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Samael's Ale - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Samael's AleSamael's Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,138 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,138
Reviews: 583
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 68
Gots: 275 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  16.90% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
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)

(Beer added by: ommegangpbr on 06-24-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,138 | Reviews: 583 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Zraly:
Photo of Zraly
4.63/5  rDev +19.3%

Tasted on tap at The Birch a few weeks back.

Poured a brilliant tawny with red highlights into a small snifter. Unexpected huge head but this was a nice surprise. The nose speaks of ripe fruit and a splash of spicey, feminine cologne. Yum.

The fruit nose carries into a fruit note and plays the main role in the general start and finish. Honey and cognac play second fiddle, while a deep, rich nutty-earthy note comes out to play. The alcohol is subtle, which spells danger. I found this highly drinkable for style. Full-bodied and low carbonation.

Really wonderful and special when one considers the seamless transition of flavors. The overall taste profile really knocks my socks off. I adore the cognac note and am totally down for serious love with a good stilton.

Zraly, Feb 10, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

oberon, Aug 19, 2005
Photo of RoyalT
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%

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.

RoyalT, Mar 12, 2007
Photo of TimBeaulieu
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

TimBeaulieu, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of Ben7773
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Ben7773, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of tuckevalastin
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

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.

tuckevalastin, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%

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.

orbitalr0x, May 20, 2006
Photo of bulldogg915
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

bulldogg915, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev +3.1%

danthehopslamman, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%

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.

lordofthewiens, May 08, 2010
Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev +3.1%

DaftPatrick, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of Beaver13
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%

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.

Beaver13, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of TTripp725
2/5  rDev -48.5%

TTripp725, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

SmellsofMahagony, May 22, 2013
Photo of jal_005
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

jal_005, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of Jason
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%

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.

Jason, Aug 02, 2005
Photo of tjthresh
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%

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..

tjthresh, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of merlin48
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%

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".

merlin48, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%

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!

Billolick, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of reitzbrewing
4.5/5  rDev +16%

reitzbrewing, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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.

Mora2000, May 07, 2011
Photo of burninggoat
5/5  rDev +28.9%

burninggoat, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of BigE90
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%

Batch 6

A: a sediment layer had formed in the bottom of the bottle prior to pouring. Upon pouring it was a cloudy amber color, after sitting for 10 it became a clear deep amber in color.

S: Was strong oak and alcohol smell upon swirling.

T: Definetly taste the oak within along with a sweetness like honey taste. The alcohol warms the mouth but not to over powering. Clean finish afterwards, no hops tasted.

M: Clean sweet aftertaste, no lingering bad aftertaste but can definelty feel the prolonging alcohol warming effect.

O: Not bad for a what I would classify as a strong ale. The sweetness of it is just a bit too much for me. Other than that a good strong ale.

BigE90, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of Prospero
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Prospero, May 01, 2014
Photo of magictrokini
2.93/5  rDev -24.5%

Disappointing. Pours brown with floaties suspended in the thick, carbonation-free liquid. No head could be forced from this one. Aroma is very nice, sweet and caramel with a heavy oak quality. The oak is very apparent in the taste, just as the description points out. Problem is it only enhances the overly sweet caramel-malt of this brew. The alcohol came out as the beer warmed, making this sticky-sweet syrup that became undrinkable. I will try this again, and pray I just got a bad bottle this time around. Maybe it will have gone down from its oppressive $8 a 12-oz price.

magictrokini, Dec 04, 2008
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Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,138 ratings.