bottle. Emperor Bois, you have no clothes, plain and simple.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 03:42:29 | More by ThisWangsChung
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johnmichaelsen

Oregon

3.15/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Given how expensive this beer is, I was very glad it was available for only $5 for a 4 ounce pour at PIB.

The beer pours a copper amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is impressive, as I pick up considerable dates, rum raisans, coconut, vanilla, pineapple, caramel and light chocolate. The beer smells as if it will be rich and sweet, but on the palate, I found this to be an absolute train wreck. Granted, the flavor profile replicates the nose for the most part, but this beer was so sweet and boozy, it was setting off my gag reflex. I've tried a number of these barrel aged nectar bombs in the past (Coton, 5 golden rings, cuir, etc.), but nothing really compares to this in terms of sweetness. Next to the word cloying in the dictionary, they should have a picture of this beer. Mouthfeel was full, with a long, sweet, soft boozy finish.

I thought it was tough to get through a bottle of Black Tuesday, but that beer is almost sessionable in comparison to this monstrousity. An interesting effort, but I think from now on I'm going to give these barrel aged old ales from Bruery a pass.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2013 19:04:45 | More by johnmichaelsen
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yamar68

Minnesota

3.48/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks cw577enfield!

Dark swampy brown body capped with a thick, dense layer of khaki carbonation. Plenty of booze legging.

Certainly smells sweet. Caramel/toffee, powdery cocoa, molasses, mushy fruit, maple, bourbon heat... complex. Big.

God that is a big fucking beer. It's muted at first but after a second or two on the palate I'm overwhelmed with massive bourbon sweetness and intense red fruits, almost tart in some ways... papery tobacco flavor at the tip of the tongue. It finishes out sticky and sweet with a lingering burn in the back of my mouth. Kind of a mess, to be honest.

I took down BT and M3 solo, so I thought this wouldn't be an issue. But... alas. This might take a while.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 01:04:56 | More by yamar68
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Charliechu

California

3.69/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I been seeing these around Northern California so I thought it would give it a shot.
For one, this is a very expensive bottle, anywhere from $30-$40 a piece.

First impression was the overwhelming smell. Personally I thought it smelled a bit like fish sauce, if you guys know what I mean. The pour was very nice, great head! The first taste came a bit extra boozy, but its finished finished pretty smoothly. Definitely serve this in a sniffer . Overall, I thought it was a decent beer, but for the price I think there are much better ones other there.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 07:01:29 | More by Charliechu
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SpeedwayJim

New York

3.8/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml waxed and capped bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 2 finger frothy cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer is a dark, almost opaque brown. Lacing is thick but sticks close to the head. Oily legs. Real nice.

Nose is sweet booze. Molasses, brown sugar, caramel and oak. Deep and enticing.

Opens molasses, honey, dark plum and prunes. Brown sugar, leather and booze in the middle. Oak, caramel, toffee, and more molasses at the finish. Ends sweet and hot with a sweet, caramel and molasses aftertaste. Solid.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Slick and oily in the mouth and goes down hot and sticky. Finishes messy with a lingering aftertaste that coats the mouth. A touch thin.

Pretty par for the course for a Bruery Anniversary big. Big and bold with accented sweet flavors. Pretty straightforward but still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 01:27:52 | More by SpeedwayJim
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Vonerichs

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark caramel color and opaque. It has a viscous and flat appearance.

Huge boozy notes of bourbon... Oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee.

The cloying sweetness is just too much. It's boozy as hell, but I can appreciate that. Caramel, toffee, and vanilla with just a touch of dry wood.

Mouthfeel is syrupy and sugary sweet. Very thick.

This was just way too sweet for my liking. The flavor profile was nice, but fighting through even as pint was a chore. That, combined with the price point, makes me suggest pass on it.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 15:56:47 | More by Vonerichs
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Dope

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice mahogany with a decent sized but fizzy light light brown head. Head fizzes away fast, almost soda-like. Decent retention but zero lacing.

S: Huge, huge, huge sickly sweet caramel. Toffee and boozy raisins. Sharp, stinging alcohol when swirled. Basically a bourbon and sherry combo at first glance.

