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Marble Reserve Ale - Marble Brewery

Not Rated.
Marble Reserve AleMarble Reserve Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

138 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 9.02%
Wants: 41
Gots: 23 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Marble Brewery visit their website
New Mexico, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: vurt on 11-21-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 44
Reviews by tjsdomer2:
Photo of tjsdomer2
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Almost looks like a stout. Nice white foam and very good lacing.

Smell: Roasted coffee. Not my favorite. I wish it was a bit more complex.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Some roasted coffee with hints of spice. Good full-bodied mouthfeel that I really like.

Overall Drinkability: This was pretty good, but Abbey darkness is better.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, mfg 12/17/12. Pours dark copper amber with a medium creamy off white head that goes to a thin film and laces the glass.

The aroma is perfumey vanilla , boozy bourbon and a little green apple.

The flavor is sweet chocolate malts with a lot of roast, bourbon with an alcohol bite and a smokey bitter finish that lingers. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice bourbon beer. Still a bit on the sweet and boozy side but had some interesting flavors.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery the second week of December 2013.

The beer was served into a tulip-shaped glass.

A- The beer had a thin, bubbly head of maybe a quarter-inch. The liquidd was light black with some brown hues. Almost more like a brown in terms of color.

S- I struggled to detect any aromas initially. Eventually the maltiness popped up, as did some sweet molasses, oak and dark roasted smells.

T- I was impressed by the sweetness of this beer, as it was the first thing I noticed on taste. This was followed by some oakiness and mellow hints of bourbon, followed by brown sugar, chocolate, and vanilla notes. The beer definitely came alive as it warmed a bit.

M- For a nine-percenter, this beer drank exceptionally smoothly and had very little booze presence. There was a good creaminess throughout and only a tinge of booze on the finish.

O- A good beer and one I enjoyed, but I also would have like more expression on the nose. The taste was great and I only expect more character from the bottles that I age.

Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent orange/ chestnut with a pinky of tan head. Stays effervescent, great lacing & above average head retention

S: Brandy, leafy hops, dark fruit

T: Plummy, figgy, dry & a touch boozey up front, some leafy hops. Slight sourmash notes combine, raisins & figs as this warms. Finishes dry with woody & herbal hops, with figgyness & just a whisper of apple crumble

MF: Medium bodied, light carbonation, skews fruity, thins out a touch as this warms

Booze & ABV are well hidden, a nice offering, not mind blowing

Photo of ncfrey
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Purchased for $14 at Jubilation. Poured into Left Hand Brewing goblet.

a - pours a deep but crystal-clear red-brown (think cola, a half-shade darker) with a thin tan head, poor retention. Leaves no lacing.

s - Oh my. Loads of vanilla, burnt sugar, dark fruit (raisin, fig, cherry), bit of toastiness. No hop aroma that I can discern, but hops may be the source of the hint of spice I'm picking up.

t - Bourbon barrel aged qualities dominate. Soft and mellow, but rich, with lots of vanilla and charred wood, and some molasses. The dark fruits are still present, mostly up front, but fairly subdued. Finish has just enough bitterness to keep it from being cloying. Toffee backbone supports without overwhelming other flavors.

m - Just like the flavor. Full, soft, smooth, and creamy. Pretty much ideal for this beer.

d - Remarkably high for this combination of flavor intensity and malt-forwardness. This bomber does not present a challenge for me.

Good on you guys, Marble. Still not sure this was quite worth the price tag (I've had beers just as good in the $9-10 range), but it's damned good, and not too sweet (for my tastes) like it seems all of the English old ales I've tried have been. My one tiny complaint would be that the dark fruits from the aroma did not carry into the flavor terribly well, but that seems to be par for the course.

Photo of DaveMarner
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A. Brownish amber with an inch of head.

S. I feel like I'm walking into the house when I was a kid and my mom is baking bread. Sweet maltyness with vanilla and bourbon. So far so good.

