Bois - The Bruery

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142 Reviews
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Reviews: 142
Hads: 1,276
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 9.26%
Wants: 123
Gots: 539 | FT: 97
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.
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Reviews: 142 | Hads: 1,276
Photo of SoCal_Matt
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
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 IvoryFoxhole
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aged for about two years, poured into Teku glass.

Pours a nice chestnut brown, small head, no retention.

Smell is bourbon and oak up front, roasted malts, dark fruits, a tiny bit of funk alcohol.

Taste largely follows smell, some vanilla up front as well.

Fairly well balanced, aging has been helpful. Moderately carbonated, medium mouthfeel, a little alcohol burn but certainly permissible for this amount of ABV.

It's good.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose is loaded with bourbon, toffee, caramel, hints of oak, leather and burnt sugar. Flavour profile matches with heavy bourbon, toffee and caramel. Sweetness is nicely balanced with the slightest ABV heat, but given the strength it's incredibly well hidden. A celebratory brew indeed and well worth a try.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle has smells of dark fruits, toffee, leather, carmelized sugar, bouron, and vanilla.

Tastes much the same with a little bit of musty wood. The bourbon is more noticeable in the nose than the taste, but either way, it provides a little more heat than flavor.

Slight syrupy thickness.

It is still a pretty boozy beer, but not as much as some other Bruery stuff.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
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 rhartogsq
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

shard bottle at a beer bar in DC last night. The aroma was simply awesome. it never eroded. The beer was a touch thinner than I was expecting. Overall, the beer was great. Don't have much for tasting notes, sorry.

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Photo of kscaldef
3/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted as part of a horizontal of all 5 Bois treatments.

This one is again just hot, hot, hot. Dominated by booziness that overwhelms all other smells and flavors.

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Photo of Jjski
4.71/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bourbon soaked figs and raisins drizzled with vanilla scented caramel brandy. Leather, tobacco, epic old aleyness. A definitive sherry type oxidation with orange peel hints, dark toffee with a faint bitter sourness with boozy finish. Boozy? It's 15%, that's the way it should be. expansive yet perfectly cohesive.

What it is, what shall it become? The standard.

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Photo of RickS95
4.73/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a very murky brown color, with some orange hues around the edges. Not so much cloudy or hazy as it is a shallow river after a storm. With such high ABV, the head is fleeting, but while it's there, it's a tan color of uniform bubbles.

Notes of bourbon, vanilla, toffee and leather dominate the nose, particularly the bourbon. It smells every bit of 15% ABV.

What a great taste. It tastes like a toffee coffee cake. Between the toffee, vanilla, Belgian yeast and burnt sugar, it could pass for a dessert. Not sure if there is such a thing as bourbon cake, but that's what this tastes like. It's amazingly good.

This beast is surprisingly drinkable. It starts off somewhat sweet and very smooth, very buttery feel. Full bodied and almost chewy. The heat builds in intensity as it works it's way a cross the tongue. Finishes with bourbon warmth and a bit of sweetness from the vanilla notes. A slight burn to the lips remains til the next sip.

A spectacular beer and well worth the $30 I probably paid for it. Obviously a celebratory beer.

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Photo of aleigator
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many, many thanks to Marcel, for providing the bottle.

Yields a mohagony, dark brown color, with a beige, small, fizzy head.

Has aromas of glazed malts, melted marshmellows, a good amount of oak, all wrapped up by warming booze. Apparently quite sweet, with molasses as the icing on the cake, bound together by wooden coconut, lots of flowery vanilla and Bourbon.

Has almost no carbonation, which suits the beers full bourbony body perfectly well.

Begins with matured hops, earth and smooth bitter coffee among a slightly dry portion of wood. The sweetness soon settles among this diversed foundation, exhibiting coffee, molasses and flowery vanilla, infused by hot, warming bourbon, leading to a wooden, well balanced sweetness. Finishes with a biting, but pleasant bourbon peak among toffeeish malts and cane sugar, producing a warm glow, working down to my stomach.

The beers taste reveals much more depth, than the nose initially did. Has a lot going on, based on the bitter, balancing counterpart to the sweet molasses, which turn more present during the finish, supported by a hot, vanilla Bourbon presence. Coffee turns present again during in the end, with a slick note to it among cane sugar and alcoholic warmth, balanced by rich toffee.

