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Bois - The Bruery

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

144 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 144
Hads: 1,284
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 123
Gots: 539 | FT: 98
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OBeerMeGreatOne on 05-14-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 144 | Hads: 1,284
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter, shared with two other friends

A- Pours a dark dark brown color, cloudy, cannot see through it. Not a very attractive beer looks like dark poopy water. Thin light brown lacing around the glass.
S- The aroma is very nice. Bourbon upfront, nice vanilla notes, brown sugar. The bourbon takes over this beer. Really looking forward to trying this.
T- Wow delicious! Big big vanilla buttery bourbon goodness. Very rich, this is definitely a beer you need to share with others. The abv comes out strong as it warms up. Brown sugar, toffee, sweet malt.
M- Big mouthfeel, leaves a sticky feeling in your mouth, dry finish. Nice heat in the backend.
O- Really enjoyed this beer. Great dessert beer, could not of drank this on my own. Glad to have shared this with a couple of friends.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a semi-murky medium brown color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind.

S- Lots of caramel, toffee and sherry-like sweetness. Booze fume is quite noticeable but not too intense.

T- Very sweet with more toffee and some dark fruit. The sweetness lingers quite a bit but helps mask the booze. Has the usual intense sugary malt found in the other anniversary ales but this one's a bit more toned down than Cuir and Fruet. A bit of oak, vanilla and a ton of raisin. Drinkable enough for how strong it is.

M- Syrupy and a bit thick. There's a slight burn in the back of the throat after each sip. Medium-low carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- Might've been plucked a bit too soon since the sweetness and alcohol are both a bit too amplified, but still quite good nonetheless.

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Photo of Etan
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a wine glass.

A: Pours a murky, thick-looking brown with a moderate tan head that recedes quickly. Nobody ever said these beers looked good.

S: Thick aromas of bourbon, spicy oak, burnt caramel, marshmallow, raisins, and brown sugar waft up.

T: The taste is quite sweet, but balanced out by a bit of dry bitterness from the oak tannins and alcohol. Tannic vanilla and toffee, a bit of fruity prune, hot bourbon, caramelized grain, some pleasant sherry-like notes from the oxidation (maybe from the previous vintages in the blend?).

M: The beer is relatively thick but with a constant underpinning of soft carbonation. Obviously a bit of a boozy feel from the bourbon and ABV, but nothing out of proportion.

O: Another enjoyable beer in the series. This and Fruet are also a serious improvement over Cuir and the beers before that. Pricey, but worth it once a year.

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Photo of floridadrift
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Much like Sucre and equally delicious. If you can get this, get it, you won't be disappointed.

Sweet booze bomb with oak, vanilla, plumes, dates and figs. Get as cold as possible! Let it warm down to room temperature.

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Photo of ADZA
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to mrkennedy for this, pours dark murky brown hue, little head and rim of lacing,nose is boozy butterscotch with sweet bourbon,full feel with light carbonation,tastes are boozy bittersweet butterscotch that finishes with a sweet bourbon oakiness snd overall a top drop thats aged so well definately the right time to drink it cheers.

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Photo of SoCal_Matt
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage served in a Teku.

Pours a medium brown with very little head. Heavy bourbon on the nose with oak and brown sugar. Taste is similar and very sweet with a bit of vanilla. Feel is about medium and very drinkable. Overall, this was excellent. A bit sweet at first, but balanced towards the finish.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a murky brownish, caramel color with great carbonation for this style presenting a nice khaki head. Lacing is substandard but the initial appearance is a winner.

S: BIG dark fruits, WOWZERS! Raisins, figs, prunes soaked in bourbon, caramel and toffee. A little whiff of vanilla and caramelized sugars. Amazingly good. A pungent booze sting is present as well.

T: Whoa. Big heat upfront which seems to get hotter and hotter as it carries on. A big toffee, caramel, sugary sweetness upfront with MASSIVE amount of bourbon soaked dark fruits. GEESH! A bit of vanilla and oak come to play under the decadence but man this beer is relentless. The finish is big, hot, sweet and heavy kinda like a few women I banged as a youngster.

M: Full bodied, well carbonated for this style. Big sweetness and booze on the plate.

O: Another score in the Old Ale department from The Bruery. A bit to hot and sweet even for me...

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter at a Bruery tasting

A: Cola brown, clear, a tan half finger head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S: Bourbon and vanilla dominate. Could sit and smell this one for days.

T: Strong, sweet bourbon. Leathery. Malty. Robust. Drinks like an English barleywine. Vanilla creeps in for a soothing effect. Sip slowly; that 15% will zap you quickly.

M: Medium with medium carbonation.

O: Ungodly good. Share among friends. Would go well with a chocolate chip cookie.

