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Samael's Ale - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Samael's AleSamael's Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,268 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,268
Reviews: 608
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 79
Gots: 330 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  16.90% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ommegangpbr on 06-24-2005

A super-caramelly, oak-aged strong English-style ale, brewed with Columbus, Fuggels hops and two-row barley, caramel 150L malt.

2007: 14.50% (Batch #3)
2008: 15.53% (Batch #4)
2009: 16.45% (Batch #5)
2010: 15.82% (Batch #6)
2011: 15.31% (Batch #7)
2012: 15.47% (Batch #8)
2013: 16.90% (Batch #9)
2014: 14.20% (Batch #10)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,268 | Reviews: 608
Photo of Stagga_Lee
5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Initial notes include peat, caramel, toffee, and hazelnut.
Tastes deeper in the glass develop into fig, raisin, and stronger barrel notes. Another fine addition to the Avery legend series.

Photo of hardy008
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage

Pours a hazy amber color with an almost one finger off white head. The aroma has caramel, toffee, oak, dark fruit, vanilla, coconut, and sugar. Smells very sweet.

Tastes exactly like it smells. Pleasantly sweet, no bitterness for balance, but I don't expect that with an English Barleywine. The amazing thing about this beer is that there is no alcohol taste for a 14.20 % abv beer.

full bodied with carbonation. A great sipping beer. I am glad I was able to try this beer, and I look forward to trying this years version too.

Photo of bgold86
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle is a year old, purchased recently from a craft brew store. This is the problem, the beer has plenty of carbonation, great nose, and great taste, but the finish has a very clear and up-front sort of metallic/cardboard aftertaste. For a beer that's only a year old (and 14+%)to exhibit oxidation of this nature really doesn't bode well. Disappointing.

Photo of JonnyRebel
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank 2011 bottle, wine glass, 5/2/15. Really good

Photo of smith_s4765
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's way too freaking sweet.

Photo of Rice_Nate_25
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lacks the balance necessary for such high alcohol content, yet still a great idea/product

Photo of ELind77
4.76/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Unbelievable beer. Like drinking honey.

Photo of Absolut
4.29/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hot. Boozy. Raisin, dark chocolate. Espresso. Burns which is expected. Not much carb.

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2010 vintage. I consider myself lucky to have found this at a store only several months ago. I can imagine this being too hot when fresh, but nearly five years of aging have given this beer wow factor.

Photo of cjgiant
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap, 2013 version:
Pours amber with loads if tiny bubble carbonation, feeding a decent film on the surface. Edge head is fairly thick and lacing is pretty significant. Nose is very nicely sweet: coconut, vanilla, oak, raisin, caramel, a definite hint of booze, but not much for 16%.

Taste starts fruity and sweet, more the latter. Brown sugar (maybe even a tad burnt), caramel, vanilla, raisin, and raspberry-chocolate (light on the chocolate). The coconut mostly missing, but comes in a bit with a lime-coconut/oak/alcohol taste that leads to the end. This transition barely puts a dent in the sweetness. The end taste leaves hints of dark fruit, and still some dark sugar. Feel on a year is quite smooth, medium body but coating flavors make it seem heavier.

This seems like a fortified wine, which might work for some and du finitely not for others. I liked the complex flavors, but did grow weary of the sweetness eventually. A half pour or sharing may be the way to go. I assume a newer release would show its alcohol more, maybe a bit less sweet, also.

Photo of jpowelltheowl
2.98/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I am currently drinking 2014 draught. Tastes like a flat rum and coca-cola...

Can't say I'm a huge fan.

Photo of floridadrift
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Booze bomb! Avery always does it right, toffee, caramels, sugar-sweetness and alcohol fire!

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.8/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2014 vintage 12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, deep, dark, mahogany color, with a quarter of a finger of off-white or oatmeal-colored head that slowly dissolved away into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots of bready, toasted malt up front, followed by lots of dried stone fruit aromas, such as prunes, raisins, dates and apricots. There are also some big aromas of candied sugar, some vanilla, oak and boozy alcohol. Smells great! Honestly, these are the aromas that I was expecting, but didn’t get, from The Beast.