T: Super sweet caramel and toffee up front. I can't overstate how sweet this is. I have had some seriously sweet beers in my day, I can practically mainline creme brulee but this is over the top. It's like caramel syrup with some toffee and molasses. Heavy, heavy on the rum soaked raisins. Burnt sugars in there too. In the finish, very drying oak and alcohol in the aftertaste sucks all of the moisture out of your mouth.

M: Heavy, heavy, cloyingly sweet and syrupy.

O: I've had Cuir, Fruet and now Bois. I loved the first two but this one just isn't hitting me right. I just re-read my review on Fruet and I mentioned at how well the 15% ABV was hidden. This beer is the opposite, it's a booze bomb. It's honestly hard to drink, a sipper for sure. It's still good, don't get me wrong, it's just that the booze and the sweetness overpowers everything in this beer. I might not be in the right mood for this one tonight, that's all I can think. Luckily I have a bottle of the rye version of this to try another day, maybe I will be ready for that one.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 05:15:04 | More by Dope
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n2185

North Carolina

3.91/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a murky brown with a finger of beige head that fades into a frothy ring with no lacing.

S: lots of sweetness here: caramel, vanilla, brown and burnt sugar, and a little toffee. There are some oak notes and dark fruit underneath, but mostly it's a barrage of sweet smells.

T: sweetness dominates here as well. Caramelized sugar, caramel, vanilla, toffee, and brown sugar. Oak and sweet bread come through bsfore a moderately boozy finish.

M: medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer is sticky sweet and a bit hot.

O: a good beer overall, but so sweet and boozy that it's difficult to drink more than a few ounces. I'm glad I could try it on tap and not have to tackle a whole or half a bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2013 21:46:16 | More by n2185
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ArrogantB

Colorado

3.91/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Hops and Pie. Nice orange color, small head at first, then it's gone. Aroma is a bit if booze. Flavor is a delicious bourbon barrel barley wine, rich, great bourbon flavors, sweet but then it gets a little too sugary. This was really tasty but it's so sweet and so strong that I can't imagine drinking a whole glass of this.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2014 02:22:00 | More by ArrogantB
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DrewskiWhit

Indiana

3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 4/2/13
Poured into a snifter

A poured about a 1 finger head which dissipated and left a foam ring which hung around throughout. Lots of legs on this thing. Deep hazy brownish red color. Sorta resembles fat bastards stool sample

S lots of strong scents. A very strong aroma. Its familiar but I can't place it. Definitely oaky, almonds, some alcohol is detectable. Maybe a touch of coffee or chocolate. Definitely smells complex

T follows the nose for the most part. the taste starts with an oaky almond thing followed by lots of sweet dark fruits on the back. Can taste the alcohol and definitely feel a warming in the chest. Again its complex and the flavors are very strong I just don't love it. Its a sipper.

M more carbonated than I was expecting which I think really helps the drinkability and to mellow the beer out a bit.

O this is clearly a very well crafted beer but personally I just don't love the flavors. I enjoyed it but couldn't give it an "outstanding" rating as I doubt I'd drink it again.

Bottom Line: a well crafted unique beer with flavors that just aren't my thing

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 02:37:08 | More by DrewskiWhit
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

3.96/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown color with a slight reddish hue. The head is short and dense and settles into a light ring.

The aroma is sweet. Big vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar and caramel notes. There is a boozy tart cherry aroma.

The taste is of a brown bread malt. Plenty of sweetness to go around. There is a big dark berry sweetness that is quite noticeable. It's a bit tart as well. Caramel and subtle bourbon, some vanilla. Cherry? Lots of booze could use more of an earthy malt presence. Little too sweet.

The feel is moderate with semi soft carbonation. Quite sweet and boozy on the palate. Sticky in the finish. Slight belly burn.

A good but not great big beer. A little one dimensional.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 01:56:12 | More by Gmann
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ckollias

Maryland

4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this large bomber bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a brownish hue with amber highlights and a tan head that lasts forever ending in a wispy lace and not trail.

S: Syrup malt aroma with some oak and dark fruit scents.

T: Strong alcoholic burn with a malty syrup flavor and complex dark fruity flavor.