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Photo of IKR
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Slightly cloudy dark-brown. Fairly large light-beige head that dissipated quickly.

Smell: Bourbon notes dominate, with some brown sugar, dark fruit (think raisins and prunes) and mild toffee notes. It's been aged for a while but this currently has no alcohol presence, which is surprising for the ABV.

Taste: Bourbon, some fruity sherry notes, raisins, some brown sugar, and toffee. The beer finishes slightly sweet with the Bourbon, brown sugar, and dark fruit notes. I'm not sure it's the age but this was considerably less sweet than most of the other Bruery's Bourbon bal-aged Anniversary beers.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of full-bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Overall: I notice the dark fruit and sherry-type notes come more to the forefront with each new Bruery Anniversary variant. I'm not sure if it's age but the sweetness was fairly subdued which combined with the subdued alcohol presence makes drinking this beer a fine experience.

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Photo of jlindros
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Split with rudzud as our membership goes.

Decent fizzy head fades fairly quickly light lacing, nice legs, super dark molasses brown color.

Nose is great, tons of malts, toasty brown malts, big caramel toffee candies, bit of molasses, nice aged soft malt, sweet candy syrup, light booze, some fluffy nougat like, touch of cocoa. Some light vanilla barrel and bit of bourbon.

Taste brings lots of sweet malts, smooth and rich little creamy with a big alcohol burn and tingle. The big malts bring more caramel candies, molasses, toffee and light nutty, hint of cocoa again, light fluffy nougat, etc. Nice fluffy soft aged malts, almost chewy, with some nice soft dried fruits hint plum and candied raisin and nice fig, hint brown sugar. Also some light vanilla like flavours, hint coconut from the barrel, nice bourbon notes, and plain oak. Mild bitterness. Finish is sticky syrupy sweet, just a touch of acrid burnt syrup, nice soft aged dark malts, hint bourbon vanilla barrel.

Mouth is full bod, little syrupy, plenty of warming tingly but clean booze, decent carb. Soft creamy feel too.

Overall great, maybe not as good as the last couple French named beer series, but nice malt flavours and soft aged feel, barrel is a nice addition but not seeing enough, booze is where I expected.

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Photo of rudzud
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Split with JLindros, poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Poured a murky molasses hue with a thin blanket that fades to leave a thin halo and light legs.

S - Aromas of rich molasses, nice sweet malts, warning booze, nice raisins, inviting and aromatic.

T - Taste is nice sweet malts, toffee, vanilla, huge bourbon, gentle molasses. Nice raisins and light dark fruits, finish is a bit on the syrup side, alcohol is mighty strong.

M - Mouthfeel is very nice consisting the ABV. Carbonation keeps it from being to heavy.

O - Overall I really liked this beer, still a bit hot but that will fade over time. Glad I have a few more bottles.

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Photo of Cubatobaco
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - very merky brown with little to no visibility peering thru the glass. Almost zero head and a lacing that slides down the glass immediately leaving behinds legs like a wine.

S - vanilla/oak from the barrels, prunes, burnt sugar, and figs. Very complex! I'm sure I'm missing a lot, but can't resist getting to the next part...the taste.

T - Wow! Similar to the nose, the complexity is making it difficult to narrow down the flavors. Dried fruits and molasses on the front end with a pleasant spice and alcohol burn on the cheeks. The concoction of flavors makes it taste very similar to fruit cake. This definitely needs a few years to calm down ad settle into its own.

M - Slightly viscous and spicy with a lingering finish thy lasts a good 30 seconds or so. Very little alcohol burn going down, but it's sits on the back end letting you know it's still there.

O - A classic for sure! Being able to try this on tap before opening my bottle was plus as I can see that it will need a few years in the cellar. The next time I drink it will be in a wine glass to give it more space. Certainly glad that I have one in the cellar.

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Photo of gcg1988
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I love beers aged in whiskey/bourbon barrels. Most of these i try are usually not quite as thick as this. but i thought that added to it. It was quite sweet, the caramel stays on your tongue long after you have placed it back down. I thought it was great, a little heavy and hard to finish the large bottle alone, I would share with fellow beer appreciating friends.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark, opaque raison color with a tan colored head, light carbonation, and very viscous when the glass is swirled.

S - Maple, brown sugar, raisons, figs, oak, bourbon, vanilla, dark roasted caramel.

T - Very boozy and alcohol forward. Figs, raisons, oak, vanilla, dark roasted caramel, bourbon soaked prunes, maple, brown sugar, and a touch of sweet molasses.

M - Thick, full body, borderline light syrup texture, very sticky, velvety smooth, and moderate warming as it slides down the hatch.

