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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 amcmaho1
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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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 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 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 mactrail
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of SykDoc
4.45/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of injuredreserve
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of DaveMarner
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
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!

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Photo of HopHead84
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


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.

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Photo of ncfrey
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of DrMattyB
4.88/5  rDev +18.4%
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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Photo of GabrielM
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

A - a deep brown, not nearly as dark as I expected. Decent amount of off-white head on top that sticks around for a while.

S - sweet bourbon and vanilla right up front, brown sugar, dark fruit, creamy maltiness, maybe a hint of coffee and clove.

T - bourbon and vanilla are dominating this baby, in an awesome way! A good amount of malt and a minimal hop presence are evened out by a slight alcohol warmth that is quite welcomed on the this snowy night.

M - lighter and creamier than expected, which is an awesome thing. Any more thickness would detract from this brew, but I think it's right on point.

D - the 9% is the only thing that will slow me down, but other than that this beer is knocking my socks and inhibitions off.

This was my first time having the highly regarded Marble Reserve and I really couldn't be happier. It's in the same field as Angel's Share or FW14, which are two of my favorite beers, but much liter in color and body, and therefore is really unique to me.

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Photo of Flashsp2
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of taxguyjase
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours an auburn hue with an obvious thickness. The head is creamy tan and doesn't go away at all. The bourbon aroma is heavenly and very appetizing. I had a moment when I took my first sip - the rich, sweet bourbon flavor is powerful and delicious. You'll also get some vanilla and woodesy oak taste. Creamy would be the best way to describe the consistency - the vescocity of the beer really coats your mouth and the glass. The strength of the brew (at a whomping 9%) doesn't overpower your mouth though, as that could have a downside of the beer. Instead, it is a very clean beer that leaves your palate demanding more. Wish I could get this beer all the time, but there is something said for it being selectively available - you really appreciate it when you have it. If you can still find this at Quarters, Kelly's, Jubliation, or the Triangle Grocery (in the east mountains), it runs about $12-$14 a bomber and well worth it.

Apperance - 4.0/5.0 -Pretty auburn hue with a creamy tan head
Smell - 4.0/5.0 - Sweet bourbon aroma that isn't so overwhelming that you end up thinking you stuck your nose in a bottle of Woodcreek Reserve
Taste -5.0/5.0 - Creamy, sweet bourbon flavor that doesn't overpower your taste buds
Feel - 5.0/5.0 - Clean, smooth and creamy
Drinkability - 4.0/5.0 - Price tag is a big high, which makes this a very delicious, but OCCASIONAL, treat!

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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.