M: Heavy body and medium carbonation

O: Great brew – lots of complex flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 01:41:56 | More by ckollias
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maximum12

Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle in Hudson, which I wouldn't have done, for $32. But Fruet was so damn good that I just couldn't resist. 750ML melee' weapon split with my wife, who did the actual shopping & picking up of the now open bottle.

Pour clocks in at a ruddy, sunburnt brown, with a touch more carbonation than expected, like a Coke that's been open for a half-hour. The nose leans on the indescribable. Looming bourbon notes, thick caramel, & heavy vanilla dominate, but there are dark fruits muddled in underneath. Oh, & the alcohol sting. My eyes are watering already.

Bois is a boozy Ali jab to the palate, after which it kicks you in the lungs. Wow. Alcohol is prime-time, leaving a warm, fuzzy trail from my tongue all the way into my intestines. Beyond that is a beer fairly different that the smell. The barrel is still big & bad, but close behind is a flair of mission figs, dates, plums, & all that jazz. A wave of boozy caramel washes the mid-section clean, before the alcohol & mouthfeel seize the finish. The mouth on this is notable: sticky & cloying to the point of Elmer's. Nonetheless, my curiosity to see where all this is going has lead me to devour this too quickly.

High point here is a sterling tasting experience, but it doesn't quite live up to my lofty expectations. Very interesting, very good, but not the powerhouse that some of the Bruery's big beers are. I would have run out for more Fruet were I able; this one, I'll be able to leave on the shelves. Still. Wouldn't turn one down. Ever.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2013 01:58:51 | More by maximum12
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Alieniloquium

Florida

4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a wine glass.

Appearance - Dark and murky reddish brown. Not much of a head. Nothing after a while.

Smell - Bourbon, toffee, buckets of caramel. Quite fruity.

Taste - Sweet and bourbony. Even fruitier. Toffee and caramel. Boozy. Even a little bitter. Maybe that's just an abundance of alcohol.

Mouthfeel - A sipper. Boozy as hell. Medium heavy, not as syrupy as I thought it might be.

Overall - Way over the top, but good. I always like these beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 19:11:38 | More by Alieniloquium
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DefenCorps

Oregon

4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle split with my dad.

A dark brown, clear at first, with a dense, light brown head with decent retention and nice legs, this looks solid. The nose is great, as is usual for the series. Boozy caramel sweetness with vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit and brown sugar, this smells great. The palate opens full and sticky sweet with a big bourbon booziness, vanilla, mild oak tannins and fruit. Candied figs, prunes, brown sugar, jaggery are all present. Full in body with moderate carbonation, this beer has a long, sweet finish. Enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 07:32:26 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of rand
rand

California

4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Knb Del Cerro, poured into small goblet

A: Deep mahogany-red, viscous. Almost no head, but the beverage leaves patches of lacing around the glass.

S: Booze, oak, cherries, honey-coated multi-grain bread. The bouquet is large and district, with alcohol warming the nose.

T: Big toffee-sweetness at the front, backed by notes ripe fruit, especially cherries and raisins. Oaky as can be, the alcohol and wood notes dry the palate. Spicy and tingly toward the back, as it finishes sweet with lingering notes of cherry.

M: Rich and chewy, but the balanced flavors keep things from feeling too weighty.

I don't want to overrate these beers, it seems like the last several have been approaching near-perfection, but the Bruery is just killing it. This has so much flavor and so much potential to go off-the-rails, but all of the aspects are so well contained and reined in, making a 15% ABV Old Ale as drinkable as possible.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2013 22:30:13 | More by rand
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tried on-tap at Toronado in San Francisco.

Pours a deep claret red with some flecked hazing. Body is extremely solid: it wouldn't be any other way. Head is an off-white beige colour forming a bubbled ring around the glass. No lace and no visible carbonation, although it forms a sheeting cascade when tilted. Overall it looks complicated, but good.

Nose is excessively complex, and wanders into some strange directions: hoisin sauce, plenty of oak, port, roasted characters, treacle. It's very rich, very interesting. Some tannic red wine comes through as well, and a slight salt/savoury aroma. It's intense.

