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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

605 Reviews
THE BROS
77
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 605
Hads: 1,325
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 14.47%
Wants: 80
Gots: 352 | 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)
2015: 14.60% (Batch #11)
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 605 | Hads: 1,325
Photo of BigDank
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nothing like a good oak-aged barleywine. This one pours a nice medium brown / amber color with a medium head and a strong smell. Warming alcohol burn from beginning to end but worth it all the while. This one was Batch 4 (April 2008) with an ABV sitting at 15.53%. Drank from a snifter slightly cold (my mistake) but would probably have been even better just at cellar temperature. I really wish we could get Avery here because they make some of the best beers around. Samael's I would have to say though is near the top of the list along with The Beast and Maharaja. May not be something you can drink all night but I wouldn't mind being the one to try. Will have to make sure to grab a few of these the next chance I get. A+ (726 characters)

Photo of Stagga_Lee
5/5  rDev +29.2%
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. (188 characters)

Photo of snipersb23
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been a member of this site for a while but this was the first beer that I had to vote on. May be the best beer I've had and I've had thousands of them. Similar taste to Samichlaus except even better (which I didn't think possible). Incredibly smooth going down for 14.5% alcohol. Would love to see how this ages in the bottle. A must try beer for anybody. (355 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
4.97/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from tasting at Manderes.

A - Red-copper in color, medium head, dissipates slow.

S - Very wheaty, oak, pine, and yellow grapefruit.

T - Oak, wheat, corn, and pine. Superb.

M - Well balanced, easy to enjoy. Perfect with a cigar.

D - Possibly the best ESA I've had. (275 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.96/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Batch 5 ('09) had in late 2012. Poured from a small bottle (it has to be small, this one was more than 16% abv) into a small snifter. Shared with two lucky friends.

A: Nothing special. Reddish brown, with so little head that the color of the bubbles is indiscernible (maybe the most specific notes on the head of a beer I have ever taken), but I didn't want the appearance to drag down the rating of this beer.

S: Nose is full of dark fruit and red wine.

T: Sweet vanilla (I love it already), oak, very nice bourbon character, cherry, red berries, a touch sour. Alcohol is present, but dangerously hidden.

M: Full bodied and smooth (of course it was smooth, it was more than 3 years old probably).

O: CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED!!! If you live in California, you can probably still find this beer, but it's old, and trust me, very much worth your money and time looking for it. My rating is going to be a bit higher, just because I feel it is so underrated on BA. (962 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
4.94/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First, let me say that I've had very mixed experince with barleywines. Had I known this was one, I probably wouldn't have had it. As it turns out, this was an absolutely perfect beer to toast the passing of a friend. Monte would have loved it. R.I.P.

Pours a rich dark amber color with a good, light tan head. Good retention too. Looks like bourbon.
Smell is malt, oak, bourbon with a faint hint of apple cider vinegar.
Taste is AMAZING! Sweet with flavors of bourbon, green apples, perfectly roasted malt, grape, a hint of smoke and charcoal and more that I could even figure out. The most complex beer I have ever had, by far, period.
Very full bodied, oh so extremely smooth, creamy, luxurious on the palate, just a liquid velvet flowing across my tongue.
You must drink this beer! An all-time Top 10 beer. (816 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.87/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

So I'm celebrating my 250th review with a sexy selection from my cellar. Poured into a Southern Tier tulip-style glass. Label says Bottled in April 2009 Batch 5.

A- Pours a dark, murky brown color with a full two-finger off-white head that retains a little before reducing to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Average lacing.

S- Very sweet bready malts with some oak astringency in the background. Notes of maple, vanilla and caramel.

T- A lot of sweetness that's mostly malt-driven but the oak chips are definitely big contributors to the party. Boozy, medicinal aftertaste that reminds one of the ABV but isn't too powerful. Tannins develop on the palate as the beer warms. Complex flavors of vanilla, molasses, raisin and bourbon.

M- Sharp and full of alcohol twang with a semi-dry afterfeel and also syrupy. Medium-low carbonation.

O- Surprisingly, the best out of the trio. A bit challenging to finish the bottle, but that's what friends are for. (1,005 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
4.87/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I went for a long run, came home and got cleaned up before tonight's Yankees-Boston game, and thought about grabbing a summer beer, then thought twice about it. Although I've had a few good ones this summer, I figured what's the point? After several disappointments, why not try something more complicated, a different style, something that looked intimidating and brash?