Taste: Oh. My. God! What a spectacularly, exceptionally, fantastically, incredibly, awesome beer! Tons of toasted malt up front, followed immediately by tons of balanced brown sugar, caramel and maple syrup-like sweetness, and dried stone fruit, such as prunes, raisins, dates and apricots. I also get flavors of burnt-orange peel, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, a touch of woody oak, and some faint, piney, hoppy, bitterness. Outstanding!

Mouthfeel: Chewy, creamy, yet slightly viscous, and smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 14.2%, there is quite a bit of pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: Words like spectacular, exceptional, fantastic, incredible, awesome, outstanding, etc., don’t do this beer justice! It is quite simply, one of the best beers I’ve ever had! I definitely need to pick up a few more bottles to age.

Photo of Brob245
3.02/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I'm a big fan of barleywines but his beer is way too sweet. It completly overpowers any other flavors and makes the beer hard to enjoy. A couple of sips and you are done.

Photo of Joestradamus91
3.19/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Way too sweet in order for me to fully enjoy. The nose was amazing with hints of oak and caramel but the taste was a let down. The alcohol was well hidden though as it did not overwhelm the drinker for such a huge beer with the March 2014 release.

Photo of Loudog1411
2.96/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks good, smells good, but waaaay too sweet for me. Couldn't finish the bottle and upset that I paid so much for a single bottle of this beer

Photo of RobinLee
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with a thin white head. Smells like butterscotch and caramel, perhaps some apple-y oak. Taste is very sweet, almost Creme Brulee sweet. Buttery apples and cranberries, caramel, brown sugar, hint of oak. Perhaps this is par for the course for an English barleywine (doubt it after experiencing BCBBW), but it was very sweet with not enough bitterness to balance it out.

Photo of JDW4195
2.88/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I was extremely excited to get this beer. I was extremely let down when I drank this beer. This should be some sort of flavored malt, or gimmick drink. It is not a beer, and no way in hell is this a barley wine. It tastes like half the bottle is pancake syrup, it is so sweet. I split half a 12 oz. bottle with a friend and we both struggled to finish it. The 2014 brew clocks in at 14.8%, and for the exuberant amount of money they charge for this beer it is a huge let down. Don't let curiosity kill your wallet, IT IS NOT WORTH IT

Photo of Port_Seat
4.5/5  rDev +16%

2009 keg drank 12/2014

Photo of StoutHunter
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Avery's Samael's Ale a month and half ago for $8.49 at Holiday Market. I've been meaning to try this beer and it's the first time I've seen it in a long time and I knew I had to get it, so lets see how it goes. bottled March 2014 Batch #10 14.2% abv. Poured from a brown foiled 12oz bottled into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, it's got a nice design to it and i think it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice hazy caramel color that took on more of a ruby and crimson color when held to the light with one fingers worth of tan head quickly died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left some patchy lacing behind. This is a really nice looking beer, I have no complaints at all, the head was better than expected.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness that has a molasses like aroma to it with the oak being the first to show up and it imparts a nice and big oak aroma with the vanilla really coming through nicely and some nice woody aromas showing up in the background with just a little bit of toasted coconut aromas. Up next comes the alcohol which is very noticeable and it's followed by the malts which impart a nice caramel, toffee, caramel malt, barley, slight fudge and sweet malt aromas with the caramel really sticking out the most and it goes well with the oak aromas. This beer had a very nice aroma, I really liked it but's it is very sweet smelling.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts of with high amount of sweetness that has more of brown sugar and slight molasses aspect this time with the malts being the first to show up this time and they impart all those nice aspects that they did in the aroma with the caramel still sticking out the most and it's followed by a somewhat lighter dark fruit flavor. Up next comes the oak which imparts the same nice aspects that it did in the aroma with the vanilla still sticking out the most and the combination with the caramel flavors makes it feel like a sweet ans sticky dessert. On the finish comes the alcohol that's pretty noticeable and warming with just a light burn to it that goes into the aftertaste along with a lot of sweetness and some caramel and vanilla flavors. This was a nice tasting beer I enjoyed the caramel and oak flavors, but the sweetness was a little too much for me.