Hot entry on the palate, plenty of booze, brandy and cherry wine. By the mid palate the heat as settled down a little, leaving a richer sweeter flavour: caramel, treacle and a slightly eggy custard character. The back is dried out by the oak and some of those tannin notes. Sweaty finish.

Feel is intense: hot, but thick. Heavy, rich. Yes.

This is extreme stuff. It's hot, boozy and harsh, but compensated for with its raw intensity, complexity and boldness. I really liked it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2013 02:56:13 | More by lacqueredmouse
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HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 1.27.14

A - Pours a amber-cola brown with a tan head that slowly moves to the edges.

S - Caramel, bourbon, toffee, vanilla, burnt sugar.

T - Same as the nose, but sweet and lots of heat in the finish.

D - Lower carbonation with a heavy, super sweet body.

O - Nice toffee-caramel, but awfully sweet and hot. This will be epic in a few years.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 05:44:22 | More by HuskyinPDX
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CuriousMonk

Virginia

4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark murky brown color along with a small soapy-foamy beige head that left a touch of lacing throughout. The aroma was intensely boozy with prominent alcohol head radiating from it and elements of molasses, caramel, wood, and a vanilla-coconut combination. The flavor was bourbon, vanilla, toffee, caramel, coconut, and dark fruits - very boozy which made me wish I let this bottle sit for awhile. Long finish of toffee, dark fruits, caramel and coconut. Medium mouthfeel with decent carbonation. I have the Bois variants (brandy, bourbon, and rye) so I am quite excited to try these out, however, I am going to let those bottles sit until later this year to let off some of the heat I experienced from this base beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 18:59:23 | More by CuriousMonk
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feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I sort of yawned through the last couple bourbon barrel beers I tried. Can one from The Bruery continue with this trend? I sure hope not. Let's find out.

The Bruery Bois, (pronounced: "Bwah")Anno 2013 Anniversary, 100% Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels. CONTAINS ALCOHOL. (Good to know.) The Bruery, Placentia, CA. Orange County, CA. Alc. 15% by Vol. (Eeep!) And a lot of teeny, teeny type. I'll try to read it later.

We have a murky magenta look here, muddy, dusky brown that nears purplish. Slim tan head that slips down swiftly.

Let's smell it, already. Whiskey wakes you right up with this one. But there's lots of complexity below. Much richness. Vanilla and cherry, with cocoa tints and some molasses. Sweetness, a whiff of smoke, plenty of wood character, and a ton of balance. Starts intense and forceful, but begins to mellow in the mouth.

Let's taste this sucker: Big-time bourbon flavoring in this massive ale. Here'a a beer that needs a water back. Large showing of fig, date, raisin, other dark fruits. Fullest body, low bitterness, moderate sweetness, woody character. Some charcoal,

"This sturdy beer marks our fifth anniversary and we are grateful for the outpouring of community. Together may our supporters, our brewery, and this beer grow in complexity and refinement over the years."

Lovely sentiment, but that didn't tell me all that much. The back label copy doesn't deliver on the details, either, except that it calls it an "old ale." Well, there's something. One big-ass, bourbon-y old ale. Yum-alicious, I says.

This one does buck that trend, as there is great flavor and complexity beyond the effects of the barrel.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2013 03:18:59 | More by feloniousmonk
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clayrock81

Virginia

4.14/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured something like a mahogany brown with auburn tips and had minor head and lace. First thing that hits me is the alcohol in aroma - didn't even get close to my nose and the booze is singing. Woody, oaky, "bourbony", it's a strong smell but not totally overpowering compared to smelling some real whiskey or scotch. There's also this roasted malt character with a touch of sweetness and dark fruits that I believe poke through. Very strong and hearty, designed to be slowly sipped and relaxed, and I must say that it's a dangerous sipper b/c the beer holds up with only exception being a slight ABV burn on the finish that is complimentary more than anything. I get some sweetness from the sticky, fuller body, like they put caramel and molasses or syrup in there to balance the woodiness of the aging and the alcohol. A touch of spice and a dash of dark fruit (black cherry or figs?) make there way in there as well. A really good beer to enjoy and a must try for anyone.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2013 22:23:25 | More by clayrock81
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vette2006c5r