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Photo of IKR
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
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 scottfrie
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a dark caramel burgundy color with a thin finger of dark tan head. Head faded into a lasting fuzzy collar.
S: Tons of leather and still a ton bourbon despite the age. Tobacco and chocolate are prominent as well. Oxidization and/or the older components of the beer are noticeable with hints of musty cardboard and sweet sherry. Sweet smelling overall, raisins, honey, brown sugar, boozy.
T: Follows the nose, boozy leather, caramel and tobacco, sweet sugar, musty cardboard and oak, boozy slightly warming bourbon, tons of chocolate, warming leather and tobacco and booze. Lingering sweet and sticky aftertaste. Earthy and mildly spicy finish.
M: Full body, sticky, chewy, slick and heavy mouthfeel and body, bubbly but unobtrusive carbonation, booze is noticeable but not hot.
O: Really good. Tons of chocolate leather and leafy tobacco. Very smooth but still boozy. A great and easy sipper.

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Photo of Houser
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

really brown, like opaque brown except around the edges. smell is boozy, brown sugar, molasses really sweet. booze dominates, but the dark fruits show as well. taste is awesome. i love these ba old ales. they just work so well together, and bruery does it right. so many complex flavors and carbed perfectly, not flat, but good carbonation style considering. great beer!

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Photo of ADZA
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
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 SierraFlight
4.02/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Bruery poured into taster. Deep brown color with a fleeting tan head that vanished. Some streaky legs, though. Aroma is toffee, bourbon, vanilla, wood, dark fruits, and booze. Taste is similar with roasty malts and brown sugar sweetness heavy up front. A tiny bit of woody/nutty bitterness comes through. There’s some nice alcohol warming, too. Medium-full bodied, slick textured, low-moderate carbonation, boozy finish.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.23/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a nosing glass. From notes. Reviewed 31 January 2015.

3.5A: Muddy light brown.

3.5S: Burnt brown sugar.

3T: Whoah that's harsh and bright and not very to my taste. Hint of tartness at the edges.

3.25M: A little thin. Vaguely sparkly but not too much.

3.25O: It's fine but not good. Would not recommend.

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Photo of barczar
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
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 bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml wax capped bottle, 04/02/13 stamped on the bottle so I'll assume that's the bottling date. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours a murky dark reddish/brown color with about a half inch tan head that didn't stick around for very long. Not much lacing, either. Aroma is sweet and malty, the brew smells like vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit (figs, plums, raisins), molasses, brown sugar and caramel. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some red grapes, maple and woodiness noticeable. It's a little boozy, but not as much I thought it would be. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick and a bit syrupy with moderate carbonation. I thought this was pretty good. Is it $35 a bottle good, I'm not quite sure. But I did like this a lot!

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Photo of 120minuteman
2.9/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall I found the aroma of this beer far outweighed its taste. It smelled very fruity (plums, raisins, apricots). However, the taste did not deliver. I found this beer to have a very bitter taste to it, which prevented me from enjoying it.

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Photo of floridadrift
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
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 kojevergas
3/5  rDev -30.6%

1 pint 9.4 fl oz thick brown glass bottle with beeswax-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired at a bottle shop in the L.A. area years ago for $30.00 USD and served into an Odell stem-tulip in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I've tried other beers in this solera series and they disappointed. 15% ABV. 2013 anniversary. Reviewed as an old ale because the label clearly identifies it as such.

Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: One finger wide. Pale light khaki colour. Okay consistency. Smooth. Somewhat even. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is awful - about 40 seconds - but it's forgivable given the 15% ABV.

BODY: Dark opaque brown-black. Nontransparent; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears aptly carbonated. Not unique or special for the style. It's not unappealing...

AROMA: Chewy fig, appealing bourbon (replete with vanilla and a kiss of oak), burnt sugars, hint of molasses, caramel, toffee, raisin, and some medicinal notes (e.g. a hint of grape).

An inoffensive aroma of average strength. Not particularly appealing, but the bourbon is nice.

No yeast character or hop notes are detectable. Fruity booziness is present throughout.

TASTE: Chewy raisin, warm boozy fig, molasses, caramel. Some muted reticent bourbon character, including a hint of vanilla. No rich oak character comes through. Treacle. Depleted dark fruits. A kiss of sweet port. Sugarcane. Rum-soaked alcohol-redolent fruit. Dates. A flavour I'd assert is tobacco - though I've never really smoked.

It's boozy as all hell, and has no balance whatsoever; it's a chaotic mess. Incohesive, and certainly not gestalt.

Complicated, but not intricate in a refined sense. Lacks subtlety. Very overt and heavy-handed, lacking a focus.

INTENSE flavours. But they're not really deep. Flavour duration is well above average.