T. Oh yeah! Just like the smell. A bit more bourbon stands out and I also get some oak.

M. Medium carbonation, very smooth and almost buttery feeling.

D. Very drinkable. It seems like time is definitely on this beer's side. I'll sit on my last one for a few more months and then try it all over again. I can't wait!

Photo of CooperEllis
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Surprise box from hayesez that contained two Marble offerings. This is the first up. Thanks, Erik!

22oz bottle into .3l rastal fluted glass

A: "...my apartment smells of rich mahogany."

S: "So the team pancake breakfast is tomorrow morning at nine, instead of eight." Also; "It's a formidable scent... It stings the nostrils. In a good way."

T: This is an interesting brew. Certainly flavored as a strong ale, with a rich caramel, fig, raisin flavor which reads nicely off of the almost overpowering bready/maple syrup notes in the smell. Falls to the lighter side of flavor spectrum - not watery but a gentler side of strong ale - without losing the necessary body to satisfy the expectation. The alcohol that is upfront in the nose is not there at all in the flavor, instead married into the more complex dark fruit flavors.

M: "Great story. Compelling, and rich."

O: "I'm in a glass case of emotion."

(216th)

Photo of Flashsp2
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Marble Brewery Reserve Ale bomber into Stone IRS tulip (aged in Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels)

Slightly hazy super deep mahogany with ruby highlight. Three finger cream and orange head that slowly creeps up in size and looks like meringue. Excellent retention and nice sheeting lace. This is a great looking beer, even though I don't have a clue what category it falls under (American Strong Ale perhaps).

Vanilla is big on the nose, caramel, citrus, sweet and powerful bourbon, toasted oak, herbal hop, alcohol phenols, ginger ale, rum soaked raisins. There is a spicy and sweet tango here, which is very intriguing. I was expecting a more pronounced aroma, but it's not exactly soft and subtle either. The nose gives the impression that it will be hop forward, as are the large majority of beers coming from this brewery.

Wow. Blood orange, tangerine, vanilla, oak, bourbon, caramel, toasted coconut, ginger ale, light milk chocolate, earthy/herbal hop, and a dry and slightly bitter finish. There is this orange-creamsickle thing that is really delicious, creamy, and slightly sweet. It's odd, but it is totally orange-creamsickle. Lots of oak presence, and the bourbon really shines on this beer, which I am certainly enjoying. There is a bit of raw alcohol heat that is a bit of a detractor. This would likely cellar very, very well and take the edge off a bit. This beer is really all over the place, and it's hard to pin down all the flavors. It's like an Imperial Amber and Old Ale were blended and bourbon aged. Aged in a beverage produced by one of the finest distillers around.

The mouthfeel is a solid heavy piece with a low level carbonation. It is really a standout point of this beer, it's really what I was looking for in a BA beer of this magnitude.

Drinkability is high, but I'm going at it slow because this is such a complex and intriguing beer. I have had a decent amount of beer that spent time in various barrels (wine, bourbon, etc), but this is unlike any other beer I have tried. It would be damn near perfect if it weren't for the higher alcohols that are still present.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A generous extra from GHB. Thanks!

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy ruddy brown. A hard pour yields two fingers of clinging foam.

Smell: Stewed dark fruits up front, toffee, vanilla. Integrated oak and bourbon. Quite a bit of jammy date and raisin. There's a faded/oxidized hop note beneath all the richness.

Taste/mouthfeel: Sugary sweet. Heavy on the dark fruit flavors - a bit more than I'd like, but it's not hugely detrimental. Dates and raisins, almost quad-like in flavor profile. Plenty of vanilla coming from the oak, along with a touch of balancing dryness. Bourbon is present but far from overwhelming. Medium in body, leaning toward full; there's a lot of residual caramelized sugar here, despite the fairly modest ABV (for the style). Alcohol is very well hidden beyond a slight warming as it's going down.