O - Incredibly complex with layer after layer of complimentary flavors, so glad I sat on this bottle for (4) years before opening, the only downside is wishing I bought two and popped the first one when it was young for comparison.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Mohawk Bend in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with bourbon, vanilla, and caramel flavors on the finish. There is an alcohol kick after each sip as well. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great bourbon presence that comes through especially well in the flavor.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

Pours a murky muddy mahogany with a nice thing and dense quarter inch head that is cream in color. Seems pretty thick on the pour.

Nose is amazing. Boozy heat that is then enveloped by some great dark fruit sweetness and some nice caramel and molasses notes. Heavy notes of butterscotch and caramel mixed in with some nice Bourbon notes. Slight vanilla and wood notes balance out the sweetness that then comes back near the end of the finish to entice you even more. So complex and fruity.

The flavor as expected is true to the nose. Starts off with heat as expected with some nice molasses, slightly burnt caramel notes off extreme sweetness with subtle roast. This brew is pretty complex but since its fresh and its 15% there is definitely some heat. As the brew warms the complexity opens up even more. There are leathery notes that offsets the sweetness and then the sweetness come back and punches you in the face. Whiskey and spirit soaked prune and raisin notes come to mind. There is even some chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate notes that I can pick up on as well as some pineapple. The sweet fruit notes even have a slight sour fruit component that is barely noticeable. The body is full and the ABV is up there. Silky and smooth and oily mouthfeel to begin with. Then the brew gets a bit thiner and warmer. Even the mouthfeel is complex!

Overall a very complex brew that is pretty strong but has some delicious well crafted flavor. Each flavor speaks for itself but works well with others. Even the ones I can't pick up on.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Bruery,

A: Pours a murky mahogany with a small off-white head, mild lace.

S: Lots of brown sugar and barrel, sweet notes, baked sugar cane and sherry.

T: This tastes remarkably like oloroso sherry, just with a bit more sugar. Lots of dark sugar, mission fig. Quite similar to Fruet, though now the oxidation is coming more to the forefront. The solera is really showing its stuff.

M: Full-bodied, lightly boozy, fairly smooth, a big rich beer.

O: These anniversaries are always fun to try, and now that they're not so young, they're getting really good on release, just wish they weren't so pricey.

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Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, 50°F into Snifter.

A: Dark , but not black, brown-red. 1/2" head. very little lacing.

S: Sweet, boozy, grape, dark, nutty and fruity. Very pleasant, and inviting...

T: Sweet! Fruit everywhere. Raisins, Cherries, Plum, wow.... Bunch of boozy goodness, and the barrel sweetness is present up front. Great balanced beer. Slight hop finish, with a bitter "drink more now" after taste.

M: Smooth, silky and full. Very nice presence on the tongue, and no pressure to finish. Light carbonation. Very syrupy.

O: Just Damn. Glad I have an extra to age. Very much worth the cost of acquisition.


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Photo of ms11781
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours an opaque, muddy brown color with some lighter brown/orange tinges at the sides of the glass. Once the beer gets to the bottom of the glass it becomes transparent so perhaps this isn't as opaque as it looked. But a second pour confirms that it is indeed opaque when the glass is full (relatively speaking). A strong pour shows that there is light carbonation but there is no head or lacing to speak of, as expected. Looks pretty good for the style.

The nose is excellent. There's a good hit of bourbon up front with some vanilla prominent as well. Those two aromas come across first but there is a lot more going on. Caramel, toffee, some wood and a bit of coconut are here as well. It gets sweeter as it warms but it wasn't all that cold to begin with. Really nice.

The flavors match the aromas but they are far more balanced. Not that the aroma wasn't balanced but the bourbon and vanilla are here and don't dominate the other flavors as much. Really well integrated notes of bourbon, vanilla, toffee, caramel and a bit more wood than in the nose. All here in almost equal parts. There is a touch of booze at the finish but it's expected and welcome.

This beer is huge. Thick but not viscous with low carbonation. Pretty standard for a 15% ABV barrel-aged old ale. Compliments the nose and taste nicely. Touch of a booze burn at the finish.

This beer is excellent. Flavors are already well integrated, nose is almost there. There's nothing wrong with it now but if a couple years smooths it out a touch this beer will be right up with the very best of style.

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Photo of tmzl
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: very dark amber. Poured with thick, surprisingly big head with even bubbles. Fast retention. Low carbonation. Very nice, promising, inviting.

Smell: Can't miss the big brandy notes. Then come the fruity ones - raisins, deep dark fruits. Reminds me of raisins in rum. Lots of sweet caramel malt with some smokey notes. There is a slight alcohol note. And there comes a very nice subtle sour, tart aroma - lifts up the whole experience.

