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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

1,174 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,174
Reviews: 586
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 71
Gots: 285 | FT: 15
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samael's Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,174 | Reviews: 586 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of almychristopher
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this beer pours a crystal clear color with an off white head. the aroma speaks largely of the caramel malts, and dried fruit, maybe a bit of raisin in there, but the oak mellows it all out with the vanilla and earthiness. the taste follows with the fruity esters up front with a lot of sweet roasted malt, little in the way of hops to speak of. the full body is nice but for a beer of this maginitude I could use a bit less co2. a nice barley wine none the less

almychristopher, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of Wamba
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Wamba, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of endincolorado
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, hazy, red-brown color with a small beige, head that dissipates quickly. Nice sheets of lace cascade slowly down the surface of the glass.

I'm immediately reminded of a fresh-roasted, crusty italian bread. A noticeable scent of alcohol and a faint one of oak are also present.

a powerful, figgy sweetness all but overwhelms the palate. Noticeable, though not unwelcome alcohol is also evident. This drinks much like a nice, carbonated tawny port.

The body is syrupy, but not too heavy. Alcohol and flavors coat the mouth and leave a lasting sweetness, as well as a tingly warmth in the throat.

Definitely a warming beer, and would pair well with a nice cheese or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The alcoholic power of this beer, however would suggest that even half of this twelve ounce bottle would be sufficient. I would buy it again, just to store for a special occasion.

endincolorado, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of Sephiroth
2/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Bottled in May of 2006, Batch 2. Pours with decent head, no lacing, color is orangeish red, or reddish orange if you prefer. Aroma of cherries and strawberries soaked in rum.

Whoa. This is a big beer. There is a sharp sweetness that I don't care for. Various sugary flavors running rampant. This is simply not ready to drink. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. To say that it is coating doesn't come close to explaining it. Not drinkable by a long shot.

Sephiroth, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of warmstorage
4.83/5  rDev +24.5%
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.

warmstorage, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of BrewmanCapote
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

BrewmanCapote, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of Gdirt
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%

Gdirt, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of Fabiand
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Fabiand, Oct 01, 2014
Photo of Anvilfarm
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Anvilfarm, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of quasimoto
2.45/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Deep reddish amber color, with absolutely no head on this beer. Very disappointing.

S - Strong aromas of cherries, nail polish remover, wood stripper and that is about it.

T - there is tons of alcohol. Super heavy sweet cloying body that is just overpowering.

M - Heavy body, and super sweet. The bitterness is barely there.

D - I wont look for this again, and I should have drank only half. Way too sweet.

quasimoto, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of movingtrain
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle sampled from a 12 ounce snifter.

Pours a ruby/amber color...lots of sediment from the bottom of the bottle. No head at all.

Smells of strong alcohol, tart cherries, caramel, clove, dried fruit, vanilla, oak...some heavy whiskey aroma in the glass, and similar in color, too.

Wow...strong in flavor, very spicy...almost like a heavy, heavy cider. There are elements of hard cinnamon candy, apples, vanilla, wood...almost like a liquor flavor, heavy alcohol and dried fruit.

This is a hard beer to drink...it has some interesting flavors in it, but there is something stale tasting in the finish. It is such a strong ale, perhaps it is the dried fruit flavors, but while this is a very complex beer, it may be a little to much.

movingtrain, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of bonez05404
4/5  rDev +3.1%

bonez05404, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of Caterwaul
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Caterwaul, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of Danimal25
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Danimal25, Aug 11, 2013
Photo of franksnbeans
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a ruby hued brown with a finger of creamy light tan head that dies quickly leaving sheets of lace. Smells of sweet bourbon, oak, cherry and malt. Stings the nose. Taste is very sweet. Boozy with a sherry character. The oak chips are prominant. Syrupy and spicy. Full and sticky in the mouth. A gynormous brew that must be sipped spurratically. Would be very interested to revisit one of these after aging a few years as there are many flavors but all buried by the booze.

franksnbeans, Sep 14, 2007
Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2008, Batch #4
ABV is 15.53%
Pours a clear copper with a tan head that fades fast. Some Floaties from the bottom of the bottle.
It has a very nice sweet malt aroma with some biscuit and dark fruit notes.
Very Sweet flavor with lots of munich that quickly segues into a very dry oaky flavor that is easily identifiable as oak chips. It dosen't have the the smoothness or the vanilla of a barrel but the oak is a not that bad for being chips.
The mouthfeel is thin and hot from all of the alcohol. This is a beer that should be aged for about ten years before opening.
Drinkable now but it is a bit hot and rough.

RenoZymurgist, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of -ronin-
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

-ronin-, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of Freshie
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber color with unfiltered sediment swirling around and clouding up the brew.

S - Smell is very multi-layered, and aromatic. The smoked oak chips come through very nicely, mixed with dark fruit and even a hint of chocolate.

T - Taste reflects the nose. Sweet hints of fruit compounded with hop bite. Bitterness is smokey and floral. Traces of candied sugar and toasted malt float in the background.

M - The alcohol burn grows as you drink and comes to be a bit much.

D - Drinkability is decent. The alcohol burn can be a distracting, but the flavors and textures counteract it.

If this brew were a bit more balanced it could be truly amazing. Still, a good craft ale experience.

Freshie, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of ABokononist
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

ABokononist, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of ajcormier
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

ajcormier, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of ryanonline
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a nice clear brown ale with a little off white head no real lacing.

Smells like an overmalted beer. Maybe some light honey and boooze.

Taste is the same: malt, honey boooze. As this beer warms it gets much better and the hops begin to come forward, making this beer much better.

Crispy carbonation and very thin but kind of syrupy body.

Sort of low drinkability. Not very tasty and coats the mouth a little to much. Kind of thick and a little to filling in the tummy.

Big beer, big alcohol, not all that good though.

ryanonline, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of CaptainQ
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

CaptainQ, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of jethrodium
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from 2005 generously shared by colonelforbin. Pours a deep reddish copper with no head. The aroma is oak, sweet plum, raisin, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and alcohol. You can definitely tell that this is a sweet, boozy beer. The initial taste is quite sweet with plum and raisin. Then comes oak, some light oxidation, rum, brown sugar, and caramel. The finish is quite boozy with a bit of bitterness. Medium-full body. Close to no carbonation. This beer is quite sweet and boozy, which is certainly not my favorite type of beer, but it is pretty decent for what it is.

jethrodium, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of FlussigkeitMut
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

FlussigkeitMut, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of markgoodman10
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

markgoodman10, Oct 04, 2012
Samael's Ale from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,174 ratings.