Overall: Not spectacular, but very good. Marble is getting better at these barrel aged beers. I'd take their barrel aged imperial stout over this, but it's definitely worth trying.

Photo of injuredreserve
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Ruby red with thin tan head.

S: Bourbon and alcohol up front, followed by caramel malts and dark fruits.

T: Creamy caramel malt balance. Little alcohol burn linger.

M: Creamy, medium bodied that coats the tongue.

O: Very much enjoyed this one.

Photo of oline73
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish amber color with a half finger of off white head that fades to a layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Sweet with some nice caramel and vanilla notes. I'm getting some warm alcohol and dark fruit.

Taste: Thankfully, it's a lot like the smell. Sweet caramel and some vanilla bourbon notes. I'm getting dark fruit along with the other sweet flavors. The finish is warm and a touch bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a finish that is a bit dry.

Overall: I really enjoyed the caramel and vanilla bourbon notes. This brewery is two for two as far as I'm concerned. I would definitely have another.

Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.59/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle, 12/17/12, served @ 52F, snifter. From trade with KingJohnH.

A: Dark, deep copper color, thick pale head, with a dollop that lingers with the lacing during the session.

S: Vanilla, toffee, oak, fruity boozy smells in there too.

T: Follows the nose... Full on bourbon and oak, with a broad fruit base (date, raisin, dark fruits...) with some sweetness filling it out. The booze bites the tongue in the swallow...

M: Thick, syrupy. Low carbonation. There is a tartness that lingers, from the oak and bourbon, I think.

O: Great beer, glad I got to try it. Not available here.... sent on a recommendation in a trade for BBA stouts... Glad I tried it! Would cellar one if I had it.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Drew for sharing this bottle. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours brown with a nice tan head. Average lacing and a bit of a collar on the way down. The nose carries caramel with some bourbon and oak notes in the background. The flavor focuses on the oak bourbon barrel character, and also presents a touch of vanilla. Average duration of the flavor through the finish with some slight sweetness and a relatively-full, creamy mouthfeel. Well done.

Photo of chanokokoro
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. waxed bottle into an unbranded short-stemmed tulip/snifter

Pours a dark amber with garnet accents capped by a cream colored two finger head. Huge amount of gobs of splotchy lacing. A bouquet of dark fruit, underlying oakiness, light bourbon accents, and vanilla on the nose. Dates upfront, hints of plum, and currants joined by caramel and toffee notes midpalate. Finishes with a bit of apple peel, a bit of hop bitterness, and bourbon soaked oak. Big full body; syrupy but lightened by some fluffy creaminess. This really is a fantastic brew. If you have the means make sure to acquire a bottle.

Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is amber in color with a small off-white head. Has a pretty nice nose on it. Good bourbon and vanilla with plenty of oak and brown sugar. A nice caramel sweetness to go with some hints of dark fruit. The flavor is nice, but not quite as much so as the aroma. A bit thin with brown sugar, toffee, and dark fruit notes. Some bourbon and vanilla, but not the same level of intensity as the nose had.

Photo of vurt
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

13 oz. goblet enjoyed at the Marble Brewing Pub in Albuquerque, NM.

Appearance:
Reddish-brown, quite dark but not opaque. Beautiful deep red highlights. The head is cream-colored and tight, but doesn't last long. (In other words, not bad for a barrel-aged beer.) No lacing.

Smell:
A real bourbon-bomb. There is also a big brown-sugary sweetness cut with dry maltiness. Quite estery, plenty of fresh berries, mostly strawberry and underripe blackberry. As the beer warms I get light oak and vanilla aromas. But the bourbon is the leader here.

Taste:
A big hit of bourbon right up front, with plenty of sweetness that is somewhat disappointing as it is rather more sugary than malty. Rich, dark fruit flavors follow-- raisin joins the strawberry and blackberry from the nose. There is also an excellent range of oak, vanilla, and coconut flavors from the time spent in the barrel. The finish has the sweet and estery character of Stone Double Bastard, without the hop punch. Speaking of hops, all I get is a light earthy bitterness right at the start of the swallow. A little bit of orange peel flavor at the end rides on the coattails of a prominent alcohol note.