Taste: Porto, plum wine, dates. Huge malt, middle a lot of caramel, smokey, burnt wood/sugar. Low on bitterness, but very nice sour after-mid taste. Also some funk in there. Rich and complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium/full body, low carbonation. Very smooth, plate fullness, syrupy. There is some warming effect from high alcohol content, but overall the high alcohol is very well hidden. Leaves you slightly dry.

Overall: Rich and complex, very strong with a lot to offer, yet balanced and rewarding. I'm thinking to buy a bottle and let it rest for a few years, a little age can probably take this beer even higher.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml waxed bottle into a Teku at fridge temp, allowed to warm.

Look: dark but very clear ruby reddish brown, small tan head.

Smell: vanilla, caramel, almond extract; more coconut, cherry as it warms.

Taste: pure sweetness up front, followed by cherries, soy sauce, oak, tobacco.

Feel: medium/full-bodied, slick and juicy. Absurdly drinkable.

Overall: this is a really good beer, tho not sure it's great. And probably brought me less overall happiness than the two bottles of, say, Stickee Monkee I could've gotten for the sticker price.

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Photo of JReites
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750mL poured into a wine glass

A: Poured a murky brown with a 2 finger khaki head that dissipate quickly. Not much lacing after each sip but initial pour looks beautiful.

S: Strong belgian yeast smell with dark fruits, thinking figs, prunes, raisins etc. when smelled from the bottle. Once poured, bourbon smell masks the dark fruit smells. Overall a great smell for the style.

T: When drank at colder temps, the bourbon and dark fruit taste is very smooth and warming. Lots of bourbon up front with hints of toffee, caramel, and vanilla. As this beer warms, it becomes more hot and sweet.

M: Well bodied and carbonated. As it warms, booziness begins to set in.

O: Overall, an excellent beer from the Bruery. Great concept of an old style and the barrel aging process gave this beer another dimension. Not an everyday drinker but definitely a very good beer.

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Photo of Damian
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz wax dipped bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Served in a tulip

Muddy brown appearance. The beer poured slightly thin for something of this magnitude. A wispy, frothy film topped the liquid and quickly dissipated to a lasting, bubbly ring.

The aroma was outstanding. Super sweet and bourbony, but not overly boozy. Loads of fresh vanilla bean. Had I not known, I might have assumed that this was a vanilla-infused beer. Tons of oak/wood. Intense dark fruit notes. Quite plummy and prune-like. Lots of maple and brown sugar sweetness as well.

The booziness was very prominent in the flavor profile and almost overshadowed everything else initially. Brown sugar and dark fruit notes came through strong on the front end. Raisins, plums and prunes were quite apparent. Lots of sweet caramel and toffee notes. Maple and vanilla appeared in the center. Slightly spicy. Boozy, bourbony notes hit hard in the dry, woody, slightly tannic finish. As the beer sat, the alcohol presence subsided a bit and more of the subtle flavors came forth.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied. Surprisingly thin for a 15% ABV beer. Creamy, slick and smooth on the palate. The liquid was slightly sticky and contained a fine, zippy effervescence.

As its name implies, Bois has an immense amount of woody/oaky character. While the aroma was spectacular, the flavor profile was somewhat overwhelmed by the huge alcohol presence. I would love to revisit this in another year or so and see if the booziness has decreased at all.

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Photo of barczar
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Big toffee aroma, very rich. Prune, raisin, and dates add complexity.

Very plum, prune, and raisin flavor, with nice sweet balance, a hit of heat, and rich caramel sweetness. Pretty hot, but delicious.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 08/26/13 notes. I LOVED Fruet (and Cuir with some time on it), so got a few of these and all the variants in the RS this year. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a murky, deep dark mahogany-brown color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks like all the other years.

s - Smells of caramel malts, sweet bourbon, toffee, sweet dark fruits, toasted malts, brown sugar, vanilla, wood, roasted malts, light vanilla, and molasses. Awesome, very sweet, nose, with tons of bourbon and caramel, as to be expected. Reminds me a lot of Fruet.

t - Tastes of sweet bourbon, caramel malts, toffee, sweet brown sugar, alcohol, leather, smoke, vanilla, toasted malts, sweet dark fruits, light vanilla, and molasses. Taste is good but more alcohol and stronger than the nose. More noticable alcohol immediately than last year's Fruet.

m - Full, thick body and low carbonation. Some alcohol, more than Fruet, but very, very nice body.

o - Overall I liked this beer a lot, though was a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, this is a great beer and I fully expect it to become amazing with more time on it, but I've found over the last 3 years that the anniversary beers have been getting better and better fresh each year, and this was a small step back from Fruet last year. Tons of bourbon and caramel throughout, but a little more noticable alcohol in the taste this year. I can totally see this being too sweet for some people, but I love them. If you like the previous years, this will be another you like. Glad I have more bottles to try in the future.

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Bois from The Bruery
95 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.