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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

1,254 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,254
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: 1,254 | Reviews: 603
Photo of Sneers
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 bottling found at the store today. For $5 this was a score (I usually see it for ~$9)

Pours halfway between orange and ruby. Not much head, or carbonation, for that matter.

The aroma is of thick, sweet, bready malts. It actually reminds me of the smell of light malt extract. I good bit of alcohol comes through as well. There's a bright acidity in the nose (that at first lead me to think this could have been infected, but is not the case) that disappears with a little warming- kind of an odd phenomena, but not objectionable.

In the mouth, sweet, sticky, bready malts combine with a relatively strong alcohol prickle. At 14.5% ABV (I guess the recipe has changed in the past 5 years), this is hardly surprising, and although it does work for the beer, a bit less would be nice. The alcohol functions in the same manner as hops might, but they're nowhere to be found in this beer. A little bit of chocolate comes through early, but is pushed aside by a (very) dark fruitiness, namely figs, which lingers into the finish.

The oak presence in both the nose and taste is pretty small, and I suspect it may be more prominent in fresher bottles. It's very smooth, and lacks that raw "woody" quality, but rather imparts nice notes of vanilla.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin for a beer of this sort, by not thin in an absolute sense- I'd say medium-full. There is, however, a sticky sort of sensation in the mouth after the swallow.

Samael's Ale is a nice sipping beer with a tasty, complex flavor. It lacks somewhat in other aspects, but is in no way, except it's alcohol presence, objectionable. I can't speak of newer vintages, but can at least recommend aged bottles. It's sort of piqued my interest in Avery's Demon serious, which I'll soon be seeking out.

Photo of mfield14
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from April 2009 - cosumed on 11/15/11

A - Poured out a hazy, light burgundy color with little to no head. It left sudsy trails of lace.

S - It smelled very malty sweet with vanilla and oak notes. A touch of bourbon aromas, too.

T - Good sweet bread maltiness with bourbon, oak and vanilla flavors. There are hints of butterscotch and toffee flavors.

M - It was soft and creamy with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. A full bodied ale with a warm alcohol presence.

O - This was really good with about a year and a half of aging. Curious about a fresh bottle.

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4/5  rDev +3.1%

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4/5  rDev +3.1%

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4/5  rDev +3.1%

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4/5  rDev +3.1%

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5/5  rDev +28.9%

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4/5  rDev +3.1%

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5/5  rDev +28.9%

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3/5  rDev -22.7%

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4/5  rDev +3.1%

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4/5  rDev +3.1%

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5/5  rDev +28.9%

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2/5  rDev -48.5%

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4/5  rDev +3.1%

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4/5  rDev +3.1%

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5/5  rDev +28.9%

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4/5  rDev +3.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of bonkers
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle, april 2011, into a SA perfect pint glass. The pour is a bright amber, very slight white head, no lacing. The aroma is full of caramel, vanilla, and hot alcohol. It has notes of vanilla, oak, caramel and lots of hot alcohol. It has a very hot finish, almost to the oint of burning. The body is medium, carbonation low, very alcoholic. This beer needs to be cellared to calm down the alcohol.

Photo of DaveHS
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2010

A-Pours chestnut amber with a thin, bubbly off white head. No lacing.

S-Intense French oak aroma. Lots of vanilla extract and candi sugar sweetness, accompanied by the pale malt onslaught you'd expect from a 15% old ale. Hints of musty old wood permeates through the fog of sugary aromas.

T/M-Again, this is heavy on the French oak. Reminds me of the first batch of Damnation 23. Musty, woody sweetness is mostly what's happening here. Not a lot of dimension. But if you like French oak, this is for you. Rich and full bodied, with a moderately thin mouth feel and a lingering oaky finish. The alcohol is well disguised, but like the other beers in this series, I can't help but think it would work a little better at a lower ABV.

O-French oak bomb.

Photo of uawildcat
2.54/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a glass. 2007 vintage.

Poured a clear dark color until I let a little bit too much into the glass and the yeast got decanted as well. Opps.

It smells pretty good like berries, booze, and brown sugar. Awesome smell.

Taste is overwhelmingly like nail polish remover, artificial strawberry, and fire. Not acceptable. Even after 4 years of aging it still is too hot.

The mouthfeel is unimpressive. Too thick, too hot, too sticky.

Overall, a poorly done big beer. I can barely tolerate sips. Drain pour.

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

These beers are crazy. The look of them isn't too out of the ordinary or anything. The color is a rich looking brownish amber color with a thin tan head on top. The smell of is quite strong, boozy, malty and sweet. The taste of the beer is also like the nose. It was very sweet with a kick of hops and booze in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is on the thicker side and has a oily quality to it. Overall this beer neds to be sipped. It's big and very bold. Really should be enjoyed over the course of an hour or so, in my opinion anyway.

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Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,254 ratings.