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Samael's Ale - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Samael's AleSamael's Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,252 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,252
Reviews: 603
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 75
Gots: 327 | FT: 23
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: 1,252 | Reviews: 603
Reviews by TheBrewo:
Photo of TheBrewo
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

We crack a bottle labeled “April 2012, Batch No 8, 736 Cases”, and pour a brew of rich, tawny copper coloring. It holds a nicely reproducible one finger head of vanilla pudding colored bubbles, showing okay retention. This leaves spots clinging to the glass, and an aggregate over half the glass and around the edges of the liquid. A thick chill haze permeates the clarity, and large chunks of yeasty sediment are seen throughout, despite a slow pour. Carbonation appears to be moderate. The aroma starts with insane, cloying sweetness, even when cold from the fridge. As it warms, the malts are pulled more forward to match the outright syrupy sugars, taking form as toasty, bready caramels, with lighter brown malts off in the distance. Otherwise the nose fills with browned apple sweetness, thick and sweet brandy booziness, bright vanilla extract, soft oak, yeasty metallics, red cherry, milder buttery diacetyls, sweet banana esters, and black pepper spiciness. With temperatures approaching that of the room, a pseudo-smoky leathery quality came out, furthering the cause and balance against the dextrin sugars. Our first impression is that the flavoring, especially through the end, is quite hot and borders on unnatural, but remains interesting and extremely robust throughout. As we sip, the taste opens with cloying sugars, as in the nose, burning sting of booze across the tongue, stark black pepper, syrupy caramel malts, and strong phenolic plastics. Peaking is the sweetness max of the taste, with those dextrins, straight brown sugar, thickly toasted caramel malts, faint molasses, banana esters, and distant smokiness. The end comes with bite of pencil woodiness and graphite, iron, melted Army men, soft smoky char, red apple sweetness, warming Christmas spice, peppery booze, and only lighter balance at this point from those sugared caramels and cereal graininess. The aftertaste breathes of those aromatic leathers, plastics, gritty yeastiness, seriously drying oak, big moss, mineral, gravel, sweet booziness of amaretto, rice grain, metallic graphite, and tinny metallics. The body is full and thick, while carbonation is medium to high. There is wild tingle on the tongue and gooseflesh inducing pucker from the booze and the sweetness respectively. The mouth quickly burns to a definitive bone dryness, with the tongue left moving like sandpaper down the hard palate. Each sip gives nice slurp, sip, cream, froth, and finishing pop, and the lips are left a touch sticky. The abv is huge, but decently hidden, and the beer sips slowly, but nicely.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its taste. This is actually our first taste of the “Demon” series, and it certainly did not disappoint. Samael brought it hard to the palate with massive bready sweetness, nicely matched oakiness, and strong booziness through the end of the sip. While things may have not been the most balanced and concise, the more noticeable inclusions of leather, light smoke, and plastics were happily welcomed to the party, integrating pleasantly amongst the general strength and bigness of this beer. Things calm down quite a bit with warmth, through both the nose and the taste, helping to keep it much, much closer to style and approachable. This guy is monstrous, and considering the abv alone, you should definitely fight off the darkness with some friends, or you just might get swallowed up in it.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rich deep burnt orange with a white one finger head that clings nicely to the glass,seems to be quite highly carbonated.Big vanilla bean aromas go well with the underlying oak almost a spiced rum feel on the nose.Chewey thick mouthfeel but it glides nicely down the hatch coating the mouth nicely just sublime,flavors like aroma are heavy on vanilla but there is dried fruit flavor as well like prunes and or raisins.This a sipper but is exceptional when sipped another big winner from Avery.

Photo of RoyalT
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This wasn’t “florescent orange” like I noticed last year but was not clear and had a small head. The ABV was unchanged from 2005 so I guess that makes sense.

Smell – The orange and especially the cherry are very strong at the nose. They drown out any sense of hoppiness. The aroma though is excellent without a hint of alcohol or cheap ingredients.

Taste – The raunchy wine flavors are almost moldy and the wood is soaked and soggy, The alcohol is much more noticeable at the taste. The flavors work well together but lack any hint of hops that is presumed from the style classification.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied with no boozy mouth sting.

Drinkability – This is one of the more drinkable samples from the Avery booze dungeon. It didn’t get a stellar rating but I will buy occasionally.

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of TimBeaulieu
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of Ben7773
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of tuckevalastin
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Cloudy copper with a small off white head

S: Strong caramelly sweet smell with hints of oak. Lots of booziness.

T: Huge caramel malt flavors dominate the taste. The sweetness also hints at dark fruits. The booze is also noticable here, as is the oak.

M: Full bodied and creamy. Not much carbonation and alot of heat. No bitterness though.

D: Sip, Sip, Sip... the malt sweetness and heavy alcohol don't attempt to hide in this beer.

Overall, I bought this beer without reading the label and without knowing anything about it. I was surprised at how big it is. I've had lots of big beers and this seems to be one of those that "brags" about it's bigness. The booze becomes too much of a focal point and the malt sweetness is a bit over the top. This isn't necessarily a bad beer just isn't the best of its kind.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been waiting some time to try this big boy from Avery. Sweet angel of death label. The Samael's pours from the 12oz bottle a slick reddish orange hue with a small taught bubbly off white head. Slow moving active carbonation appears to have to work its way against the brew. Aromas begins intensly with sweet caramel and a huge array of fruits. Plum, raisin, black cherry and more. Wisps of vanilla, alcohol and a well integrated oaky note. A sweet, decadant brew with resinous hops lurking in the background. Draws me into the beer, which is always a good thing.