Mouthfeel:
Medium-bodied, with a feel that is a little grainy and a little oily at the same time. This one's a bit hot; the alcohol and medium carbonation leave a light burn on the palate.

Drinkability:
Drinkability is on the low side, as there are some big flavors here which could really use a chance to blend together better. I like bourbon, but I think this beer could actually use a little less of it. The sweetness could also be dialed back a notch. I am glad to see that Marble Brewing decided to bottle this one, as a year or two in the bottle could do wonders here.

Update (24 September 2011):
Age has been kind to this one. It still has a lot of bourbon flavor and significant heat, but the sweetness has diminished and new notes of roasted nuts, dates, and marzipan are emerging. The flavors are meshing together nicely. This beer is more like an old ale than it was 2 years ago. The mouthfeel has lost much of the grainy roughness it had the first time I tried it, and is now almost oily. I wish I had another bottle; this vintage tastes like it could easily go another couple years.

Photo of brystmar
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Josh!

Brownish-red body leaves an incredible amount of lace on my glass. Head stays through sickness and in health. Lots of oxidization in the nose, yet hints of brown sugar remain too.

Bourbon barrels make their presence known in the taste, carrying the booze with them. Dark and a bit roasted, minimal sweetness, finishes dry and somewhat alcoholic. The depth of flavor here cries out for more body. Definitely a Strong Ale and not a stout.

After the Marble BA imperial stout Josh brought last time, I had high hopes for this brew. It's still nice, though not nearly as impressive. But who can blame a BA for buying a nice-looking, waxed bottle?

Photo of mactrail
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great aroma of whiskey and malt. A touch of smoke, a lot of sweet malt, and a boozy, mellow finish. Just enough hops to provide some bitterness to ease all the richness. Coppery amber in the wine glass. The barrel smell and flavors are not overly strong but they make an impression with the first sniff, and linger along with the hops at the end. Nose of smoky whiskey lingers even longer.

Sensationally good stuff. Not quite as sweet and syrupy as a barley wine. One of the better barrel-aged beers I've tried. Perfect sipping ale for three of us on a chilly night. Sweet like a liqueur with an herbal note.

My bottle neck was dipped in black wax and the date was 12-14-10. I bought it in Santa Fe last summer so it must be a year old.

Photo of BentLegBrewer
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wonderful overall beer. very heavy vanilla smell and taste. pours think smells great but if vanilla isnt your thing dont come near this. Good alcohol burn that is masked well with the creamy sweetness. Split it, dont tackle this by yourself i fear that it would be similar to going after a pint of ice cream taste great with regrets later.

Photo of amcmaho1
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I should admit...this is my favorite Marble release.
Poured into snifter at the brewery...

Appearance: Deep amber-tobacco body, minor translucence. Frothy off-white head, spotty retention...nice lacing though. This beer looks exactly like it's been living in a bourbon barrel.

Smell: It's served a bit cold, but notes of vanilla, bourbon, char, toasted coconut, hazelnut, and alcohol are present immediately. The barrel notes on this beer stand out very nicely, and seem really nicely integrated; nothing is standing out too much as to overshadow the subtleties of the base beer.

Taste: Very big bourbon, vanilla, and hazelnut again. There's some nice hoppiness adding some counterbalance to the sweeter barrel notes, along with some nice biscuit malt finish. This is a really rich beer, and very complex.

Mouthfeel: Bordering on being a bit thin, considering the gravity of the beer. I'd like a little more chewiness and viscosity to the body, but as it stands now it's far from being undrinkable. I like the beer's dryness though...

Overall: Another exceptional seasonal release. This is one which ages gracefully, but is also exceptional fresh.

Photo of SykDoc
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this courtesy of Albuquerque Beer Geek, much thanks.

