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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.
very good

1,088 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,088
Reviews: 579
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 63
Gots: 262 | 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: 1,088 | Reviews: 579 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerinator


2.95/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Light amber, copper. Burnt umber. Light white head disappeared quickly.

Aroma: Bourbony aroma. Roasted caramel sweetness. The main smells seem smoky and fairly sweet. Hints of vanilla and spicing are dulled and muted by the upfront aromas.

Taste: Thick, syrupy laced with vanilla. Hints of sweet cherry and almond. Very very sweet. Full thick cough syrupy mouthfeel. The flavors here aren't that bad. But the thickness of the mouthfeel just aren't quite what I expected from a big beer from Avery.

Notes: Like I said, the flavors and aromas here don't seem off, but the beer it too syrupy in mouthfeel. Where did all the sugar come from if this finished at 14%? I don't believe I'll be buying this one again.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2005 02:46:47 | More by beerinator
Photo of northaustin


4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a clear orange/brown with minimal off white head that disappears quickly and leaves no lacing.

upfront the smell has alot of oak and toffee. no alchohol.

taste hits hard with a liquor style kick. ultra sweet, yet incredibly well balanced in the mouthfeel. it glides down and leaves a stickyness that lingers forever. the alchohol is noticeable in the aftertaste and the feeling in the chest.

drinkability: wouldnt recommend this one to any lighter beer fans or beer newbs. i cant really envision a type of session that would involve one of these but it was worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 07:11:36 | More by northaustin
Photo of omnigrits


4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is an '06 bottle as stated on the label, poured into a snifter.

Nice-looking dark copper-coloured beer with a thin head which doesn't really go away but doesn't leave a lot of lace either.

The smell is immediately sweet and boozy, almost like 32 proof Lyle's Golden Syrup. Plenty of dark/dried fruits in the nose - currants, raisins and sultanas.

Big hit of alcohol on the tongue, bags of sweetness, more of that golden syrup flavour, maybe some cherries? It's quite a taste bomb. More dark fruit here, only now it tastes like it's been soaked in brandy. It's hard not to overstate the alcohol presence.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy, slightly oily and slick, not much carbonation.

Avery have done a fantastic job on this beer but it's definitely a sipping beer. I wouldn't want to tackle a bottle of it on my own at one sitting, not without company to share it with.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 02:08:42 | More by omnigrits
Photo of TATURBO


3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 purchased from Eagle River Liquors in Fulton, IL. 14.5%

A: Mahogany hue. No Head. Plenty of small floaties.

S: Dark Fruit, Oxidation, Slight Soy/Worchester sauce.

T: Sweet Caramel with Dark Fruit. Syrupy. Very very smooth. Flavors have melded together very well over such a long time, but a lot seems to have been lost as well from the aging.

M: Slick, Smooth, Syrupy. Little if any alcohol remains.

O: Maybe a bit past it's prime but still very interesting to try. Definitely a sweet one but great flavor remains.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2012 19:38:35 | More by TATURBO
Photo of cheers2beers


3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a snifter:

Wow! This ale is definitly one of a kind.
As I pour this demon of an ale I am surprised at the head considering the abv.The head rose to a two finger width but disapated to one quarter inch then to a small white ring within two minutes.The color is a dark almond upon first glance.Yet when held to the light it reveals shades of amber,pumpkin,and burnt sienna.
The nose hairs really stand up on this one! Wafts of molasses,vanilla,and a even a slight sweet bourbon aroma.The complexity on my tongue is almost to much to handle.Totally caught me off gaurd.The sweetness of this colossal brew is quite interesting and cloying at the same time.Flavors of oak can be detected vaguely.Alcohol really blazes through my mouth along with the sweet molasses again.As this ale warms the accents in taste and aroma are even more potent.The mouthfeel is really smooth,even syrupy.
This brew would be great as an after dinner desert drink,but i could not have more than one per sitting.I think this beer would be a good canidate for cellar ageing.