M- Not the smoothest, warming, not crisp, syrupy, sticky, fairly cloying, full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. This beer had a decent mouthfeel, but it was too sweet and sticky for me.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a nice example of the style, it had some pretty nice flavors going on, but it seemed like for every good aspect there was a bad one and that just held this beer back from being a standout for the style. This beer didn't have good drinkability, it wasn't the smoothest, it was warming, not crisp, syrupy, sticky, fairly cloying, filling and the taste did a nice job of holding my attention, but the sweetness didn't, half the bottle is the perfect amount for me, I might struggle to make it through a whole one just because of the sweetness. What I like the most about this beer was the malty caramel flavors and the nice flavors and aromas that oak imparted. What I liked the least about this beer was the sweetness it was just way to sweet for me. I might buy this beer again and i think I would attempt to cellar one to see how it ages and if any of that sweetness fades away over time. I would only recommend this to people who enjoy really sweet and really strong beers. All in all I'm glad I tried this beer, but I didn't love it, I just found it to be pretty rough around the edges, but it did have some really nice flavors and aromas to it. This isn't my favorite beer from or Avery or my favorite of the style, it falls in the middle in both aspects. I appreciate the effort it took to make a big beer like this, but the super high sweetness just isn't for me, better luck next time guys.

Photo of fooferjw
2/5  rDev -48.5%

a drain pour tried to let get room temp made it through about half just way to sweet almost over powering sugar

Photo of CX2600A
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Malty and very strong! A great sipping beer and great on tap!

Photo of djchrismac
2.76/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The aroma was awesome. That's about all I can say good though. This was my first ever "drain pour". Just way, way too sweet for me.

Photo of AtrumAnimus
2/5  rDev -48.5%

This one pours a very dark orangish tint with a very thick, very long lived head that is off white and settles very slowly leaving a nice complex lacing down the glass.

The nose is buttery spice, alcohol with some earthy notes, pine, bread al floating on sweet fruity malt and apples.

The taste is very strong and dominated by the alcohol and a very strong malt base that has notes of bourbon. The flavors are rather overwhelming to the palate and not balanced. The finish is dirty and not that good. The flavors are a jumble of bourbon, hops, fructose and alcohol with a tinge of breadiness.

The mouthfeel is the best part of the beer. There is a nice silky mouth coating experience to this beer.

Overall the texture is very rich and satisfying, just the fact that the flavors are a mess and a jumble detracts from the overall experience. This beer is not drinkable and very disappointing as I am a huge fan of Avery and love many of their beers immensely. I highly recommend avoiding this one.

Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, red-foil capped bottle, 2014 edition (batch #10), and 14.2% ABV, this time around.

This beer pours a clear, medium red-brick amber hue, with two healthy (huh) fingers of loosely foamy, and mildly bubbly beige head, which leaves a few instances of splotchy snow rime lace around the glass as things very slowly sink away.

It smells of sharp, wooden alcohol straight off the bat, followed by some dense bready caramel and toffee sweetness, heady pale orchard fruit, bruised banana, brown sugar, a separate leafy, perfumed alcohol essence, and a relatively subtle - which only means so much here - savoury, almost current seasonal spiciness. The taste is boozy banana right away, before the rest of the alcoholic's bread recipe comes crashing through - thick, almost gooey caramel, bread pudding, and soused cinnamon and nutmeg spice esters - with some vanillan wood, muddled black fruit vinous port notes, and rather sedate earthy, leafy hop bitters.

The bubbles are quite understated in their low-key frothiness, the body a viscous medium-full weight, and smooth and creamy and boozy and smooth and creamy and boozy, and well, you get the idea. It finishes sweet, sweaty (me, not the beer), well warm, ethereally woody, and complex in its fruitiness, but not really anywhere else.

While this Hades-tempting offering may be a bit young (all the better, eh, Beelzebub?) at this point in time, it's still a pungent, palate-punching mouthful. The thing is, other than the lurking, erupting alcohol heat, I can't imagine the rest of this changing all that much after any amount of long-term aging. And that's why I don't feel bad about having opened it now.

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Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,268 ratings.