Something like Samael's Ale. This was truly a surprise, a big, bold, brash, complex but sweet beer. It poured no foam at all, but emitted a cloudy, dense cider-brown with crimson trim--very impressive. The nose is big and boozy, but full of berry, fig, brown sugar, molasses, oak, and orange, all tremendous. The same goes double for the taste, sweet with berry, sugar, oak that is present but could be bolder, somewhat syrupy yet not cloying. Great mouthfeel, thick without exactly being viscous. In fact, the mouthfeel is a slightly effervescent cider in texture and to a degree in taste. The alcohol is masked well, but creeps up near the end with a flash of tightness. However, this one isn't difficult to drink in the slightest. There is strength to this strong ale, but its sweet, complex taste is a revelation, a very sweet strong ale.

Quite simply, one of the very best beers I'd ever had, and one of the three best I've ever had from Avery. A triumph. (1,334 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.84/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 3. April 2007. Picked this up in late 07' as I recall. Have several samael's in the cellar.
Appearance: murky brown especially close to the end of the bottle.
Smell: huge and awesome! I must be a weirdo cause this brew gets little love on ba, and I consistently am floored every time I open one. Dark and bright fruits. Redolent and buttery with caramel.
Taste: all the promise of the nose delivered in a port like magic.
Overall: a transcendent creation. Avery take a bow.

August 2015 Edit. Drinking a Batch 5 from 2009. Holy shit this is good. No alcohol present at all. (580 characters)

Photo of neenerzig
4.82/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A bottle of Batch # 3 (2007) at 14.9% ABV. Poured into my snifter. I bought this beer from the Party Source in Bellevue, Kentucky when I was in Cincinnati at Jungle Jim's for The Weekend Of Fire in early August 2010, and my good buddy Passow and I had to make the trip across the river to this fine establishment to get fine beers like this we can't buy here in Ohio due to totally bullshit laws and asshole politicians. I had been storing it in my cellar until earlier tonight. This beer pours a cloudy, hazy medium copper brown color. Has lots of floaties in it, as man does this beer have a shitload of yeast sediment in it! The most I've seen in any beer in awhile, that's for sure. Also has a tan head that is about 1/3 inch thick when poured that quickly settles to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass pretty after first being poured. Not much lacing here either, and only a very slight bit of spotty surface foam. Sweet aromas of caramel, dark fruit, oak goodness, brown sugar, maple syrup, and alcohol are fill the nostrils nicely upon taking some nice deep whiffs. Elegantly sweet yet lightly salted caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit (raisins, plums, cherries, bananas), slightly roasted nuttiness, maple syrup, a hint of butterscotch, and it is all rounded out with a slight taste of alcohol. No discernible hop presence here whatsoever, but I guess that comes as no surprise when a beer has been aging for 5 + years, right?! Fairly boozy tasting for a beer with this high ABV. I've had other beers in the same ABV range where the alcohol taste was masked or blended into the beer as a whole better than it is here, but this beer is still absolutely amazing! Has a smooth, creamy, sticky, slightly chewy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with light carbonation. This one really coats the inside of the mouth and the tongue with a thick layer of syrupy, boozy goodness! Dangerously drinkable for a beer of this caliber. And to quote my good friend Passow "This is a beer that is so good that you can drink it in bed and it will lull you to sleep."

Eric (2,073 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.8/5  rDev +24%
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. (1,510 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.8/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I first found this beer on a trip to Philly at Monks and decided I needed to track it down for another visit to my belly! I am pouring at room temp into a tulip snifter.
The beer pours a clear chestnut with bright red highlights. A small 1 cm off white creamy head foams up and fades gradually to an edge layer with a few small islands remaining on the surface of the beer. The aroma is great! I get oak, bourbon, brown sugar, some bitey alcohol and a bit of molassess as well. Seems to be on the sweeter end as no hops are really present but that is just fine I like the big sweet brews!
First sip reveals a fairly thick body with very mild and spacious carbonation. Slightly syrupy texture that adds to the thickness. Flavor starts sweet with brown sugar and molassess and some dark fruit, plums and red grape mostly. A sweet sugary film coats my lips after each sip. The beer stays sweet from start to finish and doesnt get cloying IMO. No hint of the 14.5% until the beer hits my belly and gets warm.
I really enjoy this beer and would buy it almost anytime I see a bottle. This is a malt lovers brew and a sipper. Two of these and I am sure I would be all set for the nite. This is by far the best beer I have had from Avery and the best I have sampled in a while overall. Buy it if you see it and send me a few!! (1,321 characters)

Photo of warmstorage
4.8/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle, brought in from Colorado by a friend of a friend. I paid him $50 for a six pack. I'd had it twice before, and knew what I was in for, and it was worth every damn penny.