Serving type: bottle

10-30-2005 03:48:28 | More by cheers2beers
Photo of WhiskeeTango


4.5/5  rDev +16%

02-15-2013 18:44:48 | More by WhiskeeTango
Photo of fastsrt

New York

3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a 12 ounce bottle to a snifter

A: Rich amber with a head that quickly dissipated.

S: carmel, alcohol, molasses

T: molasses, the sweetness is overwhelming and does not taste like its 16% but the high alcohol takes away from the beer it is too sweet the bottle says oak aged I cant find it. this beer is kinda gimmicky, it is too high in alcohol.

M: This is the perfect example of full body it is super thick and coating.

D: I would not drink anymore than one and will probably never drink this one again. for a beer this big the complexities are drown out by sweetness.
As far a barley wine goes there are ones that are far better. this is a fun one to drink, instant buzz in a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 02:34:37 | More by fastsrt
Photo of bigbelcher


4.75/5  rDev +22.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2005 00:20:03 | More by bigbelcher
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces


3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Samael Avery

A: It has a muted brown town that yellows into a mild amber at the edges. Good light lacing, the carbonation comes from the bottom of the glass infrequently like it is harboring resentment. Nice coating on the edges with a honey drip to it on the glass.

S: Lots of wood and oak with a sugary sticky sweetness to the nose, I don’t want to insult it with confectioner’s sugar, but I would say there’s certainly some schemes afoot with the smell of this beer. Otherwise I get some boozy heat, for obvious reasons, and melted chick-o-stick candy.

T: The brown sugar jumps of the high ropes in a big way with its inept partner muted raisin coming in for a submission hold. Wow, the sweet notes are really doing a front forward job on those taste buds until OH NO IT IS THE ALCOHOL PROFILE. He is just murdering people pell mell. The alcohol profile has run amock, overriding anything the sweet notes have accomplished. The heat remains, sip two is a rematch and the results are the same. The alcoholic heat always dominates, especially in this closed system.

M: This has a Trojan horse quality to it wherein you are expecting a pleasant Belgian Tripel character to it and then, again the heat from the alcohol just takes a Sherman’s march towards your gullet, with scorched earth tactics. The sweet and dark fruit tones are so satisfying but the alcohol has no balance, it runs free without its supervision. The chains are vestigial and do not bind, in sum, the goggles do nothing, as they say.

D: This is strangely drinkable, depending on your life situation. I mean, I can physically drink this all day long due to the thin nature, light fruit notes and abundant fire emanating from my mouth. The verb dichotomy between can and want cleaves in clean lines when “should” enters the fray. I could drink this, I don’t necessary want to drink this in excess, and with the patient hand of the schoolmaster “should” the answer is a resounding “no.” You should not drink this often. As a retro-caveat, I don’t exceptionally enjoy this style and therefore all of my barley wine reviews will have this “wah wah, didn’t make weight for the football team,” sort of outside panache to them.

Narrative: “PLEASE STACY, that is my grandmother’s Faberge egg collection you just NO! NO!” Anthony could only watch in horror as his girlfriend gorged herself on whiskey and plums, destroying their possession with careless abandon. “OK NO, now you are taking things too far, do not push my Body By Jake off of the balcon- NO!” Things weren’t going so well for the couple, she drank more, ate more dark fruits, and broke his things as a byproduct. What was Anthony to do? The sex was amazing and she was his special Persephone, delving each night to savor the succor of sour mash and destruction. “Please, I have all of my FINAL FANTASY SAVE GAMES ON THOSE! HOURS OF! NO!” Somehow, it all evened out, she was sweet while sober and a complete monster when unleashed, but he liked it that way, secretly. “EARTHBOUND IN THE ORIGINAL BOX! NOOO!”

