Marble Reserve Ale - Marble Brewery

Not Rated.
Marble Reserve AleMarble Reserve Ale

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

143 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 143
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 9.02%
Wants: 42
Gots: 21 | FT: 2
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: 143 | Reviews: 46
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.

Photo of rodlavers
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2013 vintage Reserve Ale.

Served on tap at the brew pub in Santa Fe, poured into a pint glass. Probably an inappropriate vessel for a beer of this nature. Freezing cold, needs to warm up considerably.

Not really much head, which is tan in color, recedes quickly, and leaves little behind. Super dark ruby/blood red in color, perhaps a bit of dark brown wood coloring.

Smells of bourbon/vanilla forward, with molasses and maybe subtle malt.

Taste obviously similar to smell, but I'll go ahead and emphasize as necessary. Bourbon/vanilla/molasses up front, with ever-so-slight malt in the middle and sweet bourbon finish.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a fantastic lingering aftertaste. Medium to light carb.

Overall this is delicious. It is definitely trying to be Backwoods Bastard, which is fine. It's not as good as the aforementioned favorite, but it's very good, and probably mislabeled here as an American Strong Ale. Must try. Cheers.

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 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.

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 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 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 emyers
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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 GabrielM
4.47/5  rDev +9%
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.

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 taxguyjase
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

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 DRyan
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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 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 duffman14
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark fruit, caramel, sweet vanilla, oak, bourbon. Incredibly smooth.

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 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.

Photo of OLaw
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of Nic1524
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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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Marble Reserve Ale from Marble Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.