Bottle states "Bottled in May 2006 Batch 2"; states 14.5% ABV, OG 1.135. Yowza!

Pours a deep orange with a reddish hue, fairly hazy. A little bit of sparkly carbonation fizz and a white head that goes away quickly, leaving no lacing. It does leave almost a sheen in the sense of wine or liquer leaving "legs" on the glass. I'm using a wide-mouthed wine glass.

Aroma is fruity and spicy, hints at apricot. The alcohol is apparent even in the nose. As it warms, you can definitely get some wood out of it, and maybe a bit of leather.

Taste is a flavor explosion: apricot, wood, spice, and alcohol heat dominate, with a thick yet surprisingly carbonated mouth. Delicious, just like every time I've had it. It lingers long with spice, bitter orange, maybe hints of bergamot, and tangerine.

This beer manages to put down 14.5% alcohol in a warming, but definitely not hot way. It's a heavy beer, no doubt, and not for the uninitiated.

A note on my scores: the "5" for drinkability is both how I objectively feel about this beer, and relative to other huge, 'extreme' beers. The 5 for taste? I could drink this every single day for the rest of my life, until cirrhosis of the liver set in. I mean, this stuff is absolutely magical.

My rough plan is to drink a bottle a year for the next five years, but I have very serious doubts it'll last that long. (Ummm, anyone out there who wants to trade some truly unique, rare, big beer, like Dark Lord, Utopias, Millennium, etc., beermail me.) I LOVE this stuff. It might well be one of my five favorite beers in the world, out of well over a thousand I've tasted. (1,808 characters)

Photo of Vancer
4.8/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A hazy oak brown, an actual ivory head does not indicate a death brew at 14.5 % alcohol.

TONS of cherry oak in the aroma, and the quaff ? Wow, no shit, wow. A absolute smooth sip of cherry mash bourbon whiskey, er., ale. An absolute delight, sweet and inviting. A lip-smacking beverage, cloying and yet, not. The oily taste lingers for a few minutes; one can enjoy this for the long haul.

This is one brew I will not forget, it’s that good. Please, I’m not writing to be condescending, but I feel sorry for those that will not be able to sample this.

My heartfelt thanks to beerbeing for this brew, sent in the BA annv. club. (637 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.77/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a snifter glass. April 2011 Batch no. 7.

Appearance: Dark amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Decent one finger head quickly fades into a spotty layer. Light amount of lacing.

Smell: Big aroma of caramel, oak chips, and dark fruits. Also some hints of vanilla, raisin, toffee, maple syrup, brown sugar, apple, roasted malt, and a little booze. Very complex and enticing.

Taste: Sweet caramel and toffee malts with oak chips and vanilla up front. A moderate amount of maple, apple, raisins, and other dark fruits follow. Alcohol heat is subtle and very well hidden for such a high abv. Very good balance overall.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a lighter carbonation. Very smooth and very little booze is noticeable.

Overall: A very tasty and well balanced brew. Very drinkable and smooth with that high of a abv. (863 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.76/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Small 12oz bottle purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco. Shared with Sam and Rich in Sydney. March 2014 release date.

Pours a wonderfully clear amber colour, with a lovely fine crest of white that looks overtly bright compared to the body. Specks of lace, but not much persistence. Body is thick and fine, and although there's not a lot of carbonation, it's quite fine and static when tilted. Looks really very good.

Nose is wonderful. Big porty sweetness laced with huge tropical fruit notes. Fragrant overripe banana, pineapple and mango, all linked wonderfully with a rich spice that connects somewhat to a suggestion of pepper and booze. I really love it a lot.