First sip brings an intense blast of incredibly sweet viscous caramel maltiness with brown sugar. Fruity flavors spread out all over the palate, notes of cherry, grape, plum and raisin. A bit hit of toffee and vanilla moves in midway through each sip. Flows down with a good dose of oak and a touch of hops. There are so many flavors going on here! Alcohol is evident but not overpowering. Overall, tasty stuff, but it ends up being too damn sickly sweet for me and that takes away from the experience.

Mouthfeel is big, thick and dense. This is a sipper for sure. Goes down smooth without too much alcohol bite. Drinkability is definetly hindered due to the abv and the sweetness here. One bottle is more than enough. A very tasty brew, just needs to have the sweetness dialed down IMHO. I'm looking forward to the Mephistopheles in my cellar, as I sampled it at the EBF and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Photo of bulldogg915
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of Joebraggot
1/5  rDev -74.2%

Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 4, bottled April 2008. In a snifter it was a pretty cherry amber color with a small tan head. Very sweet aroma, caramel and fruit. Fairly hot alcohol aroma. Sweet, sweet taste. Caramel, a bit of fruit, some late hops. Alcohol still pretty noticeable. Syrupy mothfeel. A barleywine on steroids.

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Beaver13
3.17/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle (2005). Pours a hazy orangish reddish amber with small floaties. It has a thin off-white head that quickly goes to a thin collar.

The aroma is sharp alcohol (nail polish remover and fuel) and fruits (figs and pineapple) with some very sweet caramel.

The flavor is a burst of treacly candy-like sweetness. There is some fruitiness (apple, raisin and melon) and woodiness and caramel in there. There's a little burnt bitterness at the finish. The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden (I was expecting the worst after smelling it). The mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily/syrupy.

Overall, it was definitely interesting. Way overboard on the sweetness, which I normally hate but this was surprisingly not that bad. I found myself freely sipping it rather than forcing it down which I normally do with the sweet beers.

Photo of TTripp725
2/5  rDev -48.5%

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of jal_005
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Jason
3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz red foiled brown bottle with a vintage date on the label.

A- Pours a thick off white head that looks so damn creamy and sticks to the glass well. Deep orangey amber shows some tiny bubbles struggling to rise to the top.

S- Fusel, paint thinner, cherries and lemon peel soaked in grain alcohol. Cooking wine?

T- Malty and sugary sweet, bordering cloying. Quick ruffle of hops, then the alcohol sets in with a slow warming feeling. Ripe berries with a layer of caramel show the sweetness off even more, mild tartness in the middle. Faint oak character ... vanilla and a earthy nutmeg.

M- Syrupy body with a viscous creamy smoothness.

D- All I could do was take little sips ... very heavy on the palate. A 12oz bottle could be split among two or three people as an after dinner drink.

Photo of tjthresh
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When is enough enough? Smell like scotch whiskey, and tastes like scotch whiskey. Hell, it must be scotch whiskey. It all tasted fine. My score relect that. I think everybody should try it. With that being said, Samaels doesn’t really have many characteristics of a beer..

Photo of merlin48
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter. Body is a slightly hazed, copper amber color with a small beige head that quickly disappears without lacing. Aroma is fusel and phenolic, with aggressive notes of brandy and bourbon. Cotton candy notes from the turbanado sugars. Overripe peaches and apricots, drenched in brandy. A mild accent of vanilla, and just a hint of char and oak. Mouthfeel has a medium body and low carbonation. Warming alcohol is inescapable. Taste has sweet vinous notes and an assertive alcohol warmth. Nice array of fruits, with baked raisins, stewed apples, and overripe apricots. Some apricot nectar infused with sherry. Huge and powerful, and intended to be so. Nothing subtle here. Very over the top, but not overwrought like the 2004 Beast. Quite drinkable, actually, but watch your step. Avery made a wise move by releasing this in the smaller bottles. A bomber of this would be a bit too heavy for just one person. Thick and syrupy, and big alcohol with a solid fruit component await you here. This is the "Mini Beast".

Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer "bottled in 2005", with a red foil covering and nice looking art on the label. Pours a farily dull shade of almond, that upon close inspections reveals a fruity fruity dark melon hue, the puffy head noisily shrinks to a thin film and leaves some spotty and fine lacing. Nose here is of some fresh fruits and then mostly fusil alcohol and some paint thinner/varnish type of odor. This stuff smells strong! I consumed this at about room temperature. Very flavorful and obviously stong beer. Notes of vanilla, sherry, port, oak, leather, minty freshness and glowing, warming alcohol. Wow, what a brew. This will be over the top for many, and too sweet for others, but I found it to be a potent late night sipper, would be fine with some stinky cheese, pepperoni, nuts, dark bread or with a decadent dessert. I'm sure this would be amazing after 3-5 years of careful, temperature and light controlled aging. If youve got that type of patience. Strong beer lovers-Go get some and enjoy!

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 4 from 2008.

The beer pours a deep red color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the oaked notes with some toffee mixed in. I also get some alcohol and dark fruit notes.

The flavor is once again very heavy on the oak. The background flavors include toffee and caramel malt as well as some cherries and plums. There is also a brown sugar and molasses sweetness that adds to the beer. Finally, the alcohol is quite present, as you would expect from a beer that is nearly 15 percent.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of burninggoat
5/5  rDev +28.9%

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Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,252 ratings.