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 07:53:40 | More by SubpoenaDeuces
Photo of Johnhaley1989

North Dakota

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

10-05-2012 19:22:16 | More by Johnhaley1989
Photo of Dunkelhund


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

02-26-2012 06:35:53 | More by Dunkelhund
Photo of tbizzle0


5/5  rDev +28.9%

12-03-2011 03:56:09 | More by tbizzle0
Photo of diehl07


4/5  rDev +3.1%

07-06-2014 14:27:53 | More by diehl07
Photo of paulozanello


3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy caramel brown color with fain red hues. Head is tan with medium retention and small to almost none lacing, both appropriate within the barley wine style.

Aroma is very strong and pretty awesome: lots of vanilla, wood/oak, caramel malt, mollasses, roasted nuts and faint red fruits. A little alcohol burn as it warms up but pretty low considering the 15%abv.

Taste starts out malty and sweet with burnt candy sugar, mollasses and caramel , finishing with wooden notes and lots of alcohol. Aftertaste is boozy, woody, mildly sweet and lingers moderately.

Body is very high with moderate to high carbonation, maybe a little too high for the style but on the other hand, high enough to contain the alcohol perception.

Overall a great looking and smelling beer but a little to boozy on the palate. Still very well worth it's price.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 01:09:52 | More by paulozanello
Photo of codewarrior

New York

3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Foil finished 12 oz Singleton (Bottled in March 2010, Batch 6), poured into a Balloon.

The Beast and Mephistopheles are 2 phenomenal beers, phenomenal. Avery is well-known around these parts to produce Strong Ales that are still drinkable and even more-so, delicious. That being said, I had high hopes for this Demon Ale.

A: Blood red, with thick head.

S: Candied plums, real strong on the booze factor here, and making no attempt to hide it.

T: WOW. Super-sweet, fades into a rich boozy finish. This is like a sherry on crack, or a currant/raisin Port.

F: Thick, Syrup feel. Feels like a Port.

D: Speechless. Couldn't get through a 6oz serving ... love of god.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2010 18:54:32 | More by codewarrior
Photo of Caleb


4/5  rDev +3.1%

09-15-2012 18:37:53 | More by Caleb
Photo of erikm25


3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a thick crimson and burgundy hued orange. Head was off white with reasonable retention. The lacing was minimal. This sits in the glass creamy and glowing with amber highlights strewn throughout. Hazy and fuzzy like vibrations out of an Orange amplifier.

S: Hints of butterscotch and bourbon. Sugared and sweetened grapes. Biscuit roundness with hints of ripe dark fruit juices. A tint of alcohol in the backdrop of the nose. Apples coated in brown sugar and bobbed from a barrel of whiskey.

T: Carpet bombs the tongue with caramel and sugary sweetness. Roasted toffee candies with smoked oak and scotch. Buttery vanilla with plums and honey syrup. Handfuls of cherries dipped in bourbon and splashed with mango cream. A bit of spiced clove towards the end. Alcohol is present but in a nice shooting whiskey with strangers type of way. This has tartness, sweetness, and numbing alcohol.

M: Full, creamy, and viscous. Good carbonation. This one borders on being a solid.

D: Well this is a massive beer that despite the high ABV is easy to drink especially if you are in the mood. I would recommend some Venom, Slayer, or Danzig for this one. Very impressive and helps throw things into a nice whirl. The only drawback is that it does not come that cheap.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 03:54:05 | More by erikm25
Photo of MidtowneMarket


4.5/5  rDev +16%

08-23-2012 03:18:50 | More by MidtowneMarket
Photo of mgironta

New Jersey

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

This brew poured with half a finger of white head that dissipated relatively quickly for the most part, but a little bit hung around, crowning the body. There wasn’t any lacing left on the glass from the head. The body was a cloudy mahogany color with a lot of active carbonation, more than I was expecting actually. The nose was insanely strong and overpowered with oak. Other things that I got on the nose were toffee and vanilla and a crapload of booze. I have a feeling that this is going to knock me on my ass. The taste started with sweet toffee, then vanilla and then literally beat me in the face with oak and finished with a serious booze burn. The body was towards the thick and syrupy side with lighter carbonation than I expected. The finish was long with a lot of heat. Honestly, all this beer was to me was just really sweet, really oakey and really boozy. This was a bit of a disappointment, especially from a brewery that I love. And, definitely not worth the hefty pricetag.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2012 18:33:16 | More by mgironta
Photo of OldSock

