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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
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Reviews: 144 | Hads: 1,284
Photo of aleigator
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
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 lacqueredmouse
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.1/5  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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.11/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.13/5  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.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
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?

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
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 vette2006c5r
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1772nd Review on BA
Bottle to Bruery Tulip
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev -3%
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

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
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 mmapes
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The most I've paid for a bottle, but purchased because it's supposed to beat Old Stock from North Coast -- a personal favorite. Pours cloudy, dirty. Basically no head. It's kinda ugly.

Scent is wood, then alcohol, then maybe some dark dried fruit.

Sweet first, fruity, syrupy, maybe a little cloying. Very sweet on second thought, with a long oaky finish mellows the syrupy start. It's 15% ABV which is very high, but it doesn't taste hot -- the sweetness hides it perhaps. Velvety, carmely. Old stock is sharper than this. The more I sip it the more I like it -- the complexity comes out after the initial sweet shock.

Very expensive -- $34 after tax for a 750ml. But I would consider buying some more for the cellar. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Doug for breaking out this bottle - much appreciated! Bois pours a thick and deep, syrupy brown color that's only translucent up near the top of the brew, right below the head. The cap is light-tan in color and plumps up nicely before it breaks down into a swampy film and collar on the top of the viscous brew. Pretty much what you'd expect from a super high gravity old ale.

Sticky caramel, sweet molasses, brown sugar, and a heavy, heavy booziness that flows in and out of your nostrils, from one side of the other. This beer smells big. It smells big and sweet... and that's because it *is* big and sweet. Mild hints of vanilla and plenty of sweet dark fruits creep out, rounding out what is quite a large and robust aroma.

I take one sip and my palate is immediately coated with a warm, boozy, and sticky lathering of caramel, toffee, and sweet, plum and raisin preserves. The booze is ever-present and a touch more than warming, almost crossing over into "hot" territory. I will say, though, that the intense booziness sure helps to cut the equally intense malt sweetness that Bois is made of.

The afterthought is still loaded with finishing sweetness; toffee and caramelized sugars, with fading touches of sweet plums and raisins as an nutty and oaky kiss of death swoops in and leaves your palate feeling like you just made out with a stave covered in brown sugar. The body is thick and plump like Anna Nicole Smith yet still sexy smooth like Cameron Diaz's first appearance in "The Mask".

I still struggle with the question of "why does The Bruery choose to bottle their borderline hard alcohol level beers in gigantic ass bottles," as this would be another solid choice for twelve ouncers or even nips. It'll take you a while to trounce through six ounces even, but it'll be very tasty and decadent along the way. A very nice old ale that's as robust on the palate as it sounds on paper... or, excuse me, papier.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a wedding snifter.

Nothing better than bacon sammiches, a bounce castle, and more-than-ample beer supplies. This piece of equipment pours a brackish sienna topped by a half-finger of off-sandstone foam. The nose comprises buttery toffee, rich caramel, mild bourbon, light vanilla bean, a whiff of dark fruit, and an iota of wood. Man, I'm starting to run out of ways to say "a little bit"... The taste brings in more of the same, with a stronger contingent of dark fruits, but the caramel, toffee, and bourbon are taking no prisoners here. In the best way. Oh yes. The body is a hefty medium, with a rather light moderate carbonation and a thick feel. Overall, a damn fine beer, par for the course in this anniversary series.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared among many snifter glasses

Dark, murky brown/deep red body with a thin carbonation level across the top that fades quickly

The scent is a bourbon punch in the face that rounds out a bit to get some sweetness along the lines of deep fruits almost akin to a red wine.

Oak, vanilla, dried red fruits, with loads of bourbon and brown sugar. This is a perfect after dinner drink given the booze that isn't particularly well disguised and a definite sweetness. Coming across very much like a barleywine to me. This beer will likely improve with age as that bourbon heat should calm somewhat. An enjoyable beer but 4-5 oz was plenty for me in one sitting given the alcohol level and the heat that it produces on the nose and taste.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks BryanK

750ml bottle at fridge temp into a snifter.

Pours a murky dark brown color, minimal light tan colored head, nice legs.

Big sweet caramel, molasses, lots of bourbon booze, lots of nuttiness, possibly from the yeast.

Follows the aroma, with a bit more complexity, lots of dark fruits mingling with big caramel and molasses sweetness, smooth bourbon booziness, slight coconut, decent barrel character.

Big, fairly thick, sweet and boozey.

A pretty stand up BA old ale, on par with what I would expect from the bruery. Big, sweet, and boozey. Maybe too sweet?

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Photo of antott0523
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy melted caramel. Thin beige head that dissipates to a thin rim around the edge of the glass. A minor amount of carbonation visible at the surface.

S: Intense notes of dried fruit including figs and raisins. Sweet undertones including caramel, vanilla extract. Bready. Moderate booze notes of tawny port wine and bourbon.

T: Malt profile dominated by dried fruit including apricot, raisins and figs. Sweet aftertaste of caramel. Booze comes though strong as bourbon, with some smoother notes of port wine.

M: Full and sticky. Warmth from the booze.