Minnesota

4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bois pours a dark amber color with a nice large creamy lacing head. There is a strong aroma with alcohol notes, a sharp malt bite, and an overall scotch like aroma. The taste was much the same, sharp malt flavors, a kick form the alcohol, a bit sour, and scotch like flavors. Good full flavors, bold feel, and easy to drink. Overall a very complex and excellent beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2014 21:49:15 | More by vette2006c5r
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FosterJM

California

4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1772nd Review on BA
Bottle to Bruery Tulip
750ml
App- A very cloudy ruddy brown/red with high density. Not a head per se but some khaki bubbles. Decent stick as it slid down the glass.

Smell- Has a lot of malty sweet notes behind it. This was better than Fruet Got more of the Solera method down. Creamy raisins and vanilla without a trace of the booze. Has more of the oak/vanilla I wanted.

Taste- Still a bit young and fresh but incredibly drinkable. The ABV is completely hidden on this one. The flavor profile is more of a old ale again as well. Still a little bit of caramel with a large dark fruits note with zero burn. At cellar temp was quite easy to take down alone.

Mouth- A large medium body with a medium thick carbonation at points. Fruity residual with a touch of cream on it.

Drink- Its very tasty. I didnt like it as much as Fruet and I believe this one was good to go right from the start.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2013 22:23:52 | More by FosterJM
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml matte gold wax enclosed bottle, one recently arrived, and under dire circumstances, it would seem, to Alberta. #welcometoABWinterBitches

This beer pours a hazy, very dark red-brick amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, silkily foamy, and somewhat bubbly pale tan head, which leaves nothing beyond a few random specks of lace near the glass as it quickly dissolves.

It smells of concentrated caramel and toffee pudding, with a certain flor-heavy fortified red wine yeastiness, besotted French oak staves, a prune, dried cherry, and raisin fruitiness, melted brown sugar, rather hot, nose and upper palate crinkling boozy Bourbon, citrus cream, and a certain old musty basement essence. The taste is big and sweet, the heady toffee and caramel gaining a bit of a watery treacle co-conspirator, followed closely by more dark fruits, now muddled and wine-like in their bearing, cold, reduced demarara sugar, soft cognac and Bourbon barrel notes - vanilla and alcohol, mostly - a weirdly ethereal yeasty essence, some mild milky cocoa, and a further isolated wood grain alcohol that seems to pop up at random intervals.

The carbonation is quite understated, and damned near absent at times, almost to the point of inspiring a Trent Reznor ode, the body a dense medium-heavy weight, and actually quite incredibly smooth, very little else putting up their dukes here, once gain, incredulously. It finishes sweet, sure, and more than a tad boozy, but it all seems well restrained, controlled via nods of the head and ancient scripts.

Wow, I had my doubts, but this 5 Year anniversary offering from the Bruery (would, normally, would be so trite in such situations, but here it is, so very worthy!) delivers, even at this early juncture. Maybe not the most complex old ale out there, but it has more than enough 'old' character to back up this pedigree, amongst a stellar bourbon and wine-adjacent woodiness that brings us full circle, of a sort. And maybe I could complain about the generally AWOL bubbles situation, but meh, did I not already mention what style of beer this was?

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 20:48:49 | More by biboergosum
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brentk56

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a hazy burnt sienna; not much of a head but that is true to form for a 15% ABV beer

Smell: Sharp and boozy, with layers of Bourbon, vanilla, caramel and dried cherries underneath

Taste: Boozy on the front end, with Bourbon, caramel, dried cherries making up the front end; very sweet, with some treacle and vanilla development in the middle; after the swallow, the alcohol re-asserts itself, bringing along a recurrence of the flavors detected in the front end; caramel brings up the rear

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; very boozy

Overall: Not surprised by all the booziness at this stage of the beer's development (and part of me said wait a few years before cracking it open); I think this will be a fascinating beer to watch develop and hope I have a chance to re-visit on somebody else's nickel the next go round

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2013 01:31:05 | More by brentk56
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Bois from The Bruery
96 out of 100 based on 932 ratings.