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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

1,076 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,076
Reviews: 577
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 61
Gots: 259 | 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: 1,076 | Reviews: 577 | Display Reviews Only:
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 SageO


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

04-12-2012 05:36:33 | More by SageO
Photo of Shumista


4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage. While I have older beers in my cellar I have been saving I believe this is the oldest beer I have ever drank. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. As an aside, I really hate foil on bottles and it seems to be one of Avery's favorite things. The foil always gets everywhere and makes a mess. Wax on the top is the way to go for an added touch in my opinion, not foil.

A- The pour on this one made me apprehensive about it. Pours a clear dark brown with no head at all despite an aggressive pour. Poured like a beer that may have seen better days in the past.
S- Oak, caramel and booze.
T- More complex than I would have guessed from the smell, I was expecting an oak bomb. Tart dark candied fruits, caramel and brown sugar, oak, alcohol.
M- Syrupy but not in a thick way. Coats the mouth after each sip.
D- I see no circumstances under which drinking two of these in a sitting would be appropriate. One 12 oz bottle however is thoroughly enjoyable to the end.

This was a nice surprise. I expected a gimmicky "look how strong our beer is" kind of beer that was probably going to be a hot boozy mess. It was actually really quite good and something I would drink again. I think the 5 years of aging probably helped this out a lot.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 07:14:26 | More by Shumista
Photo of ncworster


4.5/5  rDev +16%

11-22-2012 01:01:21 | More by ncworster
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 Braudog


3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thank God I was able to split a small bottle of this with the crowd at the Coastal Wine Connection’s beer tasting. This destroys your olfactory senses with a big sugary caramel "pow" ... Powerfully sweet with a cooked fruit sweetness, just a light bitter or medicinal value, it’s incredibly smooth but with the power of a nuclear power plant. Bronze orange. This is the Eiswein of beer, almost a cognac. For sipping by the fire with a cigar. (#2673, 2/1/07)

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 00:17:39 | More by Braudog
Photo of pjbfromkc


3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

06-24-2014 22:12:15 | More by pjbfromkc
Photo of dogger6253


4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is brown, like muddy brown - very thick looking, almost completely opaque. Yeast particles float around, another layer of slightly darker body near the top, head is light tan and falls quickly to a film.

I could easily smell figs and dark cherries right away and later pulled out raisins, oak, nutmeg. The taste was pretty much an enjoyable smack in the face, the oak and figs coming through, cherries, nutmeg, cinnamon, hops, apricots, dates, raisins, vanilla, and a strong alcohol presence, but not over-bearing in anyway.

Very thick, a definite "sipper" beer due to its massive body and alcohol presence, massive complexity makes this something you have to take your time with. I would like to drink a lot more of this though...

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2007 21:02:14 | More by dogger6253
Photo of falcon1


3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

01-05-2012 00:31:08 | More by falcon1
Photo of Gfunk720


4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottle, discovered at a local shop in the back cooler. Had this on tap recently and loved it, so I wanted to try it again.

A- A murky brownish color, perhaps a touch of red. A tannish head forms, maybe a finger or so. The head fades but a light dab retains even after some time.

S- This smells delicious. Sweet malt, caramel, and dark fruit. I also get some oakiness, and vanilla. Not a whole lot of hops, but thats a given provided the age.

T- Immediately a strong sweet flavor enters my mouth. I get tons of brandy flavors, oakiness, caramel, and prunes. It has very little hopiness on the back end. Very little booziness, which is a change from the version I had recently. I could see people not liking this due to its thick sticky nature.

M- While it is thick, it fits the style. It has just the right touch of light carbonation. My only complaint is that it is a little too thick and a little cloying, but surprisingly drinkable.

O- Overall, I really liked this beer. I actually liked the version I had on tap better, as had more depth and flavor, while this was just smooth and sweet. I nice sipper if you are hanging around the house for the evening.


Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 01:14:24 | More by Gfunk720
Photo of mhatters


3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Ron's in Exton in a Rodenbach Grand Cru glass

Pours a deep amber color with almost no head, just at thin off-white line.

Huge nose, very alcoholic, oak and whiskey, with some vanilla and caramel undernotes.

The flavor follows the nose, the wood and alcohol are the dominant flavors, but also cherries, brown sugar, and vanilla are apparent.

Malty and hot throughout, little hoppiness, caramel sweetness and little carbonation. A strong, powerful beer, I can have one glass enjoyably.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2009 20:30:33 | More by mhatters
Photo of Avryle

New York

3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled May 2006

A- Slightly hazy brown-orange. Small tan head

S- Sweet, sweet malts with fruity undertones

T- Sweet malts dominate with tones of apples and raisins. Mellow tones of oak has mellowed this out. Good, but not complex.

M- Thick & syrupy. Leaves a nice warmth down the throat.

D- This is what is meant by "sipper." Mouthfeel is way too heavy for easy drinking and the ABV is such that its a good idea to split a 12oz bottle if you have any desire to do anything else during the day.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2008 18:34:23 | More by Avryle
Photo of LtCracker20


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

Batch #3. Bottled April 2007. 14.9% ABV. Let's see what four years in the bottle did for this.

A- Pours a deep rich murky mahogany with a good amount of floaties in there. Surprised by the creamy 2-finger head., but it doesn't last for too long, but falls to a decent thin cap that remains. Small amount of lace going on.

S- Rich caramal, toffee, and sweet dark fruits that come right out and get you. A slight alchoholic whiff in the back end of the aroma, but not enough to tip off the big ABV. Very sweet.

T- Very, very sweet. A lot of the caramel and toffee flavors up front, but then the dark fruits pop up, and a little metallic flavor towards the end. I'm suprised how well they keep the ABV hidden. Nice job, now only if they could cut back the sweetness a little.

MF- Big and creamy. This is a very rich and flavorful beer that's only big downfall is how out of balance it is with the sweetness, but on the other hand, with this big of an ABV, it's almost understandable...Almost.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 23:20:39 | More by LtCracker20
Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,076 ratings.