D: Does it taste great? Yes. Is it drinkable in the sense that I can sit here and drink a bottle alone? No. This should be shared among friends that will enjoy the complexity of the beer. The alcohol is a bit overpowering and I hope I can find another bottle to age with the hopes that it mellows out. Overall though, very complex nose and flavor profile, and quite enjoyable for those reasons.

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Photo of Zaplt
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearence - Dark ruby hazy. Little tan head with very little retention.

Aroma - Vanilla, bourbon, alcohol, caramel, sweetness!

Taste - Amazing layers of deep sweet caramel, toffee, dark fruit - plums, dates, oak, bourbon, vanilla. Roasty toasty woodiness, yum!

Mouthfeel - Sweet and full bodied. Moderately low carbonation.

Overall - Delicious complex beer. The sweet caramel and fruit matches well with the bourbon and oak. Delicoius brew.

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Photo of shleepy
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at K&L in Redwood City. Poured into a Cantillon glass.

A: Dark brown, with a small head.

S: Very oaky, with a lot of vanilla. Slightly herbal.

T: Much like the smell. Like a very good barleywine that was barrel-aged for a long time, but without too much bitterness. It does taste like it it's strong, but hard to tell that it's an astonishing 15% ABV.

M: Smooth.

O: A solid stong, oak-aged beer.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml waxed bottle poured into tulip 12/1/14

A looks like cola, big tan head fizzes out quickly leaving zero lace, some fat legs and enough bubbles to give it a slow boil look
second pour has some foam with retention, my glass must have been dirty, still no lace

S big notes of vanilla, toffee, bourbon, wood, some port, a little chocolate, brown sugar covered raisins, some booze but I'd never guess its as strong as it is, faint smoke, more vanilla and bourbon

T heavy bourbon with the booze included, woody, a little spice I didn't smell, some booze soaked plum, not to far from the smell but I preferred the nose

M fairly full, hot and numbing, some tannins, not flat but low carbonation, a little slimy well after the fact, hits my chest just before the brain, a little sticky on my lips,woody bourbon sticks around to savor

O bourbon forward beer no doubt, big for sure and it drinks like a bad-ass, hot, woody, and intense all-around

This brew will be young in 5 years, world class stuff down the road but pretty tasty today, I can't say its worth 46$ but I just had to try it and will need to flip a coin to decide if I grab one to age or not.

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Photo of N_Schleret
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a 1 finger head that dissipates to a thin ring. Blotchy lacing. Looks like Coca-Cola.
S: Bourbon up front. Toffee/caramel, and vanilla notes follow.
T: Bourbon up front. Extremely sweet with toffee, caramel, and vanilla. Alcohol is noticeable but easy to drink with the high ABV.
M: Fills the palate. Dry and sticky.
O: ABV becomes more present as it warms up. Lots going on with this beer, very complex.

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Photo of kdahnke123
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.
L - Poured a slightly hazy medium brown with a minimal head. The head lasted not much longer than it took to pour and left no lacing.
S - Smells of banana, vanilla, caramel, oak and bourbon.
T - Tastes of candied fruit, bourbon, vanilla with a moderate amount of esters.
F - Medium mouthfeel with a little tang from the alcohol
O - A very nice old ale with plenty of dried fruit character. Having had the subsequent two vintages the integration of the flavors is progressing well.

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Photo of Amalak
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

I had at Torst in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
A. It is black with a red and tan head with some lacing.
S. so heavy and lovely. A lot of malt, cherry and alcohol.
T/m. This is lovely. Even of the tap it tastes like an aged beer. It's strong and full bodied, but it is a great barley wine.
O. So good but very strong.

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Photo of zac16125
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle into a snifter
bottled on: 4/10/13

A: Pours an opaque dark mahogany with just under 1 fingers width of tan colored head. Head dissipates down fairly quickly. Leaves absolutely zero lacing but some alcohol legs are noticable.

S: Aroma is huge, I can literally smells this beer as it sits 3 feet away from me on the table. Tons of sweetness, candied sugar, caramel and toffee. I also get a moderate about of booze, along with bourbon and oaky-vanilla from the barrel. Hints of vinous dark fruits and cocoa complete the aromatic profile. Very complex and quite frankly, wonderful.

T: The initial sip is vinous dark fruits up front, followed by candied sugar and toffee on the finish. Its very sweet, but thats balanced by a significant booziness. I generally am a fan of big boozy beers, but this may be a little much even for me. Lots of ethanol booze, as well as a significant amount of heat going down, which combine to detract from the other flavors in the palate profille. It somewhat mellows out as my palate adjusts. I then get some bitterness, subtle bakers chocolate, and oaky bourbon.

M/D: Pretty harsh at first, as it has a prominent burn going down. I actually haven't had a beer with this much heat in a long time, and I am quite surprised by this because Ive have many other high ABV Bruery beers and have generally found that they are one of the best at masking the huge ABVs. It does mellow out as I make my way through the drink. Its full bodied, and rather syrupy. Even for the ABV and style, drinkability is only fair. It does smooth out as it warms though, and gives a nice full bodied warming sensation on this cold night.

O: I love Old Ales, they are one of my favorite styles. This one was very good, but not exceptional. A bit harsh right now, but I suspect with time this one will only get better. Its hard to compare beers I drank over a year apart, but if my memory serves me right I prefer Fruet to this one. I look forward to doing an Anniversary vertical one day to compare side by side.

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