District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance and Presentation – 2005, 12 oz bottle with red foil around the cap. Poured into a snifter the beer is a light brown with a bit of red. The head is almost non-existent and there appears to be no carbonation flowing through the beer.

Smell – Fusel alcohols with some wood and over ripened fruits. The solvent alcohol character is a bit overwhelming, but what can I expect from a 29 proof beer. My eyes are a bit dry after a day at the beach, as a result the alcohol vapor stings my eyes a bit unpleasant.

Taste – Despite the nose the alcohol does not overpowering in the taste at first. There is definitely a warming sensation, but the flavors of the beer shine through on top of the alcohol. Specifically there is oak, caramel sweetness, toasted grains and ripe fruits. Surprisingly low hop usage for an American Barley Wine. After awhile the alcohol really starts to assert itself and the rate at which I drink quickly falls.

Mouthfeel – Syrupy with almost no carbonation. The lack of carbonation helps to hide the alcohol.

Drinkability and Notes – This is a solid sipping beer, complex, but not exactly drinkable. Worth a try particularly if you like big English Barley Wines. I wish they would drop the alcohol to raise the drinkability and hop a bit more liberally to better balance out the near cloying sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2005 03:33:27 | More by OldSock
Photo of KidsDoc


4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Harrika's BrewHaus

Wow - HUGE beer. You have to like sweet tasting beer to appreciate this one.

Pours smooth, brown/amber with minimal white scattered crown.

Full caramel aroma, limited complexity but a very crisp, sweet aroma. Some woody background.

Taste was more complex though huge caramel sweetness. Hops gave some balance and the oak presence was much more noticeable in taste than aroma giving this beer more dimension.

Mouthfeel was so smooth, but sticky like liquid candy. Carbonation was spot on. The over-the-top ABV was never disruptive in the taste or feel of this beer.

Amazed at how they packed so much fermentation yielding a >12% ABV that goes unnoticed yet still with huge malts and unfermented sugars to offer such sweetness. Many will detest this beer due to the sweetness, but this one was done right in my opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2011 03:17:20 | More by KidsDoc
Photo of ruckzuck


3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Woo here we go. Bought this while at home.

A - thin white head, nice mahogany color

S - syrupy sweet, this really dominates, really floral as well

T - sweet and floral (big shocker); bit of alcohol, but they do a fairly good job hiding it beneath the sweet

M - very solid bodied, bit of carbonation

D - well, this is quite the beer! Very solid and very heavy. Not sure I could rock more than 1 of these, but I'm glad to say I've had it. Not life-changing, but still quite interesting and worth a shot I'd say. Keep it up, Avery.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2008 03:20:21 | More by ruckzuck
Photo of guido19

Rhode Island

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

10-25-2013 18:00:08 | More by guido19
Photo of JoeBloe

New York

3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

batch 2 - 2006 - $8.99/12oz bottle @ deciccio's in ardsley
poured into a dfh snifter it put up a 1 finger head that dissipated
really quickly - no lacing - aroma of alcohol comes up with scent of oak and dried/candied fruits - tastes like sweet syrupy dried fruit
with the oak/ woody finish - one sip away from empty i feel like i'm hittin' the hard stuff - coats the mouth thoroughly, syrupy, not in a bad way - this has warmed my stomach, and my brain - i enjoyed this bottle tonight.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 00:51:42 | More by JoeBloe
Photo of SageO


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

04-12-2012 05:36:33 | More by SageO
Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,088 ratings.