Taste is just sublime. Lovely sweet, luscious toffee character, laced with fragrant tropical fruits again: here mango is strong along with a clean vinous note of port or botrytis semillon. Beautiful finish with the wine characters gliding to a fragrant, fruity finish laced with crisp toffee aromatics. Aftertaste has remnants of banana, and a lilting residual pepper spice. Booze is there somewhere but never affects the flavour, which is balances throughout. It's phenomenal, gorgeous stuff.

Feel is thick and rich. Beautifully done.

This is a truly phenomenal beer. The complexity is there, and there's so much to explore. More: there's some really interesting characters that you don't expect even for this style of beer. Even more still: it manages to be phenomenally well balanced, meaning it's supremely drinkable despite the weight. I genuinely love this beer—it's at the very peak of the craft. (1,586 characters)

Photo of SFLpunk
4.76/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown glass foiled pry-top bottle. Bottled in April 2008, Batch 4. OG 1.130, ABV 15.53%.

Appearance: Pours a hazy brown with some amber hues and thin off-white/tan head that recedes quickly.

Nose: Aroma fills the room the second the cap is off. Super sweet and rich nose, lots and lots of dark and medium caramel. Toasty oak and black vanilla beans come screaming out. Fruit and meat come to mind. Freshly lacquered hard wood, cream and maple. Big and dense and rich and decadent.

Palate: Fat and hedonistic. Lots of caramel and demerara sugar, plus dark maple, toasted wood, candied walnuts, scorched citrus, cream, toffee, and mesquite.

Notes: Super complex, but dense, fat and slick. This beer is all about hedonism and lusciousness. The booze is present but not aggressively prickly. It's more slick than hot. Not for the faint of palate, this beer will wreck you! FFO Stone Double Bastard, North Coast Old Stock Ale, J.W. Lee's Harvest Ales. Big, sweet, delicious. Just like me... (994 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(Served in a snifter) bottle April 2007 batch 3
A- This beer has a dense hazy brown body with a sticky beige head that is creamy. There was a sea of chunks swirling with the carbonation.
S- The rich sweet caramel aromas have a soft oak and wet wood aroma to support it.
T- The caramel sweetness is rich with some nice boozy support and an oak and woody notes to follow. The rich flavor of honey comb comes through and adds some nice depth.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with an alcohol heat that grows as the beer warms.
D- This beer has a delicious malt sweetness with some nice support from alcohol and oak that turns a bit to boozy as it is pretty warm. This beer is big and rich which is a great sipper to take the chill of winter. (746 characters)

Photo of bigbelcher
4.74/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, there is a whole lot of something going on in this beer. At 14.5% Alc you would expect a big alchol bite but it is smooth and sweet. A nice deep dark brown color. Let this beer warm up a little bit and it is simply wonderful. I bought a few bottles for my beer 'cellar' and will let them age for a few years. This one is a keeper. (335 characters)

Photo of jkanavel
4.71/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very hazy. Light brown with amber edges. Light tan head, very tight bubbles. Good lacing.

S: Carmel. Dried cranberries and raisins. Alcohol. Raw malt.

T: Heavy dose of buttery carmel, a bit salty, bittersweet chocolate, raisinets. Deep port-like richness. Fruity undertones that remind me of an over extracted Syrah. VERY spicy. As the flavor mellows on your tongue the hops begin to come into effect. Mild bitterness. Really curbs the hot alcohol after taste.

M: Viscous, but well carbonated. Makes for a much lighter feeling beer than it really is.

O: I wish I had five of these. I would drink one every year and take tasting notes to see how it progressed. Intriguing like the best dessert wines. Almost has a sense of origin about it. (749 characters)

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.7/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 15.31%

A- Cherry/Copper color poured into my DFH glass. A two finger tinted head that drags a bunch of decently sticky lacing down with it. Carbonation at first... but settles down to a quiet murmur.

S- Caramel, toffee, fresh mission figs wrapped in proscuitto... tons of brown sugar, oatmeal raisin cereal, vanilla, maple syrup, over-ripe banana's, and some alcohol that brings out, and enhances all the flavors.

T- WOW! Cinnamon buns drowned in vanilla/maple/brown sugar/caramel!!! This tastes just as the nose implies! This is friggin' brilliant! Some notes of marshmallow, salted caramel, macadamia nuts, dried cherries, fresh figs, and a really nice burst of alcohol!

M- Sweet, thick and syrupy!!! A wonderful, warming touch of alcohol that opens up the nose and tastebuds. Sugary sweet and full of dark dried fruit!