TEXTURE: Chewy, smooth, relatively dry, feels like caramelized candied raisin. Tough. Heavy. Full-bodied. Unnecessarily heavy and weighty on the palate. Sticky. Lightly syrupy. Overcarbonated (in spite of its age and ABV). This is overbearing on the palate and impedes drinkability. Certainly not refreshing.

Poor presence on the palate. This texture fits in with the conventions of an old ale, but does a poor job attempting to complement the taste.

OVERALL: Hmm. She's a sipper, and the booziness is obvious from the first sip. This is yet another overpriced overrated mess of a solera beer from The Bruery, and isn't a beer I'd recommend to anyone. I'm glad I have help from a friend trying to finish this bottle; I'd hate to try to take one down alone. Not sure why people seem to love this. And can we get a moratorium on bottling difficult-to-drink dessert beers in large format bottles?

This emperor has no clothes. Fucking acrid.

High C

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours some extremely creamy head that is lightly tan, and dissipates unusually quickly. The beer itself is a reddish brown that is opaque. The beer has a slight wine appearance to it despite it being a beer.

The beer has strong caramel noted and very deep vanilla scents from the barrel. The smell has a slight alcohol note to it as well, but it is somewhat faint. The beer also has a dark fruit note that comes off as a raisin, but it is quickly overwhelmed by the caramel and vanilla notes. The beer taste is similar to the smell. Strong caramel notes mixed with smooth vanilla. In addition to the caramel, the malts also have a slight toffee taste. The alcohol also makes a much stronger appearance in the taste, and gives off a slight wine taste. The fruits are also more prominent, and not just raisin. In the taste, some funk from the yeast is noticeable , and blends well with the alcohol taste. The malts also gives off a light toast taste that is barely noticeable. Also, the beer has some burnt sugar notes.

The mouthfeel is very, very smooth with a slight alcohol burn at the end. The beer ends with a very dry, and bitter finish. The carbonation is very little, and has a very tiny bite. Overall, this beer is a very, very good, and very complex old ale. The beer slightly resembles a slightly carbonated, and sugary wine.

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4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Bruery is becoming king of the "Big Beer" and this beer is no different.

The head on this one is an inch and a half of toasted bread soft tan. There really is a lot of carbonation for a 15% brew, but it is very bubbly and the head fades quickly leaving just a skim and no lace to speak of. Body is a deep root beer brown with a considerable murky feel to it.

The nose immediately speaks to my heart with big rich Bourbon tones all over. Buttered toffee, carmel and molasses are all very present. Definitely smells sweet.

Enters the mouth just as expected... sweet, but not overly so. Dark fruits dance with raisin bread and rum cake. A hint of sour fruit twang hits the back of the taste buds as you take repeat sips. There is nice balance here for how big and rich it is. So much complexity with the dark fruit, big alcohol, bready sweetness and even a bit of tartness. This one is definitely a sipper.

Mouthfeel is very pleasant, thick but not heavy. A perfect after dinner beer. A wonderfully complex monster of a brew.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.01/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to stakem for sharing this. enjoyed chilled in a tulip.

The color is dark murky brown with small head fine bead and no lace. The smell is intensely malty with nice vanilla and spice notes with moderate wood and strong caramel odor with light toast and alcohol soaked raisins. The feel is great, lots of bourbon with smooth maltiness and dark sugrar with some yeast tanginess with light woody tannin and moderately high aclohcol in the drying finish.

The flavor is intense with lots of wood which is supported by the malt which includes flavors of toffee and caramel with dark sugar and toasted notes and light raisin in the yeast flavor with subtle spice with alcohol moderately high as it finishes dry. Overall this is a great old ale, I loved the barrel flavor in this. I recommend this to anyone who likes strong ale with woody character -nice complexity.

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Photo of stakem
3.82/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle pours a clouded mahogany color with absolutely no head despite a vigourous pour. Some swirling releases a few large bubbles that collapse quick. The alcohol legs creep down the side of the glass.

The aroma is pungent of that typical bourbon tang coupled with residual sugary belgian candy. Faint hints of coconut, vanilla and oak all mingle together with a hint of caramel. No doubt the bourbon is center stage and the biggest attribute of the nose.

The taste continues with prominent notes of tangy bourbon. A slight fruity almost orange rind character before fading to a striking amount of oxidation. Some herbal bitterness is felt underneath the big boozy impact and sticky residual sugars.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light amount of carbonation. It tastes like it has been aged quite awhile. Perhaps the solera method is really starting to showcase the older aspects of the blend? It surely tasted oxidized moreso than I expected. Compared to the other barrel versions, this one is easily the most alcohol forward and hot. Not my least favorite but nowhere near as good as the whiskey and brandy version.

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Bois from The Bruery
95 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.