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Marble Reserve Ale - Marble Brewery

Not Rated.
Marble Reserve AleMarble Reserve Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

46 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 145
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 8.98%
Wants: 42
Gots: 22 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 145
Photo of mikereaser
3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed blind thanks to the best BIF out there, Blind BIF 7

Bottle labeled #7 from quirkzoo

Pours from a black waxed 22 oz. bottle, its a murky deep chestnut brown with a half inch of tan foam that retreats to a layer of soapy bubbles leaving some decent lacing. The aroma is a mix of vanilla, coffee or some other roasted smell, there is a hint of sweetness that could be bourbon and maybe hazelnut as well. The first sip hits you with a lot of bourbon and vanilla, there is still that hazelnut sticking with it too. In the finish there is sort of a char burnt flavor to it that I think detracts from it a bit. Overall I am liking this beer but I think its hurt by the finish. The body seems too thin for a barleywine, maybe a strong ale as well. I've definitely never had this one before, the flavor seems very distinct to me, so I guess i'll pull off the cover and see what it is…

Marble Brewery Reserve Ale (aged in bourbon barrels)

so I wasn't too far off. Definitely one i've never had before. I really get a lot of hazelnut and that is one of my lesser favorite flavors in beer. I enjoyed it but was ready to be done with it at the end of the bottle.

Thanks quirkzoo for another new beer in this great BIF.

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Photo of Phelps
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one at GRG1313's tasting.

Pours a clear orange-red with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, and slight bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think the barrel aged presence is slightly better in the taste.

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Photo of DRyan
3.74/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber, brewed 4/5/12 served 10/14/12, poured into a Jester King Tulip glass served at 45 degrees.

A: Pours a purplish-reddish-brown with a mildly tan head that builds somewhat like a stout, but then thins out within a couple of minutes leaving behind thick lacing.
S: Mmmmm. Vanilla beans, toffee, sweetness in general, and a hint of cognac. Smells very similar to the 5-year-old Old Dominion Millennium barleywine I enjoyed a month back.
T: Unfortunately does not live up to the aroma. It's barleywine-esque, but has a strong bite to it, and not your average alcohol bite. It's almost an astringent like flavor. Not sure how to describe it other than "dislike." As it warmed up a bit, the sting softened quite a bit, but was still there. If it wasn't for that, this would rate MUCH higher on taste.
M: Smooth, somewhat velvety, but not thick
D: If it weren't for that unknown bite this would be great. I have a second bottle I'm going to age and I hope in a year or two when I try it again that sting will be eliminated.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev -7%
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

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Photo of brystmar
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
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?

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Photo of larryi86
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thank you gatheredwaters for this
22 oz bottle, dated 9/3/14, poured into a snifter

A- A clear deep red/brown with a two finger off white head.

S- Bourbon, toffee, caramel, some dark fruits, faint vanilla, oak, hints of earthy/piney hops.

T- Caramel, toffee, dark fruits oak, some bourbon, char, earthy/wet grass hops.

M- Medium body.

O- A decent bourbon barrel beer, could be balanced better. Smelled great up taste didn't follow up that while. Remind me of a barelywine.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of emyers
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark amber with a very thin off-white head.

Smell: Oak, toffee, vanilla, bourbon. Bourbon is fairly muted compared to many BBA barleywines out there, but definitely present and there is quite a bit going on with the base. Balanced and fairly complex overall.

Taste: Tons of caramel malt with bourbon and oak bringing up the rear. Bourbon is more prominent here than in the aroma, but ultimately the caramel malt really takes over, making this pretty sweet. Good, but could use some more hops or barrel character to balance out the malt a bit.

Mouthfeel: Full=bodied, medium carbonation. A little sticky given all of the caramel malt,

Overall: Solid offering, if a bit unbalanced.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra in a trade a while back. 04/05/12. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear mahogany hue with more red than brown with a very nice super dense and creamy tan two finger head that leaves nice lacing and a super thick one finger head. Pretty damn nice, this head just wont quit!

S - Aromas of nice rich bourbon, lightly sweet malts, toffee, faint vanilla, light dark fruits.

T - Taste is sweet malts, fair amount of booze, sweet caramel/toffee, faint darker fruits (raisins), chocolate. Quad like.. bourbon is nice albeit strong, some vanilla, not much barrel.

M - Mouthfeel is a hair on the cloy side, which would be helped drastically by some more carbonation as this is very lightly carbed.

O - Overall, not a bad beer. The appearance was exceptional but everything else was just solid. Bit boozy and sweet. Glad to try it but not blown away like I had thought I would be.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Drew for opening this bottle, a long time want of mine, served in a snifter. Beer is sort of copper / orange with a little haze, might just be a little chill haze though. A tight little off white head of tan bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, caramel and that's about it.

Beer is medium in body and good, hides the alcohol well in a malt backbone that dominates the beer. The finish isn't too bitter or dry, a nice bodied beer with good connectivity, I'd have ti again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Drew at a recent tasting.

The beer is transparent and fairly dark brown with a quarter inch or so of tan head that leaves some decent lacing on the snifter. The aroma brings caramels, malt, oak, booze. Nice flavor, with a prominent oak barrel presence throughout. Vanilla and bourbon impart a lasting sweetness that is balanced by a tannic, oaky character. Medium bodied and creamy. Overall, a solid beer and a nice surprise, as this beer wasn't on my radar. Recommended.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle into a Bell's tulip.

A- Pours a dark amber with a 1 finger light tan head. Small bubbles and trails of lacing on the glass.

S- Dark fruits, vanilla, maple and candi-sugar

T- Sweet caramel, toasted malts, dark fruits and some piney bitterness at the finish.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Very thin and slightly syrupy.

O- Nice beer that has good barrel aged characteristics.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased on sale for $9.99. Wasn't sure about this one but it was quite solid. Red color, decent ring of bubbles. Aroma is real nice, brown sugar, bourbon barrels, hint of alcohol. Flavor follows the nose closely, oak, vanilla, good stuff. This feels like an old ale or barleywine and it sort of reminds me of Abacus and Bligh's in a way but it falls just a bit short. Still for $10 it was well worth the money.

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Photo of Nic1524
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

St. Bottle

SM. I get an oaky and abundant vanilla note

T. Everything you smell you taste. It hits you wih a sweet vanilla flavor followed by a
solid oaky alcohol flavor.

O. This is a solid barley wine, but I don't know why it's not advertised that way?! The 1 pint 6fl. is probably a bit too much. I would prefer this if it were in a 4 pack 12oz, much like old stock ale which I would recommend before this beer.

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Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A - mahogany brown with very minimal head; no real carbonation present; minimal lacing yet still sticky looking

S - light bourbon notes; some real mild vanilla; smell is pretty mild in general...probably the only aspect this beer underwhelms

T - having just had Fruet last week, I can comfortably compare this as Fruet junior; dark fruit; fig; vanilla; bourbon; burnt sugar; candied grapes...damn good

M - medium bodied; lacking in carbonation; pretty smooth; not at all boozy, but still pleasantly bourbony

O - overall, I'm really impressed with the value here...$12 for this beer is amazing. It's got great flavor and honestly, that's where this one shines. Mouthfeel and nose are less than impressive, but the Abv and flavor notes are great.

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Photo of oline73
4.12/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Duff27
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of OLaw
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip at WOB Tempe. Surprised me with its power and then it's flavor. A delicious craft that reflects bourbon barrel aging without overpowering booze taste. A Belgian character without being a Belgian beer. Will order again and again. I feel the 9 percent without tasting it.

 287 characters

Photo of vurt
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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Marble Reserve Ale from Marble Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.