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, sadly my tulip was not in a good state. It pours a nice ruby/brown color. A 1 inch tan head forms and reduces to a nice over-the-top lacing. Carbonation is visible.

The aroma is a great blend of citrus hops combined with an oaky/vanilla sweetness. The malty sweetness and bourbon are definitely present.

The taste is great as well. A great blend of bourbon/alcohol combined with citrus hops, oaky-vanilla sweetness and a solid malt backbone.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a modestly low level of carbonation for the flavor. This does allow is to go down smoothly with a gentle texture and a minimal dryness at the end.

This is a great beer. I consider myself fortunate to have gotten my hands on it and would happily have another if given the opportunity.

Photo of Phelps
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An American strong ale aged for 8 months in Woodford Reserve barrels. Poured into a snifter at Boulders on Broadway.

Deep scarlet-brown, clear from certain angles, but opaque when viewed clear through. A half-finger head of fizzy light tan head becomes a thin oil slick.

Oodles of toffee in the nose — smooth and sweet. Oak, vanilla, caramel and toast round things out. The lightest touch of bourbon is a little subtle for my tastes.

Same deal here. Oodles of toffee and caramel, a hint of biscuits, burnt sugar cookie and a very little bit of toasted oak and apple juice. Again, just a hope — a whisper — of buttery whiskey.

Medium light body about matches the flavor intensity: not too heavy, a little thin. Some heat on the tongue is accentuated by lightly fizzy, peppery carbonation.

Not as tasty as expected. Good, but not great, and absolutely not worth what Boulders charged me for it.

Photo of HopHead84
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

6/26/2011

Bottle shared by a generous man at Stone Sour Fest.

A: Dark brown with a reddish tinge. The small brown head is fast fading.

S: A fantastic blend of bourbon and caramel with faint smoke notes. Toffee comes out as the beer opens up and I pick out a little date and bread. Light oak with some vanilla and coconut.

T: The taste is almost as good as the aroma, with notes of toffee and caramel melding seamlessly with bourbon and vanilla. The bready quality returns but this time is brings a faint nuttiness with it. Oak is evident in the bourbonic caramel finish.

M: Medium in body with lower moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and sticky.

Overall: This was very tasty. I'd never heard of this brewery and I had to put my sunglasses on to mask the tears welling up in my eyes when I beheld my empty glass. My voice betrayed me, cracking a few times as I tried to speak in false hearty tones about all the great sours on the list I was looking forward to trying. I was unable to hide my sorrow so I eventually sat silently and braced myself as grief consumed me.

Photo of Duff27
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Low tanish head on a brown body. Nice alcohol legs. Leaves a nice collar.

Smells of vanilla and cherries

Taste follows the smell as far as the cherries are concerned. Vanilla is muted compared to the smell. I'd guess this a tad higher than 9%.

I feel like the mouthfeel could be a little thicker and it would be more appropriate, but maybe that's just me. Low carbonation.

Wanted to give this a 4.25 for taste so I made up with it for a 4.5 overall. Great under the radar brew. Barrel aging meld pretty damn well. Thanks egrace84.

Photo of DrMattyB
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Tulip

A: Very Nice carbonation. Settles nicely into a thick 2 inch head that retains throughout. Beautiful crimson red and crystal clear. Lacing is beautiful.

S: Wood, vanilla, bourbon, a little maltiness. A much more subtle and complex smell than I expected.

T: Vanilla on the front with a hint of bourbon. A great malty sweetness in the middle. Finishes with the bourbon and a touch of alcohol heat (barely noticeable).

MF: Velvet. Nice smooth mouthfeel with just a bit of chewiness. Great carbonation throughout.

D: WOW! Best bourbon wood-aged beer I have ever tasted. Hesitated buying b/c I have never even been able to come close to finishing a bourbon beer. This one I could drink all night (or until I pass out). Fantastic beer.

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Marble Reserve Ale from Marble Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.