O- An amazing blend of vanilla/oatmeal raisin cookies/dried fruit/maple syrup/brown sugar/and booze!!! This is absolutely rediculous! Other than GI KH... this is the best BW I've ever had! (1,024 characters)

Photo of imscotty
4.7/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank you Bobbie for this 2005 Samael. I never would have had the patience to age this beauty for seven years, but I am glad that you do.

A: Lovely deep amber orange color, almost no head, no lacing, little carbonation apparent.

S: The smell of malt caramel is overwhelming. It smells boozy too, some vanilla. I see that others with more sophisticated noses smell other subtle fragrances, but for me this is one big malt bomb.

T: Caramel malt, caramel malt, caramel malt and vanilla, maple syrup, and molasses. This beer explodes in the mouth with oily sweetness. There was no carbonation apparent, yet it still tingles on the tongue. The alcohol is hidden until you feel the after burn as it slides down your throat and warms your stomach. I am not kidding I feel it radiating to the extremities. This beer is a monster. It is still too sweet. It could age for years more. I love it.

M: I drank mine from a champagne glass believe it or not. I think a whiskey glass would have been better. It does not matter much; this is not a subtle beer. It will explode in your mouth whatever the delivery system. This beer is liquid candy.

O: Let me start by saying that I love big English barleywines. I think there is no better way to finish the day than sipping an old Thomas Hardy's. This beer is great for the style. It is sweet caramel candy, maybe too sweet; you can age this monster for years. It is a sipper, but I was not willing to share, I wanted every drop for myself. If you are lucky enough to find a Samael put it away for a decade and count yourself lucky. Save it for a cold winters night and enjoy. (1,613 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.7/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - This barleywine pours an attractive orangish auburn color, no head or lacing. I can't say that surprises me though.

S - Very potent oak smell. A sweet caramel and vanilla is underneath. Some vague esters are there, smells like honeydew melon, pineapple, dates, and a faint golden raisin. What do you know, the abv is very detectable. Barring the prominant alcohol, it is a very pleasant odor, but it is nothing spectacular.

T - Very potent, slightly smokey, oak taste, but in a very good way. It is very sweet, will a strong vanilla presence. There are again fruit flavors, honeydew melon, bananas, a fainter cantaloupe, a bit of red grapes and a little pineapple. A decent fruit salad in one bottle. You can taste the alcohol, but, considering the abv, it is fairly well masked (i.e. it doesn't dominate the flavor). Some of the smoked oak and fruit linger through for a soothing mellow aftertaste.

M - Very smooth and thick. With this strong of an abv, it is a miracle that I am calling this fairly refreshing.

D - This beer is everything that bourbon wishes it could be. Sessionable? That's a stupid question, one of these and I'm very drunk already. But this is definitely a dessert beer. This 12 oz bottle cost me $6 (on sale), I am strongly contemplating buying a few other bottles before this sale ends. I bet this would store extremely well. I think this is my new favorite barleywine. I can't believe that it is rated "so low" (compared to other barleywines). This is one of my favorite beers. In fact one bottle is almost too much. (1,558 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.69/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an amber color with no head and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass, but has some active carbonation. The aroma reminds me of alcohol soaked cherries, vanilla, oak, and a lot of sweetness. Smells very nice. The flavor is excellent. Tons of cherry goodness in the taste. The alcohol strangely doesn't make itself known until the warming effect sets in. Very little alcohol in the flavor. Very smooth. The body is on the thick end of moderate and it is supremely drinkable for the alcohol. This is a very dangerous beer. This has to be my favorite Avery beer I've ever had, and they are one of my favorite breweries. (622 characters)

Photo of ThirdCoast
4.68/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Serving Type:12 floz Bottled in May of 06, making it 4.5 months old
Poured into a glass

A: Beautiful Orange with a nice head and many bubbles.

S: Sweet fruits, alcohol, oak...very nice.

T: ... ... ... Oh i have to stop drinking it. This is awsome. At first you get a sweet taste, oranges, sugar. Then the woody oak after taste to finish it off... Very Nice.

M: Feels nice on the tounge, easy to handle, but the lips are a bit numb.

D: I could drink 1 or 2 of these, but i am sure the 14.5% would make me pay for any more that that.... (550 characters)

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Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 605 ratings.